A-Z Site Index

UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter: May 2024


New UN websites & publications

UN in General

The UN Secretary-General’s Panel on Critical Energy Transition Minerals
With ever-growing needs for minerals that are critical for renewable energy technologies, Secretary-General António Guterres is leveraging the United Nations’ convening power to bring together a diverse group of governments and other stakeholders across the entire minerals value chain to develop a set of global common and voluntary principles to safeguard environmental and social standards and embed justice, in the energy transition. This new established panel — co-chaired by Ambassador Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa and Director-General for Energy Ditte Juul Jørgensen of the European Commission — will address issues relating to equity, transparency, investment, sustainability and human rights.

Final Report for the United Nations Secretary-General: Independent Review of Mechanisms and Procedures to Ensure Adherence by UNRWA to the Humanitarian Principle of Neutrality, 20 April 2024
UNRWA announced on 17 January, prior to these allegations, that it is commissioning a full independent review of the agency. The Secretary-General, in consultation with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, has appointed an independent Review Group to assess whether the Agency is doing everything within its power to ensure neutrality and to respond to allegations of serious breaches when they are made. The review was be led by Catherine Colonna, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, who worked with three research organizations: the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Review Group commenced its work on February 14, 2024, and on April 22, 2024, it submitted its final report and made it public.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

2024 Global Report on Food Crises
According to the latest Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC), nearly 282 million people in 59 countries and territories experienced high levels of acute hunger in 2023 – a worldwide increase of 24 million from the previous year. This rise was due to the report’s increased coverage of food crisis contexts as well as a sharp deterioration in food security, especially in the Gaza Strip and the Sudan. For four consecutive years, the proportion of people facing acute food insecurity has remained persistently high at almost 22 percent of those assessed, significantly exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels. Children and women are at the forefront of these hunger crises, with over 36 million children under 5 years of age acutely malnourished across 32 countries, the report shows. Acute malnutrition worsened in 2023, particularly among people displaced because of conflict and disasters. The Global Network Against Food Crises urgently calls for a transformative approach that integrates peace, prevention and development action alongside at-scale emergency efforts to break the cycle of acute hunger which remains at unacceptably high levels.

Are we getting there? A synthesis of UN system evaluations of SDG 5
As we cross the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and amidst stalled progress on achieving gender equality, the independent evaluation offices of UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and WFP saw an opportunity to conduct an inter-agency synthesis of UN system evaluations related to Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5, gender equality). In total, 295 evaluations were synthesized to generate evidence on what is working, evidence gaps, and lessons to advance SDG 5. Key findings highlighted the United Nations’ contribution towards advancing gender-responsive legislation; the effectiveness of integrated and holistic programming; the use of knowledge, data and research to support advocacy; technical support and capacity strengthening; and the centrality of civil society partners in achieving SDG 5.

Developing Global Guidance for Child Rights Impact Assessments in Relation to the Digital Environment – Summary of Initial Project Findings, April 2024 (UNICEF)
The age of technology and the Internet have brought tremendous benefits, including for children. However, the spread of digital technologies also comes with a broad spectrum of risks and harms to which children can be particularly vulnerable. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, businesses have a responsibility to identify, assess, and address relevant human rights risks, including risks to children’s rights. With respect to the digital environment, a rapidly evolving landscape and the emergence of new technologies has changed the nature and severity of actual and potential child rights risks relating to business activities. In response, UNICEF has initiated a project to assess the current child rights impact assessment (CRIA) landscape in relation to digital business activities and develop new guidance to support robust implementation going forward.
A summary of initial project findings is now available here. Further project outputs including the updated guidance (currently under development) are anticipated in late 2024.

Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate (ILO)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/events-training/events-meetings/safeday2024/WCMS_922852/lang–en/index.htm
Summary in Italian: https://www.ilo.org/rome/pubblicazioni/WCMS_924144/lang–it/index.htm
A “staggering” number of workers, amounting to more than 70 per cent of the global workforce, are likely to be exposed to climate-change-related health hazards, and existing occupational safety and health (OSH) protections are struggling to keep up with the resulting risks, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), released on 22 April 2024. The report says that climate change is already having a serious impact on the safety and health of workers in all regions of the world. The ILO estimates that more than 2.4 billion workers (out of a global workforce of 3.4 billion) are likely to be exposed to excessive heat at some point during their work, according to the most recent figures available (2020). When calculated as a share of the global workforce, the proportion has increased from 65.5 per cent to 70.9 per cent since 2000.

