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UNRIC Library Newsletter - July 2018

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UN in General

2018 UN Card
The 2018 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.



Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

The high-level political forum on sustainable development met from 9 -18 July 2018. The theme was: "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". The HLPF also reviewed progress towards the SDGS and focused in particular on Goals 6, 7, 11, 12, 15 and 17.


Description/achievement of initiative: IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions will work with our members, including library associations and institutions in 150 countries, to ensure their readiness to support implementation of the SDGs in their country and locally through library services and programmes, including public access to ICT. Libraries provide an essential means of reaching the next billion by supporting digital inclusion through access to ICT, and dedicated staff to help people develop new digital skills.
Further information:

SDG 11 Synthesis Report 2018: Tracking Progress Towards Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements (UN-Habitat)
sdg11reportLocal and national authorities are making uneven progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 of making cities safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable by 2030. That is the conclusion of a new report by UN-Habitat and partners tracking the progress made since the SDGs were adopted in 2015 and the challenges encountered. It coincides with the first review of SDG 11 at the High Level Political Forum – the main United Nations platform on sustainable development – which reviews the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the SDGs. UN Member States adopted Sustainable Development Goal 11 in 2015 – the first time that cities and urban development were given a standalone goal. Several other SDG goals are directly connected to urbanization including water and sanitation, affordable and sustainable energy, environment and sustainable consumption.

2018 Report on the World Social Situation: Promoting Inclusion Through Social Protection (UN DESA)
The Report on the World Social Situation 2018 shows that each of these groups faces particular barriers to social protection coverage. It contends that inclusive social protection systems must guarantee access to a minimum set of tax-financed schemes. It explains why universal schemes are better at reaching disadvantaged groups than schemes targeted at them and considers how social protection programmes should be implemented in order to avoid excluding people in need.

2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: The Thread that binds (UNV)
unv2018In a fragile and turbulent world, volunteers are active in every major shock and stress situation experienced by communities – from earthquakes and flooding to climate change and local conflicts. Often working behind the scenes, they are the thread that binds communities together, finds the latest State of the World's Volunteerism Report 2018, published by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme. The report draws on original research across five continents to understand how communities view volunteering. The report aims to help governments and development partners maximize the contribution of volunteerism as a property of resilient communities. Focus groups and policy discussions for the report were organized in Bolivia, Burundi, China, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Tanzania.

healthservicesDelivering quality health services: A global imperative for universal health coverage (WHO / OECD / World Bank)
As the countries commit to achieving universal health coverage, there is an imperative to deliberate focus on quality of health services. This involves providing effective, safe and people-centred services that are timely, equitable, integrated and efficient. For the first time ever, WHO, OECD and the World Bank joined efforts to produce a document - Delivering quality health services: A global imperative for universal health coverage – that describes the essential role of quality. Additionally, they make a call to action with a sense of urgency, as universal health coverage without quality of care is a job half done.

Global Innovation Index 2018
China broke into the world's top 20 most-innovative economies as Switzerland retained its number-one spot in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published annually by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Rounding out the GII 2018 top ten: The Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States of America, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Ireland. Now in its 11th edition, the GII is a detailed quantitative tool that helps global decision makers better understand how to stimulate the innovative activity that drives economic and human development. The GII ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications.

milestogoMiles to go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices (UNAIDS)
UNAIDS is issuing countries with a stark wake-up call. In a new report, launched on 18 July 2018 in Paris, France, at an event co-hosted with Coalition PLUS, UNAIDS warns that the global response to HIV is at a precarious point. At the halfway point to the 2020 targets, the report warns that the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. It calls for immediate action to put the world on course to reach critical 2020 targets.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched on 29 June 2018 the world’s first web-based tool designed to collect and share agriculture and rural development solutions implemented in developing countries. The main objective of the Rural Solutions Portal is to promote the uptake of successful innovative agricultural and rural practices, technologies and methodologies across diverse contexts to support development in rural communities and rural transformation. The portal is a key commitment by IFAD to advance the "Brasilia Declaration and Action Agenda," adopted during the International Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) held in Brasilia in November 2017. The Rural Solutions Portal is a user-friendly repository of knowledge and information about innovative solutions, success stories and case studies in agriculture and rural development. The portal will facilitate peer-to-peer learning and encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas among smallholders, organizations and institutions of developing countries. Users can request access to the different solution providers for more information and support.

