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UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2015

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2015
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

rg orangeUN Research Guides – updated version
We have updated our special page that serves as a one-stop access to all research guides from UN System Libraries by adding additional ones:
•    Research Guides in English from the Joint World Bank-IMF Library
•    LibGuides in English from ECA Library
•    Research Guides in English, French & Spanish from the ILO Library
•    Biblioguias from the ECLAC Library
•    Information Resources on Hot Topis from IMO’s Maritime Knowledge Centre and
•    our own UNRIC Library Backgrounders in English & French

UN System Chart – updated version
English (DPI/2470/Rev. 4, September 2015):
French (DPI/2470/Rev. 4, October 2015):
Spanish (DPI/2470/Rev. 4, September 2015):

United Nations at 70: Moments and Milestones
A photo exhibit at UN Headquarters looks back at the Organization’s 70 year-journey and some of the formative events that shaped its history.

UNU Jargon Buster 
What exactly do people mean by ‘agrodiversity’, ‘formal remittances’ and ‘sustainable development’? Do leaders and scholars use similar concepts in different ways? Do they know their PoCs from their POCs? In our interconnected world, global discussions rely on a shared understanding of key concepts. To this end, the United Nations University (UNU) has developed a glossary app — the ‘UNU Jargon Buster’ — that clarifies hundreds of social, political and economic terms. This fulfils one of the missions of UNU: to act as a bridge between the UN, academia and the general public. Launched on World Science Day for Peace and Development, 10 November 2015, at the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels, the app gathers knowledge and recommended resources from five UNU sites: in Belgium (UNU-CRIS), Iceland (UNU-GEST), Japan (UNU-IAS), Malaysia (UNU-IIGH), and the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT — the lead institute for this app).

Paris Climate Conference (COP21)
Websites in English:,
Websites in French:,
Website in Spanish:
FAQ in English:
FAQ in French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Swedish and Portuguese:
cop21The Paris Climate Conference is officially known as the 21st Conference of the Parties (or “COP”) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations body which is responsible for climate and based in Bonn, Germany. The Conference will also serve as the 11th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. It will be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015 at a site near Paris-Le Bourget.
For more information on climate change take a look at the UNRIC Library Backgrounder:
English -, French

Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the challenges of policing within a protection of civilians mandate
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held a briefing on 13 November 2015 to hear from heads of police components, under the item “Peacekeeping operations”. In order to help steer the discussion on the subject, the Security Council President for the month of November, United Kingdom, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the open debate of the Security Council on the subject “Maintenance of international peace and security: security, development and the root causes of conflict”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held an open debate on 17 November on the subject “security, development and the root causes of conflict” in connection with the item “Maintenance of international peace and security”.

Concept note for the briefing of the Security Council on the report of the Secretary-General entitled “The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held a briefing on 20 November 2015 on peace operations in connection with the item entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security”.

Sanctions Committees – redesigned website
Select the relevant committee from the drop-down menu.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 October 2015 (DPI/1634/Rev.174, November 2015)

Visual primer on UN Special Political Missions 
Issued by the UN Department of Political Affairs.

political missions

Economic & Social Development

17 Sustainable Development Goals 17 Partnerships (DESA)
17partnershipThe UN Sustainable Development Summit for the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals was held during three historic days in New York, 25-27 September 2015. In the lead-up to the Summit, the UN Secretariat, through its Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA-DSD), launched Partnerships for SDGs – an online platform to spur partnerships engagement in support of the sustainable development goals. Born out of the Rio+20 Conference through paragraph 283 of the Future We Want outcome document, the platform has been revitalized in preparation for the Agenda 2030, with the 17 sustainable development goals at its core. To date, the platform contains nearly 1,800 partnerships and initiatives promoting sustainable development.
Beginning in early September 2015 and through the Summit, over 40 initiatives aiming to support the newly adopted sustainable development goals were registered. This compilation provides a summary of 17 initiatives – one for each of the goals. The full list with further details is available at:

Climate Change Action for Sustainable Development (DESA) 
ccactionforsdThe current report has been prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), through its Division for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the partners of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. The report was presented on the occasion of the event “From Rio to Paris: Higher Education for Climate Change Action”, held on 14 October 2015 at UNESCO headquarters, organized by the partners of the HESI initiative in close collaboration with the Kedge Business School, itself a signatory of the HESI initiative, as contribution to the XXI Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21), to be held in Paris in December 2015.

Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers 2015 (UNFCCC) 
climateactionnowThis report – released on 18 November 2015 - packed with best practice climate policies from across the world reveals a wealth of existing opportunities to immediately scale up reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while powering up ambition to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. It underlines how nations can deploy a wide range of proven policies and utilize existing initiatives to meet the common challenge of climate change and sustainable development. The report also sits on a new microsite highlighting the potential for greater climate action and ambition before 2020, when the new Paris Agreement comes into effect.