European State of the Climate: Report 2023
In 2023, the impacts of climate change continued to be seen across Europe, with millions of people impacted by extreme weather events, making the development of mitigation and adaptation measurements a priority. To achieve this, understanding climate trends is vital. The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), released the 2023 European State of the Climate report (ESOTC 2023) on 22 April 2024. The report provides descriptions and analysis of climate conditions and variations from across the Earth system, key events and their impacts, and a discussion of climate policy and action with a focus on human health. The ESOTC also includes updates on the long-term evolution of key Climate Indicators.

Expanding the HIV response to drive broad-based health gains
This new report released on 15 April 2024 by UNAIDS and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria shows how countries are leveraging their HIV responses to both ensure impact on the HIV response and also to improve broader national health and well-being. The report finds that investing now to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 will not only follow through on the commitment to end the pandemic but also magnify the broader health benefits of HIV specific investments. The report profiles country examples from Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda. Experiences in these six countries indicate that strengthened HIV responses have contributed to broader health benefits. Far from being in isolation, HIV treatment, prevention and care programmes are also helping to build more robust health systems that enhance access to people-centred care and bolster pandemic preparedness.

Exploring the digital health landscape in the WHO European Region: digital health country profiles (WHO/Europe)
A new WHO report looks at individual countries to see how the WHO Member States are reshaping their health-care systems through the integration of digital health policies and tools. It details innovations in areas including telehealth, mobile health and Big Data, as well as digital health governance, electronic health records, patient portals and analytics. Analysing these elements at the national level can provide insights into how each country navigates the evolving landscape of digital health. Additionally, the report aims to encourage shared learning, help countries identify digital health barriers, explore trends, steer the agenda for innovation and contribute to the implementation of the regional digital health action plan for the WHO European Region.

FAO Digital Media Hub
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has made its entire digital media collection available to external partners, media organizations and the general public via its Digital Media Hub. The FAO Digital Media Hub is a collection of cloud-based multimedia assets that illustrates FAO’s history, current activities, events and campaigns, as well as human-interest stories. It is a continuously growing global collection of photos, videos, audio files and other material that reaches back to FAO’s creation in 1945. Launched in January 2024, the Hub currently consists of 200,000 photos, 900 videos, as well as scores of campaign assets and infographics related to FAO’s work in more than 130 countries worldwide. Its robust search functions allow users to find its digital assets based on key words, date, location, project and more.
To download the material for free, simply register at the Hub by clicking on this link.

A focus on adolescent substance use in Europe, central Asia and Canada. Health Behaviour in School-aged Children international report from the 2021/2022 survey (WHO/Europe)
Across Europe, central Asia and Canada, a concerning picture of adolescent substance use emerges from a new WHO/Europe report, released on 25 April 2024. With over half of 15-year-olds surveyed having experimented with alcohol and a shocking 1 in 5 having recently used e-cigarettes, the risks to young people are clear. The new data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study also highlights a narrowing gender gap in substance use, emphasizing the need for targeted prevention strategies. The long-term consequences of these trends are significant, and policy-makers cannot afford to ignore these alarming findings.

Funding a Water-Secure Future: An Assessment of Global Public Spending (World Bank)
This study is a first-ever attempt to gain a 360° panoramic view of spending in the entire global water sector to better understand the financing and funding gaps in relation to sector goals, and consequently guide thinking on alternative ways to close them. It estimates total water expenditure at various levels of disaggregation, and at the global and regional scales, using several data sources, including budget data and national accounts data, and the updated versions of all available databases on infrastructure spending from various sources, including private and foreign funding. The study thereby presents an integrated assessment of global and regional public spending in the water sector and its main subsectors. It presents findings that seek to answer questions about how public funds are spent in the sector, how well they are spent, and the financing and funding gaps in the sector to help the government meet sector goals. The study is intended as a guide that governments and a range of other stakeholders can use to improve decision-making and thereby facilitate reforms to increase financing and funding in the water sector, enhance the utilization of already allocated funds, and raise the efficiency with which existing resources are employed to maximize development impact.

Global Education Monitoring Report 2024: Gender Report – Technology on her terms (UNESCO)
Digital technologies and algorithm-driven software – especially social media – present high risks of privacy invasion, cyberbullying and distraction from learning to young girls, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) latest Global Education Monitor (GEM) report released on 24 April 2024. In an interview with UN News, Senior Policy Analyst from the GEM report team Anna D’addio said the report examines the issue of technology in education through a gender lens. She said the report highlights progress in the reversal of discrimination against girls over the past two decades but also exposes the negative impact of technology on girls’ education opportunities and outcomes.

