New UN websites & publications
UN in General
In Focus: Afghanistan
A one-stop guide to UN issues in the news, with easy access to statements, resolutions and other essential resources.
Secretary-General’s report on “Our Common Agenda”
“Our Common Agenda” report looks ahead to the next 25 years and represents the Secretary-General’s vision on the future of global cooperation and reinvigorating inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism. The Secretary-General presented his report to the General Assembly in September 2021 before the end of the 75th session of the General Assembly.
- The future of international cooperation: Time to think big, urges Guterres (10 September 2021): https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/09/1099522
- L’avenir de l’ONU : il est temps de voir grand, exhorte Guterres (10 septembre 2021) : https://news.un.org/fr/story/2021/09/1103452
- Guterres: Hay que dialogar con los talibanes y evitar el colapso de la economía afgana (10 Septiembre 2021): https://news.un.org/es/story/2021/09/1496612
- Relatório da ONU, “Nossa Agenda Comum”, propõe respostas a desafios globais [BR](10 setembro 2021): https://news.un.org/pt/story/2021/09/1762632
A/76/1 – Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/76/1
“Introduction: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic dominated the past year, around the world and at the United Nations. We are a world in mourning for the millions of people whom we have lost. The pandemic is the greatest shared global challenge since the founding of our Organization; every country has faced pain, uncertainty and vulnerability. The global health, social, economic and human rights crises triggered by the pandemic have underscored the importance of multilateral cooperation and tested it to the limit.
The United Nations has been central to the pandemic response, from safeguarding people and jobs to assisting Governments in ensuring a sustainable and equitable recovery. We supported some 160 countries in tackling the health, humanitarian, social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and helped more than 260 million children to access remote learning. At the same time, we contributed to the creation and operationalization of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and its COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility. The only way to end the pandemic is to deliver vaccines to every country. … ”
UN System Chart – updated version now available in French & Spanish
No Denying It – The UN Climate Action Podcast
The UN launched No Denying It, a new 10-part climate action podcast, on Thursday, featuring interviews with inspiring young activists, and the voices of internationally renowned celebrities, such as actors Ed Norton and Michelle Yeoh.
UN News Climate Newsletter
The Climate Newsletter will be distributed twice a month through the end of October, and then daily during the COP26 Climate Change Conference (1-12 November). The newsletter, aimed at a general audience, includes news and multimedia content, explainers and social media highlights, and features the work of UN agencies and influencers associated with the UN, curated in line with major milestones in the lead-up to COP26.
Theme for the General Debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly:
“Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people and revitalize the United Nations”. https://www.un.org/pga/75/2021/07/07/theme-of-the-general-debate-of-the-76th-session/
The 76th regular session of the General Assembly will open 14 September 2021.
consisting of the biography of the General Assembly President, vision statement, acceptance speech, list of past GA presidents
High-Level Meetings of the 76th Session of the General Assembly
The practical arrangements for the conduct of the general debate and the high-level meetings and of the 76th session of the General Assembly will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the holding of meetings and how they are conducted, and the number of attendees. All changes will be reflected in the UN Journal and on the Meetings schedule.
- General debate: Tuesday, 21 September to Monday, 27 September 2021 (including Saturday, 25 September) | Arrangements for the general debate + Rev.1
- High-level meeting to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action: Wednesday, 22 September 2021 | Scope, modalities, format and organization
- High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: Tuesday, 28 September 2021 | Draft Programme
- High-level meeting on the Global Plan of Action on Trafficking in Persons: Monday, 22 November to Tuesday, 23 November 2021 | Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons | Modalities, format and organization
- Commemorative meeting for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Monday, 21 March 2022.
- Commemorative meeting to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Friday, 25 March 2022.
- Interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature: Friday, 22 April 2022
- High-level meeting on the Urban Agenda (Habitat III): Thursday, 28 April 2022
- High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests: Monday, 29 August 2022
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
The COVID-19 crisis: what explains cross-country differences in the pandemic’s short-term economic impact? (DESA Working Paper No. 174)
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the most universal health and socio-economic crisis in recent history. However, the magnitude of the economic damage has differed widely; some countries were hit particularly hard, while others have managed to weather the storm much better. In this paper, we use cross-country regression analysis to identify factors that help explain the differences in the growth impact of the COVID-19 shock. Our findings underscore the critical role of balancing health and economic concerns in managing the pandemic as both a country’s exposure to the coronavirus and the stringency of containment measures are strongly correlated with its growth performance. In addition, our results shed light on several aspects of economic resilience. Good governance, provision of fiscal support and strong macroeconomic fundamentals all helped cushion the economic impact. By contrast, a lack of economic diversification – reflected in overreliance on the tourism sector or oil production – has significantly amplified the shock.
Digital documentation of COVID-19 certificates: vaccination status: technical specifications and implementation guidance (WHO)
This is a guidance document for countries and implementing partners on the technical requirements for developing digital information systems for issuing standards-based interoperable digital certificates for COVID-19 vaccination status, and considerations for implementation of such systems, for the purposes of continuity of care, and proof of vaccination.
Drawing light from the pandemic: A new strategy for health and sustainable development; September 2021 (WHO/Europe)
English, French & German: https://bit.ly/3tBAjsY
Over the past year, members of the Commission have reflected on what worked and, more often, what did not work in the COVID-19 response and in previous crises. In the Call to Action that we issued in March 2021 and in this final report, we have made a series of recommendations with the aim of achieving seven key objectives to prevent a catastrophe on the same scale from happening again.
One and a half years after: the impact of COVID-19 on the human rights of migrant; Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales (A/76/257, 30 July 2021)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/76/257
“Summary: The present report outlines the main activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, during the reporting period since his most recent report to the General Assembly. In the report, the Special Rapporteur reviews the impact that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had on the human rights of migrants, who have been disproportionally affected by the pandemic, in particular those who are undocumented or in an irregular situation, and how it has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities. One and a half years after the beginning of the pandemic, the Special Rapporteur takes stock of the measures and responses put in place to address the fulfilment of migrants’ human rights and promote an inclusive recovery process. On the basis of the information and analysis provided by States, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders, the Special Rapporteur identifies good practices, on-going efforts and existing challenges and provides a set of recommendations aimed at closing the human rights gaps in recovery efforts and build back better, including by fully integrating migrants’ human rights.”
A Pandemic of Exclusion: The impact of COVID-19 on the human rights of migrants in Libya (OHCHR)
As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, so too does its devastating impact on those in the most vulnerable situations. Migrants have been one of the groups very much affected, with their rights to life, health, work and social protection under significant, ongoing threat. As highlighted by a new report by UN Human Rights on the situation in Libya, the human rights risks for migrants – who already faced violations such as enforced disappearance, physical and sexual violence, arbitrary detention, discrimination, xenophobia, exploitation and trafficking – have only multiplied as a result of COVID-19. While thousands of migrants continue to take the perilous central Mediterranean route from Libya by boat in search of safety and dignity in Europe, those who remain trapped in Libya, including migrants who are intercepted and forcibly returned to the country, are faced with a precarious and a highly uncertain future. This has only been worsened by the continued effects of the pandemic. Based on research and interviews conducted between March 2020 and June 2021, the report looks at migrants’ experiences in Libya in the context of the pandemic, and urges that migrants’ human rights be respected and guaranteed as the COVID-19 response and recovery continues.
