UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter – February 2021

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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

UN News Centre
Make 2021 a year of possibility and hope, UN chief tells General Assembly (28 January 2021)
•  English: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/01/1083162
•  French: https://news.un.org/fr/story/2021/01/1087992
•  Spanish: https://news.un.org/es/story/2021/01/1487222
•  Portuguese: https://news.un.org/pt/story/2021/01/1739892

Speech
•  English: Following Year of Death, Disaster, Despair, Secretary-General Outlines Priorities for 2021, Telling General Assembly ‘Crisis Gives Rise to Change’ (SG/SM/20558, 28 January 2021): https://www.un.org/press/en/2021/sgsm20558.doc.htm
•  French : Le Secrétaire général énonce dix priorités pour que le monde passe en 2021 d’une « annus horribilis » à une « annus possibilitatis », une année de possibilités et d’espoir (SG/SM/20558, 28 janvier 2021) : https://www.un.org/press/fr/2021/sgsm20558.doc.htm


Selection and Appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
https://www.un.org/pga/75/sg-selection/
The office of the President of the General Assembly has just launched a web page, which should help the public to better understand the Secretary-General selection and appointment process. It will be updated regularly.

UN Results portal
https://results.un.org/
The newly launched results.un.org portal is a product of the reform, providing access to hundreds of results contained in the proposed programme budget for 2021. When you visit results.un.org you will find more than 600 results in all six official languages that are presented in an easy-to-use portal that is available to Member States and anyone with internet access. You can filter results by entity, geographical location and category of result, which includes intelligent search capability. The various examples in results.un.org show how the UN intends to help reduce inequality, achieve sustainable development, advance adherence to human rights and the rule of law, achieve safer and more peaceful societies, and ensure greater access to humanitarian assistance and protection for refugees while advancing international law. The focus on governments, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, women, youth and vulnerable groups is evident throughout.

New in the UN Digital Library: Press Releases
https://digitallibrary.un.org
Many people know that the latest UN Headquarters press releases are readily accessible online. But did you know that the Dag Hammarskjöld Library is a treasure trove for new and historical UN press releases? As of November 2020, more than 23,000 press releases going back to 1946 have been catalogued in the UN Digital Library, with more than 9,600 records linking to the online version.

Video on the World Bank Group Archives
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/video/2020/12/03/uncover-the-treasures-of-the-world-bank-group-archives?cid
This short promotional video describes the possibilities available to researchers when they “jump in and explore” the holdings of the World Bank Group Archives.

 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
COVID-19-Response-Logo (English)

COVID-19: an informative guide: advice for journalists, January 2021 (WHO/Europe)
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/339256/WHO-EURO-2021-1936-41687-57038-eng.pdf
Media outlets are key public health players, shaping perceptions of risk and targeting communities to protect health. This document offers tools to help the media play their role in the COVID-19 pandemic response through accurate, ethical and responsible reporting. It also proposes ways to approach coverage and encourages journalists to provide advice and solutions that can help reduce health risks and save lives.

 

Global Report on Health Data Systems and Capacity, 2020 (WHO)
Report: https://www.who.int/publications/global-report-on-health-data-systems-and-capacity-2020
Data dashboard: https://www.who.int/data/data-collection-tools/score/dashboard#/
The first global assessment on the status and capacity of health information systems in 133 countries, covering 87% of the global population. It identifies gaps and provides guidance for investment in areas that can have the greatest impact on the quality, availability, analysis, accessibility and use of health data.

ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Seventh edition
https://bit.ly/3qVFFfY
Tentative signs of recovery are emerging in global labour markets, following unprecedented disruption in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest report from the International Labour Organization, released on 25 January 2021. New annual estimates in the seventh edition of the ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work confirm the massive impact that labour markets suffered in 2020. The latest figures show that 8.8 per cent of global working hours were lost for the whole of last year (relative to the fourth quarter of 2019), equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. This is approximately four times greater than the number lost during the 2009 global financial crisis.

The impact of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture food systems: Possible responses – Information paper, November 2020 (FAO)
http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb2537en
Global fisheries and aquaculture have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and could face further disruption in 2021 as lockdowns affect supply and demand across the sector, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), released on 2 February 2021. The report was featured during the 34th session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) hosted by FAO. Fish supply, consumption and trade revenues for 2020 are all expected to have declined due to containment restrictions, the report noted, while global aquaculture production is expected to fall by some 1.3 per cent, the first fall recorded by the sector in several years.

Impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the enjoyment of human rights around the world, including good practices and areas of concern: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/46/19
“Summary: In the present report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights presents an update on the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)pandemic on human rights and highlights the extent to which it has exposed systemic gaps in human rights protection that have undermined resilience. The High Commissioner also presents select good practices of Member States as they attempt to deal with the worst global health crisis in over a century. In the recommendations she makes, the High Commissioner underscores the need for addressing human rights throughout the response and recovery to the pandemic in order to build a more sustainable, equitable and secure future for people and for the planet.”

Livelihoods, food and futures: COVID-19 and the displaced (UNHCR)
https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/4b999f79628644df84ccb7c10a9edd9e
In this data visualization project UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, collated statistics from numerous sources to shed more light on the effects of the pandemic on poor and vulnerable people, including refugees. The storymap — the third in a series examining how displaced communities have been affected by the coronavirus — illustrates the drastic falls in levels of employment and income since the onset of the pandemic. It also explores how families are coping to meet basic needs, in many cases forced to cut corners because of shrinking household budgets.

Risk communication and community engagement for COVID-19 contact tracing: interim guidance (2021) (WHO/Europe)
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/339100/WHO-EURO-2021-1897-41648-56945-
Contact tracing is a key element of WHO’s recommended approach to control the spread of COVID-19 by breaking the chains of human-to-human transmission. By effectively embedding risk communication and community engagement (‎RCCE)‎ principles in contact-tracing efforts in the context of COVID-19, compliance with contact-tracing efforts is safeguarded and transmission of COVID-19 is slowed or halted, ultimately reducing death and disease due to COVID-19 and mitigating the negative impact on health-care systems and economies. This document provides guidance to health authorities at all levels to improve the success rate of contact tracing by informing efforts with RCCE principles, evidence and activities, and provides ready-to-use tools for professionals involved in contact-tracing efforts to inform their practices with RCCE principles and likewise improve their success rate.

Second Progress Report / Prepared by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response for the WHO Executive Board, January 2021
https://theindependentpanel.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Independent-Panel_Second-Report-on-Progress_Final-15-Jan-2021.pdf
The global system for pandemic alert and response is “not fit for purpose”, highlighting the need for a new framework in the wake of COVID-19, experts appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an interim report presented on 19 January 2021. The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response found critical elements to be “slow, cumbersome and indecisive” in an era when information about new disease outbreaks is being transmitted faster than countries can formally report on them. The Independent Panel was established to review lessons learned from international response to COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Nearly 94 million confirmed cases and more than two million deaths have been reported globally as of 19 January 2021. The panel’s second progress report said countries were slow to respond to the new coronavirus disease, noting “there were lost opportunities to apply basic public health measures at the earliest opportunity”.

Skills development in the time of COVID-19: Taking stock of the initial responses in technical and vocational education and training (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/skills/areas/skills-training-for-poverty-reduction/WCMS_766557/lang–en/index.htm
According to a global survey of more than 1,350 providers of Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET), many countries and training providers were insufficiently prepared to respond to the constraints that resulted from the crisis, although some rapidly shifted to distance learning. A majority of survey respondents reported disruptions to training, in particular to work-based learning due to enterprise closures, as well as the cancellation of assessment and certification exams. However, since the start of the crisis, innovations in teaching and learning have begun to emerge, says the report. The survey covered TVET providers, policymakers and social partners in 126 countries. It was conducted between 5 April and 15 May 2020 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank.

UN/DESA Policy Brief #90: A new global deal must promote economic security
https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/un-desa-policy-brief-90-a-new-global-deal-must-promote-economic-security/
Fears related to economic insecurity are on the rise. Changes in the world of work, together with globalization and technological breakthroughs, have benefited many people but are also putting many others at disadvantage or at risk. These long-standing trends, which have raised aspirations but also fears, are compounded by evolving threats, including those brought about by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN/DESA Policy Brief #91: The politics of economic insecurity in the COVID-19 era
https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/un-desa-policy-brief-91-the-politics-of-economic-insecurity-in-the-covid-19-era/
The COVID-19 crisis has served as a reminder of the extent of economic insecurity, even in countries and among groups that previously considered themselves secure. This is likely to have profound consequences, threatening countries’ ability to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs.

