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UNRIC Library Newsletter - July-August 2016

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - July-August 2016
New information material
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

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Dag Hammarskjöld Library – new website in six official UN languages. 
The new websites features the new identifier, an expanded multilingual content, an improved search, and a fresh new look. As part of the Library’s strategy to deliver more online content about the UN in all six languages, dozens of new Research Guides - in French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic – have been added with more in the pipeline. In addition, the number of entries in the Ask DAG database of commonly-asked questions about the UN has been increased. There are now over 800 FAQs in French, Spanish, and English. The new website also brings together information about the United Nations libraries collections and services, with resources and tools to support members of permanent missions at UN Headquarters.

Global Sustainable Development Report 2016 (DESA) 
gsdreport2016Understanding of the scientific basis for action will be needed to achieve the ambitious and transformative goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, according to a new report issued by the United Nations on 13 July 2016 during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. According to the Global Sustainable Development Report 2016, key elements of the 2030 Agenda –such as what it will take to ensure that no one will be left behind—have yet to be thoroughly scientifically researched. The Report finds that the new Agenda requires asking different questions, many that have not yet been answered by the research. The Report, an assessment of a broad array of scientific literature pertaining to the sustainable development agenda, was prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and draws on the technical expertise of 245 scientist and experts. But the Report concluded that “if no one is to be left behind in 2030, the notion of inclusiveness cannot be treated as an afterthought. Rather, it should be an integral part of institution design and functioning; of research and development, and of infrastructure planning and development, to mention only topics covered in this report.”

Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the Secretary-General (E/2016/75, 3 June 2016)
English, French & Spanish:
The present report is the first annual report on the topic and provides a global overview of the current situation regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, on the basis of the latest available data for indicators in the proposed global framework. The report also highlights the theme of the 2016 session of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, “Ensuring that no one is left behind”, through examples of disaggregated data that pinpoint where specific population groups are lagging behind. Finally, the report provides information on the methodologies used for the compilation of global indicators as well as an overview of data availability and statistical challenges.

United Nations E-Government Survey 2016: E-Government in Support of Sustainable Development (DESA / DPADM)
egovernment2016The report offers a snapshot of trends in the development of e-government in countries across the globe. According to the Survey more governments are embracing information and communication technologies (ICTs) to deliver services and to engage people in decision-making processes in all regions of the world. The 2016 UN E-Government Survey provides new evidence that e-government has the potential to help support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Survey indicates a positive global trend towards higher levels of e-government development as countries in all regions are increasingly embracing innovation and utilizing new ICTs to deliver services and engage people in decision-making processes. It underscores that one of the most important new trends is the advancement of people-driven services - services that reflect people’s needs and are driven by them. At the same time, disparities remain within and among countries. Lack of access to technology, poverty and inequality prevent people from fully taking advantage of the potential of ICTs and e-government for sustainable development.

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/71/1)
English, French & Spanish:
Introduction: “As I submit my tenth and final annual report to the Member States on the work of the Organization, I recall the opening lines of my very first annual report, in which I observed that Member States and the peoples of the world were asking the United Nations to do more — in more spheres of activity, in more locations, in more challenging circumstances — than at any point in the Organization’s history. This trend has been the defining feature of my 10 years at the helm of the United Nations Secretariat. As I prepare to leave office, the United Nations has more political missions and peacekeepers deployed in more — and more dangerous — locations than ever before. It has its largest-ever humanitarian caseload, including more people displaced from their homes than at any time since the founding of the United Nations. As a result of the adoption of bold new agreements on sustainable development and climate change, it has a more ambitious sustainable development agenda than ever. Notwithstanding other periods of multiple demands on the Organization, the present scale and complexity of its global operations and programmes are unprecedented, even as it grapples with limited resources. By adapting to evolving needs and opportunities, the Organization has become more effective and efficient in how it delivers on its mandates. But increased demand ultimately requires increased investment and trust from Member States so that the United Nations can continue to deliver.“

Zero Draft of Outcome Document for 19 September 2016 High-Level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants

Online volunteering (UNV)
English, French & Spanish:
volunteeronlineUN Volunteers officially launched a new online volunteering service on 15 July 2016. The service allows organizations in need of volunteers and people willing to volunteer online to connect with one another, so that volunteers can remotely support non-profit organizations promoting peace and development around the world. The fields of expertise offered are: writing and editing; art and design; translation; research; technology development; community organizing; teaching and training; project development and management; and leadership and strategy.    