Support for rehabilitation: self-management after COVID-19-related illness, 2nd ed (WHO/Europe)
This leaflet provides support and advice for adults who are recovering from COVID-19. It can be used by individuals after hospitalization from the illness and those in the community who did not need hospitalization. The leaflet can complement care received from health care professionals. This is the second edition of the leaflet that was originally published mid 2020 that includes updates to sections and new topics, encompassing what we have learnt about the condition and recovery in the last year. The leaflet was written by rehabilitation professionals in consultation with people recovering from COVID-19. Although references are not shown for ease of reading, the advice is evidence-based. There is still much we don’t know about post-COVID-19 recovery, and evidence is fast emerging.
WHO compendium of innovative health technologies for low-resource settings 2021: COVID-19 and other health priorities
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for innovative health technologies that can help countries improve health outcomes by providing shortcuts to solutions despite lack of infrastructure and resources. However, many of the new technologies that have come to market are unaffordable or unsuitable for low- and middle-income countries. To ensure that all countries benefit from health innovation, WHO has compiled a compendium of 24 new technologies that can be used in low-resource settings. The compendium’s main objective was to select and assess technologies that can have an immediate and future impact on COVID-19 preparedness and response, potentially improve health outcomes and quality of life, and/or offer a solution to an unmet medical need. 15 of these technologies are already commercially available in countries, while the rest are still at the prototype stage.
Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970-2019)
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970-2019) on 1 September 2021. The Atlas is WMO’s most exhaustive compilation to date of fatalities and economic costs from natural hazards. It provides comprehensive details of recorded disasters and their impacts, both at global and regional level. It gives statistics for the entire 50-year period, as well as a decadal breakdown which shows the evolution of disasters in our changing climate. The Atlas is a multi-agency collaboration, with contributions from many partners including the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Statistics are from the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) maintained by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). A partial preview of the Atlas was released on 23 July after the devastating floods in Europe and China.
Compendium of WHO and other UN guidance on health and environment
Browse the Compendium by thematic areas or download the publication: https://www.who.int/tools/compendium-on-health-and-environment
WHO, UNDP, UNEP and UNICEF have partnered to create a new compendium of 500 actions aimed at reducing death and diseases driven by environmental risk factors, the first such resource to unite this expertise from across the UN system. Environmental pollution and other environmental risks cause 24 per cent of deaths through, for example, heart disease, stroke, poisonings, traffic accidents, and others. This toll could be substantially reduced – even eliminated – through bold preventive action at national, regional, local and sector-specific levels. The Compendium of WHO and other UN guidance on health & environment provides easy access to practical actions for practitioners to scale up efforts to create healthy environments that prevent disease. It is designed for policymakers, staff in government ministries, local government, in-country UN personnel and other decision makers. The repository presents actions and recommendations to address a comprehensive range of environmental risk factors to health, such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene, climate and ecosystem change, chemicals, radiation and occupational risks, among others. Air pollution alone leads to 7 million deaths each year, while climate change is expected to contribute increasingly to a broad range of health impacts, both directly and indirectly through effects on biodiversity.
European and Central Asian Actions on Air Quality (UNEP)
Efforts to tackle air pollution have stepped up in recent years and are bringing dividends in many European countries, but extreme hotspots remain in Central Asia and the Balkans, finds a new report issued on 3 September 2021 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) together with the Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Dangerous air quality levels continue to be recorded throughout Europe and Central Asia, and ammonia emissions are rising in all sub-regions, states the report, issued ahead of the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies (7 September). Air pollution laggards are not yet catching up, it finds. Twenty-nine countries in Europe and Central Asia took part in a questionnaire on actions taken and their results, feeding into the report. The survey was conducted by UNEP and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Air pollution is the world’s biggest environmental killer, responsible for around seven million premature deaths each year through diseases such as lung cancer, acute respiratory infections and heart disease. Meanwhile, the main sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases are often the same. Most actions to improve air quality also therefore help to fight climate change.
Fast Facts on Climate Change and Health (Advocacy brief)
Climate change is resulting in poorer health outcomes, increasing mortality and is a driver of health inequities. However, health is well placed to be a significant part of the solution; the positive health impacts from stronger climate change action can motivate stronger global ambition; health systems which are resilient to climate change can help protect their populations from the negative impacts (in the short and longer terms); and sustainable low carbon health systems can make a substantial contribution to reducing national and global emissions.
