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UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2008

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - November 2008
New information material
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UN in General

General Assembly High-level meeting on the culture of peace,
12-13 November 2008, United Nations Headquarters


Interactive Panel of the United Nations General Assembly on the Global Financial Crisis, 30 October 2008, United Nations Headquarters

Redesigned United Nations Information Centres Website
To mark United Nations Day 2008, the Department of Public Information has launched the newly redesigned United Nations Information Centres website. The website serves as a portal to the Department’s network of 63 Information Centres worldwide, whose work is at the core of the Organization’s efforts to tell the United Nations story to people around the world, often in their own languages. The website is noteworthy in that it provides information about the United Nations in 130 languages, including the six official languages of the Organization. (Press Release PI/1863, 24 October 2008)

Subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly in the economic, social and related fields (E/2008/INF/3)
English, French & Spanish:
This new document provides information about the Subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly in the economic, social, and related fields. For each body listed, the document provides information about its establishment, terms of reference, membership and composition, term of office of members, reporting procedure, frequency of meetings, and working methods.
Peace & Security
Capacity Survey: Regional and other Intergovernmental Organisations in the Maintenance of Peace and Security (UNU-CRIS)
This global survey – of the capacities of all regional organisations in the field of peace of security (conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, enforcement, and peace-building) was compiled by the United Nations University - Comparative Regional Integration Studies Over the last decade, regional organisations have been empowered by the UN and national governments concurrently to maintain peace and security. The Survey maps out - in a comparative and descriptive fashion - their history, capacities and operational experience. To carry out this Survey, UNU-CRIS assembled a team of 6 researchers and collected data through the (i) submission of a questionnaire to all regional organisations, (ii) field work, and (iii) desk research. The publication surveys 21 organisations, including the African Union, European Union, League of Arab States, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC)
The English website of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) was recently updated. The site provides background information about the work of the committee, and links to additional resources, in areas such as: Capacity Building; Cooperation; Best Practices; Laws; Human Rights; and UN Action against Terrorism.
The Resources section includes links to documentation related to the work of the CTC.

Montreux Document (A/63/467 - S/2008/636)
English, French & Spanish:
A letter from the Permanent Representative of Switzerland transmits the Montreux Document, a text containing rules and good practices relating to private military and security companies operating in armed conflict. The document is the outcome of a joint initiative by Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross, with input from governmental experts of 17 states, and representatives of civil society and of private military and security companies. While it is not a legally binding document, the transmittal letter invites states to communicate their support for the document.

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Background Note: 31 September 2008 (DPI/1634/Rev.88)

UN Peacebuilding Architecture: Supporting Countries in Transition from War to Sustainable Peace and Development
This new fact sheet was produced by the UN Peacebuilding Support Office.
Economic & Social Development
Glossaire de la grippe aviaire
Les Nations Unies participent à la prévention de la pandémie de grippe aviaire, maladie virale hautement contagieuse, en aidant les autorités nationales à mettre en place des programmes appropriés et performants. Le glossaire regroupe des définitions de mots et expressions utiles pour comprendre les enjeux de la maladie, ainsi que les stratégies et les politiques mises en place pour la combattre.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data for 2008 (UNFCCC)
Greenhouse gas emissions of 40 industrialized countries rose by 2.3 per cent between 2000 and 2006, while still about 5 per cent below the 1990 level, according to United Nations figures released on 17 November 2008, two weeks before a major review conference on the issue. For the smaller group of industrialized countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol setting reduction targets, emissions in 2006 were about 17 per cent below the Protocol’s 1990 base line, but they still grew after 2000. The pre-2000 decrease stemmed from the economic decline of transition countries in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1990s.

International Migration and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities on the Threshold of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The report – published by the Global Migration Group - considers the human rights framework governing migration, arguing that migrants are not simply agents for development but human beings with rights.

Joint OSCE/UNEP Environmental Assessment Mission to Georgia, 29 September – 3 October 2008
UNEP and OSCE have released a joint assessment report on the environmental impact of the recent conflict in Georgia.

The Montreal Protocol Who's Who (UNEP)
A new web portal pays tribute to those individuals who played a critical role in realising  this global effort to protect the ozone layer.

People on the Move: Handbook of Selected Terms and Concept
This Migration Glossary – a Publication from The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP Foundation) in cooperation with UNESCO - takes stock of the present use of some selected terms and concepts and is designed to be accessible to a general public.

Women 2000 and Beyond: Rural women in a changing world: Opportunities and challenges (DESA)
Women play a critical role in the rural economies of both developed and developing countries. In most parts of the developing world, they participate in crop production and livestock care, provide food, water and fuel for their families, and engage in off-farm activities to diversify the family income. In addition, they carry out vital functions in caring for children, older persons and the sick. This issue of “Women 2000 and Beyond” explores the situation of rural women and the full diversity of their experiences in the context of the changing rural economy, including their position within households, community and economic structures; the gender division of labour; their access to and control over resources; and their participation in decision-making. It focuses specifically on the situation of rural women in developing countries. This publication aims to highlight women’s contributions to the social, economic and political aspects of rural development and raise critical issues for improving the situation of rural women.
Human Rights
Good practices in legislation on violence against women (DESA & UNODC)
A report issued by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime offers good practices and lessons learned designed to assist States in enhancing existing legislation and developing new laws to address violence against women.

Toolkit to Combat Trafficking in Persons (UNODC)
The 2nd edition of the “Toolkit to Combat Human Trafficking” has been released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The 123 tools contained in the Toolkit offer guidance, recommended resources, and promising practices to policymakers, law enforcers, judges, prosecutors, victim service providers and members of civil society who are working in interrelated spheres towards preventing trafficking, protecting and assisting victims and promoting international cooperation.
Humanitarian Affairs
Hunger's Global Hotspots: 5 November 2008
Facts, figures and the latest updates from the World Food Programmes’ (WFP) high profile emergencies.
International Law
Audiovisual Library of International Law
Today, the Office of Legal Affairs launched the Audiovisual Library of International Law. This website has three main parts:
  • The Historic Archives present documents, photos, and digital film footage relating to the UN role in the development of international law;
  • The Lecture Series contains lectures by leading scholars on topics in international law, and includes a bibliography of related materials;
  • The Research Library provides links to other web-based research resources in international law, including other UN sources, national treaty series, and selected scholarly articles provided by HeinOnline (still in pilot/beta).

The Audiovisual Library aims to provide free, scholarly resources to students and practitioners around the world, particularly in regions where there are few resources for the study of international law.