New UN websites & publications
UN in General
Global impact of war in Ukraine: Billions of people face the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation / UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, Brief No.2, 8 June 2022
A war is always a human tragedy, and the war in Ukraine is no exception. The ripple effects of the conflict are extending human suffering far beyond its borders. The war, in all its dimensions, has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation, compromising lives, livelihoods, and our aspirations for a better world by 2030. After two years of fighting COVID-19, the world economy has been left in a fragile state. Today, 60 per cent of workers have lower real incomes than before the pandemic; 60 per cent of the poorest countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it; developing countries miss $1.2 trillion per year to fill the social protection gap, and $4.3 trillion is needed per year – more money than ever before – to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
see also: Act now to end food, energy and finance crisis, Guterres urges world leaders (8 June 2022) – https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/06/1119962
The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.
We have updated our special page on UN Research Guides / LibGuides / Biblioguías, issued by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, UN Archives New York, UN Library & Archives Geneva, UN Library Vienna, The World Bank/IMF Library Network, Knowledge and Library Services Section of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Library of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Library & Archives of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Maritime Knowledge Centre (MKC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Links to our UNRIC Library Backgrounders are also included. Currently there are ca. 300 different topics available in English, 85 in French and ca. 100 in Spanish.
UN Digital Portal against Hate Speech – #NoToHate
Hate speech incites violence and undermines social cohesion and tolerance. The devastating effect of hatred is sadly nothing new. However, its scale and impact are nowadays amplified by new technologies of communication, to the point that hate speech – including online – has become one of the most frequent methods for spreading divisive rhetoric and ideologies on a global scale and threatening peace.
The United Nations has a long history of mobilizing the world against hatred of all kinds to defend human rights and advance the rule of law. The impact of hate speech cuts across numerous existing United Nations areas of focus, from human rights protection and prevention of atrocity crimes to sustaining peace and achieving gender equality and supporting children and youth.
Because fighting hate, discrimination, racism and inequality is at the core of United Nations principles and work, the Organization is working to confront hate speech at every turn. This principle is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, in the international human rights framework and in the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
see also: UNRIC Library Backgrounder – Combat Misinformation; Selected Online Resources on Misinformation, Disinformation and Hate Speech
Simul’ONU : le guide des Nations Unies est maintenant en français
Français : https://shop.un.org/books/united-nations-guide-model-un-f-95030
Anglais : https://shop.un.org/books/united-nations-guide-model-un-89410
Les simulations de modèle Nations Unies (MONU) sont des exercices de grande popularité pour ceux qui souhaitent en savoir plus sur les Nations Unies. Des centaines de milliers d’étudiants dans le monde participent chaque année à des simulations, à tous les niveaux, de l’école à l’université. De nombreux dirigeants actuels dans les domaines du droit, du service public, des affaires, des sciences humaines et des arts ont participé à de telles simulations en tant qu’étudiants. Certains Modèles ONU cependant ne suivent pas toujours le règlement intérieur et les pratiques de l’ONU. Ce livre est conçu pour aider les futurs étudiants et enseignants lors de simulations MONU concernant les aspects pratiques de l’organisation et de la participation à des MONU qui soient proches et conformes au fonctionnement réel de l’ONU.
UNESCO – new portal
Through the launch of its new portal, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation aims to better explain what it is and what it does. With its new visual identity and simplified architecture, this portal offers a completely redesigned user experience to tackle issues related to accessibility and transparency whilst also taking into consideration new types of use. From an editorial perspective, UNESCO’s work is now batched in eight themes: Education, Culture, Natural Sciences, Ocean, Social and Human Sciences, Communication and Information, as well as the two priorities on Africa and Gender Equality. Each programme is presented on a summary page, accompanied by informative articles in which the user can learn about the latest news or even hear about stories of workers on the ground and experiences of UNESCO beneficiaries.
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Adding fuel to the fire? Inequality and the spread of COVID-19 (DESA Working Paper No. 178)
The pandemic has progressed differently across the world. Using monthly data on COVID-19 cases and fatalities, we evaluate whether income inequality is an important factor in explaining cross-country differences in the spread and mortality of the virus. The results show that income inequality is positively correlated with the number of COVID-19 cases. Higher income inequality is associated with a more rapid spread of the virus and an increase in the number of cases, indirectly increasing mortality rates as well. Also, higher levels of inequality are associated with reduced effectiveness of social distancing measures in containing new infections. Thus, elevated inequalities place societies in a more vulnerable position to confront this pandemic, and more unequal countries would need more robust public responses to contain the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021 (IOM / MPI)
As COVID-19-related travel restrictions – more than 100,000 as of the end of 2021 – continue to inhibit cross-border mobility, a new report identifies the trends, challenges, and opportunities for governments, international organizations and other stakeholders to create a stronger global architecture on mobility and health. Doing so would both help safely restore travel and migration to pre-pandemic levels and better prepare countries for future public health crises. The report published on 10 May 2022 by the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Data Institute and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analyzes the impact of COVID-19 on international mobility, drawing from an IOM database mapping travel and health measures and border closures around the world. The report examines trends during the second year of the pandemic across a range of areas, including changes in restrictions, human movements, and policy innovation. It comes ahead of the first International Migration Review Forum (17-20 May) where UN Member States will gather to assess the progress in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. IOM considers it a priority for States to work together to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of future pandemics.
