UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter – April 2020

Latest UNRIC Library Newsletter


New UN websites & publications

UN in General

Update on the Secretary-General’s Appeal for a Global Ceasefire (2 April 2020)
Press release SG/SM/20032, 3 April 2020: “Ten days ago (23 March 2020), I issued an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe to reinforce diplomatic action, help create conditions for the delivery of lifesaving aid and bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This call was rooted in a fundamental recognition: There should be only one fight in our world today, our shared battle against COVID-19. … Today, I am releasing an update on the impact of the global ceasefire appeal. …”


General Assembly – Procedure for taking decisions during COVID-19


Security Council – Working methods during COVID-19

  • Security Council VTC meetings and outcomes March-April 2020: https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/meetings-2020-vtc
  • S/2020/253 (31 March 2020): Letter dated 27 March 2020 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Security Council
    English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2020/253
    Transmits voting procedure which was agreed upon in the light of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Press Conference by President of Security Council on Work Programme for April (1 April 2020): https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/200401_SC.doc.htm
  • S/2020/273 (6 April 2020): Letter dated 2 April 2020 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Permanent Representatives of the members of the Security Council
    English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2020/273
    Transmit a paper on the working methods of the Security Council for the month of April 2020, during the presidency of the Dominican Republic. The paper has been agreed upon by the members of the Council in the light of the continued challenges posed by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to the Council’s usual procedures.

Further information from non-UN sources:

Update on the Work of the UN75 Office: Resolved to combine our efforts; Preliminary Assessment of the UN75 Survey and Dialogues, April 2020
English: https://bit.ly/2RSQ2Cb
French: https://bit.ly/3cNeLQL
As the whole UN system unites to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the Organization is also scaling up its efforts to give voice to the global public through its 75th anniversary initiative (UN75). Launched in January, UN75 will run throughout 2020, to give all people the opportunity to shape global priorities by participating in a UN75 dialogue or completing a one-minute survey available at www.un75.online. Preliminary findings, based on data collected between 1 January 2020 and 24 March 2020, were published on 20 April 2020.


COVID-19 Response logo, english

Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19

The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods. The potential longer-term effects on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire. In this new report the United Nations Secretary-General calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people. The report describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of COVID-19. The report comes after the IMF has announced that the world has entered into a recession as bad or worse than in 2009. The report calls for a large-scale, coordinated and comprehensive multilateral response amounting to at least 10 percent of global GDP. The United Nations system—and its global network of regional, sub-regional and country offices working for peace, human rights, sustainable development and humanitarian action, will support all governments and partners through the response and recovery. To that end, the Secretary-General has established a dedicated COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support efforts in low- and middle-income countries. Its approach underpins the reformed UN with a coordinated multi-agency, multi-sectoral response for priority national and local actions to address the socio- economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. It will count on the country leadership of Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams in swiftly supporting and enabling governments in this crisis, and recovery.

COVID-19 newsletter (WHO Europe)
This newsletter provides a weekly overview of COVID-19 situation in the WHO European Region, WHO’s preparedness and response activities and guidance for Member States, healthcare workers and the public.
Subscribe: http://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/newsletters/subscribe-to-our-mailing-list

New Web Portal showcasing UN DESA’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic
The portal will shine light on the cutting-edge analysis and policy advice in those areas where UN DESA’s voice is critical to addressing this global crisis. The portal will feature a series of policy briefs on COVID-19, which draw on unique expertise from around the Department. The first set of these policy briefs was launched on 1 April 2020.

COVID-19 response – Web portal for the statistical community (UN DESA)
This website provides a space for the global statistical community to share guidance, actions, tools and best practices to ensure the operational continuity of data programmes by National Statistical Offices, and to address issues of open and timely access to critical data needed by governments and all sectors of society to respond to the global COVID-19 crisis.

Avoiding “Mixed Messages” (in times of COVID-19): Towards a Consistent EU Position on World Order (UNU-CRIS working paper)
This paper makes the case that the EU must not send out mixed messages. It cannot go down the road of adopting a forward-leaning geopolitical strategy, while at the same time wishing to maintain its wider commitment to collective action problem-solving. In today’s unravelling of the post-World War Two world order, the EU’s longstanding instinct to resist geopolitical imperatives in favour of a commitment to collective action in multilateral institutional contexts should remain. Therefore, the priority for the EU is to remove ambiguity from its external policy by focusing specifically and precisely on topics and regions that matter to citizens directly: security, migration, climate, but also on other things that might seem one step removed from everyday life yet actually have a considerable impact on citizens, such as the defence of multilateralism and the situation in the near neighbourhood. This paper sets out nine key points of substance for consideration. They are presented as a series of propositions in need of recognition by those driving EU international relations in the life of the next Commission. If the EU really believes in its internationalist values, it should stick to them and make it clear that it is driven by the pursuit of geo-sustainability through multilateral cooperation, not by geopolitics and its related nationalist assumptions of closure to the wider world. This, the paper argues, becomes even more important in a time of global pandemic.

