Regional Commissions Development Update

Fifth Issue - December 1998

In this issue

Editorial

Interview with the Chairman of the Second Committee, H.E. Mr. Bagher Asadi

Joint initiatives on the financial crisis: ECE / ESCAP / ECLAC / ECA / ESCWA

ICPD+5 Review: ECE / ESCAP/ ECLAC/ ECA/ ESCWA

UNDP/Regional Commissions Compact

Activities of the Commissions: ECE / ESCAP / ECLAC / ECA / ESCWA

Regional Commissions calendar: ECE / ESCAP / ECLAC / ECA / ESCWA

RCYNO

Recent publications: ECE / ESCAP / ECLAC / ECA / ESCWA

Regional commissions Homepages

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Editorial

The financial crisis and its regional dimension

When the Asian financial crisis erupted in July 1997, the immediate reaction was to view the event as a purely Asian phenomenon; later, developments showed, however, that the Asian financial crisis was yet another episode in a long chain of events that point to the volatility of the world financial system and the globalization of the economy. The recent events in Asia, no doubt, have their Asian features as much as the previous Mexican crisis had its Latin American flavour; yet, there are also features that are shared by all these financial eruptions, whether European, as in 1992-1993, Mexican, as in 1994-1995, or Asian, as in 1997- 1998. Unless we analyse and identify what is basic and common to these eruptions, our ability to cope with future crises will be seriously hampered.

It seems that the relations between financial economy on the one hand and the real economy on the other have yet to be fully understood and mastered. it is true that the financial economy is not a recent phenomenon; it has, in fact, a long history and is part of our collective memory. We can hardly conceive of any transaction without the intermediation of some kind of financial instrument. Recent developments in finance, however, amount to a quantum change, in which the explosion of financial instruments had blurred the economic scenery. Conventional wisdom sees in financial instruments mere claims to real assets, which represent the ultimate and true wealth. financial instruments are thus viewed as no more than derivatives or mirror images of the real economy. This is no longer true. The financial revolution, which brought about phenomenal growth and diversity of financial instruments, also diluted the relationship between the real and the financial. Rather than following the real economy or paralleling, the growth of financial instruments took the lead, so the they outgrew the real economy. The financial economy has asserted its autonomy from the real economy and forged a life of its own with its own dynamics. Technological progress in information and communications helped promote not only the explosion, but also the globalization of financial instruments. Economic policies of deregulation and the liberalization of capital movements sanctioned this trend.

The instability generated by it in the foreign exchange and capital markets all over the world has been on a scale that is almost unprecedented. But the impact did not just remain confined to the world of high finance. Rather, in no time it was transformed into a "human crisis" affecting the livelihood and welfare of millions and millions of people all over the developing world and in the economies in transition, the severity being most pronounced in Asia.

The proximity of the Regional Commissions to the affected countries and regions have enabled them both to closely follow the crisis and its impact. More important, they have remained engaged with their Member States in analyzing the crisis, in facilitating the exchange of experiences among the countries of the respective regions in dealing with it, and in seeking to develop appropriate policy responses.

The multidimensional natures of the crisis, both in geographic scope and issue orientation, call for new and innovative perspectives - including in areas beyond the confines of macroeconomic policy making, encompassing such diverse fields as social development, poverty alleviation, governance, environment, and trade policy. There is, of course, also the need to try and draw lessons from this crisis and its contagion phenomenon for the future. The Regional Commissions are keenly conscious of the vastness of the tasks now and in the period ahead relating to the crisis.

The analyses and the actions undertaken or being initiated by the Regional Commissions, have invariably involved cooperation, coordination and networking arrangements with the relevant agencies and organizations within the United Nations System including, in particular, UNCTAD, DESA, and the BWIs. Outside of the System, there is partnership with the regional development banks and the regional/subregional integration groupings. Together with DESA and UNCTAD, the Regional Commissions contributed in preparing a statement on behalf of EC-ESA delivered at the last IMF/World Bank meeting in early October. We have also appreciated the initiative taken by the Second Committee of the current General Assembly session and the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD to hold a joint panel discussion on 22 October via video links between Geneva and New York on "the impact of the crisis on trade, investment and development: regional perspective." We welcome similar opportunities for informal and open dialogues on regional perspectives with policy making bodies at the global level. We are also actively involved with other members of the EC-ESA in developing an UN position paper on the crisis and in seeking to develop a road map for future guidance. Preparation of this paper has been entrusted to a Task Force headed by my fellow colleague Jose Antonio Ocampo, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.

The current issue of the Newsletter provides some reflections on the regional dimension of the crisis and our work in this area. We hope, our readers will find them useful.

Hazem El-Beblawi. (Signature)
Executive Secretary of ESCWA
Current Coordinator of the Regional Commissions

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Interview with H.E. Mr. Bagher Asadi of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Second Committee of the 53rd UNGA session

RC Newsletter: The ongoing economic crisis has been a subject of urgent consideration for the current 53rd session of the General Assembly and of its Second Committee. The Regional Commissions are seized with this priority concern of their member States. As Chairman of the Second Committee, would you have any views on the involvement of the Regional Commissions with this intergovernmental process at the global level and its follow up?

Amb. Asadi: Let me first of all say that the ongoing economic crisis, whose ripple effects are traveling far and wide across the globe, has been the major source of concern and anxiety to a large number of developing countries over the past year. And, as underlined in your question, the Second Committee has ben seized with the matter in its current session. Moreover, at the very beginning of the 53rd Session of the General Assembly a two-day high-level dialogue took place on the social and economic consequences of the process of globalization. In the course of these deliberations there was a realization that the situation needed a collective response at the level of the entire international community. Logically, it leads to the further realization that any possible solution does require international cooperation.

