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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2015

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2015
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide: UN Secretariat

This database provides easy access to jurisprudence emanating from the United Nations Treaty Bodies which receive and consider complaints from individuals. It is intended to be a single source of the human rights recommendations and findings issued by all above committees in their work on individual cases. This database is based on a database designed and developed by the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) of Utrecht University which has agreed to make its database available to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

2015 Time for Global Action
Earlier this year the Department of Public Information launched “2015: Time for Global Action”, the UN system-wide campaign that aims to build public support for the sustainable development agenda and show how the issues behind some of this year’s most important events are interconnected.  As part of the campaign, a new website –is now live and will shortly be available in all six official UN languages. This website will serve as a source of news, as a portal to UN system websites, and as the anchor for a robust social media campaign. It will also link to the extensive civil society mobilization under way through the concurrent Action 2015 campaign.


Peace and Security

naturalresourcesNatural Resources and Conflict: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners (DPA / UNEP) 
Published in February 2015 by the United Nations Department of Political Affairs  (DPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme this guide aims to inform mediators and stakeholders addressing conflicts over natural resources - whether those disagreements are violent, have the potential to turn violent, or are part of a larger political struggle, including within a peace process. It draws on the field experiences of mediators and mediation experts.

Security Council Concept Note: Open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 27 January 2015
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The Security Council held an open debate on Tuesday, 27 January 2015, on the topic “Protection of civilians in armed conflict: protection challenges and needs faced by women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict settings”. The Security Council President for the month of January, Chile, had prepared this concept note.

Security Council Concept Note: Open debate on maintenance of international peace and security: reflecting on history and reaffirming our strong commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations
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The Security Council held an open debate ministerial level on Monday, 23 February 2015, on “Maintenance of international peace and security: reflecting on history and reaffirming our strong commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The Security Council President for the month of February, China, had prepared this concept note.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 January 2015 (DPI/1634/Rev.165, February 2015)

Performance Peacekeeping: Final Report of the Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping 
perfomancepeacekeepingOn 23 February 2015, the Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping released its report on how new technologies and innovations can best benefit United Nations Peacekeeping. The five-member panel of independent experts, led by Jane Holl Lute, was appointed in June 2014 by Under-Secretaries-General Hervé Ladsous from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Ameerah Haq from the Department of Field Support to recommend ways in which the technological foundation of peacekeeping operations can be strengthened in order to increase operational effectiveness. The Panel’s findings were based on several field visits and interviews with Member States, partner organizations with similar field operations, non-governmental and governmental research institutions and think-tanks as well as industry leaders in a variety of sectors of interest to United Nations Peacekeeping. The report features a number of practical recommendations to keep pace with innovation and to take full advantage of readily available and existing technologies that are essential to success.

Economic & Social Development

Business Backs Education: Creating a baseline for Corporate CSR Spend on Global Education Initiatives - January 2015 (UNESCO) 
The world’s first comprehensive study into global corporate education CSR spend, published by the Varkey Foundation in collaboration with UNESCO, shows that the 2013 Fortune Global 500 companies only spend $2.6bn (13%) of their combined CSR budget of $19.9bn on education related activities. The report also finds that less than half of the Fortune Global 500 provide any spending on education-related CSR.

Economic Impact of Ebola on Sub-Saharan Africa: Updated estimates for 2015 (World Bank)  
The Ebola epidemic will continue to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone even as transmission rates in the three countries show significant signs of slowing. The Bank Group estimates that these three countries will lose at least US$1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015 as a result of the epidemic.

Investment CaseAn Employment-Oriented Investment Strategy for Europe (ILO) 
Against a backdrop of sluggish economic conditions and continued weak job creation, the Investment Plan proposed by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would provide a rapid economic stimulus that would foster Europe’s competitiveness at the same time as boosting much-needed employment creation. The main finding of this ILO report is that, if careful consideration is given to the design of the programme and its allocation, over 2.1 million net new jobs would be created by mid-2018.

wcms 338676The Investment Case for Education and Equity (UNICEF)
Education is in crisis worldwide. Millions of children, especially the most marginalized, are excluded from school. Many millions more attend school, but they do not learn basic reading and math skills. In addition, international funding for education is on the decline. This study explains the global education crisis and outlines solutions. It calls for an increase in funding for education and investments that are more equitable and efficient.    

