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UNRIC Library Newsletter - April 2017

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

UN in General

2017 UN Card
The 2017 edition of the UN Card brings you an update to 10 actions of the UN, that show in quantifiable terms how the daily work of the UN and its agencies affects the lives of people around the globe.


UN System Chart (March 2017)
Other official languages will follow.

researchguides rgb
Check out our updated page on UN Research Guides / LibGuides / Biblioguías.
Currently there are ca. 150 different topics available in English and ca. 70 different topics both in French & Spanish.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Youth – Selected Online Resources
(revised & updated version)
English - html:
English - pdf:
French - pdf:


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals (World Bank) 
2017atlasThe World Bank released the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals on 17 April 2017. With over 150 maps and data visualizations, the new publication charts the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs. The Atlas is part of the World Development Indicators (WDI) family of products that offer high-quality, cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe. You can: view the SDG Atlas online or download the PDF publication, access the WDI statistical tables and interactive SDG dashboard, download and query the WDI database. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their associated 169 targets are ambitious. They will be challenging to implement, and challenging to measure. The Atlas offers the perspective of experts in the World Bank on each of the SDGs.    

Global Trends: Challenges and Opportunities in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (UNDP / UNRISD) 
This joint UNDP-UNRISD report reviews recent trends in six areas that are fundamentally important to achieving the 2030 Agenda. These six “mega-trends” relate to (i) poverty and inequalities, (ii) demography, (iii) environmental degradation and climate change, (iv) shocks and crises, (v) development cooperation and financing for development, and (vi) technological innovation. The report explores whether these trends are having positive or negative effects on development and discusses policy implications for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

English, French & Spanish:
The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) launched  – a pioneering knowledge and information sharing platform on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in October 2016. The platform provides concrete tools and practices for local policy makers, development practitioners and other relevant actors to support countries in the implementation and achievement of the Global Goals locally. Users can upload and share their experiences, tools, as well as engage in real-time discussions with all participating partners on the SDG localization.

UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth (ESCAP)
unandsdgsAs young leaders of tomorrow, it is pivotal that youth are informed and engaged with the global vision for the future. Over the next fifteen years, youth will not only directly experience the outcome of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and plans, but will also be the key driver for their successful implementation. For this reason, it is vital to raise awareness about the recently adopted 17 SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development among youth, build a platform for discussion, and create the conditions for active engagement. "UN and SDGs: A Handbook for Youth" explores SDGs and the 2030 Agenda from a youth perspective. In the first chapter, it introduces the concept of sustainable development and outlines its historical development through the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to SDGs. The second chapter discusses how youth can be harnessed as a major agent of change in achieving sustainable development, focusing on several pertinent youth issues in Asia and the Pacific. The final chapter introduces the UN system and its regional arm, ESCAP, explaining their role in the successful implementation of SDGs.

Primer on Sustainable Development (UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development)
The UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development has launched a Primer on Sustainable Development. This 2-page document serves as an entry-point to understanding the 2030 Agenda. The primer explains what the agenda is about, provides a brief description of the historical process that led to its adoption, and explains the core principles underlying the agenda, its 5 dimensions, the sustainable development goals as well as their interlinkages. It is meant for anyone looking for an easy-to-understand introduction to the 2030 Agenda and goes hand-in-hand with the 4-minute explainer video on Understanding the Dimensions of Sustainable Development produced by the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development. The primer is currently available in English and French, while a number of other language versions are in the process of being produced as well.

UNOG Library Research Guide - Sustainable Development Goals: Resources

2017 UN World Water Development Report: Wastewater - The Untapped Resource (UNESCO / UN-Water)
Report in English, French & Spanish, Executive Summary in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese & German:
wastewaterIn a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture. Needless to mention, treating wastewater and removing pollutants can also remarkably reduce the impact on the environment as well as on health. The report, launched on 22 March 2017 in Durban, South Africa, on the occasion of World Water Day, also highlights that improved management of wastewater is essential in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water 2017 (WHO) 
Countries are not increasing spending fast enough to meet the water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a new report published on 12 April 2017 by WHO on behalf of UN-Water – the United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater-related issues, including sanitation. The report stresses that countries will not meet global aspirations of universal access to safe drinking-water and sanitation unless steps are taken to use financial resources more efficiently and increase efforts to identify new sources of funding. According to the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2017 report, countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene at an annual average rate of 4.9% over the last three years. Yet, 80% of countries report that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) financing is still insufficient to meet nationally-defined targets for WASH services.

