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2014 Human Development Report – Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience

August 12, 2014 Comments off

2014 Human Development Report – Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience
Source: United Nations Development Programme

The 2014 Human Development Report – Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience 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.

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State of the World’s Forests 2014

July 23, 2014 Comments off

State of the World’s Forests 2014
Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Across the world, forests, trees on farms, and agroforestry systems play a crucial role in the livelihoods of rural people by providing employment, energy, nutritious foods and a wide range of other goods and ecosystem services. They have tremendous potential to contribute to sustainable development and to a greener economy. Yet, clear evidence of this has been lacking. This evidence is critical to inform policies on forest management and use, and to ensure that the benefits from forests are recognized in the post-2015 development agenda, not only with respect to the environment, but also for their contributions to broader social issues. This edition of State of the World’s Forests addresses this knowledge gap by systematically gathering and analysing available data on forests’ contributions to people’s livelihoods, food, health, shelter and energy needs. Crucially, the report also suggests how information might be improved and policies adjusted, so that the socioeconomic benefits from forests can be enhanced in the future.

UNAIDS report shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV today do not know that they have the virus

July 17, 2014 Comments off

UNAIDS report shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV today do not know that they have the virus
Source: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

A new report by UNAIDS shows that 19 million of the 35 million people living with HIV globally do not know their HIV-positive status.

The UNAIDS Gap report shows that as people find out their HIV-positive status they will seek life-saving treatment. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 90% of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART). Research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa, 76% of people on ART have achieved viral suppression, whereby they are unlikely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners. New data analysis demonstrates that for every 10% increase in treatment coverage there is a 1% decline in the percentage of new infections among people living with HIV.

The report highlights that efforts to increase access to ART are working. In 2013, an additional 2.3 million people gained access to the life-saving medicines. This brings the global number of people accessing ART to nearly 13 million by the end of 2013. Based on past scale-up, UNAIDS projects that as of July 2014 as many as 13 950 296 people were accessing ART.

World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas

July 14, 2014 Comments off

World’s population increasingly urban with more than half living in urban areas
Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Today, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report launched today.

The 2014 revision of the World Urbanization Prospects by UN DESA’s Population Division notes that the largest urban growth will take place in India, China and Nigeria. These three countries will account for 37 per cent of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2014 and 2050. By 2050, India is projected to add 404 million urban dwellers, China 292 million and Nigeria 212 million.

With nearly 38 million people, Tokyo tops UN’s ranking of most populous cities followed by Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, São Paulo and Mumbai

The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. Asia, despite its lower level of urbanization, is home to 53 per cent of the world’s urban population, followed by Europe with 14 per cent and Latin America and the Caribbean with 13 per cent.

The world’s urban population is expected to surpass six billion by 2045. Much of the expected urban growth will take place in countries of the developing regions, particularly Africa. As a result, these countries will face numerous challenges in meeting the needs of their growing urban populations, including for housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy and employment, as well as for basic services such as education and health care.

CRS — Membership in the United Nations and Its Specialized Agencies

July 8, 2014 Comments off

Membership in the United Nations and Its Specialized Agencies (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Since the United Nations (U.N.) was established in 1945, the U.S. government, including many Members of Congress, has maintained an ongoing interest in the criteria and process for membership in the United Nations and its specialized agencies. The United Nations currently has 193 member states and two observer non-member states—the Holy See (Vatican) and “Palestine.”

UN Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict Documents Continued Child Suffering in 23 Conflict Situations

July 2, 2014 Comments off

Secretary-General’s Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict Documents Continued Child Suffering in 23 Conflict Situations
Source: United Nations (Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict)

In 2013, children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world. These are some of the findings unveiled today in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.

“We have documented the cases of children recruited and used by 7 national armies and 50 armed groups fighting wars in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria, and in 11 other countries.” said Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict. “But there is also progress to report. No violations were recorded in Chad in 2013 and the country’s National Army has fulfilled all the requirements of its action plan. They are no longer on the list for recruitment and use of children.”

UN World Drug Report 2014

July 2, 2014 Comments off

World Drug Report 2014
Source: United Nations
From press release (PDF):

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 Refugee Day: Global forced displacement tops 50 million for first time in post-World War II era

June 24, 2014 Comments off

World Refugee Day: Global forced displacement tops 50 million for first time in post-World War II era
Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The UN refugee agency reported today on World Refugee Day that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people.

UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, which is based on data compiled by governments and non-governmental partner organizations, and from the organization’s own records, shows 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2013, fully 6 million more than the 45.2 million reported in 2012.

