UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter – March 2022


New UN websites & publications

UN in General

UNRIC Library backgrounder: Ukraine

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Ukraine
Overview of the latest information from the United Nations system on the Ukraine crisis.


The ECOSOC Handbook: A practical guide to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
On 28 January 2022, Switzerland launched the ECOSOC Handbook. At a virtual event, the President of ECOSOC, H.E. Collen V. Kelapile highlighted that “the handbook shows that ECOSOC has been given some powerful mandates and tools that can be used to fulfill its core mandate – to provide solutions to international social, economic, health and related problems and to promote economic and social progress and higher standards of living.”


End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument
Heads of State, environment ministers and other representatives from 175 nations, endorsed a historic resolution at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi on 2 March 2022 to end plastic pollution, and forge an international legally binding agreement, by the end of 2024.

Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (IPCC)
Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on 28 February 2022. The world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F). Even temporarily exceeding this warming level will result in additional severe impacts, some of which will be irreversible. Risks for society will increase, including to infrastructure and low-lying coastal settlements.

Voices of Change – Video Series
A new video series, called Voices of Change, was launched featuring the diverse, unique, and inspiring stories of the world’s climate activists who confront countless challenges every day to advocate for solutions and the wellbeing of their communities and our planet. In the lead up to COP27 in Egypt in November, the series will include ten short interviews to drum up visibility and support for climate activists and their courage to persist, against all odds, making invaluable contributions to the global climate movement. It kicks off with an interview with the Ugandan activist and Young Leader for the SDGs Vanessa Nakate:


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)


COVID-19-Response-Logo (English)

Caring for those who care – Guide for the development and implementation of occupational health and safety programmes for health workers (ILO / WHO)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published a new guide on developing and implementing stronger occupational health and safety programmes for health workers, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exert great pressure on them. ILO and WHO recommend developing and implementing sustainable programmes for managing occupational health and safety for health workers at national, sub-national and health facility levels. Such programmes should cover all occupational hazards – infectious, ergonomic, physical, chemical, and psycho-social. The guide also outlines the roles that governments, employers, workers and occupational health services should play in promoting and protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of health workers. It emphasizes that continuous investment, training, monitoring and collaboration are essential for sustaining progress in implementing the programmes.

COVID-19 Research and Innovation: Powering the world’s pandemic response – now and in the future (WHO)
This updated report once again brings a spotlight to the immense and tireless global research effort to control COVID-19. The report not only details the successes but also the priority research tasks and lessons learned that are critical in the next phase of the pandemic – as the world strives to move to ‘endemic’ status. Crucially, focusing on how global research actions and platforms that are bolstering our response to COVID-19 right now, can also be deployed in the future to help the world rapidly combat new threats from viruses and other pathogens.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Impact on Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (UNCTAD)
This report provides a snapshot of the current competition and market access challenges being faced by Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) around the world as they seek to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. It focuses on the competition-related challenges caused by the pandemic, ability to access existing and new markets, regulatory responses to the situation that especially affect MSMEs, and related observable trends relevant to small and medium enterprises. It concludes with a few recommendations for future action by national governments and international organizations.

Human rights implications of the lack of affordable, timely, equitable and universal access and distribution of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and the deepening inequalities between States: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/49/35, 1 February 2022)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/49/35
“Summary: The present report, prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 46/14, contains an examination of the human rights implications of the lack of affordable, timely, equitable and universal access and distribution of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and the deepening inequalities between States, highlighting that vaccine delays not only have grave health consequences, but also have other profound human rights implications. Lack of access to vaccines is also a driving force behind the sharply divergent economic recoveries from the earlier waves of the pandemic, reversing hard won progress on realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and pushing developing countries further behind. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights calls for urgent action by all relevant actors to eliminate existing obstacles to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines reach everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of integrating human rights-based approaches into efforts aimed at health emergency preparedness, response and recovery. Any recovery must address the root causes of inequality, political and economic instability and displacement. Building back better from the pandemic will require the implementation of the full spectrum of human rights, as affirmed by the Secretary-General in “Our common agenda”. As he affirmed in “The highest aspiration: a call to action for human rights”, it is also crucial to ensure that human rights principles inform the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Mental health and COVID-19: Early evidence of the pandemic’s impact (WHO Scientific Brief)
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%, according to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 2 March 2022. The brief also highlights who has been most affected and summarizes the effect of the pandemic on the availability of mental health services and how this has changed during the pandemic. Concerns about potential increases in mental health conditions had already prompted 90% of countries surveyed to include mental health and psychosocial support in their COVID-19 response plans, but major gaps and concerns remain.

