UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter: November 2020

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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

Why It Matters: 75 Milestones in International Cooperation (Dag Hammarskjöld Library)
https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3888284?ln=en
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library has launched a new annual series entitled “Why it matters”. Each volume will focus on one of the many deliberations of the United Nations. It will provide readers with a comprehensive overview, as well as an insightful backgrounder on the internal workings and the accomplishments of the Organization, backed by selected, credible knowledge sources and research expertise. The first volume in the series, “75 Milestones in International Cooperation”, chronicles pivotal moments that shaped the history of the United Nations and our world over the past 75 years.

Achieving Our Common Humanity: Celebrating global cooperation through the United Nations
https://cdn.un.org/unyearbook/yun/un75/achieving_our_common_humanity.pdf
Commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Achieving our common humanity portrays landmark accomplishments of the Organization in supporting peace and security, promoting and protecting human rights, fostering economic and social development, and shaping international law. Amply illustrated with photographs, charts, maps and infographics, and featuring a wealth of information on how the United Nations serves the peoples of the world, this book depicts a wide range of challenges that the Organization has met and successful initiatives that it has conceived and spearheaded as a matter of common purpose among nations in favour of collective human progress. Its rich tapestry of stories explores the diverse ways in which the United Nations fights poverty, combats climate change and protects the environment, undertakes to transform conflicts into peace, helps refugees thrive, supports sharing the benefits of technology, works to stop the spread of infectious diseases and reduce the risk of disasters, and helps render justice for all and ensure the rights of women and children. While recounting decisive innovations at the level of global policy and international agreement, Achieving our common humanity also provides a view of how such changes have significantly improved the lives of affected individuals around the world. These remarkable stories show how the United Nations, with its ambitious and evolving vision for the shared prosperity of people and planet, is helping create a better world for everyone.

#TheWorldWeWant exhibition
https://www.un.org/en/exhibits/page/theworldwewant
People from across the world have been sharing their hopes and dreams for the future as part of a photo exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The #TheWorldWeWant exhibition is a collection of 75 photos, curated from more than 50,000 images crowdsourced from over 130 countries.

#PledgetoPause
https://www.takecarebeforeyoushare.org/
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will launch a groundbreaking global online action tomorrow (21 October), calling on people around the world to #PledgetoPause before they share content online. The activation is part of a wider behaviour change campaign that aims to create a new social media norm to help combat the rising impact of viral misinformation.
In a video recording for the campaign, to be released on his Twitter and Instagram accounts and designed to be replicated by other leaders, influencers and concerned citizens, Mr. Guterres, who will begin his message with a five-second pause, says “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the wrong information can be deadly. Take the pledge to pause and help stop the spread of misinformation.”
The Pause campaign is part of Verified, an United Nations initiative launched in May 2020 to communicate accessible science-backed health information in compelling formats and share stories of global solidarity around COVID-19. Pause is the first global behaviour change campaign on misinformation to mobilize experts and researchers, governments, influencers, civil society, businesses, regulators and the media under a single message – #PledgetoPause.
The campaign, which is based on research that indicates that a brief pause significantly lessens the inclination to share shocking or emotive material thereby slowing the spread of misinformation, aims to increase media literacy to enable social media users to spot misinformation and stopping themselves from passing it on.
The Pause campaign aims to reach a global audience of 1 billion globally, online and through partnerships, by the end of December.

DGACM new website
English: https://www.un.org/dgacm/
French: https://www.un.org/dgacm/fr
French: https://www.un.org/dgacm/es
The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management has launched it new website. The new portal fully redefines DGACM’s online presence. Marked by an eclectic design, the new website offers a seamless user experience with many easy-to-use features. A revamped information architecture streamlines the most pertinent information about conference services and provides easy navigation across the site. Packed with useful information, the new site not only targets DGACM’s key stakeholders and clients, but it also caters to students of partner universities and potential recruits for language positions. Highlights include: – the full spectrum of conference services offered by DGACM, – a reconfigured language careers segment which incorporated the previous United Nations Language Careers portal, – portraits of language specialists and a series of staff profile videos, – a segment about multilingualism and the role of the UN Coordinator for Multilingualism, – links to resources produced by the department, such as the Journal of the United NationseSubscription and the Delegates Handbook.

UN DESA – redesigned website
https://www.un.org/en/desa
The UN Department on Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) launched its new redesigned website on October 15. The new website presents UN DESA’s work in three main pillars: intergovernmental support, analysis and capacity building at the departmental level. The new website will serve as a hub for DESA products such as Publications, Databases, Policy Briefs, Working-Papers, Webinars, Statements, Videos, Infographics, and the UN DESA Voice newsletter. It will also feature the latest news and information on upcoming events from around the Department.

