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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2018

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - February 2018
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

UN News – redesigned website


Have you ever wanted to keep up with what the UN is doing around the world with just a few clicks? Have you wondered what is the difference between JIM and OPCW? Or how the UN might harness artificial intelligence for sustainable development or use hydro acoustic stations to monitor nuclear testing?
The UN Department of Public Information has launched its new integrated, multimedia news portal: UN News – a one-stop shop for multimedia online news, highlighting the latest developments across the UN system, as well as feature stories showcasing the UN's work on the ground.
Whether you’re interested in refugees, children, women, human rights, or the work of UN bodies like the Security Council or the International Atomic Energy Agency, UN News is the entry point that can help you easily navigate the work of our multifaceted organization. It brings together daily multimedia news in one location, providing text, video, audio and photo for partners and consumers across eight languages.

yearbook2013Yearbook of the United Nations 2013 
The sixty-seventh volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations, which covers the Organization’s global activities in 2013, was released online on 16 February 2018. The present volume records the work of the United Nations in 2013 as the Organization responded to the sharp rise in violent extremism and terrorist attacks around the world; worked to end violence and alleviate suffering in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere; adopted the landmark Arms Trade Treaty in April; and laid the foundations for a legally binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons that came to fruition in 2017. It also highlights the Organization’s efforts to address the mounting humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, where millions of people were displaced by the escalating civil war in Syria, and assisted those fleeing violence in other regions. Full access to all previous volumes of the Yearbook collection, dating to the 1946–47 edition, is provided online at The Yearbook of the United Nations 2013, volume 67, will be available in print in March.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

everychildaliveEvery Child Alive: The urgent need to end newborn deaths
English, French & Spanish:
Newborns are dying at “alarmingly high” rates in countries that are poor, conflict-ridden or have weak institutions, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday in a new report, which reveals that babies born in these places are 50 times more likely to die in the first month of life than those born in some wealthier nations. According to the report, babies born in Japan, Iceland and Singapore have the best chance at survival, while newborns in Pakistan, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan face the worst odds. In Japan, one in 1,111 newborn babies die in the first month of life while in Pakistan, the ratio is one in 22. Globally, in low-income countries, the average newborn mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 births, the report says. In high-income countries, that rate is 3 deaths per 1,000. The report also notes that 8 of the 10 most dangerous places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions. If every country brought its newborn mortality rate down to the high-income average by 2030, 16 million lives could be saved.

Selected Sustainable Development Trends in the Least Developed Countries 2018 (UNCTAD)
Economic development in the world’s most-disadvantaged countries – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa – is stalling against the background of a lukewarm global recovery, risking widening inequality, new analysis – released on 5 February 2018 - from UNCTAD has revealed. Data suggests that the 47 least developed countries (LDCs), a long-established category of nations requiring special attention from the international community, will fall short of goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development unless urgent action is taken.

Talanoa Dialogue Portal (UNFCCC)
The UN Climate Change secretariat launched on 26 January 2018 a new portal to support the Talanoa Dialogue, an important international conversation in which countries will check progress and seek to increase global ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Through the portal, all countries and other stakeholders, including business, investors, cities, regions and civil society, are invited to make submissions into the Talanoa Dialogue around three central questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? The Pacific island concept of ‘Talanoa’ was introduced by Fiji, which held the Presidency of the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference. It aims at an inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue.


Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN Women)
turningpromisesUN Women its flagship report, “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” on 14 February 2018. The report demonstrates through concrete evidence and data the pervasive nature of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and puts forth actionable recommendations on how to fulfil the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Two and a half years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, this first-of-its-kind report examines through a gender lens the progress and challenges in the implementation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda’s focus on peace, equality and sustainability provides a powerful counter-narrative to the current rise of conflict, exclusion and environmental degradation. Yet, women are up against an unprecedented set of challenges in all these areas, and urgent action is needed to address them. The report highlights how, in the lives of women and girls, different dimensions of well-being and deprivation are deeply intertwined: a girl who is born into a poor household and forced into early marriage, for example, is more likely to drop out of school, give birth at an early age, suffer complications during childbirth, and experience violence—all SDGs targets—than a girl from a higher-income household who marries at a later age.

