Tag Archive for United Nations

UNODC World Drug Report 2011

Globally, UNODC estimates that, in 2009, between 149 and 272 million people, or 3.3% to 6.1% of the population aged 15-64, used illicit substances at least once in the previous year. About half that number are estimated to have been current drug users, that is, having used illicit drugs at least once during the past month prior to the date of assessment. While the total number of illicit drug users has increased since the late 1990s, the prevalence rates have remained largely stable, as has the number of problem drug users, which is estimated at between 15 and 39 million.

Private Security Contractors Outnumber Police 2 to 1 Worldwide

The number of private security guards is now almost twice that of police officers, as governments around the world outsource many of their security functions, according to a new report based on data compiled by the United Nations. Yet, despite the rapid growth of the private security sector, which now employs an estimated 20 million documented personnel worldwide, these staff hold far fewer firearms than do state security forces, the annual Small Arms Survey reveals. The 2011 edition of the survey, published today by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, finds that private security staff personnel in 70 countries measured hold no more than four million firearms, compared to 26 million held by police and law enforcement officials, and 200 million held by members of national armed forces.

UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey Winter Assessment 2011

The result of this assessment indicates that the current high price of opium did not produce an increase in opium cultivation in the highest cultivating provinces of Hilmand and Kandahar. In these two provinces the cultivation is expected to decrease in 2011. The reasons for this development were multiple and differed from area to area. In parts of Hilmand and Kandahar, farmers reported the persistence of cold and dry climate conditions which led to crop failure as the poppy would not germinate. There also been a changing political environment in Hilmand with the Governor taking initiatives to convince elders and farmers to reduce the amount of poppy planted. This was not systematically captured by the survey, but it may have played a role as well. In both provinces, military operations were conducted by Afghan and international forces around the time of poppy planting in main poppy cultivating areas. Although these operations were not directed against poppy farmers, the coincidence of troupes being present at planting time may also have discouraged farmers from planting poppy.

UN Satellite Conflict Analysis: Zawiyah, Libya

A review of the city of Zawiyah was conducted using a satellite image acquired 8 March 2011 to document impacts of fighting between Libyan Government and armed opposition forces. This fighting took place between 24 February and 10 March, when Libyan Government forces declared control of the city. Satellite imagery analysis sought to identify evidence of fighting and damage in the area. Armoured vehicles, road blocks consisting of sand and other materials, excavated areas, and possible scorch marks are visible in the satellite image. In addition, significant numbers of light trucks are apparent in groups and convoys throughout much of the city.

UN Libya Ra’s Ajdir Border Crossing Security Checkpoints Analysis

There are two functional security checkpoints along the main road between the Tunisian-Libyan border crossing at Ra’s Ajdir and the town of Abu Kammash 19km to the east, as based on an analysis or satellite imagery acquired on 3 and 5 March 201 1 Both are likely permanent locations established before the present crisis. Although there are clear indications that these checkpoints are actively controlling road traffic, there are however no associated large concentrations of either people or vehicle traffic leading to the checkpoints, strongly suggesting that these sites are NOT responsible for the drop in the number of people reaching the border at Ra ‘s Ajdir, as observed on 3 and 4 March 2011. It is possible that there are additional security checkpoints or temporary roadblocks located east of Abu Kammash which could be responsible for the reduction in traffic. UNITARJUNOSAT will continue to task and analyze additional satellite imagery along this transport corridor leading to the Tunisian border.

UN Libyan Crisis High Resolution Tripoli Atlas

This atlas provides baseline geographic information over Tripoli, Libya. It is produced by UNITAR/UNOSAT in support of international humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya. The atlas is created to respond to the needs of UN agencies and their partners. It is intended to provide objective geographic information and has been designed for easy printing and readability on A4 and A3 paper.

UN Libya Refugee Camp Analysis: Tunisian Transitional Camp

This is a satellite-based quantitative analysis of the newly-established transitional camp for displaced peoples fleeing the conflict in Libya, located along the southern side of highway route P1, 8.5 kilometers west of the Ra’s Ajdir border crossing facility in Ben Guerdane, Tunisia. This assessment provides an estimate of the number of tent shelters erected within the camp, the average approximate tent size, and the derived potential current population capacity, as based on satellite imagery recorded on the morning of 3 March 2011.

Restricted UN Sudan Military De-Mining Platoon Requirements

The military-strategic intent is to assist the parties in CPA implementation by effectively monitoring and verifying the ceasefire and security arrangements, and by contributing to maintaining a stable and secure environment. The UNMIS military component will deploy its forces in a dynamic manner in its Area of Responsibility (AOR) comprising the ceasefire zone (CFZ), conduct robust mobile operations to monitor and verify redeployment of forces as per the ceasefire arrangements, and maintain visible UN presence in areas of potential conflict.

UN-NATO Documents Detail Violence and Voter Supression in Afghan Elections

According to a series of classified reports from NATO and the UN recently published by this site, the recent elections in Afghanistan were marred by “unprecedented” levels of violence including voter intimidation, kidnapping of election workers and candidates, as well as attacks on polling stations and ballot distribution systems. A confidential United Nations “Joint Security Analysis” covering the week of the elections states that the country experienced a “massive increase” in violence “due to an unprecedented peak of security incidents recorded on Election Day 18 September.” In fact, there was such a significant and “unprecedented” increase in violence leading up to the elections that this created a significant decrease in subsequent attacks because insurgent forces were literally running out of ammunition.

