UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter: June 2024

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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

SDG Stimulus Leaders Group
https://www.un.org/en/sdg-stimulus
The SDG Stimulus Leaders Group is convened by the UN Secretary-General to advocate at the highest level for equipping developing countries with the financial resources they require to invest in the SDGs. The membership of the Leaders Group includes Heads of State and Government of Barbados, Brazil, Canada (co-chair), France, India, Italy, Jamaica (co-chair), Kenya, South Africa, and Spain. The first meeting took place on 5 June 2024.
see also: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/personnel-appointments/2024-06-05/sdg-stimulus-leaders-group


Pact for the Future First Revision
https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/sotf-pact-for-the-future-rev.1.pdf
Letter from the Co-Facilitators with the Roadmap
https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/sotf-co-facs-letter-rev.1-circulation.pdf

Long-term impacts of current trends on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the Secretary-General (E/2024/55, 3 May 2024)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/E/2024/55
“Summary: The world continues to face multiple and interlinked challenges that affect the capacity of States to accelerate the action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that was pledged by world leaders in the political declaration adopted at the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit. The present report concerns five major, interconnected and mutually reinforcing current trends and their potential long-term impacts on the future realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely: the impact of geopolitical tensio ns on the global economy; changing labour markets; rapid technological change; continuing and intensifying adverse impacts of climate change; and the evolving nature of social contracts. While certain aspects of those trends can yield constructive outcomes, there are also negative impacts with the potential to hinder and reverse progress across the Goals, which would be faced predominantly by vulnerable countries and communities. Tangible and holistic responses are needed at all levels. In order to eradicate poverty and achieve the Goals, priority needs to be given to policies aimed at revitalizing inclusive, sustained and sustainable economic growth and reversing geoeconomic fragmentation. Policy approaches need to be adaptable to rapidly changing labour markets and the increased digitalization of those markets and need to include measures aimed at promoting skills training while addressing unfavourable labour outcomes. Facilitating access to new technologies will advance efforts to achieve of the Goals and bridge technology divides. The integration of climate adaptation, mitigation and broader sustainable development efforts into all Goals will enable a just transition. Revitalized social contracts can be instrumental in providing expanded and effective social protection, enhancing social inclusion and deepening a sense of trust and intergenerational solidarity.”

United Nations Activities on Artificial Intelligence (AI) (ITU)
https://www.itu.int/hub/publication/s-gen-unact-2023/
The most recent edition of the “UN Activities on AI Report” represents a collaborative endeavor between the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and 46 United Nations agencies and bodies. This comprehensive report showcases 408 artificial intelligence (AI) cases and projects run by the UN system, encompassing all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initiatives range from forecasting food crises and monitoring water productivity to mapping schools through satellite imagery and optimizing the performance of communication networks, among other applications.

 

UNHCR archive offers insights and inspiration in addressing forced displacement (News Story, 7 June 2024)
A unique and immense trove of carefully stored materials reveals the history of the UN Refugee Agency and the stories of the people it serves.
English: https://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/unhcr-archive-offers-insights-and-inspiration-addressing-forced-displacement
French: https://www.acnur.org/noticias/historias/el-archivo-de-acnur-ofrece-ideas-e-inspiracion-para-abordar-el-desplazamiento

 

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Action on salt and hypertension: reducing cardiovascular disease burden in the WHO European Region
https://iris.who.int/handle/10665/376580
Most people in the WHO European Region consume far too much salt, and more than one in three adults aged 30–79 has hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure. This matters because high salt intake raises blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. This new WHO/Europe report calls for an integrated approach to reduce salt intake and improve detection and control of hypertension to protect people’s health.

 

Adolescents in a changing world: the case for urgent investment (UNFPA / UNICEF / WHO)
https://www.unfpa.org/publications/adolescents-changing-world-case-urgent-investment
This report focuses on the strong returns on investment associated with investing in adolescent health and well-being. Today, adolescents make up more than 16% of the world’s population. They are a demographic that is often overlooked or misunderstood. Investments in adolescents can reduce inequalities and help to protect their human rights. The economic and social returns from a wide range of investments to address adolescent well-being are significant. The report makes a compelling case for investing in adolescents, they are living in a world facing multifaceted crises, and they will be tomorrow’s changemakers and leaders. The staggering cost of inaction is estimated at US$110 trillion over a period of 27 years (2024-50). That amounts to 7.7% of the total GDP of those countries included in the models, which themselves include around 80% of the world’s population. Many interventions will yield high returns, including those focused on health services and multisectoral interventions, for example on SRHR, HPV, TB, myopia, education and training, child marriage and road accident prevention. This evidence base is crucial for policymakers, practitioners, researchers, educators, donors, and civil society organizations as we map the road ahead for a better and more sustainable future. Investing in adolescent health and well-being strengthens the human capital of a country, and hence a country’s potential for future development and for ending extreme poverty and creating more inclusive societies.