Let me now turn to the specific role that the Regional Commissions can play in this regard. Regional commissions, as subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council, are part of the United Nations system. At the same time, they also represent their particular regional membership, with all the particularities of the region and the countries concerned. This dual characteristic does in fact provide the regional commissions with a unique opportunity to bring to ECOSOC, and to the entire UN family, the regional perspective and the particular concerns and interests of their constituency. On this note, let me draw attention to the ECOSOC resolution 1998/46 of 31 July 1998, which defines the mandate for the regional commissions to undertake both normative and operational work. In the same resolution, regional commissions are further encouraged to seek a more active involvement at the country level. As for the involvement of the regional commissions with the global intergovernmental processes, let me cite the example of the Second Committee of the General Assembly which just a few weeks ago, held a joint meeting through an interactive video- link with the Trade and Development Board (TDB) of UNCTAD on the theme of "The Impact of Financial Crisis on Trade, Investment and Development: Regional Perspective." In addition to the Secretary General of UNCTAD and three representatives of private business, the Executive Secretaries of ECE, ECLAC and of a representative of ECA participated in the cross-Atlantic panel. The Executive Secretaries of ESCAP and ESCWA participated in the TDB panel discussion. The representatives of the regional commissions examined the impact of the crisis on their respective regions and explored the possibility of other alternative policy responses and measures by governments and international organizations.

The discussions brought out two specific points: 1) that regional economic relations offer options and possibilities for countries in the region in dealing with the crisis, and 2) regional institutions and arrangements provide the opportunity for collective policy responses. Besides, it shed some light on the dynamic relations between the process of globalization and regionalism. With the experience of this joint meeting, I think the regional commissions can further pursue their analytical work on the various aspects and dimensions of the crisis in their respective regions and individual member states. Such an analytical contribution, especially if pursued in a systematic manner, would be of great help to the intergovernmental level at the United Nations, including the ECOSOC and the Second Committee.

RC Newsletter: As you stated, the high-level debate of the General Assembly on globalization has highlighted the need for adopting a comprehensive approach. Do you see any role for the Regional Commissions in support of their member States as they struggle to adjust to this irreversible process?

Amb. Asadi: Let me just add to what I have already stated concerning globalization. Given that it usually takes a rather long time for the international community to come to the aid of crisis-stricken countries the regional arrangements and mechanisms can enter the picture and make a meaningful difference. Regional Commissions, one has to admit, represent the best example and the most suitable existing manifestation of such arrangements.

Other than providing assistance in the realm of analysis, dissemination of information and exchange of experiences, they are in a position to help the countries in the region draw on regional capacities and capabilities to deal with the shocks of the crisis, at least to a certain degree. Within the general framework of promoting regional and subregional economic grouping and integration - as an established area of activity and priority for regional commissions - they can also assist the member States to utilize the existing complementarities in the region in various fields while also promoting integration with the global economy. Another area where the commissions have a relative advantage relates to assisting the regional countries in developing an overall economic policy framework; that is to say, policy coordination in very general terms. This is closely related to their standard- and norm-setting function.

RC Newsletter: As Chairman of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) at its 38th session, what are your observations concerning the Regional Commissions within the overall context of reform of the United Nations? Do you have any further suggestions for their programme orientation in future?

Amb. Asadi: In its 38th Session this year, CPC examined revisions to the 1998-2001 Medium-Term Plan (MTP) of the United Nations, including those related to the work of the regional commissions. In the backdrop of the reform of the commissions, views were expressed in CPC that most of the proposed revisions were formulated in conformity with the conference structure mandated by some of the commissions. Various Members of the Committee were of the view that the revised narratives were well formulated and that the commissions generally reduced their subprogrammes in order to increase efficiency and optimize the use of resources.

As far as the future work and activities of the commissions is concerned, a number of points deserves to be mentioned. One, regional commissions should respond to regional needs and priorities as set by their respective member states. Two, while norm-setting, dissemination, analytical functions and articulating regional perspectives on global issues are important elements of the work of regional commissions, their active engagement in operational activities is imperative and should be pursued as a matter of priority. Three, regional commissions provide the best institutional arrangement for effective linking with the overall activities of the United Nations in the economic and social fields. Consultation and coordination between the regional commissions and various UN entities operating at the regional level, in particular the UNDP, is of critical importance. Finally, regional commissions should undertake to promote cooperation with other regional and subregional institutions in their own respective regions, particularly on issues and problems of the region.

RC Newsletter: ECOSOC resolution 1998/46 of 31 July 1998 reconfirmed a multidimensional role for the Regional Commissions. It also signalled for them to seek a more active involvement at the country level, particularly through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). What are your suggestions in this respect:
Amb. Asadi:
Now that the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) is going through its experimental phase and is expected to form the unified framework for UN operational activities in developing countries, the regional commissions can certainly make a valuable contribution by linking up their activities in an institutionalized manner with the UN agencies, funds and programmes at various stages of their work, in particular at the programming stage through UNDAF. Participation of the regional commissions in the work of the United nations Development Group (UNDG) also seems appropriate and timely.

Because of the familiarity with national situations, which I just referred to, regional commissions can also help their constituent countries in the area of developing and formulating national plans and programmes as far as UN operational activities are concerned. Their assistance in this regard can play an important role in ensuring that the content of country programmes is country-driven and reflects, to the extent possible, national concerns and priorities. Given that there are still some concerns among some delegations on the implementation of UNDAF, regional commissions can help to articulate and elucidate areas where their constituent countries have difficulty in adjusting to the requirements of the UNDAF.

RC Newsletter: As you know, ESCAP also works closely with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which has its headquarters located in Teheran. In this backdrop, do you have any advice for the future work of ESCAP in that subregion?

Amb. Asadi: Let me tell you, first of all, that the relations between ESCAP and ECO has been growing over the past few years. In fact, it was institutionalized in 1993 when a Memorandum of Understanding was concluded between the two on the basis of the Treaty of Izmir and the terms of reference of ESCAP. In the MOU, ESCAP and ECO have agreed to cooperate in managing development issues of mutual concern; to undertake annual consultations to implement joint projects, including seminars, workshops and meetings; to share analytical reports and technical publications; to exchange information and ideas; and to provide inputs to their respective subsidiary bodies. I wish to stress that the potentials for cooperation between the two entities is simply tremendous. The high priority areas where ECO needs assistance and where ESCAP can be most useful, given its multidisciplinary expertise and resources, are transport, transit routes, communications and energy. Promotion of cooperation in the field of trade and investment is another area of interest and priority, particularly as opportunities grow as a result of progressive development of physical infrastructure in the ECO region.