sofo2018The State of the World’s Forests 2018 (FAO)
Nearly three years ago, world leaders agreed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the central framework for guiding development policies throughout the world. This edition of The State of the World’s Forests is aimed at enhancing our understanding of how forests and their sustainable management contribute to achieving several of the SDGs. Time is running out for the world’s forests: we need to work across sectors, bring stakeholders together, and take urgent action. The State of the World’s Forests 2018 identifies actions that can be taken to increase the contributions of forests and trees that are necessary to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. It is now critical that steps be taken to work more effectively with the private sector, and the informal forest sector must be transformed in order to bring broader economic, social and environmental benefits. Seventy years ago, when FAO completed its first assessment of the world’s forest resources, the major concern was whether there would be enough timber to supply global demand; now we recognize the greater global relevance of our forests and trees. For the first time, The State of the World’s Forests 2018 provides an assessment of the contribution of forests and trees to our landscapes and livelihoods. The purpose of this publication is to provide a much wider audience with an understanding of why forests and trees matter for people, the planet and posterity.

United Nations E-Government Survey 2018: Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies
Countries in all regions of the world are continuing to make strides in their efforts to improve e-government and to provide public services online according to a new report launched by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs on 19 July 2018. In a 2018 ranking of countries on e-government development, Denmark, Australia, and Republic of Korea came out on top of a group of 40 countries, scoring very high on an index (the E-Government Development Index—EGDI), which measures countries’ use of information and communications technologies to deliver public services. The Index captures the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity.

UN Women Annual Report 2017-2018
The time is now! At a historic time when women’s activism is galvanized around #Metoo, #TimesUp and other movements, around the world UN Women supports women politicians, lawmakers, farmers, small business owners, civil society activists and many others to claim their rights and to be heard. This year’s annual report highlights some of the key results achieved in 2017–2018.

World Drug Report 2018 (UNODC) 
The non-medical use of prescription drugs is becoming a major threat to public health and law enforcement worldwide with opioids causing the most harm and accounting for 76 per cent of deaths where drug use disorders were implicated, according to the latest World Drug Report, released on 26 June 2018 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).


International Peace and Security

Children and armed conflict: Report of the Secretary-General (A/72/865–S/2018/465, 16 May 2018)
English, French & Spanish: 
More than 10,000 children were killed or maimed in conflict last year while more than 8,000 youngsters were recruited or used as combatants, the United Nations reported on Wednesday. These violations contributed to the overall rise in the number of children globally affected by fighting in 2017, as documented in the annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). The report covers 20 countries, including hotspots such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, but also situations in countries such as India, the Philippines and Nigeria.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on children and armed conflict
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held on 9 July 2018 an open debate on children and armed conflict with the theme “Protecting children today prevents conflicts tomorrow”. The Security Council President for July, Sweden, has prepared a concept note for this briefing.


High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, 28 - 29 June 2018
The UN Secretary-General convened the first United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, on 28 and 29 June 2018 at United Nations Headquarters. The overarching theme for the Conference was “Strengthening international cooperation to combat the evolving threat of terrorism”. The conference aimed to build a new partnership for multilateral cooperation to strengthen the international community’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Risk Management Toolkit (DFS) 
The toolkit is a critical mechanism in support of our collective resolve to be pro-active and comprehensive in assessing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse in peace operations. It was developed by the Department of Field Support, in consultation with numerous Secretariat experts and stakeholders, and aims to help peace operations better manage the significant risks associated with sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel. Primarily intended for use by conduct and discipline practitioners in UN peace operations, it provides guidance in the form of a conceptual framework as well as practical tools and activities to identify, assess and address risks.


Human Rights

Indiscriminate Attacks against Civilians in Southern Unity, April-May 2018 
UN Human Rights monitors have documented what appear to be deliberate, ruthless and brutally violent attacks on civilians, particularly against women and children, by Government and aligned forces, as well as armed youth in parts of Unity State in South Sudan. A report issued on 10 July 2018 documents acts that constitute gross violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law – that may amount to war crimes. The investigation has also identified three individuals who may bear the greatest responsibility for the violations committed. One of them was reportedly removed from his functions for his alleged implication in these violations. The violence took place after clashes between the SPLA and associated forces, and SPLA-IO (RM) in Unity State culminated in a significant military operation by Government and associated forces between April and May in multiple areas in southern Unity. The military offensive was part of a broader cycle of violence in which opposition forces also carried out armed attacks resulting in civilian casualties. The investigation by UN Human Rights monitors found that between 16 April and 24 May, at least 232 civilians were killed and many more injured in attacks by Government and aligned forces and armed youth on villages in opposition-controlled areas in Mayendit and Leer.