Vaccine misinformation management field guide: Guidance for addressing a global infodemic and fostering demand for immunization
https://vaccinemisinformation.guide/
Misinformation threatens the success of vaccination programs across the world. UNICEF, First Draft, Yale Institute for Global Health, and PGP (The Public Good Projects) have partnered to create the Vaccine Misinformation Management Field Guide. This guide aims to help organizations to address the global infodemic through the development of strategic and well-coordinated national action plans to rapidly counter vaccine misinformation and build demand for vaccination that are informed by social listening.

#Vaccines4All
https://www.un.org/pga/75/vaccines4all/
On 30 November 2020, President Bozkir launched an initiative called #Vaccines4All, calling on UN Member States to support global, multilateral efforts to achieve fair and equitable access to vaccines.

 

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Ageing Water Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk (UNU-INWEH)
https://inweh.unu.edu/ageing-water-storage-infrastructure-an-emerging-global-risk/
By 2050, most people on Earth will live downstream of tens of thousands of large dams built in the 20th century, many of them already operating at or beyond their design life, according to a United Nations University analysis released on 22 January 2021. The report by the Canada-based UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), says most of the 58,700 large dams worldwide were constructed between 1930 and 1970 with a design life of 50 to 100 years, adding that at 50 years a large concrete dam “would most probably begin to express signs of aging.” Ageing signs include increasing cases of dam failures, progressively increasing costs of dam repair and maintenance, increasing reservoir sedimentation, and loss of a dam’s functionality and effectiveness — “strongly interconnected” manifestations, the paper says. The report says dams that are well-designed, constructed, and maintained can “easily” reach 100 years of service but predicts an increase in “decommissioning” — a phenomenon gaining pace in the USA and Europe — as economic and practical limitations prevent ageing dams from being upgraded or if their original use is now obsolete.

Food system impacts on biodiversity loss: Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature
https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/publication/food-system-impacts-biodiversity-loss
This new Chatham House report, supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Compassion in World Farming, describes three actions needed for food system transformation in support of biodiversity, and sets out recommendations to emsystem reform in high level political events over the coming UN ‘Super Year’ for Nature.  Our global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss, with agriculture alone being the identified threat to 24,000 of the 28,000 (86%) species at risk of extinction. The global rate of species extinction today is higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years. In the last decades our food systems have been following the “cheaper food paradigm”, with a goal of producing more food at lower costs through increasing inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, energy, land and water. This paradigm leads to a vicious circle: the lower cost of food production creates a bigger demand for food that must also be produced at a lower cost through more intensification and further land clearance. The impacts of producing more food at a lower cost are not limited to biodiversity loss. The global food system is a major driver of climate change, accounting for around 30% of total human-produced emissions.

Global Climate Litigation Report – 2020 Status Review (UNEP)
https://www.unep.org/resources/report/global-climate-litigation-report-2020-status-review
People, including children and indigenous communities, are increasingly turning to the courts to compel governments and businesses to respect and accelerate commitments on climate change. According to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), published on 25 January 2021, the number of climate change litigation cases has surged in the last four years and now stands at 1,550 in 38 countries (39 including the courts of the European Union). As of 1 July 2020, some 1,200 of these cases were filed in the United States and 350 in all other countries combined. The report noted this was almost double the number identified in an inaugural 2017 UNEP report on the subject. That document listed 884 cases in some 24 countries, of which 654 were in the United States and 230 in other nations.

Managing Infrastructure Assets for Sustainable Development: A handbook for local and national governments
https://www.un.org/development/desa/financing/document/un-handbook-infrastructure-asset-management
This UN/DESA-UNCDF Handbook represents a significant contribution to the Financing for Sustainable Development agenda, advancing both thought leadership and action. Finalized in the crucible of the COVID-19 crisis, the Handbook brings global visibility to infrastructure asset management as a critical, high impact area for investing in local capacities to mobilize and manage financing for sustainable development, including in emergencies. With trendy focus on the ‘new and shiny’, old assets often go neglected, while new ones are built without putting in place effective asset management frameworks. Underinvestment in infrastructure maintenance has been estimated to cost some developing countries up to 2 per cent growth in GDP. The Handbook calls national and local governments to action and provides them with concrete guidance on how to ensure the resilience,  sustainability and accessibility of existing and planned infrastructure investments. It contains practical tools to improve infrastructure asset management, plus recommendations on how to adapt them to socio-economic and environmental challenges of our time, including climate change and public health emergencies.

