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UNRIC Library Newsletter - August/September 2018

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - August/September 2018
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New UN websites & publications

kofiannanKofi Annan:
A life of service to people across the world


UN mourns death of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, ‘a guiding force for good’ (UN News Centre, 18 August 2018)

UN in General

SGannualreport2018Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization 2018 (A/73/1)
English, French & Spanish:
German – Document:
German – Brochure:
Conclusion: “This report offers an overview of today’s global challenges and the opportunities for progress that are made possible through multilateral dialogue and a rule-based international order. As we look to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, in 2020, we must continue to innovate as ongoing events and problems shift beneath our feet. The interwoven and all-encompassing Sustainable Development Goals, diligently crafted by Member States and multiple stakeholders and spelled out in the 2030 Agenda, are well under way. Peace, inclusive and sustainable development and human rights are intrinsically intertwined, and prevention permeates every path to success. The United Nations continues to offer a platform where Member States, regional organizations and civil society can find solutions to global problems that no nation acting alone can resolve. Working together multilaterally is not optional; it is the only answer.”

73rd session of the General Assembly73session

President-elect of the 73rd session:


High-level meetings of the 73rd session

• 18 September 2018: Opening of the 73rd session
• 24 September 2018: Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
• 24 September 2018: Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [convened by the Secretary-General]
• 25 September - 1 October 2018: Annual general debate
• 25 September 2018: Action for peacekeeping [convened by the Secretary-General]
• 26 September 2018: The fight to end tuberculosis [convened by the President of the General Assembly]:
• 26 September 2018: Commemoration and promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons [convened by the President of the General Assembly]
• 27 September 2018: Comprehensive review of the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases [convened by the President of the General Assembly]


The new website for the “2019 Climate Summit” was launched on 10 September 2018:

UN Secretary-General’s Climate address, 10 September 2018 (UN News Centre)

Outcome Document - People-Centered Multilateralism: A Call to Action: 
"We the Future": Youth Declaration:

UNESCO's e-platform for Intercultural Dialogue
As the interconnection across and between societies grows, and cultural diversity is increasingly recognized as an inescapable reality of modern life, it is essential that stakeholders at all levels are equipped with the capacities and knowledge to positively manage diversity and pluralism for the benefit of all. It is with these needs in mind, whilst also recognizing the huge potential of the internet as a space for learning and exchange, that UNESCO has developed this e-Learning platform on intercultural dialogue. The platform is an evolving global hub of resources and information to record, inspire, share and exchange innovative and impactful action on intercultural dialogue among diverse audiences, which will be sustained and enhanced over the course of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-22). Through its broad set of functions, the platform is a one-stop shop for people searching for resources or inspiration on intercultural dialogue, and will strengthen the exchange of ideas and thoughts between the many different groups working within this field.

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

sdgreport2018The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
Now also available in the additional languages:

sdg6report2018SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation
Report in English, Overview & Highlights in English, French & Spanish:
The Sustainable Development Goal 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation reviews the global progress made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It builds on the latest data available for the 11 SDG 6 global indicators and will inform the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development during its in-depth review of SDG 6 in July 2018. The report represents a joint position from the United Nations family.

climateriskassessmentClimate Risk Assessment for Ecosystem-based Adaptation: A guidebook for planners and practitioners
Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) uses biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaption strategy to help people adapt to the negative effects of climate change and to reduce their risk to environmental hazards. Examples of successful EbA range from restoring mangroves along coastlines, restoring wetlands in river basins, to establishing and managing protection forests in mountain regions. However, there is still a lot of potential to further integrate EbA into local and regional planning and decision-making processes. To this end, the new ‘Climate Risk Assessment for Ecosystem-based Adaptation’ handbook was developed in partnership by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ)), and Eurac Research.

everydaylessonAn Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools (UNICEF)
English, French & Spanish: 
Half of students aged 13 to 15 worldwide – around 150 million – report having experienced peer-to-peer violence in and around school, according to a new report released by UNICEF on 6 September 2018. It says that peer violence – measured as the number of children who report having been bullied in the last month or having been involved in a physical fight in the last year – is a pervasive part of young people’s education around the world. It impacts student learning and well-being in rich and poor countries alike.

Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools: 2018 Global Baseline Report (WHO / UNICEF)
drinkingwaterMillions of children are going to school without basic hygiene facilities, and the goal of universal access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene remains “a huge challenge,” the United Nations warned on 27 August 2018. A new joint UN agency study, says that good hygiene facilities in schools provide the basis of a healthy learning environment, and that girls are more likely to attend when they are on their period. Moreover, children who pick up good hygiene habits at school can reinforce positive life-long behaviours in their homes and communities, says the report. However, millions of children are going to school without basic hygiene facilities: over 30 per cent of schools worldwide do not provide safe drinking water; a third of schools do not provide the most basic of toilet facilities (such as septic tank, pit latrines or composting toilets); and nearly 900 million children go to schools with no handwashing facilities with soap and water.

