UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter: December 2023

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New UN websites & publications

UN in General


An Interactive Platform to Connect with People
https://www.un.org/pga/78/askpga/
President Francis has launched an interactive resource on his PGA78 website to connect directly with the public. ASK PGA is a channel where anyone can ask Mr. Francis a question which will be replied to within the time frame of 24 hours. The President of the General Assembly welcomes questions from Member States, media and the public at large.

IAEA Data Platform
https://data.iaea.org/
Making scientific data more accessible to decision makers, experts and the public is at the core of IAEA’s efforts for stronger transparency and enhanced international knowledge sharing. With this aim, the IAEA recently launched the IAEA Data Platform which centralizes access to various publicly shared datasets on a single platform. Through this platform, data can be maintained and standardized more efficiently and data users such as Member States, researchers and scientists can visualize and download data in a variety of formats. The platform facilitates access to a range of different types of data such as the Incident and Trafficking Database, which serves as the IAEA’s information system on incidents of illicit trafficking and other unauthorized activities involving nuclear and other radioactive material outside of regulatory control, and the Modaria Dataset, an international compilation of radionuclide and stable isotope soil-plant concentration ratio values for tropical environments. The IAEA Data Platform categorizes datasets according to three main topics: Nuclear Safety and Security; Nuclear Technology and Applications; and Safeguards and Verification. Additionally, it contains useful tools such as filtering options and tags for different datasets as well as an activity panel which tracks how the data has changed over time. These tools facilitate a better overview of the data and make the datasets more accessible to a broader audience.

ILO Research Repository
https://researchrepository.ilo.org/
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched a new Research Repository  that provides better access to ILO research, as well as information on the work of ILO experts. The new repository creates a one-stop-shop for ILO research publications and other knowledge assets. It already contains around 20,000 publications, mostly published since 2000. They include flagship reports, major publications, research studies, journal articles from the International Labour Review and International Journal of Labour Research, working papers, training materials, guides, manuals and briefs. It also features the profiles of researchers actively publishing and currently affiliated to the ILO. The profiles include short biographies, key areas of research and bibliographies of their ILO and non-ILO publications. By bringing together the ILO’s unique knowledge and evidence-based research in one place, it will make it easier for researchers and policymakers to access the organization’s unique knowledge bank and connect with ILO experts.

 

UN Observances

International Year of Camelids, 2024International Year of Camelids, 2024
English, French & Spanish: https://www.fao.org/camelids-2024/
The United Nations declared 2024 the International Year of Camelids (IYC 2024). The Year will highlight how camelids are key to the livelihoods of millions of households across over 90 countries. From alpacas to Bactrian camels, dromedaries, guanacos, llamas, and vicuñas, camelids contribute to food security, nutrition and economic growth as well as holding a strong cultural significance for communities across the world.

International Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development, 2024–2033
Resolution in English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/RES/77/326
The General Assembly “decides to proclaim the period 2024–2033 the International Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development, within existing structures and available resources, to represent a unique opportunity for humanity to use the critical role that sciences play in the pursuit of sustainable development in its three dimensions as one of the key means of implementation as well as in responding to the complex challenges of our time to ensure a safe and prosperous future for all”.

Millets Recipe Book – International Year of Millets 2023
English, French & Spanish: https://doi.org/10.4060/cc8019en
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2023 the International Year of Millets (IYM 2023). Millets’ diversity and ability to thrive on arid lands with minimal inputs make them a valuable contribution to healthy diets and nutrition in many countries. Each millet variety contributes different essential nutrients. They are an ideal solution for countries to increase self-sufficiency and transform their food system towards increased resilience. This recipe book is a legacy of the IYM 2023 and aims to raise awareness of the diversity of millets and to promote their consumption by sharing enticing recipes embracing different regions, tastes, cuisines, cooking skills and the versatility of millets. The recipes selected for this book were collected through the Global Chefs’ Challenge, which called on chefs and hobby cooks to explore cooking with millets and share photos and videos of their favourite millets-based dish.

 

Climate Change

2022 Year in Review: Climate-driven Global Renewable Energy Potential Resources and Energy Demand
https://library.wmo.int/idurl/4/68576
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have released their first joint report to strengthen understanding of renewable energy resources and their intricate relationship with climate variability and change.  It seeks to inform policy-making and hasten the transition away from polluting fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, greener future. The report, launched at COP28 in Dubai on 3 December 2023, highlights the key role of weather and climate information and services in meeting the untapped potential and challenges in the transition to renewable energy. Renewables now dominate new sources of supply. In 2022 alone, 83% of new capacity was renewable, with solar and wind accounting for most additions. Such an increase is key to achieving decarbonized energy systems by 2050, with an accompanying steep and decisive decline of fossil fuel consumption, according to the report.

The climate-changed child: A Children’s Climate Risk Index supplement (UNICEF)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.unicef.org/reports/climate-changed-child
1 in 3 children – or 739 million worldwide – already live in areas exposed to high or very high water scarcity, with climate change threatening to make this worse, according to a new UNICEF report. Further, the double burden of dwindling water availability and inadequate drinking water and sanitation services is compounding the challenge, putting children at even greater risk. The climate changed-child – released ahead of the COP28 climate change summit – throws a spotlight on the threat to children as a result of water vulnerability, one of the ways in which the impacts of climate change are being felt. It provides an analysis of the impacts of three tiers of water security globally – water scarcity, water vulnerability, and water stress. The report, a supplement to the UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk (2021), also outlines the myriad of other ways in which children bear the brunt of the impacts of the climate crisis –including disease, air pollution, and extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. From the moment of conception until they grow into adulthood, the health and development of children’s brains, lungs, immune systems and other critical functions are affected by the environment they grow up in. For example, children are more likely to suffer from air pollution than adults. Generally, they breathe faster than adults and their brains, lungs and other organs are still developing.

Emissions Gap Report 2023: Broken Record – Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again) (UNEP)
https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2023
As global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions break records, the latest Emissions Gap Report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) finds that current pledges under the Paris Agreement put the world on track for a 2.5-2.9°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels this century, pointing to the urgent need for increased climate action. Released ahead of the 2023 climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the report, finds that global low-carbon transformations are needed to deliver cuts to predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions of 28 per cent for a 2°C pathway and 42 per cent for a 1.5°C pathway.