Mapping for a Sustainable World (UN / ICA)
https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3898826
The book comprises four sections. Section 1 introduces the SDGs and their relation to geospatial data, describing SDG indicators and data transformations for mapping. Section 2 describes foundational design decisions in the cartographic workflow, including projections, scale, generalization, symbolization, typography, and visual hierarchy, among others. Section 3 introduces the common map types (e.g., choropleths, proportional symbols, dasymetric maps, bivariate maps, cartograms) and diagrams (e.g., bar graphs, scatterplots, timelines) for representing the SDG indicators. Finally, Section 4 discusses considerations for map use environments, such as audiences, user interfaces and interaction operators, mobile and web media, storytelling versus exploration, and open access.

People’s Climate Vote: Results (UNDP)
https://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/km-qap/UNDP-Oxford-Poeples-Climate-Vote-Results.pdf
Almost two-thirds of over 1.2 million people surveyed worldwide say that climate change is a global emergency, urging greater action to address the crisis, results from a new UN climate survey revealed on 27 January 2021. Findings from UN Development Programme (UNDP)’s “People’s Climate Vote” – which covered 50 countries with over half the world’s population – also showed that people supported more comprehensive climate policies to respond to the challenges.

Playing for the Planet Annual Impact Report
https://playing4theplanet.org/2020annual_impact_report/
Want to capture the attention of millions of young people and raise awareness about the climate emergency? Then talk to the video gaming industry. Levelling up, going faster, scoring higher and taking on the impossible is not just what it takes to achieve gaming stardom. They are exactly what it will take to confront urgent global challenges. A recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners analyses the impact of the Playing for the Planet Alliance, an initiative that taps the power of the gaming industry to encourage action on climate change. Supported by UNEP, GRID-Arendal and Playmob, the alliance brings together 29 major gaming companies, which can reach over 1.2 billion players. In 2020 – a year in which many were confined to their couches – more than 110 million players were also supporting green initiatives like tree planting through activations in games like Angry Birds and Subway Surfers, promoted in the Google Play Store. And Sony Interactive Entertainment surpassed its own energy efficiency standards, launching the Play Station 5 with reduced power consumption modes.

Productive Capacities Index (PCI) (UNCTAD)
https://unctad.org/topic/least-developed-countries/productive-capacities-index
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has launched a new tool to help developing countries improve their development policies, reduce poverty and build economic resilience to negative shocks such as the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated economies across the world. The Productive Capacities Index (PCI) is an online portal with publications, manuals, resources and tools that allow policymakers to measure their countries’ performance in achieving their national development goals, as well as their ability to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

State of Economic Inclusion (SEI) Report 2020: The Potential to Scale (World Bank)
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34917
Economic inclusion programs, which help boost income and assets of the world’s poorest, are on the rise in 75 countries, reaching approximately 20 million poor and vulnerable households, and benefitting nearly 92 million individuals. This surge comes at a crucial time, as more than 700 million people around the world face extreme poverty, a number on the rise for the first time in two decades. According to the World Bank’s new report, published on 26 January 2021, economic inclusion programs – usually a combination of cash or in-kind transfers, skills training or coaching, access to finance, and links to market support – are fast becoming a critical instrument in many governments’ large-scale anti-poverty strategies. And they are likely to continue, especially in areas affected by conflict, climate change, and shocks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Urban Observatories: A Comparative Review
https://unhabitat.org/urban-observatories-a-comparative-review
A new report, released on 28 January 2021, provides a review of ‘urban observatories,’ which explores the various features, functions, and activities these institutions have and perform and reveals the critical role urban observatories play in knowledge mobilisation and urban governance. The Report has been released alongside a companion working paper and podcast, both focused on the COVID-19 crisis, and was produced jointly by the Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne, University College London Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy (STEaPP), and UN-Habitat. This first-of-a-kind landscape review examines ‘urban observatories,’ which are boundary-spanning institutions working at  the interface between knowledge production and decision-making that perform an explicit monitoring role on a range of urban issues in one or more human settlements.  It builds upon earlier scholarly research on knowledge mobilisation for urban governance and developing a global science to guide city policy. It also informed a recent scholarly publication on urban observatories’ role in mobilising urban knowledge for sustainable development against the context of the COVID-19 crisis. Further, the report is complemented by a working paper and associated podcast episode, which focus on the value observatories demonstrated as well as the challenges they faced during COVID-19, drawing on the experiences of six case study observatories.

UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 (UNEP)
https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/adaptation-gap-report-2020
As temperatures rise and climate change impacts intensify, nations must urgently step up action to adapt to the new climate reality or face serious costs, damages and losses, a new UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report finds. Adaptation – reducing countries’ and communities’ vulnerability to climate change by increasing their ability to absorb impacts – is a key pillar of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The agreement requires its signatories to implement adaptation measures through national plans, climate information systems, early warning, protective measures and investments in a green future. The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020 finds that while nations have advanced in planning, huge gaps remain in finance for developing countries and bringing adaptation projects to the stage where they bring real protection against climate impacts such as droughts, floods and sea-level rise. Public and private finance for adaptation must be stepped up urgently, along with faster implementation. Nature-based solutions – locally appropriate actions that address societal challenges, such as climate change, and provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing and restoring natural or modified ecosystems – must also become a priority.

Waste Wise Cities Tool: Step by Step Guide to Assess City Municipal Solid Waste Management Performance through SDG 11.6.1 Indicator Monitoring (UN Habitat)
https://unhabitat.org/waste-wise-data
UN-Habitat has launched the Waste Wise Cities Tool (WaCT), an innovation that cities can use to evaluate and improve their municipal solid waste management performance. This method is based on the definition of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) indicator 11.6.1 and generates critical information and parameters through primary data collection to establish better waste and resource management strategies and action plans, as well as to mobilise funds and engage stakeholders of the waste chain.

WHAT IS A ‘GOOD PRACTICE’? A framework to analyse the Quality of Stakeholder Engagement in implementtation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda
https://bit.ly/3po36yp
Developed by UN DESA and UNDP, this analytical framework is a tool to enable governments, stakeholders and development partners to examine and strengthen the quality of their stakeholder engagement practices at different stages of the 2030 Agenda cycle, including considering the impact of COVID-19. It is hoped that this tool will help improve stakeholder engagement practices, foster dialogue, and support the sharing of lessons learned and good practices. Readers and users are strongly encouraged to share their feedback on and experiences with the framework with us so we can document them on an ongoing basis in a dedicated space on the SDG16 Hub. Please write to us at: [email protected].

WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers
https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/colloquium_papers_e/colloquium_search_e.htm
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the WTO have launched a new webpage providing comprehensive access to the WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers, a joint academic effort aimed at stimulating analysis and debate on intellectual property (IP) issues, particularly of interest to developing countries. The launch marks the 25th anniversary of the bilateral agreement between the two organizations which laid the foundation for cooperation in providing technical assistance to the developing world. The new webpage provides a complete list of all articles published in the journal WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers, listed in reverse chronological order from the most recent. The articles can be browsed by title and author, or searched according to key word, author’s name, title or full text.

Working from home: From invisibility to decent work (ILO)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://bit.ly/39qn58R
Those working from home, whose number has greatly increased due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, need better protection, says the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a new report, released on 13 January 2021. Since homeworking occurs in the private sphere it is often “invisible”. In low- and middle-income countries for instance, almost all home-based workers (90 per cent) work informally. They are usually worse off than those who work outside the home, even in higher-skilled professions. Homeworkers earn on average 13 per cent less in the United Kingdom; 22 per cent less in the United States of America; 25 per cent less in South Africa and about 50 per cent in Argentina, India and Mexico. Homeworkers also face greater safety and health risks and have less access to training than non-home-based workers, which can affect their career prospects. The report also shows that homeworkers do not have the same level of social protection as other workers. They are also less likely to be part of a trade union or to be covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2021 (UN DESA)
Report & Executive Summary: https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-2021/
The United Nations warned on 25 January 2021 that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy. In 2020, the world economy shrank by 4.3 per cent, over two and half times more than during the global financial crisis of 2009. The modest recovery of 4.7per cent expected in 2021 would barely offset the losses of 2020, says the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects. The report underscores that sustained recovery from the pandemic will depend not only on the size of the stimulus measures, and the quick rollout of vaccines, but also on the quality and efficacy of these measures to build resilience against future shocks.