Arts for transformative education: a guide for teachers from the UNESCO Associated Schools Network
https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000388701
This new UNESCO publication was officially launched during the 5th World Cultural Heritage Youth Symposium, on 17-21 April 2024. The guide invites teachers to harness the transformative power of the arts through a research-informed Arts for Transformative Education model. This thinking tool for teachers was developed by analyzing data from more than 600 teachers from ASPnet schools across 39 countries. It is co-published by UNESCO and the Canadian National Commission of UNESCO, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Dr. Benjamin Bolden of Queen’s University, Canada. It is expected to help implementing the UNESCO’s new Framework on Culture and Arts Education, adopted at the World Conference on Culture and Arts Education from 13 to 15 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Child Food Poverty: A Nutrition Crisis in Early Childhood – 2024 I Child Nutrition Report (UNICEF)
Report in English, Brief in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese:
https://www.unicef.org/child-health-and-survival/child-food-poverty
Around 181 million children worldwide under 5 years of age – or 1 in 4 – are experiencing severe child food poverty, making them up to 50 per cent more likely to experience wasting, a life-threatening form of malnutrition, a new UNICEF report revealed on 6 June 2024. For the first time, this report analyses the impacts and causes of dietary deprivation among the world’s youngest people in nearly 100 countries, and across income groups. It warns that millions of children under the age of five are unable to access and consume a nutritious and diverse diet to sustain optimal growth and development in early childhood and beyond. Children who consume, at most, two of eight defined food groups are considered to be in severe child food poverty. Four out of five children in this situation are fed only breastmilk/milk and/or a starchy staple, such as rice, maize or wheat. Less than 10 per cent of these children are fed fruits and vegetables. And less than 5 per cent are fed nutrient-dense foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, or meat.

Climate Change in Regional Perspective – European Union and Latin American Initiatives, Challenges, and Solutions (UNU-CRIS)
https://cris.unu.edu/climate-change-regional-perspective-european-union-and-latin-american-initiatives-challenges-and
This Open Access book addresses climate change in Europe and Latin America from a comparative regionalism studies (CRS) perspective. Written by an international team of scholars and experts, chapters critically analyze proposals for mitigating climate change while contributing to the mutual understanding about the issues at stake across regions. The book is divided into three main sections. In the first section, authors discuss EU and Latin American cooperation, negotiations, and perspectives on climate change, exploring their agendas, the interests and key challenges at the global, regional and interregional levels. The second section focuses on the challenges to finance development and a greener economy. The third section explores new green solutions to climate change in the agriculture sector and initiatives such as nature-based solutions to climate change and best practices. Providing policy oriented solutions for combatting regional climate change at a critical juncture, this volume will be of interest to researchers and students of international relations, international law, and environmental politics, as well as public officials and climate change activists.

Economics for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness in Europe – various World Bank reports
https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/eca/brief/economics-for-disaster-prevention-preparedness-europe
Europe faces overwhelming losses and destruction from climate-related disasters as the continent is warming faster than any other region in the world. Given overlapping priorities and limited funds, focused and smart investments are needed to strengthen and adapt critical sectors across Europe to disaster and climate risks. New research from the World Bank and European Commission offers evidence and tools to help countries take a more strategic approach to boost their climate resilience.

The Energy Security Gains from Strengthening Europe’s Climate Action (IMF Departmental Paper No 2024/005)
https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Departmental-Papers-Policy-Papers/Issues/2024/05/17/The-Energy-Security-Gains-from-Strengthening-Europes-Climate-Action-544924
Following the 2022 energy crisis, this paper investigates whether Europe’s ongoing efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions can also enhance its energy security. The global computational general equilibrium model analysis finds that individual policy tools, including carbon pricing, energy efficiency standards, and accelerated permitting procedures for renewables, tend to improve energy security. Compared to carbon pricing, sector-specific regulations deliver larger energy security gains and spread those more evenly across countries, benefitting also some fossil-fuel-intensive economies in Central and Eastern Europe. This finding strengthens the case for a broad climate policy package, which can both achieve Europe’s emissions-reduction goals and deliver sizeable energy security co-benefits. An illustrative package, which would cut emissions in the EU, UK, and EFTA by 55 percent with respect to 1990 levels by 2030, is estimated to improve the two energy security metrics used in this paper by close to 8 percent already by 2030. Beyond the policies analyzed in the model, the paper also discusses the technology, market design, and supply chain reforms that Europe needs for an energy-secure green transition.

Financing Gap for Universal Social Protection: Global, regional and national estimates and strategies for creating fiscal space (ILO)
https://www.ilo.org/publications/financing-gap-universal-social-protection-global-regional-and-national
Governments of low- and middle-income countries will need to increase spending to ensure universal social protection by an estimated additional US$1.4 trillion if they are to provide basic social protection for all, according to this new working paper by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

A focus on adolescent physical activity, eating behaviours, weight status and body image in Europe, central Asia and Canada: Health Behaviour in School-aged Children international report from the 2021/2022 survey (WHO/Europe)
https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/9789289061056
This new report, released by WHO/Europe on 23 May 2024, reveals alarming disparities in the health of young people across the WHO European Region, with those from less affluent families disproportionately affected. The report, based on data from 44 countries participating in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, highlights unhealthy eating habits, rising rates of overweight and obesity, and low levels of physical activity among young people, all of which are significant risk factors for a range of noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer.

