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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2014

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2014
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New Websites within the UN System

UN in General

A/69/100: Annotated preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda of the sixty-ninth regular session of the General Assembly

Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide:
Human Rights, the Rule of Law & the post-2015 development agenda
For the High-Level Event of the General Assembly on “Contributions of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Post-2015 Development Agenda” that took place in New York on 9-10 June DHL has created this research guide.

UNOG Library & Archives Research Guides:
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
The UNOG Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with the launch of a new research guide. Documents of the ministerial-level meetings - held every four years since 1964 - are available in full text.

Peace and Security

Security Council Concept Note: "United Nations peacekeeping operations: new trends" (2 June 2014)
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held an open debate on “United Nations peacekeeping operations: new trends” on 11 June May 2014. The Security Council President for the month of June, the Russian Federation, has prepared this concept note.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 30 April 2014 (DPI/1634/Rev.156, May 2014)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 30 April 2014 (DPI/2166/Rev.130, May 2014)

Economic & Social Development

counterfeitCounterfeit: Don't buy into organized crime (UNODC)
To coincide with World Anti-Counterfeiting Day (5 June 2014), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new consumer awareness brochure on the links between counterfeiting and organized crime. The brochure takes into account the unique position of consumers to encourage change through their choices and behaviour. By highlighting some of the key harms attached to counterfeit goods, the brochure urges this group to be aware of just how risky purchasing these items can be both to themselves and to the wider community.

Emerging issues for Small Island Developing States: Results of the UNEP Foresight Process
Climate change-induced sea-level rise in the world's 52 small island nations - estimated to be up to four times the global average - continues to be the most pressing threat to their environment and socio-economic development; with annual losses at the trillions of dollars due to increased vulnerability. An immediate shift in policies and investment towards renewable energy and green economic growth is required to avoid exacerbating these impacts, says a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) release on World Environment Day (5 June 2014).

How oceans- and seas-related measures contribute to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Local and regional experiences (DESA)
The e-publication is a contribution to a growing collection of studies on how to conserve and sustainably manage the resources of the oceans and seas to foster sustainable development. It contains a selection of successful local and regional examples of oceans- and seas-related measures from around the world. In particular, the publication seeks to illustrate how these measures were able to contribute to all three dimensions of sustainable development with benefits not only for the environment, but also for local communities and national economies.

Prfwclogoevention and reduction of food and drink waste in businesses and households: Guidance for governments, local authorities, businesses and other organisations" (UNEP / FAO / WRAP - Think.Eat.Save Guidance)
A new tool, as part of SAVE FOOD Initiative and FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme, provides guidance to governments, local authorities, businesses and others on designing effective food waste prevention programmes.     

wntd-brochureRaising tax on tobacco: what you need to know (WHO)
Raising taxes on tobacco is the most effective policy to reduce tobacco use. It is also the most cost-effective. This short brochure gives examples of how countries including France, the Philippines and Turkey have successfully introduced strong tobacco tax policies. It also breaks down the myths spread by the tobacco industry about the impact of tobacco tax increases. Lastly, it lists what WHO recommends for further progress towards more widespread strong tobacco tax policies.   

Squandering Humanity: Socioeconomic Monitoring Report on Syria; Combined third and fourth quarter report (July – December 2013) (UNRWA / UNDP / Syrian Centre for Policy Research)
Even as the death toll from Syria’s three-year civil war continues to rise, the country’s human development has also suffered immense collateral damage – the economy has been gutted, the healthcare system is in ruins, and education facilities are “teetering” – according to a new joint United Nations report out on 28 May 2014. According to the report, covering the last two quarters of last year, three out of four Syrians now live in poverty, with more than half the population – 54.3 per cent in 2013 – living in extreme poverty. As the conflict grinds on with no end in sight, some 20 per cent of the population now barely has the means to meet basic needs.

State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources (FAO)
Report in English:
Key findings – English:
Key findings – French:
Key findings – Spanish:
This first volume of “The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources” constitutes a major step in building the information and knowledge base required for action towards better conservation and sustainable management of forest genetic resources at the national, regional and international levels.

State of the World’s Midwifery: A Universal Pathway – A Woman’s Right to Health
Report in English:
Executive Summary & Fact Sheet in English, French & Spanish:
When trained and supported by a functional health system, midwives could provide 87 per cent of the essential care needed for women and newborns, and could potentially reduce maternal and newborn deaths by two thirds. This was among the findings of this report launched on 3 June 2014 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners.