UN Archives – new website
https://archives.un.org/
The UN Archives and Records Management Section (ARMS) redesigned its website to improve access to the archive’s information, resources and services. The new website features: Search the Archives, Management of UN Records, Field Information Management, Exhibitions and Outreach, eLearning, Partnership and Collaboration

Trusteeship Council – Dag Hammarskjöld Library Digitization Update
https://library.un.org/content/digitization-update-trusteeship-council
The majority of Trusteeship Council documents are now accessible in full-text in the UN Digital Library.

World Food Conference 1974 – Dag Hammarskjöld Library Digitization Update
https://library.un.org/content/digitization-update-world-food-conference
In the early 1970s, as the world faced a severe food crisis, the UN General Assembly, pursuant to recommendations by the 17th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, decided to convene a World Food Conference in 1974. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library has now digitized the complete documentation of the Conference.

 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

COVID-19-Response-Logo (English)

 

COVID-19, Inequalities and Building Back Better: Policy Brief by the HLCP Inequalities Task Team
https://bit.ly/3mhPMtk
This new Policy Brief from the High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) Inequalities Task Team – a collaborative effort of 22 UN entities to strengthen the UN system’s leadership, coordination and impact on reducing inequalities and supporting SDG 10 – describes how the COVID-19 crisis is widening disparities between people. It puts forward concrete recommendations for governments, as well as those UN Country Teams that support them, to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ‘build back better’.

Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector (UNESCO)
English, French & Spanish:
https://en.unesco.org/creativity/publications/culture-crisis-policy-guide-resilient-creative
COVID-19 has had a sweeping impact on the cultural and creative industries, affecting livelihoods but also the innovation and traditions that comprise the cultural fabric of our societies. In response to this new reality, UNESCO recently launched a new publication “Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector”. In this new publication, UNESCO provides guidance to policy-makers on how to respond to the most pressing needs in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. It also offers advice on how to induce structural changes needed to strengthen the resilience of the cultural and creative industries and to prepare for the “new normal”. Drawing on the examples of policies and measures that UNESCO Member States have been implementing since the start of the pandemic, the guide presents a sample of good practices from different regions, all of which illustrate the role of culture for collective resilience. Three types of interventions can be found in this practical guide: 1. Direct support for artists and cultural professionals, 2. Support for sectors of the cultural and creative industries, 3. Enhancing the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries. The guide also lays out actions to consider for the implementation of each suggested measure and highlights specific pitfalls to avoid when adapting the measure to local contexts.

Health: A Political Choice – Act Now, Together (WHO)
https://edition.pagesuite.com/html5/reader/production/default.aspx
At the occasion of the World Health Summit 2020 and the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, a new book has been launched that calls on world leaders and politicians to unite in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other threats to health and the global economy. It is the latest in a series of titles published by the Global Governance Project in collaboration with WHO. This year’s edition features another prestigious line-up of authors, including Amina J Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the UN, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa. Calling for coordinated action in response to COVID-19 and on other pressing health-related issues, the publication focuses on five key areas: 1. Inclusive economics, defined by a new social contract and the pursuit of progress for all, 2. The fundamental requirements for a healthy life and equitable health care, 3. Equitable investments and how to make universal health coverage a reality, 4. Health in the digital age and how technology can help reshape the human rights agenda, 5. The long-term outlook on global health.

Health system considerations: when influenza meets COVID-19, October 2020; Preparedness and response measures when COVID-19, influenza and acute respiratory infections coincide in the WHO European Region (WHO/Europe)
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/336165/WHO-EURO-2020-1248-40998-55644-eng.pdf
At the time of writing, there has been a resurgence of cases in many countries, especially as restrictive public health and social measures (PHSM) were eased to help restart economic and societal activity. This upsurge in cases is a cause for concern and countries in the WHO European Region have started re-implementing restrictions. But as COVID-19 will continue into the autumn and winter, the impending threat of seasonal influenza, influenza-like infections (ILIs) and pneumonia in the northern hemisphere will further challenge already overstretched health systems, raising new issues in managing the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and resulting COVID-19. These challenges are expected to continue until effective vaccines and antiviral treatments become available.

