UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter – June 2019

New UN websites & publications pdf Version


UN in General

UN Observances – additional website: “Why do we mark International Days?”
English: https://www.un.org/en/sections/observances/why-do-we-mark-international-days/
French: https://www.un.org/fr/sections/observances/why-do-we-mark-international-days/
Spanish: https://www.un.org/es/sections/observances/why-do-we-mark-international-days/
Information available on Who chooses them and how? and How do we measure the impact of these Days?

2019 Security Council Election
General Assembly elects Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Tunisia, Viet Nam as Non-Permanent Members of Security Council for 2020-2021

The Age of Interdependence: Report of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://digitalcooperation.org/report/
The Age of Interdependence: Report of the High-level Panel on Digital CooperationThe digital future must be safer and more inclusive, says a new tech report, “the Age of Digital Interdependence”, released on 10 June 2019 by the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, almost a year after the Panel was launched by Secretary-General António Guterres. The launch included a “declaration of digital interdependence” on the part of the study’s authors, which describes humanity as being “in the foothills” of the digital age. It also lays out the risks faced by mankind, such as exploitative behaviour by private companies, a failure to realize human potential, and the stifling of necessary regulation. The declaration outlines the Panel’s belief that cooperation in the digital space is paramount, as individuals, institutions, corporations and governments cannot manage digital developments alone, and that global aspirations and vulnerabilities are “deeply interconnected and interdependent”. The report explores the ways that digital technology can help achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; how digital tech relates to human rights and security; and models for digital cooperation between different parts of society. Several recommendations are contained within the report, based on the three main areas.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

2019 Rural Development Report: Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (IFAD)
Enabling young rural women and men to become productive, connected and in charge of their own future requires thinking differently about the diverse settings in which they seek to thrive, the multiple constraints they face, and the dynamics of change in the world that create challenges and opportunities for them. Only by understanding these multiple layers that shape youth livelihoods, how they differ across countries and space, and how they are evolving can governments and decision makers design and implement more effective policies and investments.

Are the world’s richest countries family friendly? Policy in the OECD and EU (UNICEF-IRC)
Are the world's richest countries family friendly? Policy in the OECD and EU (UNICEF-IRC)Family-friendly policies matter because they help children to get a better start in life and help parents to find the right balance between their commitments at work and at home. Yet even some of the world’s richest countries fail to offer comprehensive solutions to all families. This report focuses on two key policies: childcare leave for parents and early childhood education and care for preschool children. It reviews these policies in the 41 high- and middle-income countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the European Union (EU), using the most recent comparable data on hand. The analysis includes national breastfeeding rates and policies as well as the quality of preschool education, where comparable indicators are available. It excludes other elements of family policy, such as child benefits or birth grants, to limit the scope of the report to issues that concern the work–family balance.

Art is long, life is short: An SDG Classification System for DESA Publications (DESA Working Paper No. 159)
Between the many resolutions, speeches, reports and other documents that are produced each year, the United Nations is awash in text. It is an ongoing challenge to create a coherent and useful picture of this corpus. In particular, there is an interest in measuring how the work of the United Nations system aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is a need for a scalable, objective, and consistent way to measure how similar any given publication is to each of the 17 SDGs. This paper explains a proof-of-concept process for building such a system using machine learning algorithms. By creating a model of the 17 SDGs it is possible to measure how similar the contents of individual publications are to each of the goals — their SDG Score. This paper also shows how this system can be used in practice by computing the SDG Scores for a limited selection of DESA publications and providing some analytics.

Guidelines for the Development of a Criteria and Indicator Set for Sustainable Forest Management (FAO/UNECE)
Guidelines for the Development of a Criteria and Indicator Set for Sustainable Forest Management (FAO/UNECE)Many communities around the world rely heavily on healthy forests for the social, economic and environmental benefits they bring. But without the required skills and capacities to monitor and measure the status of forests, they cannot guarantee the sustainable management of these precious resources. Improving forest management requires an effective monitoring framework to evaluate if forest policy goals and targets are being met. However, monitoring forests is complex. For example, in Central Asia and the Caucasus, countries face a series of challenges that have hampered a proper monitoring scheme on the state of their forests. As a result of a lack of capacity for regular national forest inventories and monitoring systems, forest data is often estimated and based on outdated measurements. Evidence-based decisions on forest policy can therefore often not be made. To address this challenge, UNECE and FAO have created a framework to develop national criteria and indicators (C&I) and reporting systems for sustainable forest management that will ultimately strengthen the national capacity of countries to manage their forests. The guidelines were used as the basis for the development of national C&I sets in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Now, officially published and available for a broader audience, other countries can benefit and use the Guidelines to develop or improve their own national criteria and indicator set for monitoring progress towards sustainable forest management. The publication contains a step-by-step approach on how to start a consultative process to develop a C&I set in a participatory way. A toolbox of stakeholder engagement methods facilitates the application of the guidelines. The comprehensive “shopping list” of regionally and globally used indicators provides an overview of approaches to measure the main features of the forest sector.