UNESCO Guidelines on Sustainability Science in Research and Education
English, French, Spanish & German:
As a consequence of the international Project on “Broadening the Application of the Sustainability Science Approach”, the UNESCO Natural Sciences and Social and Human Sciences Sectors has launched the production of principles and operational guidelines on sustainability science. They aim broaden the application in research and education for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project consists of a UNESCO intersectoral initiative funded by the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

susdevexplorerUNU Sustainable Development Explorer
The United Nations University has launched its Sustainable Development Explorer, a new campaign highlighting ongoing work to support each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The explorer allows visitors to explore the ‘who’ and ‘what’ of work being carried out at various UNU institutes around the world, as well as meet experts to learn about how their ideas are generating knowledge to develop solutions to achieve the SDGs.

World Water Quality Portal (International Initiative of Water Quality IIWQ / UNESCO-IHP International Hydrological Programme)
A new World Water Quality Portal, launched by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), provides information on freshwater quality at the global scale using remote sensing data. Water quality affects human health, as well as ecosystems, biodiversity, food production and economic growth. While improving water quality worldwide is essential to sustainable development, reliable data is scarce, especially in remote areas and developing countries where monitoring networks and capacity are lacking. The IIWQ World Water Quality Portal addresses an urgent need to enhance the knowledge base and access to information in order to better understand the impacts of climate- and human-induced change on water security. It will facilitate science-based, informed decision-making for water management and support Member States’ efforts in implementing the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6), as well as several other Goals and Targets that are linked directly to water quality and water pollution.


International Peace and Security

afghanistan2017Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict; Annual Report 2017 (UNAMA / OHCHR) 
More than 10,000 civilians lost their lives or suffered injuries during 2017, according to the latest annual UN report – released on 15 February 2018 - documenting the impact of the armed conflict on civilians in Afghanistan. A total of 10,453 civilian casualties - 3,438 people killed and 7,015 injured - were documented in the 2017 Annual Report released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office. Although this figure represents a decrease of nine per cent compared with 2016, the report highlights the high number of casualties caused by suicide bombings and other attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the theme “Purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security”
English, French & Spanish: 
The Security Council held a ministerial briefing on 21 February 2018, on the theme “Purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security”. The Security Council President for February, Kuwait, has prepared a concept note for this briefing.

Sixth 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/2018/80, 31 January 2018)
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. In paragraph 97 of that resolution, the Council requested that I provide an initial strategic-level report on the threat, followed by updates every four months. In its resolution 2368 (2017), the Council requested that I continue to provide strategic-level reports that reflect the gravity of the aforementioned threat, as well as the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering this, with the next report to be provided by 31 January 2018, followed by updates every six months thereafter.”

Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict (UNU)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English & French:
cradledbyconflictCounter-terror efforts based on widely-held assumptions about the ideological motivations of children and youth recruited into extremist groups are unlikely to be effective, and could backfire, concludes new research released on 12 February 2018 by the United Nations University (UNU), a UN think tank.
“In many cases, ideology does not appear predominately responsible for driving children into armed groups, even those that are labeled ‘violent extremist’,” says Dr Siobhan O’Neil, lead editor of “Cradled by Conflict: Child Involvement with Armed Groups in Contemporary Conflict,” a new volume based on original field research on three conflict case studies. “Evidence from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, Mali, and Nigeria suggests that even in cases where ideology plays a role in a child’s trajectory towards an armed group, it is usually one of
a number of motivating or facilitating factors.” O’Neil, the Project Lead for the ‘Children and Extreme Violence’ project, suggests that ideology is often intertwined with other important factors like community and identity. “Armed groups like Boko Haram have intertwined their ideologies with a rejection of the State to recruit those who have experienced state oppression and violence into their ranks.”
“Cradled by Conflict” points to other factors present in conflict areas, such as physical safety and food security, family and peer networks, financial incentives, coercion, and the allure of armed groups, which provide a ready-made community, identity, and status for young people. It is the culmination of a two-year research project led by UN University (UNU), in collaboration with UNICEF, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and the governments of Luxembourg and Switzerland.


Human Rights

Human Rights and the Peace Process in Mali (January 2016 – June 2017)
Report in French:
Executive Summary in English: 
MINUSMA and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a joint public report on 1 February 2018 on human rights and the peace process in Mali, the product of monitoring and analysis conducted during the interim period of the Peace Agreement. Despite the signature of the Peace Agreement, the report finds that the human rights situation remains of concern. Accordingly, the report finds that more than 600 cases of human rights violations and abuses were committed between January 2016 and June 2017. More than 800 other incidents involving unidentified armed elements and placing the lives of civilians at risk also occurred during the same period. In total, these acts of violence impacted more than 2,700 victims, including 441 individuals who were killed. The vast majority of victims were men and children.

