UN in General
2020 – International Year of Plant Health (IYPH)
The United Nations has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.
Journal of the United Nations
As of Monday, 25 November 2019, the Journal of the United Nations is published with a new improved, more mobile-friendly design. The Journal provides current information about meetings of UN bodies, including location and time of formal meetings scheduled for the day and symbols of documents to be considered at the meeting. Consultations, informal meetings, side events, and other announcements may also be listed in the Journal.
UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library: Digitization Update – UN Energy Conference
Did you know that, long before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda which set ensuring access to affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all as one of its 17 sustainable development goals (SDG 7), the UN had already started exploring new sources of energy for sustainable development?
The UN Conference on New Sources of Energy, held in 1961 in Rome, Italy, discussed the applications of geothermal, wind and solar energy, as well as the means by which sustainable energy could be brought into wider use. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has now digitized the complete documentation of the Conference on New Sources of Energy: https://bit.ly/2M1BE81
Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
4th Global Report on Adult Learning and Education – Leave No One Behind: Participation, Equity and Inclusion (UIL)
In almost one-third of countries, fewer than five per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programmes, according to UNESCO’s fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4). Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, minority groups and other disadvantaged segments of society are particularly under-represented in adult education programmes and find themselves deprived of crucial access to lifelong learning opportunities. Published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the report monitors the extent to which UNESCO Member States put their international commitments regarding adult learning and education into practice and reflects data submitted by 159 countries. It calls for a major change in the approach to adult learning and education (ALE) backed by adequate investment to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from adult learning and education and that its full contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized.
2019 State of Climate Services: Agriculture and Food Security (WMO)
Weather and climate services are vital for sustainable development and climate change adaptation. The benefits of investment greatly outweigh the cost, and yet the capacity to deliver and access these services is uneven and inadequate, according to a new report released in Madrid on 3 December 2019. An inaugural report on the State of Climate Services highlights progress, opportunities and challenges in rolling out climate services such as seasonal forecasts, drought advisories and fire danger indices. The report focuses on agriculture and food security, one of countries’ top climate change adaptation priorities and given that progress towards tackling global hunger has recently been reversed.
Climate Action Report 2019 (IFAD)
The Climate Action Report 2019 provides an overview of IFAD’s work on climate change and reports on progress, challenges and achievements in every work area where climate is accounted for within IFAD’s efforts towards improving the livelihoods of poor rural people. This year’s report highlights how climate change effects are considered and acted upon within the IFAD project cycle. It starts at the inception of developing country strategies and continues through the design, implementation and financing of projects to the assessment of impacts.
Code of Good Practice: Reducing food loss in handling fruit and vegetables
Simply Measuring: UNECE food loss and waste measuring methodology for fresh produce supply chains
Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 is to halve by 2030 per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses. The need for action is urgent – consider for instance that on average 14% of all the food produced globally is lost from post-production up to the retail stages of the supply chain, according to the latest FAO figures. Furthermore, if global food production were considered a country itself, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter! UNECE has produced two practical resources to support action: a code of good practice for handling fresh produce to minimize loss, and a simple methodology to measure lost produce.
Emissions Gap Report 2019 (UNEP)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:
Even if countries meet commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, leading to even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts, warns a report from the UN Environment Programme, released on 26 November 2019. The annual Emissions Gap Report, which compares where greenhouse gas emissions are heading, versus where they need to be, shows that emissions need to fall by 7.6 per cent each year over the next decade, if the world is to get back on track towards the goal of limiting temperature rises to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius. If the world warms by more than 1.5 degrees, we will see more frequent, and intense, climate impacts – as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has demonstrated in several hard-hitting reports – such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed in recent years.
Human Development Report 2019 – Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century (UNDP)
English: http://report.hdr.undp.org/ and http://hdr.undp.org/en/2019-report
Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a “new generation of inequalities” indicates that many societies are not working as they should, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) argues in its latest report released on 10 December 2019. The 2019 Human Development Report (HDR) states that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, inequalities surrounding education, and around technology and climate change, have sparked demonstrations across the globe. Left unchecked, they could trigger a ‘new great divergence’ in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution, according to the report.
Knowledge Hub on Statistics for SDGs (UNECE)
The Sustainable Development Goals – particularly SDG 17 – recognize that designing policies, tracking progress and holding policymakers accountable for their decisions depends on high quality, reliable and comparable statistical indicators. UNECE’s has launched a Knowledge Hub on Statistics for SDGs, helping countries to develop and communicate statistics that enable them to better formulate, evaluate and inform stakeholders about evidence-driven policies. Aimed at producers of national official statistics and other statistical experts, it offers a suite of guidelines and tools produced by the UNECE Steering Group on Statistics for SDGs and its task teams. The Knowledge Hub is the first part of the UNECE Regional Platform on Statistics for SDGs, which will also include a database of SDG indicators and interactive dashboard.
Power to the people (UNAIDS)
A new report by UNAIDS, Power to the people, released ahead of World AIDS Day, shows that where people and communities living with and affected by HIV are engaged in decision-making and HIV service delivery, new infections decline and more people living with HIV gain access to treatment. When people have the power to choose, to know, to thrive, to demand and to work together, lives are saved, injustices are prevented and dignity is restored. The report was launched in Kenya on 26 November by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Cabinet Secretary of Health of Kenya and community representatives. It shows that significant progress has been made, particularly in expanding access to treatment. As of mid-2019, an estimated 24.5 million of the 37.9 million people living with HIV were accessing treatment. As treatment roll-out continues, fewer people are dying of AIDS-related illnesses.
