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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2018

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UNRIC Library Newsletter - June 2018
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UN in General

Repositioning of the United Nations development system
On 31 May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly gave the green light to a bold new plan to make sustainable development a reality, described by UN chief António Guterres as “the most ambitious and comprehensive transformation of the UN development system in decades.”


Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide: UN Documentation - Development
From the Development Decades, to the Millennium Development Goals and the current Sustainable Development Goals. How has the concept of development changed over the years within the United Nations since 1946? The Dag Hammarskjold Library has a new research guide on development to help you find out. The guide is presented in a timeline format, highlighting key documents including major conferences, reports and resolutions. It illustrates how the concept of development within the Organization has evolved with sections for each of the Development Decades, the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. International years and decades declared by the General Assembly are included to highlight the wide variety of topics that touch on development and some of the strategies the UN has used to raise global awareness of these issues. The guide will continue to be updated to reflect the ongoing work of the Organization on this vital topic.

securingourfutureSecuring Our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament
English: https://www.un.org/disarmament/sg-agenda/en/index.html  
French: https://www.un.org/disarmament/sg-agenda/fr/index.html
Spanish: https://www.un.org/disarmament/sg-agenda/es/index.html
Document in English: https://front.un-arm.org/documents/SG+disarmament+agenda_1.pdf
The United Nations Secretary-General announced a bold new vision for global disarmament on 25 March 2018, to help eliminate nuclear arsenals and other deadly weapons from a world that is just “one mechanical, electronic and human error away” from destruction. The new Agenda focuses on three priorities – weapons of mass destruction, conventional weapons, and new battlefield technologies. 


UNISPACE+50 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. UNISPACE+50 will consisted of two main parts: A UNISPACE+50 Symposium, aimed at the broader space community, on 18 and 19 June; and a special UNISPACE+50 High-level Segment of the 61st session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on 20 and 21 June.


Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

sdgatlas20182018 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals
The Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2018 presents maps, charts, and stories related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It discusses trends, comparisons, and measurement issues using accessible and shareable data visualizations. The data draw on the World Development Indicators the World Bank's compilation of internationally comparable statistics about global development and the quality of people's lives. For each of the SDGs, relevant indicators have been chosen to illustrate important ideas. Contents of this publication are available as a PDF, the data are available in the World Bank's Data Catalog and the code used to generate the majority of figures are available on Github. The 2017 edition of the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals can be found here: http://datatopics.worldbank.org/sdgatlas/archive/2017/index.html

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Least Developed Countries: A Compendium of Policy Options (UNCTAD)
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, launched on 6 June 2018 a unique policy compendium in Geneva that aims to assist governments of the world’s most disadvantaged countries in boosting prosperity and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. The compendium synthesizes nearly 15 years of UNCTAD research and policy options in a single resource that links potential development objectives with concrete steps and practical actions to achieve specific targets of the global goals.

Commodities at a Glance: Special Issue on Shale Gas (UNCTAD)
Report & Press Release in English & French: http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid=2116
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”, the divisive method of extracting natural gas from shale formations, should be approached with caution by countries seeking ways to increase access to energy, says a new report released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 24 March 2018. The report reviews the history of shale gas extraction in the United States and other national examples to assess its suitability with commitments to the Paris Climate agreement in the context of pressing energy needs.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2018: Migration for Structural Transformation (UNCTAD)
African migration could boost growth and positively transform the structure of the continent’s economy according to UNCTAD’s 2018 Economic Development in Africa Report, released on 25 May 2018. The report is packed with new data that may surprise people with a negative impression of Africans migration. Historically and in-line with established trends, most African migrants move within the continent: in 2017 19 million international migrants moved within Africa and 17 million Africans left the continent – but the gap is narrowing. Africa is also a migration destination for 5.5 million people who came from outside the continent.

Harnessing new technologies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the Secretary-General (E/2018/66, 21 May 2018)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/E/2018/66
“Summary: New and rapidly developing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics and renewable energy technologies, hold incredible promise for the advancement of human well-being, but they also have the potential to generate more inequality and more violence and have significant implications for the protection of human rights. The present report is aimed at highlighting the great hopes and the great anxieties associated with new technologies, as well as at causing Member States and all actors to reflect on how to steer technology towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the values, norms and standards agreed on at the United Nations, including the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Member States, civil society, international institutions and the business sector need to work together, guided by the common vision that we committed to in the 2030 Agenda, to harness technologies in order to achieve global good. The various intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations provide important forums through which to reflect on actions required by all stakeholders.”

How should civil society stakeholders report their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? (UN DESA technical paper)
“Introduction: Paragraph 89 of “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” calls on Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders to “report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda” – a call reiterated in A/RES/70/299. But how and to whom should civil society organisations (CSOs) report on their contribution to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development (“the 2030 Agenda”) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at their heart? And what, exactly, is their contribution? These three issues are the central concerns of this paper. All the components of this apparently simple call to report are deceptively complicated. Organised civil society is diverse (and not well defined); the 2030 Agenda is all-encompassing and interlinked; any additional reporting mechanism must slot into existing institutions and processes, be useful for states and stakeholders, and must enjoy “buy-in” from relevant stakeholders. Reflecting the idea of participation at the core of the 2030 Agenda, it should also be assembled not just for, but with and by CSOs. And complicating all of these issues is the question of what this mechanism is for: why CSO reporting is valuable, and what needs to happen if that value is to be realized.”