Humanitarian SDGs: Interlinking the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the Agenda for Humanity (DESA Working Paper No. 160)
The humanitarian-development divide has long been a contentious debate in both academia and government. Despite the recent surge in the cost, frequency, duration and severity of humanitarian crises, humanitarian and development disciplines and communities of practice have continued to operate in silos. This article aims to bridge the humanitarian-development divide by interlinking the Agenda for Humanity and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The newly proposed context-conflict-contingency model of humanitarian-development connections constitutes the conceptual foundation, which is then tested by the findings of the network analysis of the 169 SDG targets of the 2030 Agenda and the 5 responsibilities, 24 transformations and 32 core commitments of the Agenda for Humanity. The basic premise is that if policy makers can locate the linkages between the two agendas, they can more readily think about how certain SDG targets can work towards the achievement of both development and humanitarian goals. Steps that lead to operational guidelines for doing so are not covered in this article. They could be the topic of the next research agendas.

Report on the World Social Situation – Digitization Update from the Dag Hammarskjöld Library
What are the forces of social change and the indicators of progress? How have violent conflicts impacted the development of societies?  What are the consequences of advances in technology?
To address these and other fundamental questions about social and economic progress, the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has produced the Report on the World Social Situation (RWSS) since 1952. To promote a deeper understanding of how the world economy and drivers of social progress have evolved over time, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library has digitized 12 historic volumes of the Report published between 1952 to 1993.

Progress of the World’s Women 2019–2020: Families in a changing world
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: http://www.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/progress-of-the-worlds-women
Progress of the World’s Women 2019–2020: Families in a changing worldFamilies around the world look, feel, and live differently today. Families can be “make or break” for women and girls when it comes to achieving their rights. They can be places of love, care, and fulfillment but, too often, they are also spaces where women’s and girls’ rights are violated, their voices are stifled, and where gender inequality prevails. In today’s changing world, laws and policies need to be based on the reality of how families live. UN Women’s flagship report, “Progress of the world’s women 2019–2020: Families in a changing world”, assesses the reality of families today in the context of sweeping economic, demographic, political, and social transformation. The report features global, regional, and national data. It also analyses key issues such as family laws, employment, unpaid care work, violence against women, and families and migration.  At a critical juncture for women’s rights, this landmark report proposes a comprehensive family-friendly policy agenda to advance gender equality in diverse families. A package of policies to deliver this agenda is affordable for most countries, according to a costing analysis included in the report. When families are places of equality and justice, economies and societies thrive and unlock the full potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report shows that achieving the SDGs depends on promoting gender equality within families.

Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, 2000-2017: Special Focus on Inequalities (UNICEF / WHO)
Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, 2000-2017: Special Focus on Inequalities (UNICEF / WHO)Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely-managed drinking water, while 4.2 billion go without safe sanitation services and three billion lack basic handwashing facilities, according to a new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Joint Monitoring Programme report finds that while significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to WASH, there are huge gaps in the quality of services provided. The report reveals that since the turn of the century, 1.8 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services, but vast inequalities in accessibility, availability and quality prevail. It also highlights new data showing that in 2017, three billion people lacked basic soap and water handwashing facilities at home, including nearly three quarters of those in the Least Developed Countries category.

Special edition: progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – Report of the Secretary-General (E/2019/68, 8 May 2019)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/E/2019/68
Summary: The present report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals is submitted in response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (General Assembly resolution 70/1).As the first cycle of the implementation and review of the Sustainable Development Goals comes to a close and Member States prepare for the high-level political forum in July and five major meetings focused on sustainable development to be held in September, this “special edition” of the progress report on the Goals was written in cooperation with the United Nations System Task Team on the High-level Political Forum, co-chaired by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme. The report demonstrates that over the past four years, progress has been made with regard to a number of Sustainable Development Goals and their targets, and a number of actions have been undertaken by Governments and other stakeholders to respond to the 2030 Agenda more broadly. The report also demonstrates, however, that progress has been slow on many Sustainable Development Goals, that the most vulnerable people and countries continue to suffer the most and that the global response thus far has not been ambitious enough. With the next decade of implementation in mind, the present report identifies a series of cross-cutting areas where political leadership and urgent, scalable multi-stakeholder action are needed to dramatically accelerate progress. Doing so will allow the United Nations to shift the world onto a trajectory that is compatible with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

A Tale of Multiple Disconnects: Why the 2030 Agenda does not (yet?) contribute to moving German gender equality struggles forward (UN Women)
This study addresses the percolation and domestication of the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – Transforming our World” in Germany with a view to understanding its impact on domestic gender equality policies. Concentrating on federal-level policymaking, the main finding of the study is that the 2030 Agenda and SDG 5 have, as of yet, not had a discernible impact on domestic gender equality struggles.