COVID-19: Guidance for employers and business to enhance migrant worker protection during the current health crisis (IOM)
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, with more than one million confirmed cases globally, businesses and employers – alongside governments and other stakeholders – have a vital role to play in safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of the estimated 164 million international migrant workers and their communities around the world. Migrant workers are disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of COVID-19 on businesses, including through soaring unemployment rates and possible loss of income. It is therefore vital that international brands, their suppliers and other business partners respond comprehensively and collaboratively to the current situation. In doing so, they must recognize their shared responsibility to protect migrant workers and work together with governments towards avoiding costs of economic damages being passed onto workers. To support employers to respond effectively to the crisis, IOM provides preliminary guidance in this resource. This will be a “living document” updated regularly for the duration of the pandemic.

COVID-19: Operational guidance for maintaining essential health services during an outbreak (WHO)
When health systems are overwhelmed, both direct mortality from an outbreak and indirect mortality from vaccine-preventable and treatable conditions increase dramatically. Countries will need to make difficult decisions to balance the demands of responding directly to COVID-19, while simultaneously engaging in strategic planning and coordinated action to maintain essential health service delivery, mitigating the risk of system collapse. This document expands on the content of the “Operational planning guidelines to support country preparedness and response”, and provides guidance on a set of targeted immediate actions that countries should consider at national, regional, and local level to reorganize and maintain access to high-quality essential health services for all.

COVID-19: Potential impact on the world’s poorest people: A WFP analysis of the economic and food security implications of the pandemic
Today, more than 821 million people regularly go to bed hungry, of whom 100-plus million suffer from acute hunger, largely due to man-made conflicts, climate change and economic downturns. These are the people who will experience the unthinkable due to the economic or logistical consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the depth and breadth of hunger will increase worldwide. COVID-19 in rich and poor countries are two starkly different realities but connected by the thread of globalization and humanity. The only real hope for many is availability of affordable testing and treatment. But until then, just like in the rich countries where governments are undertaking extraordinary measure to protect their citizens, we must make sure that tens of millions of people already on the verge of starvation do not succumb to this virus or to its economic consequences.

COVID-19 and ending violence against women and girls (UN Women)
This brief highlights emerging evidence of the impact of the recent global pandemic of COVID-19 on violence against women and girls. It makes recommendations to be considered by all sectors of society, from governments to international organizations and to civil society organizations, in order to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

The COVID-19 Crisis: Accentuating the Need to Bridge Digital Divides (UNCTAD)
The spread of the latest strain of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is disrupting economic and social life in multiple ways and dimensions. This crisis is unfolding at a time characterized by rapid digitalization, which is helping in the decision-making process regarding response and adaptations to the situation by governments, businesses and consumers. However, differences in digital readiness hamper the ability of large parts of the world to take advantage of these technologies. Multilateralism is vital in a world facing critical development challenges.

COVID-19 in Africa: Protecting Lives and Economies (UNECA)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in a new report on the coronavirus pandemic, says over 300,000 Africans could lose their lives due to COVID-19. This, as the pandemic continues to impact on the Continent’s struggling economies whose growth is expected to slow down from 3.2 percent to 1.8 percent in a best-case scenario, pushing close to 27 million people into extreme poverty. The Report, which will be launched virtually on the 17th of April says Africa’s fragile health systems could see additional costs being imposed on them because of the growing crisis that has to-date, resulted in over 16,000 infected Africans and claimed over 800 lives at the time of the report’s launch.

COVID-19 Preparedness and Response in Places of Detention: Information Package
The information in this package, developed by UN DPO (JCS/OROLSI) and UNITAR (Division for Peace), is intended to support prison administrators and staff. It has been developed to ensure the safety and security of staff, prisoners and the public in the efforts to prevent COVID-19 from entering the prison and mitigate the impact in case of an outbreak. The package provides communication tools with clear and concise information and visuals.