This fact sheet on climate change and health is part of the Climate Fast Facts series of the United Nations Climate Action team.
Interconnected Disaster Risks 2020/2021 (UNU/EHS)
This new report, released by United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) on 8 September 2021, analyses 10 different disasters from 2020/2021 and finds that even though they occurred in vastly different locations and do not initially appear to have much in common, they are interconnected with each other. As shown by the key findings of the recent IPCC 6th Assessment Report, extreme events, such as droughts, fires and floods, are increasingly compounding each other, likely as a consequence of human influence. Viewed through a lens of interconnectivity, this new report shows in detail how not only climate disasters, but human-made disasters in general build on the impacts of the past and pave the way for future disasters. The frequency of
severe weather events, epidemics and human-made disasters is increasing globally, and it is becoming ever more challenging to keep pace with the corresponding changes and impacts. In 2020/2021, the world witnessed a number of record-breaking disasters: the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, a cold wave crippled the state of Texas, wildfires destroyed almost 5 million acres of Amazon rainforest, and Viet Nam experienced 9 heavy storms in the span of only 7 weeks. By analysing past events through the lens of interconnectivity, both the disasters that are happening right now and those that will happen in the future can be better understood.
New UN DESA Policy Brief Series “Future of the World”
- #110: Time for transformative changes for SDGs: what the data tells us: https://bit.ly/3BRwJh9
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, undermining decades of development efforts. The crisis has pushed hundreds millions of people back into poverty.
- #111: Wildfires – a growing concern for sustainable development: https://bit.ly/3h573WD
This policy brief reviews trends and impacts of wildfires on sustainable development. It provides an analysis of the key drivers of wildfires and proposes measures to reduce the risk and impacts.
- #112: Harnessing longevity in the future of work: https://bit.ly/3hbPWlT
Promoting the inclusion of older persons in the new realities of work requires addressing barriers in their access to decent work, including discrimination and participation in informal employment.
Progress on change in water-use efficiency: Global status and acceleration needs for SDG indicator 6.4.1, 2021
The global indicator on water-use efficiency tracks to what extent a country’s economic growth is dependent on the use of water resources, and enables policy and decision-makers to target interventions at sectors with high water use and low levels of improved efficiency over time. This indicator addresses the economic component of target 6.4. In this report, you can learn more about the global and country progress on water-use efficiency. More information and methodological guidance can be found at: www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/ indicators/641
This report is part of a series that tracks progress towards the various targets set out in SDG 6 using the SDG global indicators. To learn more about water and sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, visit our website: www.sdg6monitoring.org
Progress on Transboundary Water Cooperation: Global Status of SDG Indicator 6.5.2 and Acceleration Needs, 2021
Results of the second Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) report on transboundary water cooperation, published on 23 August 2021 by UNECE and UNESCO (co-custodian agencies for SDG indicator 6.5.2) on behalf of UN-Water, suggests that not nearly enough operational arrangements for transboundary water cooperation are in place. While 153 countries share transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers, only 24 countries report having operational arrangements in place for all their transboundary waters. This level of cooperation contrasts with one of the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework to ensure that all transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers are covered by operational arrangements by 2030 (SDG 6.5.2). The rate of progress therefore needs to quadruple. Broken down into regions, the report shows that Europe and North
America have the fullest coverage of operational arrangements, followed by sub-Saharan Africa. However, across Asia, Latin America and North Africa/Western Asia, the levels of operational arrangements in place for transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers remain low. A further challenge, highlighted in the report, relates to transboundary aquifers. While there have been improvements since the first report (2018), many countries still have limited knowledge of the groundwater resources they share with their neighbours as well as low levels of cooperation.