#YourVoiceYourFuture Report: Turning challenges into solutions (AU / EU / UNICEF)
https://uni.cf/3ohcKRO
Participation in decision-making, quality education, internet access and the climate crisis are among the main concerns for children and young people in Africa and Europe, according to U-Report polling data released on 22 January 2021 by UNICEF, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU). Almost half of all young people polled feel excluded from political decision-making processes that affect their lives, the poll findings show. While an overwhelming majority of the polled young people (91%) would like to have more say in the political decisions that shape their lives, 48% feel completely left out. The main obstacle they cite (59%) is lack of access to policymakers. The findings are included in the report #YourVoiceYourFuture, a joint effort between the AU, EU and UNICEF that brings together results and recommendations from four U-Report polls across Africa and Europe. Altogether, 450,000 young people between 14 and 35 years old voiced their views on key topics that affect their future and are relevant to the partnership between Africa and Europe.

Youth Solutions Report 2020
https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/democratic-governance/youth-solutions-report-2020.html
The Youth Solutions Report is a flagship annual report under the Sustainable Development Solutions Network featuring youth-led solutions that offer sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. The Youth Solutions Report 2020, the fourth edition, captures key lessons and insights from 50 youth-led initiatives contributing to the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Selected by an Advisory Panel comprising world-leading experts and crowdsourced from a vast network of partners, these youth-led solutions demonstrate the transformative role of young people in the realization of the 2030 Agenda. The Report also includes analysis by a range of partners on how to address barriers that hinder the contribution of young people to sustainable development.

 

International Peace and Security

Concept note for the high-level briefing of the Security Council on the theme “Cooperation between the Security Council and the League of Arab States”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2020/1316
The Security Council will hold a high-level briefing on 18 January 2021, in connection with the item entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security”, on the theme “Cooperation between the Security Council and the League of Arab States”. Tunisia, the Security Council President in January 2021, has prepared this concept note.

High-level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund
held virtually on 26 January 2021
https://www.un.org/peacebuilding/content/pbf-replen-conf-2021
The Secretary-General invited all Member States to a high-level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund to mobilize critical support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding against the Fund’s $1.5 billion requirements for the period 2020-24. The Conference aimed to counter the persistent underinvestment in peacebuilding and provide this timely, catalytic and risk-tolerant instrument with more adequate, predictable and sustained resources to support national peacebuilding efforts in more than 40 countries around the world.


https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/highlights-2020
In 2020, marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Security Council was composed of Belgium, China, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Niger, the Russian Federation, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Viet Nam. Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Security Council sustained its activity in 2020 by holding both in-person meetings and videoconferences.

The Rapid Response Window on Women’s Participation in Peace Processes
https://wphfund.org/rrw/
The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund has launched a new Rapid Response Window (RRW) to address the funding gap on women’s participation in peace processes. The WPHF RRW provides financing for strategic and urgent services and initiatives that support the participation of women peacebuilders and women’s civil society organizations in national, subnational and international formal peace processes. This new funding mechanism is open to peace processes in all ODA eligible countries with a track 1 or track 2 peace process, including non WPHF-eligible countries.

A training manual: Women in preventing and countering violent extremism (UN Women)
https://bit.ly/3cVJ0YI
In recent years, violent extremist activities have escalated dramatically. Around the world, such groups increasingly target women and women’s rights. Using sexual and gender-based violence, they terrorize communities and destroy the social fabric. Different UN Security Council resolutions have recognized that violent extremism has gender dimensions. These lead to varying consequences for women and girls, men and boys. Women are frequently seen only as victims of violent extremism. But in reality, women play multiple roles. They are on the frontlines of prevention and response. They lead civil society organizations and bolster community resilience. Promoting women as agents of peace recognizes their contributions to peacebuilding and prevention of violence and upholds respect for the human rights of everyone in areas afflicted by violent extremism. Preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) is more effective, sustainable and meaningful if it includes the participation and perspectives of women. This training manual is designed for actors involved in P/CVE in Europe and Central Asia, including state officials, members of non-governmental organizations, community activists, staff of UN agencies, international and regional organizations, to help them understand violent extremism’s gender dimensions. It is designed as a training guide for staff and trainers who are working with different counterparts engaged in P/CVE and want to help create more effective and gender-sensitive responses. The five modules in this guide include learning objectives, explanatory text, warm-up activities, practical exercises, references for further reading, and empirical experiences from Europe and Central Asia.