A guide to the International Day of Potato 2024: Harvesting diversity, feeding hope (FAO)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en?details=CC9934EN
As the world prepares to celebrate the first-ever International Day of Potato next month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is shining a spotlight on the enormous importance of this crop that that feeds billions of us and on the further potential to be tapped. FAO recently published this guide to the new International Day, which is to be observed on May 30 with the theme of “Harvesting Diversity, Feeding Hope.” It will underscore the importance of the crop in combating hunger and poverty and addressing environmental threats to agrifood systems. The International Day will also highlight the roles of small-scale family farmers, a significant proportion of whom are women, in safeguarding the crop’s diversity as well as celebrating the potato’s cultural and culinary importance. Originating in the Andes Mountains, potato was known as the “flower of ancient Inca civilization”, for whom it was a staple crop. Potato was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, from where it spread to the rest of the world subsequently. In just five centuries, potato has become a key food crop for farmers and consumers across the globe.

Guidebook on Critical Minerals for Sustainable Energy Transition to Support Intergenerational Action (UNECE)
Critical minerals are essential for the energy transition as are intergenerational equity in resource management and the engagement of youth. With this in mind this guidebook was launched on 24 April 2024 at the UNECE Resource Management Week 2024. It serves as a crucial tool to aid policymakers, industry leaders, researchers, and civil society to navigate the complex landscape of mineral resources crucial for the global shift toward renewable energy technologies. The guidebook was prepared by the Resource Management Young Member Group (RMYMG) of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Management.

The Impact of Climate Change on Education and what to do about it (World Bank)
Education can be the key to ending poverty in a livable planet, but governments must act now to protect it. Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, heatwaves and wildfires. These extreme weather events are in turn disrupting schooling; precipitating learning losses, dropouts, and long-term impacts. Even if the most drastic climate mitigation strategies were implemented, extreme weather events will continue to have detrimental impacts on education outcomes.


Integrating walking + public transport (Policy Brief)
Most public transport journeys start and end with a walk. In fact, walking can constitute half the time spent on multimodal trips and can be the main element of what people remember afterwards. This new policy brief, which was developed as part of the preparation of a pan-European master plan on walking under the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP), provides insights into how to support better integration between walking and public transport and reach a higher share of people walking and using public transport.
see also: Better integrating walking and public transport is key to enhance active mobility, shows UN policy brief (25 April 2024)

Listening to Women Entrepreneurs in Afghanistan: Their Struggle and Resilience (UNDP)
Despite facing formidable challenges, women-owned and -led businesses in Afghanistan continue to demonstrate remarkable resilience, serving as vital pillars of economic stability and hope amidst adversity. These insights emerge from a comprehensive report released on 17 April 2024 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report brings together insights from various data collection methods conducted over the last three years. It includes data from in-depth interviews in 2022, focus group discussions in 2023, and a 2024 quantitative survey with responses from more than 3,100 women, providing one of the most detailed views into the changing circumstances of women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan.

Patient safety rights charter (WHO)
On 18 April 2024, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a Patient Safety Rights Charter at the Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety. It is the first Charter to outline patients’ rights in the context of safety, and will support stakeholders in formulating the legislation, policies and guidelines needed to ensure patient safety. Patient safety refers to the processes, procedures and cultures established in health systems which promote safety and minimise the risk of harm to patients. Everyone has the right to safe health care, as established by international human rights standards, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or race, language, religion, disability, socioeconomic status or any other status. The Charter covers 10 patient safety rights crucial to mitigate risks and prevent inadvertent harm, which includes the right to timely, effective, and appropriate care, the right to safe health care processes and practices, the right to qualified and competent staff and the right to patient and family engagement amongst others.

Recipe for a Livable Planet: Achieving Net Zero Emissions in the Agrifood System
(World Bank)
The global agrifood system presents a huge opportunity to cut almost a third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions through affordable and readily available actions, while continuing to feed a growing population, according to this new World Bank report. It outlines actions that every country can take. These will make food supplies more secure, help the food system better withstand climate change, and protect vulnerable people during this transition.


The role of volunteers in leaving no one behind: Supporting United Nations entities and national governments towards realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Leaving no one behind (LNOB) is a commitment at the core of the United Nations system’s efforts to assist Member States in successfully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It represents the unequivocal commitment of Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce inequalities so that all people may benefit from sustainable development. To further this commitment, United Nations Volunteers (UNV) has released this new research paper that underscores the significance of volunteerism in leaving no one behind.