COVID–19 related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism; First report as of 16 April 2020 (UNWTO)
The scale of disruption caused by COVID-19 to global tourism is shown in a comprehensive new report on travel restrictions from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The landmark report, published at a time of unprecedented disruption for the sector, shows that almost all global destinations have imposed restrictions on travel since January 2020, including complete bans on all travel as they work to contain the pandemic.

Data Responsibility in the COVID-19 Response
What are some basic health data management precautions that all organizations should take in the COVID-19 response? What constitutes sensitive data generally and in the health sector specifically? What are some common types of sensitive data in the COVID-19 response? These are just some of the questions addressed in our new joint FAQ on Data Responsibility in the COVID-19 Response.
The members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Sub-Group on Data Responsibility (co-led by the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data, IOM, and UNHCR) have developed this FAQ to support organizations and staff around the world working with data in the COVID-19 response. The ongoing response presents a range of challenges and opportunities around the safe, ethical, and effective management of data. This resource will be updated regularly as we receive additional questions and feedback.

Debt and COVID-19: A Global Response in Solidarity (17 April 2020)
This Policy Brief was launched in connection with the Secretary-General’s virtual presentation at the World Bank and IMF’s Spring meetings: https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sgsm20049.doc.htm


Family-friendly policies and other good workplace practices in the context of COVID-19: Key steps employers can take (UNICEF / ILO / UN Women)
The consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak are unprecedented and felt around the world. The pandemic is heavily affecting labour markets and economies, including global supply chains, leading to widespread business disruptions. With many businesses struggling to survive, loss of jobs and income and rising working poverty are a reality for many workers. Self-employed, domestic, and care workers and those in casual or temporary agency employment are at particular risk. The absence of adequate social protection systems exacerbates working families’ vulnerability to the crisis. This document offers (interim) recommendations for employers to mitigate the negative consequences stemming from COVID-19.

Global Investment Trend Monitor, No. 35, Special Coronavirus Edition (UNCTAD)
A new UNCTAD analysis – released on 26 March 2020 – of how the coronavirus pandemic will affect global foreign direct investment (FDI) prospects shows that the negative impact will be worse than previously projected on 8 March. Updated estimates of COVID-19’s economic impact and revisions of earnings of the largest multinational enterprises (MNEs) now suggest that the downward pressure on FDI flows could range from -30% to -40% during 2020-2021, much more than previous projections of -5% to -15%.

Human Rights Due Diligence and COVID-19: Rapid Self-Assessment for Business (UNDP)
With the global spread of COVID-19, businesses are facing bankruptcy at an unprecedented scale, resulting in job losses for millions. In this context, confidence in the durability of the global economy, and by extension the norms and institutions that support it, are being tested like never before. How businesses respond to the crisis—especially those firms who receive state support to continue operations—will shape public attitudes towards the private sector for years to come. For this reason, UNDP has designed a simple and accessible tool, Human Rights Due Diligence and COVID-19: Rapid Self-Assessment for Business (C19 Rapid Self-Assessment), to help businesses consider and manage the human rights impacts of their operations. This non-exhaustive list of potential actions allows for rapid but continuous reflection on the human rights risks and impacts common to many industries. It is inspired and guided in part by the wider UNDP COVID-19 Integrated Response Offer. The tool has been developed in the framework of the Business and Human Rights in Asia programme funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden. This assessment is offered to companies as a partial but informative view of human rights actions in the specific context of COVID-19. The listed actions are based on relevant provisions of UN Human Rights Treaties, the ILO Fundamental Conventions, and the UNGPs. It is organized to present key actions or considerations along three stages of the COVID-19 crisis period: Prepare, Respond and Recover.

Key Legal Considerations on access to territory for persons in need of international protection in the context of the COVID-19 response (UNHCR)
This paper sets out key legal considerations, based on international refugee and human rights law, on access to territory for persons seeking international protection in the context of measures taken by States to restrict the entry of non-nationals for the protection of public health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reconfirms that while States may put in place measures which may include a health screening or testing of persons seeking international protection upon entry and/or putting them in quarantine, such measures may not result in denying them an effective opportunity to seek asylum or result in refoulement.