Economic Report on Africa/ERA 2021: Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in Africa during the COVID-19 Pandemic (UNECA)
The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed an estimated 55 million Africans into extreme poverty in 2020 and reversed more than two decades of progress in poverty reduction on the continent. This is according to the Economic Report on Africa 2021(ERA2021) launched on 15 May 2022 on the margins of the Economic Commission for Africa’s annual Conference of Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (CoM2022) in Dakar, Senegal. The report shows that pandemic has caused job losses, reduced income and further limited the ability of households to manage risks. An estimated 12.6 per cent more people are likely to be pushed into poverty in one year alone more than the combined total of the additional poor since 1999. Furthermore poor households move into and out of poverty because of exogenous shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic and that their inability to manage uninsured risks only increases their vulnerability. So, achieving sustained poverty reduction requires thoroughly understanding the nexus of poverty, risks and vulnerability.
Implications of COVID-19 for biodiversity-based products and services, including BioTrade (UNCTAD)
The impact of COVID-19 on trade in biodiversity-based products, such as coffee, cosmetics and honey, has been both positive and negative, according to an UNCTAD study published on 3 May 2022. The study based on a survey of more than 300 biodiversity stakeholders, shows that the pandemic’s effects have varied greatly across regions, countries and sectors. Positive impacts from the pandemic were reported by a higher share of respondents from the private sector supporting or implementing UNCTAD’s BioTrade Principles and Criteria. BioTrade is when a product or service sourced from biodiversity is commercialized and traded in a way that respects people and nature. It can be a positive force to protect biodiversity. About 73% of the survey’s respondents said they support or implement BioTrade principles.
The Next Normal: The changing Workplace in Africa – Ten Trends from the COVID-19 Pandemic that are Shaping Workplaces in Africa (ILO)
This new ILO report finds that while Africa has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic, workers and enterprises have responded to the challenges with great resilience and adaptability. However, the pandemic has fundamentally altered where and how people work, upending many long-standing norms and practices. Enterprises and workers have made many changes, often out of necessity, though they have regularly brought unexpected improvements in productivity or working conditions. The report, released on 12 May 2022, identified key trends across the continent. Perhaps no single trend has defined the pandemic era more than the shift from physical to remote work. Thirty-six percent of workers in the surveyed enterprises worked remotely during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, remote work was more common amongst certain groups of workers, suggesting that a person’s job type and the sector of the economy in which they work also determines how they work – both now and in the future. Looking ahead, the future looks more hybrid rather than fully remote (with only 4 per cent of enterprises indicating that they would transition to a fully remote workplace).
Rethinking risks in times of COVID-19: Understanding and managing cascading and systemic risks: lessons from COVID-19 (UNU-EHS / UNDRR)
In an increasingly interconnected world, shocks are felt across sectors, borders and scales, revealing the systemic nature of risks. This holds true for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, for the effects of climate change, and also from the effects of newly emerging crises, such as the war in Ukraine. It is therefore critical that we analyse these events to derive lessons for risk management, so as to better prepare for future events. A new report by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), dives into the systemic nature of risks revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents cross-cutting findings from five case studies in different countries (Ecuador, India, Togo, Bangladesh and Indonesia), touching on different social and environmental issues. Moreover, lessons learned on the prevention and management of risks are highlighted.
Trade Therapy: Deepening Cooperation to Strengthen Pandemic Defenses (WTO / World Bank)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the upsides and downsides of international trade in medical goods and services. Open trade can increase access to medical goods and services, improve quality, and reduce costs. But excessive concentration of production, restrictive trade policies, supply chain disruptions, and regulatory divergence can jeopardize the ability of public health systems to respond to pandemics and other health crises. A new joint report from the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization studies how trade in medical goods and services contributes to global health security and proposes ways to improve trade policies and international trade cooperation for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
Understanding and managing cascading and systemic risks: Lessons from COVID-19 (UNDRR)
The analysis of the COVID-19 crisis through multiple case studies unveiled complex and multi-faceted webs of cascading and systemic risks and impacts. Key in the analysis is the characterization of the network and system structure, and network dynamics. Informed by the case studies, expert consultation and literature review, the CARICO conceptual model is a tool to systematize, visualize and explore the most relevant characteristics, connections and cascading effects as they emerged from the case studies analyses. It provides a generalized understanding of the risks associated with COVID-19 from a systemic perspective. Six cross-cutting findings are highlighted from the case studies in this report: 1. COVID-19 interventions had clear cascading effects throughout nearly all of society; 2. COVID-19 and accompanying interventions reinforce pre-existing vulnerabilities; 3. COVID-19 has demonstrated that the dependence on global networks has impacts at the local level; 4. COVID-19 and accompanying interventions have distinct impacts on women and girls; 5. COVID-19 and accompanying interventions have severe effects on the education system that will only become apparent over time; and 6. COVID-19 risk communication and coordination has been a significant challenge for state and non-state actors across all scales.
WHO compilation of innovative concepts to communicate science during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of translating science in a timely and accessible manner to different audiences. As the pandemic progressed, the evidence evolved and resulted in changing public health recommendations. In times of such high uncertainty, people require answers to how to best protect themselves and their close ones. Journalists, health care workers, religious leaders, teachers, parents and others played an instrumental role in translating science to their communities. Likewise, researchers were key to communicate their findings and explain the underlying scientific process to various audiences. Throughout the pandemic, individuals and organizations designed innovative concepts to distill the latest science and make it meaningful and understandable to their respective communities. WHO has compiled case studies to showcase the creative yet rigorous approach of several science communication initiatives worldwide. The examples were collected through an open call that received 78 submissions. All examples were reviewed by two members of the WHO science translation team and analysed as regards to their (i) scientific accuracy, (ii) innovation factor, (iii) consideration of gender, equity and human rights aspects, and (iv) evaluation of their impact. Selected submissions were consequently written up as case studies in close collaboration with the originators of the initiatives. The launch features the 20 most highly rated good practice examples including initiatives directed at the health workforce, media representatives, researchers and the public including older people and children and adolescents. Featured examples showcase the impressive creativity with which science communicators make the science behind COVID-19 more accessible, understandable and meaningful to their audiences. The cases range from serious games and chatbots to evidence summary platforms and animation videos.
Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age
A UN-backed coalition of 1,000 stakeholders from over 100 countries launched on 2 June 2022 an Action Plan to steer digitalization towards accelerating environmentally and socially sustainable development. The Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability (CODES) aims to help reorient and prioritize the application of digital technologies to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. The flagship CODES Action Plan, launched during the Stockholm+50 international environmental meeting, proposes a comprehensive and strategic approach to embed sustainability in all aspects of digitalization. This includes building globally inclusive processes to define standards and governance frameworks for digital sustainability, allocating the necessary resources and infrastructure, and identifying opportunities to reduce potential harms or risks from digitalization.
Approaches to Measuring Social Exclusion (UNECE)
A new publication, released on 11 May 2022 by the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), examines the many and varied ways in which statistics can assess progress towards the policy goal of leaving no-one behind. Social exclusion, or being left out of societal processes and structures, often goes hand-in-hand with being left out of the associated statistics. One reason is that it isn’t always exactly clear what ‘social exclusion’, or its converse, social inclusion, actually mean. They are broad concepts, with specific understandings that vary according to cultural norms and values and national contexts, as well as to the policy or other goals in question. Some aspects of social exclusion are measured alongside measurements for other policy goals, such as improving well-being, reducing poverty or building social cohesion. Other aspects, though, are poorly-defined and therefore remain unmeasured. While many countries collect data on some elements of social exclusion, there are very few dedicated surveys or statistical approaches, and no overarching conceptual framework, designed to measure the phenomenon as a whole. The new publication examines this lack of conceptual clarity, explaining that while it is often used interchangeably with related terms such as poverty and inequality, social exclusion is more often intended to cover a broader idea. Based on collective rather than individual resources, and community relationships rather than only on what people have or lack, this idea helps to focus attention on the way that social exclusion arises and persists within societies. In fact, as the publication explains, some understandings of social exclusion define it not only as an outcome – a state of disadvantage – but also as a process by which individuals or groups become or remain systematically disadvantaged.
Circularity concepts in forest-based industries (UNECE / FAO)
Single-use cutlery pollutes our oceans and takes thousands of years to decompose in landfills and trash heaps. Plastic forks and knives may photo-degrade with exposure to the sun, but they become microplastics that continue to pollute our environment. In addition to reducing our overall material consumption including by favouring re-usable products, finding more sustainable alternatives is crucial. This is where wood and forests come into the picture: disposable wooden spoons and forks, for example, can easily replace plastic ones. Like many other biodegradable products, their life cycle begins in forests which provide the necessary renewable resource: wood. When they are sourced from responsibly managed forests, their journey begins and ends in nature, and respects the environment during the entire time of their circular life. UNECE/FAO have issued this new publication at the forty-third session of the Joint UNECE/FAO Working Party on Forest Statistics, Economics and Management which takes place in Geneva on 1–3 June 2022, explaining how forest-based industries — including fashion and plastics — are transitioning to a circular economy, and what it means for them to not only be circular but also sustainable in the long term. The publication also contains examples of circularity practices in Europe and Central Asia.
Drought in Numbers, 2022 (UNCCD)
English & French: https://www.unccd.int/resources/publications/drought-numbers
Humanity is “at a crossroads” when it comes to managing drought and accelerating mitigation must be done “urgently, using every tool we can,” says a new report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Drought in Numbers, 2022, released on 12 May 2022 to mark Drought Day at UNCCD’s 15th Conference of Parties (COP15, 9-20 May in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) – calls for making a full global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all global regions a top priority. The report, an authoritative compendium of drought-related information and data, helps inform negotiations of one of several decisions by UNCCD’s 196 member states, to be issued 20 May at the conclusion of COP15.
Global climate indicators, risks and the Sustainable Development Goals, visually mapped (UNDRR)
There is emerging scientific literature on climate change, risk and policy action. However, the interdisciplinary nature of the research has resulted in difficulties for stakeholders to quickly and easily find information on climate change as it relates to ecosystems, populations and development. We present a mapping tool that connects the seven World Meteorological Organization (WMO) state of the climate indicators to climate change impacts and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WMO indicators were chosen for their clarity, relevance for a range of audiences, and ability to be updated using internationally agreed and published methods with open access and high-quality data. Each indicator represents key aspects of the climate system linked to various associated risks identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the academic community. Systemically mapping the relationships between the WMO climate indicators and related risks to show how climate can affect the achievement of specific SDGs, with clear visual representations, provides stakeholders with a new tool to better grasp the interconnected and complex nature of how climate change threatens sustainable development.
Global Parliamentary Report 2022: Public engagement in the work of parliament (UNDP / IPU)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.ipu.org/resources/publications/reports/2022-03/global-parliamentary-report-2022
The decline in public trust in governance and the rise of authoritarianism must be addressed through better parliamentary public engagement, according to the new Global Parliamentary Report, published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report examines public engagement between parliaments and the people they represent. It identifies gaps and opportunities as well as providing a road map for better public engagement for more participatory, inclusive and responsive parliaments. The report presents robust recommendations including the need for an across-society, continuous, inclusive dialogue between parliaments and citizens to ensure more sustainable human development outcomes and that no one is left behind.
