Category Archives: Government Information – International

Human Development Report 2013

The 2013 Human Development Report – "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World" – examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world and its long-term implications for human development. The Report identifies more than 40 countries in the developing world that have done better than had been expected in human development terms in recent decades, with their progress accelerating markedly over the past ten years. The Report analyzes the causes and consequences of these countries' achievements and the challenges that they face today and in the coming decades. Each of these countries has its own unique history and has chosen its own distinct development pathway. Yet they share important characteristics and face many of the same challenges. They are also increasingly interconnected and interdependent.

The Human Development Report series is published by the United Nations Development Programme, which also publishes human development reports for specific areas of the world and even individual countries. The UNDP also provides access to the data for the individual human development indicators, via the Public Data Explorer, a tool developed in conjunction with Google Labs.


Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions. Eurostat’s key role is to supply statistics to other DGs and supply the Commission and other European Institutions with data so they can define, implement and analyse Community policies.
The result: Eurostat offers a whole range of important and interesting data that governments, businesses, the education sector, journalists and the public can use for their work and daily life.

Some of Eurostat's leading publications are: the Eurostat Yearbook, the Eurostat Regional Yearbook, Statistics in Focus, and a large variety of other publications on various topics.

International Day of Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly  by the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/67 and  reinforced by Resolution A/RES/55/282  declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The UN's Peacekeeping web site provides information on all UN peacekeeping activities. Lehman Library has created and maintains a subject guide, International Conflict Resolution, which has links to many resources about conflict resolution and peace.

World Population Day

July 11 is World Population Day. This observance began in 1989, with a recommendation from the governing body of the United Nations Development Programme. Every year there is a theme, designed to draw attention to different population issues. This year's theme is "Universal Access to Reproductive Services."

The UN estimates that the world's population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. For more information on population issues, including journal databases, background info, and statistics, look at the Lehman Library subject guide:  Population, Migration and Refugee Studies.

UN CountryStats App

The United Nations has just released a new mobile app for data.

UN CountryStats is a data visualization tool to compare key economic, social, environmental, trade, and area & population indicators for 216 countries and territories. Indicators, drawn from the United Nations' unique and authoritative data set, can be viewed as complete country tables or visualized as bar graphs. Other useful tools include detailed definitions of each indicator and the ability to save graphs as favorites.

Available now, for the iPhone and iPad. Also take a look at the other UN apps available, like the UN News Reader and Basic Facts About the United Nations.

World Development Indicators 2012

World Development Indicators 2012 is now available online. The 16th edition of World Development Indicators publication and database update contains updated data through 2010 and 2011 for many indicators. This update contains:

  • more recent data on poverty at international poverty lines for more countries, including global and regional estimates
  • measures of malnutrition disaggregated by sex
  • health indicators disaggregated by income quintile
  • data on carbon dioxide emissions by economic sector
  • data on climate variability, exposure to impact, and resilience

You can access the full range of World Bank data and publications with the Libraries' subscription to the World Bank eLibrary. And don't forget about the World Bank apps for iPhone and iPad!

World Economic Forum


The World Economic Forum begins today in Davos, Switzerland, bringing together " a who’s who of government leaders pulling the strings of the global economy" (NYT, 1/23/2012). Columbia’s Business & Economics Library and the Lehman Library hold various publication from the World Economic Forum, and many of them are also online: the Annual Report, Global Competitiveness Report, Global Information Technology Report, and the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. In today’s economic environment, with Occupy Wall Street, the Indignados, and Arab Spring, what will be the issues at Davos? Check out the WEF videos at YouTube.


New FAO Publication


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has issued a new publication, The State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture. The new publication, scheduled to be updated annually, analyses a variety of options for overcoming constraints and improving resource management for agricultural production systems which are at heightened risk across the world. SOLAW complements other "State of the World" reports published regularly by FAO, and is intended to inform public debate and policy-making at national and international levels.



Europe’s Energy Data Visualization

Europe's EnergyEurope’s Energy project, a joint effort with the Open Knowledge Foundation and using data from Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union, gives users a set of visual tools to understand EU member states’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.  Take a look!

I Didn’t Really Care About Climate Change Until …


I knew that there was this whole climate change thing going on, but I thought it was news from the past and was more about other countries — you know , the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, etc. I even got a little worried when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund got on board with it — I mean, those guys care about money! And too bad about those small island states which will disappear with the rising ocean levels, but that’s not my problem.


It’s not like New York City is going to be flooded, or hit with an earthquake, or anything, right? Then we had Hurricane Irene and that quake last month, and now the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and CIESIN have published this new report, "Responding to Climate Change in New York State" and it has me really worried. If both New York State and Columbia University scientists agree, it must be serious. So this weekend I’m off to Home Depot to buy some survival gear.