Thursday, 24 September 2020

UN in your language

UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2016

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2016
New titles
All Pages

altPDF version

New UN websites & publications

UN in General

UN News Focus: Guterres

The New Urban Agenda 
The New Urban Agenda, a new global standard for sustainable cities, has been adopted at Habitat 3. It is a roadmap for building cities that can serve as engines of prosperity and centres of cultural and social well-being while protecting the environment.

Strategic Plan of the Office of the President of the General Assembly
General Assembly President Peter Thomson briefed United Nations Member States on 8 November 2016) on the implementation strategy for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the transformative 17-point framework for ensuring peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet. He spoke of transforming our world by eradicating poverty and generating collective prosperity, addressing inequalities – particularly with regards to gender and the advancement of rights for women and girls, creating a safer and more just world, and combatting climate change and protecting the natural environment. The 2030 Agenda “was grounded,” he said, “in the principle of ‘leaving no-one behind,’ ensuring human rights for all, and engaging young people.” (UN News Centre, 8 November 2016:

transitioningTransitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs (UNDP / World Bank) 
UNDP and the World Bank Group released its new report “Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs” on 10 November 2016, coinciding with the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination's (CEB) Second Regular Session of 2016. The session brings together United Nations System Principals to enhance UN system-wide coherence and coordination on a broad range of issues of global concern. The launch of the report is timely as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set the vision for the next 14 years of global action. “The 2030 Agenda is recognized as a transformative, universal and integrated agenda. Implementation should not create 17 new silos around the Sustainable Development Goals,” recommends the new report. The report pulls together the main lessons from the Millennium Development Goals Reviews by the UN System and World Bank Group for their engagement at the country level. These reviews took place at meetings of the UN CEB from 2013 to 2015.

Recognizing the fundamental role of sustainable transport in fighting climate change and achieving the sustainable future we want, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will convene the first ever global conference on sustainable transport, on 26 and 27 November 2016 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Global Sustainable Transport Conference will bring together key stakeholders from Governments, UN system and other international organizations, the private sector, and civil society to engage in a dialogue that emphasizes the integrated and cross-cutting nature of sustainable transport and its multiple roles in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. All modes of transport—road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime - will be addressed.

updated version of the UNRIC Library Backgrounder:
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - Selected Online Resources

 apartheidUN Blue Book Series 
The UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library has digitized these seminal '90's-era works on major UN topics and made them available online.
Titles in this series are: The United Nations and Apartheid, 1948-1994 (E&F) --- The United Nations and Human Rights, 1945-1995 (E&F&S) --- The United Nations and Cambodia, 1991-1995 (E&F) --- The United Nations and Nuclear Non-proliferation (E&F) --- The United Nations and El Salvador, 1990-1995 (E&S) --- The United Nations and Mozambique, 1992-1995 (E&F) --- The United Nations and the Advancement of Women, 1945-1996 (E) --- The United Nations and Rwanda, 1993-1996 (E) --- Les Nations Unies et Haiti, 1990-1996 (F) --- The United Nations and the independence of Eritrea (E) --- The United Nations and Somalia, 1992-1996 (E&F) --- The United Nations and the Iraq-Kuwait conflict, 1990-1996 (E&F)


Peace and Security

Concept paper for the Security Council informal meeting on the topic “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation: enhancing the strategic partnership in the area of countering extremist ideology”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held an information meeting on 17 November 2016 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the topic: Strengthening of strategic partnership in combating extremist ideology. The Security Council President for November, Senegal, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the role of United Nations policing in United Nations peace operations: adapting policing for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges
English, French & Spanish:   
The Security Council held a briefing on 10 November 2016 with heads of police components of peacekeeping operations and political missions. The Security Council President for November, Senegal, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the theme “Peace operations facing asymmetrical threats”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held an open debate at the ministerial level on the theme “Peace operations facing asymmetrical threats” on 7 November 2016. The Security Council President for November, Senegal, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council debate on the topic “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security: Collective Security Treaty Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Commonwealth of Independent States”
English, French & Spanish:     
The Security Council held for the first time on 28 October 2016 a debate on cooperation between the UN and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  The Security Council President for October, the Russian Federation, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the topic “Women and peace and security: implementing the common agenda”
English, French & Spanish:    
The Security Council held an open debate on 25 October 2016 on the topic “Women and peace and security”.  The Security Council President for October, the Russian Federation, has prepared this concept note.