World of Work Report 2014: Developing with jobs (ILO)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
This year’s edition focuses on developing countries and argues that quality jobs are a key driver for development. It draws on evidence from over 140 developing countries and finds that a common factor amongst those countries that have achieved higher per capita income and sustained growth was quality jobs.

World Social Protection Report 2014-15 (ILO)
Report in English:
Executive Summary in English, French, Spanish, German & Portuguese:
This new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) presents the latest social security trends and finds that most people are without adequate social protection at a time when it is most needed. According to the report, more than 70 per cent of the world population is not adequately covered by social protection and only 27 per cent of the global population enjoys access to comprehensive social security.

Human Rights

Concept Note on the Draft General Recommendation on Girls’/Women’s Right to Education
During its next session in Geneva from 30 June to 18 July 2014, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will hold a half-day general discussion about elaborating a General Recommendation on girls' and women's right to education.

statementEliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization: An interagency statement (OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO)
Historically, involuntary sterilization, as a means of achieving genetic ‘strength’ and implementing population control policies, has involved serious human rights violations. The most marginalized groups have been the target of these practices, which persist today and in some places are codified in law. The people most often subjected to these abusive practices are women, especially those living in poverty, women living with HIV, women with disabilities, minority and indigenous women, and transgender and intersex persons. This statement, released by several UN agencies, describes the history of this practice, including its use as a method of mass birth control in the latter half of the 20th century in contravention of fundamental human rights principles of autonomy and dignity.

Guidance Note of the Secretary‐General: Reparations for Conflict‐Related Sexual Violence (OHCHR / UN WOMEN)
At the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict being held in London, UN Women launched on 11 June 2014 along with OHCHR this guidance note, a blueprint for promoting gender-sensitive approaches to the design and delivery of reparations for victims of conflict-related sexual violence. 

Open wounds: Torture and ill-treatment in the Syrian Arab Republic (14 April 2014)
They called us prostitutes and spat on our faces…I was hanged against a wall for three days, and frequently beaten with an electric cable. I used to pass out from the pain,” recounts WA, a 26-year-old Syrian woman. She was arrested along with several other women and for more than two weeks she faced torture, including sexual violence, while being held by security forces. After they released WA, she was forced to run away when her family rejected her after learning she had been raped. This story is drawn from one of the 38 interviews conducted by the UN Human Rights Office with individuals who were released from detention facilities throughout the Syrian Arab Republic and who have come forward to share their horrifying experiences. Their stories are included in this thematic paper, produced by the Office creating vivid images of the suffering of victims of torture and ill-treatment by the Syrian Government and by some opposition groups. 

Oral Update of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/26/CRP.2, 16 June 2014 Advance Version
The majority of civilians in Syria continue to bear the brunt of the ongoing conflict, the head of a United Nations-appointed human rights panel, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, said on 17 June 2014, noting that violence has escalated to an unprecedented level, humanitarian aid is arbitrarily denied and perpetrators of crimes have no fear of consequence.
In over 3,000 interviews, the Commission has collected “detailed narratives” indicating a massive number of war crimes and crimes against humanity, said Mr. Pinheiro. “Patterns of violations have been established. The culpability of hundreds of alleged perpetrators is being determined. The result is a solid foundation of evidence that contains a resolute commitment to accountability.”

Humanitarian Affairs

UNHCR Global Views blog
The UNHCR Global Views blog is a forum to discuss refugee policy and practice, featuring posts by Deputy High Commissioner Alex Aleinikoff and other experts. While news agencies actively cover the latest refugee news, in-depth policy discussions about refugee issues are largely absent from the public eye. Global Views aims to fill this void by providing a place for research and practice to come together. We see the blog as an opportunity for policy thinkers, academics, and interested readers to join us in an important and timely discussion.

Victims of Terrorism Support Portal
The Support Portal is dedicated to and highlights the importance of those individuals across the globe that have been attacked, injured, traumatized or lost their lives during terrorist attacks.

warshumancostWar’s Human Cost: UNHCR Global Trends 2013
The annual report shows that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people. 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, fully 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012.

International Law

Audiovisual Library of International Law – latest additions

  • Voting in the Security Council / by Mr. Andreas Zimmermann, Professor of International and European Law, University of Potsdam, Director of the Potsdam Centre of Human Rights:
  • Dans quelle mesure la légitime défense au sens de l'Article 51 de la Charte peut-elle être invoquée en cas d'attaque menée par une entité non-étatique ? M. Olivier Corten, Professeur de droit international public, Directeur du Centre de droit international, Université libre de Bruxelles