Sunday, 27 September 2020

UN in your language

UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2016

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2016
New information material
New titles
All Pages

altPDF version

New UN websites & publications

UN in General

onehumanityOne Humanity, Shared Responsibility: Report of the United Nations Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit
Agenda for Humanity:
Full report:
Ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit set for 23 and 24 May in Istanbul, Turkey, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched his “Agenda for Humanity” on 9 February 2015 and calls on global leaders to make the Summit in Istanbul the turning point the world sorely needs.

Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – redesigned website

The Paris Agreement: Next steps (UNFCCC)
On 12 December 2015, countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement. The legal nature of this new, international agreement requires various actions and steps to bring it into force. The UNFCCC secretariat has prepared a legal version of these steps for readers who require the important, detailed formal wording and terminology that relates to this major international agreement.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder:
Appointment of the Secretary-General – Selected Online Resources

SDG logo with UN emblem WEB 

UN Pulse on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
Learn more about the UN’s new agenda with the Library’s FAQ: What Are the Sustainable Development Goals? and their previous SDG blog.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Library will be highlighting resources available for each of the SDGs, supporting the efforts of the UN and its partners to build a better world with no one left behind.

Modelling Tools for Sustainable Development Policies (DESA)
modellingtoolsThe new interactive web platform, launched on 18 February and developed by UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD), the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) in close collaboration with other partners and powered by the United Nations Office for Information and Communication Technologies (UNOICT), contains various tools to assist countries in the design of policies and strategies to help implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
Featured on the new site are economy-wide models to assess the multiple economic impacts of policies and shocks; models that trace the effects of policies on social inclusion and poverty; that show the relation between water, energy, land-use and climate; how water use should be considered up-front when designing energy policies; and that simulates universal access to electricity by 2030 with the least cost technology option in 44 African countries.
The intention with the platform and the different models it will be featuring, is to help scale-up capacity in countries, inform development policies and help prepare transformative development strategies that in the end will contribute to eradicate poverty, halt rising inequality, avert climate change and reverse the infringement of environment limits.

Peace and Security

Afghanistan: Annual Report 2015 - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (UNAMA / OHCHR)   
The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan during 2015 are the highest recorded, the UN said on 14 February 2016 on the release of its 2015 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. The annual report, produced by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in coordination with the UN Human Rights Office, shows that increased ground fighting in and around populated areas, along with suicide and other attacks in major cities, were the main causes of conflict-related civilian deaths and injuries in 2015.
UNAMA documented 11,002 civilian casualties (3,545 deaths and 7,457 injured) in 2015, exceeding the previous record levels of civilian casualties that occurred in 2014. The latest figures show an overall increase of four per cent during 2015 in total civilian casualties from the previous year. UNAMA began its systematic documentation of civilian casualties in 2009.
Ground engagements between parties to the conflict caused the highest number of total civilian casualties (fatalities and injuries), followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide and complex attacks. Ground engagements caused the most fatalities amongst civilians, followed by targeted and deliberate killings.

politicallyspeakingPolitically Speaking: 2015 in Review 
“This year has been particularly momentous for the United Nations. As the Organization celebrates its 70th anniversary, it confronts a global peace and security landscape that continues to change, too often for the worse, at an astonishing pace. You will see in the following pages a small sampling of the varied ways in which DPA contributed in 2015 to the UN‘s response to this fluid environment. These range from harnessing new tools to conduct preventive diplomacy, to supporting peace processes around the world. It is the frequently quiet work depicted here that leads to progress in making peace. Thus, as the year comes to an end, we are seeing some movement to end the devastating crises in Syria, Yemen and Libya. DPA provides substantive support to the peace processes in all three countries and is committed to maintain and accelerate in 2016 the momentum recently achieved.”   

Report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat (S/2016/92, 29 January 2016)
English, French & Spanish:
“The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 97 of Security Council resolution 2253 (2015), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to provide an initial strategic-level report that demonstrates and reflects the gravity of the threat posed to international peace and security by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including foreign terrorist fighters, provides information on the sources of financing of such individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including through illicit trade in oil, antiquities and other natural resources, as well as their planning and facilitation of attacks, and reflects the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering this threat.”

Security Council open debate on “Respect for the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as a key element for the maintenance of international peace and security” (S/2016/103, 3 February 2016)
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held an open debate on 15 February 2016 at the ministerial level on the theme “Respect for the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as a key element for the maintenance of international peace and security”. The Security Council President for February, Venezuela, has prepared this concept note.

Security Council open debate on “Post-conflict peacebuilding: review of the peacebuilding architecture” (S/2016/104, 3 February 2016)
English, French & Spanish:    
The Security Council held an open debate on 23 February 2016 on the theme ““Post-conflict peacebuilding: review of the peacebuilding architecture”. The Security Council President for February, Venezuela, has prepared this concept note.