Enhancing Climate Change Transparency: How Developing Countries are Taking Action (UNDP)
https://www.undp.org/publications/enhancing-climate-change-transparency-how-developing-countries-are-taking-action
In the context of global climate change policy and actions, transparency equals trust. This report examines how developing countries are establishing this trust by sharing their successes, challenges, and lessons learned. Building on the valuable results of the UNFCCC’s Consultative Group of Experts of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, this report highlights the best practices and support needs of 24 countries out of 126 where UNDP-managed projects are addressing enhanced transparency activities in Africa, Asia & Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The report presents actions within the ETF themes of GHG inventory, mitigation progress, adaptation progress, support needed & received, and cross-cutting issues, making it easy to follow these leading activities and future needs. The report can serve as a useful guide to identify opportunities for South-to-South knowledge sharing and collaboration to address the Enhanced Transparency Framework. It highlights more than 200 activities related to the ETF that countries have experience in addressing. It also provides detailed information on 23 specific solutions used by countries to tackle a key challenge they faced. Lastly, development partners can use this report to identify areas where targeted ETF support is needed. It identifies over 60 common areas where future support is necessary to enhance transparency.

An Eye on Methane: International Methane Emissions Observatory 2023 Report (UNEP)
https://www.unep.org/resources/report/eye-methane-international-methane-emissions-observatory-2023-report
High-tech, accessible and reliable data that informs countries, companies and the public about emissions could revolutionise reporting systems, accelerate climate action, and hold polluters to account, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, the report highlights how the combination of pioneering technology and the UN’s convening power could plug major methane emissions knowledge gaps and trigger action at the scale and speed needed to fulfill essential climate pledges.

 

Feminist climate justice: A framework for action (UN Women)
https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2023/11/feminist-climate-justice-a-framework-for-action
The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of our times, one that is threatening progress on gender equality and human rights and hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Against this backdrop of rising global temperatures and unfulfilled national pledges, women, girls, and gender-diverse people are mobilizing to demand that their voices be heard in decision-making on climate policy. To answer their demands, this paper describes how to achieve feminist climate justice through four interlinked dimensions (recognition, redistribution, representation, and reparation) and the principles of interdependence and intersectionality. It provides practical guidance on what countries need to do to transition to low-emission economies that are resilient to a changing climate, while recognizing the leadership of women, girls, and gender-diverse people in driving the change that is so urgently needed. It zooms in on the global food system as one illustration of how this framework can be applied and provides an analysis of the major barriers to accountability for gender-responsive climate action and how they can be overcome. The vision for feminist climate justice is of a world in which everyone can enjoy the full range of human rights, free from discrimination, and flourish on a planet that is healthy and sustainable. With this conceptual framework, UN Women aims to open space for discussion of feminist alternatives to the status quo and to inform the next edition of its flagship report, “Progress of the world’s women”, on gender equality in the age of climate crisis.

The Global Climate 2011-2020: A decade of accelerating climate change (WMO)
https://library.wmo.int/records/item/68585-the-global-climate-2011-2020
The rate of climate change surged alarmingly between 2011-2020, which was the warmest decade on record. Continued rising concentrations of greenhouse gases fuelled record land and ocean temperatures and turbo-charged a dramatic acceleration in ice melt and sea level rise, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released on 5 December 2023: Key messages: – 2011-2020 was warmest decade on record, – Glacier and ice sheet loss unprecedented, – Sea level rise accelerates, – Ocean heat and acidification damage marine ecosystems, – Extreme weather undermines sustainable development, – Ozone layer on track to recovery.

 

Global Cooling Watch 2023 – Keeping it Chill: How to meet cooling demands while cutting emissions
https://www.unep.org/resources/global-cooling-watch-2023
The Global Cooling Watch report by the UN Environment Programme-led Cool Coalition – lays out sustainable cooling measures in three areas: passive cooling, higher-energy efficiency standards, and a faster phase down of climate-warming refrigerants. The report is released in support of the Global Cooling Pledge, a joint initiative between the United Arab Emirates as host of COP28 and the Cool Coalition.

Global Drought Snapshot 2023: the Need for Proactive Action (UNCCD)
https://www.unccd.int/resources/publications/global-drought-snapshot-2023-need-immediate-action
Recent drought-related data based on research in the past two years and compiled by the UN point to “an unprecedented emergency on a planetary scale, where the massive impacts of human-induced droughts are only starting to unfold.” According to this report, launched by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in collaboration with International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) at the outset of COP28 climate talks in the UAE, few if any hazard claims more lives, causes more economic loss and affects more sectors of societies than drought.

 

Global Status of Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems 2023 (UNDRR / WMO)
https://wmo.int/resources/publications/global-status-of-multi-hazard-early-warning-systems-2023
A new report from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) finds that Africa has doubled the quality of early warning systems coverage, but still falls below the global average. Less than half of the Least Developed Countries and only 40% of small island developing States have a multi-hazard early warning system. In the Arab States, risk knowledge to underpin early warning systems was found to be particularly low. The report analyses the latest data one year into the Early Warnings for All Initiative which aims to cover everyone everywhere by 2027. It was launched at COP28 by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at a high-level event attended by ministers and stakeholders. The report reveals that 101 countries have reported having an early warning system, an increase of six countries compared to last year, and representing a doubling of coverage since 2015.

 

Green Technology Book: Solutions for climate change mitigation (WIPO)
https://www3.wipo.int/wipogreen/en/news/2023/news_0027.html
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the 2nd edition of its “Green Technology Book” on December 6th, 2023, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This edition, which will be made available in six languages, shifts its focus towards climate change mitigation, highlighting critical innovations in key sectors including Industry, Agriculture & Land Use, and Cities.

 

Issue paper on child labour and climate change (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/child-labour/publications/WCMS_894326/lang–en/index.htm
Climate change is multiplying the incidence of child labour, particularly in agriculture where 70 per cent of all child labour is found, according to a new paper by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The issue paper was released as delegates gathered to discuss climate action at the COP28 Climate Change Conference, and during the 14th annual meeting of the ILO Child Labour Platform (CLP), the leading business initiative to eradicate child labour in supply chains. The paper finds that climate change – and the public and private sector responses to it – is having a profound impact on child labour and on progress towards the 2025 target date for ending all forms of child labour set in the Sustainable Development Goals. Children have been identified as one of the population groups at greatest risk from the systemic shocks caused by climate change. The issue paper analyses existing research and identifies some of the key channels through which climate change and climate change responses are linked to child labour.