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Activities of the Regional Commissions on alleviating the socio-economic impacts of the financial crisis

"We must remember that beyond this is the threat of social strife, breakdown of law and order and loss of self-esteem. Macro aggregates do not capture the trauma that individuals and families must undergo as a result of crises of this nature." Secretary-General Kofi Annan

ESCAP

The outbreak of the unprecedented financial crisis in Asia and more recently in the Russian Federation has clouded the prospects for economic and social development in many countries of the ESCAP region. In the most affected countries viz, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, and Thailand, there will be a sharp contraction of GDP in 1998. The socioeconomic impacts of these events have been very painful: this is evidenced by rapidly rising unemployment, income loss, malnutrition and deteriorating health standards, mounting incidence of poverty, large increases in drop-outs from educational institutions at all levels and social unrest.

ESCAP has been holding seminars and has initiated projects on the causes and consequences of the crisis to be able to recommend ways for economies to regain the momentum of economic growth. Two seminars were convened in Bangkok during May and June 1998. The seminar on improved management of the financial sector recommended measures to maintain the internal and external economic stability of the economy for successful pursuit of financial sector reform. The high-level seminar on "Managing capital flows: national and international dimensions" was jointly organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and ESCAP. A number of urgent actions have been recommended to tackle problems in areas of macroeconomic management, financial sector reform and corporate governance in order to rebuild confidence in the ESCAP region.

A multi-divisional project on evaluation of programmes to alleviate the socioeconomic impacts of the economic crisis has been initiated by ESCAP to analyze the types of social programmes implemented in the most affected countries (Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Thailand). These analyses will be used to identify good practices and draw lessons and to share experiences within the region more widely.

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ECLAC

In Latin America, the international financial instability has generated strong speculative pressures on four occasions in the past year: in October 1997 and in January-February, May-June and August- September of 1998. These bouts of speculation have affected all countries of the region with differing severity. The effects of the most recent episode on foreign exchange and stock markets were harsh and generalized. This situation does not reflect the strength of the fundamental economic variables of countries in the region. Moreover, in addition to achieving macroeconomic stability, strengthening their domestic financial systems and making the transition to more open trade regimes in the past few years, the economic authorities have responded rapidly and effectively during the recent crisis, as perhaps never before in a similar situation. Nevertheless, the measures that have been adopted are much more stringent than would have been justified by conditions in each economy, as they have basically been put in place in response to foreign speculation. As a result of the financial contagion, the Latin American countries will have to bear heavy costs, which have no domestic justification and are, thus, economically and socially inefficient. For an ECLAC perspective of the crisis, please visit http://www.eclac.cl/ english/ Coverpage/ financialcrisis.htm

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ECE

So far, the Asian and Russian financial crises have had a relatively minor effect on growth rates on economies in transition, mainly because of the low levels of merchandise trade between the Central and Eastern European countries on the one hand, and Asia and Russia on the other. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions, both in terms of countries, (especially in the Baltic states), regions (in those countries with borders on Russia or Ukraine) and industries (food, pharmaceuticals, etc). However, the crisis has had indirect effects and financial implications on economies in transition through the following developments: higher debt servicing; delays or outright cancellation of planned borrowing or equity emissions; loss of official reserves in the defence of the exchange rate; and increased interest rates to defend the currencies.

The underlying origins of the Russian crisis of 1998 are to be found in the country's economic structure, institutional environment and political processes; the only sustainable policy course towards financial - and thus macroeconomic and political - stabilization in Russia is, therefore, to move ahead with a coherent and comprehensive programme of institutional reform in which the reorganization of the fiscal system and the banking sector should be the top priority.

The first issue of the Economic Survey of Europe, 1999 will be devoted to the financial crisis and it will be the basis of the economic debate at the next ECE annual session, to be held in May 1999. It will focus on the latest developments of the world financial situation and on their consequences for economies in transition, with a particular emphasis on Russia and the other CIS countries.

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ECA

Initially, the conventional wisdom was that because of its relative lack of integration into the global financial system, Africa would be largely spared the negative impact of the Asian economic crisis.

However, it has become increasingly clear that most African countries stand to be seriously affected. For example, South Africa, whose economy is Africa's largest, has borne the brunt of the aftershock, experiencing a dramatic slowdown in growth; the economies of a number of countries who export commodities directly to the Asian countries - including oil, logs and diamonds - have contracted due to the shrinkage in Asian markets; and other African countries who export to the European Union countries can expect increased competition from Asian commodity exporters - partly because of shrinking demand and partly because Asian exports have become cheaper.

Overall predictions are that because of the abrupt economic downturn elsewhere, the average growth of Africa's economy will slow down this year, and will be significantly lower than the pre-Asian crisis prediction of 4.6 percent made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier in the year. The news is not all gloomy, however. According to some economists, exporters of beverage crops such as coffee, cocoa and tea have continued to register success. What is more, the Asian crisis is seen to a large extent as providing important lessons that Africa needs to take on board if it is to pursue private sector-led growth and development. As Mr. K.Y. Amoako, the ECA Executive Secretary, stressed at the 34th meeting of the Economic and Social Council earlier this year, that "the lesson of Asia is not to be unengaged; it is for Africa to be engaged, to diversify its markets and products, and to make sure that domestic policies are sound and enhance competitiveness".

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ESCWA

The ESCWA region is perhaps among the least directly affected by this crisis in the short-run but the long-range effects could be damaging to trade and investment. The adverse implications of this crisis on the region stems from its negative impact on: the demand for oil; exports of non-oil products ; value of portfolio investment and other assets of member countries, notably Kuwait; and, potential consideration of all emerging-market countries as high-risk areas, and thus as areas to be shunned by international investors.

The financial crisis in South-East Asia has precipitated a decline in the demand for oil from the ESCWA region by about 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day in 1997 and 1998. The devaluation of some currencies in the Far East by more than 30 percent has made their exports very competitive, hence, reducing demand for exports from other countries, as for example, exports of textiles by Egypt and Syria. Among ESCWA members, Kuwait has the greatest portfolio investment in South-East Asian countries, and has suffered considerable capital losses owing to the sharp decline in prices on Asian stock markets. In addition the currency devaluation has markedly reduced the value of Kuwait's assets in the Far-East in United-States-dollar terms. Finally, the crisis has shocked international investors who seem now to regard all emerging markets as highly risky. This may hamper financial flows to countries in the region.