State of the Climate in Asia 2023 (WMO)
Asia remained the world’s most disaster-hit region from weather, climate and water-related hazards in 2023. Floods and storms caused the highest number of reported casualties and economic losses, whilst the impact of heatwaves became more severe. The State of the Climate in Asia 2023 report highlighted the accelerating rate of key climate change indicators such as surface temperature, glacier retreat and sea level rise, which will have major repercussions for societies, economies and ecosystems in the region. The report, one of a series of WMO regional State of the Climate reports, was released during the 80th session of the Commission in Bangkok, Thailand. It is based on input from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, United Nations partners and a network of climate experts. It reflects WMO’s commitment to prioritize regional initiatives and inform decision-making.

State of the Climate in Latin America and the Caribbean 2023 (WMO)
English & Spanish: https://library.wmo.int/records/item/68891-state-of-the-climate-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean-2023
The WMO State of the Climate in Latin America and the Caribbean 2023, is the fourth edition of climate reports published annually for this region and has involved National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), WMO Regional Climate Centres (RCCs), and several research institutions, as well as United Nations agencies, international and regional organizations. The report provides the status of key climate indicators and latest data and information on impacts, risks and policy from United Nations agencies. It addresses specific physical science, socio-economic and policy aspects that are relevant to LAC and responds to Members needs in the fields of climate monitoring, climate change and climate services.

State of World Population 2024: Interwoven Lives, Threads of Hope – Ending inequalities in sexual and reproductive health and rights (UNFPA)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.unfpa.org/swp2024
German: https://www.dsw.org/weltbevoelkerungsbericht/
Sweeping global gains in sexual and reproductive health and rights over the last thirty years are marred by an ugly truth – millions of women and girls have not benefited because of who they are or where they were born, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 2024 State of World Population. The flagship report highlights the role racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination continue to play in blocking broad gains in sexual and reproductive health for women and girls. The data are damning. Women and girls who are poor, belong to ethnic, racial, and indigenous minority groups, or are trapped in conflict settings, are more likely to die because they lack access to timely health care.

Sustainable behaviours for environment and health challenges: Behavioural and Cultural Insights policy brief (WHO/Europe)
Globally, as much as 24% of all deaths are related to the environment. Air pollution, unsafe water and the overarching threat of climate change are not just devastating for the environment, but also have critical impacts on our health and well-being. It is well acknowledged that behaviours can play an important role in addressing these challenges, from reducing the risk of environmental exposures when they occur to reducing the impact of human behaviours and consumption patterns on the environment. To mark this year’s Earth Day and address the urgent need to tackle environmental and health challenges, WHO/Europe has launched a new policy brief that explores how more evidence-based and cost–effective methods can be applied to enable, support and promote sustainable behaviours for health and the environment.

Tourism and rural development
UN Tourism has partnered with the European Committee of the Regions for a comprehensive study of the significant impact and potential of tourism in fostering socio-economic development in rural areas. The report emphasizes the critical role of cooperation between these two organizations in bridging local and global efforts towards shared objectives. It showcases the potential of rural tourism to contribute to the resilience of regional and local communities, addressing challenges such as depopulation, inequality and limited access to basic services.

UN Economists Network: Policy Brief – Transforming the Informal Economy to Leave No One Behind
The brief reviews the latest analytical evidence from the UN system on the informal economy, and provides measures to address the informal economy in relevant international and national strategies and plans to promote sustainable development and decent work for all.

UNTAPPED: Collective Intelligence for Climate Action
New research by the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network and Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design reveals that by generating more real-time, localized climate data and by mobilizing more people with diverse perspectives, collective intelligence can advance climate action. They call on all development actors to leverage this untapped resource in the fight against climate change. Released on Earth Day 2024, the report analyzes over 100 climate initiatives across 45 countries that are powered by collective intelligence and informed by UNDP Accelerator Labs’ cutting-edge experiments in 115 countries of the Global South. Collective intelligence can be understood as the enhanced capacity that is created when people work together, often with the help of technology, to mobilize a wider range of information, ideas and insights – meaning that these contributions are combined to become more than the sum of their parts. From Kenya to Maldives to Guatemala, UNTAPPED analyzes how emerging collective intelligence initiatives help vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. While they carry great hope, climate action efforts that tap into this intelligence are far too few, sometimes disconnected from each other and off the radar of decision makers.