ILO Monitor 2nd Edition: COVID-19 and the world of work (Briefing Note)
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on working hours and earnings, globally. A new ILO report highlights some of the worst affected sectors and regions, and outlines policies to mitigate the crisis. The ILO Monitor 2nd Edition: COVID-19 and the world of, which describes COVID-19 as “the worst global crisis since World War II”, updates an ILO research note published on 18 March. The updated version includes sectoral and regional information on the effects of the pandemic. According to the new study, 1.25 billion workers are employed in the sectors identified as being at high risk of “drastic and devastating” increases in layoffs and reductions in wages and working hours. Many are in low-paid, low-skilled jobs, where a sudden loss of income is devastating.
see also Country policy responses:

Latin America and the Caribbean and the COVID-19 pandemic: economic and social effects (CEPAL)
Spanish: https://repositorio.cepal.org/handle/11362/45337
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) affirmed that the region has no other strategic option but to move towards a more sustainable development model through greater integration in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region, in a new document released on 3 April 2020 at its central headquarters in Santiago, Chile. The report was unveiled at a virtual press conference (via video) by the organization’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena. The report addresses this critical juncture, scenarios and projections ahead of 2030 in light of the current global pandemic crisis, while also recommending policy actions in diverse areas to counteract its negative consequences.

My Hero is You: Storybook for Children on COVID-19
A new story book that aims to help children understand and come to terms with COVID-19 has been produced by a collaboration of more than 50 organizations working in the humanitarian sector, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children. With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality. The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings. In order to reach as many children as possible, the book will be widely translated, with six language versions released on 9 April and more than 30 others in the pipeline (currently available in in Arabic, Bahasa Malay, Burmese, Chinese, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhala, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish and Ukrainian). It is being released as both an online product and audio book.

OCHA releases humanitarian icons to help the COVID-19 response
In any health or humanitarian crisis, providing streamlined information that millions of people can understand is key. Amid the global spread of COVID-19, OCHA has released 29 humanitarian icons specific to the pandemic to help communicate the facts and actions needed to prevent and respond to the virus and provide care for the most vulnerable people around the world.

Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on children (15 April 2020)
The looming global recession resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could cause hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths this year, effectively reversing recent gains in reducing infant mortality, a new UN report issued on 16 April 2020 has revealed. In a statement on the new findings, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for urgent action to support the world’s children amid the universal crisis. “Thankfully, children have so far been largely spared from the most severe symptoms of the disease. But their lives are being totally upended”, he said. “I appeal to families everywhere, and leaders at all levels: protect our children.” The report finds that the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, together with measures to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus, could potentially be catastrophic for millions of children worldwide. It details how the crisis is putting young lives at risk in key areas that include education, food, safety and health.
see also: “Protect our children” / by António Guterres (16 April 2020): https://www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/protect-our-children

Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on Women (9 April 2020)
The year 2020, marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, was intended to be ground-breaking for gender equality. Instead, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back. The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems which are in turn amplifying the impacts of the pandemic. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex. This policy brief explores how women and girls’ lives are changing in the face of COVID-19, and outlines suggested priority measures to accompany both the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts.
see also: “Put women and girls at the centre of efforts to recover from COVID-19” / by António Guterres (9 April 2020): https://www.un.org/en/un-coronavirus-communications-team/put-women-and-girls-centre-efforts-recover-covid-19

The Secretary-General’s UN Response and Recovery Fund (30 March 2020)
The United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund is a UN inter-agency fund mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to help support low- and middle-income programme countries overcome the health and development crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and support those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social disruption.

Survey tool and guidance: behavioural insights on COVID-19 (2020)
(WHO Europe)
This document provides guidance to Member States in the WHO European Region that wish to conduct behavioural insights studies related to COVID-19. Studies can be used to monitor public knowledge, risk perceptions, behaviours and trust with the overall aim to inform national COVID-19 outbreak response measures, including policies, interventions and communications. The guidance document introduces: guidance on the recommended process and steps, a sample methodology, advice for obtaining ethical clearance, a suggested sample questionnaire, codes for data analysis and establishing a protected website for presentation of findings.

Trade and Development Report Update: The Covid-19 Shock to Developing Countries: Towards a “whatever it takes” programme for the two-thirds of the world’s population being left behind (UNCTAD)
With two-thirds of the world’s population living in developing countries (excluding China) facing unprecedented economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis, the UN is calling for a US$2.5 trillion package for these countries to turn expressions of international solidarity into meaningful global action. The speed at which the economic shockwaves from the pandemic has hit developing countries is dramatic, even in comparison to the 2008 global financial crisis, says a report published on 30 March by UNCTAD, the UN trade and development body. The report shows that in the two months since the virus began spreading beyond China, developing countries have taken an enormous hit in terms of capital outflows, growing bond spreads, currency depreciations and lost export earnings, including from falling commodity prices and declining tourist revenues.