How long will it take for LDCs and SIDS to recover from the impacts of COVID-19? (DESA Working Paper No. 170)
https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/wp170_2020.pdf
The COVID-19 pandemic is entailing huge costs worldwide. To help developing countries formulate policy responses to minimize negative impacts of the COVID-19, possible size and duration of the shocks on most vulnerable countries, i.e., least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and their resilience to overcome the shocks need to be assessed. This paper quantitatively examines possible paths of LDCs and SIDS recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, using an autoregressive model of income growth and a panel regression model of external demand for LDCs and SIDS. Evidence from the experience of the 2007-08 global financial crisis suggests that the income growth of LDCs and SIDS had not recovered to the level of pre-crisis rates even 5 years after the crisis. This suggests a slower recovery for many LDCs and SIDS, while developed economies were able to achieve a quick recovery. The magnitude of current COVID-19 crisis relative to previous shocks is unknown, and so the regression analysis suggested that, if income in advanced economies fell by 6 per cent in 2020 and bounced back in 2021, growth of per capita income in LDCs and SIDS may need about 4 to 5 years to be able to return to the projected path under the baseline scenario without the COVID-19 crisis. The actual speed and duration of recovery in LDCs and SIDS are likely to be slower and longer, considering other factors, such as additional impacts from shocks related to commodity prices and climate change.

IOM COVID-19 Issue Briefs
https://www.iom.int/issuebriefs
The following news briefs issued by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are available:

  • COVID-19 Impact on Stranded Migrants
  • Countering Xenophobia and Stigma
  • COVID-19 Emerging Immigration, Consular and Visa Needs and Recommendations – Brief 3

IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics – Workshop Report
Report & Executive Summary: https://ipbes.net/pandemics
Future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than COVID-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases, warns a major new report on biodiversity and pandemics by 22 leading experts from around the world. Convened by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for an urgent virtual workshop about the links between degradation of nature and increasing pandemic risks, the experts agree that escaping the era of pandemics is possible, but that this will require a seismic shift in approach from reaction to prevention. COVID-19 is at least the sixth global health pandemic since the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and although it has its origins in microbes carried by animals, like all pandemics its emergence has been entirely driven by human activities, says the report released on 29 October 2020. It is estimated that another 1.7 million currently ‘undiscovered’ viruses exist in mammals and birds – of which up to 850,000 could have the ability to infect people.

Setup and management of COVID-19 hotlines (2020) (WHO/Europe)
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/336027/WHO-EURO-2020-1206-40956-55530-eng.pdf
Hotlines are among the most commonly used tools by health authorities in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the WHO European Region. They establish a direct link between at-risk populations and emergency responders, improve responders’ understanding of people’s perceptions, attitudes and concerns, and provide public health advice, counselling and/or referral to other services. COVID-19 hotlines also allow expansion of established hotline practice: COVID-19 hotlines, more than other kinds, are used to conduct listening, or data collection, from calls to inform and adjust the public health response. This document provides details on how to conduct such data collection in a practical and ethical manner, along with best practices for running hotlines for public health emergency purposes. The quick tips provide practical considerations and resources to help professionals working in pandemic response at national and subnational levels to set up and manage national COVID-19 hotlines.

What have we learnt? Overview of findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19
https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374702
Schoolchildren in low-and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to six weeks of loss in high-income countries, according to a new report published on 29 October 2020 by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. The report compiles findings from surveys on national education responses to COVID-19 collected by UNESCO and carried out in nearly 150 countries between June and October through funding provided by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) as part of their accelerated funding response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle income countries were the least likely to access remote learning, the least likely to be monitored on their learning loss, the most likely to have delays to their schools reopening and the most likely to attend schools with inadequate resources to ensure safe operations, the report finds.

 

Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

2020 State of Climate Services: Move from Early Warnings to Early Action (WMO)
https://library.wmo.int/doc_num.php?explnum_id=10385
Over the past 50 years, more than 11,000 disasters have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards, involving 2 million deaths and US$ 3.6 trillion in economic losses. While the average number of deaths recorded for each disaster has fallen by a third during this period, the number of recorded disasters has increased five times and the economic losses have increased by a factor of seven, according to a new multi-agency report. Extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity as result of climate change and hit vulnerable communities disproportionately hard. Yet one in three people are still not adequately covered by early warning systems, according to the 2020 State of Climate Services report released on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October.

Beijing+25: generation equality begins with adolescent girls’ education
English & French: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000374579
This new publication demonstrates the importance of adolescent girls’ education for the advancement of the visionary agenda set 25 years ago, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Developed jointly by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), Plan International France and UNESCO, the publication places adolescent girls front and centre as it examines progress and persistent gaps to achieve gender equality in and through education since Beijing. The publication promotes intersectoral approaches and multi-stakeholder partnerships, and focuses on three levers of action: comprehensive sexuality education, the involvement of adolescent girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and the development of adolescent girls’ leadership. A set of recommendations is provided to fast-track investments and action on adolescent girls’ education during the 2021 Generation Equality Forum, a global gathering for gender equality which carries forward the Beijing agenda, and related Action Coalitions.