Why the world needs happy schools: Global report on happiness in and for learning (UNESCO)

On International Day of Happiness – 27 March – UNESCO launched this new publication. The report advocates for holistic approaches to promote school happiness in education policy and practice. Leveraging evidence from science, philosophy and international normative frameworks, the new global report proposes a framework of 12 high-level criteria to inspire Happy Schools projects around the world.


World Intellectual Property Report 2024: Making innovation policy work for development (WIPO)
Combining economic analysis with in-depth industry studies, the 2024 edition of the World Intellectual Property Report introduces a new data-driven methodology designed to help policymakers make informed decisions by leveraging existing local innovation capabilities and strengthen their national innovation ecosystems. Complementing this framework are three case studies across the agriculture technology, motorcycle and video game industries, spanning eight different countries. These studies demonstrate how countries have successfully carved out specialized trajectories within innovative and complex industries.

UN DESA Policy Brief No. 158 – How can we accelerate transformations to achieve the SDGs? Insights from the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report
Progress on the SDGs requires integrated approaches operating at a systemic level that address multiple goals simultaneously. Interventions toward progress on a given target must also generate positive synergies with other targets, while resolving tradeoffs. Transformative change does not follow a linear path, and policy needs will vary across contexts and phases of transformation. Policies should respond to impediments unique to each phase – emergence, acceleration, or stabilization.

UN DESA Policy Brief No. 157 – How can governments strengthen their relationships with society to meet the SDGs? Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic sparked innovation and experimentation in public institutions. Institutional and policy changes can improve Governments’ relationships with other actors and highlight opportunities to accelerate SDG progress. Renewed social contracts, built on trust, are crucial if societies are to meet today’s compounding challenges, better respond to future crises, and achieve the SDGs.

Journalism for development: the role of journalism promoting democracy and political accountability and sustainable development (UNESCO)
Data sharing to foster information as a public good: the case of media viability and safety of journalists in the digital ecosystem (UNESCO)
UNESCO launched this pair of issue briefs. Both stand as critical contributions, propelling multi-stakeholder efforts in support of information as a public good.
see also: https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/newly-launched-unesco-briefs-further-global-conversations-information-public-good


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the daily routine and behaviours of school-aged children: results from 17 Member States in the WHO European Region
A new report from WHO/Europe – released on 1 May 2024 – confirms what has long been suspected: a link between the COVID-19 pandemic and increased rates in obesity among children 7 to 9 years old. The publication presents research showing that the pandemic led to more screen time and less physical activity, mirroring an increase in overweight children in the same age range. WHO/Europe conducted the research along with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Childhood Obesity at the National Health Institute Dr Ricardo Jorge in Lisbon, Portugal. It took place in 17 of the Region’s 53 Member States from 2021 to 2023. More than 50 000 children took part in the comprehensive survey.


International Peace and Security

Assessment of physical damage caused to buildings by the war on Gaza: October 2023 – April 2024 (ESCWA)
The speed and extent of the catastrophic damage caused by the war on Gaza  have been unparalleled and incomparable in recent times. Since 7 October 2023, more than 50 per cent of all the structures in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed; 360,000 housing units damaged, 5 per cent of the population killed or injured and two million people displaced. Combined methods of remote sensing, using satellite imagery, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and very high resolution aerial imagery, in addition to field work, are essential to test and validate the assessment of damage caused by disasters and wars. They are also essential to detect, with precision, damage that is difficult to see, and to quickly assess the amount of damage, as it was done during the damage assessment undertaken by the World Bank of the Haiti Earthquake disaster in 2010.
A methodological note on the assessment of the physical damage to buildings caused by the war on Gaza (October 2023-March 2024) was prepared by UNESCWA-Statistics, in collaboration with the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the United Nations UNITAR/UNOSAT unit (UNOSAT) and the Decentralized Damage Mapping Group-University of Oregon (DDMG). The assessment integrates  high resolution satellite imagery with official statistics on geolocated data from surveys and censuses in the State of Palestine. The collaboration helped provide a better understanding of the different methodologies, integrate the data from different sources, and obtain more consistent, reliable and detailed information on the physical damage incurred by the different structures, to differentiate between buildings, housing units and structures. The collaboration improved the accuracy of the estimations related to the extent of the damage incurred by buildings and the types of buildings damaged in the administrative districts of Gaza, to provide reliable and timely data on the social and economic repercussions of the war, post-war recovery and needs assessment for the State of Palestine.