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ICPD+5 Years: Regional Reviews

ECE: ICPD+5 Years

The Regional Population Meeting for Europe, jointly organised by the ECE, UNFPA and the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, will take place in Budapest during 7-9 December 1998. . The objective will be to conduct a review and appraisal of the implementation in the ECE region of the ICPD Programme of Action and of the recommendations of the European Population Conference (Geneva, 1993) which was the ECE regional preparatory meeting for the Cairo Conference. Following deliberations in this areas, it is expected that the Meeting will adopt two substantive documents which represent the contributions of the ECE region to the ICPD+5: (I) "Conclusions", which will highlight the major issues, problems and policy responses addressed by the Meeting; and (ii) "Cooperation in Population Analysis", which will propose major directions for promoting research and population analysis. Information on the meeting is available at http://www.unece.org/ead/pau/rpm

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ESCAP: ICPD+5 Years

ESCAP was the first regional commission to organize a High-level Meeting to Review the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Bali Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development in Bangkok on 24- 27 March 1998. Such a meeting served as a model for the other regional commission in order to obtain input from all regions for the Hague Forum which will be held in the Hague, the Netherlands, from 8 to 12 February 1999, to assess the progress and constraints faced by countries in the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted at the ICPD held in Cairo in September 1994. ESCAP is also mounting the papers from that high-level meeting on the ICPD+5 homepage on the Internet: http://unescap.org/pop1/icdp/icdp.htm.

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ECLAC: ICPD+5 Years

On December 14 and 15, the Presiding Officers of the ECLAC Sessional Ad-Hoc Committee on Population and Development will meet in Santiago to review a draft of the Regional Report from Latin America and the Caribbean on the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action recommendations. ECLAC's Population Division-CELADE, in collaboration with UNFPA, is preparing the draft on the basis of twenty-one national reports which highlight the results and difficulties governments have faced in the implementation of the ICPD recommendations. Prior to the Santiago meeting, there will be a Sub-regional Caribbean meeting to examine the specific characteristics of that sub-region vis-a-vis the implementation of the ICPD Action Plan.

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ECA: ICPD+5 Years

ECA organized the Third meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the Implementation of the Dakar/Ngor Declaration and the ICPD-Cairo Programme of Action on 23 September 1998, in Addis Ababa. A number of African countries informed the meeting that they have already started making major changes in the way they formulate and implement their policies based on the ICPD-PA. The necessity of involving the NGOs, especially women was also stressed, as was the vital role to be played by parliamentarians in creating the right political climate. Achievements noted by the meeting included improvements in girl's education in Egypt, Uganda, and Senegal, the participation of NGOs in tackling issues related to sexual activity of adolescents and the complications of abortion.

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ESCWA: ICPD+5 Years

The Arab Conference on Implementation of the ICPD was held from 22-25 September 1998 in Beirut, Lebanon in collaboration with the Arab League and UNFPA. The main objectives of the Conference were to review and appraise the progress achieved and the constraints faced in the implementation of ICPD Programme of Action in the Arab Region; the development of mechanisms or indicators in the field of reproductive health, population policy and development strategies, migration, gender issues and participation by NGOs; as well as to recommend future actions. The results of these meetings will be wrapped up in the Arab Conference on Integrated follow-up to the Global Conferences.

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UNDP and Regional Commissions Agree to Develop Strategic Compact for Collaboration

At a meeting between the Administrator and Associate Administrator of UNDP, assisted by the Directors of the regional bureaus and the Special Unit on Technical Cooperation among developing countries (SU/TCDC), and the Executive Secretaries of the Regional Commissions, held on 16 September 1998, the executive heads agreed to develop a "Strategic Compact for Collaboration". They decided that the "Compact" should guide their inter-organizational relationship in the period ahead. The decision was taken in pursuance of the directive given by the 1998 Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1998/46 of 31 July 1998. That resolution adopted following an intensive review of the reforms and restructuring carried out by the Regional Commissions had, inter-alia, called for the reactivation of the UNDP/ Regional Commissions task force, closer cooperation between them and for the participation of the Commissions in the UNDAF.

The executive heads agreed on the elements of the "Compact" aimed at forcefully pursuing partnership between UNDP and the Regional Commissions, including on policy issues, on the basis of mutual complementarity. They also identified a set of modalities to operationalize the terms of reference of the UNDP/Regional Commissions Task Force which was established in February 1995. The measures include cooperation in relevant areas at the country, regional and global levels. There is also provision for yearly consultations between the concerned Regional Commissions and respective regional bureaus of UNDP, as well as for yearly review of implementation of the "Compact" by the executive heads. Further, progress in its implementation will be reported to ECOSOC.

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ACTIVITIES OF THE REGIONAL COMMISSIONS

ECE ACTIVITIES

ECE joins others as organizer of an International Forum on intellectual property

A unique partnership was established between governments and private enterprises to enforce intellectual property rights during the International Forum on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, held on 26-27 October 1998, at Palais des Nations, Geneva.

Industrial counterfeiting and piracy cost billions of dollars to countries throughout the world. For countries in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, this has meant enormous losses in revenue and investment, and is seriously undermining their fledgling market economies. To address the issue and discuss concrete ways of protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) in these countries, ECE, in conjunction with the European Union, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), organized a meeting of over 250 participants.

The Forum made recommendations on how to tackle the problem of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the central and eastern European region, and one of them was to create a group of experts, under the joint auspices of ECE and WIPO, to develop a constructive dialogue between the private sector and individual Governments and to implement its recommendations within the region.

The work of the proposed joint ECE and WIPO group of experts would be fully coordinated with all the technical-assistance efforts being undertaken by the European Union, WIPO and WTO.

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New Sulphur Protocol Enters Into Force

Sulphur has long been known to wreak havoc with our environment. During combustion, the sulphur from the fuels reacts with oxygen and forms sulphur dioxide, which transforms into sulphuric acid in the atmosphere. Each year all emitters together spew some 80 million tonnes of sulphur into the air worldwide.

To address this issue, a new Protocol to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution came into force on 5 August 1998. The Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions is the sixth in a series of specific international agreements negotiated within the framework of the ECE to combat air pollution. The Protocol was initially signed by 28 countries, and has so far been ratified by 18 of them (Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the European Community) -- more than the 16 required for it to come into effect.

More Container Transport on Inland Waterways in Europe

Under the auspices of ECE, a group of experts in 1991 worked on a Protocol on combined transport on inland waterways to the European Agreement on Important International Combined Transport Lines and Related Installations (AGTC). Since then, there have been thirteen ECE member countries which have signed the Protocol, with Bulgaria being the last member country to do so on 28 October 1998 .