General Assembly decision makes International Organization for Migration part of UN system

Election of five non-permanent members of the Security Council


Peace and Security

Report of the Middle East Quartet 
The United Nations and its diplomatic partners in the Middle East peace process released on 1 July 2016 the first report of its kind, which analysed the impediments to a lasting resolution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict and offered recommendations on the way forward, urging Israel to stop its settlement policy and Palestine to end incitement to violence. The so-called Middle East Quartet – comprising the UN, Russia, the United States and the European Union – has been working on the report since February. In it, they call on each side to “independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution” and to “refrain from unilateral steps that prejudice the outcome of the final negotiations.”
In summary, the Quartet reiterated that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues. The report provides recommendations to what it has identified as the major threats to achieving a negotiated peace: continued violence, terrorist attacks against civilians and incitement to violence; settlement construction and expansion; and the Palestinian Authority’s lack of control in Gaza.

Security Council open debate on “Peacebuilding in Africa”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held an open debate at the ministerial level on the theme “Peacebuilding in Africa”, under the agenda item “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace” on 28 July 2016. The Security Council President for July, Japan, has prepared this concept note.

Security Council open debate on “Children and Armed Conflict”
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held an open debate on children and armed conflict on 2 August 2016. The Security Council President for August, Malaysia, has prepared this concept note.

UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM)
The United Nations Secretary-General has decided to institute a United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) for the facilitation of commercial imports to Yemen, at the request of the Government of the Republic of Yemen and in line with Security Council resolution 2216 (2015).


Economic and Social Development

Building a social pillar for European convergence (ILO)
Report & Executive summary:  
The economic crisis has raised the degree of socio-economic heterogeneity among EU Member States aggravated by imbalances in structural factors that could intensify in the future. The establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights could foster upward convergence of socioeconomic outcomes by strengthening existing rights and improving social standards in the EU while offering a unique opportunity to embed effective and inclusive social dialogue as part of the governance of the EU.

Leaving no one behind: How far on the way to universal primary and secondary education (UNESCO-UIS, Policy Paper 27 / Fact Sheet 37, July 2016)
With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries have promised to achieve universal completion of primary and secondary education by 2030. This paper, jointly released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, illustrates the magnitude of this challenge. Globally, 263 million children, adolescents and youth between the ages of 6 and 17 are currently out of school, according to a new set of UIS indicators. A key obstacle to achieving the target is persistent disparities in education participation linked to sex, location and wealth, especially at the secondary level. Selected policy responses to promote enrolment in secondary education are reviewed.

The Prevention Gap Report (UNAIDS) 
A new report by UNAIDS, released on 12 July 2016, reveals concerning trends in new HIV infections among adults. The Prevention gap report shows that while significant progress is being made in stopping new HIV infections among children (new HIV infections have declined by more than 70% among children since 2001 and are continuing to decline), the decline in new HIV infections among adults has stalled. The report shows that HIV prevention urgently needs to be scaled up among this age group.

The State of the World’s Children 2016: A fair chance for every child (UNICEF) 
English, French & Spanish:
sowc2016Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. “The State of the World’s Children 2016” argues that progress for the most disadvantaged children is not only a moral, but also a strategic imperative. Stakeholders have a clear choice to make: invest in accelerated progress for the children being left behind, or face the consequences of a far more divided world by 2030. At the start of a new development agenda, the report concludes with a set of recommendations to help chart the course towards a more equitable world.

UN WOMEN Annual Report 2015-2016: Fast Forwarding to the Future We Want
unwomen201516“The Annual Report documents UN Women’s work to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality around the world. It highlights some of the organization’s initiatives during the year and provides summary financial statements, a list of new programmes and projects, and contact information. 2015 was UN Women’s fifth year. As we marked this milestone, UN Member States agreed on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which recognizes the transformative power of women and girls. Our work around the world contributes to turning the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals into reality. Working with our diverse partners, we deliver results, from advancing norms and standards, to expanding women’s leadership and participation, bolstering women’s economic empowerment, and ending violence against women and girls.”    