Women in Business and Management: The business case for change (ILO)
Report, Executive Summary, Country snapshots
English: https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_700953/lang–en/index.htm
French: https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_700966/lang–fr/index.htm
Spanish: https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_700977/lang–es/index.htm
Businesses with genuine gender diversity, particularly at senior level, perform better, including seeing significant profit increases, according to a new report from the Bureau for Employers’ Activities  of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The report surveyed almost 13,000 enterprises in 70 countries. More than 57 per cent of respondents agreed that gender diversity initiatives improved business outcomes. Almost three-quarters of those companies that tracked gender diversity in their management reported profit increases of between 5 and 20 per cent, with the majority seeing increases of between 10 and 15 per cent. Almost 57 per cent said it was easier to attract and retain talent. More than 54 per cent said they saw improvements in creativity, innovation and openness and a similar proportion said effective gender inclusivity enhanced their company’s reputation, while almost 37 per cent felt it enabled them to more effectively gauge customer sentiment. The report also found that, at national level, an increase in female employment is positively associated with GDP growth. The finding is based on an analysis of data from 186 countries for the period 1991-2017.

World Investment Report 2019 (UNCTAD)
Report, Overview, Country & Regional Fact Sheets:
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows slid by 13% in 2018, to US$1.3 trillion from $1.5 trillion the previous year – the third consecutive annual decline, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2019. The contraction was largely precipitated by United States multinational enterprises (MNEs) repatriating earnings from abroad, making use of tax reforms introduced by the country in 2017, designed for that purpose. Hardest hit by the earnings repatriation were developed countries, where flows fell by a quarter to $557 billion – levels last seen in 2004.

World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights (DESA)
By the year 2050, there will be some 9.7 billion people living on Earth, says a UN population report released on 17 June 2019. However, the overall growth rate will continue to fall, and more countries will have to adapt to the consequences of an ageing population. The report estimates that the next 30 years will see the global population add an extra 2 billion people to today’s figure of 7.7 billion, and, by the end of the century, the planet will have to sustain around 11 billion.



International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the subject “Missing persons in armed conflict”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2019/458
The Security Council held a briefing on 11 June 2019 on the subject of “Missing persons in armed conflict” under the item “Protection of civilians in armed conflict”. In order to help guide the briefing, Kuwait, the Security Council President for June, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the subject “Conflict prevention and mediation”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2019/456
The Security Council held a briefing on 12 June 2019 on the issue of “Conflict prevention and mediation” under the item “Maintenance of international peace and security”. In order to help guide the briefing, Kuwait, the Security Council President for June, has prepared this concept note.

Further information:

Concept note for the Security Council briefing on the importance of fostering cooperation and partnerships between the Council and regional and subregional organizations, under the theme “Cooperation between the Security Council and the League of Arab States”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2019/455
The Security Council held a briefing on 13 June, on the theme “Cooperation between the Security Council and the League of Arab States”, under the item entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security”. In order to help guide the briefing, Kuwait, the Security Council President for June, has prepared this concept note.



Human Rights

Annex to the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: Investigation into the unlawful death of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi (A/HRC/41/CRP.1, 19 June 2019)
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated extrajudicial execution, for which the State of Saudi Arabia is responsible, according to a report published on 19 June 2019 by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings. Following a six-month investigation, Agnes Callamard issued her findings into the killing last October of Mr Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, analyzing evidence on the basis of international human rights law, and considering steps that could have prevented his murder. “The circumstances of Mr Khashoggi’s death have led to numerous theories and allegations, but none alters the responsibility of the Saudi Arabia State,” the report reads. “Saudi state agents, 15 of them, acted under cover of their official status and used state means to execute Mr. Khashoggi. “His killing was the result of elaborate planning involving extensive coordination and significant human and financial resources. It was overseen, planned and endorsed by high-level officials. It was premeditated.”
see also: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder ‘an international crime’, says UN-appointed rights investigator – Interview with UN News, 20 June 2019: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040951

A Brief and Independent Inquiry into the Involvement of the United Nations in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018 / by Gert Rosenthal, 29 May 2019
An independent review into how the UN System operated in Myanmar in the years leading up to the mass exodus of the Rohingya following serious human rights abuses, has concluded there were “systemic and structural failures” that prevented a unified strategy from being implemented. The report by former Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister, Gert Rosenthal, a former UN Ambassador and top executive at the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said that the UN System overall had been “relatively impotent to effectively work with the authorities of Myanmar, to reverse the negative trends in the areas of human rights, and consolidate the positive trends in other areas.” The review, published on 17 June 2019, covers the period 2010-2018, encompassing the UN’s response to the systematic and brutal abuse of hundreds-of-thousands of mainly-Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine state, by the national army and security forces, which began in August 2017, described by the UN human rights chief at the time as a text book example of ethnic cleansing.