Global Land Outlook: Thematic Report on Rangelands and Pastoralists (UNCCD)
Report: https://www.unccd.int/resources/global-land-outlook/glo-rangelands-report
Executive Summary: https://www.unccd.int/resources/publications/glo-rangelands-executive-summary
Degradation of Earth’s extensive, often immense natural pastures and other rangelands due to overuse, misuse, climate change and biodiversity loss poses a severe threat to humanity’s food supply and the wellbeing or survival of billions of people, the UN warns in a stark report on 17 May 2024. Authors of the report, launched in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), say up to 50% of rangelands are degraded. Symptoms of the problem include diminished soil fertility and nutrients, erosion, salinization, alkalinization, and soil compaction inhibiting plant growth, all of which contribute to drought, precipitation fluctuations, and biodiversity loss both above and below the ground. The problem is driven largely by converting pastures to cropland and other land use changes due to population growth and urban expansion, rapidly rising food, fibre and fuel demands, excessive grazing, abandonment (end of maintenance by pastoralists), and policies that incentivise overexploitation.

Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category: Inclusion, Graduation and Special Support Measures – Fifth Edition (DESA)
https://www.un.org/development/desa/dpad/publication/handbook-on-the-least-developed-country-category-inclusion-graduation-and-special-support-measures-fifth-edition/
The Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category contains comprehensive and authoritative information on criteria defining the category, graduation procedures, and international support measures for LDCs. This revised edition reflects recent developments in the LDC category, including refinements to the LDC criteria and the progress of several countries towards graduation from the category. Moreover, it contains updated information on international support measures, including on “smooth transition” provisions for countries graduating from the LDC category The Handbook, prepared by the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), is intended for government officials, policymakers, researchers and other stakeholders interested in the LDC category.

HIV/AIDS Inequality Visualization Platform
https://aidsinfo.unaids.org/inequalities
Tackling inequalities is how the world will end AIDS, so it is vital to know what type of inequalities exist in each country and how are they affecting the national AIDS responses. That is what a new UNAIDS inequalities visualization tool is set out to measure. The new tool will allow countries, development partners, civil society, academia, and advocates to see and measure the effects that different dimensions of inequalities have on the HIV response.

Hooking the next generation: how the tobacco industry captures young customers
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240094642
The World Health Organization (WHO) and STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog, are launched this report on 23 May 2024, highlighting how the tobacco and nicotine industry designs products, implements marketing campaigns and works to shape policy environments to help them addict the world’s youth. This comes just ahead of World No Tobacco Day marked on 31 May, where WHO is amplifying the voices of young people who are calling on governments to protect them from being targets of the tobacco and nicotine industry. The report shows that globally an estimated 37 million children aged 13–15 years use tobacco, and in many countries, the rate of e-cigarette use among adolescents exceeds that of adults. In the WHO European Region, 20% of 15-year-olds surveyed reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. Despite significant progress in reducing tobacco use, the emergence of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco and nicotine products present a grave threat to youth and tobacco control. Studies demonstrate that e-cigarette use increases conventional cigarette use, particularly among non-smoking youth, by nearly three times.

Impacts of the Conflict in the Middle East on the Palestinian Economy, May 2024 (World Bank)
https://tinyurl.com/yc32ryem
The World Bank has issued its latest update on The Impact of the Conflict in the Middle East on the Palestinian Economy. The report draws on the latest available data and analysis to assess the ongoing impact of the conflict to the Palestinian economy. It finds that the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority has dramatically worsened in the last three months, significantly raising the risk of a fiscal collapse. Revenue streams have largely dried up due to the drastic reduction in clearance revenue transfers payable to the Palestinian Authority and a massive drop in economic activity. The rapidly widening gap between the amount of revenues coming in, and the amount needed to finance essential public expenditure, is driving a fiscal crisis.

Inequality in the Arab region: Crisis upon crisis (ESCWA)
https://www.unescwa.org/publications/inequality-arab-region-crisis
In recent years, the Arab region has experienced a string of successive, overlapping and reinforcing crises, known as a polycrisis. Environmental, economic, institutional and conflict-related crises have interacted with each other to a devastating degree, resulting in detrimental effects on people’s access to social and economic services and opportunities. Not everyone, however, has been affected equally. Those who were already at risk of being left behind find themselves further behind their peers, as crises have accentuated inequality in all its forms and eroded the potential of social mobility. This third edition of the Arab Inequality Report presents the growing risk of polycrisis in the Arab region since 2015. It introduces a novel way to capture inequality in all its forms, through a new multidimensional inequality framework. It also highlights the positive correlation between multidimensional inequality and the risk of polycrisis. Yet, polycrises and high multidimensional inequality are not inevitable. The report concludes with concrete and practical policy recommendations for countries to protect equality in times of crisis. In particular, the report calls for immediate humanitarian assistance in the face of crises, without political implications, and innovative financing mechanisms that enable more vulnerable countries to pursue sustainable socio-economic development and leave no one behind.

The Integration of Biodiversity in National Tourism Policies (UN Tourism)
https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/10.18111/9789284424900
Published on International Day of Biodiversity, the report “The Integration of Biodiversity in National Tourism Policies”, explores the intricate relationship between the tourism sector and biodiversity, which encompasses the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. It assesses how 80 national tourism policies incorporate biodiversity values and aims to deepen the understanding of the references to biodiversity within these policies. The report comprises four detailed subsections that examine the integration of biodiversity within policy narratives, policy statements, strategic programs, and commitments to monitoring. By providing insights into the breadth and depth of current integration efforts, it serves as a valuable resource for policymakers, stakeholders, and the global community, urging further action towards a sustainable future.