Transforming Economies: Making industrial policies work for growth, jobs and development (ILO / UNCTAD)
This book helps connect the dots between economic theory, the role of capabilities, the lessons from history and the practical challenges of design and implementation of industrial policies. In so doing it provides an excellent policy roadmap for anyone interested in the challenge of promoting catch-up growth and productive transformation.

Wastewater Management: A UN-Water Analytical Brief (WHO /UNEP /UN-Habitat /UN-Water)
Only 20 per cent of global wastewater is currently being treated, leaving low-income countries hardest hit by contaminated water supplies and disease. With urban populations estimated to double in the next four decades, and low-income countries possessing only 8 per cent of the required capacity to treat wastewater effectively, describes the damage being done to ecosystems and biodiversity as 'dire' and warns of the threat wastewater will increasingly pose to human health, economic activity, and water security if left unaddressed.

Human Rights

9th Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/28/69) 
iraq febUnthinkable crimes continue to occur daily in Syria with victims’ voices in danger of being lost amidst the horrors of a conflict now approaching its fifth year, a group of UN experts warned today. In its latest report, the UN commission of inquiry on Syria calls for urgent attention to be paid to the shocking crimes that continue to be perpetrated against the Syrian people.  The report, the Commission’s ninth to the Human Rights Council, charts the major trends and patterns of international human rights and humanitarian law violations committed from March 2011 to January 2015.  It draws on more than 3,550 interviews with victims and eyewitnesses in and outside the country, collected since September 2011. The report emphasises the need for concerted and sustained international action to find a political solution, to stop grave violations of human rights, and to break the seemingly intractable cycle of impunity.     

Attacks Against Girls Accessing Education (OHCHR) 
The report reviewed data on attacks on educational institutions and on girls who attempt to access these institutions. According to the UN’s data, an estimated 3,600 separate attacks against educational institutions, teachers, and students were recorded in 2012 alone in at least 70 different countries between 2009 and 2014. Many of these attacks were aimed at girls, parents and teachers for advocating gender equality through education.

Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 11 September – 10 December 2014 (OHCHR / UNAMI) 
This UN report released on 23 February 2015 documents widespread human rights violations of an increasingly sectarian nature in Iraq, as well as a deterioration of the rule of law in large parts of the country. The report, produced jointly by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, covers the period from 11 September to 10 December 2014. It documents serious violations of international humanitarian law and gross abuses of human rights perpetrated over a three month period by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), with an apparent systematic and widespread character. These include killings of civilians, abductions, rapes, slavery and trafficking of women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction of places of religious or cultural significance, looting and the denial of fundamental freedoms, among others.

Humanitarian Affairs

Humanitarian Response Plan 2015 for Ukraine (Government of Ukraine, OCHA, UN Country Team in Ukraine) 
The Humanitarian Community launched the Humanitarian Response Plan 2015 for Ukraine on 24 February 2015. The plan targets 3.2 million of the most vulnerable people of the five million estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance across the country. The plan appeals to the international community to generously fund the USD 316 million required to carry out a wide range of life-saving interventions including food and household item distribution, healthcare, psychosocial care, shelter, warm clothing, and basic education.

Operational Guidelines for Cash-based Interventions in Displacement Settings (UNHCR)  
These operational guidelines support UNHCR and partner staff to determine if and when cash-based interventions (CBIs) are appropriate to meet the needs of refugees and other persons of concern and aids the design and implementation of effective programmes. It focuses on the needs of refugees, but can equally be used to design programmes for other persons of concern.

International Law

Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia) – The Court rejects Croatia’s claim and Serbia’s counter-claim
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Multimedia gallery:
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UN News Centre Story:
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