Humanitarian Affairs

The 72-hour Assessment Approach: A guide for vulnerability and spatial analysis in sudden-onset disasters, June 2018 (WFP) 
This document, 72-hour assessment approach: a guide for vulnerability and spatial analysis in sudden-onset disasters, was developed based on the experience of the VAM Units in WFP Regional Bureaux for Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, who applied this approach in rapid emergency assessments between 2015-2017. It has benefited from peer review mechanisms with technical specialists from various HQ divisions and knowledge partners. It is designed for professionals and organizations intending to carry out a rapid emergency assessment following a sudden-onset disaster, such as a cyclone, earthquake or flood. With a strong emphasis on data preparedness and other essential organizational readiness actions, the 72-hour assessment approach provides a good enough snapshot to fill the initial information vacuum in the first three days after the disaster, based on the most recent available information and pre-disaster secondary data.

Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action: Igniting Hope (UNFPA) 
ignitinghopeThe Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action is a global call by currently 53 international organizations, governmental and non-governmental members to prioritize the needs and rights of young women and men, girls and boys affected by disaster, conflict, forced displacement or other emergencies. The first 18 months of the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action, as this report documents, are a testimony to significant progress in giving visibility, dignity and hope to young people. Generally, young people constitute a cohort that is routinely overlooked in humanitarian response. The Compact is committed to transform ways humanitarian actors align their strategies and programmatic approaches in the following areas: Services, participation, capacity resources and data. The report, therefore, presents stories across all five action areas and samples of ways in which young people are adapting and learning from early response efforts, engaging with each other and serving populations in need. It also documents some of the innovative programming of Compact members that puts the rights and needs of young people front and centre stage.

Final draft of the global compact on refugees (26 June 2018) 
The international community’s efforts to strengthen its response to refugees passed an important milestone during the first week of July, with the wrapping up of formal talks in Geneva and broad agreement on a final draft global compact on refugees. The sixth and final formal consultation on the global compact on refugees on 4 July 2018 concluded an 18-month process of meetings with UN member states and other stakeholders – including civil society, refugees, international organizations and academics.
Advance version – Proposed global compact on refugees (20 July 2018):

compactmigrationGlobal Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
UN News Centre Story
Brazilian Portuguese:
Text of the final draft:
For the first time ever, United Nations Member States have agreed an all-encompassing Global Compact to better manage international migration, address its challenges, strengthen migrant rights and contribute to sustainable development. After more than a year of discussions and consultations among Member States, local officials, civil society and migrants themselves, the text of the Global Compact was finalized on 13 July 2018.

Proposal for a regional cooperative arrangement ensuring predictable disembarkation and subsequent processing of persons rescued-at-sea (IOM / UNHCR) 
Concerned with the ongoing human tragedy in which almost 1,000 refugees and migrants have perished while being smuggled across the Mediterranean this year, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, appealed on 29 June 2018 to European Union countries for concerted, region-wide action to greatly reduce needless loss of life at sea. UNHCR and IOM believe a new collaborative approach is needed to make disembarkation of people rescued at sea more predictable and manageable. This should build on ongoing collaboration between the EU, UN and African Union. People rescued in international waters should be quickly brought ashore in safe locations in the EU, and potentially elsewhere too. The approach needs to be complemented by more resettlement places, family reunification and other solutions within the EU, and increased support to countries where people are disembarked.

unspiderUN-SPIDER Advisory Support
The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) has published a new booklet with examples of the programme's technical advisory support activities. UN-SPIDER was established in 2006 based on the recognition that disaster risk management and emergency response communities, particularly in emerging countries, were not fully utilizing space-based technology. To support countries in institutionalizing the use of space-based information in all phases of disaster management, UN-SPIDER regularly carries out advisory support activities upon the invitation of a United Nations Member State. The booklet outlines the advisory support the programme has provided to three Member States: Myanmar, the Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka.


Justice and International Law

70genocideconventionAppeal: Universal Ratification of Genocide Convention
The Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) will mark its 70th Anniversary on 9 December 2018. The United Nations Secretary-General and the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide have launched an appeal for the universal ratification of the Convention. The appeal aims to galvanize support and encourage States that are not yet party to the Genocide Convention to ratify or accede to it ahead of the 70th anniversary of its adoption. Currently, 149 States have ratified the Genocide Convention. Other 45 United Nations Member States have yet to do so. From those, 20 are from Africa, 18 from Asia and 7 from America.

20romestatuteThe ICC Rome Statute is 20