The main objective of the Protocol is to emphasize the importance European Governments accord to the development of combined transport services on European inland waterways and coastal routes with a view to reducing the environmental impact of transport sector. In order to achieve this objective, the Protocol to the AGTC Agreement determines all important European inland waterways, canals and coastal routes that are suitable for the use of combined transport operations (containers, swap-bodies, semi-trailers, trucks).

The Protocol will enter into force after five States have ratified it. Three States (Czech Republic, Denmark and Switzerland) have ratified it so far.

ECE on Sustainable Energy

One of the highlights of this year's session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy, held in Geneva 16-18 October 1998, was the review of the achievements of the Energy Efficiency 2000 Project, which fosters Energy Efficiency Demonstration Zones in ECE transition countries. Its success has been the leveraging of comparatively small technical assistance support in the Project to obtain much larger technical assistance grants. For example, the Project worked with the World Bank, with the support of Norway, for investment in eight Energy Efficiency Demonstration Zones in Russia.

The Project's Action Plan looks beyond Demonstration Zones to encourage the modernisation of transition country energy sectors through networking, traditional capacity development and technical assistance activities to facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency projects. The Project's Bureau foresees the need to enter into a new phase, "Energy Efficiency 21" to assist governments to meet their international treaty commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and ECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution.

New Appointment of Deputy Executive Secretary

Since 2 November 1998, Mrs. Danuta Huebner assumed the post of Deputy Executive Secretary of ECE. Mrs. Huebner, a national of Poland, has a Doctorate in economics from the Warsaw School of Economics. Her professional qualifications cover extensive teaching and research experience including research under a Fullbright grant at the University of Berkeley in the United States. In addition, she has held a number of key positions in the government: as Under-secretary of State in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in charge of, inter alia, relations with international organizations and integration with the European Union; as State Secretary for European Integration and, most recently, as the Minister in the President's office. Mrs. Huebner has also written numerous publications and articles on national and international economic issues.

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ESCAP ACTIVITIES

Project on Exchange Rate Policy for Least Developed Countries

The ESCAP secretariat has been implementing a project on "Options on Exchange Rate Policy in Least Developed Countries" to undertake, in light of the evolving trade and investment relationships between certain least developed countries and their larger neighbouring countries in Asia, an evaluation of their exchange rate policies and an assessment of the options for changes to these regimes. The findings from five country case studies were presented during an expert group meeting held in Bangkok from 30 September to 2 October 1998.

At a regional seminar scheduled to be held in early 1999 the conclusions and recommendations of the work will be presented to representatives from the Central Banks, Ministries of Finance and the National Planning Commissions of the least developed countries in Asia, as well as India and Thailand.

ECE-ESCAP Joint Seminar on the Implementation of the United Nations Framework Classification for Reserves/Resources of Solid Fuels and Minerals

The ECE-ESCAP Joint Seminar on the Implementation of the United Nations Framework Classification for Reserves/Resources of Solid Fuels and Minerals was conducted on 15-16 October 1998 at the Conference Centre in Bangkok. This event was the first of its kind in the region and will be followed by similar events aimed at achieving general acceptance and use of this new classification system throughout the UN membership. Though the task is difficult, it is believed that the effort will greatly facilitate investment flows and lead to more widespread economic growth.

The Impact of the Economic and Financial Crises on the Energy Sector

ESCAP will organize a regional workshop on Energy Environment Planning and the Impact of Financial Crisis on the Energy Sector in early December 1998. As a main input to the workshop, a regional study has been commissioned. Outcomes of the workshop will include identification of possible response strategies to some of the issues at the national and regional or international level. The fifty-fifth session of the Commission (April 1999) is also expected to deliberate on the topic.

ESCAP and DESA cooperate in a Project on Indicators of Sustainable Development - China, Maldives, Pakistan and the Philippines join in the follow-up

Following the recommendation of Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which called upon the governments and international organizations to develop and use indicators of sustainable development, ESCAP initiated a regional project on Indicators of Sustainable Development which is being implemented in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Amongst the numerous activities undertaken, a Regional Expert Group Meeting was organized in cooperation with DESA and the Ministry of Housing and Spatial Planning and Environment of the Government of the Netherlands. The meeting was organized to review the progress achieved at the national and regional levels on the formulation of indicators of sustainable development and to coordinate these and link them effectively to the global effort.

The great interest in developing indicators was manifest in the commitment of China, Maldives, Pakistan and the Philippines to act as the field testing countries. National workshops were held in all the four countries and a regional workshop was held in November in Bangkok to review the on-going work. A publication has also been issued under the project entitled, "Towards Indicators of Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific".

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Russian Federation, ECE and ESCAP cooperate in holding an International conference on Euro-Asian transport

An International conference on Euro-Asian Transport was held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, on 12-13 May 1998. The Conference was the first of its kind to address the issue of developing Asia-Europe transport linkages. It was organized by the Russian Ministry of Transport, with the support of ECE and ESCAP. The Declaration adopted by the Conference invited ECE, ESCAP and other international organizations concerned, to further promote European-Asian transport in a well coordinated manner. It recommended that ECE and ESCAP should consider the elaboration of a joint programme on development of transport links between Europe and Asia. In line with that recommendation, the possibility of establishing a joint ESCAP-ECE programme on the development of transport linkages between Asia and Europe was considered at the Third Meeting of the RICAP Subcommittee on Infrastructure Development, convened by ESCAP on 17 November 1998 in Bangkok.

Macau Declaration and Plan of Action on Ageing for Asia and the Pacific

The Macau Declaration and Plan of Action on Ageing for Asia and the Pacific was adopted on 1 October in Macau by ESCAP, which organized the meeting in collaboration with the Government of Macau from 28 September to 1 October, 1998. The Declaration coincided with the eve of a launch of the 1999 International Year of Older Persons on 1 October, by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the UN headquarters in New York. 1 October is also observed as the International Day of Older Persons.

Bangkok meeting discusses strategies to combat trafficking in women in Asia

A regional conference to discuss strategies to combat trafficking in women and children in Asia and the Pacific was held in Bangkok on 3-4 November 1998. Organized by ESCAP, the International Labour Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and the Asian Women's Fund, the conference brought together over fifty delegates from various Asian countries, UN agencies and NGO's working on the issue.