Building a Greener Recovery: Lessons from the great recession (UNEP)
https://greengrowthknowledge.org/guidance/building-greener-recovery-lessons-great-recession
“The world today finds itself in the worst financial and economic crisis in generations. The crisis has triggered an unprecedented policy response: interest rates have been dramatically reduced, in some cases down to almost zero, and hundreds of billions of dollars in liquidity support and fresh capital have been provided to banking systems around the world.” Sound familiar? This is what economist Ed Barbier said in 2008-09 with the world reeling from the effects of the financial crisis. At the time, experts urged countries to put environmental sustainability at the core of their recovery packages, a message that received a lukewarm response. Now, more than a decade later, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says the world has a second – and possibly last – chance to tackle climate change and other environmental threats. Authored by Barbier, a professor at America’s Colorado State University, it draws on lessons from the Great Recession and calls on governments to develop concrete strategies to combat environmental decline as they rebuild their economies from COVID-19. The paper is the first in a series of UNEP reports designed to help countries build back more sustainably from the pandemic. The paper finds that in the wake of the financial crisis, some countries made investments in energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Those efforts created jobs and expanded the use of renewable energy for several years but provided little long-term support for de-carbonizing the world economy. This time, the paper calls on governments to commit to a five- to 10-year strategy of public investment and legislative reforms, including implementing levies that would make it more expensive to pollute. It says that will help spur a transformation towards a green economic order and foster a sustained financial recovery.

Climate Action Superheroes
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-action-superheroes/
A new component of the ActNow campaign aims to educate and engage children on climate action from an early age. Eight Climate Action Super Heroes will challenge kids to learn more and act when it comes to recycling, saving energy, countering misinformation, conserving water, and more! Dedicated challenges linked to each of the Superheroes, to complete at home or at school, allow children to earn a certificate of completion and share it with their friends.
see also: English – https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/11/1077042
French https://news.un.org/fr/story/2020/11/1081762

The Cost of a Plate of Food 2020 (WFP)
http://wfp.sixeleven.it/wfp-plate-of-food-2020/dist/en/
A basic meal is far beyond the reach of millions of people in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic joins conflict, climate change and economic troubles in pushing up levels of hunger around the world, according to a new study released on 16 October 2020 by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The report highlights the countries where a simple meal such as rice and beans costs the most, when compared with people’s incomes. South Sudan is once again top of the list, with basic ingredients costing a staggering 186 percent of a person’s daily income. Seventeen of the top 20 countries featured in the index are in sub-Saharan Africa.The report highlights conflict as a central driver for hunger in many countries, as it forced people from their homes, land and jobs, drastically reducing incomes and the availability of affordable food. The close connection between food security and peace was underlined last week when WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work fighting hunger.

Europe 4.0: Addressing Europe’s Digital Dilemma (World Bank)
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34746
Digital technologies are transforming economic opportunities, a trend being accelerated as businesses and workers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential to raise productivity and to expand opportunities for firms that are small or in less developed locations is real. But it is not being fully realized according to a new report launched on 9 November 2020. The evidence shows a tension in the region’s presence in the digital space and in building a vibrant digital economy that benefits more people. Those technologies where European firms are most competitive are those where the benefits are most concentrated in larger firms and existing production hubs; those technologies with the greatest potential for inclusion are those where European firms are less competitive.

FAO at 75 – Grow, nourish, sustain
English, French & Spanish pdf versions: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb1182en
Device-friendly format: http://www.fao.org/3/cb1182en/online/cb1182en.html
To celebrate FAO’s 75th anniversary, a new publication chronicles the history of the Organization and shares its vision for the future. FAO at 75 – Grow, nourish, sustain. Together provides a snapshot of FAO’s achievements and aspirations seen through the lens of three quarter-centuries. Born in 1945 amid the idealism of post-war reconstruction, FAO set out with the goal of increasing farm output around the world and making famines a thing of the past. Over subsequent years, FAO’s approach to ending hunger and malnutrition acquired new environmental and sustainability dimensions. In 2020, innovation and digital transformation are defining the path ahead. The book includes historic photographs from FAO’s archives as well as illustrations by contemporary Spanish artist Del Hambre.