UN Business Guide on COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the world is facing an unprecedented challenge that affects people, communities and economies everywhere. While the pandemic is, above all, a health crisis, it also has significant socioeconomic implications that are particularly devastating to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises. In collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact and in consultation with UN colleagues, the Connecting Business initiative has updated the UN Business Guide on COVID-19, providing guidance for the private sector. Business leaders globally are being encouraged to support communities and companies affected by COVID-19, and take internal measures to contain the pandemic. The Guide offers companies an overview of how the private sector can join with the UN to take collective action to stem the COVID-19 pandemic. The first edition was issued on March 3 and it will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Working Paper: Estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty (UNU-WIDER)
New research published by UNU-WIDER on 8 April warns that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8% of the total human population. This would be the first time that poverty has increased globally in thirty years, since 1990. The authors of the UNU-WIDER study find that a setback of this size would reverse a decade of global progress on poverty reduction.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Exploring Youth Entrepreneurship (DESA/DSDG)
This paper examines youth entrepreneurship as a mechanism to address development challenges and support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It outlines the main challenges faced by youth in countries around the world, provides examples of good practices and explores the dynamics of youth entrepreneurship through an overview of some of the key debates, including the role of the informal economy.

Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2020
Overview & Full Report: https://developmentfinance.un.org/fsdr2020
Governments must take immediate steps to prevent a potentially devastating debt crisis and address the economic and financial havoc wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic – says a new report from the United Nations-led Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development. The UN System’s 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report outlines measures to address the impact of the unfolding global recession and financial turmoil, especially in the world’s poorest countries. Its recommendations are based on joint research and analysis from the UN System, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, and more than 60 UN agencies and international institutions.

Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and their Roles in Achieving SDGs” (DESA/DSDG)
The paper examines the role of MSMEs in economic activity, in creating employment and incomes, particularly for the poor and marginalized groups, as service providers (for example in education, health, water and sanitation) and as energy users and polluters with environmental footprints. Through these lenses, it is possible to establish direct and indirect linkages between MSMEs and the 17 goals.

Mineral Resource Governance in the 21st Century (UNEP)
The International Resource Panel highlights in its Mineral Resource Governance in the 21st Century Report that the mining sector, if carefully managed, presents enormous opportunities for advancing sustainable development, particularly in low-income countries. Resources, including minerals and metals underpin our economies for almost all sectors providing crucial raw materials for their industrial processes. Despite efforts to decouple economies from resource use towards a circular economy, demand for extractive resources will continue to grow on the back of emerging economies. The report maps existing international governance frameworks and initiatives which have overlapping subsets that focus on delivering the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. It presents the practical actions required to improve the international governance architecture for mining to enhance its contribution towards sustainable development. It calls for a new governance framework for the extractive sector referred to as the “Sustainable Development Licence to Operate” which includes consensus-based principles, policy options and best practices that are compatible with the Sustainable Development Goals and other international policy commitments.

Mobility Management – A guide of international good practices (UNECE)
As part of the ongoing work on THE PEP a Study on good practices in Mobility Management has been published. Drawing on concrete experiences from across the Pan-European region, the guide, developed under the Transport Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP), provides practical policy considerations enriched by a total of 22 good practices from 17 countries that set out the positive and significant impacts of mobility management programme. The guide also looks at national and local efforts to coordinate mobility management initiatives, drawing on examples such as Austria’s “klimaaktiv mobil”, which since 2004 has funded 11,600 mobility management projects, including 9,200 for businesses, 1,100 for cities, municipalities and regions 900 for leisure and tourism, 400 for cycling projects. Other examples include France’s National strategy for sustainable mobility development, results of which include 133 sustainable urban mobility plans covering 55% of the population.

Multi-stakeholder engagement in the 2030 Agenda implementation: A review of VNR reports (2016 – 2019)
UN DESA has launched this new report which provides a review of the current status of multi-stakeholder engagement in the 2030 Agenda implementation based on an assessment of the 158 VNR reports submitted to the HLPF between 2016-2019. The report also features trends, experiences and lessons learned on stakeholder engagement in the 2030 Agenda implementation.