This massive increase was driven mainly by the war in Syria, which at the end of last year had forced 2.5 million people into becoming refugees and made 6.5 million internally displaced. Major new displacement was also seen in Africa – notably in Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Aid reductions threaten education goals

June 12, 2014 Comments off

Aid reductions threaten education goals (PDF)
Source: UNESCO

This paper reports the latest data on development and humanitarian aid to education. It is released to coincide with the Global Partnership for Education’s Replenishment Pledging Conference, which aims to raise US$3.5 billion for education over 4 years. It is vital to recognise this financing request as urgent, and that donors, new and old, see this as an opportunity to refill the funding pot for education in its time of need.

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report has shown that there are 250 million children who are still not learning the basics, of which about half have spent at least four years in school. Many countries still need aid in order to deliver on their education promises, and planning for education requires the kind of predictable finance that long-term aid commitments can provide. Yet, development aid to education fell further in 2012 and the current outlook is not favourable. And the share of humanitarian aid allocated to education remains well below target. This compromises our prospects for achieving new, more ambitious global education goals after 2015.

Higher Education in Asia: Expanding Out, Expanding Up

June 9, 2014 Comments off

Higher Education in Asia: Expanding Out, Expanding Up
Source: UNESCO

As demand for tertiary education continues to rise across Asia, countries are expanding their higher education systems outwards by constructing new universities, hiring more faculty and encouraging private provision. Many of these systems are also moving upwards by introducing new graduate programmes to ensure that there are enough qualified professors and researchers for the future.

Based on data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and a diverse range of national and international sources, this report provides a comprehensive view to evaluate different strategies to expand graduate education. Special focus is given to middle-income countries in the region which have recently experienced the most dramatic growth through an innovative mix of policies. For example, interventions aimed at improving university rankings may be controversial but are nonetheless reshaping university reforms. The report highlights the pros and cons by comparing the three most commonly-used university ranking systems.

Across the region, countries are not simply seeking to accommodate more students – they are striving to build top-quality universities that can produce the research and workforce needed for national economic development. So this report presents a range of data to better evaluate the economic benefits flowing from university research, as well as the spillover effects to the private sector. The authors also analyse the ways in which international collaboration can boost the productivity and quality of university-based research. Overall, this report provides the data and analysis to help countries weigh the balance of different policies to expand their higher education systems.

Using competition law to promote access to health technologies

June 6, 2014 Comments off

Using competition law to promote access to health technologies
Source: United Nations Development Programme

This resource provides practical guidance on using competition law and policy in LMIC settings to increase access to affordable health technologies. The guidebook provides a number of model interpretations of key aspects of competition law, and uses country case studies to examine the successes and challenges experienced in using competition law and policy.

This guidebook is intended for use by government authorities in LMICs who may have an interest in promoting access to health technologies through the effective use of competition law—including competition authorities, procurement and health authorities, judges and members of legislatures. It is also intended as a resource for civil society to inform their advocacy, policy and programmes work on treatment access and consumer/patient rights, including addressing anti-competitive activities that may affect consumer/patient welfare.

Research Guide — UN Documentation: How to Find UN Documents

June 4, 2014 Comments off

UN Documentation: How to Find UN Documents
Source: United Nations (Dag Hammarskjöld Library)

United Nations documentation reflects the complexity of the UN as an organization. The Regulations for the Control and Limitation of Documentation, ST/AI/189/Add.3/Rev.2, define documents and publications:

“A document is a text submitted to a principal organ or a subsidiary organ of the United Nations for consideration by it, usually in connection with item(s) on its agenda.”

“The term ‘United Nations publication’ refers to any written material which is issued by the United Nations to the general public.”

The UN Documentation Research Guide presents an overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites…

Categories: United Nations

Methamphetamine trafficking increases, new psychoactive substances flood markets, according to new UNODC report

May 26, 2014 Comments off

Methamphetamine trafficking increases, new psychoactive substances flood markets, according to new UNODC report
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Synthetic drugs are taking an ever-greater share of the illicit drugs market, according to a new report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). New psychoactive substances (NPS) are also flooding a market for synthetic drugs long dominated by amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), such as ecstasy and methamphetamine, which are more widely used than cocaine, opium or heroin.

Rates of methamphetamine seizures are higher than ever across the world, largely driven by the rise in seizures in East and South-East Asia as well as in North America, according to the 2014 Global Synthetic Drugs Assessment . Methamphetamine, which can seriously harm users, continues to spread in Asia, posing a growing challenge to health care providers and drug control authorities dealing with large youthful populations. Methamphetamine supply grew rapidly in Asia, already the largest market for ATS, between 2008 and 2012 when methamphetamine seizures tripled to 36 tons.