Concept note for the Security Council debate on the theme “The role of young persons in addressing security challenges in the Mediterranean”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2024/288
Under the presidency of Malta, the Security Council held a debate on 17 April 2024 on the theme “The role of young persons in addressing security challenges in the Mediterranean” in connection with the item entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security”. In this regard, Malta has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the theme “Preventing conflict-related sexual violence through demilitarization and gender-responsive arms control”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2024/311
Under the presidency of Malta, the Security Council held an open debate on 23 April 2024 on the theme “Preventing conflict-related sexual violence through demilitarization and gender-responsive arms control” in connection with the item entitled “Women and peace and security”. In this regard, Malta has prepared a concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security: strengthening the role of the African State in addressing global security and development challenges
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2024/327/Rev.1
Mozambique, in its capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of May 2024, will convene an open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security on the theme “Strengthening the role of the African State in addressing global security and development challenges” on 23 May 2024. In order to guide the discussions, Mozambique has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council debate on the subject “Maintenance of international peace and security: the role of women and young people”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2024/328/Rev.1
Mozambique, in its capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of May 2024, will hold a debate on the subject “Maintenance of international peace and security: the role of women and young people” on 28 May 2024. In order to guide the discussions, Mozambique has prepared this concept note.

The Gaza War: Expected Socio-Economic Impacts on the State of Palestine (UNDP / ESCWA)
As the war in Gaza approaches its seventh month, the poverty rate in the State of Palestine continues to escalate, reaching 58.4 percent, thrusting nearly 1.74 million additional people into poverty, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) sustains a staggering plunge by 26.9 percent—a loss of US$7.1 billion from a 2023 no-war baseline—according to new estimates by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). On 1 May 2024, both UNDP and ESCWA released an update of their joint initial rapid assessment, which was released in November 2023 and estimated the impacts of the war on the State of Palestine and on Gaza, for the first three months. The new updated assessment estimates the impacts at six months, with projections for seven-, eight- and nine-months scenarios.

Press and Planet in danger: Safety of environmental journalists – trends, challenges and recommendations (UNESCO)
This new report published by UNESCO on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May, warns of increasing violence against, and intimidation of journalists reporting on the environment and climate disruption. At least 749 journalists or news media reporting on environmental issues have been attacked in the last 15 years, and online disinformation has surged dramatically in this period. UNESCO is calling for stronger support for environmental journalists and better governance of digital platforms.

Socioeconomic impact of conflict in Africa (UNECA)
In the present report, a comprehensive and empirical analysis of the relationship between conflict and socioeconomic development in African countries is set out. In order to provide policy options for preventing conflict and mitigating its effects, the report includes an analysis, completed using a variety of methodologies and disaggregated event-level data, of the evolution of conflict in the region and estimates of the socioeconomic costs of such conflict. In addition, the theoretical and analytical framework of the research is laid out, along with the empirical model and resultant findings, concluding remarks and policy recommendations.


Development of Africa

Economic Report on Africa 2024: Investing in a Just and Sustainable Transition in Africa
African countries face many economic, social, and environmental challenges. These global challenges render “business as usual” strategies unsustainable, and a new transformative approach is needed for a Just and Sustainable Transition (JST) in Africa, according to the Economic Report on Africa 2024, launched in Addis Ababa on 24 April 2024. The report analyses the opportunities and policies for Africa to build a just and sustainable economic system. For this to materialize, African countries need holistic development plans and strategies that fundamentally redirect their production, consumption, governance, technology, human capital, and financial systems.


Human Rights

2024 LGBTI Inclusion Index: Report on the Pilot Implementation (UNDP)
The LGBTI Inclusion Index serves as a global benchmark and guide for countries to assess their progress towards achieving full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people according to 51 indicators across five strategic areas. UNDP successfully rolled out the Index, engaging participants from 52 countries and involving a comprehensive training program on data collection and index calculation. The pilot phase culminated in the creation of indices in the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Guyana, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Viet Nam. This report could be useful for statisticians, national human rights institutions, policymakers, researchers and activists. It elaborates on the key findings and lessons from these pilots, as well as recommendations for scaling up safe data collection and use, to advance the inclusive development of LGBTI+ people and ensure that no one is left behind.