Global and Regional Trends in Women’s Legal Protection Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment (World Bank)
globalregionaltrendsMore than one billion women lack legal protection against domestic sexual violence, says new research from the World Bank. The study – released on 1 February 2018 - also found that close to 1.4 billion women lack legal protection against domestic economic violence. Economic abuse entails controlling a woman’s ability to access economic resources (money, education or employment) as a form of intimidation and coercion. In addition, women are often not legally protected against specific types of sexual harassment outside the home, such as at work, school, and in public places. Violence against women takes many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and economic. Violence leads to negative and, at times, dramatic mental and physical health consequences. It leads to increased absenteeism at work and limits mobility, thereby reducing productivity and earning. It leads girls to drop out of school because going to school puts them at risk of abuse. It affects women’s decision-making ability within the household, including being able to seek services when needed.

Report on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression in South Sudan since the July 2016 Crisis (OHCHR / UNMISS)
Genuine reconciliation and lasting peace will only be achieved in South Sudan if people are free and safe to express their opinions regardless of their ethnic or political affiliations, a UN report released on 22 February 2018 says. The report, co-authored by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office, warns that undue restrictions on freedom of expression are having a “chilling effect” and “further shrinking the space for debate and dissent”, while incitement to hatred also continues to cause mistrust, fear and violence. The report identifies 60 verified incidents which violated the legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression of 102 victims, including 17 women, in the period from July 2016 to December 2017.


Humanitarian Affairs

A Call to Action: Protecting Children on the Move Starts with Better Data
calltoactionMillions of children have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced and reliable, timely and accessible data and evidence are essential for understanding how migration and forcible displacement affect children and their families – and for putting in place policies and programs to meet their needs. However, we do not know enough about children on the move: their age and sex; where they come from, where they are going, whether they move with their families or alone, how they fare along the way, what their vulnerabilities are. In many cases data are not regularly collected, and quality is often poor. This joint A call to action – Protecting children the move starts with better data by UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat and OECD urge Member States to prioritize actions to address these evidence gaps, and include child-specific considerations in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees.

The global compact on refugees: ZERO DRAFT (as at 31 January 2018)
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, released on 31 January 2018 a ‘zero draft’ of the global compact on refugees ahead of formal talks with UN Member States set to begin on 13 February 2018. As the number of people forced to flee their homes continues to climb, the compact aims to transform the way the international community responds to refugee crises. It is designed to address the perennial gap in the international system for the protection of refugees through more predictable and equitable support for the countries and communities which host them. UNHCR was given the task of developing a global compact on refugees by the UN General Assembly in the historic New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, of 19 September 2016, in which 193 governments pledged to forge a fairer global system.

Migration Flows to Europe – 2017 Overview (IOM) 
“More than 186,000 migrants arrived to Europe in 2017 via Mediterranean routes. Approximately 92% of migrants reached European countries by sea (172,362), and the remaining 8% arrived using various land routes. This year Italy has received the majority of all migrants and asylum seekers, with the total of 119,369 accounting for 64% of the overall registered population. However, this is the lowest number of arrivals reported in the past four years in Italy.”

Mixed Migration Flows in the Mediterranean: Compilation of available data and information - December 2017 (IOM) 
“DTM (Displacement Tracking Matrix) flow monitoring data collected in 2017 shows that between January and December 2017, 186,768 migrants arrived to Europe through the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean route; a 52% decrease compared to 387,739 registered in 2016. Ninety-two per cent of registered migrants arrived by sea (172,362) to Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus. The remaining 14,406 have arrived to European countries using different land routes to Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa (6,293) and those leading from Turkey to Greece (5,551) and Bulgaria (2,562).”


Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament

Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management in a Changing Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Context Handbook for United Nations DDR practitioners (UNDPKO / UNODA)
effectiveweaponsThis practical handbook is the first output of a two-phased joint project by DPKO and ODA intended to support the work of United Nations disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) practitioners related to arms and ammunition in increasingly challenging environments. The handbook – launched by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) - provides guidance that draws upon good practice as well as the highest and most recent existing international standards. Weapons and ammunition management has become a crucial component of the United Nations’ work in post-conflict environments, including in the framework of DDR programmes. United Nations DDR professionals are increasingly required to operate in complex environments characterized by political instability, acute violence, diverse armed actors and a prevalence of weapons, ammunition and explosives.