Long-term low-emission development strategies: Synthesis report by the secretariat (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/10, 14 September 2023)
https://unfccc.int/documents/632339
This report on long-term low-emission development strategies synthesizes information from the 68 latest available long-term low-emission development strategies, representing 75 Parties to the Paris Agreement, submitted to the secretariat as at 25 September 2023.

Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement: Synthesis report by the secretariat (FCCC/PA/CMA/2023/12, 14 November 2023)
https://unfccc.int/documents/632334
This report synthesizes information from the 168 latest available nationally determined contributions communicated by 195 Parties to the Paris Agreement and recorded in the registry of nationally determined contributions as at 25 September 2023.

Pathways towards lower emissions: A global assessment of the greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation options from livestock agrifood systems (FAO)
https://doi.org/10.4060/cc9029en
It is imperative to chart pathways to lower the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the world’s livestock systems in the face of a growing global population and a projected 20 percent increase in demand for terrestrial animal products by 2050. This report, released on 8 December 2023 on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 climate summit, raises the bar of opportunity for policy makers, industry participants, smallholders and consumers. The report, subject to a double-blind peer review process involving world experts, outlines several pathways impacting both the supply and demand sides for livestock sectors, which, if adopted collectively, could address the environmental impacts and promote sustainability. While there is no universal solution and more work is needed to understand the barriers to implementing and upscaling these interventions, enhancing productivity and production efficiency across the entire value chain is the most promising way to mitigate and reduce livestock emissions.

Protecting maternal, newborn and child health from the impacts of climate change: call for action
https://iris.who.int/handle/10665/374272
Pregnant women, babies and children face extreme health risks from climate catastrophes that warrant urgent attention, according to a Call for Action released on 21 November 2023 by United Nations (UN) agencies ahead of the global Conference of the Parties (COP28) negotiations on climate change in Dubai. According to the document the effects of climate events on maternal and child health have been neglected, underreported and underestimated. It highlights that very few countries’ climate change response plans mention maternal or child health, describing this as “a glaring omission and emblematic of the inadequate attention to the needs of women, newborns, and children in the climate change discourse”.

Provisional State of the Global Climate 2023 (WMO)
https://wmo.int/resources/publications/provisional-state-of-global-climate-2023
The WMO provisional State of the Global Climate report confirms that 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record. Data until the end of October shows that the year was about 1.40 degrees Celsius (with a margin of uncertainty of ±0.12°C) above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 baseline. The difference between 2023 and 2016 and 2020 – which were previously ranked as the warmest years – is such that the final two months are very unlikely to affect the ranking. The past nine years, 2015 to 2023, were the warmest on record. The warming El Niño event, which emerged during the Northern Hemisphere spring of 2023 and developed rapidly during summer, is likely to further fuel the heat in 2024 because El Niño typically has the greatest impact on global temperatures after it peaks.

Trade Policy Tools for Climate Action (WTO)
https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/booksp_e/tptforclimataction_e.pdf
The WTO Secretariat on 2 December launched this 10-point set at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai to present governments with a toolkit to draw from in their efforts to meet global climate targets. The new publication explores how integrating the trade policy options, such as reviewing import tariffs on low-carbon solutions, into national strategies can help economies mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to its consequences.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: Guidance from the Conference of the Parties and Responses by the Global Environment Facility, COP1 – COP27
https://www.thegef.org/newsroom/publications/unfccc-guidance-cops-and-responses-gef-cop1-cop27
The GEF continually incorporates guidance from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties into its programs and operations, as described annually in its report to the COP. This booklet summarizes all guidance to the GEF dating from the first COP to COP27 and the corresponding GEF responses. This publication provides full documentation of the evolution of GEF activities and policies as informed by guidance from the COP. The COP guidance and GEF responses contained in this booklet are presented in reverse chronological order, starting with COP27 and ending with COP1. The first chapter is updated annually to reflect the most recent COP guidance; however, sections corresponding to earlier COPs remain as published in prior years. Therefore, some responses within may appear outdated. Nevertheless, such information is helpful in following historical trends and in highlighting cumulative action. The booklet also contains annexes including the MOU between the COP and the GEF Council, guidelines for the review of the Financial Mechanism, and GEF project terms.

UNDP’s High-Integrity Carbon Markets Initiative
https://www.undp.org/publications/undps-high-integrity-carbon-markets-initiative
UNDP is collaborating with global initiatives to establish robust principles and guidelines that ensure high integrity across all types of carbon markets, with a vision to make carbon markets work for host countries and their NDCs. This initiative seeks to ensure all parties are equally informed and capacitated to strategically engage; that fairer terms, conditions and prices are negotiated with buyers; and importantly, that benefit sharing, SDG impacts and social and environmental safeguards are at the core of carbon program design and implementation.

 

Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2023 (UNFCCC)
https://unfccc.int/documents/632342
Businesses, investors, cities, states and regions are stepping up to take climate action in greater numbers than ever before – just not at the pace or scale needed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the 2023 edition of the Yearbook of Global Climate Action released at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) on 29 November 2023. The 2023 Yearbook, the seventh of the series, provides an overview of the progress, trends and challenges of real-world climate action taken by non-Party stakeholders. For example, the Yearbook reports that the Global Climate Action Portal – a platform that tracks climate action around the globe – now has more than 32,000 registered actors, an increase of approximately 6% from what was reported in 2022, and almost six times higher than in 2015. However, gaps remain, both in terms of increasing the geographical coverage and breadth of climate action of the portal itself but also in the solutions being pursued by non-Party stakeholders.

 

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

A call for safer and healthier working environments (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/resources-library/publications/WCMS_903140/lang–en/index.htm
Nearly three million workers die every year due to work-related accidents and diseases, an increase of more than 5 per cent compared to 2015, according to new ILO estimates. The toll underscores the persistent challenges in safeguarding the health and safety of workers, globally. Most of these work-related fatalities, totalling 2.6 million deaths, stem from work-related diseases. Work accidents account for an additional 330,000 deaths, according to the analysis. Circulatory diseases, malignant neoplasms and respiratory diseases rank among the top three causes of work-related death. Together, these three categories contribute more than three-quarters of total work-related mortality.