The Global Report on Assistive Technology (UNICEF / WHO)
A new report published on 16 May 2022 by WHO and UNICEF reveals that more than 2.5 billion people need one or more assistive products, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or apps that support communication and cognition. Yet nearly one billion of them are denied access, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where access can be as low as 3% of the need for these life-changing products. The report presents evidence for the first time on the global need for and access to assistive products and provides a series of recommendations to expand availability and access, raise awareness of the need, and implement inclusion policies to improve the lives of millions of people.
ILO Monitor on the World of Work, 9th edition
Multiple global crises are causing a marked deterioration in the global labour market recovery, with increasing inequalities within and between countries, according to a new report from the International Labour Organization (ILO). The 9th edition of the ILO Monitor on the World of Work, finds that after significant gains during the last quarter of 2021, the number of hours worked globally dropped in the first quarter of 2022, to 3.8 per cent below the pre-crisis benchmark (fourth quarter of 2019). This is equivalent to a deficit of 112 million full-time jobs. This represents a significant downgrading of figures published by the ILO in January 2022. Multiple new and interconnected global crises, including inflation (especially in energy and food prices), financial turbulence, potential debt distress, and global supply chain disruption – exacerbated by war in Ukraine – means there is a growing risk of a further deterioration in hours worked in 2022, as well as a broader impact on global labour markets in the months to come. The Russian aggression against Ukraine is already affecting labour markets in Ukraine and beyond, as detailed in a recent ILO brief. The report also finds that a great and growing divergence between richer and poorer economies continues to characterize the recovery. While high-income countries experienced a recovery in hours worked, low- and lower-middle-income economies suffered setbacks in the first quarter of the year with a 3.6 and 5.7 per cent gap respectively when compared to the pre-crisis benchmark. These diverging trends are likely to worsen in the second quarter of 2022.
The impact of the Ukraine crisis on the world of work: Initial assessments (ILO Brief)
An estimated 4.8 million jobs have been lost in Ukraine since the start of the Russian aggression, according to a new brief by the International Labour Organization (ILO), released on 11 May 2022. The study estimates that if hostilities were to escalate employment losses would increase to seven million. However, if the fighting was to cease immediately a rapid recovery would be possible, with the return of 3.4 million jobs. This would reduce employment losses to 8.9 per cent, according to the brief.
The Impact of the War in Ukraine on Sustainable Development in Africa (UNDP)
In a new report issued on 24 May 2022, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) warns of the direct and indirect impacts of the war in Ukraine on the African continent, which could further stall the continent’s development trajectory already significantly jeopardized by the COVID-19 crisis. This report, reinforces findings of the Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) that the war in Ukraine is pushing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 further out of reach, and provides key recommendations for actions that need to be taken immediately, to avert further crises in Africa. According to the report, some of the direct impacts of the crisis in Africa include trade disruption, food and fuel price spikes, macroeconomic instability, and security challenges. African countries are particularly affected due to their heavy reliance on imports from Russia and Ukraine.
Inequality in the Arab Region: A Ticking Time Bomb (ESCWA)
Inequality is high and growing across the Arab region. Tackling inequalities in Arab countries must go beyond superficial and temporary fixes, to fundamentally reform the root causes of development challenges. This requires addressing structural and institutional deficits, strengthening governance, and formulating evidence-based policies. The region faces various economic and social challenges, including low growth, rising poverty, youth unemployment, persisting gender inequalities, large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, and the numerous repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Official unemployment rates in the region remain high by global standards, and female and youth unemployment rates are among the highest worldwide. Inequality in the Arab Region: A Ticking Time Bomb builds on the Pathfinders flagship global report entitled From Rhetoric to Action: Delivering Equality and Inclusion. The present report analyses selected forms of inequalities that were exacerbated by recent developments globally and regionally. It provides practical policy solutions that may help Arab countries tangibly reduce inequality, particularly the pertinent challenge of youth unemployment.
Innocenti Report Card 17: Places and Spaces (UNICEF)
The majority of wealthy countries are creating unhealthy, dangerous and noxious conditions for children across the world, according to the latest Report Card published on 24 May 2022 by UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. It compares how 39 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) fare in providing healthy environments for children. The report features indicators such as exposure to harmful pollutants including toxic air, pesticides, damp and lead; access to light, green spaces and safe roads; and countries’ contributions to the climate crisis, consumption of resources, and the dumping of e-waste. The report states that if everybody in the world consumed resources at the rate people do in OECD and EU countries, the equivalent of 3.3 earths would be needed to keep up with consumption levels. If everyone were to consume resources at the rate at which people in Canada, Luxembourg and the United States do, at least five earths would be needed. While Spain, Ireland and Portugal feature at the top of the league table overall, all OECD and EU countries are failing to provide healthy environments for all children across all indicators. Some of the wealthiest countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada and the United States, have a severe and widespread impact on global environments – based on CO2 emissions, e-waste and overall consumptions of resources per capita – and also rank low overall on creating a healthy environment for children within their borders. In contrast, the least wealthy OECD and EU countries in Latin America and Europe have a much lower impact on the wider world.