Frontlines: Young people at the forefront of preventing and responding to violent extremism (UNDP)
https://bit.ly/2YOo8bUFrontlines: Young people at the forefront of preventing and responding to violent extremism (UNDP)
The report was developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the umbrella of the UNDP Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace (Youth-GPS 2016–2020), and in collaboration with the Oslo Governance Centre (OGC). The report puts forward and synthesizes data from field case studies/focus group discussions, a mapping of youth-led actions in the five regions, a global literature review, and a global survey on Youth and countering and preventing violent extremism for practitioners, to better understand young people’s aspirations and perceptions and improve programming. It is titled “Frontlines” in recognition of the fact that young people are already at the forefront of efforts to address and prevent violent extremism (PVE). Effective and long-term prevention approaches require the active support of, and investment in, young people’s holistic development priorities, their initiatives and their participation in decision-making.

United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech
Synopsis: https://bit.ly/2Xy6wUI
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has declared war on hate speech, telling Member States on 18 June 2019, that we all need to “do better at looking out for each other”.

see also UN News Stories:

United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech


Humanitarian Affairs

Global Trends 2018: Forced Displacement in 2018 Global Trends 2018: Forced Displacement in 2018
Yet again, wars, violence and persecution have driven record numbers of people from their homes worldwide, according to the latest annual study released on 19 June 2019 by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The yearly Global Trends report found that 70.8 million children, women and men were forcibly displaced at the close of 2018, the highest number in the organization’s almost 70-year history. This is twice as many people as 20 years ago, 2.3 million more than the previous year, and is greater than the population of Thailand. Worryingly, this global figure is probably on the low side. The crisis in Venezuela, in particular, is still only partly reflected in the total. In all, some four million Venezuelans have left their country, making this one of the world’s biggest current displacement crises.

Humanitarian Access in Eastern Ukraine: An Overview (UNHCR)
Imperative: Even without delving into the context of the Ukrainian armed conflict, it is evident that the situation with humanitarian access at the beginning of 2019 is fundamentally different from the one observed in 2014-2015. Of course, this is due to both the dynamics of the conflict and the intensity of confrontations, political and diplomatic achievements, the formation of a provisional line of contact and the establishment of control over certain areas by one of the parties to the conflict, as well as with the establishment of a humanitarian framework. That is, in the development of the conflict and by gaining experience in responding to the related extraordinary events, in the specific field conditions, all the response actors (including relevant government agencies, armed forces, law enforcement agencies, local self-government bodies, international humanitarian organizations, national NGOs, volunteer associations and civil society institutions) have developed, adapted and implemented a number of rules and mechanisms, which undoubtedly has had a positive impact on the speed and adequacy of responding to consequences of the conflict.

Regional Guide for Schools to Prepare for Tsunamis (UNDP)Regional Guide for Schools to Prepare for Tsunamis (UNDP)
Summary: The Regional Guide is intended to provide practical guidance to school administration on how to prepare for and respond to a tsunami risk. This guide is particularly relevant to schools in tsunami prone areas, although much of the procedures are applicable to flood prone or even multi-hazard areas. Whilst many guides or instructional manuals exist, this guide is based on reports from expert technical agencies, as well as lessons learned and good practices that have emerged from the practical experience under the project.



Justice and International Law

Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019
Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019
English: https://bit.ly/2J7jVJP
French: https://bit.ly/2Y9G1C1
Spanish: https://bit.ly/2J3u0Yq
A new Convention and accompanying Recommendation to combat violence and harassment in the world of work have been adopted by the International Labour Conference (ILC). The Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019, and Violence and Harassment Recommendation, 2019, were adopted by delegates on the final day of the Centenary International Labour Conference, in Geneva. For the Convention, 439 votes were cast in favour, seven against, with 30 abstentions. The Recommendation was passed with 397 votes in favour, 12 votes against and 44 abstentions.

United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law 



Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Roadmap on the Treatment of Children Associated with Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups (UNODC)
Roadmap on the Treatment of Children Associated with Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups (UNODC)The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched this Roadmap on 7 June at UN Headquarters in New York. Reflecting four years of UNODC’s technical assistance work around the world, the Roadmap contains condensed guidance regarding three interconnected areas of work: prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration, and justice for children in the context of counter-terrorism. The Roadmap is based on the UNODC training package on this topic, composed of the UNODC Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: The Role of the Justice System and its three ‘Training Manuals’. The Roadmap seeks above all to highlight a coherent system-wide approach based on combining effective prevention of, and responses to, violence perpetrated against children, while at the same time protecting society from the threats associated with terrorism and violent extremism, such as the current wave of returning foreign terrorist fighters.


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