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UNRIC Library Newsletter - May 2018

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - May 2018
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New UN websites & publications

UN in General

DESA Divisions 
As of 8 May, six of nine DESA’s Divisions and Offices have been renamed and the work of the subprogrammes in DESA has been reorganized to better support Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. This reorganization will align the work of DESA with these global mandates and improve the efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, and internal coordination of the Department’s support to Member States in achieving the ambitious and transformative goals set out in both Agendas. (DESAlert 14-18 May 2018)

Global Compact on Refugees: Second Draft
The second draft of the global compact on refugees (GCR) was prepared on the basis of the second and third formal consultations. Included in the letter is also a summary of the main changes that have been made to the previous version.
Further information – UNHCR website:

UN Archives Geneva – Research Guide: "Women & Global Diplomacy: From Peace Movements to the UN"
Welcome to the Research Guide on women and global diplomacy. This guide was built to streamline the research process on this particular topic. It combines primary and secondary sources from both the archives and library of the United Nations at Geneva. The guide also includes links to relevant sites outside of the UNOG library and archives. The guide can be used as a tool to jump-start a research process, or just to gain insight on what role women and women's rights played on the international scale at the United Nations, League of Nations, and even before.


 askdag reform



UNRIC Library Backgrounder: UN Press & Media Contacts – updated version
English, html:
English, pdf:
French, pdf:
A revised and updated version of our backgrounder - listing the relevant URLs for each UN organization, programme, fund & mission - is now available. Just bookmark it and you can easily access the information you are looking for without having to search the various websites.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

airpollution“9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air” (WHO)
Press Release, Key Facts, Infographics, Data and Maps:
Summary of results: 
Press Release in French:
Press Release in Spanish: 
Air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world. New data, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 2 May 2018, shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal an alarming death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

European Union Tourism Trends (EU / UNWTO)
tourismtrendsThis new report, prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in cooperation with the European Commission, underscores tourism’s major social and economic benefits for 28 countries comprising the European Union (EU). EU destinations welcomed 538 million international overnight visitors in 2017, 40% of the world total. EU accommodation establishments provide over 3 billion nights a year, half of which to domestic guests (residents) and half to international guests. Tourism accounts for 6% of the EU’s overall exports, while the direct contribution of tourism to individual EU economies reaches up to 11% of the GDP.

Evaluation of Data on Thyroid Cancer in Regions Affected by the Chernobyl Accident: A White Paper to guide the Scientific Committee's future programme of work (UNSCEAR)
A quarter of all thyroid cancer cases among patients who were children at the time of the Chernobyl accident 32 years ago, are “probably” due to high doses of radiation received during and after the event, the United Nations body reviewing the effects of atomic radiation on human health and the environment has said. About 20,000 thyroid cancer cases were registered from 1991 to 2015 among people who were under 18 in 1986 and lived in the affected areas of the former Soviet Union, according to the latest study by the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), which was released ahead of International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, 26 April. The Committee now estimates that one in four of those cases is attributable to radiation exposure.

Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations Around the World (World Bank)
Report in English, Overview in English, French & Spanish:
If you are born into a low-income family, what are the chances that you will rise higher regardless of your background? The ability to move up the income ladder, both in one’s lifetime and with respect to one’s parents, matters for fighting poverty, reducing inequality, and even for boosting growth. Yet, mobility has stalled in recent years in large parts of the world, with the prospects of too many people across the world still too closely tied to their parents’ social status rather than their own potential, according to the findings of a new World Bank report launched today. Mobility is also much lower, on the average, in developing economies than in high-income economies. The developing world accounts for 46 of the bottom 50 economies in terms of mobility in education from the bottom to the top. The report shows that Africa and South Asia, the regions with most of the world’s poorest people, have the average lowest mobility. In some low-income or fragile African countries, only 12 percent of today’s young adults—those born in the 1980s—have more education than their parents. On the other hand, East Asia, Latin America and Middle East and North Africa have seen their average mobility improve. While mobility tends to improve as economies get richer, the report suggests that there is nothing inevitable about this process. Rather, as economies develop, mobility is likely to increase if opportunities become more equal, which typically requires higher public investments and better policies.