Long-term future trends and scenarios: impacts on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals Report of the Secretary-General (E/2022/58, 4 May 2022)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/E/2022/58
“Summary: The present report serves to inform the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council in July 2022. It complements the report of the Secretary-General on the theme of the 2022 session of the Council (E/2022/57). It is aimed at supporting policymakers in looking beyond today’s crises and emergencies and reflecting on scenarios on how the world can reach the Sustainable Development Goals and its climate change objectives. It responds to the General Assembly mandate for the high-level segment of the Council. It builds on the call of the Secretary-General, in his statement presenting Our Common Agenda, that we must make full use of our unprecedented capacity to predict and model the impact of policy decisions over time.”
Mental health and Climate Change: Policy Brief (WHO)
Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being, concludes a new WHO policy brief, launched on 3 June 2022 at the Stockholm+50 conference. The Organization is therefore urging countries to include mental health support in their response to the climate crisis, citing examples where a few pioneering countries have done this effectively. The findings concur with a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in February this year. The IPPC revealed that rapidly increasing climate change poses a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial well-being; from emotional distress to anxiety, depression, grief, and suicidal behaviour.
Migration and the SDGs: Measuring Progress – An Edited Volume (IOM)
Migration and development are inextricably linked, but it can be difficult to measure these linkages. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presented a special opportunity to tackle this in 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) make many references to migration and to be monitored, require data on several migration and development topics. To date there has been no comprehensive stocktaking either of migration trends within the SDGs or of the effects the SDGs have had on migration data. This makes it difficult to understand the overall impact of including migration in such a high-level global process. To explore this, GMDAC invited experts to share their views on the effects of the SDGs on migration data in a new publication. Our goal was to know: what has changed since 2015?
IOM’s new edited volume “Migration and the SDGs: Measuring Progress” explores migration trends within the SDGs and the impact of the 2030 Agenda on migration data. Further, the report brings together and examines for the first time data on all indicators under Target 10.7, taking stock of what the international community has learned on how to conceptualise and monitor safe, orderly and regular and responsible migration. The publication contains contributions from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Bank, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and others.
Nursing and Midwifery Global Community of Practice (WHO)
On International Nurses Day, 12th May, the WHO Chief Nursing Office is officially launching a Nursing and Midwifery Global Community of Practice – a network for nurses, midwives and stakeholders to connect, communicate and collaborate. Everyone is encouraged to become a member of this growing network to share and learn from one another and from experts in their specialty areas.
Out of the Blue: The Value of Seagrasses to the Environment and to People (UNEP)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish, e-book version: https://www.unep.org/resources/report/out-blue-value-seagrasses-environment-and-people
The importance of seagrasses is highlighted in a new report, Out of the Blue: The Value of Seagrasses to the Environment and to People, released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) together with GRID-Arendal and UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that are found in shallow waters in many parts of the world, from the tropics to the Arctic circle. Seagrass meadows are of fundamental importance to nature and people. They contribute to community well-being, whether through food security from fish production, improved quality of water filtered by seagrasses, protection of coasts from erosion, storms and floods, or carbon sequestration and storage. However, seagrasses have been declining globally since the 1930s, with the most recent census estimating that 7 per cent of this key marine habitat is being lost worldwide per year, which is equivalent to a football field of seagrass lost every 30 minutes. Seagrasses are among the least protected coastal ecosystems and often face cumulative pressures from coastal development, nutrient run-off and climate change. The message is clear. Healthy seagrasses provide a source of opportunities to mitigate climate change, adapt to future changes, build resilience and offer multiple additional societal benefits. We need to act now to protect seagrasses by prioritising timely, ambitious and coordinated actions in the areas of conservation, sustainable management and restoration.
Patent Landscape Report – Hydrogen fuel cells in transportation (WIPO)
Over the next decade, transforming the transportation sector to put it on a Net Zero pathway will require a combination of technological innovation, government and corporate decision-making, and adapted customer behavior. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by transportation, a sector responsible for almost 24 percent of direct carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion is crucial. This WIPO Patent Landscape Report provides early observations on patenting activity together with complementary information from online news, press releases and corporate financial reporting in the field of hydrogen fuel cells in transportation.
Repercussions in Latin America and the Caribbean of the war in Ukraine: how should the region face this new crisis? (ECLAC)
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released a new policy brief on 6 June 2022 that analyzes the war in Ukraine’s economic and social effects on the region and provides recommendations to countries on how to address them. According to the United Nations regional organization, the region’s economies face a difficult scenario in 2022 in an external context of uncertainty, inflation (particularly in food and energy), and a deceleration of economic activity and trade.According to ECLAC’s report, the region confronts domestic contexts marked by a sharp economic slowdown, rising inflation and a slow and incomplete recovery of labor markets, which will increase poverty and extreme poverty levels. As a result, 7.8 million people are forecast to join the 86.4 million others whose food security is already at risk.
Six Big Questions for the global economic recovery: The UN High-level Advisory Board Q&A Compendium
In a world challenged by intertwined crises, the United Nations High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs (HLAB) is stepping up to offer advice on how the world can recover and make progress towards sustainable development. This publication, issued by UN DESA together with HLAB on 25 May 2022, draws on the Board’s key messages and policy recommendations for global response and recovery to answer six big questions facing policymakers today: How do we get the economy on track? How do we finance the recovery? What about inequality? Can we still save the planet? What is the role of technology in the recovery? What are the implications of population ageing for the future? The Compendium aims to make the in-depth knowledge and insights of the Board Members available to a wide spectrum of readers in support of whole-of-society solutions to challenges of our time. The production of this publication is supported by the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Fund.