Businesses leading the way on disability inclusion: A compilation of good corporate practices (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/disability-and-work/WCMS_903644/lang–en/index.htm
Guidance on practical ways to include more people with disabilities in the corporate workplace, collected from 30 leading multinational companies, has been published by the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN), to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on 3 December. In the handbook, each company presents one best practice it uses, with the aim of inspiring and encouraging other companies to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their workforces. The suggestions cover all aspects of employment – including making recruitment processes fully accessible, appropriate skills training, awareness raising, accessible physical and digital infrastructures and reasonable workplace adjustments. All the companies included in the guide are members of the GBDN, which works to help enterprises achieve business success, while simultaneously creating equal opportunities and a welcoming culture for people with disabilities. There are an estimated 1.3 billion people with disabilities in the world, or one in six persons globally. On average, people with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to their peers without disabilities.

CLIP: New Online Platform Supports Creators’ Livelihoods
https://goclip.org/
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Music Rights Awareness Foundation launched on 17 November 2023 a new online platform to raise creators’ awareness of intellectual property (IP) rights and related management practices, aiming to ensure they receive recognition and fair reward for their work. CLIP – Creators Learn Intellectual Property – is an innovative, user-friendly and free to use online learning platform that will be filled with curated content from experienced musicians and mentors that will help creators make better business choices. Creators around the world are producing music, art and other content at record levels, and digital distribution is soaring. But they often lack critical information for managing their intellectual property rights and miss out how to get proper credit and be rewarded for their work, especially when it is consumed online – a situation that CLIP aims to improve.

Geoeconomic Fragmentation: What’s at Stake for the EU (IMF Working Paper No. 2023/245)
https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2023/11/29/Geoeconomic-Fragmentation-Whats-at-Stake-for-the-EU-541864
Geoeconomic fragmentation (GEF) is becoming entrenched worldwide, and the European Union (EU) is not immune to its effects. This paper takes stock of GEF policies impinging on—and adopted by—the EU and considers how exposed the EU is through trade, financial and technological channels. Motivated by current policies adopted by other countries, the paper then simulates how various measures—raising costs of trade and technology transfer and fossil fuel prices, and imposition of sectoral subsidies—would affect the EU economy. Due to its high-degree of openness, the EU is found to be exposed to GEF through multiple channels, with simulated losses that differ significantly across scenarios. From a welfare perspective, this suggests the need for a cautious approach to GEF policies. The EU’s best defence against GEF is to strengthen the Single Market while advocating for a multilateral rules-based trading system.

Integrating Trade and Decent Work (ILO)
Volume I: Has trade led to better jobs? Findings based on ILO’s Decent Work Indicators
https://www.ilo.org/global/research/projects/trade-decent-work/publications/WCMS_903191/lang–en/index.htm
Volume II: The potential of trade and investment policies to address labour market issues in supply chains
https://www.ilo.org/global/research/projects/trade-decent-work/publications/WCMS_903192/lang–en/index.htm
New research on how trade policies and labour market tools can be used to reduce inequalities and poverty and support sustainable development, has been unveiled at a high-level ILO event.
The two-volume publication was launched at the seminar, Integrating Trade and Decent Work: What Works and Why, organized to throw light on the role played by trade policies, strategies, and labour market institutions in promoting all aspects of decent work – including income, labour rights and working conditions.
Volume I: Has Trade Led to Better Jobs? Findings Based on the ILO’s Decent Work Indicators, examines trade’s impact on labour and employment in various countries and policy options. It includes an analysis of the role of women in export-driven industries, the uneven distribution of trade benefits, the role of labour market institutions and analysis of some specific countries.
Volume II: The Potential of Trade and Investment Policies to Address Labour Market Issues in Supply Chains, delves into how trade policies can address labour market challenges, particularly structural imbalances, and looks at how integrating labour standards into trade and investment policies can balance economic and social goals.
The analysis reveals a diverse range of findings regarding the effects of trade on workers and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), but one striking commonality is the impact of trade on women’s employment. The study shows that international trade has been a catalyst for the formalization process, especially for female workers. However, more jobs for men and women do not necessarily translate into an improvement of gender equality in terms of occupational segregation, pay, and access to training opportunities.

Let Communities Lead – World AIDS Day Report 2023
English: https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/documents/2023/world-aids-day-report-let-communities-lead
French: https://www.unaids.org/fr/resources/documents/2023/world-aids-day-report-let-communities-lead
Spanish: https://www.unaids.org/es/resources/documents/2023/world-aids-day-report-let-communities-lead
As World AIDS Day (1 December) approaches, UNAIDS is urging governments across the world to unleash the power of grassroots communities across the world to lead the fight to end AIDS. A new report launched on 28 November 2023 by UNAIDS shows that AIDS can be ended as a public health threat by 2030, but only if communities on the frontlines get the full support they need from governments and donors.

The plants that feed the world: Baseline data and metrics to inform strategies for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (FAO)
https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cc6876en
Most of us have our own ideas about the food and plants that make up a large part of our diet. But how much of an impact do climate change, conflicts, health considerations, lifestyle trends and other modern-day issues have on the crops we grow now and those we might need in the future? These are among the issues addressed in this new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Progress report on the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing, 2021-2023
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240079694
WHO and UN partners have launched the first UN Decade of Healthy Ageing progress report, which charts efforts to improve the lives of older people since 2020, capturing the impact of major challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, during which over 80% of deaths were among over 60-year-olds. The report also highlights activities in support of healthy ageing in nearly 50 countries. The report features results from a survey of 136 countries, conducted between late 2022 and early 2023, and notes the areas of greatest progress, by comparing with a previous survey from 2020. This comparison showed an over 20% increase in the number of countries reporting: legislation against ageism, legislation to support older people’s access to assistive products; national policies on comprehensive assessments of health and social care needs of ageing populations; and national programmes for age-friendly cities and communities. Despite this progress, further efforts are needed as the Decade – which runs from 2021 to 2030 – continues.