Integrated Geospatial Information Framework: A Strategic Guide to Develop and Strengthen National Geospatial Information Management; Part 1: Overarching Strategic Framework
The UN Statistics Division and the World Bank launched a new guide on 1 August 2018 to help nations worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries, better manage data that contains geographical information – known officially as geospatial data. The guide includes advice on how to collect, access and use geospatial information to develop effective policies, and more accurately support decision-makers in directing aid and development resources; ensuring that the most vulnerable are not left behind. It makes concrete recommendations on establishing national geospatial information management processes and putting that information to use.

hivstigmaHIV Stigma and Discrimination in the World of Work: Findings from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index (ILO / GNP+) 
Despite progress being made in treatment that enables people living with HIV to work, they continue to face discrimination when seeking employment and as they try to keep their jobs and progress in their careers, says a new study launched by the ILO and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+). The report, is based on surveys carried out by 13 country teams throughout the world. Interviews were carried out with more than 100,000 people living with HIV. It was presented during the biennial International AIDS Conference “AIDS 2018”, the largest conference on any global health or development issue in the world, taking place in Amsterdam from 23-27 July.

Progress on Transboundary Water Cooperation - Global baseline for SDG indicator 6.5.2 - 2018 (UN Water / UNECE / UNESCO)
6cleanwaterThe report is based on countries’ reports on SDG indicator 6.5.2, measuring transboundary water cooperation, for which UNECE and UNESCO are co-custodians. Out of the 153 countries sharing transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, 107 responded to the invitation to report. This very high response rate reflects the importance of the issue and provides a solid foundation for future reporting. The report shows that for the 62 countries where the SDG indicator 6.5.2 can be calculated only 59% of their transboundary basin area is covered by operational arrangements. And only 17 of those countries have all their transboundary basins covered. This falls far short of having all transboundary basins covered by operational arrangements by 2030, in line with the ambition set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries
A new United Nations body, which will address the challenges of the world’s poorest countries through science, technology and innovation, has been officially inaugurated in Gebze, Turkey on 4 June 2018. The UN General Assembly tasked the Technology Bank to strengthen the knowledge capacity of the world’s 47 least developed countries, foster development of their national and regional innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology and generate homegrown research and innovation. The Technology Bank has been the long-standing priority for least developed countries.

Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability (UN Environment)
singleuseplasticThe benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past century. This trend will continue as global plastic production skyrockets over the next 10 to 15 years. We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, unless we rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastics. Ultimately, tackling one of the biggest environmental scourges of our time will require governments to regulate, businesses to innovate and individuals to act. This paper sets out the latest thinking on how we can achieve this. It looks at what governments, businesses and individuals have achieved at national and sub-national levels to curb the consumption of single-use plastics. It offers lessons that may be useful for policymakers who are considering regulating the production and use of single-use plastics.

stateofplasticThe State of Plastics: World Environment Day Outlook 2018
English, French & Spanish:
This paper outlines the possible paths to a world free of plastic pollution. It looks at what governments, businesses and individuals can do to check the runaway production and consumption of plastic

International Peace and Security

Action for Peacekeeping (A4P)
Through his Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative, the Secretary-General calls on Member States, the Security Council, host countries, troop- and police-contributing countries, regional partners and financial contributors to renew our collective engagement with UN peacekeeping and mutually commit to reach for excellence. The Secretary-General shared the Declaration of Shared Commitments on 16 August and invited Member States and relevant international and regional organisations to endorse it. (Information on endorsement as of 31 August 2018 available on this website)

Concept note for the Security Council’s open debate entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security: mediation and settlement of disputes” (S/2018/586, 14 August 2018)
English, French & Spanish: 
The Security Council held on 29 August 2018 an open debate on the topic “Maintenance of international peace and security: mediation and settlement of disputes”. The Security Council President for August, Sweden, has prepared a concept note in preparation for this debate.

assurernotreavenircommunLe « Programme de désarmement : Assurer notre avenir commun » du Secrétaire général est maintenant disponible en français