Economic Report on Africa 2015: Industrializing through trade
Executive Summary:
This report examines and provides analysis on the critical elements of effectively fostering industrialization and hence structural transformation based on an extensive review of experience with industrialised countries and Africa’s post-independence attempt at industrialization. Ten country case studies were also conducted to shed light on industrializing through trade. The findings from this exercise informed the policy recommendations contained in this Report.

Global Media Monitoring Project 2015 (UN Women)
Report in English, Highlights in English, French & Spanish, National & Regional Reports:
The GMMP 2015 report examines the visibility, voice and mention of women and men in the news media and finds a sexism that has endured across decades and geographical boundaries, adapting to emerging media forms and thriving in all spaces in which news content is produced and shared.

Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category: Inclusion, Graduation and Special Support Measures; Second edition, 2015 (DESA) 
The second edition of this provides comprehensive information on the least developed country (LDC) category, including a description of procedures and methodologies used in the identification of these countries, and the support measures associated with it. It builds upon and updates the previous edition published in 2008. Accordingly, the “LDC Handbook” is intended for the use by government officials, policymakers, researchers and others interested in the particular development problems and challenges faced by the most disadvantaged developing countries.

Least Developed Country Category: 2015 Country Snapshots (DESA)
Individual country snapshots:
snapshotsThe “2015 Country Snapshots” compiles the key statistical data used by the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) at the 2015 triennial review of the least developed country category. Least developed countries (LDCs) are defined as low-income countries suffering from structural impediments to sustainable development. To identify LDCs, the CDP uses three criteria: gross national income (GNI) per capita; human assets index (HAI) and economic vulnerability index (EVI). HAI and EVI are indices composed of four and eight indicators, respectively. The three criteria together with these indicators are presented in one-page profiles for each of the 48 countries classified as LDCs in 2015, thus providing a snapshot of each country's situation at the 2015 triennial review. The snapshots also illustrate the gaps in progress towards the LDC graduation thresholds for each country, while comparing individual outcomes with corresponding results for all LDCs and developing countries.

Synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the intended nationally determined contributions (UNFCCC) 
An unprecedented worldwide effort is underway to combat climate change, building confidence that nations can cost effectively meet their stated objective of keeping global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius. A report by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – released on 30 October 2015 in Berlin - assesses the collective impact of over 140 national climate action plans, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs, and says that together, they can dramatically slow global emissions into the atmosphere. INDCs will form the basis of the agreement expected to be reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21), to be held in Paris, France starting at the end of November.

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2015 (UNEP)
Executive Summary (English & French):
Existing policies and strong engagement by nations submitting their contributions ahead of the Paris climate meeting will limit anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, but a new climate agreement can encourage further action to limit global temperature rise to 2°C by 2100, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report released on 6 November 2015. The Emissions Gap Report is an authoritative assessment undertaken by a team of leading scientists and modelling experts from around the world. It presents an assessment of the 119 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by 1 October 2015, covering 146 countries (including the European Union submitting as a bloc) and up to 88 per cent of global GHG emissions in 2012.

Human Rights

For every child, a fair chance: The promise of equity (UNICEF)
UNICEF’s commitment to equity – giving a fair chance in life to every child, everywhere, especially the most disadvantaged – is built on the conviction that it is right in principle and evidence that it is right in practice. This report makes the case for closing persistent gaps in equity, because the cycle of inequity is neither inevitable nor insurmountable, and the cost of inaction is too high.

50ICERDInternational Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: 50 years of fighting racism 
On 21 December 1965, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2106, which established the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).  It is among the oldest conventions in the UN Human Rights Office arsenal to target oppression and discrimination.

Preventing youth violence: an overview of the evidence (WHO)
Report & Infographic:
Each year an estimated 200 000 young people aged 10–29 years are murdered, making homicide the fourth leading cause of death for this age group. Millions more sustain violence-related injuries that require emergency medical treatment, and countless others go on to develop mental health problems and adopt high-risk behaviours such as smoking and alcohol and drug abuse as a result the violence they experience. Produced with the financial support of the Jacobs Foundation, German International Cooperation, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report aims to help policymakers and planners – particularly in settings with limited human and financial resources – to address youth violence using an evidence-informed approach.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (A/70/361)
English, French & Spanish:
Governments and international organizations are failing to ensure adequate protections to whistleblowers and sources of information, according to a new report by the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye. In the first major UN report devoted to the subject, the UN Special Rapporteur reviews national and international norms and practices and presents recommendations to establish or improve available protections. The study also emphasizes that the right of access to information – central to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – requires that authorities take into account the public interest of information disclosed when adopting measures against unauthorized disclosures. The study notes that the UN and other international organizations also frequently fail to protect their own whistleblowers. “The UN, as most international organizations, have adopted rules for enabling whistleblowing and prohibiting retaliation. Yet allegations of wrongdoing and retaliation are rarely protected effectively,” the human rights expert noted.