Progress on Wastewater Treatment: Global Status and Acceleration Needs for SDG Indicator 6.3.1, 2021
Target 6.3 is: “By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally”. Indicator 6.3.1 tracks the proportion of total, industrial and household wastewater flows safely treated in compliance with national or local standards. The household component includes both sewage and faecal sludge, treated on-site or off-site, with linkages to indicator 6.2.1a on sanitation. This report presents the global status on wastewater treatment and acceleration needs to achieve target 6.3 by 2030, based on the latest data on indicator 6.3.1 (total wastewater flows as well as flows from industrial sources and households).
Regulating Air Quality: The first global assessment of air pollution legislation (UNEP)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.unep.org/resources/report/first-global-assessment-air-pollution-legislation
One-third of the world’s countries have no legally-mandated outdoor (ambient) air quality standards. Where such laws exist, standards vary widely and often misalign with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Additionally, at least 31% of countries that do have the power to introduce such ambient air quality standards have yet to adopt them. These are some of the key findings of the first-ever assessment of air quality laws and regulations by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Regulating Air Quality: The first global assessment of air pollution legislation is launched ahead of the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies examines national air quality legislation in 194 States and the European Union. Exploring various dimensions of legal and institutional frameworks, the report assesses their effectiveness in ensuring the attainment of air quality standards. The report concludes with key elements for a robust model of air quality governance to be considered in national legislation and makes the case for considering a global treaty on ambient air quality standards.
Start Doing Good: 17 Sustainable Development Goals
English & French: https://bit.ly/3hqdqDQ
START DOING GOOD explains the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to little children. With easy rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this book outlines the problems our planet has today, and how we all play a role in solving them. With this book we want to empower the next generation of children, and all the parents too, to be actively engaged in achieving the 17 SDGs.
World Social Protection Report 2020-22: Social protection at the crossroads – in pursuit of a better future (ILO)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish: https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_817572/lang–en/index.htm
Despite the unprecedented worldwide expansion of social protection during the COVID-19 crisis, more than 4 billion people around the world remain entirely unprotected, a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report says. It finds that the pandemic response was uneven and insufficient, deepening the gap between countries with high and low income levels and failing to afford the much-needed social protection that all human beings deserve. Social protection includes access to health care and income security, particularly in relation to old age, unemployment, sickness, disability, work injury, maternity or loss of a main income earner, as well as for families with children.
International Peace and Security
The Blue Helmets: a review of UN Peacekeeping
Ahead of World Humanitarian Day, the UN Library has digitized this series. The publications can be accessed in the UN Digital Library at http://ow.ly/nR1e50FT49Z
Complementarities of the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas at a glance (DPPA)
The Policy and Mediation Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) has created a one-pager document that outlines differences and linkages between the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas. It also includes recommendations on how to approach these two agendas differently as they should be considered as two distinct categories with differentiated needs. The Peacebuilding Support Office and the Office of the Special Envoy for Youth were also consulted.
Concept note for the Security Council ministerial open debate on the theme “United Nations transitions”
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2021/756
The Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the theme “United Nations transitions”, in connection with the item entitled “United Nations peacekeeping operations” on 8 September 2021. The Security Council President for September, Ireland, has prepared this concept note in order to guide the discussions on the topic.
Strategy for the Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping
The Organization and its 12 peacekeeping missions around the world must fully embrace new technology in the face of ever-changing challenges, the UN chief said on 18 August 2021 as he outlined to the Security Council his Strategy for the Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping. New technologies are changing the character and nature of conflict, with an “indelible impact” on civilians, Secretary-General António Guterres told the ministerial-level open debate on technology and peacekeeping – a highlight of India’s turn as Council President this month.
see also: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/08/1098072
Civil Society Report on Human Rights in Kosovo in 2020
The voices of 34 human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have come together to produce the second joint annual report on the human rights situation in Kosovo. With a strong focus on the human rights consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020, the report was produced with the support of UN Human Rights and the UN Mission in Kosovo’s (UNMIK) Human Rights Component. Representatives from different ethnic backgrounds joined forces to produce the report, in line with ongoing efforts to advance intercommunity trust building in Kosovo. The number of contributing organisations jumped from 21 last year to 34 this year. The report provides a solid analysis on a wide range of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights; human rights issues relating to specific groups and people in vulnerable situations; and cross-cutting human rights topics, namely, corruption and human rights, transitional justice, and the environment and human rights.