Regional Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2023: Europe and Central Asia (UNDRR)
https://www.undrr.org/report/rar-2023-europe-and-central-asia
The Europe and Central Asia region has witnessed many dramatic events that have challenged our assumptions about the sources of risk, the sources of strength and the limits of what is likely. This report captures the challenges and opportunities in the Europe and Central Asia region. It highlights the cost of inaction or what happens next if we do no not take urgent action in line with the recommendations for guiding national, subnational and local actors on DRR. At the midpoint of the Sendai Framework period, now is the time to take stock of progress and transform our collective actions to truly reduce risk, save lives, and avoid preventable losses and damage.

The State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries 2023: Special edition (SoMFi 2023)
https://doi.org/10.4060/cc8888en
The percentage of overfished stocks in the Mediterranean and Black Sea has fallen below 60 percent for the first time, following a decreasing trend that started a decade ago, according to a report launched on 7 December 2023. While overfishing remains a concern, the report records a drop of 15 percent in this figure over the last year, an improvement consistent with a continuous reduction in fishing pressure, which has fallen by 31 percent since 2012.  The report is the flagship publication of the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). For the first time, this year’s report also includes data on the region’s marine aquaculture sector.

Uniform Provisions Concerning the Approval of Child Restraint Systems for Safer Transport of Children in Buses and Coaches (UN Regulation No. XXX)
https://unece.org/sites/default/files/2023-11/ECE_TRANS_WP.29_2023_135E.pdf
The majority of the buses and coaches currently in use worldwide are not equipped with safety-belts. And if they are, they are equipped with safety-belts designed to protect adults by means of 2-point or 3-point harness seat belts. These types of safety-belts are not suitable for use on and by children because they could lead to serious injuries and event fatalities in road crashes.  According to the European Road Safety Observatory, in bus/coach crashes in the European Union, 18% of the fatalities are the passengers in the buses and coaches themselves. And the consequences of a collision are often serious for the victim due to the mass of these vehicles.  To ensure safer transport of children and prevent serious injury and fatality in case of rollovers and frontal impact, the new UN Regulation adopted by the UNECE’s World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations WP.29 stipulates the use of special integrated child seats with tailored belts for children in buses and coaches.

WHO expert meeting on prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases: learning from the arts. Opera House Budapest, Hungary, 15–16 December 2022: meeting report
https://iris.who.int/handle/10665/373900
This report summarizes the proceedings of an expert meeting held on 15–16 December 2022 in Budapest, Hungary, on the value of arts interventions for health, focusing on initiatives for mainstreaming arts into prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (‎NCDs)‎ in the WHO European Region. Participants included academics in a range of disciplines, civil society groups, Member State representatives and WHO staff. NCD prevention and control, a critical area of public health, is particularly well suited for arts interventions. Arts-based activities are multimodal, with psychological, behavioural and social effects, can be delivered in low-risk, cost-effective initiatives and can significantly improve health and well-being. They can provide insights into complex behavioural barriers and drivers, encourage participation and outreach, support healing and disease management, galvanize behaviour change and encourage a culture of health and well-being. They can be used in the context of many NCDs, including mental health, age-related disorders and chronic illness. The meeting identified various priorities for strengthening the intersection between arts and health, including building a strong community of practice and engaging in advocacy and awareness-raising. Participants discussed ways for supporting these priorities, such as capacity-building, thematic focus areas, funding and design considerations.

WHO guideline for non-surgical management of chronic primary low back pain in adults in primary and community care settings
https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/374726/9789240081789-eng.pdf
The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing its first-ever guidelines on managing chronic low back pain (LBP) in primary and community care settings, listing interventions for health workers to use and also to not use during routine care. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability globally. In 2020, approximately 1 in 13 people, equating to 619 million people, experienced LBP, a 60% increase from 1990. Cases of LBP are expected to rise to an estimated 843 million by 2050, with the greatest growth anticipated in Africa and Asia, where populations are getting larger and people are living longer. The personal and community impacts and costs associated with LBP are particularly high for people who experience persisting symptoms. Chronic primary LBP referring to pain that lasts for more than 3 months that is not due to an underlying disease or other condition – accounts for the vast majority of chronic LBP presentation in primary care, commonly estimated to represent at least 90% of cases. For these reasons, WHO is issuing guidelines on chronic primary LBP.

World Public Sector Report 2023: Transforming institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals after the pandemic
https://publicadministration.desa.un.org/publications/world-public-sector-report-2023
The World Public Sector Report 2023 examines the role that national institutional and governance innovations and changes that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic can play in advancing progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report focuses on three main questions: How can Governments reshape their relationship with people and other actors to enhance trust and promote the changes required for more sustainable and peaceful societies? How can Governments assess competing priorities and address difficult policy trade-offs that have emerged since 2020? What assets and innovations can Governments mobilize to transform the public sector and achieve the SDGs? The report addresses them in chapters composed of short overviews followed by a set of in-depth contributions from a wide range of experts which examine institutional changes observed in different contexts, sectors and policy processes and explore the potential of those with a positive impact on the achievement of the SDGs to be sustained beyond the pandemic. The report aims to draw attention to institutional change as a key component of the societal transformations required to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Therapeutics and COVID-19: Living guideline, 10 November 2023
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-2019-nCoV-therapeutics-2023.2
WHO has updated its guidelines for COVID-19 therapeutics, with revised recommendations for patients with non-severe COVID-19. This is the 13th update to these guidelines. The guidance includes updated risk rates for hospital admission in patients with non-severe COVID-19. The current COVID-19 virus variants tend to cause less severe disease while immunity levels are higher due to vaccination, leading to lower risks of severe illness and death for most patients. This update includes new baseline risk estimates for hospital admission in patients with non-severe COVID-19. The new ‘moderate risk’ category now includes people previously considered to be high risk including older people and/or those with chronic conditions, disabilities, and comorbidities of chronic disease. The updated risk estimates will assist healthcare professionals to identify individuals at high, moderate or low risk of hospital admission, and to tailor treatment according to WHO guidelines.

 

International Peace and Security

AI and International Security: Understanding the Risks and Paving the Path for Confidence-Building Measures (UNIDIR)
https://unidir.org/publication/ai-and-international-security-understanding-the-risks-and-paving-the-path-for-confidence-building-measures/
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) in recent years, combined with the technology’s scalability and convergence with other domains, have prompted numerous concerns about the risks of AI to global security, including risks of misuse and escalation. However, policy discussions still lack a comprehensive analysis of the technology’s risks and how categories of risks are interrelated. This report provides an overview of the main categories of risks of AI in the context of international peace and security, across domains of use and applications. This research concludes phase one of the UNIDIR project on CBMs for AI. It provides a basis for multi-stakeholder engagements to understand the risks and to advance discussions about CBMs, which can help promote a more transparent, safe and responsible environment for the development and use of AI.