The State of the Global Climate 2021 (WMO)
Four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021. This is yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Extreme weather – the day-to-day “face” of climate change – led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses and wreaked a heavy toll on human lives and well-being and triggered shocks for food and water security and displacement that have accentuated in 2022. The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 2021 was “only” one of the seven warmest because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year. This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.
Tobacco: Poisoning our planet (WHO)
WHO has revealed on 31 May 2022 new information on the extent to which tobacco damages both the environment and human health, calling for steps to make the industry more accountable for the destruction it is causing. Every year the tobacco industry costs the world more than 8 million human lives, 600 million trees, 200 000 hectares of land, 22 billion tonnes of water and 84 million tonnes of CO2. The majority of tobacco is grown in low-and-middle-income countries, where water and farmland are often desperately needed to produce food for the region. Instead, they are being used to grow deadly tobacco plants, while more and more land is being cleared of forests. This WHO report highlights that the industry’s carbon footprint from production, processing and transporting tobacco is equivalent to one-fifth of the CO2 produced by the commercial airline industry each year, further contributing to global warming. Products like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes also add to the build-up of plastic pollution. Cigarette filters contain microplastics and make up the second-highest form of plastic pollution worldwide. Despite tobacco industry marketing, there is no evidence that filters have any proven health benefits. WHO calls on policy-makers to treat cigarette filters, as what they are, single use plastics, and consider banning cigarette filters to protect public health and the environment. The costs of cleaning up littered tobacco products fall on taxpayers, rather than the industry creating the problem. Each year, this costs China roughly US$ 2.6 billion and India roughly US$ 766 million. The cost for Brazil and Germany comes in at over US$ 200 million (see table below for further estimates). Countries like France and Spain and cities like San Francisco, California in the USA have taken a stand. Following the Polluter Pays Principle, they have successfully implemented “extended producer responsibility legislation” which makes the tobacco industry responsible for clearing up the pollution it creates. WHO urges countries and cities to follow this example, as well as give support to tobacco farmers to switch to sustainable crops, implement strong tobacco taxes (that could also include an environmental tax) and offer support services to help people quit tobacco.
Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a key factor in slowing progress toward universal energy access. Globally, 733 million people still have no access to electricity, and 2.4 billion people still cook using fuels detrimental to their health and the environment. At the current rate of progress, 670 million people will remain without electricity by 2030 – 10 million more than projected last year. The 2022 edition of Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report shows that the impacts of the pandemic, including lockdowns, disruptions to global supply chains, and diversion of fiscal resources to keep food and fuel prices affordable, have affected the pace of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030. Advances have been impeded particularly in the most vulnerable countries and those already lagging in energy access. Nearly 90 million people in Asia and Africa who had previously gained access to electricity, can no longer afford to pay for their basic energy needs. The impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on energy have been compounded in the last few months by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has led to uncertainty in global oil and gas markets and has sent energy prices soaring.
UNECE Podcast: Innovation Matters
Innovation Matters is a new UNECE podcast series that explores how innovation, or experimentation with ideas to create value, is changing our world and could drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in the UNECE region and beyond.
Valuing, restoring and managing presumed drylands: Cerrado, Miombo–Mopane woodlands and the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (FAO)
An additional one billion hectares of land – so called “presumed drylands” face similar challenges to the world’s drylands, according to a new report launched on 13 May 2022 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The report makes the distinction between official drylands, which are defined by water scarcity and register an aridity index of less than 0.65, and ‘presumed drylands’, which are areas with dryland features and seasonal water shortages, but an aridity index of 0.65 or higher. The study confirms the existence of 1 075 million hectares of presumed drylands, in addition to the 6.1 billion hectares of official drylands that already cover 41 percent of the planet’s land surface and are home to 2 billion people. It also shows that presumed drylands contain 322 million hectares of forest, and that forests, other wooded land and trees are present in half of presumed dryland areas. Presumed drylands are present across all continents, but most are found in Africa, South America and Asia, the assessment reveals.
World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2022 (UN/DESA)
The war in Ukraine has upended the fragile economic recovery from the pandemic, triggering a devastating humanitarian crisis in Europe, increasing food and commodity prices and globally exacerbating inflationary pressures, says the latest United Nations forecast released on 18 May 2022. According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2022, the global economy is now projected to grow by only 3.1 per cent in 2022, down from the 4.0 per cent growth forecast released in January 2022. Global inflation is projected to increase to 6.7 per cent in 2022, twice the average of 2.9 per cent during 2010–2020, with sharp rises in food and energy prices. The downgrades in growth prospects are broad-based, including the world’s largest economies, — the United States, China and the European Union — and the majority of other developed and developing economies. The growth prospects are weakening particularly in commodity-importing developing economies, driven by higher energy and food prices. The outlook is compounded by worsening food insecurity, especially in Africa.
WTO data portal
English, French & Spanish: https://data.wto.org/
The new portal allows users to navigate a wide range of WTO databases covering trade in goods, services, dispute settlement, environmental measures, trade-related intellectual property rights and more. One of the databases is the “WTO Stats portal“, which allows users to access and download time series statistics on trade in goods and services on an annual, quarterly and monthly basis. It also contains market access indicators providing information on governments’ bound, applied and preferential tariffs as well as non-tariff information and other indicators. The data portal will be regularly updated to take account of new systems and updates.
International Peace and Security
Concept note for the Security Council open debate on conflict and food security, 19 May 2022
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2022/391
The Security Council held an open debate on conflict and food security on 19 May 2022. In order to help to steer the discussion on the subject, the United States – Security Council President in May 2022, has prepared this concept note.