Promoting COVID-19 vaccination uptake among migrant communities on social media: Evidence from Germany (IOM-DMDAC)
Governments could close COVID-19 vaccination gaps by breaking down language barriers and giving migrants easier access to information particularly through social media, according to a study published 11 February 2022 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the University of Potsdam. Studies from several countries in the US and Europe, including Germany, suggest that vaccination rates are lower among migrant communities compared to the general population. Gaps may vary by country and group but a recent study by the Robert Koch Institute in Germany revealed that the vaccination rate among migrants is 8 per cent lower compared to the native-born population. The study argues that such vaccination gaps may be linked to language barriers, socioeconomic status, and misinformation among migrant communities. IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the University of Potsdam tested the effect of language and trust barriers in Germany via a social media campaign in their study, “Promoting COVID-19 vaccination uptake among migrant communities on social media – Evidence from Germany’’. Expensive national campaigns to boost vaccine uptake using print, TV, and radio often neglect social media. The results of the study show how specific groups can be reached more effectively and at low cost.

Re|shaping policies for creativity: addressing culture as a global public good (UNESCO)
English, French & Spanish: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000380474
According to this study, the crisis generated by the pandemic led the Gross Value Added in the cultural and leisure sectors to decrease by US$ 750 billion, and 10 million jobs were lost in 2020. The document shows that the cultural sector has been suffering major impacts since the beginning of the pandemic, while support for the development of cultural and leisure projects continues to decline. In several countries, sector revenues have fallen by between 20% and 40%. The report also reveals that people’s access to digital cultural content has increased. In this sense, the document states that it is necessary and urgent to create “fair remuneration systems for artists and content producers consumed online”. Although the flow of cultural goods and services is increasing around the world, little progress has been made in closing the gap between developed and developing countries. According to this study, the global crisis caused by the pandemic exposed the challenges to ensure the preservation of the cultural diversity of expressions in the world. The report also highlights the essential value of the cultural and creative sector as an instrument of social cohesion, educational resource, and well-being of people in times of crisis. However, at the same time, it shows that the sector’s potential to produce economic growth was undermined. Access to various forms of cultural expression has been restricted around the world, hampering the ability to contribute to economic development. The cultural sector represents 3.1% of the global Gross Domestic Product and 6.2% of job vacancies. Public spending in the creative industries was already falling even before COVID-19. After the pandemic, there was a collapse in income and jobs in the sector, further worsening the precarious working conditions of many artists around the world. The pandemic made the vulnerability of cultural professionals even more evident.

UN DESA Policy Brief #129: The monetary policy response to COVID-19: the role of asset purchase programmes
Central banks have relied heavily on unconventional monetary policy tools, especially large-scale asset purchases, to respond to the pandemic. These programmes have helped to stabilize financial markets and kickstart economic recovery. But the central bank asset purchases have also contributed to an underpricing of risk and sharp increases in asset prices. Major central banks now face the challenge of unwinding their massive stimulus programs without creating financial market turmoil and destabilizing global financial flows.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Ageism in artificial intelligence for health (WHO)
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the potential to improve older people’s health and well-being, but only if ageism is eliminated from their design, implementation, and use. A new policy brief, released on 10 February 2022 by the World Health Organization (WHO), presents legal, non-legal and technical measures that can be used to minimize the risk of exacerbating or introducing ageism through these technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are revolutionizing many fields including public health and medicine for older people where they can help predict health risks and events, enable drug development, support the personalization of care management, and much more. There are concerns, however, that, if left unchecked, AI technologies may perpetuate existing ageism in society and undermine the quality of health and social care that older people receive. The data used by AI can be unrepresentative of older people or skewed by past ageist stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination. Flawed assumptions of how older people wish to live or interact with technology in their daily lives can also limit the design and reach of these technologies, and the way AI technologies are used can reduce intergenerational contact or deepen existing barriers to digital access.