Opening the Conference on Trafficking in Women, Adrianus Mooy, the Executive Secretary of ESCAP said that strategies to combat trafficking in women and children must confront the transboundary nature of the activity. He said that rising unemployment and poverty, children dropping out of schools and the falling exchange rates in the region could lead to possible increase in trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation. Mr. Mooy warned that the deteriorating economic environment was cause for concern and called for new approaches and solutions to tackle the problem.

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ECLAC ACTIVITIES


Photo: Jose Antonio Ocampo, Executive Secretary for ECLAC, Enrique V. Iglesias, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and economist Rosemary Thorp during the commemoration of ECLAC's 50th anniversary.
ECLAC Celebrated its 50th Anniversary with an "intellectual fiesta" in its Santiago headquarters

On 26 October, ECLAC commemorated half a century of service to the economic and social development of the region with a seminar "50 Years of ECLAC: Its Contribution to Latin American Thinking and Development".

In addition to the Executive Secretary, José Antonio Ocampo, and Chile's Minister of Finance, Eduardo Aninat, other participants included ECLAC's last three Executive Secretaries, Gert Rosenthal, Norberto González and Enrique V. Iglesias, now President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Albert Fishlow, of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Nora Lustig, Principal Adviser at IDB, Jorge Leiva, Minister of Economy of Chile, and two former staff members, Edmar Bacha, President of BBA Securities Corp and Víctor Urquidi, Emeritus Research Professor at the Colegio de México, also took part. Raúl Troncoso, Vice-President of Chile, closed the seminar.

Divided into four panel sessions, the seminar examined the historical evolution of the institution's thinking over the past 50 years and the nature and impact of its main ideas on the region's socioeconomic development. "Challenges for the Future" was the topic of the last session, in which Aninat, Ocampo and Juan Antonio Morales, President of the Central Bank of Bolivia, took part.

Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, sent a message on the occasion in which he said that ECLAC was "a meeting-place for Governments, policy-makers and representatives of civil society to exchange views and reach regional consensus. It is both a think-tank and a service centre at the disposal of the Governments of Member States. It is an integral part of the Latin American and Caribbean intellectual movement that has inspired truly regional economic thinking."

As part of the commemoration of ECLAC's 50th anniversary, a book entitled "Progress, Poverty and Exclusion: An Economic History of Latin America in the 20th Century", edited by the economist Rosemary Thorp, was presented at the Commission's Santiago headquarters. Rosemary Thorp is Director of the Latin American Centre at the University of Oxford.

New ECLAC Newsletter Launched

The first edition of ECLAC's new bi-monthly newsletter, "ECLAC Notes", was published on 21 October, in printed form and on the Commission's Internet site: http://www.eclac.org. The newsletter is in Acrobat Reader PDF format. The purpose of "ECLAC Notes" is to bring together in a single medium the information and ideas provided by three previous publications. The newsletter discusses the major economic and social issues facing the region, in a style which is readable and accessible to the general reader.

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Focus on Small Island Developing States

The First Caribbean Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Small Island Developing States met in Bridgetown, Barbados from November 13-14 1997, and affirmed that environmental problems have no national boundaries. They declared that regional coordinating mechanism is necessary to facilitate a coordinated approach to the implementation of the SIDS POA, in particular, to facilitate preparations for the Review of the SIDS POA in 1999, and to develop common approaches to negotiations and joint representation at regional and international forums. ECLAC has released a report which also includes the country profiles of each of the 23 member governments invited to the Caribbean Ministerial Meeting. More information is available at www.community.wow/eclac/home.htm

Latin America: Population Projections 1970-2050

By the middle of next century, the population of Latin America and the Caribbean will reach 817,289 million, compared with 504,111 million in 1998, says the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Centre (CELADE) in the latest edition of its Demographic Bulletin, number 62.

CELADE, which is part of the ECLAC system, is publishing this special edition to commemorate the Bulletin's 30th anniversary. It includes population estimates and projections, by sex and age, for the twenty countries of Latin America, plus tables on the region as a whole. Among the latter are fertility, birth, infant mortality and migration rates, among others, all estimated every five years.

ECLAC Implements Project on Comparative Study of Development Strategies and Trade Policies in Selected East Asian and Latin American Countries

During of 1997 and 1998, ECLAC carried out a project "Comparative study of development strategies of selected East-Asian and Latin American countries with special reference to trade and industrial policies under the new international trading system". The project was designed to extract from the experiences of both regions, the essence of the appropriate public policy in industrial and trade development and to identify its new role and available instruments, in conformity with the post-Uruguay Round trade regime. For this purpose, six comparative case studies (Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Argentina, Brazil and Chile) were undertaken. The comparative studies were discussed in a seminar organized by ECLAC which was held in Santiago on 11-12 August 1998.

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ECA ACTIVITIES


Photo: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Mrs. Nane Annan attending the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) held in Tokyo, 19-21 October 1998.

TICAD II sets goals to eradicate poverty, promises bright future for Africa-Asia cooperation

Representatives from 80 countries, 22 NGOs and 40 international organizations met in Tokyo, Japan from 19-21 October 1998, to discuss ways of eradicating poverty in Africa and integrating the continent with the global economy through accelerated economic growth and sustainable development.

The occasion was TICAD II - the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development co-organized by the Government of Japan, the United Nations and the Global Coalition for Africa.

Opening the conference, Japan's Prime Minister, Mr. Keizo Obuchi, pointed to the encouraging recent economic performance of many African countries, at least 20 of which he said had achieved impressive GDP growth rates, and were putting in place multiparty democratic systems. However, he added, the reality was still that poverty remained a deeply-rooted fact of life for a large number of Africans.

TICAD II, said Mr. Obuchi, represented a unique opportunity to bring together Africans, Asians and Europeans, to forge a new and achievable compact for moving Africa forward. Despite its financial difficulties, Mr. Obuchi asserted that Japan remained committed to African development, and stood ready to increase its investments in social development, human resource development, private sector investment, and grants for countries who repay loans from Japan. Japan would also establish an Asia-Africa investment information service centre in Malaysia.

In his keynote address to the conference, delivered on the adoption of the Tokyo Agenda for Action, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed the need for ensuring human security in Africa through peace, democratic governance, protection of the environment, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Fifteen heads of state or government from African and Asia participated in the three-day conference, among them Botswana's President Festus Mogae, Deputy South African President Thabo Mbeki, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Malaysia's Mahathir Mohammed, and President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana.