State of the World’s Nursing Report – 2020
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/nursing-report-2020
The State of the world’s nursing 2020 report provides the latest, most up-to-date evidence on and policy options for the global nursing workforce. It also presents a compelling case for considerable – yet feasible – investment in nursing education, jobs, and leadership. The primary chapters of the report outline the role and contributions of nurses with respect to the WHO “triple billion” targets; the health labour market and workforce policy levers to address the challenges to nurses working to their full potential; the findings from analysis of National Health Workforce Account (NHWA) data from 191 Member States and progress in relation to the projected shortfall of nurses by 2030; and forward-looking policy options for an agenda to strengthen the nursing workforce to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, improve health for all, and strengthen the primary health care workforce on our journey towards universal health coverage. The report concludes with a call to Member States and other stakeholders to commit to this agenda. The investments called for will drive progress toward Universal Health Coverage and across the Sustainable Development Goals including health but also education, gender, decent work and economic growth. An online section available on the NHWA online portal contains individual country profiles presenting key statistics on nursing workforce.

World Water Development Report 2020: Water and Climate Change
Report in English & French, Summary and Facts & Figures in English, French, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese: https://www.unwater.org/publications/world-water-development-report-2020/
The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims at helping the water community to tackle the challenges of climate change and informing the climate change community about the opportunities that improved water management offers in terms of adaptation and mitigation. The scientific evidence is clear: the climate is changing and will continue to change, affecting societies mainly through water. Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water for basic human needs, threatening the effective enjoyment of the human rights to water and sanitation for potentially billions of people. The alteration of the water cycle will also pose risks for energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction, thus seriously jeopardizing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2020 United Nations World Water Development Report focuses on the challenges, opportunities and potential responses to climate change, in terms of adaptation, mitigation and improved resilience that can be addressed through improving water management. Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation, through water, is a win-win proposal, improving the provision of water supply and sanitation services and combating both the causes and impacts of climate change, including disaster risk reduction.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for an open video teleconference of the Security Council on the “Protection of civilians from conflict-induced hunger”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2020/299
The Security Council plans to hold an open video teleconference entitled “Protection of civilians from conflict-induced hunger” on 21 April 2020. The Dominican Republic, the Security Council President for April, has prepared this concept note.

Conflict Prevention in the Era of Climate Change: Adapting the UN to Climate-Security Risks (UNU/CPR)
Full Report & Case Studies for Bangladesh and Nigeria:
Today’s violent conflicts are proving deadlier and more difficult to resolve than ever before. Over the past decade, the number of civil wars has nearly tripled, driven by a growth in transnational criminal networks, greater presence of radical groups in many settings and a willingness of international actors to support intra-state conflicts. This, in turn, has contributed to historic levels of conflict-related displacement and far higher numbers of civilians caught up in violent conflict. … This report aims to support the UN and its partners in developing climate-sensitive conflict prevention approaches. It offers: (1) a literature review covering the major scholarship on the links between climate change and violent conflict; (2) in-depth case studies on climate-security dynamics in Bangladesh and Nigeria; and (3) cross-cutting conclusions and recommendations for the UN system.

First Report by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team Pursuant to Paragraph 10 of Decision C-SS-4/DEC.3 “Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use” ltamenah (Syrian Arab Republic) 24, 25, and 30 March 2017
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) released on 8 April 2020 the findings of the first report by the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The IIT is responsible for identifying the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic where the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) has determined that chemical weapons have been used or likely used in Syria.

Hybrid Conflict, Hybrid Peace: How Militias and Paramilitary Groups Shape Post-conflict (UNU-CPR)
Report, Executive Summary & Case Studies: https://cpr.unu.edu/hybrid-conflict.html
Today’s civil wars are becoming more frequent, more harmful to civilians and harder to resolve. Why are sustainable peace outcomes proving more elusive? One contributing factor to these trends may be the increasing use of pro-government militias (PGMs) in armed conflict. Based on in-depth field research in Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia, this report aims to understand the role of PGMs in conflict and post-conflict settings. Specifically, it investigates how PGMs might help or hurt prospects for sustainable peacebuilding.

Measuring the Economic Impact of Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism in Africa (UNDP)
This study provides primary research on the economic cost and impact of violent extremism by looking at the economic cost of violent extremism focusing on 18 African countries. It examines the impacts of attacks on infrastructure and physical damage, formal and informal economies as well as the impact of ‘security spending’ on development processes. The report estimates that 16 of the 18 focus countries have lost an average of US$97 billion per year in informal economic activity since 2007. Findings aim to equip key stakeholders and policy makers to make evidence-based decisions and choices to address violent extremism from a sustainable development or inclusive livelihood support perspective.