The impact of HIV and AIDS on the world of work: Global estimates (ILO)
impactHIVA report, launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 24 May 2018, highlights the toll HIV and AIDS continue to take on the labour force, and its economic and social implications. The ILO calls for urgent efforts to close the treatment gaps, step up testing and prevention measures, and ensure workers can enjoy healthy and productive lives. In addition to human suffering, HIV and AIDS cause billions of dollars in lost earnings, largely as a result of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of workers that could be prevented with treatment. Lost earnings attributable to AIDS – as a result of death or inability to work – show a substantial decline from 2005, when they totalled almost $17 billion, but are still projected to amount to $7.2 billion in 2020. The report –– prepared in collaboration with UNAIDS, examines how the evolution of the HIV epidemic and the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART) have impacted the global labour force and how it is projected to do so in the future, and assesses the economic and social impacts of HIV on workers and their households.

International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)
The World Health Organization (WHO) released on 18 June 2018 its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55 000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe.
see also: For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization (UN News, 18 June 2018): https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/06/1012392

morepeopleMore People, More Food, Worse Water? A Global Review of Water Pollution from Agriculture (FAO)
Water pollution from unsustainable agricultural practices poses a serious risk to human health and the planet's ecosystems, a problem often underestimated by policymakers and farmers alike, cautions a new report. In many countries the biggest source of water pollution today is agriculture — not cities or industry — while worldwide, the most common chemical contaminant found in groundwater aquifers is nitrate from farming, according to launched by FAO and the International Water Management Institute at a conference in Tajikistan (19-22 June). Modern agriculture is responsible for the discharge of large quantities of agrochemicals, organic matter, sediments and saline trading into water bodies, the report says. This pollution affects billions of people and generates annual costs exceeding billions of dollars.

Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Report of the Secretary-General (E/2018/64, 10 May 2018)
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/en/E/2018/64 
“The present report by the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the United Nations system, presents an overview of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, to inform the high-level political forum, as mandated by the General Assembly in resolution 70/1(para. 83). It is based on a selection of indicators for which data are available, from the global indicator framework developed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators and adopted by the General Assembly in July 2017 (resolution 71/313).

sdgreport2018The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
The report found that conflict and climate change were major contributing factors leading to growing numbers of people facing hunger and forced displacement, as well as curtailing progress towards universal access to basic water and sanitation services. For the first time in more than a decade, there are now approximately 38 million more hungry people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.  According to the report, conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries. In 2017, the world experienced the costliest North Atlantic hurricane season on record, driving the global economic losses attributed to the disasters to over $300 billion.


A searchable online registry that outlines the actions, initiatives and plans for the implement-tation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 39 UN System entities was launched in May 2018 by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). By providing a clear picture of each entity’s activities, the new tool will help the UN System to avoid duplication, deliver as a whole, and develop a UN System-wide roadmap for the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

World Investment Report 2018: Investment and New Industrial Policies (UNCTAD)
Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell by 23% in 2017, to $1.43 trillion from $1.87 trillion in 2016, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2018, released on 6 June 2018. The decline is in stark contrast to other macroeconomic variables, which saw substantial improvement in 2017.


International Peace and Security

Concept note for the Security Council debate on the theme "Maintenance of international peace and security: comprehensive review of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa"
English, French & Spanish: https://undocs.org/S/2018/524
The Security Council held a debate on the theme "Maintenance of international peace and security: comprehensive review of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa" on 25 June 2018. The Security Council President for June, Russian Federation, has prepared this concept note.

longwalkofpeaceLong Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention (UNESCO)
This publication was launched in Geneva on 24 May 2018 at 12:30 pm. Under the leadership of UNESCO, 32 UN entities have worked together on a research project, studying progress and challenges for the UN Peace Agenda, 70 years after the creation of the United Nations and UNESCO. It is also the result of UNESCO collaborating with the Abat Oliba CEU University in Barcelona, Spain. Divided in three parts, the book shows the evolution of a peace approach in the UN system, how UN entities carry out peace work within and across their respective areas of competency, and the experiential insights, lessons learned and recommendations to enrich on-going efforts to revitalize the UN peace agenda. Through an in-depth theoretical analysis, combined with a presentation of innovative practices across 32 UN bodies, it explores the long, steady haul towards peace and provides inspiration for the way forward.