Global Report on Food Crisis 2017
Report in English, Executive Summary in English & French:
foodcrisisThe European Union, FAO and WFP have joined forces with FEWS NET, UNICEF and regional organisations like CILSS, IGAD and SICA to coordinate needs assessment to increase the impact of humanitarian and resilience responses through the preparation of the “Global Report on Food Crises”. This Global Report aims to enhance coordination and decision making through a neutral analysis that informs programming and implementation. The key objective and strength of the report is to establish a consultative and consensus-based process to compile food insecurity analyses from around the world into a global public product. The Report compares and clarifies results of food security analyses conducted by various partners and across geographical areas to provide a clear picture of acute food insecurity situation. The report provides food security population estimates for countries selected on the basis of the degree of risk of
facing acute food crises in 2016 and beyond. In addition, a detailed food security analysis is presented for those countries and/or population groups facing high severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity based on IPC/CH classification.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 
Published on 6 April 2017 by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the report finds that all investments in renewables totalled $241.6 billion (excluding large hydro). These investments added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up 9 per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before.

Integrating neglected tropical diseases in global health and development: fourth WHO report on neglected tropical diseases
Report in English:
Executive Summary in English & French:
The United Nations cited on 19 April 2017 “record-breaking” progress in controlling neglected tropical diseases – which blind, maim, disfigure and debilitate millions of people worldwide, especially in its poorest areas – as an estimated one billion people were reached with treatment for at least one of these diseases in 2015 alone, according to the Organization’s health agency. The new report shows how political support, improvements in living conditions and supply of medicines have led to sustained expansion of disease control programmes in countries where these diseases are most prevalent.

International Cloud Atlas (WMO)
cloudsThe World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released its new, long-awaited, digitized International Cloud Atlas – the global reference for observing and identifying clouds, which are an essential part of weather, the climate system and the water cycle. The new Atlas - released for World Meteorological Day on 23rd March - combines 19th century traditions with 21st century technology. It contains hundreds of images submitted by meteorologists, photographers and cloud lovers from around the globe. It includes new classifications, including volutus, a roll cloud; clouds from human activities such as the contrail, a vapour trail sometimes produced by airplanes; and asperitas, a dramatic undulated cloud which captured the public imagination. It also features meteorological phenomena like rainbows, halos, snow devils and hailstones.

Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind (UNESCO) 
Noting the lack of sufficient institutions to cater to the growing demand for higher education as well as increasing disparities in its access, the United Nations educational and scientific agency has presented a series of steps to make such education more equitable and affordable. In its new paper, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also urged policy makers to set up national agencies to ensure equal opportunities in education as well as to devise measures that keep student loan repayments to less than 15 per cent of their annual income.

Socio-economic impact assessment of Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDP / IFRC)
In early 2016, Zika was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern due to its association with a surge of birth defects. Zika has since spread throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with local transmission also reported in parts of the USA, Asia and Africa. The nature of the neurological complications Zika can cause in humans, and the emergence of a condition in infants known as ‘congenital Zika syndrome’, have posed and continue to pose a significant challenge to health specialists, international organizations and governments alike.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), produced this assessment of the socio-economic impacts of Zika on countries, families and communities, and to examine institutional responses.

Thirsting for a Future: Water and children in a changing climate (UNICEF)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:
Warning that as many as 600 million children – one in four worldwide – will be living in areas with extremely scare water by 2040, the United Nations children's agency has called on governments to take immediate measures to curb the impact on the lives of children. In its report released on 22 March 2017, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) explores the threats to children's lives and wellbeing caused by depleted sources of safe water and the ways climate change will intensify these risks in coming years. According to the UN agency, 36 countries around the world are already facing extremely high levels of water stress. Warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, increased floods, droughts and melting ice affect the quality and availability of water as well as sanitation systems. These combined with increasing populations, higher demand of water primarily due to industrialization and urbanization are draining water resources worldwide. On top of these, conflicts in many parts of the world are also threatening access to safe water.

Talking through the crisis: Social dialogue and industrial relations trends in selected EU countries (ILO)
On 30 March, the ILO in cooperation with the European Commission, launched this new book which highlights emerging trends and good practices in social dialogue across eleven EU Member States. Social dialogue between governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations came under significant stress in the years following the 2008 crisis, and weakened or even collapsed in some countries. While the return to economic growth has not always been accompanied by a full recovery of tripartite social dialogue, in some cases, bipartite dialogue between workers and employers compensated for the deficit. Collective agreements introducing improvements in working conditions were signed. The book further highlights the potential of the European Semester for the active engagement of the social partners in national policy processes.