Navigating Towards a Nature-Positive Future: Strategic Uptake of Evidence Towards Tangible Biodiversity Solutions (UNDP)
https://www.undp.org/publications/navigating-towards-nature-positive-future-strategic-uptake-evidence-towards-tangible-biodiversity-solutions
The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) is a collaborative initiative dedicated to synthesizing and translating available knowledge on biodiversity into actionable measures for sustainable ecosystem management. Aligned with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its 2050 Vision and 2030 Mission, BES-Net supports countries in applying evidence generated by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and national ecosystem assessments (NEAs). This report outlines the progress of the knowledge uptake efforts in eight countries: Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Viet Nam. By fostering science-policy-practice synergies, these countries have achieved significant advances in policy alignment, governance strengthening, multistakeholder collaboration, ecosystem restoration, sustainable resource management, and community livelihood enhancement. The metaphor of a transformative boat journey, guided by GBF, illustrates BES-Net’s support of the countries’ collective efforts toward a nature-positive future. Using insights from IPBES assessments and NEAs, each country ensures informed decision-making and collaborative action.

Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools 2015-2023: Special focus on menstrual health
https://data.unicef.org/resources/jmp-wash-in-schools-2024/
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) produces internationally comparable estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and is responsible for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to WASH. This data update presents national, regional and global estimates for WASH in schools up to the year 2023, with a special focus on menstrual health. At the mid-point of the SDG period, the world is not on track to achieve universal access to basic WASH services in schools by 2030. Achieving universal coverage will require a twofold increase in the current rate of progress on basic drinking water, a twofold increase in progress on basic sanitation, and a fourfold increase in progress on basic hygiene services. Based on current trajectories, only 86 per cent of schools will have a basic water service, 87 per cent will have a basic sanitation service, and 74 per cent will have a basic hygiene service in 2030. And while almost all schools will have at least a limited sanitation service, 12 per cent will still have no water service, and 12 per cent will have no hygiene service.

SDG Push: Unlocking New Pathways to SDG Acceleration (UNDP)
https://www.undp.org/publications/sdg-push-unlocking-new-pathways-sdg-acceleration
SDG Push is about realizing development ambition and redefining how we build acceleration pathways. It helps pinpoint policy choices that ‘move the needle’ towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. A UNDP flagship initiative, SDG Push uses digital and data innovation, systems thinking, and futures approaches to provide a comprehensive and country-specific tool to plan and implement SDG breakthroughs in a variety of development contexts. SDG Acceleration Pathways, specific to context and need, were co-created in collaboration with Indonesia, Moldova, Namibia, Peru and South Africa. These pilots helped to refine the SDG Push approach and the digital SDG Push Diagnostic and formed the foundation of the Integrated SDG Insights Reports, presented at the 2023 SDG Summit. This integrated, modular approach includes the analysis of development trends and priorities with data visualization, integrating generative dialogue, foresight methods and economic modelling to assess the impact of potential accelerators.

SIDS and UN DESA – Partners for a prosperous, sustainable and resilient future for small island developing States
https://desapublications.un.org/sites/default/files/2024-05/DESA-SIDS4-brochure.pdf
Ahead of the SIDS4 Conference, UN DESA issued this new brochure outlining the Department’s support and partnerships with SIDS. The brochure presents a range of DESA initiatives tailored to their and workstreams addressing SIDS’ unique sustainable development challenges, spanning the Department’s six priority action areas.

 

Safeguarding the right to adequate food during pandemics and emergencies: lessons from COVID-19 (IDLO/FAO)
https://www.idlo.int/publications/safeguarding-right-adequate-food-during-pandemics-and-emergencies-lessons-covid-19
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security and nutrition continues to constitute a global emergency. The pandemic pushed global food commodity prices to a ten-year high, impacting people and communities that were already vulnerable and negatively affecting food security and nutrition on a large scale. This issue brief draws on the main findings of research conducted by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on safeguarding the right to adequate food in the context of COVID-19. It analyses case studies from 40 countries and the European Union to highlight innovative legislative and regulatory trends that could be used as best practices to promote reforms. Building on key findings from IDLO and FAO’s joint research, the issue brief provides recommendations for decision-makers on mitigating the impact of emergencies on the right to adequate food at the national level, using a rule of law and a human rights-based approach.