Seventh 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/2018/770, 16 August 2018)
English, French & Spanish:
Despite serious military setbacks, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) may still have around 20,000 fighters and is continuing its dangerous transformation into a covert global network, while focusing on the activities of its regional offshoots, the United Nations Security Council was told. These were among the key findings in a new United Nations report into the threats posed by ISIL presented to the UN Security Council on 23 August 2018 by senior UN counter-terrorism officials. The report also detailed how UN Member States and the UN system are continuing to strengthen, refine and promote the effective use of tools and measures to address the evolving transnational threat posed by the terrorist group and its affiliates. (UN News, 23 August 2018:

conflictpreventionUnited Nations Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy in Action: An overview of the role, approach and tools of the United Nations and its partners in preventing violent conflict
Introduction: This booklet, prepared by the Department of Political Affairs in consultation with key partners across the UN system, presents a non-exhaustive, illustrative over view of the UN’s approach to conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy. It summarizes a series of cases selected to show prevention at work in diverse contexts, the different tools deployed to support national actors in preventing violent conflict, and the multiple UN actors involved in implementing these efforts, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Further information: DPA Politically Speaking -

The UN’s Special Political Missions: A Key Part of Peace and Security Reform (DPA Politically Speaking)
The UN is bringing its peace and security departments closer together in order to improve the way it prevents and overcomes conflict, helping build more resilient and peaceful societies in the process. The General Assembly recently adopted a resolution endorsing this restructuring, which will be in place on 1 January 2019. At that time, the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Peacebuilding Support Office will form the new Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), while the Department of Peacekeeping Operations will become the Department of Peace Operations. The new departments will pool their regional expertise and capacity for analysis, making for improved coordination and coherence.
Under the new structure, UN special political missions (SPMs) will be within the purview of the new DPPA and continue to serve as forward platforms for conflict prevention. As the Secretary-General has stated, ”[SPMs] have profoundly preventive dimensions, consistent with the Charter-based obligation to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.”
Here you can find a handy guide on the SPMs:


World Uranium Map (IAEA)
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has launched a comprehensive, online interactive and integrated digital map of the world’s uranium distribution and deposits. This second edition of World Distribution of Uranium Deposits was developed with contributions from the Saskatchewan Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of South Australia and the United States Geological Survey. This edition classifies information by types of deposits and is unique in that it carries a vast amount of new information and knowledge — consolidating data from hundreds of public sources. It is accessible to anyone online and offers advanced interactive tools.

Human Rights

Human Rights and Constitution Making (OHCHR) 
hrconstitutionmakingIntroduction: This publication is designed to assist United Nations staff who provide human rights advice to States, which undertake to amend an existing constitution or write a new one. It should also be of use to States that undertake constitutional reform, including political leaders, policymakers, legislators and those entrusted to draft constitutional amendments or a new constitution. Further this publication should also facilitate advocacy efforts by civil society to ensure that human rights are properly reflected in constitutional amendments or new constitutions. Finally, this publication, along with the international human rights instruments, should not only provide a standard to measure whether constitutional amendments or a new constitution has appropriately reflected human rights and fundamental freedoms, but also assist in evaluating whether the processes used in constitutional reform are consistent with international procedural norms.

Human Rights Violations and Abuses in the Context of Protests in Nicaragua, 18 April - 18 August 2018 (OHCHR)
Comments of the State of Nicaragua to the report in Spanish: 
nicaraguaprotestsUrgent action is needed to address the human rights crisis in Nicaragua, where the level of persecution is such that many of those who participated in the protests that erupted in April, defended protesters’ rights or simply expressed dissenting views, have been forced to hide, have left Nicaragua or are trying to do so, a report by the UN Human Rights Office said on 29 August 2018. The report covers the period from 18 April, when protests against planned social security reforms began, to 18 August. Among the violations and abuses of international human rights law documented in the report are the disproportionate use of force by police, sometimes resulting in extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; widespread arbitrary detentions; torture and ill-treatment; and violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and of peaceful assembly.

Joint study on the contribution of transitional justice to the prevention of gross violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and their recurrence: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence and the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide (A/HRC/37/65, 6 June 2018)
English, French & Spanish: 
Introduction: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 33/19, in which the Council requested the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence and the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide to prepare a joint study on the contribution of transitional justice to the prevention of gross violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and their recurrence. The Special Rapporteur and the Special Adviser were asked, in preparing the study, to seek the views of States, relevant United Nations mandate holders, relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, and in particular the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (A/HRC/39/64, 24 August 2018 – Advance unedited version)
Myanmar’s top military generals, including Commander-in-Chief Senior-General Min Aung Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in the north of Rakhine State, as well as for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, a report by the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar on 27 August 2018 urged. The Mission, established by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, found patterns of gross human rights violations and abuses committed in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States that “undoubtedly amount to the gravest crimes under international law”, principally by Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, but also by other security forces.