Preventing and responding to an HIV-related human rights crisis (UNAIDS / UNDP)
The updated Guidance “Preventing and Responding to an HIV-Related Human Rights Crisis”, jointly released by UNDP and the UNAIDS Secretariat, addresses the escalating challenges posed by HIV-related human rights crises worldwide. Drawing from established resources, it provides recommendations for United Nations Country Teams and partners, facilitating efficient coordination within the Resident Coordinator system. The Guidance aims to promote understanding, assist in preparing for crises, provide direction on principles and actions, strengthen coordinated responses, and advocate for long-lasting initiatives to prevent future crises. The Guidance’s applicability extends not only to UN personnel but also to other international bodies, donors, development partners, diplomatic missions, communities, and civil society organizations. This Guidance should be used in conjunction with existing United Nations documents on HIV and human rights, alongside the human rights guidance for Resident Coordinators and United Nations Country Teams.

The Right to a Healthy Environment: A User’s Guide
United Nations resolutions that recognise the right to a clean and healthy environment must translate into concrete policies and projects, said David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to a Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment. On the occasion of Earth Day, he issued the following statement on 22 April 2024, announcing the publication of a User Guide to help implement such policies: “Today is Earth Day. The day has been celebrated for more than 50 years and is one of the biggest in terms of civic engagement. After years of celebration, this important day resonates even more deeply now that the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment has been recognised at the international level through UN resolutions. Earth day is also an international reminder of the urgent need for action to tackle the triple planetary environmental crisis. This is why, we have chosen this specific day to publish a User Guide on the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. …”


Humanitarian Affairs

Livelihoods in Sudan amid Armed Conflict
Pervasive severe food insecurity in Sudan necessitates urgent and extensive interventions to enhance food aid, revitalize agricultural systems, and restore supply chains, to mitigate the food crisis and prevent further escalation. Preventing a looming famine also requires an immediate ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian access, and increased support for food, nutrition, health, water, and sanitation interventions, concludes a new report launched on 12 April 2024. The joint report from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) assesses the social and economic impacts of the ongoing armed conflict on rural Sudan. The report is based on analyses of a comprehensive survey of rural households across the country that both organizations conducted from November 2023 to January 2024, including 4,504 households.

Migration in the Context of Climate and Environmental Changes within Central Asia and to the European Union and the Russian Federation (IOM)
This report focuses on the intersection of climate and environmental changes with movements within Central Asia as well as from Central Asia to the European Union and the Russian Federation. The report contributes to a growing body of literature on the matter, including movements affected by the slow- and sudden-onset impacts of climate change. The report identifies new trends in migration affecting the European Union and Central Asia and discusses the current state of legal and policy responses to these movements. It helps countries in the European Union and Central Asia fulfil commitments made in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration related to understanding the drivers of migration in the context of climate and environmental changes. The recommendations made in the report should also help European and Central Asian governments to develop policies that will enable them to respond to these movements more effectively.

National platforms and coordination mechanisms for disaster risk reduction in Europe and Central Asia: Regional overview report 2024 (UNDRR)
A key instrument that supports the formulation of national strategies and policies, which is inclusive, multisectoral and interdisciplinary in nature, is the national platform for DRR. The national platforms for DRR are national coordination mechanisms, which are composed of relevant stakeholders from government, the private sector, civil society, academia and other relevant actors, and have a designated national focal point (Sendai Framework Focal Point). A strong disaster risk governance system is based on relevant laws and policies, well-defined roles and responsibilities among institutions, strong leadership and multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms, resources and capacity, and monitoring and accountability set up across all sectors, actors and levels.

One Year of Conflict in Sudan: Visualizing the World’s Largest Displacement Crisis (IOM)
A staggering 20,000 people are forced to flee their homes in Sudan each day, half of them children, according to a new report released on 15 April 2024 by the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The report shows that 53 per cent of those displaced are children under 18, highlighting the vulnerability and immense challenges faced by the younger generation who are often the most affected by conflicts and displacement.  More than 8.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes over the past year as fighting spreads in the country including many who were previously displaced multiple times.