Youth, Peace and Security – A Programming Handbook (UN DPPA / UNDP / UNFPA)
https://www.unfpa.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-programming-handbook
The handbook, developed by the United Nations with the generous support of the Folke Bernadotte Academy – the Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development – seeks to contribute to the operational readiness and capacity of United Nations practitioners to implement the youth, peace and security (YPS) agenda. For the United Nations, the development of the handbook was led by the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Programme and the Peacebuilding Support Office in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, in consultation with a task force including various United Nations entities represented at global, regional and country levels, as well as Folke Bernadotte Academy partners. The handbook is intended to be used by country, regional and global teams in the United Nations system, but it can also provide insights and guidance to field practitioners beyond the United Nations, including other international or regional organizations, national counterparts, youth-led and youth focused organizations, movements and networks, and peacebuilding organizations.

 

Human Rights

Handbook on Gender-Responsive Police Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence (UN Women / UNODC)
https://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2021/01/handbook-gender-responsive-police-services
On 28 January 2021, UN Women, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) and the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) launched a new handbook that provides practical, peer-to-peer guidance for police to enable an effective and gender-sensitive response to violence against women and girls and complements existing global and country-specific training materials for law enforcement. Less than 1 in 10 women who seek help after experiencing violence turn to the police, and only a minority of cases of violence are ever formally reported to the police, with even fewer cases resulting in convictions. In the past 12 months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, intimate partner violence reports have risen sharply across the globe, with calls to helplines increasing five-fold in some countries.  Women and girls are now often ‘locked down’ with their abusers, cut off from family and friends, and police and justice services are under pressure to ensure women and girls can access support, especially when traditional pathways have been shut down due to restrictions or social distancing measures. Police have also had to shift their focus to enforcing quarantines and increasingly severe ‘stay at home’ measures, and many courts have had to close completely, resulting in postponed hearings and a backlog of cases. With so many police resources needed to ensure public health measures are followed, protection orders may not have been enforced.

Preventing Torture and Upholding the Rights of Detainees in Afghanistan: A Factor for Peace (UNAMA / OHCHR)
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/AF/2021report/2021-Torture-Public-Report.pdf
Almost a third of people detained for security or terrorism-related offences in Afghanistan have been subjected to torture or other forms of ill-treatment, according to a UN report published on 3 February 2021. The report – jointly published by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – covers the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2020. It is based on 656 interviews with men, women and children suspected, accused or convicted of security or terrorism-related offences held in 63 detention facilities across Afghanistan.

Promoting accountability in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/46/52, 11 January 2021)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/46/52
The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) is gravely concerned by “credible accounts of forced labour” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) prison system, according to a new report published on 2 February 2021. Since the 2014 landmark UN investigation into human rights in the DPRK, commonly known as North Korea, there have been reasonable indications that crimes against humanity have been perpetrated, the report said. In collecting and analyzing information relating to these possible crimes, identified by the 2014 probe, the report noted “harsh conditions within the ordinary prison system, which may amount to the crime against humanity of enslavement”.

Promotion reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka: Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/46/20, 27 January 2021, Advance unedited version)
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/LK/Sri_LankaReportJan2021.docx
A new UN report published on 27 January 2021 warns that the failure of Sri Lanka to address past violations has significantly heightened the risk of human rights violations being repeated. It highlights worrying trends over the past year, such as deepening impunity, increasing militarization of governmental functions, ethno-nationalist rhetoric, and intimidation of civil society. Nearly 12 years after the armed conflict in Sri Lanka ended, impunity for grave human rights violations and abuses by all sides is more entrenched than ever, with the current Government proactively obstructing investigations and trials, and reversing the limited progress that had been previously made, states the report, mandated by UN Human Rights Council resolution 40/1.

The Right to Education in Iraq – Part Two: Obstacles in Girls’ Education after ISIL (UNAMI / OHCHR)
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IQ/GirlsRightEducation_EN.pdf
In Iraq, some 1.2 million children remain in need of education. Girls and women are affected disproportionately due to socially constructed gender norms, and those who have been internally displaced have reported increased sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced marriage, as well as economic and financial abuse. In some rural areas, girls are prevented by their families to attend school, and the role of mother and caregiver is encouraged over participating in the formal workforce. According to the report, released on 24 January 2021, these gender divisions have been further reinforced by ISIL. In territories under its control, girls and women have been subjected to heinous crimes and abuses. The report details a range of minority groups who have experienced rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, trafficking and torture.
Part One: The legacy of ISIL territorial control on access to education
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IQ/2020-02IraqRightEducationreport.pdf

 

Humanitarian Affairs

Housing for Migrants and Refugees in the UNECE Region: Challenges and practices
https://unece.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Housing%20for%20Migrants_compressed_0.pdf
This study is a compendium of best practices and illustrates that housing for migrants and refugees can positively support local communities and economies, and facilitate their integration. The study also highlights the key roles of cities and local administrations in housing provision.