For information on food insecurity – UNRIC Library Backgrounder:
Concept note for the Arria-formula meeting on the theme “Protection of journalists”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2022/406
Ireland organized an Arria -formula meeting on the theme “Protection of journalists” on 24 May 2022. In order to guide the discussions on this topic, Ireland has prepared this concept note.
Concept note for the Security Council high-level open debate on the theme “Strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2022/418
The Security Council held a high-level open debate on the theme “Strengthening accountability and justice for serious violations of international law”, under the item “Maintenance of international peace and security” on 2 June 2022. In order to guide the discussions on this topic, Albania, Security Council President in June 2022, has prepared this concept note.
Stress Testing the UN’s Regional Prevention Approaches (UNU/CPR)
The UN has increasingly become an organization focused on regional engagement. This trend is shown in the creation of new Regional Collaborative Platforms to advance the UN’s development agenda, new regional prevention strategies to address the risks of violent conflict, the expansion of Regional Prevention Offices in some regions to provide more fixed capacities for engagement, more consistent use of the Regional Monthly Review process in the Secretary-General’s office, and deepened partnerships with regional entities like the African Union, the League of Arab States, and others. Better understanding and responding to risks at the regional level was a key priority for the 2017 reform initiated by Secretary-General Guterres and is also a clear priority in the 2021 Our Common Agenda. This emphasis on regional engagement is a response to the evolution of today’s risks, including the rise of transnational organized crime, globally-oriented violent extremist groups, large-scale population movements across borders, and the growing impacts of climate change. Recognizing that the UN’s regional assets are uniquely placed to counter these risks, the UN has developed a wide range of approaches for working at the regional level. What is lacking, however, is cross-regional understanding of how these investments by the UN at the regional level support prevention in very different contexts. It is not yet clear how the UN’s regional approaches on humanitarian, development, and security tracks connect to each other, or indeed to national efforts. This report provides a working definition of “prevention” and a brief overview of the evolution of regional prevention structures in the UN, and examines three regions where the UN has developed distinct regional approaches: the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and Latin America. Drawing from these cases, and from an expert roundtable consultation with the UN offices in the Great Lakes, Central Africa, Western Asia and Headquarters, this report offers cross-cutting lessons and recommendations for the UN’s regional approaches going forward. The accompanying Models for Prevention: Lessons from the Sahel, Horn, and Latin America paper identifies three prevention models: (a) a ‘cascading model’ in the Sahel, where regional strategies are meant to shape national plans; (b) a ‘net model’ in the Horn, that aims not only to provide a platform for prevention actors to come together in a very broad and permeable configuration, but also encourages them to move in the direction of greater coherence; and (c) an ‘alliance model’ in Latin America built around coalitions that form on the basis of appeals between Resident Coordinators and regional actors for specific and specialist input and funding, taking into account locally-identified risks. This report argues that there could be broader application of all or parts of these models across other settings.
UN Women’s engagement in support of counter terrorism and prevention of violent extremism
Publication in English & French: https://bit.ly/3zbf9XF
Programmatic note in English & French: https://bit.ly/3PXkWWv
This publication addresses the importance of having a proactive gender-responsive framework for countering terrorism (CT) and preventing violent extremism (PVE). UN Women’s gender-responsive framework is grounded in human rights frameworks and applies the principles of conflict sensitivity. UN Women’s support focuses on capacity building, inclusive processes, and people-centric approaches to CT and PVE, and it seeks a whole-of-government and whole-of-society engagement. However, there are normative, policy-related, programmatic challenges and risks attached to counter-terrorism and PVE engagement. UN Women’s agenda in upholding and promoting women’s rights within this complex and dynamic thematic area can only be advanced by responding to these challenges and risks. This publication offers guidance to UN Women’s community of practice to carry out due diligence, measures that respond to challenges identified, and most importantly, to support risk-aware decision-making at all levels. As such, and drawing on the discussions from the community of practice virtual workshop and analysis undertaken of UN Women’s engagement in counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism at all levels, the policy brief review makes recommendations for UN Women’s community of practice to consider in future relevant programming and policy support.
From Pilots toward Policies: Utilizing Online Data for Preventing Violent Extremism and Addressing Hate Speech (UNDP, 13 May 2022)
Policy Brief: https://www.undp.org/sites/g/files/zskgke326/files/2022-05/UNDP-Policy-Brief-Utilizing-Online-Data-for-PVE-and-Addressing-Hate-Speech.pdf
Guidance Note: https://www.undp.org/sites/g/files/zskgke326/files/2022-05/UNDP-Guidance-Note-Risk-Informed-Utilization-of-Online-Data-for-PVE-and-Addressing-Hate-Speech.pdf
Societies across the world are increasingly intertwined in the online sphere, with some individuals and groups leveraging this growing globalised networking architecture for harm, including to spread violent extremist (VE) propaganda. Indeed, the web acts as an indispensable tool for VE groups to capitalise on offline grievances to fuel extremist ideologies and incite violence. At the same time, access to the online space has created opportunities to collect large amounts of data and gain contextual insights into potential drivers of violent extremism and existing VE narratives, including hate speech. Such understanding can be utilized to better target programmes that aim to prevent the appeal of VE. The Policy Brief and accompanying Guidance Note on utilizing online data to prevent violent extremism and hate speech apply the lessons learned from UNDP practitioners working on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) across seven country offices by undertaking pilot projects that collect, analyse and apply online data to their programming. The Policy Brief outlines the major structural, technical, and ethical challenges faced by the practitioners, analyses relevant existing policy frameworks, and explores the potential of human rights-compliant data driven methods to inform PVE programming by offering policy considerations and recommendations to decision-makers. The Guidance Note offers an overview of key processes, tools, and resources for practitioners to consider when utilizing online data for PVE and addressing hate speech. It promotes risk management as an inherently enabling process for enhancing the evidence base for PVE programming.