Concept note for the open debate on the theme “Maintenance of international peace and security: promote sustaining peace through common development”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2023/870
In its capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of November, China organized an open debate on the theme “Maintenance of international peace and security: promote sustaining peace through common development”, on 20 November 2023. In order to guide the discussions on this topic, China has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the theme “Threats to international peace and security: transnational organized crime, growing challenges and new threats”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2023/933
During its presidency of the Security Council in December 2023, Ecuador held an open debate on the theme “Threats to international peace and security: Transnational organized crime, growing challenges and new threats”, on 7 December 2023. This is the concept note, prepared to inform and guide the discussion.

Indicators for Democratic Parliaments
https://www.parliamentaryindicators.org/
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) launched on 16 November 2023 the multi-partner initiative “Indicators for Democratic Parliaments”, a platform to help assess the capacity and performance of parliaments to become stronger democratic institutions. With a series of 25 indicators, the new tool can be applied to all parliaments, regardless of size, political context or system. The set of indicators are aligned directly with the UN Sustainable Development Goal targets 16.6 and 16.7, which seek to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions to ensure inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.

Voices of Resilience: A Gender Needs Analysis on Preventing Violent Extremism in the Sahel (UNICRI)
English: https://unicri.it/sites/default/files/2023-11/Voices%20of%20Resilience%20EN.pdf
French: https://unicri.it/sites/default/files/2023-11/Voix%20de%20R%C3%A9silience%20FR.pdf
UNICRI’s latest research initiative delivers a comprehensive analysis of the experiences of individuals in the Sahel, focusing on the different perceptions of women, girls, men, and boys. The primary goal of the report is to inform targeted prevention initiatives that address violent extremism through a robust gender analysis tailored to the specific needs of local communities. Conducted through extensive on-the-ground research in Mali, Niger, and Mauritania, the report establishes a nuanced understanding of the intricate links between gender dynamics and violent extremism in the region. Through surveys, interviews, and focus group discussions with key informants, the study engaged 355 individuals, representing a diverse cross-section of the population, including community members, national and local authorities, religious figures, security experts, and civil society actors. The research underscores a direct correlation between community resilience against joining violent extremist groups and the identified needs and demands of local communities. In fact, primary concerns expressed by the inclusive samples of community members centre around employment, food security, protection, insecurity, and service availability, aligning closely with key resilience factors against violent extremism. The study further reveals the relationship between violent extremism and community resilience varies across localities, depending on specific gender roles, violence levels, and service availability. In response, the research emphasises the necessity for tailored, context-specific prevention of violent extremism interventions, addressing adaptively each factor of resilience. 

 

Human Rights


Human Rights 75: High-level Event in Geneva on 11 and 12 December
https://www.ohchr.org/en/events/events/2023/human-rights-75-high-level-event
The UN Human Rights Office is organising a High-level Event on 11 and 12 December to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The event is the culmination of Human Rights 75 – a year-long initiative by the Office to reaffirm the values of the Universal Declaration and recommit to human rights as the pathway to address the challenges of today and the future.

Checklist for ensuring the quality of violence against women surveys
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240086210
In 2015, all United Nations (UN) Members States agreed to work towards eliminating violence against women: Target 5.2. of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5. They also agreed to measure progress using two indicators, the first being the proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months (SDG indicator 5.2.1). Knowledge about how to produce valid and reliable data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence and other types of violence against women has expanded in recent decades. Surveys that measure the prevalence and consequences of violence against women, including intimate partner violence, are specialized and need technical support and guidance to follow best practice. However, not all surveys follow best practice. This makes national and sub-national data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence difficult to compare across settings. Some surveys are subject to the risk of bias, including the risk of underestimating the prevalence.
This checklist is designed to help national statistics offices and other national research and data institutions and research teams to think through the steps needed to produce high-quality survey data on intimate partner violence — from the planning stages through to analysis, report write-up and dissemination of accurately interpreted findings. Most surveys on violence against women measure multiple types of violence, and many of the generic recommendations in this checklist are applicable to various forms of violence against women. However, this checklist addresses the specificities of measuring the prevalence of intimate partner violence — one of the most common forms of violence women are subjected to globally. A checklist to address the specificities of measuring the prevalence of non-partner sexual violence will be produced in the future. This checklist is meant to be used by teams planning dedicated surveys on violence against women as well as surveys with a module on violence against women within a larger survey, as in the Demographic and Health Surveys. Funders and other organizations commissioning surveys on violence against women may also find this checklist useful to inform their work.

Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth: Innocenti Report Card 18
https://www.unicef.org/globalinsight/reports/report-card-18-child-poverty-amidst-wealth
Some of the world’s richest countries experienced sharp rises in child poverty between 2014 and 2021, according to data published on 6 December 2023 by UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight. Report Card 18: Child Poverty in the Midst of Wealth – the latest in the series looking at children’s well-being in OECD and EU countries – finds that Poland and Slovenia are faring best in efforts to tackle child poverty, followed by Latvia and the Republic of Korea. In contrast, some of the richest countries in the report are lagging behind, near the bottom of the country rankings. The report presents the most up-to-date, comparable picture of poverty affecting children in OECD and EU countries, and analyses governments’ income support policies for families with children. It finds that, despite overall decreases in poverty by nearly 8 per cent across 40 countries between 2014 and 2021, there were still over 69 million children living in households earning less than 60 per cent of the average national income by the end of 2021.

Guidance Note on Intersectionality, Racial Discrimination and Protection of Minorities / United Nations Network on Racial Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/4027920
This Guidance Note was prepared by the United Nations Network on Racial Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to support those involved in United Nations efforts to end discrimination, inequality and exclusion. The Note seeks to encourage an intersectionality perspective in the context of policy development, programming and project implementation as a means of strengthening the United Nations system’s efforts to eliminate racial discrimination and strengthen the protection of minorities. The Note provides a summary of the concept of intersectionality and its grounding in the principle of equality and non-discrimination and, more broadly, international human rights. It presents examples of the ways in which United Nations agencies have prioritized an intersectionality perspective in their work and makes a series of recommendations for practitioners.

