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UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2018

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2018
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UN in General


The United Nations Secretary-General launched a new partnership strategy with the world’s 1.8 billion young people on 24 September 2018, to help put “their ideas into action”. Noting that it was “a rare treat” to see so many young faces at the UN, to launch the new “Youth2030” strategy, UN chief António Guterres highlighted a list of challenges “the largest young generation in history” faces. He noted that “globalization, new technologies, displacement, shrinking civic space, changing labour markets and climate impacts,” were putting huge pressure on youth everywhere, adding that more than one-fifth of young people are not in employment, education or training; a quarter are affected by violence or armed conflict; and young people remain excluded from development programmes, ignored in peace negotiations and denied a voice in most international decision-making. (UN News:

SGstrategytechnologySecretary-General’s Strategy on New Technologies
English, French & Spanish:
The goal of this internal strategy is to define how the United Nations system will support the use of new technologies like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain, and robotics to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and to facilitate their alignment with the values enshrined in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the norms and standards of international law.

UNhandbook20189United Nations Handbook 2018-19
App & pdf version: 
"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.”

abc nacionesunidasABC de las Naciones Unidas, 42a Edición
Este manual diseñado para el público en general explica la estructura de las Naciones Unidas, cómo funciona la organización, las principales cuestiones que aborda y su importancia. Además de destacar las diversas funciones que desempeñan los órganos de las Naciones Unidas y las organizaciones conexas, el libro documenta las contribuciones de la organización a la paz y la seguridad internacional, el desarrollo económico y social, los derechos, la acción humanitaria, el derecho internacional y la descolonización. Los apéndices contienen datos actuales sobre la membresía de las Naciones Unidas y las operaciones de mantenimiento de la paz, así como información de contacto para centros de información, servicios y oficinas de la ONU. Esta última edición, publicada en 2017, ha sido revisada teniendo en cuenta los acontecimientos más recientes en el mundo.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

2018 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 
Half of all people living in poverty are younger than 18 years old, according to estimates from the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released on 20 September by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The new figures show that in 104 primarily low and middle-income countries, 662 million children are considered multidimensionally poor. In 35 countries half of all children are poor. The MPI looks beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education and living standards, lacking such things as clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education. Those who are deprived in at least of a third of the MPI’s components are defined as multidimensionally poor. The 2018 figures, which are now closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, cover almost three-quarters of the world’s population.

climattitude#Climattitude campaign
UN Climate Change has launched a new campaign to encourage all types of climate action, no matter how big or small, on the part of citizens around the world. A central element of the #Climattitude campaign is a fun quiz, which allows users to discover their own personal climate footprint making use of the UN carbon footprint calculator.

Economic losses, poverty & disasters: 1998-2017 (UNISDR)
The last twenty years have seen a dramatic rise of 151% in direct economic losses from climate-related disasters, according to a report released on 10 December 2018 by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in advance of International Day for Disaster Reduction on 13 October. In the period 1998-2017, disaster-hit countries reported direct economic losses of US$2,908 billion of which climate-related disasters accounted for US$2,245 billion or 77% of the total. This compares with total reported losses for the period 1978-1997 of US$1,313 billion of which climate-related disasters accounted for US$895 billion or 68%. In terms of occurrences, climate-related disasters also dominate the picture, accounting for 91% of all 7,255 major recorded events between 1998 and 2017. Floods, 43.4%, and storms, 28.2%, are the two most frequently occurring disasters.

futurestolenA Future Stolen: Young and out-of-school (UNICEF)
1 in 3 children and young people between 5 and 17 years old living in countries affected by conflict or disaster – 104 million – are not in school, a figure that accounts for more than a third of the global out-of-school population, according to a new UNICEF report. In total, 303 million aged 5 to 17 years old are out of school worldwide. The report notes 1 in 5 young people aged 15 to 17 years old living in countries affected by conflict or disaster have never entered any school, and 2 in 5 have never completed primary school. The report looks at the education situation of children and young people from pre-primary to upper secondary age across all countries, including those affected by humanitarian emergencies.

Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2018 (WHO)
More than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, according a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 21 September 2018. This represents 1 in 20 deaths. More than three quarters of these deaths were among men. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global disease burden. The WHO report presents a comprehensive picture of alcohol consumption and the disease burden attributable to alcohol worldwide. It also describes what countries are doing to reduce this burden.