Fish more important than ever in providing jobs, feeding the world – UN report

May 21, 2014 Comments off

Fish more important than ever in providing jobs, feeding the world – UN report
Source: United Nations (Food and Agriculture Organization)

A new United Nations report highlights the growing role of fish and aquaculture in feeding the world and providing a source of income, and calls for the sustainable and responsible management of the so-called ‘blue world.’

Global fisheries and aquaculture production totalled 158 million tonnes in 2012 – around 10 million tonnes more than 2010 – according to the latest edition of “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture,” produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report highlights the great potential of fish farming in responding to the growing demand for food as a result of global population growth. In addition, the planet’s oceans – if sustainably managed – are crucial to providing jobs and feeding the world.

“The health of our planet as well as our own health and future food security all hinge on how we treat the blue world,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in a news release.

UNHCR – Mid-Year Trends 2013

May 2, 2014 Comments off

Mid-Year Trends 2013 (PDF)
Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Since the start of 2012, millions of people have become refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs), 1 and already the first half of 2013 has been one of the worst periods for forced displacement in decades. By the middle of the year, the size of UNHCR’s population of concern reached an all-time high. With figures continuing to rise during the second half of the year, notably in the Syrian Arab Republic, refugee and IDP year-end numbers are likewise expected to be at record highs.

Reading in the Mobile Era

April 23, 2014 Comments off

Reading in the Mobile Era
Source: United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)

Millions of people do not read for one reason: they do not have access to text. But today mobile phones and cellular networks are transforming a scare resource into an abundant one.

Drawing on the analysis of over 4,000 surveys collected in seven developing countries and corresponding qualitative interviews, this report paints a detailed picture to date of who reads books and stories on mobile devices and why.

The findings illuminate, for the first time, the habits, beliefs and profiles of mobile readers. This information points to strategies to expand mobile reading and, by extension, the educational, social and economic benefits associated with increased reading.

Mobile technology can advance literacy and learning in underserved communities around the world. This report shows how.

UN Interventions: The Role of Geography

April 21, 2014 Comments off

UN Interventions: The Role of Geography (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor

This paper argues that UN military interventions are geographically biased. For every 1,000 kilometers of distance from the three Western permanent UNSC members (France, UK, US), the probability of a UN military intervention decreases by 4 percent. We are able to rule out several alternative explanations for the distance finding, such as differences by continent, colonial origin, bilateral trade relationships, foreign aid flows, political regime forms, or the characteristics of the Cold War. We do not observe this geographical bias for non-military interventions and find evidence that practical considerations could be important factors for UNSC decisions to intervene militarily.

UNODC — Global Study on Homicide 2013 (released 4/10/14)

April 18, 2014 Comments off

Global Study on Homicide 2013
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
From press release (PDF):

Almost half a million people (437,000) across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, according to a new study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Launching the Global Study on Homicide 2013 in London today, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, said: “Too many lives are being tragically cut short, too many families and communities left shattered. There is an urgent need to understand how violent crime is plaguing countries around the world, particularly affecting young men but also taking a heavy toll on women.”

Globally, some 80 per cent of homicide victims a nd 95 per cent of perpetrato rs are men. Almost 15 per cent of all homicides stem from domestic violence (63,600). However, the overwhelming majority – almost 70 per cent – of domestic violence fatalities are women (43,600). “Home can be the most dangerous place for a woman,” said Mr . Lemahieu. “It is particularly heart-breaking when those who should be protecting their loved ones are the very people responsible for their murder.”

Over half of all homicide victims are under 30 years of age, with children under the age of 15 accounting for just over 8 per cent of all homicides (36,000), the Study highlighted.

United Nations Research Guide — Peace & Security: The Situation in Ukraine

March 26, 2014 Comments off

Peace & Security: The Situation in Ukraine
Source: United Nations

This guide provides Security Council documentation, news, and other resources related to the situation in Ukraine.

Categories: Ukraine, United Nations

UN refugee agency calls on the Americas to keep unaccompanied and separated children safe from violence

March 17, 2014 Comments off

UN refugee agency calls on the Americas to keep unaccompanied and separated children safe from violence (PDF)
Source: UNHCR (United Nations refugee agency)

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is concerned by increasing numbers of children in the Americas forced from their homes and families, propelled by violence, insecurity, and abuse in their communities and at home.

In a report released today, Children on the Run, UNHCR analyzes the humanitarian impact this insecurity has had on children, forcing them across international borders to seek safety on their own. The agency calls on Governments to take action to keep children safe from human rights abuses, violence and crime, and to ensure their access to asylum and other forms of international protection.

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