State of the Ocean Report 2024 (UNESCO)
https://www.ioc.unesco.org/en/stor2024
The State of the Ocean Report has the ambition to inform policymakers about the state of the ocean and to stimulate research and policy actions towards ‘the ocean we need for the future we want’, contributing to the 2030 Agenda and in particular SDG 14, as well as other global processes such as the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Structured around the seven UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Outcomes, the Report provides important information about the achievement of the UN Ocean Decade objectives and, in the longer term, about ocean well-being. More than 100 authors from 28 countries contributed to the Report. The different sections provide insights on ocean-related scientific activities and analyses describing the current and future state of the ocean, addressing physical, chemical, ecological, socio-economic and governance aspects.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2024: Blue Transformation in action (FAO)
Interactive story: https://www.fao.org/interactive/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture/en/
Report in English: https://doi.org/10.4060/cd0683en
Summary in French: https://doi.org/10.4060/cd0690fr
Summary in Spanish: https://doi.org/10.4060/cd0690es
This edition features the Blue Transformation in action, illustrated by activities and initiatives, led by FAO in collaboration with Members, partners and key stakeholders, to integrate aquatic foods into global food security and sustainability, enhance policy advocacy, scientific research and capacity building, disseminate sustainable practices and technological innovations, and support community involvement. The report provides the most up-to-date and evidence-based information, supporting policy, scientific and technical insights on challenges, opportunities and innovations shaping the present and future of the sector, for the benefit of a wide and expanding audience of policymakers, managers, scientists, fishers, farmers, traders, civil society activists and consumers.

UN DESA Policy Brief No. 159: Demographic Outlook for the Small Island Developing States: Implications of Population Trends for Building Resilience and Prosperity across SIDS
https://desapublications.un.org/policy-briefs/un-desa-policy-brief-no-159-demographic-outlook-small-island-developing-states
SIDS have small populations, limited resources and are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Understanding their demographic outlook will help them to address these unique challenges.

UNU Global AI Network
https://aimacau-2024.org/unu-ai-network/
The United Nations University Global Artificial Intelligence Network (UNU Global AI Network) is officially launched at the UNU Macau AI Conference 2024. The Network aims to address the multifaceted challenges posed by AI on a global scale. The UNU Global AI Network represents a collaborative initiative spearheaded by the UNU and its partners. This network is envisioned as a comprehensive global platform, uniting the expertise of academia, the innovation of the private sector, the foresight of policymakers, and the grassroots engagement of civil society.
Urban Content of NDCs: Local climate action explored through in-depth country analyses: 2024 Report (UN-Habitat)
https://unhabitat.org/urban-content-of-ndcs-local-climate-action-explored-through-in-depth-country-analyses-2024-report
Cities are responsible for approximately 67 per cent of global primary energy consumption and 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. This significant contribution makes cities essential partners in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Nationally Determined Contributions (also known as NDCs) are the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement and are the main policy instruments used to indicate national contributions toward global efforts for climate change mitigation and adaptation. It’s essential for countries’ NDCs to reflect urban climate solutions. This report – jointly prepared by UNDP, UN-Habitat and the University of Southern Denmark with support from C40 Cities – analyzes urban content and urban climate strategies in the 194 NDCs submitted by as of 27 June 2023. This report provides analysis and guidance to policymakers and practitioners working on climate, development and NDCs to: (i) facilitate better understanding of the urban focus in NDCs, (ii) highlight climate challenges and opportunities in cities, (iii) support countries to place cities at the center of their climate ambition, and (iv) provide a unique set of climate data to inform policymaking.

WMO Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update (2024-2028)
https://library.wmo.int/records/item/68910-wmo-global-annual-to-decadal-climate-update
There is an 80 percent likelihood that the annual average global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the next five years, according to this new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released on 5 June 2024. This is a stark warning that we are getting ever closer to the goals set in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which refers to long-term temperature increases over decades, not over one to five years.

 

Water for Shared Prosperity (World Bank)
https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/water-for-shared-prosperity
Access to safe drinking water and sanitation, reliable water-supply for agriculture and industry, and protection against droughts and floods are essential for human and economic development, a World Bank report released on 20 May 2024 states. Over the past 20 years, the number of people lacking safe drinking water and basic sanitation has increased by 197 million and 211 million, respectively. Today, over two billion people still lack access to safe drinking water, and 3.5 billion are deprived of safely managed sanitation facilities. Resulting infectious diseases contribute to at least 1.4 million annual deaths and 50% of global malnutrition. Lack of access to safe water and sanitation is particularly harmful in childhood, this report released at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia by the World Bank Group and the Government of Indonesia says. Inadequate and unsafe water affects early childhood development, and time spent fetching water, inadequate sanitation and hygiene and droughts or floods disrupt learning and lead to school dropouts.

World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2024 (DESA)
https://desapublications.un.org/publications/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-mid-2024
Global economic prospects have improved since January, with major economies avoiding a severe downturn, bringing down inflation without increasing unemployment. However, the outlook is only cautiously optimistic. Higher-for-longer interest rates, debt sustainability challenges, continuing geopolitical tensions and ever-worsening climate risks continue to pose challenges to growth, threatening decades of development gains, especially for least developed countries and small island developing States. According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2024, the world economy is now projected to grow by 2.7 per cent in 2024 (+0.3 percentage points from the January forecast) and 2.8 per cent in 2025 (+0.1 percentage points from the January forecast). The upward revisions mainly reflect a better outlook in the United States, where the latest forecast points to 2.3 per cent growth in 2024, and several large emerging economies, notably Brazil, India and the Russian Federation. The outlook for China registers a small uptick with growth now expected to be 4.8 per cent in 2024. On the other hand, the economic outlook for Africa has deteriorated since the last release, with expected growth lowered by 0.2 percentage points for 2024, threatening adverse impacts for many of the world’s poor. On average, global growth in the coming years is expected to remain below the average of 3.2 per cent during 2010–2019.

