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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2017

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2017
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

UN chief Guterres announces steps towards reforming Organization’s peace and security architecture
UN News Centre Story, 14 February 2017
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Press Release
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New counter-terrorism office to build partnership with member states on countering transnational threats, Secretary-General tells General Assembly
UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarks to the General Assembly on the informal suggestion to create a new office for counter-terrorism, in New York on 22 February 2017
Press Release SG/SM/18453-GA/11891:



Commit to SDG 14 - The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments
The UN has called for voluntary commitments to implement Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) and launched on 15 February 2017 an online commitment registry which has its first three commitments – the Swedish Government, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Peaceboat, a non-governmental organization. The site will be up through the end of the Ocean Conference, which starts on World Environment Day, marked annually on 5 June, and includes 8 June, celebrated as World Oceans Day.


dhlDag Hammarskjöld Library Video on the UN Programme Budget Cycle
A brief overview of the documents of the UN biennial budget cycle, high-lighting the key UN bodies involved in the budget process and major documents issued throughout the cycle.


Peace and Security

20 Years to Better Protect Children Affected by Conflict (OSRSG)
20yearsIn December 1996, four months after the publication of Graca Machel's ground breaking report, "Impact of armed conflict on children," the General Assembly adopted resolution 51/77, recommending the appointment of a Special Representative for children and armed conflict, who would report back to the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council annually. This was a recognition by the General Assembly that the way we treat children today will have a huge impact on the peace and development of our societies of tomorrow. Since then, the mandate has been renewed by the General Assembly every three years and the Secretary-General has named three Special Representatives: Olara Otunnu, Radhika Coomaraswamy and Leila Zerrougui. Over the past 20 years, the coordinated action generated by the mandate, with strong support also from the Security Council, has led to important progress for millions of boys and girls growing up in countries affected by war. Since 2000, more than 115,000 child soldiers have been released as a result of dialogue and Action Plans.

Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict; Annual Report 2016 (Kabul, Afghanistan, February 2017)
afg2017On 6 February 2017, the United Nations called on all warring parties in Afghanistan to take urgent steps to halt the killing and maiming of civilians, as a new UN report revealed the highest ever number of civilian casualties in a single year, including record figures for children killed and injured in 2016. The report documents 11,418 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 3,498 killed and 7,920 injured. Of these, 3,512 were children - 923 dead and 2,589 injured, up 24 per cent on the previous highest recorded figure. The figures, recorded by the Human Rights team of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), are the highest since the UN began systematically documenting civilian casualty figures in 2009.    

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks
English, French & Spanish:
On 13 February 2017, the Security Council held an open debate on the protection of critical infrastructure against terrorist attacks. The Security Council President for February, Ukraine, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the ministerial open debate on the theme Maintenance of international peace and security: conflicts in Europe”
English, French & Spanish:
On 21 February 2017, the Security Council held a ministerial open debate on the theme “Maintenance of international peace and security: conflicts in Europe”. The Security Council President for February, Ukraine, has prepared this concept note.

Fourth report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat (S/2017/97, 2 February 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
Introduction: In adopting its resolution 2253 (2015), the Security Council expressed its determination to address the threat posed to international peace and security by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and associated individuals and groups, and emphasized the importance of cutting off its access to funds and preventing it from planning and facilitating attacks. … The present report is the fourth such report (see S/2016/92, S/2016/501 and S/2016/830) and was prepared with the input of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, in close collaboration with the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team pursuant to Security Council resolution 1526 (2014) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre and other relevant United Nations actors and international and regional organizations.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 December 2016 (DPI/1634/Rev.188, January 2017)


Economic and Social Development

Environment Live
environmentliveEnvironment Live, the dynamic UN knowledge platform, designed to collect, process and share the world's best environmental science and research, has introduced new tools to review progress towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Built and maintained by UN Environment, the platform provides real-time open data access to policy makers and the general public, using distributed networks, cloud computing, big data and improved search functions. New features of the tool include: • Integrated support for assessments and policy decision-making at the global, regional and country levels; • Access to scientific world data, maps and graphs desegregated at the regional, national and local levels and a World Data portal that combines official statistical data obtained from countries and remote sensing satellite imagery. The portal gives access to geospatial information and is supported by a powerful search facility; • Real time tools for public interaction through communities of practice and access to the latest citizen science and citizen-driven monitoring networks. Through these tools and resources, the platform will support the streamlining of national monitoring, reporting and verification of data for global and regional environmental goals, including the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mapping the linkages between oceans and other Sustainable Development Goals: A preliminary exploration (DESA Working Paper No. 149, February 2017) 
Abstract: “This paper maps interrelationships among targets of the Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to oceans (SDG 14), as well as interrelationships between those targets and other SDGs. This is done using a large number of UN reports as well as scientific publications. The literature identifies many linkages among the targets of SDG 14; most of these targets are potentially synergistic with one another. Many linkages also exist between SDG 14 targets and other SDGs. Different targets under SDG 14 link to different SDGs. This has implications for policy discussions on how to achieve progress on SDG 14. The interrelationships that we highlight can be used as a tool for dialogue between policy and scientific communities working on oceans, in particular for assessing the status of knowledge on the various linkages, as well as identifying linkages that are likely to matter most for progress on SDG 14.”

New UN Environment / Mediterranean Action Plan website
In January 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan that provides Secretariat to the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, launched its new website. The website was created to provide users with an easier way to learn about the Mediterranean Action Plan and the Barcelona Convention. The information is made available in English, French and Arabic. The website renewal project received EU funding under the ECAP Med I project.

Successfully achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: what is to be done? (E/C.16/2017/2, 30 January 2017)
English, French, Spanish:  
“The Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Committee of Experts on Public Administration the paper prepared by Committee member Allan Rosenbaum in collaboration with Vaiva Kalesnikaite of Florida International University. The content of the paper and the views expressed therein are those of the author and do not imply any expression of opinion on the part of the United Nations.”
Summary: “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require significant capacity in terms of effective government institutions, possessed of adequate financial capacity and human resources. To gain a better understanding of both the institutional processes and structures that are likely to facilitate successful implementation, the author briefly examines four countries — Germany, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa — that have had varied experiences in introducing sustainable development objectives into national development strategies. The evidence suggests that the success of national efforts to implement the Goals will depend substantially on government capacity and the effectiveness of a country’s public sector."

Water Information Network System (IHP-WINS)
ihpwinsUNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) launched the Water Information Network System (IHP-WINS), an open access interactive database, on 31 January 2017. With continuous updates and new data, WINS aims to become a global reference on the water cycle allowing users to create tailor-made maps incorporating information about arid zones, rainfall, transboundary water basins and irrigation. With data from global sources such as AQUASTAT, WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring programme and UNSTAT, and other UNESCO partners, WINS will bring together as much validated information concerning the water cycle as possible. It will also feature key UNESCO programmes concerned by water-related issues, notably World Heritage, Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks. Users will be able to visualize and generate tailor-made products to meet their specific interests. WINS will moreover facilitate the exchange of data among stakeholders, interdisciplinary cooperation and the creation of networks. The development of WINS follows on a resolution adopted by the IHP’s Intergovernmental Council in June 2016 to help Member States implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal concerning access to water and sanitation.

Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work (ILO / Eurofund)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The expanding use of digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers for work at home and elsewhere is rapidly transforming the traditional model of work. It can improve work-life balance, reduce commuting time, and boost productivity, but it can also potentially result in longer working hours, higher work intensity and work-home interference, according to a new joint ILO-Eurofound report released on 15 February 2017. The new report synthesizes research carried out by both organizations in 15 countries, including ten EU Member States (Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) as well as Argentina, Brazil, India, Japan and the United States. The study identifies several types of employees using new technologies to work outside the employer’s premises, including regular home-based teleworkers, workers performing occasional telework and ICT-mobile work (T/ICTM).


Human Rights

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ukraine, 14 March 2014 to 31 January 2017 
Survivors of sexual violence committed in the context of the armed conflict in Ukraine are often denied justice and left without adequate care and counselling, causing them to be victimized twice, according to a UN report published on 16 February 2017. The 37-page report by the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine notes that the country’s justice system lacks the laws, capacity and professional experience to effectively investigate and prosecute allegations of sexual violence, resulting in widespread impunity for perpetrators.
The report looks at the period from 14 March 2014 to 31 January 2017 and covers all territory of Ukraine, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with a special focus on the eastern regions, parts of which are under the control of armed groups.   

Living Free & Equal: What states are doing to tackle violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (OHCHR)
Translation in other UN languages forthcoming in 2017.
livingfreeandequalThe OHCHR publication "Living Free and Equal" provides an analysis of more than 200 examples of what States are doing to tackle violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and intersex people. It offers concrete guidance and inspiration for States based on initiatives taken by Governments, courts, parliaments, national human rights institutions and others around the world to implement international human rights standards and United Nations recommendations to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of LGBT and intersex people. "Living Free and Equal" also identifies where there are gaps and challenges and makes recommendations on how to address these. It is essential reading for Government officials, parliamentarians, judges, officials of national human rights institutions, human rights defenders and anyone else interested in upholding the fundamental human rights of LGBT and intersex people.    

United Nations Human Rights Appeal 2017
hrappeal2017Urging action for greater freedoms, stronger respect and more compassion, the United Nations human rights arm launched on 15 February 2017 a $253 million appeal – its largest to date – to bolster its 2017 work programme to protect and advance the rights of people around the world. According to OHCHR, the extra-budgetary funds will augment its work in providing in-country assistance, supporting UN independent rights experts and the Human Rights Council, as well as contribute to a number of trust funds on issues such as torture, rights of indigenous peoples and contemporary forms of slavery.  


Humanitarian Affairs

5 essentials for the first 72 hours of disaster response (UNOCHA)  
When a country is hit by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, a tropical storm or flooding, two things are certain: chaos will reign and coordination is key. The first 72 hours after a disaster are crucial; response must begin during that time to save lives. Here are five things that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) — the UN’s emergency coordination organization —aims to get right within, and prior to, the first 72 hours: Prepare, prepare, prepare --- Deploy skilled staff --- Know the context --- Assess response capacity --- Mobilize funding and plan operations.

UNICEF: New open source app helps protect children displaced by conflict 
displacedA life–saving service for vulnerable children caught up in crises is now available to government, aid agencies and social service workers through an open source app developed by UNICEF and its partners. The app known as Primero, facilitates the secure collection, storage and sharing of data to improve child protection, incident monitoring and family reunification services by key players in the humanitarian sector.

unicefhumaction2017UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2017
English, French & Spanish:
Humanitarian Action for Children 2017 highlights the humanitarian situation and major crises currently affecting children and women. It outlines the global support required, and the results UNICEF and its partners have achieved and are working towards. Information about UNICEF’s work in these contexts is presented on the country and regional pages of the Humanitarian Action for Children at Appeals and results are updated regularly, based on the country context.