Operationalizing the right to development in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Thematic study by the Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development (A/HRC/48/63, 6 July 2021)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/HRC/48/63
“Summary: The present thematic study provides guidance to States and other stakeholders on operationalizing the right to development in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals incorporated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focusing on their means of implementation and the duty of States for international cooperation. It also highlights the heightened importance and urgency of bringing the 2030 Agenda back on track during and in the aftermath of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.”
The stages of the plastics cycle and their impacts on human rights: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, Marcos Orellana (A/76/207, 22 July 2021)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/A/76/207
“Summary: In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, Marcos Orellana, examines the current and future negative implications of the various stages of the plastics cycle for the enjoyment of human rights. The ever-increasing plastics production, incineration and waste dumping only aggravate the detrimental consequences. Toxic chemicals are commonly added to plastics, causing serious risks and harms to human rights and the environment. The Special Rapporteur puts forward recommendations aimed at addressing the negative consequences of plastics on human rights and integrating a human rights-based approach in the transition to a chemically safe circular economy.”
The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index (UNICEF)
English, French, Spanish & Portuguese: https://www.unicef.org/reports/climate-crisis-child-rights-crisis
Young people living in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau are the most at risk of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, and exposing them to deadly diseases, according to a UNICEF report launched on 20 August 2021. It is the first comprehensive analysis of climate risk from a child’s perspective and ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services. Launched in collaboration with Fridays for Future on the third anniversary of the youth-led global climate strike movement, the report finds approximately 1 billion children – nearly half the world’s 2.2 billion children – live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk”. These children face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climate and environmental shocks with a high vulnerability due to inadequate essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare and education. The findings reflect the number of children impacted today – figures likely to get worse as the impacts of climate change accelerate.
Ebb and Flow (World Bank)
Volume 1: Water, Migration, and Development
Volume 2: Water in the Shadow of Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
This report examines the link between water and migration, and the implications for economic development. The report is based on analysis of the largest data set on internal migration ever assembled, covering nearly half a billion people from 189 population censuses in 64 countries from 1960 to 2015. It assesses how rainfall shocks are related to migration relative to other key variables such as age, gender, education, and household size. The report is in two parts. Volume 1 covers water, migration, and development. Volume 2 focuses on water, forced displacement and conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.
Left Adrift at Sea: Dangerous Journeys of Refugees Across the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, revealed today that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for refugee journeys in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many States in Southeast Asia to tighten their borders, leading to the highest numbers of refugees stranded at sea since the region’s “boat crisis” in 2015. UNHCR’s new report also highlights that some two-thirds of those attempting these perilous voyages are women and children. These deadly journeys are not a new phenomenon. Over the past decade, thousands of Rohingya refugees have left by sea from Rakhine State in Myanmar and from the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The roots of these dangerous journeys are found in Myanmar, where the Rohingya were stripped of their citizenship and denied basic rights. For the Rohingya who found refuge in neighbouring countries, restrictions on movement, livelihoods and education are compelling factors to seek a future elsewhere in the region. Motivations are various, often overlapping, and also include aspirations of reuniting with family members. The risks have increased markedly for those attempting the journey. Of the 2,413 who are known to have travelled in 2020, 218 died or went missing at sea. This means that journeys were 8 times deadlier in 2020 than those in 2019.