Financing Circularity: Demystifying Finance for the Circular Economy (UNEP)
https://bit.ly/3270jA3
Financiers can and must make the shift to circularity, ensuring the consumption and production patterns of the businesses they invest in make more efficient use of resources and minimize waste, pollution and carbon emissions, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Launched on 13 October 2020 at UNEP FI’s Global Roundtable 2020 outlines how financial institutions can help redesign global economies by changing the way we consume and produce.


English: https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit
French: https://www.un.org/fr/food-systems-summit
Spanish: https://www.un.org/es/food-systems-summit
In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.

Global Estimate of Children in Monetary Poverty: An Update (UNICEF / World Bank)
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-estimate-children-monetary-poverty-update
An estimated 1 in 6 children – or 356 million globally – lived in extreme poverty before the pandemic, and this is set to worsen significantly, according to a new World Bank Group-UNICEF analysis released on 20 October 2020. It notes that sub-Saharan Africa – with limited social safety nets – accounts for two-thirds of children living in households that struggle to survive on an average of $1.90 a day or less per person – the international measure for extreme poverty. South Asia accounts for nearly a fifth of these children. The analysis shows that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased moderately by 29 million between 2013 and 2017. However, UNICEF and the World Bank Group warn that any progress made in recent years is concerningly slow-paced, unequally distributed, and at risk due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Guide to Circular Cities (ITU)
https://www.itu.int/en/myitu/Publications/2020/06/25/16/22/Guide-to-Circular-Cities
The Guide provides a ‘circular city implementation framework’ for cities to define the best course of action to improve circularity. It outlines a four-step methodology for cities to assess opportunities for circularity, prioritize the opportunities capable of delivering the most value, catalyze associated circular actions, and evaluate the impacts of these actions. The Guide begins by mapping all of the ‘assets and products’ found in a city to provide a high-level categorization of opportunities for circularity. It proceeds by highlighting the ‘circular actions’ that cities could apply to these assets and products, actions including sharing, recycling, refurbishing, re-using, replacing, and digitizing. It highlights the ‘outputs’ resulting from circular actions, outputs such as more energy-efficient buildings, a longer lifespan for water resources, or more inclusive uses of public spaces. The Guide also highlights the wide range of ‘enablers’ that cities can apply to catalyze these actions.

Handbook on Sustainable Urban Mobility and Spatial Planning (UNECE)
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/wp5/publications/1922152E_WEB_light.pdf
Member States in the ECE and WHO European Region established the Transport, Health and Environment Pan European Programme (THE PEP) in 2002. By providing an intersectoral and intergovernmental policy framework, THE PEP promotes mobility and transport strategies that integrate environmental and health concerns. Over the years, THE PEP has led to the development of implementation mechanisms to support the work of member States. This publication has been designed to assist member States in integrating transport, health, quality of life and environmental objectives into urban and spatial planning policies. It provides many references to case studies, good practices and examples from cities across the Euro-Asian region (and beyond) covering a wide array of thematics areas, including: the future of sustainable urban mobility; spatial planning in function of sustainable urban mobility and accessibility; public transport planning as a cornerstone of sustainable urban mobility; active mobility and how it promotes health and the environment; and the potential of Intelligent Transport Systems in an urban context. The publication puts forward a methodology for sustainable urban transport planning and introduces a concise set of key messages and recommendations as an input to the Fifth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment.

Human Mobility, Shared Opportunities: A Review of the 2009 Human Development Report and the Way Ahead (UNDP)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.undp.org/content//human-mobility/en/home.html
Global human mobility has halted with the overall impact of COVID-19, hitting people on the move hard. As borders re-open slowly, a new UN Development Programme (UNDP) report illustrates how governments can shape migration to benefit development and boost recovery. The report looks back at the last decade and assesses how future policy responses could facilitate safe, orderly, and regular migration. Human Mobility, Shared Opportunities recommends expanding legal pathways, reducing transaction costs on remittances, guaranteeing migrants’ rights, especially for women, fostering integration and social cohesion, and mobilizing diasporas. With forced migration doubling over the last 10 years to around 79 million people, tackling its causes will be essential for development.

State of the Climate in Africa 2019 (WMO)
https://library.wmo.int/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=21778
Increasing temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa, according to a new report devoted exclusively to the continent. The report, a multi-agency publication coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), provides a snapshot of current and future climate trends and associated impacts on the economy and sensitive sectors like agriculture. It highlights lessons for climate action in Africa and identifies pathways for addressing critical gaps and challenges. Released on 26 October at a ministerial-level launch the report highlights the urgency of climate action in Africa and the current state of capacity. The risks are becoming more severe.