Executive Summary of the Independent Special Investigation into the violence which occurred in Juba in 2016 and UNMISS response
The Secretary-General has received Major General (retired) Patrick Cammaert's report on the Independent Special Investigation into the violence in Juba in July 2016 and the actions of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including its response to acts of sexual violence in and around the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites at UN House and the attack on the Terrain camp. (see also

UNESCO Director-General's Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity
Report in English & French, Summary in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese:
The 2016 UNESCO Director-General Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity offers an overview of the killings of journalists condemned by the Director-General in 2014-2015. It also provides an analysis of a decade of killings of journalists, media workers and social media producers between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2015. The extent of the risks faced by journalists is demonstrated by the 827 killings recorded by UNESCO over the course of ten years. To this, one needs to add the countless other violations endured by journalists, which include kidnappings, arbitrary detention, torture, intimidation and harassment, both offline and online, and seizure or destruction of material. This Report is focused exclusively on the killings of journalists, the ultimate form of censorship. The UNESCO Director-General Report responds to a call from the 39 Member States of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

The Youth4Peace Global Knowledge Portal is a new multi-stakeholder partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), Search for Common Ground (SfCG) and the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), working together through the Working Group on Youth & Peacebuilding. The platform, launched in 2016 to promote and support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, is hosted by UNDP Youth-GPS with support from the Oslo Governance Centre.
“Young women and young men have a critical role in promoting and maintaining international peace and security. Contrary to most popular representations, the majority of youth are not violent. Rather, they can - and do - play active roles as agents of positive and constructive change. This is exactly what UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security recognizes for the first time. Learn about what young people are achieving around the world and join us in supporting young people's participation in peacebuilding.”


Economic and Social Development

cleantheairClear the air for children (UNICEF)
Almost one in seven of the world’s children, 300 million, live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines – reveals a new UNICEF report released on 31 October 2016. Clear the Air for Children uses satellite imagery to show for the first time how many children are exposed to outdoor pollution that exceeds global guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), and where they live across the globe. The findings come a week ahead of the COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, where UNICEF is calling on world leaders to take urgent action to cut air pollution in their countries.

drylandsThe Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people (IFAD)
A new report launched on 11 November 2016 by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reveals the crucial role the world’s drylands play in buffering the negative Present in each continent and covering over 40 per cent of the earth, drylands generally refer to arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, and are home to more than 2 billion people. Drylands also hold up to 44 per cent of the world’s cultivated agricultural systems. The report   shows how drylands support important ecosystems and a great variety of biodiversity, as well as their vital role in the livelihoods and cultural identity of many smallholders.    

The Emissions Gap Report 2016: A UNEP Synthesis Report
The world must urgently and dramatically increase its ambition to cut roughly a further quarter off predicted 2030 global greenhouse emissions and have any chance of minimizing dangerous climate change, UN Environment said on 3 November 2016 as it released its annual Emissions Gap report. Made public the day before the Paris Agreement comes into force, the report finds that 2030 emissions are expected to reach 54 to 56 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – far above the level of 42 needed to have a chance of limiting global warming to 2oC this century. One gigatonne is roughly equivalent to the emissions generated by transport in the European Union (including aviation) over a year.

eping English, French & Spanish:
A new online alert system designed to help government agencies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) keep track of the latest information on regulatory requirements for international trade was launched on 8 November 2016 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). The system, known as ePing, was presented at a special meeting of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee at the WTO. This new system allows access to WTO members' notifications of TBT and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. It also facilitates dialogue among the public and private sector in addressing potential trade problems at an early stage. Users of ePing will be able to easily keep up-to-date with notifications affecting foreign markets and products of particular interest to them.