Securing Political Participation: Human Rights in Somalia's Electoral Processes, August 2018 (OHCHR / UNSOM) 
A UN report has urged Somalia to build on the significant gains made in its peace process in the last five years and take steps to ensure future elections are not marred by the human rights violations and abuses committed during the 2016-2017 electoral process. The report by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the UN Human Rights Office details human rights violations and abuses by State security forces, including the police and intelligence agencies, and non-State actors, among them Al Shabaab, before, during and after parliamentary and presidential elections held in late 2016 and early 2017.

Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights containing the findings of the Group of Independent Eminent International and Regional Experts and a summary of technical assistance provided by the Office of the High Commissioner to the National Commission of Inquiry (A_HRC_39_43, 17 August 2018 - Advance edited version) 
Information documented by the Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts on Yemen strongly suggests that parties to the armed conflict have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate, violations and crimes under international law. The findings are detailed in a 41-page report published on 28 August 2018 by the Group Experts, which was mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to carry out a comprehensive examination of the human rights situation in the country. The Group of Experts’ report, which covers the period from September 2014 to June 2018, analyses the main patterns of violations and abuses of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law committed by parties to the conflict. The report also identifies significant areas where violations and abuses may have been committed but further investigation is required.

Humanitarian Affairs

Desperate Journeys: Refugees and migrants arriving in Europe and at Europe's borders, January – August 2018 (UNHCR) 
desperatejourneysThe number of refugees and migrants reaching the European continent is going down, but the rate of fatalities has gone up dramatically, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. The “Desperate Journeys” report states that 40 per cent fewer of those on the move, entered Europe via the Mediterranean this year, compared with 2017. An overall increase in those arriving in Spain and Greece was more than offset by significantly lower arrivals in Italy. The drop in numbers successfully reaching Europe, has been attributed to increased support for the Libyan Coast Guard to prevent sea crossings, and further restrictions on NGOs involved in search and rescue missions. The three European entry countries for those crossing the Mediterranean were Spain, Italy and Greece and, by the end of July, Spain had become the primary entry point to the continent. The majority of refugees and migrants for each respective entry country came from Guinea, Tunisia and Syria (during the same period in 2017, the top three nationalities were Nigerians, Guineans and Ivoirians).

Too Much Pain - Female genital mutilation and asylum in the European Union: A Statistical Update (August 2018, UNHCR) 
Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. As in previous versions, this Too Much Pain report shows that a sizable number of women and girls applying for asylum in the EU come from FGM-practising countries, and that many of them are potentially affected by FGM. This report aims to highlight the need to develop the necessary EU and national policies and tools to prevent FGM among communities from FGM-practising countries, as well as to address the specific vulnerabilities of asylum-seekers and refugees who are survivors of FGM.

turnthetideTurn the Tide: Refugee Education in Crisis (UNHCR) 
With more and more children forced to leave their homes, over half of the world’s school-aged refugees are now out of education, the United Nations refugee agency said in a new report released on 29 August 2018. The agency’s annual report on refugee children’s education warned that without investment, hundreds of thousands more children could miss out on the chance to health themselves and help their communities. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) out of a global population of 7.2 million school-age refugee children, four million do not attend lessons of any kind. The report shows that, despite the efforts of governments, UNHCR and its partners, enrolment of refugee children in school is failing to keep pace with the growing refugee population. By the end of 2017, there were more than 25.4 million refugees around the world, 19.9 million of them under UNHCR’s mandate. More than half – 52 per cent – were children. Among them, 7.4 million were of school age.

Justice and International Law

TREATY EVENT 2018: Promotion of Human Rights through the Multilateral Treaty Framework (25-28 September 2018, United Nations Headquarters)
treatyeventThe annual Treaty Event is an opportunity for Member States to sign, ratify or accede to multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General. This year’s four-day event is focused on the promotion of human rights through the multilateral treaty framework, highlighting both the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a milestone document that gave rise to many human rights treaties, and the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was the first human rights treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly, on 9 December 1948.

United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law – New Lectures

  • International Space Law
    Dr. Gérardine Goh Escolar, Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, recently delivered a series of 12 lectures providing a comprehensive overview of International Space Law. This series of lectures examines the sources of law, the settlement of disputes, jurisdiction, state responsibility, liability for damage, property rights, dispute settlement, and environmental protection.
  • Climate Change and the Protection of the Ocean / by Dr. Nilüfer Oral:
  • The International Law Commission and Community Interests / by Mr. Georg Nolte: