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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2017

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2017
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UN in General

The meeting of the High-Level Political Forum will be held in New York from 10 to 19 June 2017. The theme will be "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world".
Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 will be reviewed in depth this year and Goal 17 will be considered each year.

Ocean Conference – Outcome Documents

The Ocean Conference ended on 9 June 2017 with the adoption by consensus of a 14-point Call for Action where the participating Heads of State and Government and senior representatives “affirm our strong commitment to conserve and sustainably use our oceans, seas and marine resources tor sustainable development.”

On 28 June 2017, a High-Level Event on Education will be convened in partnership with key SDG 4 stakeholders to drive a new push for inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Basic Facts about the United Nations: 42nd edition
basicfacts2017This comprehensive handbook designed for the general public explains the structure of the United Nations, how the Organization works, the main issues it addresses and its importance for people everywhere. In addition to setting out the various roles played by principle UN organs and related organizations, Basic Facts about the United Nations documents the Organization’s contributions to international peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, humanitarian action, international law and decolonization. Appendices contain current data on UN membership and peacekeeping operations, as well as contact information for UN information centres, services and offices. This latest edition, published in 2017, has been revised to take account of significant developments in the world and the Organization itself since 2014.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Solutions to Help Meet the SDGs (UNDP)
10solutionsA new report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) showcases ten projects that are transforming the course of development in the Asia-Pacific region. the report describes large-scale projects in ten countries in the region – Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste – that have demonstrably accelerated progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Action plan for integrating sustainable development practices into Secretariat-wide operations and facilities management: Report of the Secretary-General (A/72/82, 27 April 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
“In response to paragraph 14 of General Assembly resolution 71/228, the present report provides the requested action plan for the Secretariat, aimed at integrating sustainable development practices into its operations and facilities management. The report summarizes the scope and structure of the plan, the roles and responsibilities of its stakeholders and the sequence of actions and milestones necessary for its implementation. The proposed action plan involves implementing environmental management systems with the goal, to be achieved as soon as possible, or by 2020, if practicable, of creating a Secretariat that does not, through its operations or facilities management, have a negative impact on the climate.”

Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries (UNICEF Innocenti)
English, French, Spanish & Italian:
buldingthefutureOne in five children in high-income countries lives in relative income poverty, and an average of one in eight faces food insecurity, according to a new report released on 15 June 2017 by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The latest 'Report Card' issued by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre underscores that rich nations also face challenges meeting global commitments to children. This is the first report to assess the status of children in 41 high-income countries in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified as most important for child well-being. It ranks countries based on their performance and details the challenges and opportunities that advanced economies face in achieving global commitments to children.   

Discussion papers on the theme of the high-level political forum on sustainable development, submitted by major groups and other stakeholders (E/HLPF/2017/2, 8 May 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
“The present document is a compilation of the executive summaries of the position papers on the theme of the high-level political forum, “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”, submitted by the various major groups and other relevant stakeholders that have autonomously established and maintained effective coordination mechanisms for participation in the high-level political forum on sustainable development, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 67/290. The full reports are posted on the website of the forum, at”

Global Assessment Report Risk Atlas (GAR Atlas)  
garriskatlasThe UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction launched on 25 May 2017 a landmark interactive atlas that exposes the hidden threats posed by natural hazards in national economies and countries’ urban centres. The Global Assessment Report Risk Atlas (GAR Atlas), released at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, builds on a multi-year effort by a consortium of leading scientific institutions coordinated by UNISDR, and provides a global vision of where and how disaster risk can undermine development. It estimates the probability of future disaster losses in the built environment for five major hazards – earthquakes, tsunamis, river flooding, and tropical cyclones, plus winds and storm surge – for every country and territory in the world.

The impact of disasters on agriculture: Addressing the information gap (FAO) 
impactofdisastersThe number and frequency of recorded natural disasters, along with the associated impact and damage to livelihoods and economies (local, national), are increasing significantly. Natural disasters often destroy critical agricultural assets and infrastructure, disrupting production cycles, trade flows and livelihoods means. This affects food security and causes additional disruptions throughout the value chains. Such disasters may slow overall economic growth, especially where agriculture and food production still account for a large share of gross domestic product and employment. Notwithstanding the many efforts at national and international level, there is limited systematic data and information on the impact of disasters and hazardous events in agriculture and its subsectors – crop, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stipulates that all countries, irrespective of their income level, are prepared to effectively prevent and mitigate any disaster impacts. Where disasters cannot be avoided, countries should act to minimize the devastating effects on livelihoods and the economy. Agriculture must be at the centre of these efforts, given its wide interactions with the environment and direct reliance on natural resources for production.

Project for a Europe-Africa fixed link through the Strait of Gibraltar (E/2017/21, 15 May 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
“The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the Economic and Social Council the report prepared in accordance with Council resolution 2009/11 of 28 June 2009 by the Executive Secretaries of the Economic Commission for Europe and the Economic Commission for Africa on the activities carried out within the framework of the project for a Europe-Africa fixed link through the Strait of Gibraltar. The Council has been interested in this project since 1982, following the decision taken by the Governments of Morocco and Spain within the framework of a bilateral agreement on cooperation adopted on 24 October 1980 for the joint study of the feasibility of the project. Since that time, the Council has regularly requested the two regional commissions to follow the development of the project studies and keep it informed in that regard.”

Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (E/2017/66, 11 May 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
The present report, mandated by the General Assembly in paragraph 83 of its resolution 70/1 on transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, informs the high-level political forum on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The report is prepared annually by the Secretary-General in cooperation with the United Nations system. It is based on a global indicator framework developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators, which was adopted by the Statistical Commission at its forty-eighth session, held in March 2017 (see E/2017/24, chap. I, sect. A, and annex I).
The report provides an overview of global progress towards the 17 Goals of the 2030 Agenda, on the basis of a selection of indicators for which data were available as of April 2017.

Reducing global poverty through universal primary and secondary education (UNESCO)
A new UNESCO policy paper – released on 21 June 2017 - shows that the global poverty rate could be more than halved if all adults completed secondary school. Yet, new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show persistently high out-of-school rates in many countries, making it likely that completion levels in education will remain well below that target for generations to come. The paper is being released ahead of the UN High Level Political Forum (10-19 July), which will focus on poverty eradication in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The paper demonstrates the importance of recognizing education as a core lever for ending poverty in all its forms, everywhere.

Renewables 2017 Global Status Report
The world is now adding more green energy capacity each year than it adds in new capacity from all fossil fuels combined, a United Nations-backed report revealed on 7 June 2017, showing that the “renewables train has already left the station” and those who ignore this will be left behind. Last year, renewable power installments increased by nine per cent over 2015 to nearly 2,017 gigawatts. Solar photovoltaic accounted for around 47 per cent of the total additions, followed by wind power at 34 per cent and hydropower at 15.5 per cent, according to the report.

Understanding Masculinities: Results from The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (Images) – Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Palestine)
Report in English, Executive Summary in Arabic, English & French:
The first-ever study on men and masculinity in the Middle East and North Africa by UN Women and Promundo surveyed 10,000 men across Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine. While unequal attitudes dominate, a significant minority support some forms of equality between men and women, especially if they saw their fathers doing the same. A groundbreaking multi-country study in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has surveyed 10,000 men aged 18 to 59 years, in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine, about their attitudes on gender equality and perceptions of masculinity. Applying a comparative lens to the lives of men and women, the study asked, for example, what does it mean to be a man in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2017; what do men of all ages think about gender equality; and how are ideas about masculinity affected by political and economic stresses?

Sending Money Home: Towards the SDGs, One Family at a Time (IFAD)
sendingmoneyhomeThe amount of money migrants send to their families in developing countries has risen by 51 per cent over the past decade - far greater than the 28 per cent increase in migration from these countries, according to a new report released by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 14 June 2017. The report is the first-ever study of a 10-year trend in migration and remittance flows over the period 2007-2016. While the report shows that there have been increases in sending patterns to almost all regions of the world, the sharp rise over the past decade is in large part due to Asia which has witnessed an 87 per cent increase in remittances. More than 200 million migrant workers are now supporting an estimated 800 million family members globally. It is projected that in 2017, one-in-seven people in the world will be involved in either sending or receiving more than US$450 billion in remittances.  Migration flows and the remittances that migrants send home are having large-scale impacts on the global economy and political landscape. Total migrant worker earnings are estimated to be $3 trillion annually, of which approximately 85 per cent remains in the host countries. The money migrants send home averages less than one per cent of their host country’s GDP. Taken together, these individual remittances account for more than three times the combined Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources, and more than the total foreign direct investment to almost every low- and middle-income country.

World Employment and Social Outlook Trends for Women 2017 (ILO)
Report in English:
Country briefs for EU-28, France, Germany, Italy and Spain:  
Press releases in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish:
weso2017Gender gaps remain one of the most pressing challenges facing the world of work. Women are substantially less likely than men to participate in the labour market, and once in the job market, they are less likely than men to find a job and the quality of employment they do find remains a key concern, a new ILO report shows. Helping women access the labour market is nevertheless an important first step. Yet, in 2017, the global labour force participation rate for women – at just over 49 per cent – is nearly 27 percentage points lower than the rate for men (table 1), and is forecast to remain unchanged in 2018. In 2014, G20 leaders made a commitment to reduce the gap in participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent by the year 2025. The report estimates that if this goal was realized at the global level, it has the potential to add US$ 5.8 trillion dollars to the global economy. This could also unlock large potential tax revenues. For example, global tax revenue could increase by US$ 1.5 trillion, most of it in emerging (US$ 990 billion) and developed countries (US$ 530 billion), the report noted. Northern Africa, the Arab States and Southern Asia would see the greatest benefits given that in these regions the gaps in participation rates between men and women exceed 50 percentage points.

