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UNRIC Library Newsletter - September 2014

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - September 2014
New information material
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

Sep2014-UN-Facebook-GA-Graphic-finalThe 69th Session of the General Assembly opened on 16 September 2014, the General Debate will start on 24 September 2014.

Press Kit in English, French & Spanish:

High-level meetings of the 69th session

General Debate: 24-30 September 2014
This year's theme is "Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda".


United Nations Handbook 2014/15
pdf version:
This handbook – published by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - is a comprehensive guide to the UN system and how it works. The handbook summarises all UN organisations and provides essential information about their aims, structures, and membership. Want to know more about the UN?



Peace and Security

An Illusion of Safety: Challenges of Nuclear Weapon Detonations for United Nations Humanitarian Coordination and Response (UNIDIR)
Prompted by findings from international conferences on their humanitarian impacts held in Norway in March 2013 and Mexico in February 2014, this UNIDIR study explores the challenges for activation and operation of the humanitarian system in a range of plausible, illustrative nuclear weapon detonation scenarios. As a scoping exercise the study identifies specific issues that warrant further policy and operational attention in order to enhance civilian protection from nuclear weapons. It suggests steps the humanitarian system could take to better plan for such eventualities, as well as the redoubling of efforts to prevent nuclear weapons ever being used again in populated areas—whether deliberately or accidentally.

Security Council Concept Paper: Security Council summit on foreign terrorist fighters, 25 September 2014
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council will hold a summit on 25 September 2014 in connection with “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: foreign terrorist fighters”. The Security Council President for the month of September, the United States, has prepared this concept paper.

 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – 31 July 2014 (DPI/1634/Rev.159, August 2014)

United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 31 July 2014 (DPI/2166/Rev.133, August 2014)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response (UNOCHA)
OCHA has released its latest Occasional Policy Paper on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as remotely piloted aircraft or “drones”. These are small aircraft that fly by remote control or autonomously. Humanitarian organizations have started to use micro-UAVs, notably in Haiti and the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, for data collection and information tasks that include real time information and situation monitoring, public information and advocacy, search and rescue, and mapping. Peacekeeping missions, starting with the Democratic Republic of Congo, are also using more sophisticated systems. The use of UAVs raises a range of issues that will need to be addressed in order to realize the opportunities they provide to improve the provision of humanitarian aid. The report looks at emerging practical, legal, regulatory and ethical issues around the use of UAVs in support of humanitarian response and suggests some next steps for how to take advantage of this emerging technology.

Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand - 25th edition of the Red Book (IAEA / NEA / OECD) 
Demand for uranium will continue to rise in the foreseeable future, despite declining market prices since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan in March 2011 and lower electricity demand as a result of the global economic crisis.


Economic & Social Development

Ebola Response Roadmap (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued this roadmap for scaled-up response to the Ebola outbreak. The goal is to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries within 6-9 months and prevent international spread. The roadmap will assist governments and partners in the revision and resourcing of country-specific operational plans for Ebola response, and the coordination of international support for their full implementation.

Electronic nicotine delivery systems: Report by WHO
English, French & Spanish: 
E-cigarettes and similar devices are frequently marketed by manufacturers as aids to quit smoking, or as healthier alternatives to tobacco, and require global regulation in the interest of public health, this new World Health Organization (WHO) report states. Among other conclusions, the document found there was currently insufficient evidence to conclude that e-cigarettes help users quit smoking or not. Therefore, WHO currently recommends that smokers should first be encouraged to quit smoking and nicotine addiction by using a combination of already-approved treatments.

geosidsGlobal Enviroment Outlook (GEO): Small Island Developing States (UNEP)
GEO SIDS Outlook is a contribution to the 2014 Third International UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, which has an overarching theme of the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States through genuine and durable partnerships. It is also an important and new contribution to UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook that looks at the drivers for change and highlights opportunities and challenges for SIDS in a rapidly changing world.

mdggap2014MDG Gap Task Force Report 2014: The State of the Global Partnership for Development (DESA / UNDP)
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The lives of millions of people worldwide have improved due to concerted efforts to achieve the eight MDGs. Recent statistics show that with many MDG targets already met – including reducing poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in primary school – many more targets are within reach by the end of 2015. However, much unfinished business remains

mediagenderMedia and gender: a scholarly agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (UNESCO)
e-book or pdf:
UNESCO, the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), and members of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) have partnered to publish scholarly research agenda for GAMAG. The publication addresses both knowledge and actions linked to gender and media issues. It analyses existing research findings and their links to policies, foregrounds existing research gaps, and recommends research and policy actions to be taken by the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and other stakeholders globally. It covers a range of concerns highlighting major themes including violence against women; women in leadership/decision making of media; gender and media policies and strategies; journalism education, and media and information literacy.     

Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014 (UNEP / WMO)
The Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists released on 10 September 2014. The Assessment for Decision-Makers, a summary document of the “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014”, is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years

United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guides:
Climate Change - A Global Issue

United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guides:
Small Island Developing States: Quick Guide


Human Rights

Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed – Progress Report 2014 (UNICEF) 
Child survival rates have increased dramatically since 1990: the number of under-five deaths has been slashed in half from 12.7 million to 6.3 million. The report indicates that the first 28 days of a newborn’s life are the most vulnerable with almost 2.8 million babies dying each year during this period. One million of them don’t even live to see their second day of life. Many of these deaths could be easily prevented with simple, cost-effective interventions before, during and immediately after birth.

copGuidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection (ITU)
Case Studies:
United Nations agencies, together with partners of the Child Online Protection Initiative, released  new guidelines on 5 September 2014  to “provide the most accessible online tools for teens as well as to enable them to seek help and advice when they need it.” The Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection provide advice on how the information and communications technology (ICT) industry can help promote safety for children using the Internet or any technologies or devices that can connect to it, as well as guidance on how to enable responsible digital citizenship, learning and civic participation. The updated version provides guidance specifically aimed at companies that develop, provide or make use of ICTs. The Guidelines were developed in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

plainsightHidden in Plain Sight: a statistical analysis of violence against children (UNICEF) 
Interpersonal violence – in all its forms – has a grave effect on children: Violence undermines children’s future potential; damages their physical, psychological and emotional well-being; and in many cases, ends their lives. The report sheds light on the prevalence of different forms of violence against children, with global figures and data from 190 countries. Where relevant, data are disaggregated by age and sex, to provide insights into risk and protective factors.    

improvingImproving Children’s Lives, Transforming the Future – 25 years of child rights in South Asia (UNICEF)
UNICEF has launched the latest trends and data on children across South Asia which show huge progress and also that strong inequalities still persist and children pay a heavy price. More than 2 million children in South Asia die before their fifth birthday and these deaths are preventable. 38 per cent of all the region's children have chronic malnutrition. And South Asia is one of the riskiest places in the world to become pregnant or give birth, with the second highest number of maternal deaths worldwide. Far too many children get married, and far too many girls are never born. More than 8 million children under one year of age are not immunized. 46 % of girls marry before 18, and 18% marry before the age of 15. South Asia is also home to the largest number of stunted children in the world. In a region where nearly 700 million people still defecate in the open, 100 million children under five are not registered at birth.

Levels and Trends in Child Mortality - Report 2014 (UNICEF / WHO / World Bank / UN-DESA Population Division) 
New data show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49 per cent between 1990 and 2013. The average annual reduction has accelerated – in some countries it has  even tripled – but overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under-five mortality by 2015. In 2013, 6.3 million children under five  died from mostly preventable causes, around 200,000 fewer than in 2012, but still equal to nearly 17,000 child deaths each day.

OHCHR Treaty Body Database: OHCHR improves the visibility and accessibility of treaty bodies with revamped web pages – Information Note   
The UN Human Rights Office has upgraded and streamlined all Treaty Body ’ web pages to enhance the committees’ profile on the OHCHR website and to facilitate access to Treaty Body information, including for persons with disabilities. In addition, a new document management system, the Treaty Body database, has been created which instantly updates these web pages with the most recent documentation.

Overview of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law During the Ongoing Violence in Libya - 4 September 2014 (OHCHR / UNSMIL)
Serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law are taking place in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi with dire consequences for civilians and civilian infrastructure, a new UN report warns. The joint report by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the UN Human Rights Office gives an overview of abuses including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian objects, the shelling of hospitals, the abduction of civilians, torture and unlawful killings. It details accounts of civilian casualties including women, children and foreign nationals. The report states that fighters appear to disregard the likely impact of their action on civilians and have inadequate training and discipline. In addition, the use of badly maintained and faulty weapons and ammunition increases inaccuracy. These factors suggest that many attacks carried out in Tripoli and Benghazi are indiscriminate.

Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, 17 August 2014
Intense fighting, including the use of heavy weaponry by both sides, in densely populated areas of eastern Ukraine, has increased the loss of civilian life, with an average of around 36 people being killed every day, says a new report issued on 29 August 2014 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report, which covers the period 16 July to 17 August, expresses dismay at the killing and wounding of civilians who are trapped in urban areas or attempting to flee the fighting in eastern Ukraine using “safe” corridors, established by the Government.

Report of the independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (A/HRC/27/60, 13 August 2014)
Q & A on the 8th report:
Mass atrocities by Government forces and non-State armed groups continue to take place in Syria, causing immeasurable suffering to civilians, according to a UN report released today. The report stated that the continuous influx of foreign fighters and the success of extremist groups – such the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham – were among the factors which had contributed to a spillover of violence affecting international peace and stability. “Risks of the conflict spreading further are palpable”, it emphasized. The report, based on 480 interviews and a wealth of documentary material, chronicles the unimaginable brutality and human cost of the Syrian conflict.  Fighting has engulfed civilian areas, destroying the barest possibility of normal life. The impact has been particularly grave for women and children, whose most basic rights are being infringed daily. “Hundreds of civilians are dying each day as the fighting goes on with no regard to law or to conscience,” said Paulo Pinheiro, Chair of the Commission.


Humanitarian Affairs

SSMicrosite ManMadeCatastropheSouth Sudan - A Man-made Catastrophe - OCHA of interactive campaign
Even though current projections suggest famine will arrive in South Sudan in 2015, the catastrophe in the world's newest country has been overshadowed of late by crises in other parts of the world. Through video, photography and interactive maps, this new website tells the story of life today in South Sudan. We hope this resource will re-ignite interest in the crisis and refocus attention on this important issue.    

UNHCR, the Environment & Climate Change: An Overview 
Of some 51.2 million ‘persons of concern’ to UNHCR (refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, internally displaced and stateless persons), the vast majority are concentrated in ‘climate change hotspots’ around the world.


International Law

CLOUT – UNCITRAL’s legal database turns 25
Video Clip – English: 
Video Clip – French:
Video Clip – Spanish:
CLOUT is UNCITRAL’s legal database of worldwide court decisions and arbitral awards on UNCITRAL texts. The database celebrated its 25th year of existence in December 2013. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is particularly keen to encourage academic institutions, universities, law professors, and practitioners from all over the world to contribute case law to the database. Send UNCITRAL short abstracts of court decisions or arbitral awards interpreting an UNCITRAL text in your country. Your contribution is officially acknowledged in the abstract.