A rapid geospatial damage assessment of the 2023 conflict in the Gaza Strip on agricultural land and infrastructure (FAO)
The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel erupted on 7 October 2023, leading to Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip. Within two months, over 85 percent of Gaza’s population was displaced, severely impacting agriculture. FAO conducted two assessments of agricultural damage during the conflict. As of 31 December 2023, significant damage was evident, with home barns (206), broiler farms (172), and sheep farms (149) being the most damaged. A total of 488 agricultural wells were damaged, with North Gaza (184) and Gaza (178) being the most affected governorates. Approximately 20.5 percent (261.8 ha) of greenhouses suffered significant damage, with Gaza and North Gaza being the worst affected. About 27.5 percent (4 319.4 ha) of all cropland in Gaza was damaged, with Gaza governorate accounting for the most damage (1 482.1 ha). Future recommendations include integrating field and remote sensing data and ensuring transparent access to satellite imagery for improved response programmes. The Gaza population faces extreme food consumption gaps and severe nutritional vulnerability, necessitating frequent updates and close monitoring for rehabilitation of the agriculture sector.
See also Infographic: https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/overview-damage-agricultural-land-and-infrastructure-due-conflict-gaza-strip-15-february-2024

The State of Global Mobility in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Human mobility has fully rebounded from the sharp downturns seen during the COVID-19 pandemic — demonstrating its resilience and inevitability — and is undergoing significant shifts across world regions, according to a report released on 25 April 2024 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). The study marks the first attempt to bring together regional flow monitoring data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix to illuminate the scale and characteristics of global movement, both regular and irregular. In the report, MPI analysts sketch how movements have fully recovered from pandemic-era restrictions, as well as how they are being shaped by climate and displacement shocks. The research shows COVID-19 led to more limited options for regular movement, diverting migrants to more dangerous, irregular routes. Irregular migration also began to stretch over longer distances, exemplified by migrants from origins as far as China transiting the dangerous Darién jungle that spans the Colombia–Panama border. The report also notes that climate and environmental events have begun to trigger larger, longer-distance movements. Cataclysmic floods in Pakistan, which displaced 8 million people internally and catalyzed an economic crisis, led to rising numbers leaving their country to find better opportunities elsewhere.

The UNHCR Climate Resilience Fund
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, launched on 24 April 2024 the UNHCR Climate Resilience Fund, seeking to boost the protection of refugees and displaced communities who are most threatened by climate change. As part of its work to protect and assist more than 114 million people who have been forced to flee, UNHCR already seeks to build people’s resilience and reduce their vulnerability to risks, including the impact of climate change. For the first time, the Fund will exclusively target financing efforts to protect the most threatened displaced communities, equipping them to prepare for, withstand and recover from climate-related shocks.

World Migration Report 2024 (IOM)
Interactive page: https://worldmigrationreport.iom.int/msite/wmr-2024-interactive/
Since 2000, IOM has been producing its flagship world migration reports every two years. The World Migration Report 2024, the twelfth in the world migration report series, has been produced to contribute to increased understanding of migration and mobility throughout the world. This new edition presents key data and information on migration as well as thematic chapters on highly topical migration issues, and is structured to focus on two key contributions for readers: Part I: key information on migration and migrants (including migration-related statistics); and Part II: balanced, evidence-based analysis of complex and emerging migration issues.


Justice and International Law

Policy on Complementarity and Cooperation (2024) (ICC)
English, French & Spanish: https://www.icc-cpi.int/news/policy-complementarity-and-cooperation-2024
At events held in Bogotá, Colombia and Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched on 25 April 2024 a new Policy on Complementarity and Cooperation. The Policy presents a fundamentally renewed approach by the Office to the principles of complementarity and cooperation at the heart of the Rome Statute by bringing its work closer to affected communities and deepening its partnerships with States, civil society, and regional and international organisations.


Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament

UNSCR 1540 Compass – new E-Journal (UNICRI)
The 1540 Compass is an e-journal published by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) that is dedicated to advancing the objectives, awareness and implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1540 (2004) (UNSCR 1540) and its successor resolutions. The journal aims to be a trusted source of knowledge, analysis, and dialogue for countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their means of delivery by non-State actors. The first issue, celebrating 20 years of UNSCR 1540 will is available as of 29 April 2024.


Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Drug Trafficking in the Sahel (UNODC)
Drug trafficking in the Sahel region – i.e., Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and the Niger – continues to hinder security, economic development and the rule of law while jeopardizing public health, said a new report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released on 19 April 2024. Cannabis resin remains the internationally trafficked drug most commonly seized in the Sahel countries, followed by cocaine and pharmaceutical opioids. Seizures of cocaine skyrocketed in the Sahel in 2022 from an average of 13 kg per year seized between 2015-2020 to 1,466 kg in 2022, suggesting the presence of large-scale cocaine trafficking through the region. Although annual estimates were not available for 2023, 2.3 tons of cocaine had already been seized in Mauritania by June 2023. The region’s geographical location makes it a natural stopover point for the increasing amount of cocaine produced in South America en route to Europe, which has seen a similar rise in demand for the drug.


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