World Investment Report 2017: Investment and the Digital Economy (UNCTAD)
Report in English, Overview in English & Spanish, Press Releases in English, French & Spanish:
Even though digital multinational enterprises – Internet and e-commerce platforms such as Uber, Instagram and Facebook – witnessed “dramatic” growth over the past few years, more than 60 of the top 100 such ventures were concentrated in three countries (the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany), leaving much room to grow elsewhere, a new, ground-breaking United Nations report has revealed. According to the report released on 7 June 2017 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), only four companies in the top 100 were based developing nations.

World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision 
wpp2017The world population is now nearly 7.6 billion, up from 7.4 billion in 2015, spurred by the relatively high levels of fertility in developing countries – despite an overall drop in the number of children people have around the globe – the United Nations reported on 21 June 2017. The concentration of global population growth is in the poorest countries, according to World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, presenting a challenge as the international community seeks to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which seeks to end poverty and preserve the planet. “With roughly 83 million people being added to the world's population every year, the upward trend in population size is expected to continue, even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline,” said the report's authors at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. At this rate, the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and surpass 11.2 billion in 2100.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians and medical care in armed conflict
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held an open debate on 25 May 2017 on the topic “Protection of civilians and medical care in armed conflict”. In order to help guide the debate, the Security Council President for May, Uruguay, has prepared this concept note.

‘No Excuse’ pocket card
English, French & Spanish:
The ‘No Excuse’ cards include a concise and portable statement of the UN rules and prohibitions related to sexual exploitation and abuse, and contact details - to be provided by the missions and duty stations - for reporting allegations. These are to be distributed to all deployed UN personnel, affiliated staff, implementing partners and contractors.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 Mai 2017 (DPI/1634/Rev.193, June 2017)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 31 May 2017 (DPI/2166/Rev.166, June 2017)


Development of Africa

Myth-busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa (UNICEF) 
This new UNICEF Innocenti Working Paper summarizes evidence on six common assumptions about cash transfer programmes in Africa. The paper uses data from eight in-depth evaluations conducted on large government-run unconditional cash transfer projects in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. The arguments supporting unconditional cash transfer programming for poor households in developing countries are numerous. Evidence shows cash transfers are effective in reducing poverty and also have widespread social and economic benefits – often larger than traditional forms of development assistance. An increasing body of evidence also shows that cash transfers may provide protection during humanitarian crises, as reflected in the high-level commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit, and the Grand Bargain.


Human Rights

Central African Republic: Mapping human rights violations 2003-2015 (OHCHR / MINUSCA)
Report and nine information notes in English & French:
Mass killings and other serious human rights violations have been documented in an extensive UN mapping report covering the multiple conflicts in the Central African Republic between 2003 and 2015.  Many of the violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the mapping report states, as it sets out a strategy to fight pervasive impunity in the country.
The mapping report by the UN Human Rights Office and the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has documented patterns of serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by successive Government forces and various local and foreign armed groups, as well as international and foreign defence forces. The report, mandated by the UN Security Council, documents in detail 620 incidents, including horrific accounts of entire villages being burnt to the ground in reprisal attacks; multiple accounts of gang rapes of women and girls as young as five; extra-judicial killings; deaths following severe torture or ill-treatment in detention centres; serious violence against people on the basis of their religion, ethnicity or perceived support for armed groups; the recruitment of thousands of children by armed groups; and attacks on both humanitarian actors and peacekeepers, among other serious violations. Hundreds of thousands of Central Africans have been internally displaced or forced to flee in terrifying circumstances through the bush into neighbouring countries.

Counting Pennies: A review of official development assistance to end violence against children (UNICEF/UNSRSGVAC)
countingpenniesThis new report shows only a small fraction of official development assistance goes toward ending violence against children. For the first time, a review of official development assistance (ODA) to end violence against children has been done. The report Counting Pennies found that in 2015, total ODA spending was $174 billion and of that, less than 0.6 per cent was allocated to ending violence against children. Violence compromises children’s development, health and education and has a high cost for society – up to US$7 trillion a year, worldwide. Because of this, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development now includes a distinct global target to end all forms of violence against children (target 16.2). Ending the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children is also mainstreamed across other parts of this international development agenda. Civil society partners that collaborated on this report were World Vision International, SOS Children’s Villages, Save the Children and ChildFund Alliance. The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children and UNICEF also contributed to the research.

The Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (2016) 
Updated guidelines for investigating unlawful killings around the world have been launched in Geneva on 24 May 2017 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The guidelines - known as the Minnesota Protocol - make clear that investigations must be prompt, effective and thorough, as well as independent, impartial and transparent. The Protocol is aimed at police officers, medical practitioners, lawyers, judicial officers, NGOs and others involved in investigations into killings which may be unlawful. It applies primarily to investigations undertaken during times of peace, but also covers killings during conflict.
The original Minnesota Protocol, also known as the UN manual on the effective prevention and investigation of extra-legal arbitrary and summary executions, was launched by the UN in 1991.

Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine: 16 February to 15 May 2017 
Parties to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine have repeatedly failed to implement ceasefire agreements, allowing hostilities to escalate and claim more lives as the conflict moved into its fourth year, a UN report published today says. The report covers the period from 16 February to 15 May 2017, during which the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) recorded 36 conflict-related civilian deaths and 157 injuries – a 48 per cent increase on the previous reporting period from 16 November 2016 to 15 February 2017.


Humanitarian Affairs

FAO Guidance Note: Child labour in agriculture in protracted crises, fragile and humanitarian contexts 
childlabourA new guide by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) urges child labour concerns be integrated in agriculture, food security and nutrition programs during crises and disasters, and was presented today to mark World Day Against Child Labour. Around the world, 100 million children and young people are affected by disaster each year and 230 million live in areas affected by armed conflict. As a crisis unfolds, a family's capacity to provide adequate food, education and protection for their children is undermined which can result in an increase in both the prevalence and severity of child labour, including the worst forms such as child debt bondage.      

Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2016
globaltrends2016War, violence and persecution have uprooted more men, women and children around the world than at any time in the seven-decade history of UNHCR according to a report published on 19 June 2017. The UN Refugee Agency's annual Global Trends study found that 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2016 – a total bigger than the population of the United Kingdom and about 300,000 more than last year. It noted that the pace at which people are becoming displaced remains very high. On average, 20 people were driven from their homes every minute last year, or one every three seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.

Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research (ISEMIR) 
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched on 25 March 2017 an online tool for strengthening the safety of workers who risk exposure to ionizing radiation in the fields of medicine and industry. The Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research (ISEMIR) collects and evaluates occupational exposure data from two areas where radiation protection of workers can be a challenge - interventional cardiology (IC) and industrial radiography (IR). IC facilities performing cardiac X-ray procedures and non-destructive testing (NDT) companies using radiation to test structures for faults or defects, are invited to take part in the system.

Monitoring food security in countries with conflict situations: A joint FAO/WFP update for the United Nations Security Council, June 2017
In a meeting on 9 June 2017 with the United Nations Security Council President, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz of Bolivia, FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva has introduced an updated version of a joint FAO and World Food Programme (WFP) report on the monitoring of food insecurity in conflict-affected crisis. Ambassador Llorentty Solíz described the report as "an invaluable tool" which will keep the UN Security Council updated on the food security situation of countries in conflict. "The information is very reliable and we look forward to receiving future editions," he added. During the meeting, Graziano da Silva stressed that countries with ongoing conflicts have a disproportionately high number of food insecure people.

Obstacles to Return in Retaken Areas of Iraq (IOM)
With three million Iraqis remaining internally displaced across the country, the United Nations migration agency today published findings of a study showing that the decision to return or remain displaced depends largely on how close their home is to the frontline of conflict. The study, commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has surveyed more than 1.7 million Iraqis who opted to return, posing questions as to the factors that motivate, or inhibit, Iraqis from returning to their areas of origin. The qualitative and quantitative data collection was carried out in eight sub-districts the Government has recently retaken from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh). Security in the areas of origin topped all other factors in influencing the decision to return home or remain displaced, with proximity to the frontline – and perceived instability in the place of origin – remaining the most relevant obstacle for return, according to the study.

Presence and Proximity, To Stay and Deliver, Five years on (OCHA / NRC) 
presenceHumanitarian aid workers want to help people in some of the biggest war zones, but extreme risks and threats are paralyzing their operations, a United Nations-backed report – released on 22 June 2017 - concluded. “'Conflict parties' lack of respect for the fundamental tenets of international humanitarian law and the brutality and volatility of today's armed conflicts make it extremely difficult and dangerous for these brave aid workers to deliver humanitarian assistance and protection in complex emergencies,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien, whose Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) co-produced the report. The Study, produced by OCHA, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Jindal School of International Affairs in India, is based on interviews with more than 2,000 international and national aid workers, and includes case studies on humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Syria and Yemen.


Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

General Assembly approves creation of new UN Counter-Terrorism Office