UNRIC Info Point & Library Newsletter – October 2019

New UN websites & publicationspdf Version

UN in General

French: https://www.un.org/fr/un75
Spanish: https://www.un.org/es/un75
Branding package: https://www.un.org/en/un75/branding-package
To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations will launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of global cooperation in building the future we want.

United Nations Day, 24 October
English: https://www.un.org/en/events/unday/
French: https://www.un.org/fr/events/unday/
Spanish: https://www.un.org/es/events/unday/
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

2019 Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization2019 Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization
Online version & print publication
French: https://www.un.org/annualreport/fr/
Spanish: https://www.un.org/annualreport/es/
German: https://www.un.org/Depts/german/gs/a74-1-glossy.pdf
The 2019 annual report of the Secretary-General reflects the challenges and opportunities the United Nations has faced over the past year. It presents an account of the progress made and the impact of the work of the Organization across its priorities of maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. It offers a frank, realistic analysis of current global issues and emphasizes the importance of multilateral action to maintain and improve the current world situation.

Report of the Eminent Person relating to the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him (A/73/973, 12 September 2019)
Press Release – English: https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sgsm19796.doc.htm
Press Release – French: https://www.un.org/press/fr/2019/sgsm19796.doc.htm
Report – English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/73/973
Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, 7 October 2019: The Secretary-General is pleased to announce that he transmitted the report of the Eminent Person, appointed pursuant to General Assembly resolution 72/252, to the President of the General Assembly, together with his own observations on the progress made and on the way forward in the search for the truth relating to the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of Dag Hammarskjöld and of the members of the party accompanying him.
Further information: http://ask.un.org/faq/49766

United Nations Handbook 2019-20 United Nations Handbook 2019-20
App & pdf version: https://bit.ly/2mW9ZvV
“The UN Handbook is a valuable reference guide that helps everyone working with or within the United Nations navigate the UN system effectively. The UN Handbook app makes the content more useable and accessible. An updated version of the app has now been released. New Zealand has demonstrated its long-standing commitment and practical support for the United Nations by producing the UN Handbook since 1961.”

United Nations System Code of Conduct
The organizations of the United Nations system are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment. UN system events are guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all participants are expected to behave with integrity and respect towards all participants attending or involved with any UN system event. Materials are available for download for UN system entities and organizers of events on UN system premises to adapt and distribute at events (e.g, brochure, postcard, banner, bookmark).

United Nations Policy Portal
English: https://policy.un.org/
French: https://policy.un.org/fr
This portal is a centralized repository of the Organization’s management regulatory framework and is envisaged to be the source of up-to-date information on the financial and Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances, related guidelines, and user aids. It includes policy documents on management-related topics: human resources, travel, health and well-being, procurement, finance and budget, property management, and information technology. It is available in English and French and can be accessed by anyone in the UN system, Member States, and the public – promoting transparency and accountability. Every effort has been made to make the portal and its content accessible to people with disabilities in compliance with international accessibility guidelines.


Outcomes of the UN High-Level Week

High-Level Week, September 2019

Climate Action Summit, 23 September 2019

High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on Universal Health Coverage, 23 September 2019

SDG Summit, 24-25 September 2019

High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, 26 September 2019

High-Level Midterm Review of the SAMOA Pathway, 27 September 2019



Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Climate Change and Water: UN-Water Policy Brief (September 2019 version)Climate Change and Water: UN-Water Policy Brief (September 2019 version)
UN says that water management must play a central role in adapting to the worst effects of climate change and reducing greenhouse gases. This call came as the international community meets at the Climate Action Summit and the opening of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York. It is triggered by a new policy brief by UN-Water that argues that there are significant co-benefits to managing climate and water in a more coordinated and sustainable manner.

Empowering students for just societies: a handbook for primary school teachers (UNESCO)
Empowering students for just societies: a handbook for secondary school teachers (UNESCO)
Empowering students for just societiesIn some societies, children are led to believe that the absence of the rule of law is not just common, but acceptable. Even in countries where the rule of law is well-established, frequent corruption scandals and spiraling social inequalities means that young people are losing trust in politicians and the institutions of justice and democracy. Education has a key role to play in empowering students to understand their fundamental rights, and to become champions for justice in society. Therefore, UNESCO in partnership with UNODC, has developed two handbooks, one aimed for primary and one for secondary schools to help teachers empower their students. The lessons in the handbooks are interactive: democracy is demonstrated, as students participate in mock elections or take on the roles of judges – jurors – local mayors and refugees. Games and story-telling help bring social issues to life, prompting students to take a moral stand. For some, this was their first experiences of interactive learning. Teachers instruct their classes to push the desks against the walls, to engage in role-play and to debate real-life issues. The handbooks are designed to help teachers develop students’ critical thinking and empathy – two important skills which are often not core learning objectives within school curricula.

Harnessing Digitalization in Financing the Sustainable Development Goals
Report & Executive Summary: https://digitalfinancingtaskforce.org/pr-report/
On 26 September 2019, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) chief Achim Steiner and Maria Ramos, recently retired chief executive of Absa Group Ltd., announced release of “Harnessing Digitalization in Financing the Sustainable Development Goals”. Mr. Steiner and Ms. Ramos co-chair the 16-member United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (the Task Force); “Harnessing Digitalization” is the Task Force’s interim report of findings to be presented and discussed during the 74th United Nations General Assembly. The report’s key takeaway: the digital revolution in financial technology (fintech) offers major opportunities to accelerate financing of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — primarily by putting more control into the hands of citizens. The report points out that ordinary citizens are already in fact the world’s financiers. Collectively, the taxes they pay, the purchasing decisions they make, and their savings and investments shape the world economy. Despite this collective power, however, at the individual level, most people experience the financial system as something difficult to understand, much less to influence. “Harnessing Digitalization” describes three disruptive ways that fintech can shift the center of gravity of the financial system towards the citizen: first, by increasing the quality and user-friendliness of relevant financial information; second, by reducing financial intermediation that does not add consumer value; and third, by presenting citizens with platforms for collective action, whether through crowd-funding or through consumer, employee, or shareholder actions.

Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2019 (UN Women / DESA)Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The Gender Snapshot 2019 (UN Women / DESA)
Developed by UN Women and STAT-DESA, brings together the latest available evidence on gender equality across all 17 Goals, underscoring the progress made as well as the action still needed to accelerate progress. The report highlights areas across all the SDGs where women and girls are still disadvantaged, noting where further efforts are needed to ensure no one is left behind. It also identifies gender-specific indicators of the global SDG indicator framework used to measure women and girls’ experiences in the fulfillment of the SDGs.

Small matters: Global evidence on contributions to employment by the self-employed, micro enterprises and SMEs (ILO)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:
Self-employment and small businesses play a far more significant role in creating jobs than previously thought, according to a new ILO report, released on 10 October 2019. Using newly-collated data from 99 countries, the report looks at the contribution to total global employment of self-employment and businesses with less than 50 employees. It includes recommendations for policy changes to ensure that these small economic units receive the support they need, that is also appropriate for their size and nature.

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (IPCC)
Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (IPCC)The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report highlights the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean and cryosphere. The report reveals the benefits of ambitious and effective adaptation for sustainable development and, conversely, the escalating costs and risks of delayed action. The ocean and the cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet – play a critical role for life on Earth. A total of 670 million people in high mountain regions and 680 million people in low-lying coastal zones depend directly on these systems. Four million people live permanently in the Arctic region, and small island developing states are home to 65 million people. Global warming has already reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions. There is overwhelming evidence that this is resulting in profound consequences for ecosystems and people. The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe.

The State of The World’s Children 2019: The Changing Face of Malnutrition (UNICEF)
Report: https://www.unicef.org/reports/state-of-worlds-children-2019
Regional Briefs: https://www.unicef.org/documents/state-of-worlds-children-2019-regional-briefs
The State of The World's Children 2019: The Changing Face of Malnutrition (UNICEF)For the first time in 20 years, UNICEF’s flagship report examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge. This 2019 edition of “The State of the World’s Children (SOWC)” examines the issue of children, food and nutrition, providing a fresh perspective on a rapidly evolving challenge. Despite progress in the past two decades, one third of children under age 5 are malnourished – stunted, wasted or overweight – while two thirds are at risk of malnutrition and hidden hunger because of the poor quality of their diets. At the center of this challenge is a broken food system that fails to provide children with the diets they need to grow healthy. This report also provides new data and analyses of malnutrition in the 21st century and outlines recommendations to put children’s rights at the heart of food systems.

Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All
Brochure: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/documents/global-action-plan-brochure.pdf
Further information: https://www.who.int/sdg/global-action-plan
On 24 September 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly, 12 multilateral agencies launched a joint plan to better support countries over the next 10 years to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developed over 18 months, outlines how a dozen multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies will collaborate to be more efficient and provide more streamlined support to countries to deliver universal health coverage and achieve the health-related SDG targets.

Trade and Development Report 2019
Report in English, Overview in English, French & Spanish:
Public banking should be given back its traditional, bigger role if the environmental and economic landscape is to be transformed by 2030, argues UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report 2019 released on 25 September 2019. Efforts to leverage private finance by channelling public money through global banking giants or shadow banking will more likely introduce new costs and vulnerabilities than finance investments in cleaner and greener energy, jobs and development. The report calls for banking to change its game, rejecting today’s financialized markets, which have consistently focused on speculative activities and under-served productive sectors.  UNCTAD maintains that it is public banking that does the heavy lifting and hence public banking should be better supported for the future.