Trees, forests and land use in drylands: the first global assessment (FAO)
More than a quarter of the world’s forest area is located in drylands, and trees are present on almost a third of the world’s dryland regions, according to a new report, launched by FAO on 5 December 2019 at the High-Level Meeting on Forests at the U.N. COP25 climate summit. The results “demonstrate that drylands are not wastelands, but productive landscapes with considerable economic potential and environmental value.” The report, which includes large amounts of data on global and regional land use and forest cover, represents FAO’s delivery of a promised “collective product” on the status of drylands around the world. The assessment complements FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessments but differs in that its primary data are developed through visual interpretation of freely available satellite images in a global team effort using FAO’s Open Foris Collect Earth tool.
WMO Provisional Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019
The year 2019 concludes a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice and record sea levels driven by greenhouse gases from human activities. Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record. 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The “WMO provisional statement on the State of the Global Climate”, released on 3 December 2019, says that the global average temperature in 2019 (January to October) was about 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period.
Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2019
Climate Action Pathways
Two publications were presented at the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid on 5 December 2019 that shine a light on current climate action and lay down pathways to climate neutrality by mid-century, required to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. The reports are part of the work of UN Climate Change with experts and civil society groups. At a special event, titled What We Are Doing and What We Need to Do, speakers from various sectors summed up where we are on climate action and gave their views on a way forward. The Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2019 takes stock, highlighting climate action success stories and the need for conditions conducive to stepped up climate action, while the Climate Action Pathways suggest transformational actions and milestones towards neutrality in key areas, such as energy, industry, transport, human settlements, water, land use, and resilience to the inevitable effects of climate change. The documents were developed in a collaborative effort with the coalitions and initiatives of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, under the leadership of the High-Level Champions.
Human Rights Special Report: Demonstrations in Iraq; 2nd update 5 November – 9 December 2019 Baghdad, Iraq (UNAMI)
“Introduction: Pursuant to its mandate to promote accountability and the protection of human rights, UNAMI is closely monitoring ongoing demonstrations in Iraq. It is UNAMI’s third report on this subject and it follows UNAMI’s Special Report on Demonstrations in Iraq (1-9 October), issued on 22 October 2019, and Special Report: Demonstrations in Iraq: update (25 October-4 November), issued on 5 November 2019. Based on 183 monitoring interviews conducted from 5 November to 8 December with sources having direct and secondary knowledge of demonstrations across Iraq, this report outlines human rights concerns related to ongoing demonstrations with an emphasis on the period of 5 November to 8 December. Preliminary findings indicate that human rights violations and abuses continued during the period covered by the report, including unlawful, improper and excessive use of (lethal and less-lethal) force as well as ill-treatment and violations of procedural rights of arrested demonstrators. UNAMI continued to receive credible allegations of deliberate killings, abduction and arbitrary detention carried out by unknown armed men described as: ‘militia’, ‘unknown third parties’, ‘armed entities’, ‘outlaws ’and ‘spoilers’. During the reporting period 170 deaths and 2,264 injuries were recorded. These figures should be considered preliminary: contrary to practice in the past, the Government did not permit UNAMI to obtain official hospital statistical data concerning demonstrations related casualties or visit hospitals to interview victims.
Report of the Mission to Chile, 30 October – 22 November 2019 (OHCHR)
Report in English: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CL/Report_Chile_2019_EN.pdf
Report in Spanish: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/CL/Report_Chile_2019_SP.pdf
Video in English: https://vimeo.com/379213332/f7aae4820e
Video in Spanish: https://vimeo.com/379213927/c5c018609e
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a report on Chile published on 13 December 2019, says that during the recent mass protests and state of emergency the police and army failed to adhere to international human rights norms and standards relating to management of assemblies and the use of force. The 30-page report was produced by a UN Human Rights Office team which spent the first three weeks of November researching the situation across seven regions of Chile. It details extensive allegations – including specific examples — of torture, ill-treatment, rape and other forms of sexual violence by the police against people held in detention, many of whom appear to have been detained arbitrarily. In all, according to official figures, more than 28,000 people were detained between 18 October and 6 December, although the great majority have been released.
Global Refugee Forum
16 (Advance Session), 17 & 18 December 2019
The first Global Refugee Forum comes at the end of a tumultuous decade in which the number of refugees has risen to over 25 million people worldwide.
Guided by the Global Compact on Refugees, the Global Refugee Forum is an opportunity to translate the principle of international responsibility-sharing into concrete action. The Forum will showcase impactful pledges and contributions and the exchange of good practices.
Global Humanitarian Overview 2020
A record 168 million people worldwide will need help and protection in crises spanning more than 50 countries in 2020, the UN’s emergency relief chief has said, in an appeal for nearly $29 billion in humanitarian aid from donors. Climatic shocks, large infectious disease outbreaks and intensifying, protracted conflicts, have resulted in global needs increasing by some 22 million people in the past year, Mark Lowcock told journalists in Geneva on 4 December 2019, at the launch of the UN humanitarian affairs coordination office’s (OCHA) Global Humanitarian Overview.
World Migration Report 2020 (IOM)
In a global media environment highly interested in the issue of migration, the need for verified, evidence-based analysis on this defining issue of our time has never been more urgent. As the UN-related agency responsible for migration, it has long been IOM’s imperative to promote a balanced understanding of migration across the world. Launched on 27 November at the 2019 IOM Council meeting by IOM Director General, António Vitorino, the latest edition of its flagship publication, the World Migration Report 2020 (WMR 2020), continues the organization’s commitment to providing information on migration that is well-researched, rigorous and accessible.
Newsletter Archive: https://unric.org/en/unric-info-point-library-newsletter-archive