 

International Peace and Security

Aide mémoire for the Security Council open debate on the theme “Protection of civilians in armed conflict: twenty-fifth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1265 (1999)”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2024/359
Mozambique, in its capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of May 2024, will hold an open debate on the theme “Protection of civilians in armed conflict: twenty -fifth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1265 (1999)” on 21 May 2024. In order to guide the discussions, Mozambique has prepared this aide mémoire.

Gaza war: Expected socioeconomic impacts on the State of Palestine – Update (May 2024)
https://www.unescwa.org/publications/gaza-war-socioeconomic-impacts-palestine
The joint Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report issued in November 2023 showed that the ongoing Gaza war has had a devastating impact on the Palestinian people, their economy and human development in the occupied Palestinian territory. The analysis in this present report provides an update of the significant macroeconomic and social consequences of the war based on four projected scenarios: the war ending after six months; continuing for one additional month; continuing for two additional months; and continuing for three additional months. The analysis underscores once again the urgent need for a ceasefire and sustained efforts to address the humanitarian crisis and rebuild the Palestinian economy and infrastructure.

Youth, Peace and Security: Fostering Youth-Inclusive Political Processes (UNDP)
https://www.undp.org/publications/youth-peace-and-security-fostering-youth-inclusive-political-processes
Currently, our world is home to 1.8 billion young individuals (between the ages of 10 and 24 years old). The lack of meaningful engagement of young people in political processes, for any reason, negatively impacts not only them but also our broader communities. Despite their demographic importance, many young people still encounter barriers and challenges when trying to engage in political and civic activities. This Guide aims to serve as a comprehensive resource for practitioners and experts devoted to advancing the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, with an emphasis on young people’s participation. It identifies opportunities and challenges with regards to political participation of young people and provides insights on potential barriers to their ability to meaningfully engage in the political and civic spheres. Illustrated with inspiring examples and case studies from across the world, the Guide includes specific recommendations to foster youth-inclusive political processes and facilitate this meaningful engagement. The Guide was developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as a co-chair of the Task Force on Youth in Politics in the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security. It is the result of a participatory process, including a desk review, interviews with experts and practitioners, and regular consultations with the members of the Task Force on Youth in Politics.

 

Human Rights

Hate Speech and Incitement to Hatred in the Electoral Context (OHCHR Information Note)
https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/tools-and-resources/hate-speech-and-incitement-hatred-electoral-context
The present information note seeks to provide users with guidance on a wide range of issues posed by hate speech and incitement to hatred in the context of elections. The note first seeks to provide guidance on differentiating between lawful speech, hate speech and incitement to hatred. It then examines issues of common targets of hate speech in the electoral context, mechanisms for addressing hate speech in the electoral context, the role of political leadership, the risks of regulating hate speech in the electoral context, and finally restrictions on the right to freedom of expression in the electoral context with regards to hate speech and incitement to hatred.

Human rights and the draft Cybercrime Convention (OHCHR Information Note)
https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/2024-05/Human-Rights-Draft-Cybercrime-Convention.pdf
OHCHR supports the drafting of a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communication Technologies for Criminal Purposes (Convention) and encourages States to agree a text that complies fully with international law, including international human rights law. By firmly grounding the new Convention in existing international law, the Convention will effectively contribute to addressing cybercrime in accordance with the principles of legality, due process and the rule of law. A failure to do so would not only undermine efforts to address cybercrime but also contribute to an environment that enables it. This information note identifies key human rights messages for treaty drafters, civil society organizations and other stakeholders based on the further revised draft text of the Convention of February 2024. In focusing on key messages, the briefer does not exclude stronger human rights-related provisions that Member States and other stakeholders might propose. It should be noted that each of the areas highlighted below raises specific concerns from the perspective of international human rights law, each warranting close and separate consideration. In this regard, OHCHR cautions against compromise positions that might concede a lower standard in some of these areas as part of a broader package.

International Solidarity Basics: Revised draft declaration on the right to international solidarity / Cecilia M. Bailliet, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity
https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/tools-and-resources/international-solidarity-basics

Protection of the dead: Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Morris Tidball-Binz (A/HRC/56/56, 25 April 2024)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/56/56
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, examines, from a human rights perspective, the obligations to protect and respect the dead. He recommends the development of human rights-based guiding principles for the protection of the dead to bridge the gap between different levels of protections for dead persons under international law.

Speak Out Against Abuse! A guide on how to connect with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on The Sale, Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children
https://www.ohchr.org/en/documents/tools-and-resources/updated-child-friendly-booklet-mandate-and-how-connect-united-nations
This is an updated version of the child-friendly booklet on the mandate and how to connect with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children.

Strengthening Human Rights in Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Policy: A Toolkit (OHCHR)
https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/documents/issues/terrorism/ohchr-toolkit-strengthening-hr-in-ct-strategy-policy.pdf
The toolkit is aimed at providing support to Member States and stakeholders in the integration of human rights in counter-terrorism strategy and policy. It centres on three separate but interrelated areas:
Tool 1 – Integrating human rights into the content of a counter-terrorism strategy and policy;
Tool 2 – Building institutional human rights specialist capacity in counter-terrorism; and
Tool 3 – Strengthening government engagement with civil society in counter-terrorism.