Global Tuberculosis Report 2018 (WHO)
Fewer people fell ill and died from tuberculosis (TB) last year but countries are still not doing enough to end TB by 2030, warns the World Health Organization (WHO). Although global efforts have averted an estimated 54 million TB deaths since 2000, TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease. WHO’s 2018 Global TB Report, released in New York on 18 September 2018, calls for an unprecedented mobilization of national and international commitments. It urges political leaders gathering on 26 September 2018 for the first-ever United Nations High-level Meeting on TB to take decisive action, building on recent moves by the leaders of India, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, and South Africa. Nearly 50 Heads of State and Government are expected to attend the meeting.

globalwarmingGlobal Warming of 1.5 °C (IPCC)
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said, launching a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster. The IPCC, the United Nations top climate panel, issued the report on 7 October 2018 from Incheon, Republic of Korea, where for the past week, hundreds of scientists and government representatives have been poring over thousands of inputs to paint a picture of what could happen to the planet and its population with global warming of 1.5°C (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Greater Horn of Africa Climate Risk and Food Security Atlas 2018
Report, Technical Summary & Policy Brief: 
In line with the declaration of the Heads of State and Governments at the Summit on the Horn of Africa in Nairobi in September 2011, affirming their commitment to end drought emergencies and vulnerabilities in the IGAD region, this atlas was developed jointly by ICPAC and WFP using the Swedish Climate Adaptation Fund, as a contribution to better understanding of climate risks and vulnerabilities. The atlas maps the past climate trends, identifies geographic patterns of hazards, vulnerability, and aligns with trends in food security. The Atlas generates information essential for resilience building, climate risks mitigation and adaptation to address climate change impacts in order to achieve food security and improve nutrition goals. The Atlas examines and analyses most of the drivers of vulnerability in the GHA, of which the majority are influenced by the climatic variability. These drivers include frequent hazards (droughts, dry spells, floods), environmental and land degradation, animal and crops diseases and pests, human diseases, eroded livelihoods, conflict and high food prices.

Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update
English, French & Spanish:
hdi2018According to the latest Human Development Index, people living in the very high human development countries can expect to live 19 years longer, and spend seven more years in school, than those living in the group of low human development countries. Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the ranking of 189 countries and territories in the latest Human Development Index (HDI), while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI’s measurement of national achievements in health, education and income, released on 14 September 2018 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The overall trend globally is toward continued human development improvements, with many countries moving up through the human development categories: out of the 189 countries for which the HDI is calculated, 59 countries are today in the very high human development group and only 38 countries fall in the low HDI group. Just eight years ago in 2010, the figures were 46 and 49 countries respectively.

Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2018 
An estimated 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to new mortality estimates released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group. The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths. Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths under five years of age took place in sub-Saharan Africa, and another 30 per cent in Southern Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was 1 in 185.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2018: Migration, Agriculture and Rural Development (FAO)
A new report on migration launched on 15 October 2018 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization urges that policies should not stem or accelerate migration but maximize the contribution of rural migration to economic and social development while minimizing the costs. The State of Food and Agriculture 2018 states that migration must be a choice and not a necessity. Migration, agriculture and rural development policies should be coherent to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration. The report also calls for efforts in peace- and resilience-building to help communities better withstand crises and not be forced to move and lays out actions for different country contexts.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018
foodsecurity2018New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released on 11 September 2018. Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple forms of malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk. Hunger has been on the rise over the past three years, returning to levels from a decade ago. This reversal in progress sends a clear warning that more must be done and urgently if the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger is to be achieved by 2030. The situation is worsening in South America and most regions of Africa, while the decreasing trend in undernourishment that characterized Asia seems to be slowing down significantly. The annual UN report found that climate variability affecting rainfall patterns and agricultural seasons, and climate extremes such as droughts and floods, are among the key drivers behind the rise in hunger, together with conflict and economic slowdowns.

The State of World Population 2018: “The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition (UNFPA)
English, French & Spanish:
The global trend towards smaller families is a reflection of people making reproductive choices to have as few or as many children as they want, when they want. When people lack choice, it can have a long-term impact on fertility rates, often making them higher or lower than what most people desire, according to The State of World Population 2018, published on 17 October 2018 by UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Family size is closely linked with reproductive rights, which, in turn, are tied to many other rights, including the right to adequate health, education, and jobs. Where people can exercise their rights, they tend to thrive. Where these rights are stifled, people often fail to achieve their full potential, impeding economic and social progress, according to the new report.

The Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: A Framework for Africa (FAO/AU) 
FAO and the African Union launched on 5 October 2018 a new framework document that aims to increase agricultural efficiency and reduce drudgery by helping countries in Africa to develop strategies for sustainable farm mechanization. The publication is the result of discussions with policy makers from AU member states, the AU Commission, FAO and key partners. It offers a detailed look at the history of machinery in Africa, and points the way towards addressing challenges and creating new opportunities to assure the successful adoption of mechanization.

WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region (2018)
Guidelines in English, Executive Summary in English, French & German:
The just released WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region provide strong evidence that noise is one of the top environmental hazards to both physical and mental health and well-being in the European Region. Officially launched to countries and stakeholders in Basel, Switzerland on 10 October 2018, the document identifies levels at which noise has significant health impacts and recommends actions to reduce exposure. For the first time, a comprehensive and rigorous methodological framework was applied to develop the recommendations.


