UN in General
The 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference will return to United Nations Headquarters from 27-29 August 2014. The 64th Conference was held in Bonn, Germany, and previous Conferences were held in Melbourne, Mexico City and Paris. The Conference was last held at UNHQ in 2007. http://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/conference-2014/
A major civil society gathering at the UN, the Conference will provide an opportunity for civil society, international networks and activists to develop an “Action Agenda” to mobilize messaging, advocacy strategies, partnerships and accountability frameworks in the lead up to the launch of intergovernmental negotiations at the beginning of the 69th Session of the General Assembly for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, due to culminate at a summit in September 2015. The Conference will also be an important milestone ahead of the Secretary-General’s September 2014 Climate Summit and UN General Assembly, finalization of the Secretary-General’s Synthesis Report on the post-2015 development agenda, and the Lima (2014) and Paris (2015) UNFCCC COPs.
Beijing+20 (UN Women)
UN Women has launched a public mobilization campaign in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (Beijing Conference) and the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. The campaign, hosted on the online platform, runs from May 2014 till September 2015 under the title: “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”, with focus on the Beijing Conference’s overall theme of women’s empowerment and gender equality.
See also UN News Centre – In Focus – Beijing+20:http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/beijing20/index.asp
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014
English, French & Spanish:http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/News.aspx?ArticleId=78
The report was launched in New York by the Secretary-General on 7 July 2014. The report presents the latest assessment of global and regional progress towards the MDGs. The report shows that significant progress has been made across all goals and millions of lives have been saved. Yet, much more effort is needed in many areas. Continued progress towards the MDGs in the remaining year is essential in order to provide a solid foundation for the post-2015 development agenda.
UNOG – redesigned website
English & French:http://www.unog.ch/
The United Nations Office at Geneva launched their redesigned website on 25 June 2014.
Peace and Security
Afghanistan: Midyear Report 2014; Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (UNAMA / OHCHR)
Ground combat among parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan surpassed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as the leading cause of conflict-related death and injury to Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2014, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today in releasing its 2014 Mid-Year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, prepared in coordination with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ground engagements and crossfire hit children and women with unprecedented force, with associated child casualties more than doubling in the first six months of 2014 and two-thirds more women killed and injured by ground engagements compared with 2013. While civilian casualties caused by IEDs also increased to unprecedented levels over the same period in 2013, deaths and injuries caused by mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire in ground engagements jumped dramatically as the frequency and intensity of these incidents increased in 2014, particularly in areas with concentrated civilian populations.
Security Council Concept Note: “United Nations peacekeeping operations: the United Nations and regional partnership and its evolution” (28 July 2014)
English, French & Spanish: http://undocs.org/S/2014/478
The Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on “United Nations peacekeeping operations: the United Nations and regional partnership and its evolution” on 28 July 2014. The Security Council President for the month of July, Rwanda, has prepared this concept note.
United Nations Peacekeeping Operations – Fact Sheet: 31 May 2014 (DPI/1634/Rev.157, June 2014)
United Nations Political and Peacebuilding Missions – Fact Sheet: 31 May 2014 (DPI/2166/Rev.131, June 2014)
Economic & Social Development
Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2012 (WMO / CRED / UCL)
Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$ 2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report. The atlas describes the distribution and impacts of weather, climate, and water-related disasters and highlights measures to increase resilience. It is a joint publication of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium.
Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) & the post-2015 development agenda
For High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases” that took place in New York on 10-11 July DHL has created this research guide.
The Environmental Crime Crisis: threats to sustainable development from illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest resources (UNEP / INTERPOL)
Global environmental crime, worth up to US$213 billion each year, is helping finance criminal, militia and terrorist groups and threatening the security and sustainable development of many nations, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL. The report, a rapid response assessment, was released during the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), where action to tackle environmental crime is high on the agenda for hundreds of environment ministers, law enforcement officers, the judiciary and senior UN officials.
Global Sustainable Development Report (DESA)
To achieve a sustainable transition by 2050, when more than nine billion people will live on Earth, there needs to be significant adjustment to the current patterns of consumption and production, delegations heard on 1 July 2014 as a United Nations high-level political forum considered a new report aiming to lay the foundation for a new global sustainable development agenda. The “prototype” Global Sustainable Development Report, created by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, looks three generations back — from 1950 to 2013 — and 40 years into the future to 2050, to learn from what was tried, in order to put economies and societies on the path of sustainable development.
Human Development Report 2014: Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience (UNDP)
English, French & Spanish:http://hdr.undp.org
The report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience. According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur. Many people face either structural or life-cycle vulnerabilities.
Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2014 (WHO)
Report and NCD profiles by country:http://www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd-profiles-2014/en/
Since 2011 in controlling noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, the progress has been insufficient and uneven. The report provides an updated overview of the NCD situation including recent trends and government responses in 194 countries. It reveals that: – 95% of the countries that responded to the most recent survey have a designated Ministry of Health department or unit to tackle NCDs; – half the world’s countries have a plan and a budget to address these diseases; – the number of countries monitoring the main risk factors – such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol – has doubled since 2010.
Progress in getting all children to school stalls but some countries show the way forward (UNESCO Policy Paper 14 / Fact Sheet 28)
This new UNESCO policy paper shows that 58 million children aged 6 to 11 are still out of school, showing little overall improvement since 2007. But the paper highlights that positive change is possible, presenting the success of 17 countries that have reduced their out-of-school populations by almost 90 per cent in a little over a decade. These countries have invested in positive actions such as abolishing school fees, introducing more relevant curricula and providing financial support to struggling families.