Human Rights

Conflicting Identities: The Nexus between Masculinities, Femininities and Violent Extremism in Asia (UNDP / UN Women)
Violent extremism has emerged as one of the leading challenges to the realization of sustainable peace globally. Across South and South-East Asia, violent extremism poses a direct threat to inclusive development by fuelling intolerance, forcibly displacing communities, exacerbating cycles of insecurity and armed conflict, exploiting existing inequalities, and obstructing the enjoyment of human rights and the rule of law. Underpinning this violence are gender stereotypes that are used to radicalize and recruit men and women, as well as girls and boys, to violent extremist groups. UNDP and UN Women have been working to ensure that efforts to prevent violent extremism are inclusive and based on the promotion and protection of human rights, including women’s rights. This research is the result of a joint effort between both agencies to better understand the relationship between violent extremism and gender power relations in South and South-East Asia, specifically as it relates to radicalization and recruitment, in order to inform programming and policy responses. This publication includes expert analyses through case studies to highlight how unequal gender power structures fuel and shape violent extremism around the region. It emphasises how structures of patriarchy and harmful performances of masculinity are deeply embedded in the modus operandi of violent extremist groups. It offers policy makers and practitioners a unique insight into the gender dynamics that underpin violent extremism in South and South-East Asia. It will benefit stakeholders working in this area to ensure that holistic understandings of gender identity are integrated into policy and programming approaches to prevent violent extremism.


Humanitarian Affairs

Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights: Measuring SDG Target 5.6 (UNFPA)
This new report by UNFPA offers, for the first time, a global view of women’s decision-making power over their own bodies. The findings are dismaying. Based on data from 57 countries, a quarter of women are not able to make their own decisions about accessing health care. A quarter of women in these countries are not empowered to say no to sex with their husband or partner. And nearly 1 in 10 women is not able to make her own choices about using contraception. Only 55 per cent of women are able to make their own decisions over all three areas. And in more than 40 per cent of these countries, women’s decision-making power is not improving – or is even regressing. For example, in Benin, 41 per cent women were able to make these decisions in 2006, compared to 36 per cent in 2018.

Words into Action: Engaging Children and Youth in Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Building (UNDRR)
Executive Summary: Children and youth under age 30 currently make up more than half the world’s population. They are the ones who will benefit most from reducing the risk and impact of disasters, curtailing climate chaos and achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As this WiA guide illustrates, their contributions are already making a difference through more inclusive DRR and resilience-building policies, better prepared households, healthier children and youth and safer communities. However more can, and must, be done to support and engage children and youth around the world in DRR to fully implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Engaging with all children and youth as key stakeholders and contributors in turbulent times is complex, but vital. How we work together now in implementing the Sendai Framework will not only impact young lives, it will affect the trajectory of humanity in the decades to come. The guidelines aims to ensure worldwide access to expertise, communities of practice and networks of DRR practitioners. The guide offers five interrelated sections with specific advice on how to support and engage children and youth.

Tip Sheet on the Responsible Use of Online Conferencing Tools (ICRC / IFRC / OCHA)
Recent changes to working conditions have increased the use of online conferencing tools throughout the humanitarian sector. These conferencing technologies are invaluable when face-to-face meetings are impossible, but they also pose a significant information security and data protection risk when not used responsibly. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Data Protection Office, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the Centre for Humanitarian Data have developed this tip sheet to support the responsible use of online conferencing tools by humanitarians around the world.

OCHA – A Glossary of Data Terms
Ever find yourself confused by a data term and wish you had quick access to the definition? We’ve been there too! To help, we have created a glossary of terms relevant to the management and use of data within the humanitarian sector. The glossary includes definitions of almost 40 terms that we commonly hear, but may not always understand such as disclosure risk/re-identification risk, the mosaic effect, and sensitive data. The definitions are culled from trusted sources. Where a source is cited, that is the single source of the definition. Where a source is not cited, we have rephrased excerpts from multiple sources to provide the clearest definition possible. Explore the terms and let us know what we may be missing. Together we will build our data vocabulary.


Justice and International Law

Audiovisual Library of International Law
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Newsletter Archive: https://unric.org/en/unric-info-point-library-newsletter-archive