WaPOR - FAO Water Productivity Open-access portal
English & French:
waporMeasuring how efficiently water is used in agriculture, particularly in water-scarce countries, is going high-tech with the help of a new tool developed by FAO.  The WaPOR open-access database has gone live, tapping satellite data to help farmers achieve more reliable agricultural yields and allowing for the optimization of irrigation systems. WaPOR was presented on 20 April 2017 during a high-level partners meeting for FAO's Coping with water scarcity in agriculture: a global framework for action in a changing climate. It allows for fine-grained analysis of water utilised through farming  systems, generating empirical evidence about how it can be most productively used. Worldwide water utilization - the majority of which is used by agriculture - has outpaced the rate of population growth for most of the last century and some regions are close to breaching viable limits. The IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, part of UNESCO and the world's largest international graduate water education facility, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will support efforts in developing countries to boost capacity to use the new technology - by tailoring relevant direct data queries, conducting time series analyses and downloading data regarding key variables that contribute to water and land productivity assessments. The WaPOR tool is being developed in cooperation with a consortium of partners in the Netherlands - eLEAF, University of Twente, ITC and Waterwatch Foundation - as well as VITO in Belgium. The work plan anticipates developing apps that can be run on smart phones, enabling locally relevant use of the data from the spatial database.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council Thematic Debate on Peacekeeping Operations Review
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held a briefing on United Nations peacekeeping on 6 April 2017. In order to help to steer the discussion on the subject, the Security Council President for April, United States, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council quarterly open debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
English, French & Spanish: 
The Security Council held its quarterly open debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on 20 April 2017. In order to help to steer the discussion on the subject, the Security Council President for April, United States, has prepared this concept note.

Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in the Sudan (S/2017/191, 6 March 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
Fewer children have been recruited to fight in parts of Sudan, but they are still killed and injured, and victims of sexual violence in the country, according to a new report by the United Nations Secretary-General, released on 25 March 2017. The report details the impact of the armed conflict on children in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei between March 2011 and December 2016. During that time period, nearly 1,300 children were either killed or maimed in conflict as a result of hostilities between the Government and the armed groups. The majority of the casualties took place in Darfur, according to the report. Rape and sexual violence were also a major concern in Darfur, where the UN confirmed at least 372 children were victimized. Despite these ongoing atrocities, the report notes a positive trend in recruitment and use of children – with fewer being conscripted. However, there are concerns about cross-border recruitment and use of children by Sudanese and South Sudanese groups, notably the SPLM/N, Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition and Justice (SPLA-iO) and Equality Movement (JEM).


Human Rights

Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide: A policy guide (UNESCO)
educationaboutholocaustThe United Nations educational and cultural agency has launched a first-ever policy guide for education on the Holocaust and, more broadly, genocide and mass atrocities. The guide is designed to be a resource for policy-makers, curriculum developers and textbook writers to engage in or reinforce education about the Holocaust and the prevention of genocide. It also provides effective responses and recommendations to facilitate debate on these issues in classrooms, and is the first step in a series of projects conducted in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with the support of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees: Implementation of Afghanistan’s National Plan on the Elimination of Torture (UNAMA/OHCHR) 
Conflict-related detainees in Afghanistan continue to face torture and ill-treatment, a UN report released on 24 April 2017 today has found. The report also says that the Afghan Government has committed to fully eliminating the practice. The report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) is based on interviews with 469 conflict-related detainees conducted from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016 in 62 detention facilities administered by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan National Police (ANP) and other Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) across the country.


Humanitarian Affairs

Address and Prevent Famine in Four Countries – new OCHA website 
More than 20 million people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are experiencing famine or the risk of famine over the coming six months. UN agencies and their humanitarian partners are ready to scale up the response to avert a catastrophe, but the necessary funds and access to do so are required immediately.

High-level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen - Geneva, 25 April 2017 
With an alarming 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 10.3 million who require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives, Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. More worrying, the conflict in Yemen and its economic consequences are driving the largest food security emergency in the world. Over 17 million people are currently food insecure, of whom 6.8 million are severely food insecure and require immediate food assistance. Through the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, over 106 humanitarian partners have been providing coordinated assistance to millions of people across Yemen’s 22 governorates. We can avert a humanitarian catastrophe, but need US$2.1 billion in funding to deliver crucial food, nutrition, health and other lifesaving assistance. The United Nations will hold a High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen. Co-hosted by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden, the conference will take place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 25 April 2017.  The time is now to come together to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

Jobs Make the Difference - Expanding Economic Opportunities for Syrian Refugees and Host Communities: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey (WFP/ILO/UNDP)
Full Report, Executive Summary, Country Briefs:
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Food Programme (WFP) launched on 5 April 2017, on the side-lines of the Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, their joint report. The six-country study argues that expanding access to economic opportunities for those affected by the Syrian crisis must be a priority. However, it is equally makes it clear that the current response to the crisis, despite recent successes, is unlikely to be sufficient.

Teaching About Refugees?
UNHCR has information material in the following languages: English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gaelic, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish: