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UNRIC Library Newsletter - August 2017

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - August 2017
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

Essential UN ENThe Essential UN
Take a moment to learn about the UN. The United Nations remains an essential pillar of the international system, working around the world, around the clock, for peace, sustainable development and human rights. At a time when challenges are increasingly global, and our fates are inexorably intertwined, understanding the United Nations itself—its aims, workings and ideals—is more important than ever.  The Essential UN website, available in multiple languages, provides a succinct and interactive way to quickly grasp the essentials of the Organization through fast facts, short videos, information cards and fun quizzes.

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/72/1)
English, French & Spanish:
“Introduction: I am deeply honoured and humbled to be at the helm of the United Nations at this critical time. In this annual report on the work of the Organization, which reflects on the first few months of my term and the last few months of my predecessor’s term, my aim is to offer a candid view of the world today and a realistic vision of how we can better deliver on the promise of the United Nations.”

High-Level meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (UN Headquarters, 18 September 2017)
SEA stop prevent protect hor blueOn 18 September 2017, the Secretary-General will convene a High-Level meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse at UNHQ, New York. The event will serve as a visible demonstration of the solidarity of the international community in condemning and committing to combatting this scourge while placing the rights and dignity of victims of sexual exploitation and abuse at the forefront of shared efforts. In preparation for the high-level meeting, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has developed a system-wide website, which includes an events page with information on the high level meeting as well as information on what the United Nations is doing to combat this scourge.

cop23COP23 Information Hub 
The UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 6 to 17 November 2017. The Info Hub contains information about how to register for the conference, how to get to Bonn, how to find accommodation, and other practical information. It also gives you an overview of COP23 negotiation agenda, High-Level Segment and other events and exhibitions. The Info Hub is also a very useful tool for the members of the press as well as for all citizens willing to follow the conference virtually.

Report of the High Level Independent Panel to Assess and Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat (A/71/1006, Advance Unedited Version 01 August 2017)
An independent panel reviewing the effectiveness of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has proposed the programme be recast as the Organization's 'urban champion,' including through the establishment of a coordinating mechanism to complement the its work and convene all UN agencies and partners on urban sustainability. The panel, appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres, recommends that 'UN Urban' be established as a coordinating mechanism similar to UN-Water or UN-Energy, as part of system-wide UN reform, with a small secretariat based in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in New York. In its report - released on 3 August 2017 - the Panel acknowledges the challenges which have compromised the ability of the UN-Habitat and the wider UN system to respond nimbly and effectively to rapid global change, and draws attention to the failure within the UN system to adequately acknowledge the pace, scale and implications of urbanization and the dependence of sustainable development on the direction of urban development. The Panel agrees that UN-Habitat has limitations in accountability, transparency and efficiency, that its resources have been inadequate, insecure and unpredictable, and that the need to chase funds has caused it to stray from its normative mandate.

UN Environment Assembly: Towards a Pollution-Free Planet (4-6 December 2017, Nairobi, Kenya)
The UN Environment Assembly, the world's highest-level decision-making body on the environment, will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4-6 December 2017 under the overarching theme of pollution. This year’s Assembly will be sustainable and climate-neutral, and it will feature side events that confront pollution in its various forms. The Assembly aims to deliver a number of tangible commitments to end the pollution of our air, land, waterways, and oceans, and to safely manage our chemicals and waste.

UNRIC Library Backgrounders: four topics now available in Spanish
•    Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS):
•    Sociedad Civil:
•    Derechos Humanos:
•    Mantenimiento de la paz:

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Global Aids Report 2017: Ending AIDS; progress towards the 90–90–90 targets (UNAIDS)
Report in English:
Summary in French:
The report gives a detailed analysis of progress and challenges towards achieving the 90–90–90 targets. The report shows that for the first time the scales have tipped: more than half of all people living with HIV (53%) now have access to HIV treatment and AIDS-related deaths have almost halved since 2005. In 2016, 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people living with HIV had access to treatment, and AIDS-related deaths have fallen from 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016. Provided that scale-up continues, this progress puts the world on track to reach the global target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020.

ICT Facts and Figures 2017 (ITU)  
The ITU ICT Facts and Figures 2017 features end-2017 estimates for key telecommunication/ ICT indicators, including data on mobile-cellular subscriptions, Internet use, fixed- and mobile-broadband services, household ICT access, and more. New data show that young people are at the forefront of today’s information society: 830 million young people representing more than 80 per cent of the youth population in 104 countries are online. ITU data inform public and private-sector decision makers, and help ITU accomplish its mission: to make use of the full potential of ICTs for the achievement of the SDGs.

Implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda: The 2017 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up (DESA) 
The Second Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) forum on financing for development follow-up (FfD forum) was held from 22 to 25 May 2017 in New York. The FfD forum resulted in intergovernmentally agreed conclusions and recommendations (included in E/FFDF/2017/3) which provided input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The 26-paragraph outcome document reaffirms key elements of the Addis Agenda, and contains new commitments on policies and actions to ensure the full and timely delivery of the means of implementation of the SDGs. The 2017 report of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development provided an important input to the negotiations of the outcome document and to the discussions at the FfD forum itself. Building on the official summary of the forum by the President of ECOSOC (A/72/114-E/2017/75) this publication provides detailed coverage of the substantive discussions at the 2017 FfD forum. It also includes a series of annexes containing summaries of the side events held during the forum and other relevant documents.

Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: ensuring a better future for all; Report of the Secretary-General (A/72/124–E/2018/3, 11 July 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
“Summary: … The present report is the first report of the Secretary-General on the repositioning of the United Nations development system, but it is only the beginning of a change process. The development system review will evolve over the remainder of 2017, culminating in a second report in December, which will further elaborate on this vision and deliver on the remaining mandates of General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system.”

Sustainable Energy for the Implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement (UNIDO)  
The final report of the fifth edition of the Vienna Energy Forum that took place in the capital of Austria in May was published on 14 August 2017 by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The publication features a summary of the main events attended by 1650 participants during the Forum, as well as the key messages. The messages highlight the catalytic role of energy for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

Voluntary Guidelines on National Forest Monitoring (FAO)
FAO has developed new guidelines aimed at helping countries develop strong National Forest Monitoring Systems, which are key to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To fulfil their pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement and Agenda 2030 countries are expected to collect more detailed forestry data. This not only includes information on the size and growth or decline of their forests, but also key aspects of sustainable forest management, such as the role of forests in the conservation of biodiversity, reducing impacts of climate change and provision of other ecosystem services. In addition, forest information on socio-economic aspects including forests' contribution to livelihoods and poverty reduction, have become critical for national planning.

International Peace and Security

Annual Report of the Security Council: 1 August 2015 - 31 December 2016 (A/71/2)
English, French, Spanish:

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Concept paper for the open debate of the Security Council on the theme “UN peacekeeping operations: their potential contribution to the overarching goal of sustaining peace”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council will hold an open debate on 29 August 2017 the theme “United Nations peacekeeping operations: their potential contribution to the overarching goal of sustaining peace”. Egypt, the Security Council President for August, has prepared this concept paper.

The Imperative of Improving Mediation: The UN’s Role (Article in Politically Speaking, August 2017) 
The unacceptable levels of suffering caused by violent conflict demand a surge in diplomacy, including strengthening mediation capacity in the broadest terms. That is the overarching argument in Secretary-General António Guterres’s recently released report on UN activities in support of mediation, which recalls that the number of major civil wars almost tripled in the decade to 2015, a period that also encompassed a six-fold increase in fatalities in conflict.

Lock them Up: Zero-deployed Non-strategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe (UNIDIR) 
This paper presents a proposal to ensure that all such weapons remain non-deployed during peacetime, codifying current practices into a legally-binding, verifiable arrangement—thereby reducing the risks of nuclear war breaking out in times of peace and placing safeguards against nuclear escalation in times of crisis.

Human Rights

accesstojusticeAccess to justice for migrant workers in South-East Asia (ILO)
Providing migrant workers with fair access to justice in South-East Asia is a key gap remaining in protecting them from exploitation and abuse. Because of the obstacles that they face to obtaining assistance through official mechanisms, migrants are often highly dependent on informal support, even when the abuses they endure are severe in nature. As a result, the data collected on migrant worker complaints within the region has been very limited to date. This report helps to fill the knowledge gap by analysing data on complainants assisted by Migrant Worker Resource Centres from 2011 to 2015. Over 1,000 cases involving more than 7,000 women and men migrant workers were documented across five countries, establishing the largest regional dataset of migrant worker complaints compiled within South-East Asia. The analysis reveals that progress has been achieved in facilitating access to justice for migrants but that major challenges remain in providing them with fair and responsive remedies.    