UNECE Portal on Standards for the SDGs
UNECE Portal on Standards for the SDGsOn World Standards Day, 14 October 2019, UNECE launched a new portal aiming to map standards to the Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The portal currently covers four SDGs – SDG 6 on Water and Sanitation; SDG 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 13 on Climate Action. Work will continue to extend the portal to all SDGs. The portal offers a tool for standards developing organizations, policymakers and other stakeholders to identify standards that can help to realize specific SDGs and Targets. It also provides a collection of case studies of countries, cities, and regions that have successfully used standards to address a different sustainability challenges, as well as supporting online training materials.

United Nations Library Geneva: new research guide on Climate Change
The United Nations Library Geneva will continue to update this guide to reflect the wealth of climate change resources and the latest developments in the international response. Please check back often to see the new resources added.

United in Science: High-level synthesis report of latest climate science information convened by the Science Advisory Group of the UN Climate Action Summit 2019
United in ScienceThe world’s leading climate science organizations have joined forces to produce a landmark new report for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, underlining the glaring – and growing gaps – between agreed targets to tackle global warming and the actual reality. The report, released on 22 September 2019, includes details on the state of the climate and presents trends in the emissions and atmospheric concentrations of main greenhouse gases. It highlights the urgency of fundamental socio-economic transformation in key sectors such as land use and energy in order to avert dangerous global temperature increase with potentially irreversible impacts. It also examines tools to support both mitigation and adaptation.

What works: Promoting pathways to decent work (ILO)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
An innovative country mapping shows that the various types of active labour market policies (ALMPs) and income support measures are combined in a multitude of ways in emerging and developing countries, where they are already a pivotal element of labour market policy. A literature review and a global macroeconometric study then highlight how, when provided together, income support and ALMPs lead to better results, but different combinations of policies can drive different outcomes. These insights are complemented with evidence from impact evaluations of two programmes in Mauritius and Uruguay, which have combined ALMPs and income support in distinctive ways.

World report on vision (WHO)World report on vision (WHO)
More than 1 billion people worldwide are living with vision impairment because they do not get the care they need for conditions like short and far sightedness, glaucoma and cataract, according to the first “World report on vision” issued by the World Health Organization. The report, launched ahead of World Sight Day on 10 October, found that ageing populations, changing lifestyles and limited access to eye care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are among the main drivers of the rising numbers of people living with vision impairment.

Youth in motion for climate action! A compilation of youth initiatives in agriculture to address the impacts of climate change (FAO)
Youth in motion for climate action! This publication highlights various access points for projects and initiatives that engage and mobilize young people. It focuses on climate-resilient capacity development, agricultural education, and entrepreneurial guidance to promote decent rural employment in agriculture, and platforms that create alliances and networks for stimulating climate action and exchanging information. It presents activities that have successfully reached youth. These activities include competitions, such as ‘hackathons’ and flagship educational products that support everyday climate action. The projects and initiatives presented here also emphasize the key role partnerships among governments, the private sector, other international organizations and local cooperatives play in achieving successful outcomes. This publication is a compilation of ten successful youth-focused or youth-led initiatives in agriculture that address the impacts of climate change.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council debate on peace and security in Africa: mobilizing youth towards silencing the guns by 2020
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2019/779
The Security Council held a debate on “Peace and security in Africa: mobilizing youth towards silencing the guns by 2020” on 2 October 2019. In order to guide the discussion on the subject, South Africa, the Security Council President for October, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council debate on the theme “Peace and security in Africa: the centrality of preventative diplomacy, conflict prevention and resolution”
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2019/786
The Security Council held a debate on “Peace and security in Africa: the centrality of preventative diplomacy, conflict prevention and resolution” on 7 October 2019. In order to guide the discussion on the subject, South Africa, the Security Council President for October, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on women and peace and security
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2019/801
The Security Council will hold an open debate on women, peace and security on 29 October 2019 on the theme “Towards the successful implementation of the women, peace and security agenda: moving from commitments to accomplishments in preparation for the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)”. In order to guide the discussion on the subject, South Africa, the Security Council President for October, has prepared this concept note.

Field Missions Dashboard
The Field Missions Dashboard is an interactive platform with information on the mandates of all active UN peace operations.  It contains almost 200 decisions of the Security Council and allows users to navigate mandate components of missions ranging from ceasefire monitoring to human rights, women and peace and security and gender mainstreaming. Through an interactive map and detailed information about specific missions, Member States, the Secretariat and the broader public can easily access information on the mandates of the current fourteen peacekeeping operations and twelve special political missions. An innovation project among DPPA, DPO and the United Nations Volunteers, Field Missions Dashboard is the result of over a decade of work of the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch, which tracks and systemizes Security Council decisions related to mandates of peace operations.