Bringing the voice of the Least Developed Countries into the G20 policy agenda: A special issue to celebrate 50 years of LDC category (UNCTAD)
This report is divided into four sections: Chapter 1 addresses the role of African countries within the G20 decision making processes. Starting with a reflection on the impact of COVID-19 for Africa, the section then focuses on the role and agency of LDCs and African countries in the G20 policy mechanisms. It outlines key themes (e.g. trade, green transition, fair financial architecture) and new actors (e.g. the African Standing Group within the T20) that could be brought to the table to ensure a more decisive and impactful role for LDCs and African countries in the G20 decision making processes.
Chapter 2 analyses the role of quality and climate-resilient infrastructure to boost sustainable and long-term recovery and development for LDCs. The section first addresses why these investments are crucial for sustainable development, showing the impact and costs that inaction could cause. In addition, it discusses the current gaps and obstacles (e.g. financial, technical, institutional) that still hamper the development of new infrastructural models that aim to shift from a “do not harm” to a “net benefits” principle. Finally, it draws some policy recommendations from the T20.
Chapter 3 focuses on development finance with the aim to reflect on how the G20 can support and identify innovative mechanisms to mobilize financial resources for the LDCs. The section begins with assessing the financial needs of LDCs, showing how COVID-19 has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities; and then focuses on three main areas where the G20 could play a key role in bringing forward a more effective architecture for development finance: blended finance, special drawing rights (SDRs) reallocation, and sustainable bonds. The section concludes with a series of proposals and conclusions for G20 decision makers.
Finally, the report presents some conclusions, summarizes the main proposals addressed by the different sections, and identifies key priorities of immediate interest to African and LDC countries, on which current and future G20 Presidencies should continue working on in the next years.

Care at work: Investing in care leave and services for a more gender equal world of work (ILO)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/care-economy/WCMS_838653/lang–en/index.htm
Persistent and significant gaps in care services and policies have left hundreds of millions of workers with family responsibilities without adequate protection and support, yet meeting these needs could create almost 300 million jobs by 2035, according to a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report. The report finds that three in ten women of reproductive age, or 649 million women, have inadequate maternity protection that does not meet the key requirements of the ILO’s Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183).

Childhood cancer inequalities in the WHO European Region
On International Childhood Cancer Day, 15 February 2022, WHO/Europe launched the report “Childhood cancer inequalities in the WHO European Region”. This report sets out for the first time the evidence on childhood cancer inequalities in the Region, and examines the patterns that emerge at national and regional levels of childhood cancer incidence, patient and caregiver experiences, and short- and long-term outcomes for patients.


Environmental Health Inequalities Fact Sheet Series (WHO/Europe)
Environmental conditions are a major determinant of health and well-being but they are not distributed equally across the population. Higher levels of environmental risk are often found in disadvantaged population subgroups. The WHO environmental health inequalities fact sheets provide information on the distribution of environmental risks and injuries within countries and document that unequal environmental conditions, risk exposures and related health outcomes affect citizens daily in all settings where people live, work, travel and spend their time. The fact sheet series on environmental health inequalities is produced with the support of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Inequalities at the Institute of Public Health and Nursing Research of the University of Bremen, Germany. The series continues the earlier monitoring of environmental health inequalities published through two WHO European assessment reports on environmental health inequalities in 2012 and 2019, and aims to regularly update environmental inequality data in topic-specific and easily accessible fact sheet formats. The fact sheet series on environmental health inequalities aims to cover inequalities related to five themes: housing conditions, urban environments and transport, basic services (such as drinking-water, sanitation and energy), injuries, work settings.

Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches (UNEP)
Wildfires are burning more severely and more often, urban noise pollution is growing into a global public health menace, and phenological mismatches – disruptions in the timing of life-cycle stages in natural systems – are causing ecological consequences. These critical environmental issues, requiring greater attention, are highlighted in the new Frontiers Report published on 17 February 2022 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). This is the fourth edition of the Frontiers Report, which was first published in 2016 with an alert to the growing risk of zoonotic diseases, four years before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests: Déja Vu or Solid Restart?
A highlight of the 2021 COP26 Summit was the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, a set of commitments by 141 countries on the sustainable management of forests. This declaration was the culmination of decades of incremental gains in global efforts to address rampant deforestation, and was greeted enthusiastically by the international media as the Summit’s first “major deal”. By tracing the history of forestry protection in global governance over the past forty years, this policy brief contextualizes the importance of the Glasgow Declaration. While still lacking in the kind of teeth needed, the declaration demonstrates important recognition of the centrality of forests to a range of other climate goals, and could be used for more concerted action in the near future. But to do so, it must address three related challenges in today’s governance of forests: (1) lack of enforcement, leading to an absence of monitoring or meaningful benchmarks globally; (2) a lack of urgency, given the rapidity of deforestation and rate of climate change seen today; and (3) the omission of crucial drivers of deforestation, namely beef, soy, timber, and other export commodities. As such, today’s global governance around forests is too slow, too weak, and too fragmented. On this basis, the brief recognizes the importance of Glasgow, but argues that it must urgently be built upon through five key recommendations. Ultimately, forests are a clear global public good, a crucial aspect of our efforts to halt global warming and provide sufficient biodiversity for human life on this planet. While the Glasgow Declaration showed a recognition of the importance of forestry protection, it ultimately fell well short of the kind of enforceable commitment necessary to meet the urgent challenge facing us today. As we turn to COP27, the goal should be a quantum leap from the incrementalist approaches of the past – climate change is accelerating, international efforts must accelerate as well.

Global Population Growth and Sustainable Development (UN/DESA)
The probes the linkages between global population growth and the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The report examines how the current rapid growth of the human population is a consequence of the demographic transition from high to low levels of mortality and fertility. The report reviews the connections between population growth and key aspects of social and economic development, including poverty, hunger and malnutrition, health, education, gender equality, economic growth and decent work. It also explores the contribution of global population increase to environmental degradation, including climate change. The report is part of a series on major demographic trends being published by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Reports in the series examine the complex relationships linking demographic processes to social and economic development and environmental change.

How the marketing of formula milk influences our decisions on infant feeding (WHO/UNICEF)
More than half of parents and pregnant women (51 per cent) surveyed for a new WHO/UNICEF report say they have been targeted with marketing from formula milk companies, much of which is in breach of international standards on infant feeding practices. The report draws on interviews with parents, pregnant women and health workers in eight countries. It uncovers systematic and unethical marketing strategies used by the formula milk industry – now worth a staggering US$55 billion – to influence parents’ infant feeding decisions. The report finds that industry marketing techniques include unregulated and invasive online targeting; sponsored advice networks and helplines; promotions and free gifts; and practices to influence training and recommendations among health workers. The messages that parents and health workers receive are often misleading, scientifically unsubstantiated, and violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) – a landmark public health agreement passed by the World Health Assembly in 1981 to protect mothers from aggressive marketing practices by the baby food industry.

Making the case for Volunteering and gender equality (UNV)
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has developed an interactive online toolkit for promoting gender equality through volunteering in national policies and frameworks, to help policymakers and practitioners consider how volunteering can support efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is available on UNV’s Knowledge Portal on Volunteerism.

“Nothing about us, without us”: Tips for policy-makers on child and adolescent participation in policy development (WHO/Europe)
WHO/Europe has published new guidance on how to involve adolescents and young people in decision-making about their health. The new guide calls on governments and policy-makers to listen to and understand the perspectives, experiences and needs of young people when making policies or decisions affecting their health. These could be, for example, policies that are part of a national child and adolescent health strategy, or those related to youth and adolescent health services.

Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires (UNEP)
Climate change and land-use change are projected to make wildfires more frequent and intense, with a global increase of extreme fires of up to 14 per cent by 2030, 30 per cent by the end of 2050 and 50 per cent by the end of the century, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and GRID-Arendal. The paper calls for a radical change in government spending on wildfires, shifting their investments from reaction and response to prevention and preparedness. The report, finds an elevated risk even for the Arctic and other regions previously unaffected by wildfires. The report is released before the resumed 5th session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) convenes in Nairobi, between 28 February and 2 March, 2022. The publication calls on governments to adopt a new ‘Fire Ready Formula’, with two-thirds of spending devoted to planning, prevention, preparedness, and recovery, with one third left for response. Currently, direct responses to wildfires typically receive over half of related expenditures, while planning receives less than one per cent. To prevent fires, authors call for a combination of data and science-based monitoring systems with indigenous knowledge and for a stronger regional and international cooperation.