State of the Environment and Development in the Mediterranean (UNEP)
Report in English, Summary for decision makers in English & French:
https://pl­­­anbleu.org/soed/
Rising inequality, biodiversity loss, the growing impact of climate change and unrelenting pressure on natural resources could lead to irreversible environmental damage in the Mediterranean basin, according to a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Published on 21 October 2020, the report finds that, unless urgent and resolute action is taken to halt current trends, environmental degradation could have serious and lasting consequences for human health and livelihoods in the region. Last published in 2009, the report is produced by Plan Bleu, a regional activity centre of the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). According to the report, 15 per cent of deaths in the Mediterranean are attributable to preventable environmental factors; in 2016, more than 228,000 people died prematurely from exposure to air pollution. The region – one of the world’s most coveted tourism destinations (360 million arrivals in 2017) and one of its busiest shipping routes – is polluted by an estimated 730 tonnes of plastic waste every day. The presence of more than 1,000 non-indigenous species also poses threats to biodiversity, and the region is warming 20 per cent faster than the global average.

The Sustainable Development Goals Trade Monitor (WTO / UNCTAD / ITC)
https://sdgtrade.org/
This new portal was launched on 20 October 2020, World Statistics Day, by the WTO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC). The online portal collates the latest progress in achieving the trade-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. It allows users to conduct customized analysis of the trade-related SDG indicators, with the objective of improving understanding of the relationship between trade and development in the SDG agenda and highlighting the latest state of play in achieving the relevant SDG targets.

Urban Agenda Platform (UN Habitat)
https://www.urbanagendaplatform.org/
The New Urban Agenda Platform is the knowledge portal for gathering voluntary reports, best practices, and data – both quantitative and qualitative, for reviewing the progress made in implementing the New Urban Agenda to achieve the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals. This platform is for national governments, subnational governments, local authorities, civil societies, UN entities, private sector, regional organizations and all other key stakeholders to voluntarily share their contributions to the implementation of the global agenda from the global, regional, national and local level. A one-stop shop for both reporting and learning, the platform supports knowledge exchange, builds interaction and supports capacity development to establish communities of practice for sustainable urbanization development.

Used Vehicles and the Environment: A Global Overview of Used Light-Duty Vehicles – Flow, Scale and Regulation (UNEP)
https://www.unep.org/resources/report/global-trade-used-vehicles-report
A groundbreaking United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, warns that millions of used light-duty vehicles shipped from Europe, the United States of America and Japan to Africa and Asia are polluting and unsafe. Often with faulty or missing components, they belch out toxic fumes, increasing air pollution and hindering efforts to fight climate change. Released on 26 October 2020, the report details how the global fleet of light-duty vehicles will double by 2050. Some 90 per cent of this growth will take place in low- and middle-income countries. Of the 146 countries studied in the UNEP report, about two-thirds have “weak” or “very weak” policies regulating the import of used vehicles. Many of the imported vehicles would not be allowed to circulate on the roads of exporting countries.

Women Running for Elected Office in Iraq: Needs and Challenges
https://bit.ly/36hHFXh
Women’s participation in political processes in Iraq is hampered by many obstacles, despite Iraqi women’s determination to engage in the public sphere. In 2020, Iraq ranked 70th worldwide in terms of women holding seats in parliament. These findings are highlighted in a new report issued on 1 November 2020 by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Iraq Foundation, which documents the challenges faced by women running for elected public office and the factors influencing voter choices regarding women candidates. The report also proposes a set of recommendations to overcome these challenges.

World Bank Water Data Portal
https://wbwaterdata.org/
With support from the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership (GWSP), the World Bank has just launched the World Bank Water Data Portal. For the first time ever, a curated list of water data from the World Bank and other sources and institutions is now available in one place.

The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics (UN DESA)
https://worlds-women-2020-data-undesa.hub.arcgis.com/
Less than 50% of working-age women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely changed over the last quarter of a century, according to a new UN report launched on 20 October 2020. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, restraining their economic potential as the COVID-19 pandemic additionally affects women’s jobs and livelihoods, the report warns. The report compiles 100 data stories that provide a snapshot of the state of gender equality worldwide. Presented on an interactive portal, the report analyses gender equality in six critical areas: population and families; health; education; economic empowerment and asset ownership; power and decision-making; and violence against women and the girl child as well as the impact of COVID-19.