Gender Statistics Portal 
This portal, developed by STAT/DESA, the Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and Qlik Technologies Inc., was officially launched at the Global Forum on Gender Statistics (24-26 October, Helsinki). The portal allows users to compare the situation of women and men across five important areas – economic structures, participation in productive activities and access to resources; education; health and related services; human rights of women and girl children; and public life and decision making. The data portal also enables users to visualize changes over time and conduct cross-country comparisons.

Get on the Fast-Track — The life-cycle approach to HIV (UNAIDS)
In this report, UNAIDS is announcing that 18.2 million people now have access to HIV treatment. The Fast-Track response is working. Increasing treatment coverage is reducing AIDS-related deaths among adults and children. But the life-cycle approach has to include more than just treatment. Tuberculosis (TB) remains among the commonest causes of illness and death among people living with HIV of all ages, causing about one third of AIDS-related deaths in 2015. These deaths could and should have been prevented.

Global Peatlands Initiative (UNEP) 
A new global initiative, launched on 17 November 2016 at the climate meeting in Marrakech, aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and save thousands of lives by protecting peatlands - the world's largest terrestrial organic soil carbon stock. The Global Peatlands Initiative will mobilize governments, international organizations and academia in a targeted effort to protect peatlands, which contain almost 100 times more carbon than tropical forests.

Good Practices of Accessible Urban Development: Making urban environments inclusive and fully accessible for All (DSPD/DESA)
This publication illustrates and encourages more initiatives and concrete actions from both developing and developed countries in advancing urban development to be accessible and inclusive to all, including persons with disabilities and other special needs.

Making Development Co-operation More Effective: 2016 Progress Report (UNDP / OECD)
The report, a joint publication between UNDP and OECD under the auspices of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, compiles data reported by the governments of the 81 low and middle-income countries and territories that participated in the Global Partnership’s second monitoring round. The report generates evidence on the implementation of agreed principles for effective development co-operation including: a focus on results; country ownership of development priorities; inclusive partnerships for development; and transparency and mutual accountability. The 2016 monitoring round drew record participation, both in terms of numbers and of diversity: 81 low and middle-income countries; 125 development partners; 74 development organisations; and hundreds of civil society organisations, private sector representatives, trade unions, foundations, parliamentarians and local governments. The data and evidence they generated covers the vast majority (up to 89%) of development co-operation finance programmed for these 81 countries.

Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development: Analysis and Policy Recommendations from the United Nations Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport
mobilizingGreater investment in greener, more sustainable transport systems is essential for propelling the economic and social development that is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, according to an expert panel report delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 28 October 2016. Finding that global, national and local transport systems are hobbled by inefficiencies and a lack of sustainable investments, the expert panel issued a report entitled “Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development”, which provides 10 recommendations on how governments, businesses and civil society should re-direct resources in the transport sector to advance sustainable development. The experts, members of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport,  include representatives from aviation, road, rail, public transport and maritime industries and associations. The recommendations address issues of policy, technology and financing and grew out of the diverse perspectives and practical experience of the panel.

New Web Portal on Health Law and Universal Health Coverage (WHO) 
With countries working towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals, WHO has developed a new portal to help strengthen health laws and regulatory systems. The portal provides guidelines, case studies, research, lessons learned, and other resources on health law topics.

Non-standard employment around the world: Understanding challenges, shaping prospects (ILO) 
Non-standard forms of employment – including temporary work, part-time work, temporary agency work and other multi-party employment arrangements, disguised employment relationships and dependent self-employment – have become a contemporary feature of labour markets the world over. This report documents the incidence and trends of non-standard forms of employment across different countries of the world and explores the reasons behind this phenomenon, including increased firm competition, shifting organizational practices of firms, and changes and gaps in the regulation of work.