Thinking about the future of food safety: A foresight report (FAO)
Whether it’s new foods like jellyfish, edible insects and cell-based meat, or new technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, the future promises exciting opportunities for feeding the world. However, the time to start preparing for any potential safety concerns is now. A report out on 7 March 2022 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) looks at how major global drivers like economic growth, changing consumer behaviour and consumption patterns, a growing global population and the climate crisis will shape food safety in tomorrow’s world. The idea of this long-term thinking exercise is to help policy makers anticipate any future concerns, rather than react to them once they have already materialized. The report maps out some of the most important emerging issues in food and agriculture with a focus on food safety implications, which are increasingly on the minds of consumers around the world. It adopts a foresight approach based on the idea that the roots of how the future may play out are already present today in the form of early signs. Monitoring these signs through the systematic gathering of intelligence increases the likelihood that policy makers will be better prepared to tackle emerging opportunities and challenges.

UNODC Handbook: Framework to Measure and Report on Gender-related SDG Results
It is well known that gender equality and women’s empowerment are key to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But how do we make sure that UNODC activities and programmes feed into these efforts? How can we be sure that the activities planned are designed for and accessible to all people no matter their gender? Measuring the long-term gender impact of programmes can be dificult. This is especially true in the UNODC mandated areas of crime prevention, terrorism prevention, criminal justice, transnational organised crime and in drug-related policies.This is due to the frequent lack of diversity in the workforce, with female professionals often being underrepresented and consequently resulting in progress towards gender equality being gradual. Therefore, it is key that we understand exactly what has worked and what can be done better. To achieve this, the UNODC Gender Team has developed a set of model gender-responsive indicators targeted to the above-mentioned areas, to provide guidance and support gender mainstreaming efforts. In line with UNODC’s Gender Strategy, staff were also provided with guidance on how to effectively utilise the handbook and integrate a gender perspective into all aspects of their work.

WHO Repository on Urban Health
Over 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas – a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. This trend calls for strengthened support to address health at the urban level. To this end, WHO’s new repository on urban health gives access to a broad range of WHO-generated resources to enhance local action for health. The repository reflects WHO’s renewed commitment to promoting urban health worldwide and includes resources that provide technical support and build capacity, strategic reports and guidelines, health impact assessment tools, and other products relevant to urban health and cities. The repository is a living resource, open to modifications and additions, and it will be regularly updated when new products become available. It covers topics such as urban planning, housing, environmental issues, transport and mobility, nutrition, physical activity, COVID-19 and many others.  The search engine allows users to access existing WHO materials by health topic category, product type, geographical area and year of publication/development.

World Development Report 2022: Finance for an Equitable Recovery (World Bank)
Report in English, French & Spanish, Overview in Portuguese: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/36883
The report examines the central role of finance in the economic recovery from COVID-19. Based on an in-depth look at the consequences of the crisis most likely to affect low- and middle-income economies, it advocates a set of policies and measures to mitigate the interconnected economic risks stemming from the pandemic—risks that may become more acute as stimulus measures are withdrawn at both the domestic and global levels. Those policies include the efficient and transparent management of nonperforming loans to mitigate threats to financial stability, insolvency reforms to allow for the orderly reduction of unsustainable debts, innovations in risk management and lending models to ensure continued access to credit for households and businesses, and improvements in sovereign debt management to preserve the ability of governments to support an equitable recovery.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council ministerial open debate on the subject “Advancing the women, peace and security agenda through partnerships: women’s economic inclusion and participation as a key to building peace”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2022/175
The Security Council held a ministerial open debate on the subject “Advancing the women, peace and security agenda through partnerships: women’s economic inclusion and participation as a key to building peace” on 8 March 2022. In order to guide the discussions on this topic, the United Arab Emirates, the Security Council President for March 2022, has prepared this concept note.

DPO Practice Note: Women’s Leadership and Meaningful Participation in Peacekeeping Contexts
The Gender Unit of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) published a Practice Note on the work of peacekeeping missions to support women’s leadership and meaningful participation in peace processes. It shows how peacekeeping is making gains, despite persistent barriers, on the implementation of the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda. For example, local women networks successfully lobbied for a 35% gender quota in the electoral code in collaboration with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). In light of the military coups in Mali, local women leaders and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have brought together a diverse group of women to take actions to strengthen women’s participation. In Lebanon, UNIFIL’s gender-sensitive reporting system, known as the Tracking Engagement Community, resulted in enhanced WPS reporting and data collection during patrols and community initiatives. These stories are just some of the promising practices and lessons learned by missions as they implement their gender and WPS mandates.