 

Humanitarian Affairs

From Place to Place: Community Perception of Displacement and Durable Solutions in Ukraine; May 2024 (IOM)
https://dtm.iom.int/reports/ukraine-research-report-place-place-community-perception-displacement-and-durable-solutions
The War in Ukraine has caused massive displacement, with about 3.7 million people forced to flee their homes, land, and families. Most of them want to go back to where they came from, underlining the pressing need for a recovery and transition strategy that links humanitarian and development efforts, addresses the immediate needs of the communities affected by displacement, and prepares them for their collective future. Aware of this necessity and in line with the global action on internal displacement, the Ukrainian government, the UN, and partners are implementing a comprehensive recovery and transition plan that prioritises data-based approaches and participation so that the displaced people and their host communities can shape and achieve lasting solutions to their displacement. This research report examines the views of the displaced and their hosts to understand their experiences, hopes, and preferences for durable solutions. It provides useful insights to inform the creation of a ‘Joint Analytical Framework’ in Ukraine to track progress towards solutions pathways and guide future policies and programs.

Hunger Hotspots: FAO–WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity: June to October 2024 outlook
https://doi.org/10.4060/cd0979en
Acute food insecurity is set to increase in magnitude and severity in 18 hunger “Hotspots”, this new report has revealed on 5 June 2024. The report spotlights the urgent need of assistance to prevent famine in Gaza and the Sudan, and further deterioration in the devastating hunger crises in Haiti, Mali, and South Sudan. It also warns of the lingering impact of El Niño and the looming threat of La Niña that risks bringing further climate extremes that could upend lives and livelihoods. The report found that many hotspots face growing hunger crises and highlights the worrying multiplier effect that simultaneous and overlapping shocks are having on acute food insecurity. Conflict, climate extremes, and economic shocks continue to drive vulnerable households into food crises. Furthermore, the report warns that 2023 is likely to mark the first year since 2010 in which humanitarian funding has declined compared to the previous year, but it still represents the second highest funding level ever for humanitarian assistance.

Impact of the war in Gaza on the labour market and livelihoods in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Bulletin No. 4
https://www.ilo.org/publications/impact-war-gaza-labour-market-and-livelihoods-occupied-palestinian-0
Eight months of war in the Gaza Strip have caused loss of jobs and livelihoods on a massive scale and a sharp decline in GDP in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), this new brief by the ILO and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) reports. Since hostilities erupted in October 2023, the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip has reached a staggering 79.1 per cent. In the West Bank, which has also been severely impacted by the crisis, unemployment has reached 32 per cent. These figures bring the average rate of unemployment to 50.8 per cent across the two areas of the OPT. Unemployment rates and figures, however, do not account for those who have left the labour force altogether as job prospects proved unattainable. The actual number of those who have lost their jobs is therefore even higher than what the unemployment figures suggest. Additionally, real GDP has contracted by an astounding 83.5 per cent in the Gaza Strip and by 22.7 in the West Bank over the past eight months, and real GDP of the entire OPT has shrunk by an average of 32.8 per cent. The new findings are presented in the fourth of a series of bulletins outlining the impact of the war in Gaza on the labour market and on livelihoods in the OPT.

On the Front Line: Investing in community health workers to improve health and nutrition (UNICEF)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.unicef.org/reports/front-line
Who can reach children in the most isolated and deprived communities? Who can reassure parents that immunization will save their child’s life? Who can help pregnant women and new mothers get the nutrition they need to raise healthy children? Who can help strengthen countries’ health systems, so that they will be better prepared to face the next pandemic or the aftermath of the next natural disaster? The answer to all these questions is community health workers. They are front-line health-care workers – mostly women – who are trained to deliver vital health and nutrition services to women and children in their communities, such as vaccination and screening children for severe malnutrition (wasting). This is a UNICEF advocacy brief that looks at the vital role that these workers play in reducing child and maternal mortality. It explores some of the challenges they face, and it makes the case for stronger investments in community health. It concludes with recommendations on specific areas that UNICEF and partners can prioritise in terms of advocacy, to improve conditions for these workers, and ultimately reduce maternal and child mortality.

Safe Pathways for Refugees IV: OECD-UNHCR study on pathways used by refugees linked to family reunification, study programmes and labour mobility between 2010 and 2022
https://globalcompactrefugees.org/about-gcr/resources/reports/oecd-unhcr-safe-pathways-refugees-iv
This new report shows that the number of study, work, family reunification and sponsorship permits granted by OECD countries to refugees continues to rise. The latest report issued beginning of May by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) highlights a 38 per cent year-on-year growth in 2022. In 2022, almost 215,000 work and study and family permits were issued to people displaced by conflict and crises by 37 OECD countries and Brazil, compared to 156,000 in 2021 and 127,000 in 2020. While COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions inevitably led to a decline in visa issuance, the latest data shows that 2022 numbers surpass pre-pandemic levels, to reach the highest on record since 2017. The latest report is the fourth of its kind, produced jointly by UNHCR and OECD, examining the number of entry permits issued to individuals from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Venezuela by OECD countries and Brazil.