Scaling Up Climate Action to achieve the SDGs (UNDP) 
On 17 November 2016, UNDP formally launched the 2nd edition of its flagship report on climate change, this time focusing on the impact of climate change on development gains. Specifically, the report, ‘UNDP and Climate Change: Scaling up Climate Action to Achieve the SDGs’ looks at how local efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change empowers communities across a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including education, healthcare, food security and gender empowerment.

sofi2016The State of Food and Agriculture 2016: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (FAO)
The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a new report on 17 October 2016. Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to “The State of Food and Agriculture 2016”.    

swop2016State of the World Population 2016 (UNFPA)
English, French & Spanish:
If all of the ten-year-old girls living in developing countries that currently drop out of or do not attend school were to complete their secondary education, it would lead to an additional $21 billion per year, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed on 20 October 2016 in its annual State of the World Population Report. But practices like forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and others that sabotage girls' health and human rights undermine the 2030 Agenda. In particular, such practices begin to create significant adverse impact for girls around the age of ten, as they severely restrict their potential as adults and therefore their participation in the economic and social progress of their communities and nations.

WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin: The state of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere based on global observations through 2015 (No. 12 | 24 October 2016) 
Globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged again to new records in 2016 on the back of the very powerful El Niño event, according to the World Meteorological Organization's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective 
As the world prepares to mark the first year of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in January 2017, a United Nations-backed global fund has highlighted the different perspectives from both large and small companies on the harmony of the new sustainable development agenda. In its new report, the Sustainable Development Goal Fund (SDG Fund) underscored the importance of universality as a potential driver to impact engagement with the private sector.


Human Rights

Accountability for Human Rights Violations and Abuses in the DRC: Achievements, Challenges and Way forward (1 January 2014 - 31 March 2016) (MONUSCO / OHCHR)
This report, jointly published by the Mission of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), provides an analysis of the trends in the fight against impunity in the DRC from 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2016. It describes progress made by the Congolese authorities in adopting laws and judicial mechanisms promoting the fight against impunity and the prosecution of perpetrators of serious human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law. It also identifies the numerous challenges to the effective implementation of the fight against impunity and proposes recommendations to address them.

complaintprocedureComplaint Procedure of the Human Rights Council: Frequently Asked Questions
new brochure available in English, French & Spanish (html and pdf format):
Defend your rights: Each year, up to 5000 complaints are sent to the Human Rights Council by individuals, group of people and NGOs. The 'Complaint Procedure' addresses consistent patterns of human rights violations in any part of the world and under any circumstances, irrespective of whether the country has ratified any particular treaty. The procedure is victims-oriented, and its confidential nature enhances States’ cooperation during investigations.

Human Rights: Handbook for Parliamentarians N° 26 (OHCHR/IPU) 
In times of increasing xenophobia and discrimination, Parliaments must promote respect, dialogue and compromise. A new Handbook by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-Parliamentary Union was launched to help Parliaments with this.

