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UNRIC Library Newsletter - December 2016

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - December 2016
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UN in General

Incoming Secretary-General Takes Oath of Office

Antonio Guterres sworn in as un secretary general
UN Photo # 707563

UN News Centre Story, 12 December 2016

Remarks to the General Assembly on taking the oath of office

Photo Feature

News Focus: Secretary-General-designate António Guterres


From MDGs to Sustainable Development for All: Lessons from 15 Years of Practice (UNDP / World Bank) 
frommdgsIn 2015, world leaders set out to defy the odds, committing themselves to achieve 17 ambitious and far-reaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. This was not the first time the world had attempted to raise the trajectory of human progress by employing Global Goals. In 2000, world leaders blazed a trail by adopting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were the first attempt to use Global Goals to capture and advance the shared interest we all have, in a more just, peaceful and prosperous world. This Report offers lessons from the MDG experience, distilled largely by governments and stakeholders themselves, via National MDG Reports produced from 2013 to 2015. Over 50 countries’ National MDG Reports reflected on the totality of their MDG experience. This Report draws on their conclusions as well as the breadth and depth of UNDP’s own experiences supporting the MDGs in over 140 countries. Its findings suggest that the specifics matter. The MDGs had more impact when they were brought into popular discourse and when local leaders and change agents considered them less a rigid framework and more of an opportunity to:  Motivate popular engagement; Build consensus on national priorities; Generate international support; Improve coordination within and between governments; Make the needs and contributions of particular groups visible; and/or Boost transparency and hold leaders to account. Some were more effective than others at leveraging the visibility and legitimacy of Global Goals. The Report analyses what worked under the MDGs and why. It ends with 10 concrete recommendations for SDG implementation, suggesting the policies, processes and practices that may help local leaders, change agents and stakeholders maximize the impact of Global Goals.

imokidszoneInternational Maritime Organization (IMO) – Kids’ Zone
“All aboard the IMO kids’ zone: A new kid-friendly website has arrived at IMO!  It includes a specially- commissioned animation showing how IMO works to protect the marine environment and the atmosphere. By clicking on the colourful links, young people can learn more about IMO’s work. Topics include protecting the atmosphere; dealing with waste; clean oceans; invasive species; particularly sensitive sea areas; and protecting marine life from noise pollution.”


The Dag Hammarskjöld Library shares some tips on how to search the new Official Document System (ODS) here:


Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on water and peace and security
English, French & Spanish:    
The Security Council held a public debate on 22 November 2016 on “Water, peace and security”. The Security Council President for November, Senegal, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council high-level open briefing on the theme “International judicial cooperation in countering terrorism”
English, French & Spanish: 
On 12 December 2016, the Security Council held a high-level open briefing on the theme “International judicial cooperation in countering terrorism”. The Security Council President for December, Spain, has prepared this concept note.

DFS Environment Strategy
Executive Summary: 
Underscoring the importance of environmental protection and management in the work of peacekeeping missions, the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS) launched a new strategy on 29 November 2016 to maximize its peace operations' efficiency in the use of natural resources, and to minimize their risk to people, societies and ecosystems. DFS is the key service provider to international peacekeeping operations, supporting both UN and non-UN peace missions, with nearly 168,000 authorized personnel, in over 30 countries. The six-year strategy, which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), identifies challenges and objectives based on five pillars: energy; water and wastewater; solid waste; wider impact; and environmental management systems. It also includes key performance indicators for these areas. In its first phase – through July 2020 – the strategy will focus on improving environmental analytics to effectively monitor progress. The five pillars will then be reviewed and specific targets set for the second phase of strategy implementation to conclude in June 2023.

Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand (NEA / IAEA)
The 26th edition of the "Red Book", a recognised world reference on uranium jointly prepared by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was published today. The report provides analyses and information from 49 uranium producing and consuming countries. The new edition provides the most recent review of world uranium market fundamentals and presents data on global uranium exploration, resources, production and reactor-related requirements. It offers updated information on established uranium production centres and mine development plans, as well as projections of nuclear generating capacity and reactor-related requirements through 2035.