International Peace and Security

UN Mediation in Action (DPA Politically Speaking, 17 September 2018) 
The Security Council discussed on 29 August UN efforts to end conflicts through mediation. Secretary-General António Guterres will detail recent UN mediation initiatives around the globe. Here is a list some of these efforts, which are overseen by the Department of Political Affairs.


Human Rights

The Invisible Boundary: Criminal prosecutions of journalism in Myanmar (OHCHR) 
A host of ill-defined laws has been used in Myanmar to exert control over independent journalism across the country, including in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states, a UN human rights report on freedom of expression in the country has found. The report states that it has become “impossible for journalists to do their job without fear or favour.” While the conviction last week of two Reuters journalists, Kyaw Soe Oo and Thet Oo Maung, was a particularly outrageous and high-profile example of judicial harassment against the media in Myanmar, the report details a number of other examples of detentions and prosecutions of journalists and their sources indicative of wider trends of suppression of freedom of expression. Laws on tele-communications, official secrets, unlawful associations, electronic transactions and even import-export and aircraft acts have been used against journalists in a number of cases over the years, the report states.

Protecting children from bullying: Report of the Secretary-General (A/73/265, 30 July 2018)
English, French & Spanish: 
As a follow-up to the 2016 report of the Secretary-General on bullying, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children has released a second report pursuant to General Assembly resolution 71/176 giving attention to measures promoted by Member States over the past two years to prevent bullying and to protect children. The second report of the Secretary-General gives particular attention to laws and policies that have been put in place, supported by awareness raising initiatives at national level to prevent bullying, including online. Attention is also given to restorative practices that aim to repair harm and rebuild relationships while addressing accountability of those responsible. The report recognizes the critical importance of research and data to inform effective and sustainable interventions; and, above all, the importance of engaging children to learn from their experiences, and to benefit from their insights to ensure the safeguard of their rights.

For more information: High-level panel discussion to highlight key findings and recommendations of the new Report of the Secretary-General “Protecting children from bullying”, 8 October 2018:


Humanitarian Affairs

The Global Compact on Refugees: UNHCR Quick Guide (September 2018)
Contents are: What is the global compact on refugees? Why do we need it? How was the global compact on refugees developed? How will the global compact on refugees work? What is in the global compact on refugees? What’s new? Where to from here?

Global Migration Indicators Report 2018 (IOM) 
Prepared by Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the report summarizes key global migration trends based on the latest statistics, showcasing 21 indicators across 17 migration topics. The report is based on statistics from a variety of sources, which can be easily accessed through IOM’s Global Migration Data Portal. The report compiles the most up-to-date statistics on topics including labour migration, refugees, international students, remittances, migrant smuggling, migration governance and many others, enabling policy-makers and the public alike to have an overview of the scale and dynamics of migration around the world. Moreover, the report is the first to link the global migration governance agenda with a discussion of migration data. The topics chosen are of particular relevance to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report discusses the state of play of data for each topic and suggests ways to improve this.

Highlighted Underfunded Situations in 2018 (UNHCR)
Efforts to assist the tens of millions who’ve been forced from their homes are being increasingly constrained by severely limited funds, a new report from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned, urging greater international attention and support. Funds available to help refugees and migrants are steadily falling, said the agency on 9 October 2018, while the number of those displaced has been rising by the year. UNHCR notes that six countries facing refugee and displacement crises - Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria and Somalia - are particularly badly hit.

emergencyhandbookUNHCR’s Emergency Handbook available as App 
Available online as an app, UNHCR’s Emergency Handbook gives hands-on guidance to humanitarians in all areas of life-saving assistance from registering refugees, to providing shelter, food, sanitation and more. The Handbook, which draws on the UN Refugee Agency’s over 60 years of operational experience, works on all electronic platforms. Once downloaded to a mobile, it even works offline for use in remote areas. It is now also available in Arabic, French and Spanish.
The Handbook can help everybody to prepare assistance and protection of new arrivals. For this, it contains a simplified version of the Preparedness Package for Refugee Emergencies, a hands-on guide for systematic risk analysis and actions to enhance the preparedness of UNHCR and its partners. The online Handbook offers also a template for a Contingency Plan, among many other useful tools.

Words into Action Guidelines: Implementation Guide for Addressing Water-related Disasters and Transboundary Cooperation (UNISDR) 
This Words into Action guide has been prepared to support the implementation of the Sendai Framework. It aims to raise awareness on the importance of river basin management and transboundary cooperation in DRR, while taking into account climate change adaptation. It provides information on steps that governments in particular at the different levels can take to harness the values of river basin management and transboundary cooperation together with good practices and lessons learned in this field. Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in this guide is considered as the implementation of DRR. DRM describes and implements actions that aim to achieve the objectives of reducing risk.