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UNRIC Library Newsletter - January 2017

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - January 2017
New information material
New titles
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General


Website for the new UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
New Twitter Account: @AntonioGuterres

In recognition of the fundamental interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and Sustaining Peace, the President of the General Assembly convened a high-level dialogue entitled “Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustaining Peace Agenda” on 24 January 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York, with the participation of the President of the Security Council, the President of the Economic and Social Council, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission.

United Nations 2016 Year in Review
A look back at some of the noteworthy developments that took place over the past year in the UN system, as they were reflected on our different news and media platforms.

2016yirYear in Review 2016 Video
The year 2016 was a challenging one for the international community, with the conflict in Syria worsening despite efforts to end the fighting, escalating violence and insecurity in South Sudan and Yemen, and a five million increase in the number of refugees worldwide.    

2016 Highlights of Security Council Practice
In 2016, the Security Council held 256 meetings, adopted 77 resolutions and issued 19 presidential statements. It considered 48 agenda items, including 1 new agenda item relating to Colombia. The Council dispatched 5 missions to the field, all of them to Africa. The Council further established 1 political mission, the United Nations Mission in Colombia, and terminated 3 subsidiary bodies, namely the 1521 Committee concerning Liberia (including its Panel of Experts), the 1572 Committee concerning Côte d'Ivoire (including its Group of Experts) and the 1737 Committee concerning the Iranian nuclear issue (including its Panel of Experts). In addition, in 2016, the Council issued 1140 documents, the highest number of documents issued by the Council since 2012.

2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (A/RES/70/193). This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the public, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change. In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector than can contribute to the SDGs.

The Ocean Action Hub
On 20 December 2016, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a knowledge hub to generate momentum in anticipation of the United Nations Conference to Support Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (the Ocean Conference) to be held 5 to 9 June 2017, and its 15-16 February Preparatory Meeting, both at UN HQ in New York. The Ocean Action Hub will facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement in the Ocean Conference by bringing together governments, the UN system, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, philanthropic organizations and other ocean actors to assess challenges and opportunities related to achieving SDG 14. The Hub will host active dialogues on ocean issues, facilitate co-development and sharing of solutions and voluntary commitments by multi-stakeholders, and provide a space for connecting and sharing ideas and experience.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Gambia
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French - pdf:

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Oceans (updated version)
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French – pdf:


Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council ministerial open debate on the theme “Trafficking in persons in conflict situations”
English, French & Spanish:      
On 20 December 2016, the Security Council held a ministerial open debate on the theme “Trafficking in persons in conflict situations”. The Security Council President for December, Spain, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the open debate of the Security Council on the subject “Conflict prevention and sustaining peace”
English, French & Spanish:  
On 10 January 2017, the Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. The Security Council President for January, Sweden, has prepared this concept note.

Language of Peace 
Politically Speaking, 21 December 2016: “Words can make or break peace. Although the success of a mediation process depends on political will, mediators and conflict parties often seek inspiration from other peace agreements for possible concepts and formulations. To assist mediators, conflict parties and other stakeholders in this creative process, the Legal Tools for Peacemaking Project at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Mediation Support Unit in the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA), has created the new database, Language of Peace. It is an innovative tool that provides instant access to a rich collection of more than a thousand peace agreements, which can be searched for key issues, which are then instantly cross-referenced and compiled. The provisions of agreements are broken down into 26 categories (which cover some 250 sub-topics), ranging from ceasefire arrangements and power sharing to human rights and guarantee mechanisms. Users can browse, search, compile and export into a word document or PDF the provisions of peace agreements relevant to their enquiry. Language of Peace builds on and complements the UN Peacemaker database, which hosts the full text the agreements.

New task force to develop strategy to strengthen UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse
UN News Centre Story, 6 January 2017
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Economic and Social Development

Advancing the right to health: the vital role of law (WHO) 
Soda tax in Mexico. Salt limits in South Africa. Plain tobacco packaging in Australia. National health insurance in Ghana. Mandatory motorcycle helmets in Vietnam. Health care in the United States of America. They're just some of the hundreds of examples of the vital role the law plays in safeguarding and promoting good health around the world. A new report from WHO, in collaboration with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the University of Sydney, and Georgetown University in Washington, DC, describes the many ways in which the law makes a crucial difference for public health. The report features case studies from around the world on how the law has improved the health and safety of populations, providing a resource for countries to learn from the experience of others.