High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/36/27, 4 July 2017)
English, French & Spanish:
“Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 30/5. It provides a summary of the high-level discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 1 March 2017 at the thirty-fourth session of the Council. The objective of the panel discussion was to continue the exchange of views on the question of the death penalty and to address violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Promotion and Protection of Rights of Victims of Sexual Violence Captured by ISIL/or in Areas Controlled by ISIL in Iraq (UNAMI / OHCHR)
The Iraqi Government needs to ensure that the thousands of women and girls who survived rape and other forms of sexual violence by ISIL fighters receive care, protection and justice, and that children born as a result of such violence do not face a life of discrimination and abuse, a UN report published on 22 August 2017 says. … The report makes a number of recommendations, including regarding access to justice; provision of support and care for victims; information and counselling services to reunite separated families, and the importance of birth registration.

Report of a Mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – accounts of Congolese fleeing the crisis in the Kasai region, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (OHCHR) 
Violence in the Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to be taking on an increasing and disturbing ethnic dimension, a report by the UN Human Rights Office has warned. Information gathered by a team of UN human rights investigators suggests that some of the violations and abuses committed in the Kasais may amount to crimes under international law. The report is based on interviews with 96 people who had fled to neighbouring Angola to escape the violence in Kamonia territory in Kasai. The UN team was able to confirm that between 12 March and 19 June some 251 people were the victims of extrajudicial and targeted killings. These included 62 children, of which 30 were aged under eight. Interviewees indicated that local security forces and other officials actively fomented, fuelled, and occasionally led, attacks on the basis of ethnicity. The UN Mission in the DRC has identified at least 80 mass graves in the Kasais.

Humanitarian Affairs

childrenonthemoveChildren on the move in Italy and Greece (UNICEF)
Children on the move into Europe from Africa make the decision to leave home on their own, and do not initially intend to go to Europe. A new study commissioned by UNICEF and carried out by REACH find that for the majority of these children, the systematic trauma and abuse they witnessed or suffered in Libya caused them to flee to Europe and take the terrifying Central Mediterranean sea route. As many as 75 percent of the refugee and migrant children interviewed in Italy as part of the study decided independently to embark on the journey. The journey itself can take a staggering two years or more for children. One of the main reasons children gave for leaving was violence at home, but also deprivation and conflict. Child marriage was also reported as the main reason for leaving by 1 in 5 of all girls interviewed. Children’s journeys to Europe were often fragmented and their destination changed along the way.    

The Integrated Approach towards Reintegration in the Context of Return (IOM), the UN Migration Agency, published on 15 August 2017 a paper outlining a new approach to support sustainable reintegration of migrants following their return home. The Integrated Approach towards Reintegration in the Context of Return recognizes the complexity of factors that affect returning migrants at the individual, community and structural levels. Each year, IOM assists migrants in their voluntary return process. In 2016 alone, 98,403 returnees received support from IOM. The integrated approach proposes that facilitating sustainable reintegration should include supporting returning migrants in reaching not only economic self-sufficiency back home, but also social stability within their communities and psychosocial well-being so that they can better help returning migrants cope with possible (re)migration drivers. The integrated approach offers recommendations for policy and programmatic interventions. It also calls on all relevant stakeholders in the areas of migration management, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance to work together.

Justice and International Law

Treaty Event 2017 (19 - 22 September 2017, United Nations Headquarters)
The 2017 Treaty Event will focus on the theme of "Promoting Multilateral Treaties that Safeguard Humanity"

Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament

bwc coverThe Biological Weapons Convention: An Introduction (June 2017) 
The Implementation Support Unit of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) which is based within the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs has prepared an information brochure about the Convention. Produced with financial assistance from the European Union, the document describes in an easily understandable manner the importance and benefits of the Convention.    

Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Enhancing the Understanding of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Phenomenon in Syria (UNOCT)  
“Executive Summary: During the fourth biennial review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy held in September 2014, Member States expressed concern at the growing phenomenon of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) in Syria. As a result, the Secretary-General announced that the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT) would, in cooperation with those Member States that wished to participate, gather information on the motivation of FTF s through direct interviews of returnees. By analysis of the results, the Secretary-General aimed to provide Member States with a stronger knowledge base from which to understand the phenomenon of FTFs, assess the risks they posed, and develop effective responses.”