UNRIC Library Newsletter - May 2008
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NEW WEBSITES WITHIN THE UN SYSTEM
UN in General International Year of Languages 2008
Pope's statement to UN General Assembly
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/62/PV.95
The meeting record with the statement made by Pope Benedict XVI on 18 April 2008 has been issued (A/62/PV.95). According to the record, the Pope concluded his speech by saying in each of the 6 official languages of the UN, "Peace and prosperity, with God’s help."
UN Reform – updated website
The newly updated United Nations Reform website has been launched. The site includes information about initiatives undertaken by the Secretary-General, and with Member States, in the areas of development, peace and security, human rights, humanitarian assistance and management. Updates include the highlights of the reform from 2007-2008 and latest news stories on reform-related topics.
Web accessibility Guidelines for UN Websites
The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) has taken steps to ensure accessibility of the UN public website by adding features for users with temporary or long-term disabilities, including those who are blind or have low-vision, limited mobility, hearing disabilities, and those who require adjustments associated with ageing or limiting environments. To assist UN Departments and Offices in producing accessible web content, the DPI's Web Services Section (WSS), has developed a set of guidelines that would comply with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. The draft Web Accessibility Guidelines for UN Websites are available for review online.
Peace & Security Office of Military Affairs (
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/62/752
The “Report on the comprehensive analysis of the Office of Military Affairs in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations” is now available (A/62/752). The report proposes that the capacity of the Office of Military Affairs be further strengthened through additional restructuring, with focus on increased strategic direction and oversight, the creation of specialist and crisis response capacities and a mission start-up capability.
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/62/741
The Secretary-General has released the “Preliminary report on the status of implementation of General Assembly resolution 61/279 on strengthening the capacity of the United Nations to manage and sustain peacekeeping operations” (A/62/741). The report reviews the progress made in the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including the establishment of the Department of Field Support.
Prohibiting Cluster Munitions: Our Chance to Protect Civilians
This report - recently released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) - outlines the threats cluster munitions pose to civilian security and economic development and highlights ongoing efforts to clear lands littered with unexploded bombs.
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Background Note: 30 April 2008
UN Peacekeeping website – new design
New features included in this website are:
United Nations Political and Peacekeeping Missions – Background Note: 30 April 2008
Economic & Social Development Creative Economy Report 2008: The challenge of assessing the creative economy towards informed policy-making
According to the Highlights of this new report launched by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the report presents the UN perspective on the potential of creative assets to generate socio-economic growth and development and highlights key issues underlying the emerging creative economy at national and international levels. The report was launched as part of the Creative Africa initiative at UNCTAD XII.
Children's Perspectives on Economic Adversity: A Review of the Literature
This new discussion paper – issued by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre - examines several studies which show that what concerns children is not lack of resources per se, but exclusion from activities that other children appear to take for granted, and embarrassment and shame at not being able to participate on equal terms with other children.
Development and Globalization
The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), currently meeting for UNCTAD XII in Ghana, has launched the second “Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures”. The report provides a synopsis of UNCTAD´s independent research in the areas of trade, development and related issues in the fields of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development.
Food prices and the rural poor
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has gathered information from its partners and staff on the ground around the world on the impact of rising food prices on poor rural people and posted the synthesis of responses on its website.
This new World Bank publication offers guidance for policy makers and practitioners on how to manage and use the world’s shrinking forests while reducing the poverty of people who depend on them.
HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals
English, French & Spanish: http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/62/780
A new report by the Secretary-General on “Declaration of Commitment and HIV/AIDS and Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS: midway to the Millennium Development Goals” has been released (A/62/780). The report reviews progress in implementing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (A/RES/S-26/2) and the 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS (A/RES/60/262). The findings are based on reports of 147 Member States on national progress in response to HIV. The report represents the most comprehensive body of evidence ever assembled regarding the response to HIV in low-, middle- and high-income countries. Consult individual country progress reports through the UNAIDS website: http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/
HIV/AIDS and the World of Work
English, French & Spanish: http://www.ilo.org/global/What_we_do/Officialmeetings/
It is the first of its kind to provide a comprehensive overview of action taken by
national governments and international organizations on HIV/AIDS, with specific
reference to the world of work, and reveals that many countries have taken
significant steps to address the issue of HIV/AIDS in the work of work.