Staying The Course: The Challenges Facing Refugee Education (UNHCR)
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for an international effort to guarantee secondary education for refugee children and youth, as levels of school and university enrolment remain critically low. The call comes as UNHCR launches its 2021 Education Report, Staying The Course: The Challenges Facing Refugee Education. The report highlights the stories of young refugees around the world as they try to keep learning in an era of unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondary school should be a time of growth, development and opportunity. It increases the job prospects, health, independence and leadership of vulnerable young people, and they
are less likely to be pressured into child labour. Yet according to data gathered by UNHCR in 40 countries, the gross enrolment rate for refugees at secondary level in 2019-2020 stood at only 34 per cent. In almost every country, the rate trails that of host community children. The pandemic is likely to have undermined refugees’ chances yet further. COVID-19 has been disruptive for all children, but for young refugees – already facing significant obstacles to getting into school – it could dash all hopes of getting the education they need.
Uncertain Pathways: How gender shapes the experiences of children on the move (UNICEF)
More girls and boys than ever are on the move, with 35.5 million having lived outside their country of birth in 2020 and an additional 23.3 million displaced internally, according to a new report by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published on 27 August 2021. The report, Uncertain Pathways, found that over the course of the year, there were almost 15 million new displacements or 41,000 each day, and that boys outnumber girls. Gender plays a pivotal role in a child’s decision to leave home and continues to shape their experiences and vulnerabilities throughout their journey, the report revealed.
Urban-Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (U-NEAT+)
The United Nations launched an online tool on 31 August 2021 to help humanitarian practitioners rapidly identify and mitigate environmental risks when responding to crises in urban areas. The free, cloud-based Urban-Nexus Environmental Assessment Tool (U-NEAT+) offers an easy way to assess a range of potential environmental threats and sensitivities and suggests how to mitigate them. Assessments are recorded in an online questionnaire that can be completed with a smartphone. The tool’s special features dive deeper into specific response areas such as shelter, food security, health, livelihoods, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Climate is integrated as a cross-cutting issue in all U-NEAT+ modules, and it is possible to compare projects across regions and over time, thus providing humanitarians with insights into the effects of their mitigation activities. The assessment data collected aim to improve the aid response by helping to foster dialogue among humanitarian organizations, members of affected communities and donors.
Nuclear, Chemical and Conventional Weapons Disarmament
new IAEA series of educational articles
The articles and videos on this page offer easy-to-understand explanations of major topics in nuclear science and technology.
The many peaceful uses of nuclear technology have a beneficial impact on our everyday lives – from energy production and food security to health care and the protection of the environment.
Nuclear Power (UNECE Technology Brief)
Nuclear power is a low-carbon energy source that has avoided about 74Gt of CO2 emissions over the past 50 years, nearly two years’ worth of total global energy-related emissions. Only hydropower has played a greater role in avoiding emissions over this period. Nuclear power currently provides 20% of electricity generated in the UNECE region and 43% of low-carbon generation. Time is running out to rapidly transform the global energy system as fossil fuels still account for over half of electricity generation in the UNECE region. A new technology brief from the United Nations published on 11 August 2021 notes that nuclear power can be seen as part of a broader portfolio alongside deploying other sustainable low- or zero-carbon technologies to decarbonise the global energy system and energy intensive industries to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Counter-terrorism
Cocaine Insights 1: The illicit trade of cocaine from Latin America to Europe from oligopolies to free-for-all? (UNODC / Europol)
With well-defined locations of production in South America, and large consumer markets in both the Americas and Europe, the cocaine market and the global trafficking routes present a real transnational threat. Recent estimates suggest that in Western and Central Europe alone, some 4.4 million people used cocaine in the past year, making it the second most popular drug in the region after cannabis. Against this background, UNODC and Europol have released the first report in a new series: ‘Cocaine Insights.’ Focusing on the cocaine trade from Latin America to Europe, the report highlights a significant increase in cocaine supply to Europe, a diversification of trafficking groups, and shifting points of entry into Europe.
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