UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter: January 2020


New UN websites & publications


UN in General

Decade of Action
With just 10 years to go, an ambitious global effort is being kicked off to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Decade will be a global movement spearheaded by change-makers everywhere to galvanize our commitment for a better world. On 22 January, UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the General Assembly on his priorities for 2020 and launched the Decade.

see also: “Deadline 2030: The SDG Decade of Action”
English: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/stories/decade-of-action.html
French: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/fr/home/stories/decade-of-action.html
Spanish: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/es/home/stories/decade-of-action.html

Innovation Toolkit The new UN Innovation Toolkit
Doing different things and doing things differently: This has been a driving force in the creation of the Innovation Toolkit. As the United Nations faces a number of pressing issues, we need to be ready with the means to create new and inventive solutions. We’re inspired by what’s been achieved through innovation by different people across the UN and now it’s time to make innovation the new normal. In his own words, the Secretary-General encourages everyone to, “Be bold, be revolutionary….and disrupt…because without innovation, there is no way we can overcome the challenges of our times.”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in your language
Are you looking for information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in your language? Then check this updated page that we have re-uploaded to our new website for material in the following languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

UNcomplicated: The UN turns 75
For their first podcast of 2020, our UNcomplicated hosts, Sinduja Srinivasan and Jason DeWall, celebrate a milestone year for the UN, as it turns 75. They’ve been talking to Fabrizio Hochschild, who’s leading the world body’s birthday mission, to listen to the concerns of a new generation of global citizens, and keep the UN relevant in the decades ahead.

Dag Hammarskjöld Library launches linked data services platform
English: http://metadata.un.org/?lang=en
French: http://metadata.un.org/?lang=fr
Spanish: http://metadata.un.org/?lang=es
How can we make the UN’s published output relevant for searchers? Linked data is structured data interlinked with other data, making it more useful (and discoverable) through semantic queries. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library is pleased to announce the launch of their new linked data services platform: metadata.un.org.

2019 in Photos
A look at what happened at the United Nations in 2019 in photos: Secretary-General António Guterres visits Small Island States in the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit in September, Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi and Hurricane Dorian affects the Caribbean Islands, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed visits Afghanistan and meets with female deminers, the Ebola virus affects the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the 10th anniversary of the Security Council mandate on sexual violence in conflict, International Year of Indigenous Languages and so much more.

2019: The UN News year in photos
2019: The UN News year in photos From sustainable development to economic development, and human rights to humanitarian aid, UN News provides daily coverage across all of the Organization’s key issues – health, migration, climate change and so much more. Acting as a visual gateway for our readers, we carefully select the most eye-catching and powerful images to help tell the story before delving into the text. As the year winds down, we have compiled 12 months of some of the most visually arresting images for our 2019 stories.

The 2010 – 2020 UN News Decade in Review
The teenage years of the Twenty-First Century are nearly over and, as we prepare to enter the 2020s, UN News takes a look back at some of the big stories on our global patch, that unfolded between 2010 and 2019: welcome to our three-part Decade in Review.

In part one, which takes in the period between 2010 and the end of 2013, we focus on the devastating Haiti earthquake, the beginning of the ongoing Syrian conflict, the inspiring work of Malala Yousafzai in favour of girls’ education, and the creation of what has now become “the world’s most dangerous UN mission”, in Mali.
English: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/12/1053481
French: https://news.un.org/fr/story/2019/12/1058781

With the 2020s now in full view, welcome to the second in our three-part series looking back at some of the major UN-related stories of the past decade. In part two, we take in the years 2014 to 2016, which saw the worst outbreak of Ebola ever recorded; new hope that the climate crisis could be tackled by world leaders, through the historic Paris climate agreement; a UN mission in Colombia to facilitate a much-awaited peace process; and the launch of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity.
English: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/12/1053701
French: https://news.un.org/fr/story/2019/12/1058951

The final part of our look back over the past decade takes in the launch of the 2030 Agenda, the UN’s blueprint for a better future for all; the humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis; the successful end to the mandate of the UN Liberia Mission; and fresh momentum in the fight against the climate crisis, despite disappointment over the COP25 climate conference in Madrid.
English: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/12/1053761
French: https://news.un.org/fr/story/2019/12/1059101


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Addressing the learning crisis: An urgent need to better finance education for the poorest children (UNICEF)
Addressing the learning crisis Nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from the poorest households around the world has never been to school, according to a new UNICEF paper launched on 19 January 2020 as education ministers gather at the Education World Forum and as leaders prepare to convene at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Poverty, discrimination due to gender, disability, ethnic origin or language of instruction, physical distance from schools and poor infrastructure are among the obstacles that continue to prevent the poorest children from accessing quality education. Exclusion at every step of education perpetuates poverty and is a key driver of a global learning crisis. The paper highlights major disparities in the distribution of public education spending. Limited and unequally distributed funding results in large class sizes, poorly trained teachers, lack of education materials and poor school infrastructure. This in turn has an adverse impact on attendance, enrolment and learning.


Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
This site includes situation reports, travel advice/guidance, technical guidance, information on how to protect yourself, outbreak news, etc.




Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) Case Studies: Water Security and the Sustainable Development Goals (UNESCO i-WSSM)
Global Water Security Issues (GWSI) Case Studies Published by the UNESCO International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management (i-WSSM), the GWSI Case Studies is aiming to provide a starting point for a discussion on a range of issues that collectively fall under the umbrella of water security, identifying the present issues, broadening discourses, bringing regional cases to the center, and sharing diverse perspectives. The GWSI Case Studies provides rich explanations on the related issues of water security while taking into context various aspects such as governance, society, environment, and technology. The Case Studies sheds lights on how the approaches to water security play important roles to achieve multiple priority development areas including climate action, conservation and restoration of ecosystems, national security, innovative technology, public health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, and enhancement of human integrity.

Preparing for the Next Tsunami: Reducing Losses and Damages in the Coastal Western Mediterranean Areas: summary recommendations, Rabat, Morocco, 15-16 November 2018 (UNESCO)
Preparing for the Next Tsunami English, French & Arabic: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000372320
Representatives of governmental, scientific and emergency management institutions from the Maghreb countries gathered in Rabat, Morocco,on the 15 and 16 November 2018 for a workshop on Preparing for the Next Tsunami: Reducing Losses and Damages in the Coastal Western Mediterranean Areas.The aim of the workshop was to present the development of the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTWS) as well as to discuss national tsunami hazard, risk, preparedness and mitigation in Maghreb/ISESCO countries.

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020
Report & Executive Summary in English, Press Releases in English, French & Spanish: https://bit.ly/2NzxN2S
Regional Press Release for Europe: https://bit.ly/2sxLTKJ
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020 The climate crisis, as well as persistently high inequalities, and rising levels of food insecurity and undernourishment, is affecting the quality of life in many societies and fuelling discontent, the UN warned on 16 January 2020, on the publication of the 2020 World Economic Situation Report (WESP). The UN economic experts behind the report are unequivocal in their call for “massive adjustments” to the energy sector, which is currently responsible for around three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions. If the world continues to rely on fossil fuels over the next few years, and emissions in developing countries rise to the level of those in richer nations, global carbon emissions would increase by more than 250 per cent, with potentially catastrophic results. The report’s authors insist that the world’s energy needs must be met by renewable or low-carbon energy sources, which will lead to environmental and health benefits, such as lower air pollution, and new economic opportunities for many countries. However, the 2020 WESP finds that the urgent need to switch to clean energy continues to be underestimated, noting that countries are continuing to invest in oil and gas exploration, and coal-fired power generation.

World Employment and Social Trends Outlook: Trends 2020 (ILO)
World Employment and Social Trends Outlook: Trends 2020 (ILO) Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.ilo.org/global/research/global-reports/weso/2020/WCMS_734455/lang–en/index.htm
Almost half a billion people are working fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work, according to a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report. In addition, the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020 (WESO) shows that unemployment is projected to increase by around 2.5 million in 2020. Global unemployment has been roughly stable for the last nine years but slowing global economic growth means that, as the global labour force increases, not enough new jobs are being generated to absorb new entrants to the labour market.

World Social Report 2020 (DESA)
Report & Executive Summary:
The World Social Report 2020 examines the impact of four such megatrends on inequality: technological innovation, climate change, urbanization and international migration. Technological change can be an engine of economic growth, offering new possibilities in health care, education, communication and productivity. But it can also exacerbate wage inequality and displace workers. The accelerating winds of climate change are being unleashed around the world, but the poorest countries and groups are suffering most, especially those trying to eke out a living in rural areas. Urbanization offers unmatched opportunities, yet cities find abject poverty and opulent wealth in close proximity, making gaping and increasing levels of inequality all the more glaring. International migration allows millions of people to seek new opportunities and can help reduce global disparities, but only if it occurs under orderly and safe conditions. Whether these mega-trends are harnessed to encourage a more equitable and sustainable world, or allowed to exacerbate disparities and divisions, will largely determine the shape of our common future.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the subject “Upholding the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2020/1
The Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the subject “Upholding the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security” on 9 January 2020. Viet Nam, the Security Council President for January, has prepared this concept note for the debate.    