Economic and Social Development

rwss20162016 Report on the World Social Situation: Leaving No One Behind – The Imperative of Inclusive Development (DESA)
Executive Summary: 
Despite unprecedented social progress around the world, many people continue to face social exclusion and limited access to social, economic and political opportunities, warns a new United Nations report. The 2016 Report on the World Social Situation, released on 30 November 2016 by UN DESA, examines the social, economic and political disadvantages that some groups of the population face, namely youth, older persons, ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and persons with disabilities. It also makes policy recommendations to help governments overcome development hurdles and address barriers that limit people’s access to opportunities.    

ahdr2016Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality (UNDP)
Arab countries can achieve a significant leap forward in development, reinforce stability and secure such gains in a sustainable manner, if they urgently prioritize adopting policies that ensure the well-being, productivity, self-determination and good citizenship of their young population, concludes the Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) 2016 that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched on 29 November 2016.

Europe’s Disappearing Middle Class? Evidence from the World of Work (ILO)
Executive Summary:
Contact details to order printed copies:
The middle class in Europe shrank by 2.3 per cent between 2004 and 2011 and, according to the latest available data, the drop has continued since then, a new ILO comparative study finds. According to the new volume, the decline is even deeper in countries such as Germany and Greece. The core middle class – which is defined as those having an income between 80 and 120 per cent of the median income – represents between 23 per cent and 40 per cent of households in the European Union. The strongest middle class is still to be found in Denmark and Sweden (with 40 per cent and 39 per cent respectively), while Latvia (23 per cent) and Lithuania (24 per cent) have the lowest rate.

Formalizing Domestic Work (ILO) 
Nearly 75 per cent of domestic workers 15 and older are estimated to work in informal employment situations, according to a new study by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO), which calls for a combination of incentives and compliance to reduce high levels of informality in domestic work. The report confirms that because domestic work takes place in the private sphere, many households do not make use of formal arrangements, whether due to cost concerns, lack of information, or a belief that domestic labour is not real work. It also assesses the ways in which informal work leads to substandard working conditions and creates a hindrance to development. Informal domestic work creates adverse conditions especially for women.

Marine Debris: Understanding, Preventing and Mitigating the Significant Adverse Impacts on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (UNEP / CBD)  
Marine debris, from both land-based and sea-based sources, has tangible and wide-reaching impacts, affecting marine areas all over the world. The urgent need to address marine debris has emerged as a global priority in recent years. This report is an important synthesis of the best available knowledge on marine debris and the tools and approaches available to tackle the issue. Importantly, however, it also highlights the many gaps in knowledge and opportunities for scaled-up interventions involving a wide range of stakeholders and addressing different aspects of policy and management, including related to production and consumption.

MediTerra 2016 - Zero Waste in the Mediterranean: Natural Resources, Food, and Knowledge (FAO / CIHEAM)
The agricultural traditions and food culture of the Mediterranean region have long been looked to as an example of a healthy approach to eating, underpinned by vibrant rural economies. But demographic and environmental pressures — coupled with a changing climate and social and economic challenges — are now raising questions about the future of the region's much-heralded food systems and the implications for sustainable development. A major new book published by FAO and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) warns of "triple waste" posed by the misuse of natural resources, food waste and losses, and a slow-leaching away of traditional know-how. These risks need to be countered by shifting to more sustainable approaches to agricultural production and stronger policies based on multisectoral approaches, according to the book published on 5 December 2016.

promotingdiversityPromoting diversity and inclusion through workplace adjustments: A practical guide (ILO) 
On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (marked annually on 3 December), the International Labour Organization (ILO) had released a new publication to provide step by step guidance on how and when to provide workplace adjustments – also called accommodations – for workers with specific needs. The guide highlights that while all workers should enjoy equal access to employment, some of them face barriers that may put them at a disadvantage. Such barriers can prevent them from accessing or remaining in employment and, if not addressed, they can also deprive companies of a broader, more diverse pool of workers from which to recruit.    