Las Naciones Unidas contra las Drogas y el Delito
(Actualización y nuevo diseño)
UN Cares, the new UN System-wide Workplace Programme on HIV, was recently launched. The site offers guidance on many aspects of living and working with HIV, including sections on Basic Facts, Emergency Treatment, and much more.
The World Bank’s Commitment to HIV/AIDS in Africa: Our Agenda for Action, 2007-2011
According to this new World Bank report, about 22.5 million Africans are HIV positive, and AIDS is the leading cause of premature death on the continent, especially among productive young people and women. With its African HIV/AIDS Agenda for Action, the Bank says it is moving away from its initial ‘emergency response’ role as the world’s principal financier of HIV/AIDS programs, towards a new mission with four new strategic objectives:
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008: Update as of mid-2008
- at the global level, advising countries on how best to manage the complexity of the international financing they receive;
- and at the local level, helping countries to accelerate implementation and take a long-term sustainable development response to HIV/AIDS;
- strengthening the monitoring and evaluation capacity of countries to track the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of their HIV/AIDS response;
- and building up stronger health and fiduciary systems.
In the wake of numerous challenges - the deepening credit crisis, the declining value of the United States dollar, soaring oil and non-oil commodity prices, food crisis - the world economy is teetering on the brink of a severe global economic downturn. In the face of these uncertainties, the growth of the world economy, which registered a rate of 3.8 per cent in 2007, is expected to decline markedly, to 1.8 and 2.1 per cent in the outlook for 2008 and 2009, respectively.
World Health Statistics 2008
This new publication issued by the World Health Organization includes 10 highlights of health statistics as well as data on an expanded set of over 70 key health indicators.
Human Rights OHCHR Activities Report 2007
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued its “2007 Report on Activities and Results”. The report documents OHCHR’s support for the key mechanisms of the international human rights system, its contributions at the country level through fieldwork, and reviews its research into a range of human rights issues.
Special Procedures Bulletin
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has issued its 8th Special Procedures Bulletin. The Bulletin provides an overview of the activities of the Special Procedures from January - March 2008.
Working with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: A Handbook for NGOs
The Handbook informs the general public about UN human rights work, provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about the UN human rights programme.
Humanitarian Affairs Global food prices
The World Bank has issued a policy research working paper on “Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries”. The paper noted that results using household data for ten observations on nine low-income countries show that the short-run impacts of higher staple food prices on poverty differ considerably by commodity and by country, but, that poverty increases are much more frequent, and larger, than poverty reductions. The recent large increases in food prices appear likely to raise overall poverty in low income countries substantially.
High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis
ReliefWeb: China: Earthquake - May 2008
ReliefWeb: Global Food Crisis
ReliefWeb: Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Nargis - May 2008
UN News Focus: Food crisis
UN News Focus: Myanmar
http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=134&Body=Myanmar&Body1= French: http://www.un.org/apps/newsFr/infocusRelF.asp?infocusID=88&Body=Myanmar&Body1=
World Food Crisis
UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, released a statement on 2 May calling for a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council to address the world food crisis: http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/
He has also issued a background note “Analysis of the World Food Crisis by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food”: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/docs/SRRTFnotefoodcrisis.pdf
International Law Audiovisual Library of International Law
The UN Office of Legal Affairs Codification Division has launched a pilot project of the “Audiovisual Library of International Law”. When complete, the Audiovisual Library will consist of three main components:
The Audiovisual Library is a resource of the UN Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law: http://www.un.org/law/programmeofassistance/