Supporting displaced adolescent boys and male youth in all their diversity who are survivors or at risk of sexual exploitation: A toolkit for frontline workers in humanitarian contexts (UN Women / WRC)
https://tinyurl.com/3nh49d8v
This toolkit is a comprehensive resource developed by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), with support from UN Women, to enhance the capacity of frontline workers to integrate protection and support for adolescent boys and male youth (ABMY), including persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC), into protection programs. This toolkit is the culmination of years of research under the Sexual Violence Project. Findings from WRC’s earlier research showed that practitioners and service providers lack the tools and resources to effectively address sexual violence perpetrated against male survivors, including ABMY in all their diversity in humanitarian and conflict-affected settings. Additional evidence showed that practitioner and provider attitudes, biases, and misconceptions, as well as a lack of resources were major deterrents for male survivors accessing and receiving quality services and care that meets their immediate and longer-term needs following sexual violence. To address this one aspect of this gap, WRC developed this toolkit to increase prevention, support, and access to services for displaced adolescent boys (10-19 years) and male youth (15-24 years), including those with diverse SOGIESC, who are survivors or at risk of sexual exploitation. Compiled with evidence-based guidance, capacity enhancing materials, and training exercises and tools, the toolkit primarily focuses on working with adolescent boys under 18 years, but also provides considerations for adult male youth, aged 18 to 24 years.

UNHCR Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2025
https://www.unhcr.org/media/projected-global-resettlement-needs-2025
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, estimates that more than 2.9 million refugees worldwide will need resettlement next year, according to the Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2025 report released on 5 June 2024. The latest estimate marks an increase of 20 per cent – equivalent to half a million refugees – compared with 2024, driven by the prolongation of mass displacement situations, the emergence of new conflicts and the impacts of climate change. For the ninth consecutive year, displaced Syrians continue to have the highest resettlement needs, with almost a million (933,000) refugees expected to require support through this program. This is followed by refugees from Afghanistan (558,000), South Sudan (242,000), Rohingya from Myanmar (226,000), Sudan (172,000) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (158,000). Resettlement needs have also risen sharply in the Americas, owing to unprecedented levels of displacement in the region.

 

Justice and International Law

A Prosecutor’s Guide to Radiological and Nuclear Crimes (UNICRI)
https://unicri.it/index.php/Publications/Prosecutor-Guide-Radiological-Nuclear-Crimes
This Guide exists to support state authorities in prevention-oriented investigations and lawful prosecutions of those who would attempt such schemes. As these crimes have a low probability of occurring (while presenting a potentially high impact), an individual prosecutor’s next RN case may be their first. This Guide is specifically designed to support every step of the investigation and prosecution process. Prosecutors need to build a very strong case in court to convince judicial authorities of the deliberate nature of such a crime, and this requires impeccable evidence. These cases are complex and rare, and therefore the Guide is designed to support a prosecutor facing relevant challenges, even as it may take many years to progress from the crime scene to adjudication in court. Ultimately, criminals and terrorists will be defended by competent counsel. State authorities can expect to be questioned about each step. Forensics experts, investigators, field technicians and scientists can anticipate scrutiny of every action and every conclusion. Any perceived or actual gap could jeopardise the case, leading to the acquittal of otherwise guilty perpetrators. This Guide is designed to be a comprehensive resource for prosecutors to achieve predictable and successful outcomes in cases involving radiological and nuclear crimes. The guide includes practical tips, lessons learned, and best practices derived from real criminal case examples, serving as useful precedents. Step-by-step recommendations for the successful investigation and prosecution of RN crimes are integral parts of the Guide.

 

Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Global Analysis on Crimes that affect the Environment: Part 1, The Landscape of Criminalization (UNODC)
https://www.unodc.org/unodc/data-and-analysis/the-landscape-of-criminalization.html
Criminalization is one part of how the environment can be protected. Yet, there has been no overview of the state of criminalization for violations of environmental law. Part 1 – the landscape of criminalization of the Global Analysis on Crimes that Affect the Environment provides this first global overview of where offences against the environment are criminalized. It also analyses what the penalties are for natural and legal persons, whether the penalties meet the definition of serious crime under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and the scope for confiscation and restoration. The analysis includes nine environmental areas – deforestation and logging, mining, air pollution, noise pollution, soil pollution, water pollution, fishing, waste and wildlife. Further analysis on the geographic differences of criminalization can guide future projects to harmonize legislation and ensure penalties are fit for purpose.

Illicit Trade in Food and Food Fraud (WTO)
https://www.wto.org/english/res_e/publications_e/itfff_e.htm
A new WTO publication launched on 28 May looks into the challenges of combating illicit trade in food and food fraud and discusses the role the WTO could play in helping to address this issue. At the launch event, leaders from business and international organizations and other trade experts discussed the urgent need for the international community to act collectively and explored strategies for overcoming current challenges.

 

World Wildlife Crime Report 2024 (UNODC)
https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/wildlife.html
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) new World Wildlife Crime Report finds that – despite positive signs in reducing trafficking impacts for some iconic species like elephants and rhinoceros – wildlife trafficking overall has not been substantially reduced over two decades. More consistent enforcement to tackle both supply and demand, effective implementation of legislation, including anti-corruption laws, and stronger monitoring and research are needed. The third edition of the World Wildlife Crime Report examines trends, harms, impacts and drivers of the trafficking of protected wildlife species; evaluates the effectiveness of interventions to combat the trade; and provides policy recommendations.

 

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