soilspulsesSoils and Pulses: Symbiosis for Life (FAO)
Soil and pulses can make major contributions to the challenge of feeding the world's growing population and combating climate change, especially when deployed together, according to Soils and Pulses: Symbiosis for Life, a new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization released on World Soil Day, 5 December 2016. Pulses are environmentally resilient crops that deliver high-nutrition foods to people and critical nutrients to biological ecosystems. Soil, a non-renewable resource, is essential for plant life and 95 percent of the global food supply. Pulses such as lentils, dry beans and chickpeas are nitrogen-fixing plants that can benefit soil health, leading to better growing conditions for themselves and for other plants. On average, cereals grown after pulses yield 1.5 tonnes more per hectare than those not preceded by pulses, which is equal to the effect of 100 kilograms of nitrogen fertilizer. The new book illustrates a variety of ways that pulses and soils can be "strategic allies" in forging more sustainable food and agriculture systems.     

UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE) – new website 
The new UIS website offers compelling, innovative ways to find – and use – the best available information on what is happening in education, science, culture and communication worldwide. The new site represents a radical shift in the way we present our data. Rather than sending our visitors to complex databases, the new site focuses on the kind of information that people want in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, packaged in the way that is most useful for them. The biggest innovation has been to ‘unpack’ the UIS database, breaking down the once separate siloes of hard data, analysis (reports) and the story-telling provided by data visualisations and other tools. Now our web users can see the data in context. The new site offers three different ways to explore and use UIS data: indicator pages, topic pages, data by country. The French version of our new website will go live in March 2017.

Universal Health Coverage Data Portal (WHO)
Marking Universal Health Coverage Day (12 December), the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new data portal to track global access to universal health coverage, including information about equity of access and where services need to be improved. The portal aggregates the latest data on universal health coverage for all of WHO’s 194 Member States. Next year, the portal will feature the impact of paying for health services on household finances.


Human Rights

“Detained and Dehumanised”: Report on Human Rights Abuses Against Migrants in Libya (UNSMIL / OHCHR) 
The breakdown in the Libyan justice system has led to a state of impunity in which migrants are subjected to serious human rights violations and abuses, according to a joint UN human rights report published on 13 December 2016. The report, published jointly by UNSMIL and the UN Human Rights Office, is based on information gathered in Libya and from interviews with migrants who had arrived in Italy from Libya, among other sources.  Migrants are held in detention centres mostly run by the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), where there is “no formal registration, no legal process, and no access to lawyers or judicial authorities,” the report states. Among the report’s recommendations to Libya are:  immediately release the most vulnerable migrants, with a view to urgently ending all arbitrary detentions; reduce the number of detention centres; ensure women are held separately from men; improve conditions of detention and protect detainees from torture and all other forms of abuse; and, in the medium-term, decriminalize irregular migration and adopt an asylum law. The report also recommends that countries of destination beyond Libya continue search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Training and support for Libyan institutions that engage with migrants, including the Libyan Coast Guard, should be accompanied by comprehensive efforts to stop arbitrary detention of migrants and improve their treatment in detention.

Global Guidance: School-Related Gender-Based Violence (UNESCO / UN WOMEN)
To help end a global phenomenon that affects millions of children, families and communities worldwide, UNESCO and UN Women released on 8 December 2016 a Global Guidance on Addressing School Related Gender-Based Violence. Every year, an estimated 246 million children are subject to some form of gender-based violence – mistreatment, bullying, psychological abuse and sexual harassment. Developed with a dedicated Global Working Group, the Guidance was commissioned to help ministries of education and education stakeholders understand more about School Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV) and identify ways to both prevent it and respond effectively when it happens. The Global Guidance is a comprehensive, one-stop resource providing key principles, practical strategies, case studies and recommended tools for education sectors and their partners working to eliminate gender-based violence in educational settings. The Guidance lays out a 6-prong approach that begins with leadership and includes legislative reform, integrating the issue into national policies and plans, and ensuring that schools are safe and supportive.