International Migration 2020 Highlights (UN DESA)
https://www.un.org/development/desa/pd/news/international-migration-2020
International Migration 2020 Highlights presents key facts and messages regarding international migration globally and by region during 2000-2020, based on the 2020 revision of the international migrant stock data set, which provides updated estimates of numbers of persons living outside their country of birth, classified by age, sex and origin, for 232 countries and areas. This Highlights also reviews policies and programmes to promote planned and well-managed migration and provides an overview of SDG indicator 10.7.2 on the number of countries with migration policies to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, used for measuring progress toward the achievement of SDG target 10.7.

WFP Drones: broadening humanitarian horizons
https://drones.wfp.org/
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is stepping up global co-operation on the use of humanitarian drones, which are a game-changer for fast, accurate, disaster impact assessment and response. With growing threats from famine and climate change, it is hoped a new online platform will help respond to the challenges ahead, as currently being demonstrated in the response to tropical storm Eloise in Mozambique. To ramp up engagement from leading public, private and academic experts, WFP have launched the platform (https://drones.wfp.org/) to facilitate the safe and ethical use of this emerging technology. The new site complements wider response activities across the humanitarian community and draws on knowledge and experience to document and explore drone use cases, including post-disaster assessment, in-air connectivity and crop monitoring.
WFP and Mozambique government first deployed drones in the aftermath of tropical cyclones Idai in 2019, where thousands of aerial images were captured, creating high resolution maps of damaged areas. The time needed to map the hardest-hit areas was cut in half from roughly one week to two or three days. This experience was crucial in rapidly responding to Eloise, just over a week ago.

 

Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2020 (UNODC)
https://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/tip/2021/GLOTiP_2020_15jan_web.pdf
The report is the fifth of its kind mandated by the General Assembly through the 2010 United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. It covers 148 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based primarily on trafficking cases detected between 2016 and 2019. As UNODC has been systematically collecting data on trafficking in persons for more than a decade, trend information is presented for a broad range of indicators. As with previous years, this edition of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons presents a global picture of the patterns and flows of trafficking (Chapter 1), alongside detailed regional analyses (Chapter 6) and country profiles. In addition, this Report provides four thematic chapters. Chapter 2 of the Report examines how poor socioeconomic conditions are used by traffickers to recruit and exploit victims. The third chapter expands on patterns of child trafficking and the roles that extreme poverty, social norms and familial backgrounds play in this form of trafficking. Then, the fourth chapter focuses on trafficking for forced labour and explores the specific economic sectors that are more vulnerable to trafficking. Finally, the fifth chapter presents emerging patterns on internet technologies that are used by traffickers to facilitate recruitment and exploitation.

Youth Crime Prevention through Sport: Insights from the UNODC Line Up Live Up Pilot Programme
https://www.unodc.org/documents/dohadeclaration/Sports/LULU/LULUInsightsReport_final_web.pdf
When international experts gathered at UNODC’s headquarters in Vienna back in 2016 to develop a sport-based intervention that would help reduce youth crime and drug use, the guiding principle was that it had to be informed by existing evidence on what did and did not work. Building on this, and recognizing the evidence about the benefits of developing life skills among youth, UNODC created the Line Up Live Up curriculum. A first for UNODC, this 10-session programme combined sports activities with life skills training for youth aged 13 to 18. Some four years later, the programme has now been piloted in 12 countries worldwide, building life skills among more than 13,000 youth and working with 900-plus trainers. UNODC has been analysing the large amount of data on the implementation of Line Up Live Up, collected since the initiative began in 2016. This also includes two in-depth studies conducted in communities in Brazil and South Africa, both of which followed a quasi-experimental design. To make these findings as widely accessible as possible, the assessment has been captured in a brand new publication. The publication places the findings of the Line Up Live Up implementation within the broader context of existing research on the use of sport for youth crime, violence and drug use prevention, and provides recommendations for policymakers and practitioners who seek to use sport to effectively further these goals.

 

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