A Guidance document for Medical Teams responding to Health Emergencies in Armed Conflict and other Insecure Environments (WHO)
Why, What, Where, Who, When, and How? The Red Book extracts from references and summarizes the most relevant sections from existing guidelines, manuals, and recommendations published by medical and humanitarian authorities from around the globe, including the World Health Organization (WHO), other UN agencies/bodies, 3 MSF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, NGOs, 4 other agencies/organizations, and the SPHERE standards. These references, while not exhaustive, will help guide medical teams to make principled, patient-focused humanitarian decisions.
Stronger Data, Brighter Futures: Protecting children on the move with data and evidence (IOM, OECD, UNHCR, UNICEF)
Around the globe, children are crossing borders in record numbers. In 2020, some 35.5 million were living outside their country of birth. This is the highest number ever recorded – and does not capture the large numbers of children on the move impacted by recent events, such as the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Around a third of these 35.5 million children are refugees and asylum seekers. The story of every child on the move is unique and personal – so, too, are the deprivations and rights violations they will encounter throughout their journeys and in host communities. Their immediate and long-term protection needs will vary greatly by the circumstances and specifics of their movement. Policymakers must be attuned to these differences to design effective interventions and strategically position resources – and collecting the data that reflect these details and can inform targeted actions is the necessary first step. Robust data and evidence are an essential component of policies and programmes that support a positive migration experience for all. But serious data gaps persist, obscuring the stories of some of the world’s most vulnerable migrants: children. This brief, produced by the International Data Alliance for Children on the Move (IDAC) to coincide with the International Migration Review Forum, renews the call for Member States and stakeholders to act. It reiterates the key steps needed to improve data and better meet the urgent needs of the millions of children around the world who have left home.
UNICEF Child Alert, May 2022 – Severe wasting: An overlooked child survival emergency
The number of children with severe wasting was rising even before war in Ukraine threatened to plunge the world deeper into a spiralling global food crisis – and it’s getting worse, UNICEF warned in a new Child Alert. Released on 17 May 2022, the publication shows that in spite of rising levels of severe wasting in children and rising costs for life-saving treatment, global financing to save the lives of children suffering from wasting is also under threat. Currently, at least 10 million severely wasted children – or 2 in 3 – do not have access to the most effective treatment for wasting, ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). UNICEF warns that a combination of global shocks to food security worldwide – led by the war in Ukraine, economies struggling with pandemic recovery, and persistent drought conditions in some countries due to climate change – is creating conditions for a significant increase in global levels of severe wasting. Meanwhile, the price of ready-to-use therapeutic food is projected to increase by up to 16 per cent over the next six months due to a sharp rise in the cost of raw ingredients. This could leave up to 600,000 additional children without access to life-saving treatment at current spending levels. Shipping and delivery costs are also expected to remain high.
Justice and International Law
A Prosecutor’s Guide to Chemical and Biological Crimes (UNICRI)
The purpose of the Guidebook is to provide police and civil prosecutors, and relevant investigative agencies, with guidance to support the successful prosecution of incidents involving the deliberate use of a chemical or biological agents. The Guidebook aims to provide awareness and insight into the current and emerging challenges related to the investigation and prosecution of such crimes.
Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism
Animals in Danger: Vita and Scooter on a mission (UNODC)
Vita, a young girl shipwrecked on an island, and Scooter, the UNODC fictional character from the planet Zorb whose special skill is teamwork, respond to messages for help from endangered animals around the world in this new children’s book. It touches on issues of wildlife crime, climate change and plastic pollution, and its characters tell the story of how we can work together to prevent and address crimes that affect the environment. Animals in Danger also includes a set of exercises and guiding questions to help children feel empowered to act to address these challenges with ethics and integrity. Animals in Danger was co-authored by HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Ms. Lotte Stegeman, also a Dutch national. Launched on 16 May 2022, the book was formally presented at the United Nations Convention on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), which opened that day with events in-person in Vienna and online. For the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the launch of Animals in Danger is a joint initiative of experts working on, respectively, crimes that affect the environment and climate, and education for anti-corruption and youth empowerment. Core elements of UNODC’s mandate are addressed, in organized crime and corruption, and the ‘Zorbs’ brand has been built upon to introduce children to actions they can take to help to protect our global commons. Animals in Danger is now available online in Dutch, English, French, Mongolian, Portuguese and Spanish, with a version in Arabic forthcoming.
Exploitation and Abuse: The Scale and Scope of Human Trafficking in South Eastern Europe (UNODC)
Migrants on their way from Asia to Europe are being forced to work in the construction, agriculture, and hospitality sectors by human traffickers who abuse their irregular status and fear of deportation. Children, often exploited by their own family members, are compelled to commit crimes that include pickpocketing, robbery, and drug dealing, while others are sexually exploited online as traffickers take advantage of the increased use of the internet and social media platforms. These are some of the issues explored in a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the scale and scope of human trafficking in South Eastern Europe (SEE).
Newsletter Archive: https://unric.org/en/unric-info-point-library-newsletter-archive