Among other issues raised, many African speakers called for greater flexibility in the implementation of HIPC. Given that Asian countries had the same GDP as their African counterparts, if not lower, 30 years ago, the leaders stressed that their countries could learn important lessons from the Asian experience, though knowledge-sharing and skills transfer.

In his statement, ECA's Executive Secretary, Mr. K.Y. Amoako, posed five long-term challenges for Africa in line with the goals of TICAD II: Financing Africa's development through improved aid, sustainable debt management and investment; Maintaining the focus on Africa's human resource development; Harnessing the enormous potential of information technology; Strengthening regional cooperation and integration; and delivering the fruits of South-South cooperation.

ECA Hosts High-Level Science and Technology Meeting

ECA's Food Security and Sustainable Development Division held a two-day meeting of the First Dialogue of Ministers and leaders in the private sector on Science and Technology for Africa's Development, on 18-19 June 1998 in Addis Ababa..

The meeting explored the facts behind the bleak reality of a continent where per capita food production is fast declining, while population is growing faster than the rate of food production and environmental degradation escalating.

The Commission's vision is to develop a more effective function that catalyses the harnessing of science and technology by member states and mobilises adequate resources to enable them access the technologies required for the new millennium.

The Commission will also foster links between research institutions and industries, while spearheading the provision of real services to clusters of manufacturing small and medium enterprises in the region. Seven out of the total 19 best practice cases commissioned will be out shortly, both in print and on the web: http://www.un.org/Depts/eca.

ECA and Women Entrepreneurs

ECA's Deputy Executive Secretary, Ms. Lalla Ben Barka, addressed the Second Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fair and Investment Forum which was held in Addis Ababa, 15 - 23 October 1998. Ms. Ben Barka reiterated that ECA was deeply committed to the goals of the Trade Fair and Investment Forum organized by the African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs and the Ethiopian Women Entrepreneurs Association. She mentioned the achievements of the First Trade Fair and Investment Forum, held in Ghana in 1996, and how these fora were part of a far-reaching strategic process which will further empower women entrepreneurs towards the ultimate goal of poverty eradication, economic development and sustained prosperity in Africa.

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ESCWA ACTIVITIES


Photo: Hazem El-Beblawi, Executive Secretary of ESCWA, and Fawaz Fokeladeh, Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau of Arab States, at the signing ceremony of the flagship project on 17 September 1998.

Arab Countries Strive to Meet International Goals Set at UN Conferences

Arab countries' efforts to achieve development goals set by the international community at major UN conferences will soon receive a boost through an agreement signed on 17 September 1998, by top UN officials in New York.

Mr. Hazem El-Beblawi, Executive-Secretary of ESCWA, and Mr. Fawaz Fokeladeh, Assistant Administrator, UNDP Arab States, signed in the presence of Mr.Rafeeuddin Ahmen, UNDP Associate Administrator, a regional project that will build the Arab region's institutional capacity to meet internationally set targets, particularly for social development and reduction of poverty. While implementation of recommendations stemming from these conferences remains the responsibility of the member states, UNDP and ESCWA will support them through advocacy efforts and by developing indicators useful for policy, strategy and programme development, and for measuring their effectiveness.

The agreement, Mr. El-Beblawi said, will increase public awareness about the international goals, strengthen activities of the existing Arab institutions to develop policies in line with the UN conferences, and set up a network of policymakers, non-governmental organizations and others to enable the regional exchange of ideas and information.

ESCWA Survey Stresses the Urgency for An Integrated Approach to Management to Water Resources in Western Asia

ESCWA said in a survey on water management and development that water scarcity is common throughout the ESCWA region, due in part to the arid environmental conditions covering more than 95 percent of its area, as well as other factors. Water scarcity in the ESCWA region can be attributed to natural variation of water sources, lack of adequate financial resources, and unsustainable use of water. The semi-arid and extremely arid climate of the ESCWA region significantly affects spatial and temporal variance of fresh water availability.

The governments in the region, as well as regional UN agencies, are now increasingly concerned with water shortages caused by water scarcity, increased water demand resulting from high population growth, the need for increased food production, and diminishing water supplies caused by pollution. The population in most of the ESCWA members is expected to double during the next 23 years, with substantial increases in water demand.

ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources meets in Beirut

The ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources met from 29 September to 1 October 1998 immediately following the eight meeting of the Interagency Steering Committee on Water Supply and Sanitation held on the 28 September. The meeting was attended by representatives from UNDP, UNICEF, WFO, UNESCO, UN University, World Bank, World Water Council, and other UN agencies. The agenda included: follow-up to the decisions of the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development; follow-up on decisions of IACSD and ACC; water supply and sanitation and other issues including public information with particular reference to World Day for Water.

A decision was taken to establish a working group (initially composed of DESA, ESCWA, UNEP, UNU, FAO, UNIDO, UNESCO and WMO) to review the collection, analysis, and dissemination of national information in the field of water resources with view to improving the reporting format particularly data consistency and relevance . In addition, ACC decided to develop proposals for the preparation of a periodic report with a view to publishing the first edition in 2002; provide formal briefings to delegations during the sessions of CSD ; provide inputs for the report of the SG for CSD-8; and, request UNEP to provide a report to the twentieth session of the Subcommittee containing its interpretation and analysis of the impact of the CSD decision on its provision of technical and scientific advice.

ESCWA Organizes Statistical Workshop on Gender Statistics

The First National Workshop for producers and users of gender statistics was held from 7-8 July 1998, in Beirut, Lebanon. The meeting was held in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children Fund ( UNICEF), The International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Center for Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR). It was also attended by UNESCO and ILO.

The recommendations adopted focussed on strengthening the database on gender indicators; identify the country/region specific gender indicators; classify gender indicators under the main headings: demographic, social and economic; identifying gender indicators by three age segments; adopting a uniform definition of the gender indicators to produce comparable statistics; recommending a format for uniform presentation of data; and evaluating gender statistics produced by different agencies.