Report on the Human Rights Situation in Libya, 16 November 2015 (UNSMIL / OHCHR) and  
Libya continues to be embroiled in political strife and deadly violence, with multiple armed conflicts affecting several regions, and contributing to a general breakdown of law and order, according to a new UN human rights report released on 16 November 2015. All parties in Libya “appear to be committing violations of international humanitarian law including those that may amount to war crimes” as well as “gross violations or abuses of international human rights law.” The report lays bare in particular the abuses faced by vulnerable civilians such as internally displaced people, human rights defenders, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The report, published jointly by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office, documents the indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, the abduction of civilians, torture and executions, as well as deliberate destruction of property among other serious abuses and violations of international law in various parts of the country between 1 January and 31 October this year.

Humanitarian Affairs

The Asia Pacific Disaster Report 2015 – Disasters without Borders (UNESCAP)
Report & Executive Summary:
disasters without bordersAsia and the Pacific, the most disaster-prone region of the world, has been struck by 1,625 disasters during the last 10 years amounting to over 40 per cent of the global total, thereby calling for a collective political commitment from the regions' leaders to mitigate risks posed by disasters, according to a new United Nations report released on 27 October 2015. The report, compiled by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) also found that nearly 1.4 billion people from the region have been affected by these natural disasters, constituting 80 per cent of those affected globally.

El Niño Emergency 
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has a new website providing the following Information: What is El Niño and how often does it occur? Why is everyone so concerned this year? What is the humanitarian impact of El Niño? What will be the impact on food prices? What’s being done about El Niño? and What next?

Emergency Appeal 2015: Winterization Plan for the Refugee Crisis in Europe; November 2015 – February 2016 (UNHCR) 
With continuing high rates of refugee and migrant arrivals in Europe via the Mediterranean, UNHCR appealed on 5 November to donors for US$96.15 million in additional support for the winter months for Greece and affected countries in the Balkans. Harsh weather conditions in the region are likely to exacerbate the suffering of the thousands of refugees and migrants landing in Greece and travelling through the Balkans, and may result in further loss of life if adequate measures are not taken urgently. UNHCR’s new winter plan anticipates that there could be up to 5,000 arrivals per day from Turkey between November 2015 and February 2016. The plan focuses on putting in place measures to support affected countries such as Croatia, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in order to avert the risk of humanitarian tragedy and loss of life during the winter months.

The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters 1995-2015 (UNIDSR)
This publication provides a sober and revealing analysis of weather-related disaster trends over a twenty year time-frame which coincides with a period which has seen the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties become an established high- profile annual fixture on the development calendar. The contents of this report underline why it is so important that a new climate change agreement emerges from the COP21 in Paris in December.

I am Here, I Belong: the Urgent Need to End Childhood Statelessness (UNHCR) 
iamhereStateless children across the world share similar feelings of discrimination, frustration and despair, creating problems that can endure into adulthood, says a new UNHCR report released on 3 November 2015. The first geographically diverse survey of the views of stateless children says the common problems they face in the countries under review profoundly affect their ability to enjoy childhood, lead a healthy life, study and fulfil their ambitions. Many of the dozens of young people in seven countries interviewed for the I am Here, I Belong: the Urgent Need to End Childhood Statelessness report said that being stateless had taken a serious psychological toll, describing themselves as "invisible," "alien," "living in a shadow," "like a street dog" and "worthless."

Syria and Iraq Situations: Regional Winter Assistance Progress Report; 1 October – 1 November 2015 (Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt) (UNHCR)  
For the 2015/2016 winter assistance, UNHCR planning began during the summer months including procurement of critical items to respond to the winter needs in a timely manner. Assistance includes cash to help refugees purchase needed items and cover heating costs, shelter upgrades, stoves, blankets, and weatherproofing kits. Regionally, for both Syria and Iraq situations, eight per cent of the winter in-kind assistance has been distributed, including shelter insulation kits. A further 52 per cent of winter core relief items (CRI) are in stock, including high thermal blankets, plastic tarpaulin, stoves, kerosene jerry cans and winter clothing. The majority of the shelter insulation assistance has now been distributed. The distribution of CRIs will commence in early November, as planned, to avoid the misuse of items before the need becomes apparent.