Report on Human Rights in Iraq: January to June 2016 (OHCHR / UNAMI) 
Introduction: “The human rights situation in Iraq remained fragile, primarily owing to the ongoing armed conflict between the Government of Iraq and pro-Government forces and the State of Iraq and the Levant (‘ISIL’ or ‘Daesh’). Armed conflict, violence and terrorism had a corrosive effect on a range of human rights, including on the rule of law and administration of justice, the care and protection of women and children from SGBV and CSRV and accountability for the perpetrators of such violence, the respect and protection of the rights of minority ethnic and religious and other communities, protection of sexual minorities, as well as the rights of persons with disabilities, and the respect for the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Access to basic services and economic opportunity remain serious challenges for many of Iraq’s people.”

Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, 16 August to 15 November 2016 (OHCHR) 
Failure by the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine to implement the Minsk Agreements has continued to result in a host of human rights violations for civilians, particularly those living close to the ‘contact line’ between Government-controlled and armed group-controlled territory in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to a UN report released on 8 December 2016. The report covers the period between 16 August and 15 November 2016 and has documented information, based on in-depth interviews with 176 witnesses and victims, confirming that people living close to the ‘contact line’ suffer from a serious lack of security due to military engagement near their homes, the threat of mines and unexploded ordnance, and severe and disproportionate restrictions on their freedom of movement.

tornapartTorn Apart: The Human Rights Dimension of the Involuntary Separation of Korean Families (OHCHR)
The continuing plight and pain of families torn apart on the Korean peninsula, some for more than 60 years, should be addressed urgently, especially given the advanced age of many of the victims, a UN Human Rights Office report has urged. The report, published on 7 December 2016, examines the different and complex way families have been separated since the 1950-53 Korean War: through displacement, enforced disappearance and abduction, and also as a result of individuals fleeing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), often referred to as North Korea. The report, which includes powerful testimonies from mostly elderly victims, documented by the UN Human Rights Office, finds that involuntary separation in the Koreas is not just the inevitable consequence of a war situation but “also the result of structural forms of exclusion, impunity and disempowerment the conflict has brought to the fore.”


Humanitarian Affairs

betterprotectionBetter Protecting Refugees in the EU and Globally (UNHCR)
German version:
In a paper presented to the European Union (EU) on 5 December 2016, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, called for a far-reaching reform of Europe’s global engagement with refugees, including the European asylum system. UNHCR called on Europe to offer more strategic and targeted support to countries of origin, asylum and transit of refugees, to review its contingency preparations to respond to large refugee and migrant arrivals, and to put in place a more efficient and better managed asylum system. It also asked for greater investment by EU Member States in the integration of refugees, including housing, employment and language training.   

unocha2017Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 (UNOCHA)
The world is facing a state of humanitarian crisis not seen since the Second World War: more than 128 million people are affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and profound vulnerability. Through strategic and coordinated action, aid organizations around the world aim to deliver urgent relief, protection and support to nearly 93 million of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in 2017. This will require US$22.2 billion in funding – the highest consolidated humanitarian appeal ever launched.

A new approach to cholera in Haiti
Secretary-General's Report
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Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly:
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UN News Centre Stories
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Refugee Protection and Mixed Migration: 10-Point Plan in Action; 2016 Update (UNHCR)
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has updated its ‘tool kit’ for protecting vulnerable people on the move, in response to a sharp increase in global flows of both refugees and migrants in the decade since it was published. UNHCR issued its original 10-Point Plan of Action in 2006, setting out a framework to help countries ensure that people in need of international protection travelling within broader mixed migratory movements could be identified and assisted. The updated Plan – issued on 7 December 2016 – provides an overhauled set of best practises for states, civil society organizations and other UN partners, taking into account larger and more complex flows of people in today’s world.