Special Political Missions: Supporting Conflict Prevention, Good Offices and Peacemaking
interactive map and tables for an overview of the history of SPMs since the late 1980s

The UN Conference on Human Rights of Victims of Terrorism, 11 February, United Nations, New York
IMG 5990The Conference was organised by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) under the auspices of the CTITF Working Group on Supporting and Highlighting Victims of Terrorism.
The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy recognises the importance of supporting, and showing solidarity, with victims of terrorism. It also acknowledges that victims play an important role in preventing the spread of terrorism and that they bring a vital voice to  the counter-narrative debate. By gathering experts from civil society, academia as well as regional and international organisations, this Conference examined how States can strengthen their national legislation, procedures and practices, based on the report on the “Framework Principles for Securing the Human rights of Victim of Terrorism” (A/HRC/20/14) by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

Economic and Social Development

childhoodobesityReport of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity 
The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO) presented its final report to the WHO Director-General on 25 January 2016, culminating a two-year process to address the alarming levels of childhood obesity and overweight globally. The ECHO report proposes a range of recommendations for governments aimed at reversing the rising trend of children aged under 5 years becoming overweight and obese. At least 41 million children in this age group are obese or overweight, with the greatest rise in the number of children being obese or overweight coming from low- and middle-income countries.    

animalgeneticresourcesThe Second Global Assessment of Animal Genetic Resources (FAO)
Individual country reports:
Livestock keepers and policy makers worldwide are increasingly interested in harnessing animal biodiversity to improve production and food security on a warmer, more crowded planet, according to a new FAO report issued on 27 January 2017. The agency nonetheless warns that many valuable animal breeds continue to be at risk and calls for stronger efforts to use the pool of genetic resources sustainably. According to “The Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture”, some 17 percent (1,458) of the world's farm animal breeds are currently at risk of extinction, while the risk status of many others (58 percent) is simply unknown due to a lack of data on the size and structure of their populations. Nearly 100 livestock breeds have gone extinct between 2000 and 2014.

World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends (World Bank)
Report in English, Overview in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese:
A new World Bank report says that while the internet, mobile phones and other digital technologies are spreading rapidly throughout the developing world, the anticipated digital dividends of higher growth, more jobs, and better public services have fallen short of expectations, and 60 percent of the world’s population remains excluded from the ever-expanding digital economy. According to the new report, the benefits of rapid digital expansion have been skewed towards the wealthy, skilled, and influential around the world, who are better positioned to take advantage of the new technologies. In addition, though the number of internet users worldwide has more than tripled since 2005, four billion people still lack access to the internet.

World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2016 (ILO)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The World Employment and Social Outlook is the ILO’s flagship report on world of work issues. Exploring the inter-connected nature of macroeconomic policies on the one hand, and employment and social outcomes on the other, it analyses which policy combinations are most effective in delivering high employment and balanced incomes. The publication also provides readers with the most up-to-date global as well as regional labour market and social indicators.

zikaZika Virus infection
Information on the virus, transmission and communications material/infographics is available on the website of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/WHO, Regional Office for the Americas website.

Human Rights

50th Anniversary of the Human Rights Covenants
ourrightsThe Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has now launched a website for the campaign "Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always". It features detailed information about the Covenants, short films on how the Covenants have impacted people's lives, a quiz, the campaign logo and poster (in six languages), and downloadable publications, such as What are the Covenants?, What are the Committees?, Easy-to-read version of the two Covenants, Rights in Your Pocket.

brochure decadeBrochure on the International Decade for People of African Descent
The brochure - providing an overview of the Decade – is now also available in French & Spanish.

whatcolourColour? What colour? Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football (UNESCO)
Report in English:
Executive Summary in English, French, German & Italian:
The report was presented at the General Assembly of the European Club Association, an independent body directly representing football clubs at European level, in Paris on 9 February 2016. The report, which was launched by UNESCO and Juventus in November 2015, presents measures to fight racism and discrimination in international football. The report takes stock of what has been done and is being done against racism and discrimination in the sport. It examines ways to assess actions undertaken and envisages other complementary actions, as well as offering examples of best practice. Football Clubs and the European Club Association can and should play a key role in promoting football as a powerful educational tool to fight against racism. The values of inclusion, anti-racism and anti-discrimination should be taught through football from a young age. 

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Global Concern (UNICEF) 
At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to a new statistical report published on 5 February 2016. It notes that half of the girls and women who have been cut live in three countries - Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia - and refers to smaller studies and anecdotal accounts that provide evidence FGM is a global human rights issue affecting girls and women in every region of the world.

Impact of the arbitrary deprivation of nationality on the enjoyment of the rights of children concerned, and existing laws and practices on accessibility for children to acquire nationality, inter alia, of the country in which they are born, if they otherwise would be stateless: Report of the Secretary-General (A/HRC/31/29)
English, French & Spanish:
“The present report highlights the fact that statelessness is contrary to the principle of the best interests of the child and that arbitrary deprivation of nationality places children in a situation of increased vulnerability to human rights violations, including of their right to an identity, education, the highest attainable standard of health, family life and an adequate standard of living. The right of every child to acquire a nationality is guaranteed in international human rights law with the aim of avoiding a situation whereby the child is afforded less protection because he or she is stateless. States must ensure that comprehensive safeguards to prevent statelessness are incorporated into domestic law and implemented effectively in practice, including provisions allowing for the acquisition of nationality by an otherwise stateless child as soon as possible after birth.”

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (Advance Edited Version, 22 February 2016)
Press Release:
As the conflict in Syria is poised to enter its sixth year, civilians bear the brunt of intensifying hostilities conducted by an ever-increasing number of warring parties. As their country is reduced to ruins around them, Syrian men, women and children – often the objects of deliberate attack – are fleeing their homes in an uncertain and often perilous search for safe haven. In its latest report, the Commission of Inquiry on Syria details the catastrophic destruction of civilian infrastructure caused by five years of war, including medical care and educational facilities, public spaces, electricity and water installations. Cultural heritage sites of importance not only to Syria, but also to the world, are being destroyed and damaged through deliberate and incidental attacks. The report further explores the rending of Syria’s social fabric. Under attack, under siege, and increasingly divided, trust between communities has been eroded.

Out of sight, out of mind: Deaths in detention in the Syrian Arab Republic 
Over the past four and a half years, thousands of detainees have been killed while in the custody of warring parties, according to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The latest report, released on 8 February, is based on 621 interviews, as well as extensive documentary material, and examines the killing of detainees by all parties to the armed conflict between 10 March 2011 and 30 November 2015. The Commission details how Syrian civilians have been arbitrarily arrested, unlawfully detained, taken hostage, or kidnapped, since the conflict erupted nearly five years ago. Eyewitness accounts and documentary evidence strongly suggest that tens of thousands of people are detained by the Syrian Government at any one time. Thousands more have disappeared after initial arrest by State forces or while moving through Government-held territory.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention deems the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Julian Assange as arbitrary
Public statement (5 February 2015):
Working Group’s Opinion on Julian Assange’s case (No. 54/2015):
Video on the Working Group explaining how it works and whether its opinions are legally binding:

Humanitarian Affairs

iamsyrianThe United Nations World Food Programme has launched a campaign to give people a chance to show solidarity with the suffering of millions of Syrians displaced inside Syria and as refugees outside the country.
#IamSyrian consists of brief online portraits of ordinary Syrians sharing the contrast between their lives before the conflict began and their current lives in Syria and in exile, what they and their families have lost and their hopes for the future. In their own words, they appeal to common humanity so supporters can show their solidarity by using #IamSyrian, liking or sharing stories on social media.
The #IamSyrian initiative supports the 21 January appeal by heads of UN agencies and aid organizations calling for an end to the suffering in Syria and for specific actions so humanitarian assistances reaches all those in need. It comes as the London conference urges the world to #SupportSyrians and its message is complementary to the spirit of the conference.

El Niño and Health: Global Overview, January 2016 (WHO)
According to this new report by WHO, released on 22 January 2016, severe drought, flooding, heavy rains and temperature rises are all known effects of El Niño that can lead to food insecurity and malnutrition, disease outbreaks, acute water shortages, and disruption of health services. The health implications are usually more intense in developing countries with fewer capacities to reduce the health consequences. The current El Niño from 2015 to 2016 is predicted to be the worst in recent years, and comparable to the El Niño in 1997-1998 which had major health consequences worldwide. In Eastern Africa, as a result of the El Niño in 1997-1998, WHO found that rainfall patterns were unusually heavy and led to serious flooding and major outbreaks of malaria, cholera and Rift Valley Fever.

faohumanitarianappealsFAO in the 2016 Humanitarian Appeals: Saving livelihoods saves lives
As 2015 draws to a close, we look back on a year where world agriculture and food security still face serious challenges. We saw a rising number of people affected by crises and disasters, often depending on humanitarian assistance to protect and rebuild their livelihoods. From Syria to Yemen and Nigeria to the Central African Republic, an unprecedented amount of people have been forced to flee, often losing a lifetime of assets and sometimes the hope to rebuild their lives at home.     

Protecting Humanity from Future Health Crises: Report of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises - 25 January 2016 (Advance unedited copy)  
In order to provide timely access, the report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises has been made available electronically, in an advance unedited version. The report will be issued as an official document in due course, in conjunction with the Secretary-General’s own report, which will be based on the Panel’s important findings.

Somalia: Humanitarian Response Plan, January - December 2016 (OCHA) 
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia is among the most complex protracted emergencies in the world. Resurgent conflict across the country and endemic environmental hazards render the majority of Somalia’s 12.3 million people chronically or acutely vulnerable. About 4.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance as of September 2015. 

sahelThe Sahel: Converging challenges, compounding risks – A region under high pressure (OCHA, January 2016) 
In the Sahel, extreme poverty, fast-growing populations, climate change, recurrent food and nutrition crises, armed conflicts and insecurity are building up to a perfect storm threatening the lives of communities already living on the brink of crisis. The region is one of the world’s climate change hotspots. Increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, more frequent droughts and floods and land degradation threaten the livelihoods of a population in which the majority relies on agriculture for survival.