Deployment Review Mobile App
Troop- and police-contributing countries are now able to easily develop lessons learned in the field to improve operational readiness thanks to a new UN mobile application. A methodology was developed by the Light Coordination Mechanism with 16 Member States, some of whom co-financed the project alongside the Department of Peace Operations. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted issues in accessing the original document. So, the Light Coordination Mechanism partnered with the Capacity Development and Operational Training Services in the Department of Operational Support to create an app that would allow the methodology to be accessible to anyone, at anytime, anywhere – all at the touch of a button. The Deployment Review App is a knowledge-sharing toolkit designed to help Member States, training centres, and national institutions to establish and develop their own lessons learned processes, facilitating the exchange of useful information among deployed personnel.

Guidance note: Gender-responsive conflict analysis (UN Women)
Most conflict and political analyses exclude the specific status, needs, and experiences of women, men, girls, boys, and sexual and gender minorities. A gender-responsive conflict analysis explores—with a gender lens—systems of power, institutions, and stakeholders, and root causes, triggers, and drivers of conflict and peace. This type of analysis recognizes that gender power relations and the enforcement of patriarchal power over women, men, children, and sexual and gender minorities is political. Initially developed for Afghanistan, this guidance note has global applicability. It provides recommendations on how to apply a gender lens in political and conflict analysis in a way that allows the integration of gender as a variable of power across social, political, and economic analysis of conflict as opposed to addressing issues specific to women and girls in siloed analysis. This approach reveals the critical links between gender dynamics of conflict and peacebuilding.


Human Rights

Enabling Atrocities: UN Member States’ Arms Transfers to the Myanmar Military: Conference room paper of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (A/HRC/49/CRP.1, 22 February 2022)
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, issued a report to the UN Human Rights Council on 22 February 2022 that identifies States, including two permanent members of the Security Council, who have supplied weapons used against civilians since Myanmar’s military coup. The independent expert appealed to weapons exporting nations to immediately suspend their weapons sales and urged the convening of an emergency Security Council session to debate and vote on a resolution to, at minimum, ban those arms transfers that the Myanmar military are known to use to attack and kill Myanmar civilians.

Remedy in Development Finance: Guidance and Practice (OHCHR)
Bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions (DFIs) should routinely plan to ensure the projects they finance do not harm people, and they and their clients should ensure effective remedy is readily available for any victims, the UN Human Rights Office said in a report published on 23 February 2022. Initiatives supported by DFIs, despite commendable efforts, often lead to adverse social and environment impacts on individuals and communities. Yet, according to available evidence and data, many people negatively affected by development projects are unable to access remedies for the harms they suffer. The report says that a stronger commitment and more proactive, robust approaches to remedy would help development finance institutions avoid causing or contributing to human rights violations, minimize their reputational risks, and help them to meet changing public expectations and norms concerning responsible business practices. The report encourages the consistent and effective implementation of remedy, noting that reparations to redress the harms people experience may take many forms, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. In many instances, these are most effective in combination.


Humanitarian Affairs

Afghanistan Crisis update: Women and Girls in Displacement (UN Women / UNHCR)
The August 2021 fall of Afghanistan’s government to Taliban rule has further limited the ability of women and girls to exercise their fundamental rights in their own country. The longstanding conflict in Afghanistan as well as recent events and the restriction of women’s rights have forced many women and their families to flee their homes, seeking safety either within Afghanistan or in neighbouring countries. The analysis of 2021 data provided in this factsheet demonstrates that refugees, internally displaced people and other populations affected by the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan are increasing in number; but their prospects, whether in returning home or finding refuge elsewhere, are not always bright. This factsheet examines the needs, fears and barriers encountered by Afghan women and girls who are internally displaced or who have fled abroad. The factsheet is the first in a series that will examine the changing situation in Afghanistan as additional data become available. It was produced by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), using data from UNHCR, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other sources as indicated. Given the rapidly shifting situation in the country, estimates are likely to change over time. Trends or events taking place after 2021 will be reflected in future factsheets of this series.

The Gender Dimensions of Forced Displacement: A Synthesis of New Research
While there have been welcome advances in global evidence on and understanding of forced displacement, research and analysis of the gendered dimensions of displacement have been limited. The Gender Dimensions of Forced Displacement (GDFD) research program has sought to fill this important gap. A series of papers were commissioned from leading experts to address several key questions, namely: (i) How does gender inequality affect the extent and patterns of different dimensions of poverty in forcibly displaced populations? (ii) How do conflict and displacement affect gender norms and the prevalence of IPV and child marriage for women and girls? (iii) What are the implications of these findings for the design and implementation of policies and programs?