Persistent legacy of the Chernobyl disaster: Report of the Secretary-General (A/74/461, 27 September 2019)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/A/74/461
Summary: The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 71/125on the persistent legacy of the Chernobyl disaster and provides an update on the progress made in the implementation of all aspects of the resolution. The report provides an overview of the recovery and development activities undertaken by the agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system and other international actors to address the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. The United Nations system remains committed to promoting the principle of leaving no one behind and ensuring that the governmental efforts to support the affected regions are aimed at achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure for a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned, credible, balanced and inclusive Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva (S/2019/775, 27 September 2019)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2019/775
The Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure were agreed by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Negotiation Commission with the facilitation of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, Geir O. Pedersen.

United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH)
English: https://binuh.unmissions.org/en
French: https://binuh.unmissions.org/fr
The United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies en Haïti, BINUH), started operations on 16 October 2019, under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. BINUH will work in an advisory capacity with Haitian authorities and the UN Country Team to further the consolidation of the stability, security, governance, rule of law, and human rights gains achieved since 2004.


Human Rights

Guidance to respect children’s rights in return policies and practices: Focus on the EU legal framework – September 2019
https://bit.ly/2nKa99DGuidance to respect children’s rights in return policies and practices: Focus on the EU legal framework - September 2019
In September 2019, an extensive guidance on respective children’s rights in return policies and practices was published by UNICEF, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Save the Children, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), the European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and Child Circle. The document provides guidance for state authorities on the design and implementation of return procedures that are child rights compliant. In particular, it sets out concrete measures necessary to ensure respect for the rights of every child, including children in families, when implementing return legislation and policy in Europe. It provides guidance to bring policy and legislation in line with international law obligations, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the EU Return Directive where applicable. Accordingly, the guidance is targeting those designing and implementing return procedures.

Guidelines regarding the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (CRC/C/156, 10 September 2019)
The United Nations Committee which monitors the Convention on the Rights of the Child is officially launched new guidelines on 26 September 2019 designed to help States better implement the Convention’s Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. The Guidelines drawn up by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child place a particular focus on the specific new threats confronting children all across the world as a result of digital technologies such as the internet and social media.


Humanitarian Affairs

Mixed Migration Flows in the Mediterranean – Compilation of Available Data and Information (August 2019)
https://displacement.iom.int/system/tdf/reports/Flows Compilation Report_Aug_2019_fin.pdf
Mixed Migration Flows in the Mediterranean - Compilation of Available Data and Information (August 2019)A total of 66,268 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe through different land and sea routes between January and August 2019, 24 per cent less than the same period last year when 87,611 sea and land arrivals were reported, 50 per cent less than the 133,390 arrivals registered in this period of 2017 and 78 per cent less than the 296,512 registered during this period in 2016. Sixty per cent of all arrivals were registered via the Eastern Mediterranean route in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece. Another 29 per cent of individuals have arrived in Europe through the Western Mediterranean route leading to Spain, and the remaining 11 per cent crossed the Central Mediterranean and arrived by sea in Italy and Malta. This indicates that the Eastern Mediterranean route continues to surpass both the Western and the Central Mediterranean routes as the main route taken  by the migrants and refugees arriving to Europe between January and August 2019. In the same period last year, there was a much smaller difference in the proportion of arrivals between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean routes. On the Western route 33,912 arrivals were registered (39%), and on the Eastern route 32,908 arrivals were registered (38%). On the Central route 20,791 arrivals were registered (23%).

Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe (UNDP)
Scaling Fences: Voices of Irregular African Migrants to Europe (UNDP)English: https://scalingfences.undp.org/
French: https://scalingfences.undp.org/fr
English pdf version: https://bit.ly/31CPL8u
A landmark UN migration study published on 21 October 2019 shows that 93 per cent of Africans making the journey to European countries along irregular routes, would do it again, despite facing often life-threatening danger. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) report, sets out to find out why those who put themselves in the hands of people smugglers, and put themselves in other vulnerable positions to cross borders, make the decision to leave home avoiding formal immigration procedures, in the first place.  The report, which interviewed 1,970 migrants from 39 African countries in 13 European nations, all of whom declared that they had arrived in Europe through irregular means and not for asylum or protection-related reasons, reaches some counter-intuitive conclusions.


Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism

Illicit Firearms Trafficking
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has, for the first time, made available statistics of illicit firearms trafficking.  Comprehensive data on firearms trafficking were gathered, processed and are now made available for public use via the UNODC data portal. While improvements are needed in terms of quality and coverage of the current dataset, the path to improve evidence-based information on firearms trafficking is being traced.

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