 

International Peace and Security

2020 UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity
https://en.unesco.org/themes/safety-journalists/dgreport
New statistics published by UNESCO ahead of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, 2 November, show a 14% decline in the killing of journalists in 2018-2019 compared with the previous two-year period. The new data are set out in the UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, and also show that the level of impunity for crimes against journalists is still extremely high with almost nine in ten cases remaining unpunished. According to the report, in 2018-2019, UNESCO recorded a total of 156 killings of journalists worldwide. Fifty-seven of them occurred in 2019, the lowest annual total in ten years. The figures show that while journalist killings in countries experiencing armed conflict have declined significantly, this has not been the case in countries free of armed conflict. These countries registered the highest number of journalist killings in several years. This suggests a worrying trend whereby most journalists are now killed outside of armed conflict zones for covering corruption, human rights violations, environmental crimes, trafficking, and political wrongdoing. The report also notes that journalism remains a dangerous profession whose practitioners face many types of threats, violence and harassment. Female journalists are particularly targeted by offline and online gender-based attacks that range from harassment, trolling and doxxing to physical and sexual assault.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on “Maintenance of international peace and security: comprehensive review of the situation in the Persian Gulf”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/en/S/2020/1013
The Security Council held an open videoconference (debate) entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security: comprehensive review of the situation in the Persian Gulf” on 20 October 2020. The Russian Federation, Security Council President for October has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on “Women and peace and security: twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) – focusing on better implementation”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/en/S/2020/1014
The Security Council held an open debate (videoconference) entitled “Women and peace and security: twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) – focusing on better implementation” on 29 October 2020. The Russian Federation, Security Council President for October has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: contemporary drivers of conflict and insecurity”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2020/1064
The Security Council held a virtual open debate under the agenda item “peacebuilding and sustaining peace”. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Security Council President for November, has prepared this concept note.

In Focus: Women, Peace, Power (UN Women)
English: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/women-peace-security
French: https://www.unwomen.org/fr/news/in-focus/women-peace-security
Spanish: https://www.unwomen.org/es/news/in-focus/women-peace-security
In October 2020, the UN Security Council will mark two decades since the landmark resolution 1325, which for the first time, enshrined the essential role of women in securing and maintaining peace. The UN Security Council will hold its annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security virtually this year, on 29 October. Peace is a prerequisite for health, equality and human security. The 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 is taking place in a world where 2 billion people live in countries  affected by conflict. In these countries, women are working against tremendous odds to build and sustain peace. They do so even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic but continue to be sidelined. In conflict-affected countries, women’s representation in COVID-19 taskforces stands at a low 18 per cent.
This portal provides links to: Stories, News and statements, Timeline, Infographic, Video, Publications, Social media, Facts and figures

UNRIC Library backgrounder: Nagorno-Karabakh new UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
html: https://unric.org/en/unric-library-backgrounder-nagorno-karabakh-conflict/
pdf: https://unric.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2020/10/nagorno-karabakh.pdf

Human Rights

Going Further Together: The contribution of human rights components to the implementation of mandates of United Nations field missions
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Press/WebStories/Going_Further_Together_advance_unedited_version.pdf
This new study released on 12 October 2020 is highlighting the critical contribution of human rights to these operations. Issued at a virtual launch event on 12 October, it details just how key human rights components are to the implementation of mandates of UN missions operating in different and constantly evolving contexts, from start-up to drawdown and transition.

Maximizing the use of the Universal Periodic Review at country level: Practical Guidance
https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/UPR/UPR_Practical_Guidance.pdf
Created in cooperation with EOSG, UNDP, DPPA, DPO, OCHA, and other UN partners, this publication enables the UN system to fully use the Universal Periodic Review mechanism at the country level and implement human rights on the ground. The Universal Periodic Review is a unique check-up of the human rights records of 193 Member States, which takes place every four and a half years. Created in 2006, the Universal Periodic Review is a State-driven mechanism of the Human Rights Council, conducted for 3.5 hours each for every member of the UN during the Universal Periodic Review Working Group session in Geneva, which is informed by inputs from civil society, national human rights institutions, Parliaments, regional mechanisms and UN entities.

United Nations Guidance Note: Protection and Promotion of Civic Space (September 2020)
Guidance Note: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/CivicSpace/UN_Guidance_Note.pdf
Executive Summary: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/CivicSpace/UN_Guidance_Note_Executive_Summary.pdf
In September 2020, under the leadership of the Secretary-General, the United Nations adopted a Guidance Note on Protecting and Promoting Civic Space. The Guidance Note recognizes civic space as a threshold issue to successful implementation of all three pillars of the United Nations and, building on the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights, commits the United Nations system to take concrete steps in protecting and promoting civic space at the global and country levels.