World Drug Report (UNODC)
Report in English, Executive summary in English, French & Spanish:
worlddrugreport2016Around five per cent of the adult population, or nearly 250 million people between the ages of 15 and 64, used at least one drug in 2014, according to the latest World Drug Report released on 23 June 2016 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Although substantial, this figure has not grown over the past four years in proportion to the global population. The report, however, suggests that the number of people classified as suffering from drug use disorders has increased disproportionally for the first time in six years. There are now over 29 million people within this category (compared to the previous figure of 27 million). Additionally, around 12 million people inject drugs with 14 per cent of these living with HIV. The overall impact of drug use in terms of health consequences continues to be devastating.    

youthcivicengagementWorld Youth Report: Youth Civic Engagement (DESA)
Prepared by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement explores young people's participation in economic, political and community life, responding to growing interest in, and an increased policy focus on, youth civic engagement in recent years among Governments, young people and researchers. The Report provides thematic insights on economic, political and community engagement, coupled with expert opinion pieces so as to provide robust and varied perspectives into youth engagement.


Human Rights

Accountability for killings in Ukraine from January 2014 to May 2016 (OHCHR) 
A new UN report released on 14 July 2016 describes the widespread killings that have taken place in Ukraine since January 2014 and highlights the very limited accountability that has taken place. The report, which was prepared by the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, states that the armed conflict in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, “fuelled by the inflow of foreign fighters and weapons from the Russian Federation, accounts for the majority of violations of the right to life in Ukraine over the last two years,” claiming up to 2,000 civilian lives.  Close to 90 per cent of conflict-related civilian deaths have resulted from indiscriminate shelling of residential areas. Nobody has taken responsibility for any civilian deaths caused by the conduct of hostilities, the report says, adding that some of the killings may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity. In general, it concludes, “impunity for killings remains rampant, encouraging their perpetuation and undermining prospects for justice.”

Afghanistan – Midyear Report 2016: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (UNAMA / OHCHR)  
A UN report on Afghanistan published on 25 July 2016 shows a record number of civilian casualties since counting began in 2009, with 5,166 civilians recorded killed or maimed in just the first six months of this year, of whom almost one-third were children. The total civilian casualty figure recorded by the UN between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2016 has risen to 63,934, including 22,941 deaths and 40,993 injured.

Report by the Human Rights Advisory Panel on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) 
This is the eighth and the last annual report of the Human Rights Advisory Panel. It covers a longer period than reports from preceding years; from 1 January 2015 through 31 May 2016, the date when the Panel adopted its final opinion, finishing all of the cases on its docket.


Humanitarian Affairs

2015 OCHA Annual Report
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released its 2015 annual report, articulating its response to the humanitarian challenges and human suffering, in all corners of the world that have overstretched the UN relief arm. The report recalls the humanitarian response and the work undertaken by OCHA in five level-three emergencies in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, as well as in two sudden onset natural disasters in Nepal and Vanuatu, many protracted crises, including the complex mixture of violence and environmental degradation in the Lake Chad Basin that continued to require intensive advocacy, coordination and resource mobilisation.

Discussion Paper: Development approaches to displacement (UNDP)
“Forced displacement presently affects over 60 million people worldwide, of which over 38 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Current data suggests that women living in protracted displacement slightly outnumber men, and given the difficulty in accessing female IDPs in many contexts, it is likely that their number is underestimated. The number of refugees and IDPs continues to grow and the length of stay in host countries has been on the rise in recent decades. … This paper is developed as a reference document. Its objective is to provide a broad overview of UNDP’s offer of support with respect to protracted displacement. The document underlines the importance of investing in development approaches to displacement, providing a number of concrete examples from current and past programmes.”

Website: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants 
The new #UN4RefugeesMigrants site now also online in French, Russian and Spanish.


International Law

InforMEA - United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements
English, French & Spanish:
InforMEA harvests COP decisions, news, meetings, membership, national focal points and reports from MEAs. Information is organised by terms from MEA COP agendas. InforMEA is a project of the MEA Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Initiative with the support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Union.

United Nations Treaty Collection – redesigned website

The new website was redesigned and built on a modern platform to improve its looks, enhance access to the databases in distinct areas of mandated activities, and efficiently provide the latest treaty-related information. The new website also features easy access to legacy ‪‎documents‬, such as the depositary notifications (CNs) issued since 1947, which will provide valuable information in the areas of work of the ‪Treaty‬ Section.