The economics of tobacco and tobacco control (NCI / WHO) 
This monograph is the 21st volume in the series of monographs on tobacco control produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This monograph examines the economics of global tobacco control and features the contributions of many leading researchers in the field. It examines the current research and evidence base surrounding the economics of tobacco control — including tobacco use, tobacco growing, manufacturing and trade, tobacco product taxes and prices, and tobacco control policies and other interventions to reduce tobacco use and its consequences — and the economic implications of global tobacco control efforts.

Global Wage Report 2016/17: Wage inequality in the workplace (ILO)
This new ILO Global Wage Report contributes to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by making comparative data and information on recent wage trends available to governments, social partners, academics and the general public. These trends show that global real wage growth dropped sharply during the post-2008 economic crisis, recovered in 2010, but has since decelerated. More specifically, the report analyses the extent to which overall wage inequality is the result of wage inequality between enterprises and wage inequality within enterprises.

ILO Global Estimates on Migrant Workers
Report & Summary:
Migrant workers account for 150.3 million of the world’s approximately 232 million international migrants, according to a new study by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The report, released on 15 December 2016, shows migrant workers account for 72.7 per cent of the 206.6 million working age migrant population (15 years and over). The majority – 83.7 million – are men, with 66.6 million women migrant workers.

The Least Developed Countries Report 2016: The Path to Graduation and Beyond – Making the Most of the Process (UNCTAD)
Report in English, Overview in English & French:
Even as the international community pledged to ‘leave no one behind’ with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has warned that without stronger global support, 48 of the world’s most vulnerable countries will lose ground in economic development and face increasing levels of poverty. UNCTAD’s The Least Developed Countries Report 2016, released on 13 December 2016, underscores the need for more action from the international community to help these countries progress.

cultureurbanfutureGlobal Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development ‘Culture: Urban Future' (UNESCO) 
The Report serves as a point of reference, with over 100 case studies detailing how development policies in line with UNESCO's Culture Conventions on the protection and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the diversity of cultural expressions and cultural industries can benefit cities by addressing unemployment, social inequality, discrimination and violence.

Strategic report on environment, peace and security: a convergence of threats (UNEP / INTERPOL)
The report focuses on the links between global environmental crime, valued at USD 91 - 258 billion annually, and other criminal activities, including organized crime and terrorism. The report recommends, among others: a multidisciplinary approach to tackling environmental crime; greater information exchange across sectors; increased focus on the implementation of environmental policy; and stronger financial support including through Official Development Assistance. The report's publication follows the resolution adopted at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in November which calls for enhanced cooperation between the UN and INTERPOL against transnational crime and terrorism.

UNESCO Transparency Portal – redesigned page 
The fully redesigned UNESCO Transparency Portal has been launched! This new version is a powerful step forward in developing an integrated budget framework, providing more complete information and simplifying navigation for easy access to the information. It will also facilitate the future implementation of the structured financing dialogue.

WESP2017World Economic Situation Prospects 2017 (DESA)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:
A modest global recovery is projected for 2017-18 should be seen as more of an indication of economic stabilization than a signal of a robust and sustained revival of global demand, a new United Nations economic report has found. According to the UN flagship World Economic Situation Prospects 2017 report (WESP), the world economy expanded by just 2.2 per cent in 2016, the slowest rate of growth since the 2009 global recession. World gross product is projected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2018, a slight downward revision from the forecasts made last May. It notes that while developing countries continue to be the main drivers of global growth, accounting for about 60 per cent of the world's gross product growth in 2016-18, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in least developed countries is anticipated to remain well below the Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG8) on promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth target of at least seven per cent (target 8.1).

World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2017 (ILO)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) released its 2017 World Employment and Social Outlook report on 12 January 2017, which finds economic growth trends lagging behind employment needs and predicts both rising unemployment and worsening social inequality throughout 2017. According to the report, global growth domestic product (GDP) growth reached a six-year low last year, well below the rate that was projected in 2015. Forecasters continue to revise their 2017 predictions downwards and uncertainty about the global economy persists, generating worry among experts that the economy will be unable to employ a sufficient number of people and that growth will not lead to inclusive and shared benefits. Throughout 2017, global unemployment is expected to rise by 3.4 million. The increase, while a modest 5.7 to 5.8 per cent, is due to deteriorating labour market conditions in emerging countries – particularly those in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, unemployment is expected to fall in developed countries – especially in Northern, Southern, and Western Europe, the United States, and Canada.