Progress and the Peril: HIV and the Global De/criminalization of Same-Sex Sex
https://www.undp.org/publications/progress-and-peril-hiv-and-global-de/criminalization-same-sex-sex
This publication documents the reversal on laws criminalizing same-sex sex in the context of the HIV pandemic. The joint report by Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) explores this ongoing global trend toward decriminalization, with more countries removing punitive laws in 2022 than in any single year in the past 25 years. Just a decade ago, the landmark Global Commission on HIV and the Law report called on countries to repeal criminalizing laws undermining the AIDS response – today 129 out of the world’s 194 countries tracked by the HIV Policy Lab do not criminalize same-sex sex. While providing caution amidst a dangerous countertrend toward harsher criminalization and anti-LGBTI+ legislation in some countries, the report includes case studies on decriminalization in Angola, Mauritius, Singapore, Botswana, India, Cook Islands, Gabon and Antigua and Barbuda, demonstrating that progress is possible across a range of contexts. The data and case studies from the report suggest important lessons for the AIDS response. They underscore the impact of investing in policy-change and law-reform efforts of decriminalisation. These efforts will be critical to deliver on HIV-related SDGs, the 10-10-10 targets of the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and the commitment to reach those furthest behind.

Research Manual – Assessment of the implementation of fundamental principles and rights at work in the workplace (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/resources-library/publications/WCMS_903176/lang–en/index.htm
Millions of workers worldwide are in vulnerable working conditions. In particular, realizing fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), including the right to a safe and healthy working environment, continues to be a cause of significant concern. The ILO, under the Safety + Health for All Programme, developed a research methodology that, for the first time, addresses under a combined framework the five fundamental principles and rights at work: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation, and the right to a safe and healthy working environment. Through improved research in these areas – particularly in informal settings – the ILO aims to identify factors that enable or constrain the realisation of these core standards at the workplace, which are often interconnected. The handbook is a practical guide for development practitioners to improve their data collection processes and analysis. It is accompanied by a questionnaire to be used for employers, a questionnaire for workers, and two supplemental manuals for the administration of the questionnaires and conducting semi-structured interviews.

 

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) “in a nutshell”
English: https://www.oacnudh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/WGEID-CED-InglesWEB.pdf
Spanish: https://www.oacnudh.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/WGEID-CED-EspanolWEB.pdf

 

 

 

Humanitarian Affairs

Gaza War: Expected Socio-Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine: Preliminary estimation until 5 November 2023 (ESCWA / UNDP)
https://www.unescwa.org/publications/war-gaza-expected-socioeconomic-impact-palestine
If the war in Gaza continues for a second month the poverty rate in the State of Palestine will soar by 34 percent, thrusting nearly half a million additional people into poverty, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plummets by 8.4 percent—a loss of US$1.7 billion—according to initial estimates by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). In a rapid assessment released on 9 November, the authors estimate that, as the war hit the one-month mark, poverty had risen by 20 percent and GDP had declined by 4.2 percent. The assessment also underscores that the International Labour Organization estimates that 390,000 jobs have already been lost.

Impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on the labour market and livelihoods in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (ILO Brief – Bulletin No. 1)
https://www.ilo.org/beirut/publications/WCMS_901136/lang–en/index.htm
At least 61 per cent of employment, equivalent to 182,000 jobs, has been lost in the Gaza Strip since the start of the current Israel-Hamas war, a new ILO report estimates. The conflict in Gaza is also having a spillover effect in the West Bank, where an estimated 24 per cent of employment, equivalent to 208,000 jobs, has been lost over the same period. The total estimated 390,000 job losses in the two areas that comprise the Occupied Palestinian Territory translate into daily labour income losses of USD $16 million. These figures are projected to increase if military operations in Gaza intensify and the humanitarian crisis in the enclave continues to unfold. The estimates were outlined in the ILO’s first bulletin on the impact of the current Israel-Hamas conflict on the labour market and livelihoods in the Territory. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has severe implications on the labour market, employment prospects and livelihoods in the enclave and across the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, the bulletin reports.

Libya – Impact of Storm Daniel: An Update on Displacement and Needs, November 2023 (IOM)
https://dtm.iom.int/reports/libya-impact-storm-daniel-update-displacement-and-needs-november-2023
This publication presents DTM Libya’s analysis of the displacement situation in north eastern and west Libya following the impacts of Storm Daniel which made landfall in September 2023. The analysis utilizes DTM data collected in October 2023, and estimates that 44,862 persons (8,907 households) have been displaced due to the floods. The majority of IDPs (41,720 IDPs or 93%) are currently located in 18 municipalities across north eastern Libya and the remaining 3,142 IDPs (7%) are in the west. In addition, DTM estimates that 1,715 migrants have also been displaced as a result of the flooding, most of whom (1,690 migrants or 99%) are located in municipalities in north eastern Libya. Derna region hosts the highest number of IDPs (25,994 IDPs), followed by Al Jabal Al Akhdar (5,430 IDPs) and Benghazi regions (4,275 IDPs). As of October 2023, over half of IDPs (52%) live in self-paid rented accommodation while 45 per cent are living with host families. For more information, please see the links in the package below.

PROGRESS 2023: Periodic Global Report on the State of Solutions to Internal Displacement (IOM)
https://dtm.iom.int/sites/g/files/tmzbdl1461/files/progress/PROGRESS%20REPORT%202023.pdf
Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who have access to adequate housing are over three times more likely to not rely on humanitarian assistance and twice as likely to have stable income according to a study published on 21 November 2023 by the International Organization for Migration’s Global Data Institute (GDI) in partnership with Georgetown University in the United States. The PROGRESS report is a comprehensive analysis of the state of solutions to internal displacement worldwide. The report focuses on 15 countries (Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Libya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Vanuatu and Yemen), providing crucial insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by IDPs. It shows the importance of job creation, security, and fostering a sense of belonging within communities for overcoming displacement-related vulnerabilities and, subsequently, reduce disparities between IDPs and their host communities.  Fifteen countries currently host 37.5 million of the 71.1 million IDPs worldwide, a concentration that underscores the critical need for swift and targeted interventions to address internal displacement amid escalating humanitarian crises.