DPPA Year in Review 2019 DPPA Year in Review 2019
DPPA’s Year in Review 2019 looks back at some achievements, and some difficult moment in 2019 – in Sudan, Madagascar, Bolivia, North Macedonia, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and more.

Release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts: Report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/2020/7, 16 December 2019)
English, French, Spanish: http://undocs.org/E/CN.6/2020/7
“Summary: The present report has been prepared in response to the request contained in resolution 62/1of the Commission on the Status of Women on the release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts. It includes information from Member States and provides an update on attention given to issues relating to the topic in intergovernmental processes and offers recommendations for the consideration of the Commission.”

Highlights of Security Council Practice 2019
Interactive: https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/highlights-2019-interactive
pdf version:
Take an insider’s tour of the daily work of the Security Council through a full set of facts, figures and interactive charts.

Highlights of Security Council Practice 2019


Development of Africa

Africa Renewal: Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020
Africa Renewal: Silencing the guns in Africa by 2020 The theme for the December 2019-March 2020 edition of Africa Renewal is Silencing the Guns (hashtag: #SilencingtheGunsby2020), in line with the African Union’s Silencing the Guns by 2020 campaign to end all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and preventing genocide in the continent by 2020. It looks at the hotspots, as well as different efforts underway and successes in resolving some of these issues. It includes an interview with Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the UN Secretary-General Bience Gawanas on her role and priorities for 2020. With the transition of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) into the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki speaks about the agency’s new role in Africa’s development, and the recently-established continental free trade area. Other items include a look into Africa’s $31 billion fashion industry.


Human Rights

Rapport public sur les conflits en territoire de Djugu, province de l’Ituri Décembre 2017 à septembre 2019
Killings, rapes and other forms of violence targeting the Hema community in the Democratic Republic of Congo province of Ituri may amount to crimes against humanity, a UN report released on 10 January 2020. An investigation conducted by the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) in the DRC established that at least 701 people have been killed and 168 injured during inter-ethnic tensions between the Hema and Lendu communities, in the territories of Djugu and Mahagi, from December 2017 to September 2019. In addition, at least 142 people have been subjected to acts of sexual violence, the report said. Most of the victims are members of the Hema community. Since September 2018, Lendu armed groups have increasingly become more organized in carrying out attacks against the Hema and members of other ethnic groups such as the Alur, the investigators said. Among their objectives is to take control of the land of the Hema communities and their associated resources, they added.   


Humanitarian Affairs

Guidance on Casualty Recording (OHCHR)
“Foreword: The Guidance on Casualty Recording builds on good practices and lessons learned accumulated during 10 years of casualty recording experience in diverse situations. It is based on OHCHR’s direct experience in recording casualties in a variety of contexts, on consultations with other entities engaged in casualty recording and on a literature review of expanding resources on casualty recording. Although experience to date has mainly been in conflict settings, the Guidance addresses casualty recording in both conflict and non-conflict situations. The aim of the Guidance is to help harmonize and strengthen practices in this vital area, while also expanding the number of sources providing reliable, accurate and comprehensive casualty information across different contexts. In this way we can best harness the full strength of this powerful tool to effectively protect, promote and vindicate the right to life of all people.”

Key takeaways from the Global Refugee Forum (UNHCR)
A month after the historic meeting wrapped up, these are the pledges and commitments that will boost opportunities for refugees and their hosts.

UNHCR’s Recommendations for the Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU), January – December 2020
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has launched a set of ambitious but achievable Recommendations for the 2020 Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU). The Presidencies and the envisaged EU Pact on Migration and Asylum present unique opportunities to better protect forcibly displaced and stateless people in Europe and abroad, while supporting host countries.


Justice and International Law

Launch of the Mini-Series of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
The Mini-Series is a collection of series of lectures given by leading international law scholars, which aim to provide a general overview of the core topics of international law, primarily intended for users with basic knowledge in this field. Currently, there are mini-series on the law of treaties, law of state responsibility, law of the sea, international environmental law, international humanitarian law and international investment law available.


Newsletter Archive: https://unric.org/en/unric-info-point-library-newsletter-archive

Latest updated backgrounders

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Niger

Looking for information on the situation in Niger? Take a look at this backgrounder.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Artificial Intelligence – Selected Online Resources

Looking for information on artificial intelligence (AI)? Here is an overview of selected resources from the UN system.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Sudan/Darfur

Overview of UN entities working in Sudan, Security Council Meetings on Sudan, statements by UN officials, etc.

UNRIC Library Newsletter

* New websites and publications of the UN system;
* New information material available for download.

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in the footer of the newsletter you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected].

Follow us on Facebook