Preliminary investigation report on human rights violations and violence perpetrated during Demonstrations in Kinshasa between 19 and 21 September 2016 (updated on 7 October 2016)
Congolese police, armed forces and the Republican Guard used excessive – including lethal – force during demonstrations in Kinshasa last month, when at least 53 people were killed over two days, 143 injured and more than 299 unlawfully arrested, according to a UN preliminary investigation report released on 21 October 2016. The preliminary investigation by the UN Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO documented 422 victims of human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, to physical integrity, to the liberty and security of the person, peaceful assembly and expression. The figures do not reflect the full extent of the violations, as the UN teams were denied access to official records of some morgues and public hospitals as well as various detention facilities, including two key facilities where many of those arrested and many dead bodies were reportedly taken. Investigations are ongoing.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (A/71/384, 13 September 2016)
English, French, Spanish:
“Overly-restrictive migration policies introduced because of terrorism concerns are not justified and may in fact be damaging to state security,” warned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson, at the UN General Assembly in New York on 24 October 2016.
Presenting a new report on the impact of counter-terrorism measures on the human rights of migrants and refugees, Mr. Emmerson, showed that “while there is no evidence that migration leads to increased terrorist activity, migration policies that are restrictive or that violate human rights may in fact create conditions conducive to terrorism.”   
The report finds that migration policies that build fences, engage in push-back operations, criminalize irregular migration and abandon international legal commitments to refugees, lead to restricted access to safe territory and increased covert movements of people, particularly by traffickers. “These conditions may ultimately assist terrorists and lead to increased terrorist activity.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (A/71/373, 6 September 2016)
English, French & Spanish:
There is no question that governments worldwide are wielding the tools of censorship,” warns the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, in a report on the widespread global assault on the freedom of expression that was presented to the UN General Assembly on 21 October 2016. “Governments are treating words as weapons, adopting vague laws that give officials massive discretion to undermine speech and opinion,” Mr. Kaye says. “They are punishing journalists for their reporting, silencing individuals for posting opinions on social media, shutting down debate and the flow of information on grounds of counter-terrorism, protecting public order, sheltering people from offense.”
“Censorship in all its forms reflects official fear of ideas and information,” the expert noted. “And it not only harms the speaker or reporter or broadcaster, it undermines everyone’s right to information, to public participation, to open and democratic governance.”
The report involved a survey of hundreds of official communications the rapporteur has issued to governments, which resulted from allegations of violations of well-established international human rights law received from individuals and non-governmental organizations worldwide. The trend lines are stark, Mr. Kaye said.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (A/71/303, 5 August 2016)
English, French & Spanish:
So many people fleeing conflict are now being caught up in trafficking that a new approach by governments is needed, a United Nations rights expert has warned. “Trafficking in people in conflict situations is not a mere possibility but something that happens on a regular basis,” the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, told the UN General Assembly during the presentation of her latest report. “This means anti-trafficking measures must be integrated into all humanitarian action and all policies regarding people fleeing conflict.” Her report corroborates the link between conflict and trafficking highlighted in a recent survey by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which found that more than 70% of migrants who reached Europe via North Africa had become victims of human trafficking, organ trafficking or other forms of exploitation.

Water Rights: An Assessment of Afghanistan's Legal Framework Governing Water for Agriculture report (UNAMA) 
The demand for water to support agricultural development often results in disputes over water rights, which are derived from guarantees secured by Afghanistan’s Constitution, statutory laws, Islamic law, and traditional customs and practices. The stakes involved in these disputes are high as many rural communities depend on reliable access to water sources to grow the crops and nourish the livestock on which their lives and livelihoods depend.    


Humanitarian Affairs

Frequently asked questions on climate change and disaster displacement (UNHCR, 6 November 2016)
Find answers to the following questions: How many people are already displaced by climate change? Which regions are most at risk? What is a “climate change refugee”? How many people will be displaced by climate change in future? How is displacement addressed in the Paris Agreement?

oxfordguidelinesOxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict
In armed conflicts across the world, millions of civilians need emergency assistance to survive, but all too often fighting parties prevent this relief from reaching them. On 27 October 2016, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) launched this critical tool for actors concerned with helping civilians in conflict zones receive life-saving assistance, including food, medical supplies, shelter, water and sanitation. It will both provide a firm understanding of the relevant rules designed to allow the delivery of assistance and enhance policy-making and advocacy to improve humanitarian access. Commissioned by OCHA, the Oxford Guidance was elaborated by the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict and the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations, following a series of meetings with eminent experts in international law.    

Policy on Cash-Based Interventions (UNHCR)
The UN refugee agency announced on 31 October 2016 its intention to double funds for cash-based assistance to refugees across the world by 2020 as a way to better assist and protect them.

Zika Virus Research Agenda - October 2016 (WHO) 
The goal of the WHO Zika Virus Research Agenda is to support the generation of evidence needed to strengthen essential public health guidance and actions to prevent and limit the impact of Zika virus and its complications.
The Research Agenda identifies critical areas of research where WHO is uniquely placed to implement or coordinate global activities. Research and evidence are the foundation for sound health policies.


International Law

outreach15 Years of Outreach at the ICTY
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia launched on 27 October 2016 ‘Fifteen Years of Outreach at the ICTY’, a publication highlighting how the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme — the first-ever to be established by an international criminal tribunal — developed over the course of the ICTY’s history. The publication features the strategies and projects developed by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme and summarises outreach-related activities undertaken by the Office of the President and the Office of the Prosecutor.