Human Rights

2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 
The 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is the third of its kind mandated by the General Assembly through the 2010 United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. It covers 136 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based primarily on trafficking cases detected between 2012 and 2014. As UNODC has been systematically collecting data on trafficking in persons for more than a decade, trend information is presented for a broad range of indicators.

cedawConvention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) for Youth (UN WOMEN)
Full text:
This resource explains why CEDAW is important to youth, describes CEDAW’s impact in advancing gender equality and human rights for women and girls around the world, and summarizes the articles of CEDAW, including the specific forms of discrimination that must be ended and how CEDAW is implemented and monitored.     

Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons (UNODC) 
Highlighting the challenges brought on by and the need to address violent extremism and radicalization in prisons, the United Nations agency mandated to prevent international crime and assist criminal justice reform unveiled a new manual that offers practical advice on managing violent extremist prisoners, disengaging them from violence and facilitating their social reintegration upon release. The handbook, launched on 16 January 2017 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) aims to strengthen key components of prison management, including training of prison staff, risk management and rehabilitation efforts.

National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up: A Practical Guide to Effective State Engagement with International Human Rights Mechanisms (OHCHR) 
National Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up: A Study of State Engagement with International Human Rights Mechanisms (OHCHR)
For States, becoming more engaged in the human rights process through ratification of treaties brings with it greater protection for its people. However, with constant growth of the human rights protection system, States are also faced with increasing requirements for implementing treaties and the associated reporting, as well as following up on numerous recommendations from the international human rights mechanisms. But two new publications from the UN Human Rights Office aim to provide States with tools and suggestions on how to handle these multiple tasks while maintaining strong communication lines with civil society.   The Practical Guide for Effective State Engagement with International Human Rights Mechanisms, and its accompanying Study, provides best practices from States that created central structures, called National Mechanism for Reporting Follow-up (NMRF), to coordinate among the various government ministries, specialized institutions, parliament, and the judiciary, and to consult with civil society and national human rights institutions.

A Report on Violations and Abuses of International Human Rights Law and Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Context of the Fighting in Juba, South Sudan, in July 2016 (OHCHR / UNMISS) 
A UN report published on 16 January 20176 details the grave human rights violations and abuses – including killings and gang rapes – as well as serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Juba during and after the fighting that occurred between 8 and 12 July 2016. Six months after the violence there remains widespread impunity, as violations continue unabated. The report by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office found that throughout the fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), “the belligerents blatantly ignored international human rights law and humanitarian law.” The July 2016 events in Juba demonstrated the extremely fragile political and security situation in South Sudan and the complete disregard of civilians by the SPLA and SPLM/A-IO, given the serious human rights violations and abuses that were perpetrated, including the direct targeting of civilians, along ethnic lines and the extreme violence against women and children, the report states.

School Violence and Bullying: Global Status Report  (UNESCO)
Policy Paper:
Nearly a quarter of a billion children and young people world-wide are bullied each year, according to a report released today by the United Nations educational and cultural agency, which found that bullies like to pick on children because of their looks, have ethnic or cultural differences, or due to gender or sexual orientation. The report found that all children and adolescents are at risk of school violence and bullying, but bullies target vulnerable factors, such as poverty or social status associated with ethnicity, linguistic or cultural differences, migration or displacement. Children who were disabled or looked different, such as being overweight or underweight, were also a prime target for bullying. Young people whose sexual orientation, gender identity or expression does not conform to traditional gender norms are also at increased risk of school violence and bullying, the UN agency reported. An estimated 246 million children and adolescents experience school violence and bullying in some form every year harming the physical health and emotional well-being of the child.
Among other aspects, the authors looked at where school violence and bullying occurs. For example, physical aggression is more frequent in primary school, whereas cyberbullying takes place more in middle through secondary school. The report was presented at the International Symposium on School Violence and Bullying: From Evidence to Action, co-organized by UNESCO and the Institute of School Violence Prevention at Ewha Womans University.


Humanitarian Affairs

Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe: January to December 2017
responseplanThe United Nations refugee and migration agencies along with a host of partners today unveiled a new strategy and appeal to help address the challenges confronting hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants in Europe. The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan, launched on 19 January 2017 by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and 72 other partners, is expected to play a key role in ensuring more efficient operations and a better coordinated response throughout 2017. The Plan seeks to complement and strengthen Governments' efforts to provide safe access to asylum and protection of refugees and migrants and accords priority to enhanced partnership and coordination. It also stresses the need for orderly and dignified migration management, and long-term solutions for refugees and migrants, including a robust relocation scheme, support to voluntary returns and reinforced alternative legal pathways to dangerous journeys, including resettlement and family reunification.