Gender-Based Violence Prevention, Risk Mitigation and Response in Europe: Promising Practices and Recommendations for the Way Forward (UNHCR)
The risks and experiences of gender-based violence (GBV) faced by asylum-seekers and refugees before, during and after their journeys to Europe have been widely acknowledged, reiterating the continued need to strengthen the capacity of States and other stakeholders to prevent, mitigate and respond to such risks. Across the region, UNHCR partners with States, civil society, and national service providers in an effort to address these challenges. This paper seeks to showcase some of the promising practices related to GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response, and offer recommendations for the way forward.

IOM Issue Briefs: Global Compact for Migration
English: https://www.iom.int/iom-issue-briefs-global-compact-migration
French: https://www.iom.int/fr/documents-dinformation-de-loim-pacte-mondial-sur-les-migrations
Spanish: https://www.iom.int/es/documentos-informativos-de-la-oim-pacto-mundial-sobre-migracion
To coincide with the launch of the UN Secretary General’s report on the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) on 16 February 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is pleased to present a series of complementary Issue Briefs further elaborating on the recommendations of the report. The Briefs draw on IOM’s extensive policy and operational experience working around the world in close cooperation with states, partner agencies, civil society, the private sector, academia as well as migrants. They present insights and ways forward to support the implementation of the SG report’s four recommendations on building more inclusive societies, promoting safe and regular migration, preventing loss of life and other tragedies during migration, and building capacity. Topics included are: Promoting Inclusive Societies and Including Migrants in COVID-19 Response and Recovery, Promoting Safe and Regular Migration, Preventing Loss of Life and other Tragedies During Migration, Global Compact for Migration.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Humanitarian Response in Ukraine and Neighbouring Countries (IASC)
Made available by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC RG MHPSS). Resources available in English, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian and Ukrainian.


People Forced to Flee: History, Change and Challenge (UNHCR)
This publication by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, draws on the lessons of history to probe how we can improve responses to forced displacement. Tracing the roots of asylum from early history to contemporary times, the book shows the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees turned the centuries-old ideals of safety and solutions for refugees into global practice. It highlights the major achievements in protecting people forced to flee since then, while exploring serious setbacks along the way. Published at a time when over 84 million people in the world are forcibly displaced, it examines international responses to forced displacement within borders as well as beyond them, and the principles of protection that apply to both: reviewing where they have been used with consistency and success, and where they have not. At times, the strength and resolve of the international community seems strong, yet solutions and meaningful solidarity are often elusive. Most forced displacement is experienced in low- and middle-income countries and persists for generations. People forced to flee face barriers to improving their lives, contributing to the communities in which they live, and realising solutions. Responding better is not only a humanitarian necessity but a development imperative. The book shows how this work gained momentum with the international affirmation in December 2018 of the Global Compact on Refugees; and it illustrates how it is being supported by a growing group of partners encompassing forcibly displaced people, local communities and authorities, national governments, international agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. It also examines how increased development investments in education, health and economic inclusion are helping to improve socio-economic opportunities both for forcibly displaced people and their hosts. Alongside this are greater investments in data, evidence and analysis pointing to what works best. And it discusses the wide array of financing mechanisms that can support sustainable responses.

Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) Knowledge Hub
UN Women in partnership with the Australian Government has launched the global Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) Knowledge Hub during the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Support Group meeting held on 10 February 2022 with Member States. There is rising awareness that disasters affect all genders differently and this is confirmed by recent research by UN Women and UNICEF.  Women and girls were found to die in greater numbers and have different and uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover. For example, 95 per cent of deaths in the Solomon Islands 2014 flash floods were women, 55 per cent of deaths in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal were women, and 59 per cent of those displaced following Cyclone Idai in 2019 in Malawi were women. These findings are confirmed by another study, which highlighted that women are 14 times more likely than men to die during a disaster. Yet critical gaps remain in our understanding of disaster and climate and risk, in managing the emerging evidence-base, and in the access and uptake of tools for enabling gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and resilience. Until now, information has been spread across different stakeholders, platforms, and programmes.


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