Leveraging the AIDS response for United Nations reform and global health: Report of the Secretary-General (A/72/815, 3 April 2018)
English, French, Spanish: 
Summary: “The present report sets out five recommendations: (a) mobilize an HIV testing revolution and achieve the 90–90–90 targets; (b) accelerate efforts to end tuberculosis and other co-infections and co-morbidities; (c) use the HIV prevention road map to accelerate reductions in new infections; (d) safeguard human rights and promote gender equality through people-centred service delivery models and supportive legal and policy frameworks; and (e) leverage the joint programme of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the H6 partnership as global health accelerators and incubators for United Nations reform.

Managing epidemics: Key facts about major deadly diseases (WHO)
managingepidemicsEpidemics of infectious diseases are occurring more often, and spreading faster and further than ever, in many different regions of the world. The background factors of this threat are biological, environmental and lifestyle changes, among others. A potentially fatal combination of newly-discovered diseases, and the re-emergence of many long-established ones, demands urgent responses in all countries. Planning and preparation for epidemic prevention and control are essential. The purpose of this “Managing epidemics” manual is to provide expert guidance on those responses. Although this publication is open to a wide readership, it is primarily intended to help the World Health Organization (WHO) country representatives (WRs) to respond effectively and rapidly at the very start of an outbreak. The manual provides concise and basic up-to-date knowledge with which WRs can advise Ministries of Health in all countries. Specifically, it examines and explains in detail a total of 15 different infectious diseases and the necessary responses to each and every one of them.

startfreeStart Free Stay Free AIDS Free — 2017 progress report (UNAIDS) 
This progress report reflects achievements made during the first year of implementation (through December 2016), as countries have taken actions in line with new or existing national strategies. The most recent data on country progress in 2016 are based on country-reported data and country-developed models using Spectrum software that were reported to UNAIDS in 2017.

Technology and Innovation Report 2018: Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development (UNCTAD)
technologyreport2018Technologies on the frontier of what is possible can boost the ambitious agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and help find global solutions to 21st century economic, social and environmental challenges, says the new UNCTAD report, launched on 15 May 2018. According to the report, frontier technologies are converging through the increasing use of digital platforms to produce new combinatory technologies, accelerating the pace of change across multiple sectors. The report calls for a concerted international effort to build technological capabilities and to support all forms of innovation in developing countries. Least developed countries in particular should receive international support to build their domestic capabilities and create an enabling environment necessary for frontier technologies to deliver.

Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report
English, French, Spanish & Portuguese:
trackingsdg7The world is not on track to meet the global energy targets for 2030 set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, but real progress is being made in certain areas – particularly expansion of access to electricity in least developed countries, and industrial energy efficiency, according to a new report from five international agencies. Renewable energy is making impressive gains in the electricity sector, although these are not being matched in transportation and heating – which together account for 80% of global energy consumption. While global trends are disappointing, recent national experiences around the world offer encouraging signs. There is mounting evidence that with the right approaches and policies, countries can make substantial progress in clean energy and energy access and improve the lives of millions of people.

UN Climate Change improves Website 
Short guide: 
The UN Climate Change secretariat (UNFCCC) has launched a new version of its website to improve public access to information through modern and user-friendly technology.

unccreport2017UN Climate Change Annual Report 2017 
UN Climate Change launched its first-ever Annual Report on 30 April 2018, laying out the key 2017 achievements and pointing to the future of the climate change process. The report covers many areas of the 2017 work of UN Climate Change, which includes the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, as well as their bodies, institutional arrange-ments, organs and the secretariat.

Women and men in the informal economy: A statistical picture; 3rd edition (ILO) 
Two billion people – more than 61 per cent of the world’s employed population – make their living in the informal economy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report released on 30 April 2018, stressing that a transition to the formal economy is a condition to realize decent work for all. The report provides comparable estimates on the size of the informal economy and a statistical profile of informality using criteria from more than 100 countries. When excluding agriculture, half of the employed population are in informal employment, according to the report. In Africa, 85.8 per cent of employment is informal. The proportion is 68.2 per cent in Asia and the Pacific, 68.6 per cent in the Arab States, 40.0 per cent in the Americas and 25.1 per cent in Europe and Central Asia. The report shows that 93 per cent of the world’s informal employment is in emerging and developing countries.

World Economic Situation and Prospects as of Mid-2018 
Growth in the world economy is surpassing expectations and global GDP is now expected to expand by more than three per cent this year and in 2019, reflecting strong growth in developed countries and broadly favourable investment conditions, this new UN report finds. But rising trade tensions, heightened uncertainty over monetary policy, increasing debt levels and greater geopolitical tensions can potentially thwart progress, according to the report, launched on 17 May 2018 in New York.

