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UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2012

Article Index
UNRIC Library Newsletter - October 2012
New information material
New titles
All Pages

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New Websites within the UN System

UN in General

United Nations Day - 24 October 2012
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

Education First – The UN Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on Education
Education is the basic building block of every society. It is the single best investment countries can make towards building prosperous, healthy and equitable societies. In order to renew and reinvigorate global commitments to education, United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon has launched the Education First initiative on 26 September 2012 to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship.

Security Council – redesigned website
As well as providing the latest news from the Security Council and its President, the site offers quick and easy access to all Security Council resolutions, Presidential Statements and press releases. Records of Security Council meetings, past and present, and details on the Council’s subsidiary bodies can also be found on the new website. The website also provides information on the work of the Security Council Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs and highlights the substantive and logistical support provided to the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies as well as information on the research and guidance role played by the Division.

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (SDKP)
This new website has been launched by the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD/DESA) in the follow-up to Rio+20. It contains information on the past 19 years of normative and analytical work of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), as well as a wealth of content from the preparatory process of Rio+20.

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Food Waste

Zero Hunger Challenge
French: (Défi Faim Zéro)
Spanish: (El Reto del Hambre Cero)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is challenging all nations to end hunger in his lifetime. Nearly 870 million people are chronically undernourished and immediate action is need to tackle hunger. Eliminating hunger involves investments in agriculture, rural development, decent work, social protection and equality of opportunity.

ABC de las Naciones Unidas (junio de 2012)
El ABC de las Naciones Unidas explica concisamente la estructura de las Naciones Unidas, su labor y las actividades y propósitos principales que las impulsan. El ABC, publicado desde 1947, presenta el papel que desempeñan los órganos y la familia de organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas y explora la contribución de las Naciones Unidas a la paz y la seguridad internacional, a la economía, al desarrollo social, los derechos humanos y la acción humanitaria, el derecho internacional y la descolonización. Asimismo, da cuenta del número de Estados Miembros de la Organización, las misiones de mantenimiento de la paz, las conmemoraciones especiales celebradas a lo largo del año, los centros de información de las Naciones Unidas y sus respectivas direcciones de contacto. Esta nueva edición ha sido revisada ampliamente para incluir la mayor cantidad de información sobre los muchos y significativos sucesos acontecidos recientemente en el mundo y en el seno de las propias Naciones Unidas.

Peace and Security

Guidebook on the Provisional Constitution of Somalia (UNPOS)
This Guide Book – prepared by the UNDP/UNPOS Joint Constitution Unit - is designed to aid the Somali people to become familiar with the contents of the Provisional Constitution entering into force on August 2, 2012.

League of Nations Archives: Disarmament Resource Guide  
Materials from the League of Nations Archives on Disarmament.

Security Council Concept Note: “Peace and justice, with a special focus on the role of the International Criminal Court”
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council has held an open debate on the subject “Peace and justice, with a special focus on the role of the International Criminal Court” on 17 October 2012. The Security Council President for the month of October, Guatemala, has prepared a concept note to help steer the discussions on the subject.

United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation
English, French & Spanish:
With armed conflicts trending upward and proving increasingly complex, the challenges are also mounting for mediators working to resolve them through negotiations. Guidance now available from the United Nations can help them to succeed, providing practical advice for navigating mediation processes effectively. The UN Guidance for Effective Mediation, presented in September 2012 at a high-level event on the sidelines of the 67th United Nations General Assembly, is the first broad UN guidance of this kind available to mediators. It reflects the experience of mediators over more than six decades and was developed in close cooperation with United Nations partners including member states, regional and subregional organizations.

The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes (UNODC)
This publication provides practical guidance to Member States for more effective investigation and prosecution of terrorist cases involving the use of the Internet. Terrorist groups and their supporters use the internet to recruit, finance, spread propaganda, train and incite followers to commit acts of terrorism; as well as to gather and disseminate information for terrorist purposes. The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes disregards national borders, amplifying the potential impact on victims.

Economic & Social Development

Ageing in the Twenty-first Century: A Celebration and a Challenge (UNFPA)
Report in English:
Executive Summary in English, French, Spanish & Portuguese:
This new report underlines that, while the trend of ageing societies is a cause for celebration, it also presents huge challenges as it requires completely new approaches to health care, retirement, living arrangements and intergenerational relations. 80 per cent of world’s older people will live in developing countries by 2050. The over-60 population will be larger than the under-15 population in 2050.

Building a stable and equitable global monetary system (DESA Working Paper No. 118)
This paper argues that Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) should become a more relevant instrument of international monetary cooperation. This requires transforming them into a pure reserve asset and the IMF into a fully SDR-funded institution. SDRs would then be issued counter-cyclically and treated as deposits of countries in the IMF, which can in turn lend to countries. This approach would correct basic deficiencies of the current global monetary system. Complementary reforms include a substitution account for an orderly and smooth transition from major reserve currencies to SDRs, and the issuance of SDR-denominated bonds as an alternative to other major short-term assets.

Education for All Global Monitoring Report – 2012 (UNESCO)
Report – English:
Report – French:
Summary – English:
Summary – French:
The tenth edition of this report shows how vital it is to ensure that all young people have the skills they need to prosper. As the report reveals, however, across the world there is a lost generation of 200 million young people who are leaving school without the skills they need. Many living in urban poverty or in remote rural communities, and young women in particular, are unemployed or working for low pay. They need to be given a second chance to achieve their potential.

Every woman, every child: from commitments to action: the first report of the independent Expert Review Group (iERG) on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:
The report concludes that although headline reductions in maternal and child mortality during the past decade have been impressive in some countries, millions of women and children still die every year from preventable causes. Unless those causes are more urgently addressed globally and in countries, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 will not be met by most nations by the target year of 2015. What is more, declining rates of donor funding and a failure to target resources to the countries with the greatest need could have devastating consequences for the survival of millions of women and children worldwide.

From aid to global development policy (DESA Working Paper No. 121)
The international community has advanced in reforming the international aid system. Such reform comes at a time when there is a renewed skepticism about aid effectiveness and when the crisis sheds new doubts about the sustainability of donors´ commitments. At the same time, the international reality has changed as a consequence of the growing heterogeneity of the developing world, the new geography of global poverty, the emergence of new powers from the developing world, the presence of new aid players and, finally, the enlargement of the sphere of international public goods. Such changes demand a deeper reform in the development cooperation system.

ILO Note to the G20 Task Force on Employment
This note reviews the latest available data on youth employment in G20 countries. It then makes a number of suggestions as to issues the G20 Task Force on Employment might usefully address.

Protected Planet Report 2012 (UNEP)
English, French & Spanish:
This report reviews progress towards the achievement of the protected area targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Building on the work of the CBD-mandated Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP), the report includes a set of indicators of protected area coverage, representativeness, effectiveness, management and governance. It has been compiled by UNEP-WCMC in cooperation with IUCN and other partners and with support from UNEP, the Spain-UNEP Partnership for Protected Areas in support of the LifeWeb Initiative, the CBD Secretariat, and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment.

The Russian Forest Sector Outlook Study to 2030 (FAO)
The forest sector in the Russian Federation needs to be modernized using innovations and breakthrough technologies to maximize its potential as a global mitigator of climate change and an important source of timber. The report urges immediate action on modernizing the Russian forest sector, increasing its investment attractiveness, stimulating domestic demand for forest products such as wooden housing and furniture, addressing the illegal logging issues and reforming forest public institutions and legislation.

Somalia Human Development Report 2012: Empowering Youth for Peace and Development (UNDP)
Report & Fact Sheet:
The future of Somalia and the well-being of its people rest significantly on empowering its large youth population, said the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 28 September 2012 at an event in New York launching the agency’s highly-anticipated Somalia Human Development Report 201.  This is the first report of its kind on this war-torn Horn of Africa country in more than a decade. The new report – which is based on surveys conducted in more than 3,000 households in south central Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland - reveals that although the majority of Somali youth believe they have a right to be educated (82%) and a right to decent work (71%), they feel disempowered by multiple structural barriers built into the family, institutions, local government and society at–large.

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012: Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition (FAO / IFAD / WFP)
This report presents new estimates of undernourishment based on a revised and improved methodology. The new estimates show that progress in reducing hunger during the past 20 years has been better than previously believed, and that, given renewed efforts, it may be possible to reach the MDG hunger target at the global level by 2015.

Support Measures Portal for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
A redesigned version of the website was 17 October 2012. It compiles and catalogues information about LDC-specific international support measures, allowing for a better understanding of the availability of these measures, their “providers” and where to access the resources. It also aims to assist LDCs to meet the targets and contribute to enabling half of the LDCs to meet the criteria for graduation by 2020.


Human Rights

Informal Justice Systems: Charting a Course for Human Rights-Based Engagement (UNDP / UNICEF / UN Women / Danish Institute for Human Rights)
Report & Summary:
Informal or traditional justice systems resolve up to 80 percent of disputes in some countries and must be integrated into broader development initiatives aimed at guaranteeing human rights and access to justice for all. The report is the most comprehensive UN study on this complex area of justice to date. It draws conclusions based on research in Bangladesh, Ecuador, Malawi, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, and 12 other developing countries.

Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage (UNFPA)
If current trends continue, the number of girl child marriages will increase dramatically over the next 10 years, according to a new report released on 11 October 2012 by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, on the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child. The report also finds that, despite laws to prevent its practice, child marriage has remained mostly constant in developing countries over the past decade.


Humanitarian Affairs

WorldRiskReport 2012 (UNU‐EHS)
Report, Fact Sheets, Graphics & Maps:
Environmental degradation is a significant factor that reduces the adaptive capacity of societies to deal with disaster risk in many countries around the globe. The balance sheet for the ten years from 2002 to 2011 is alarming: 4,130 disasters, over one million dead and economic losses of at least 1.195 trillion US dollars. This is demonstrated by the 2nd edition of the WorldRiskReport launched in Brussels on 11 October 2012. The report is presented by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU‐EHS), the Alliance Development Works/Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The centrepiece of the report, the WorldRiskIndex determines the risk of becoming the victim of a disaster as a result of natural hazards for 173 countries throughout the world. According to the presently available data, the Pacific Island state of Vanuatu has the highest disaster risk, at 36.31 per cent. Malta and Qatar, at 0.61 and 0.10 per cent respectively, face the lowest risk worldwide.