South-South Trade in Renewable Energy: A Trade Flow Analysis of Selected Environmental Goods (UNEP)
This study analyses trends and opportunities for trade among developing countries (i.e. South-South trade) in selected environmental goods, in order to assess the contribution such trade can make to a green economy transition. The study focuses on South-South trade flows in several RE products and their components, including solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, wind turbines, hydroelectric turbines, biomass feedstock, solar water heaters and solar lighting equipment, as well as other select environmental goods. The latter include water filtering and purification equipment and environmentally preferable products, such as organic agricultural goods.
The UNEP Year Book 2014: Emerging Issues in our Global Environment
Ten years after the first Year Book in this series appeared, a special e-book anniversary edition – UNEP Year Book 2014 – presents a fresh look at ten issues highlighted over the past decade. This UNEP Year Book 2014 takes advantage of the latest technology, providing a multi-media experience that helps illustrate the environmental challenges we face today and some of the innovative solutions that have been created to solve those challenges. Video, animations, data visualization and stunning images from around the world help tell the stories.
United Nations E-Government Survey 2014: E-Government for the Future We Want
The Survey was completed in January 2014 and launched in June 2014. The theme is particularly relevant to addressing the multi-faceted and complex challenges that our societies face today. The publication addresses critical aspects of e-government for sustainable development. The report shows that many countries are expanding electronic participation, utilizing more mobile and social media tools, expanding usage and making more government data available online. However, challenges remain, such as lack of resources, digital inequalities and a lack of leadership for e-government.
Valuing Plastic: the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry” (UNEP / Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) / Trucost)
The report makes the business case for managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry. It finds that the overall natural capital cost of plastic use in the consumer goods sector each year is US $75 billion – financial impacts resulting from issues such as pollution of the marine environment or air pollution caused by incinerating plastic. Over 30 per cent of the natural capital costs of plastic are due to greenhouse gas emissions from raw material extraction and processing. Marine pollution is the largest downstream cost, and US $13 billion is likely a significant underestimate.
World Drug Report 2014 (UNODC)
Report in English, Executive Summary in English, French & Spanish:http://www.unodc.org/wdr2014/
Drug use prevalence is stable around the world, according to the 2014 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with around 243 million individuals, or 5 per cent of the world’s population aged 15-64, having used an illicit drug in 2012. Problem drug users meanwhile numbered about 27 million, roughly 0.6 per cent of the world’s adult population, or 1 in every 200 people.
World Urbanization Prospects, the 2014 revision (DESA)
The UN finds world’s population is increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas today and another 2.5 billion expected by 2050. With nearly 38 million people, Tokyo tops UN’s ranking of most populous cities followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, São Paulo and Mumbai.
Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Non International Armed Conflict in Iraq: 5 June – 5 July 2014 (UNAMI / OHCHR)
A UN report released on 18 July 2014 documents a litany of serious human rights violations committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and associated armed groups between 5 June and 5 July, including some that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report also documents violations committed by Iraqi security forces (ISF) and associated forces. The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the UN Human Rights office, is based on direct monitoring activities as well as a variety of sources, including civilian victims and witnesses. It documents the “untold hardship and suffering” that has been imposed upon the civilian population, “with large-scale killings, injuries and destruction and damage of livelihoods and property.” Where information has been cross-checked and verified, specific incidents are detailed in the report.
Right to Food Handbooks (FAO)
English, French & Spanish:http://www.fao.org/righttofood/knowledge-centre/right-to-food-hanbooks/en/
Soon available also in Portuguese.
The “Right to Food Handbook” series is a collection of 10 publications, prepared in collaboration with PROSALUS, based on the different volumes of the Right to Food Methodological Toolbox. Each publication provides practical information and guidance on how to implement the right to food and apply human rights-based approaches to key areas of work, namely, legislation, monitoring, assessment, budget and education.
UNOG Library & Archives Research Guides: Human Rights Timeline
A comprehensive Human Rights Timeline has been created by the Library of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR Library), with help from the United Nations Library at Geneva. The Human Rights Timeline represents – through international instruments, official UN documents and conferences – the major events that have shaped the international human rights scene since the early 20th century, including adoption of treaties, recognition of the importance of the protection of the human rights by the United Nations and the work of the UN in the field of human rights.
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development (UNESCO)
English & French:http://www.unesco.org/new/world-media-trends
The publication offers a new look at recent evolutions in media freedom, independence, pluralism and journalist safety. These areas are explored at the international level and with respect to gender and global media. The overarching trend observed throughout is one of disruption brought on by technology and to a lesser extent the global economic crisis, with mixed results for freedom of expression and media development. The publication comes at a critical moment for press freedom amid unprecedented opportunities for expression of new voices as well as new forms of restriction, surveillance and control. It is a key resource for governments, the media, academia, the private sector and civil society and is an essential read for anyone interested in the contemporary media environment.
Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) – new OCHA data platform
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched a new humanitarian data platform at the Open Knowledge Festival in Berlin. The Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) aggregates data from over 20 sources (ie World Bank, UNHCR, WFP etc), creating one place to go to find humanitarian data. A 90-second animation and short interactive demo helps explain this further.
Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow: Managing the Risk of Humanitarian Crises (OCHA)
OCHA launched an online interactive advocacy campaign on its new policy report with the aim of encouraging a paradigm shift towards a more preventative and anticipatory approach to humanitarian crises, that can be predicted, if not prevented, and the suffering they cause can often be greatly reduced.
Woman Alone: The fight for survival by Syria’s refugee women (UNHCR)
More than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan – or one in four of all households – are headed by women facing a lone fight for survival. Many live under the threat of violence or exploitation, and their children face mounting trauma and distress. The report is based on the personal testimony of 135 of those women, given over three months of interviews in early 2014. Forced to take responsibility for their families after their men were killed, captured or otherwise separated, they are caught in a spiral of hardship, isolation and anxiety.
(source: http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library-newsletter/29338 )