World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with jobs (ILO) 
Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:  
weso2018Twenty-four million new jobs will be created globally by 2030 if the right policies to promote a greener economy are put in place, a new ILO report says. According to the report, released on 14 May 2018, action to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius will result in sufficient job creation to more than offset job losses of 6 million elsewhere. New jobs will be created by adopting sustainable practices in the energy sector, including changes in the energy mix, promoting the use of electric vehicles and improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Ecosystem services - including air and water purification soil renewal and fertilization, pest control, pollination and protection against extreme weather conditions - sustain, among others, farming, fishing, forestry and tourism activities, which employ 1.2 billion workers. But projected temperature increases will make heat stress, particularly in agriculture, more common. It can lead to several medical conditions, including exhaustion and stroke. The report calculates that heat stress will cause a 2 per cent global loss in hours worked by 2030 due to sickness.

World Urbanization Prospects 2018
By 2050, two out of every three people are likely to be living in cities or other urban centres, according to a new United Nations report, highlighting the need for more sustainable urban planning and public services. Owing to both demographic shifts and overall population growth, that means that around 2.5 billion people could be added to urban areas by the middle of the century, predicts the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Most of the increase is expected to be highly-concentrated in just a handful of countries. “Together, India, China and Nigeria will account for 35 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2018 and 2050…It is projected that India will have added 416 million urban dwellers, China 255 million and Nigeria 189 million,” said DESA, announcing the findings on 16 May 2018.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on peacebuilding and sustaining peace
English, French & Spanish: 
The Security Council held a high-level briefing on the theme “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace” on 25 April 2018. The Security Council President for April, Peru, had prepared a concept note for this debate.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on upholding international law within the context of the maintenance of international peace and security
English, French & Spanish:  
The Security Council held an open debate on the subject “Upholding international law within the context of the maintenance of international peace and security” on 17 May 2018. In order to help guide the discussion the Security Council President for May, Poland, has prepared this concept note.

Concept note for the Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict
English, French & Spanish:
The Security Council held a ministerial open debate on the subject “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” on 22 May 2018. Security Council President for May, Poland, has prepared this concept note.
Further information: UNRIC Library Backgrounder -   


Humanitarian Affairs

Kasai: A Children’s Crisis – Coping with the impact of conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNICEF)
English & French: 
As part of a UNICEF series highlighting the challenges faced by children in current crisis situations, this Child Alert examines the situation of children affected by violent conflict in Kasai region, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The alert outlines what UNICEF and its partners have achieved to date in providing humanitarian assistance to children in Kasai affected by malnutrition and lack of access to health care, safe water and education. It calls upon all parties to the conflict – and the international community – to take urgent action protecting the lives and futures of children at risk, before it is too late.


Justice and International Law

Audiovisual Library of International Law
A new series of lectures on various subjects of the Council of Europe are now available:


A/CN.4/719 (6 April 2018): Second report on succession of States in respect of State responsibility / by Pavel Šturma, Special Rapporteur
English, French & Spanish:
“During its sixty-ninth session, in May 2017, the Commission decided to place the topic “Succession of States in respect of State responsibility” on its current programme of work, and appointed Mr. Pavel Šturma as Special Rapporteur. Thereafter, the Special Rapporteur prepared a short, first report (A/CN.4/708), in particular on the scope of the topic and a tentative programme of work, as a basis for an initial debate later in the session. That report was presented and considered by the Commission during the second part of the session between 13 and 25 July 2017. … The present report will address, in addition to certain general rules, mainly the issues of transfer of the obligations arising from the internationally wrongful act of the predecessor State. In other words, succession of States in respect of responsibility “would therefore mean the devolution of the obligation of reparation from the predecessor State to the successor State”. The Special Rapporteur’s third report (2019) will in turn focus on the transfer of the rights or claims of an injured predecessor State to the successor State.”

A/CN.4/720 (30 April 2018): First report on protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts / by Marja Lehto, Special Rapporteur
English, French & Spanish:
“The present report has a twofold purpose. Following the list of issues identified by the Working Group as being in need of further consideration in the context of the topic, the report focuses, in the first place, on the protection of the environment in situations of occupation. … In the second place, the report addresses the complementarity of other relevant areas of international law, which was another issue raised in the Working Group — and indeed one that is inherent to the topic.”