 

Humanitarian Affairs

Africa Migration Report: Challenging the Narrative (IOM / AUC)
https://publications.iom.int/books/africa-migration-report-challenging-narrative
African migration in the 21st Century takes place mainly by land, not by sea. African migrants’ destinations are overwhelmingly not to Europe or North America, but to each other’s countries. Those are among the historic findings of the study, released on 15 October 2020 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the African Union Commission (AUC). The work is the first continent-specific report on migration and is being released during a virtual meeting bringing together policymakers, experts on migration and UN partner agencies. This inaugural edition attempts to unpack commonly held misperceptions about migration in the continent. The AMR is modelled on the IOM flagship World Migration Report produced bi-annually since 2000.

The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019 (UNDRR)
https://www.undrr.org/media/48008/download
A UN report published to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on October 13, confirms how extreme weather events have come to dominate the disaster landscape in the 21st century. In the period 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people (many on more than one occasion) resulting in approximately US$2.97 trillion in global economic losses. This is a sharp increase over the previous twenty years. Between 1980 and 1999, 4,212 disasters were linked to natural hazards worldwide claiming approximately 1.19 million lives and affecting 3.25 billion people resulting in approximately US$1.63 trillion in economic losses. Much of the difference is explained by a rise in climate-related disasters including extreme weather events: from 3,656 climate-related events (1980-1999) to 6,681 climate-related disasters in the period 2000-2019. The last twenty years has seen the number of major floods more than double, from 1,389 to 3,254, while the incidence of storms grew from 1,457 to 2,034. Floods and storms were the most prevalent events. The report also records major increases in other categories including drought, wildfires and extreme temperature events. There has also been a rise in geo-physical events including earthquakes and tsunamis which have killed more people than any of the other natural hazards under review in this report.

 

Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament

Aide-Memoire: Options for reflecting weapons and ammunition management in decisions of the Security Council, Second Edition (UNODA)
https://front.un-arm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/aide-memoire-2ed-1.pdf
This is the Second Edition of the Aide-Memoire that was originally published in 2018. The content has been updated to reflect the evolution in the Security Council’s practice in addressing weapons and ammunition-related issues from the end of the 1990s through to August 2020. This Second Edition includes a new section highlighting recommendations made by the Secretary-General to support the mainstreaming of weapons and ammunition-related matters in the work of the Security Council derived from previous reports to the Security Council on small arms and light weapons. The main body of the Aide-Memoire (and its supporting Annex 1) is based on a review of more than 650 UN Security Council country-/region-specific and thematic resolutions, and relevant presidential statements issued since the end of the 1990s. A 30-year time frame was used to ensure a broad pool of language options. This time period also corresponds to the establishment of several of the main United Nations peace operations.

Final Report of the UNODA Project to Identify Lessons Learned from the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism
https://front.un-arm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/jimll-rpt-web.pdf
When the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) was established by Security Council resolution 2235 in August 2015, it was given the mandate to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, the perpetrators of the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The JIM’s mandate for attribution of responsibility was a unique undertaking in the context of past efforts by both the United Nations and the OPCW to investigate allegations of the use of chemical weapons. Accordingly, after the expiration of the JIM’s mandate in 2017, there was interest in conducting a lessons-learned exercise to distill the lessons from the experience of the JIM, as is frequent practice within the United Nations after the conclusions of missions and programmes. UNODA was fortunate to receive support for a lessons-learned project from the Governments of Canada and Switzerland, whose generous financial contributions made the project possible. UNODA is pleased to share the final report of the JIM lessons-learned project. The project provided an opportunity to reflect on the recommendations that could benefit future such investigations and help to enhance common understanding of what can be done to establish an effective and credible mechanism to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons. While any future such mechanism would need – and should be enabled to the fullest extent – to make its own decisions on the topics addressed in this report based on the requirements of its mandate and individual case information, UNODA hopes that the lessons and recommendations presented in this report could serve as helpful guidance. UNODA also hopes that these recommendations could serve to help the international community confront the challenges to international peace and security posed by the use of chemical weapons and to restore respect for the global norm against chemical weapons use.

Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

UNODC’s Data portal now also available as country profile
https://dataunodc.un.org/
UNODC’ data portal, dataUNODC has just introduced a new feature which allows users to find all its data on drugs and crime grouped under a country’s profile. The Country Profile pages have been developed by the UNODC Research team, as there was a great demand for it. Users can now access country specific data on drug use and treatment, violent crime, homicide, prisons, trafficking in person or criminal justice. New features on the website also allow users to put some of the data, such as the data on drug demand, in relation to global estimations. This way figures from a specific country can be compared with the global situation.

 

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