Human Rights

Human rights violations in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: a downward spiral with no end in sight
English: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/VE/VenezuelaReport2018_EN.pdf
Spanish: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/VE/VenezuelaReport2018_SP.pdf
venezuelaA UN Human Rights report published on 22 June 2018 spotlights the failure of Venezuelan authorities to hold accountable perpetrators of serious human rights violations that include killings, the use of excessive force against demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and torture. The report also lays bare the grave impact of the economic and social crisis in the country on the rights to food and health. The report provides an update on several key human rights violations documented in the August 2017 UN Human Rights Office report on Venezuela. While the previous report focused on the excessive use of force and alleged extrajudicial killings in the context of demonstrations, this new report also documents credible, shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings in the course of purported crime-fighting operations carried out since 2015, known as the Operations for the Liberation of the People (OLPs). From July 2015 to March 2017, the then-Attorney-General’s Office had recorded the killing of 505 people by security forces during such operations. Witness accounts suggest a pattern: raids in poor neighbourhoods conducted to arrest “criminals” without a judicial warrant; the killing of young men who fit the profile, in some cases in their homes; and finally security forces tampering with the scene so that the killings would appear to have occurred in an exchange of fire.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (A/HRC/38/35)
Report in English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/A/HRC/38/35
In the first-ever UN report that examines the regulation of user-general online content, the Special Rapporteur examines the role of States and social media companies in providing an enabling environment for freedom of expression and access to information online. In the face of contemporary threats such as “fake news” and disinformation and online extremism, the Special Rapporteur urges States to reconsider speech-based restrictions and adopt smart regulation targeted at enabling the public to make choices about how and whether to engage in online fora. The Special Rapporteur also conducts an in-depth investigation of how Internet companies moderate content on major social media platforms, and argues that human rights law gives companies the tools to articulate their positions in ways that respect democratic norms and counter authoritarian demands. The report is the culmination of a year-long series of consultations, visits to major internet companies and a wide range of State and civil society input. A supplementary annex to the report gathers the findings of the consultations and submissions received.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (A/HRC/38/45)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/A/HRC/38/45
States around the world must act now to protect migrants from traffickers by putting in place innovative measures to identify as early as possible those who are at risk, says a UN rights expert. “People trafficking is a gross human rights violation which is often linked with mixed migration movements, but there has been little early identification and help for victims or those at risk,” said Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons. “Early identification, protection and referral of victims of trafficking to appropriate specialized services is not perceived as a priority during large influx of migrants. Any failure to identify a trafficked person results in a further denial of that person’s rights,” the expert stressed. Her report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva focuses on the main challenges of early identification, and the need for assistance throughout the migration process for those who are most vulnerable.


Humanitarian Affairs

Crossing the Line of Contact: Monitoring Report (May 2018)
crossingthelineThis report provides the results of the May 2018 round of the survey conducted by the Charitable Foundation «The Right to Protection» (R2P) at the five entryexit checkpoints (EECPs) to the nongovernment-controlled area (NGCA) administered on a regular basis since June 2017. The EECPs are located in Donetsk (Maiorske, Marinka, Hnutove and Novotroitske) and Luhansk (Stanytsia Luhanska) Oblasts. The survey is a part of the monitoring of violations of the human rights of the conflict-affected population within the framework of the project «Advocacy, Protection and Legal Assistance to the Internally Displaced Population of Ukraine» implemented by R2P with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The purpose of the survey is to explore the reasons and concerns of those travelling between the NGCA and the government-controlled area (GCA), as well as the conditions and risks associated with crossing the line of contact through the EECPs. It should be noted that the survey results should not be directly extrapolated onto the entire population crossing the checkpoints.

migrantsmugglingGlobal Study on Smuggling of Migrants (UNODC)
At least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled in 2016, according to the first Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on 13 June 2018. Migrant smuggling occurred in all regions of the world and generated an income for smugglers of up to US$7 billion, equivalent to what the United States or the European Union countries spent on global humanitarian aid in 2016. The study describes 30 major smuggling routes worldwide and finds that demand for smuggling services is particularly high among refugees who, for lack of other means, may need to use smugglers to reach a safe destination fleeing their origin countries. Data suggests that many smuggling flows include unaccompanied or separated children, who might be particularly vulnerable to deception and abuse by smugglers and others. In 2016, nearly 34,000 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Europe (in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain).

Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2019 (UNCHR)
unhcrprojected2019“Resettlement – the transfer of refugees from the country where they have claimed asylum to a safe “third country” – is the responsibility of international agencies, including Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Noting a 17 per cent projected overall increase in needs next year, the UN agency’s Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2019 report warns that access to this “key, durable solution” for those in need of international protection is extremely limited. Refugees from 36 nationalities are in need of resettlement out of a total of 65 international operations, the UNHCR report states. …. The need to expand resettlement was acknowledged by all UN Member States in the September 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. Despite this, the UNHCR report notes recent “fluctuations” in State resettlement quotas which have seen quotas grow from 2012 to 2016, only to see a “steep reversal” in 2017, when only 75,200 refugees were offered resettlement globally. Because of this development, the UN refugee agency is preparing to focus on three major crises in 2019: countries hosting large numbers of refugees; central Mediterranean migration: and resettlement out of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt linked to the Syria conflict.” (see also: https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/06/1012972)


Justice and International Law

Audiovisual Library of International Law: La Santa Sede y el Estado Vaticano a la luz del derecho internacional / by Sr. Juan José Ruda Santolaria
(The Holy See and the Vatican State in the light of international law)
Spanish: http://legal.un.org/avl/ls/RudaSantolaria_IL.html