Unequal Access: Gendered barriers to humanitarian assistance (WFP)
https://www.wfp.org/publications/unequal-access-gendered-barriers-humanitarian-assistance
Humanitarian access has two dimensions; the ability of humanitarians to reach populations affected by crisis and the ability of affected populations to access humanitarian assistance. Analyses on humanitarian access have traditionally focused on the former. This has resulted in a limited understanding of the access barriers experienced by diverse women and girls, as well as men and boys. Building on the evaluations of the World Food Programme’s (WFP) protection and gender policies, WFP Strategic Plan 2022-2025 emphasizes the need to strengthen gender and protection mainstreaming and calls for engagement of diverse groups within communities to inform programmes, with a “focus on identifying barriers to access food and nutrition assistance, as well as the risks to which affected populations are exposed”. Challenges also remain to systematically operationalise gender analyses, participatory approaches and the tailoring of assistance to the needs of all women, girls, men and boys. This study aims to fill these gaps by identifying the specific barriers and constraints that women and girls, in particular, face when attempting to access WFP assistance in different humanitarian contexts. The study will also propose a set of recommendations, including on best practices from the field.

 

Justice and International Law

Environmental Rule of Law: Tracking Progress and Charting Future Directions (UNEP)
https://www.unep.org/resources/publication/environmental-rule-law-tracking-progress-and-charting-future-directions
Environmental rule of law around the world is rapidly transforming due to technological innovation, the COVID-19 pandemic, public concerns over climate change and the rise of racial and social justice movements. A report published on 22 November 2023 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) provides a series of recommendations to governments. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of developments since the release of the first Global Report on Environmental Rule of Law in 2019. Through collecting and analysing data from a survey of 193 UN Member States regarding their laws, institutions, civic engagement, rights and justice, the report highlights the most prevalent aspects of environmental rule of law across countries and tracks progress over time.

International Law Aspects of Sea Level Rise (World Bank)
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/40584
This legal study is based on Legal Dimensions of Sea Level Rise: Pacific Perspectives which was published on June 29, 2021. The original version provided an assessment of key legal frameworks and policy questions that are relevant in the context of sea level rise in the Pacific region. This work, on the other hand, while largely based on the analysis of the original version, provides an updated assessment of the impacts of climate change, especially sea level rise, on the maritime rights of all island and coastal States.1 It is designed for a global audience. The study is divided into three parts. Part I looks briefly at the pioneering work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its most recent predictions for sea level rise during the current century, and then sets it in the context of other scientific work on threats from sea level rise and warming. Part II sets out an overview of relevant legal frameworks, key terminology, and principles based on international law, as well as judicial decisions and scholarly work that define the rights, resources, and obligations of all coastal States, particularly island and low-lying States. Part III then presents a series of responses to key legal and policy questions faced by these States in relation to sea level rise.

Policy on Gender-based Crimes: Crimes involving sexual, reproductive and other gender-based violence (ICC)
English & French: https://www.icc-cpi.int/news/policy-gender-based-crimes
Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court publishes new Policy on Gender-based Crimes: Statement by ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC (5 December 2023):
“After nearly a decade of lessons learned, my Office has launched a new Policy on Gender-based Crimes that will guide and strengthen our work in rigorously investigating and prosecuting these historically neglected atrocities. A concrete expression of our commitment to prioritise gender-based crimes (GBC), this Policy provides clarity and direction and will allow us to fully consider GBC across all Situations and throughout all stages of our work.
Gender-based crimes are hugely underreported. Survivors are often reluctant to speak out about their experiences for many reasons, including stigma, fear of retaliation and rejection, or unfamiliarity with the criminal process. And yet many hunger for justice. We must do everything we can to create a safe space for survivors to come forward to teach us what they know, what they have experienced. Then we must take this forward to court, building the strongest cases possible. This is our charge. It is our moral obligation.
The Policy we now present to you represents a fundamental renewal of the 2014 OTP Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes. Through it, my Office articulates our position that essentially all crimes under the Rome Statute can involve forms of sexual, reproductive or other gender-based violence, regardless of whether they have traditionally been seen as such.
The new Policy also identifies principles underlying our work on GBC, including adopting an intersectional perspective, acknowledging and overcoming myths, stereotypes and misconceptions, and taking a survivor-centred, trauma-informed approach in all that we do. We further recognise that only after a thorough gender-competent investigation and careful intersectional analysis can the gendered nature, meaning, and impact of conduct in a case be determined. …”

Standard on Public-Private Partnerships / Concession Legal Framework in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and its Accompanying Guide (UNECE)
https://unece.org/info/publications/pub/385961
Countries that wish to harness the potential of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to advance the development, provision and operation of sustainable infrastructure and public services will find help in ensuring this is done in ways that support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thanks to the Standard PPP/Concession Legal Framework published  on 1 December 2023 by UNECE.  This approach to PPPs has been advocated by UNECE since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It promotes a new generation of PPPs that are “fit for purpose” for the SDGs and that not only create “value for money” but also “value for people” and “value for the planet” in infrastructure and public services. The publication consists of two parts: the Standard PPP/Concession Legal Framework in support of the SDGs, which establishes the legal framework for PPPs in support of the SDGs and the contracts that give effect to them; and an Accompanying Guide, which provides a supporting commentary of the Standard written in non-legal language. Together they constitute a complete PPP legal guide that Member States could easily transpose or adapt into their national legislation.

 

Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Gender-related killings of women and girls (femicide/feminicide): Global estimates of female intimate partner/family-related homicides in 2022
https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2023/11/gender-related-killings-of-women-and-girls-femicide-feminicide-global-estimates-2022
Nearly 89,000 women and girls were killed intentionally in 2022 across the globe, says a new research paper from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women. The figure represents the highest yearly number recorded in the past two decades. Data currently available for 2022 suggest that the increase in female homicides occurred despite a drop in the overall number of homicides. Fifty-five per cent (48,800) of all female homicides are committed by family members or intimate partners, underscoring the disturbing reality that home is far from a safe haven for women and girls. This means that, on average, more than 133 women or girls were killed every day by someone in their own home. In contrast, 12 per cent of homicides against males are perpetrated in the home. Moreover, the true scale of femicide may be much higher, as information on gender-related motivations is insufficient in roughly four out of ten female homicides.

 

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