Help Us Analyze Classified NATO and Confidential UN Reports

In an effort to facilitate quicker analysis of recently published documents, we are trying to encourage people to join this site and respond to some recently created forum topics. Earlier this week, we published 13 NATO Weekly Security Narratives, ranging from August 6 – October 24 2010. These narrative reports are each between about 10 and 30 pages and at least three of them are labeled NATO Restricted. All of the NATO documents are labeled FOUO (For Official Use Only). These narratives contained detailed analytical summaries of Weekly SIGACTs reporting in all regions of Afghanistan throughout the dates mentioned. They contain significant and detailed information regarding the current state of U.S. military efforts in the region and reflect a more unbiased view of security conditions. We have also published 11 Confidential United Nations documents spanning nearly the same time period. Together with the NATO reports, these documents present a nearly up-to-date view of significant events throughout Afghanistan, including political assassinations, anti-U.S. demonstrations, and Taliban intimidation of candidates in recent Afghan elections.

UNODC Corruption in Afghanistan Report

Stability in Afghanistan – where it exists – is terribly fragile. Security is a daily concern for Afghan people, and even those living in more secure areas of the country face a fluid and volatile security situation that sees rapid changes, often for the worse. Central government control is tenuous, especially in rural areas and parts of the country that are the scene of conflict with insurgents. Access to even the most basic of government services – health, education, electricity – is tenuous at best and often unavailable. Complicating matter exponentially is the extreme poverty of Afghanistan – a country struggling with some of the most daunting statistics in the world for literacy, maternal mortality, food security, and life expectancy. In this context, simply to survive from one day to the next is a terrible challenge for many people.

UN/World Bank Afghanistan Drug Industry Report

The magnitude and importance of Afghanistan’s opium economy are virtually unprecedented and unique in global experience —it has been roughly estimated as equivalent to 36% of licit (i.e. non-drug) GDP in 2004/05, or if drugs are also included in the denominator, 27% of total drug-inclusive GDP (see Chapter 2). The sheer size and illicit nature of the opium economy mean that not surprisingly, it infiltrates and seriously affects Afghanistan’s economy, state, society, and politics. It generates large amounts of effective demand in the economy, provides incomes and employment including in rural areas (even though most of the final “value” from Afghan opium accrues outside the country), and supports the balance of payments and indirectly (through Customs duties on drug-financed imports) government revenues. The opium economy by all accounts is a massive source of corruption and undermines public institutions especially in (but not limited to) the security and justice sectors. There are worrying signs of infiltration by the drug industry into higher levels of government and into the emergent politics of the country. Thus it is widely considered to be one of the greatest threats to state-building, reconstruction, and development in Afghanistan.

UN Pakistan Floods Emergency Response Plan August 2010

Over the course of July and early August 2010, Pakistan experienced the worst monsoon-related floods in living memory. Heavy rainfall, flash floods and riverine floods have devastated large parts of Pakistan since the arrival of seasonal monsoon rains on 22 July. Assessments of losses and damages are ongoing, but estimates place the number of affected people at more than 14 million. Over 1,200 people have died, and at least 288,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province, intense rains during the last week of July and in early August were compounded by the swelling of major rivers due to rainwater surging down from the highland areas. The Pakistan Meteorological Department reports that within one week in late July, KPK received 9,000 millimetres of rainfall – ten times as much as the province normally receives in the course of an entire year. Baluchistan, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, also experienced extreme weather, resulting in widespread losses and damages.

UNAMA Afghanistan Protection of Civilians Mid-Year Report 2010

The human cost of the armed conflict in Afghanistan is escalating in 2010. In the first six months of the year civilian casualties – including deaths and injuries of civilians – increased by 31 per cent over the same period in 2009. Three quarters of all civilian casualties were linked to Anti-Government Elements (AGEs), an increase of 53 per cent from 2009. At the same time, civilian casualties attributed to Pro-Government Forces (PGF) decreased by 30 per cent compared to the first half of 2009.

Afghan Civilian Casualties Rise 31%

The number of civilians killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict rose 31 percent in the first six months of the year, with anti-government forces causing about three-quarters of the casualties, the United Nations said in a report Tuesday. “Afghan children and women are increasingly bearing the brunt of the conflict,” said Staffan de Mistura, the special representative of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the U.N.’s top envoy to the country. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its mid-year report that 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured — mostly from roadside bombings — in the first six months of the year.

Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Sixteen Nations

Addressing the United Nations for the first time in more than 50 years, Queen Elizabeth II today lauded the world body for its many achievements, while exhorting it to continue playing its lead role in the cause of peace and prosperity for all. “In my lifetime, the United Nations has moved from being a high-minded aspiration to being a real force for common good. That of itself has been a signal achievement,” the British monarch, who was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, told the General Assembly. She noted that for over six decades, the UN has helped to shape the international response to global dangers. “The challenge now is to continue to show this clear and convening leadership while not losing sight of your ongoing work to secure the security, prosperity and dignity of our fellow human beings.”

UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2010

The majority of the 20 Afghan provinces that were poppy-free in 2009 will remain so this year. Yet, three provinces (Baghlan, Faryab and Sari Pul, all in the north) risk showing the beginning of a trend reversal, with a minimal increase in cultivation in the districts with higher insecurity. Five other provinces (Kunar, Nangarhar, Kabul, Laghman and Badakhshan), not poppy-free so far, are also expected to have negligible amounts of poppies.