ESCWA Follow-up to Global Conferences

Two meetings on the follow-up to international conferences will be held before the end of the current year. These are: the Follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Human Settlement (Habitat II) to be held from 24 to 27 November 1998 in Beirut, Lebanon and the Second Arab Meeting for the Follow-up to the Beijing Conference to be held from 12-15 December 1998 also in Beirut, Lebanon. The latter will focus on three themes: reporting requirements, institution-building and capacity-building. It aims at assisting member States in preparing adequately and in a timely manner for Beijing plus Five (to be held in June 2000 in New York). The results of these meetings, together with the Follow-up to the International Conference on Population and Development (see article on ICPD+5 below) will be wrapped up in the Arab Conference on Integrated follow-up to the Global Conferences.

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Regional Commissions meetings scheduled for December 1998 - March 1999

ECE Calendar of Meetings

December

7-9 Regional Population Meeting (Budapest, Hungary)

7-11 Executive Body for the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution

1999

January

12-15 Working Party on Pollution and Energy

February

8-11 Inland Transport Committee

16-18 Working Party on the Standardization of Technical and Safety Requirements in Inland Navigation

March

15-18 Centre for Facilitation of Procedures and Practices for Administration, Commerce and Transport (CEFACT)

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ESCAP Calendar of Meetings

December

1- 4 Regional Seminar on promoting a society for all ages

9- 11 Regional seminar on options for exchange rate policies in least developed countries

13-15 UNCTAD/ESCAP Regional Seminar-cum-Study Tour on RAILWICS (Dhaka)

1999

January

(open) Regional symposium on the integration of Indo-China into the regional and global trading environment (Singapore)

February

9-12 High-level expert group meeting on the final review of implementation of the Programme of action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990's

24-26 Fifth meeting of senior officials on environmental cooperation in North-East Asia (Kobe)

March

(open) Seminar on skills formation and capacity-building in trade promotion in the transitional economies of Central Asia and Trans-Caucasus

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ECLAC Calendar of Meetings

November

30- 4 Sub-regional Training Workshop on placing Population Information on the World Wide Web

30- 3 Regional Meeting on the International Year of the Ocean

December

2- 4 Twenty-seventh session of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (San Salvador)

14-15 Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the ECLAC Sessional Ad Hoc Committee on Population and Development preparatory to the regional five-year revision of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+5)

1999

First half of the year

Twenty-eight meeting of the Presiding of the Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean

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ECA Calendar of Meetings

November

2 - 6 Joint ECA/MIGA symposium on African mining (Morocco)

December

5 Workshop on Conflict Resolution Methods and Techniques

1999

January

5 - 29 Committee on Sustainable Development

February

1 - 5 Chief Executives meeting ECA/OAU/ADB, and IGOs meeting (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)

9 - 11 Social Summit Follow-Up meeting -Western and Central Africa (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)

15 - 19 Committee on Development Information

March

23 - 25 Social Summit Follow-up meeting- North Africa (Rabat, Morocco)

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ESCWA Calendar of meetings

December

1- 3 Expert Group Meeting on the Implications of the UN Global Conferences on Social Statistics

8-11 Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab conference on integrated follow-up to global conferences: Follow-up to the World Summit on Social Development (WSSD)

15-18 Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Arab conference on integrated follow-up to global conferences: Follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW)

1999

February

2- 5 Expert group meeting on national standardization in the Arab countries

9-10 First Session of the Committee on Transport

(open) Second Session of the Committee on Social Development

March

9-12 Expert Group meeting on science and technology policies in ESCWA member countries for the 21 century

(open) Expert Group meeting on updating assessment of water resources in ESCWA member States and Second Session of the Committee on Water Resources

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Selected Publications

ECE Publications

Economic Survey of Europe, 1998, No. 2

Comprehensive database on Chemical Legislation From 25 Countries on CD-ROM (Sales No: GV.E.98.0.17or ISBN number 92-1-100776-3).

Timber Bulletin "Forest Products Annual Market Review"(ISSN 0259 4323)

World Robotics 1998 - Statistics, Market Analysis, Forecasts, Case Studies and Profitability of Robot Investment (Sales No. GV.E.98.25)

Sources of Financing Energy Efficiency Projects in Central and Eastern Europe (Sales No.: GV.98.0.13 ISBN: 92-1-100773-9)

Role of Foreign Direct Investment in the Gas Industry: Economies in Transition and Southern Mediterranean Countries (Sales No.: GV.98.0.5 ISBN: 92-1-100768-2)

Annual Bulletin of Transport Statistics for Europe and North America (Sales No: 98.II.E.11 ISBN: 92-1-016333-8)

European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR): 1997 Corrections, 1997 Amendments and Draft 1999 Amendments to Annexes A and B (SALES NO.: 98.VIII.2 ISBN: 92-1-139061-3)

Statistics of Road Traffic Accidents in Europe and North America (SALES NO.: 98.II.E.10 ISBN: 9210163311)

Annual Review of the Chemical Industry in 1997: Production and Trade Statistics 1994-1996 (Sales No.: 98.II.E.15 ISBN: 9211166942)

Steel Market in 1997 and Prospects for 1998 (Sales No.: 98.II.E.19 ISBN: 9211166977)

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ESCAP Publications

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific (Sales No.: 98.II.F.1 ISBN: 9211198127)

Agenda 21 and Challenges for Asia and the Pacific (Sales No.: 98.II.F.29 ISBN: 9211198097)

Asian-Pacific Remote Sensing and GIS Journal (Sales No.: 98.II.F.34 ISBN:9211198216)

Statistical Indicators for Asia and the Pacific (SALES NO.: 98.II.F.50 ISBN: 9211198399)

Towards Sustainable Minerals Supply in the Asian and Pacific Region: Review of Emerging Mineral Policies and Development Activities (ST/ESCAP/1799)

Harmonization of Various Initiatives for Promoting Regional Cooperation in Space Technology Development and Applications in the Asian and Pacific Region (ST/ESCAP/1888)

Industrial and Technological Development News for Asia and the Pacific, Nos. 23 and 24 (Sales No. E.95.II.F.15)

The role of the private sector and privatization for industrial and technological development in South Asian Economies (ST/ESCAP/1777)

Asia and the Pacific into the Twenty-first century: Prospect for Social Development (ST/ESCAP/1887)

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ECLAC Publications

Social Panorama of Latin America (Sales No.: 98.II.G.3 ISBN: 9211212243)

Survey of Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean Over Recent Decades (Performance Indicators in Charts and Tables) (Sales No. 98.II.G.98)

América Latina: Proyecciones de Población 1970-2050/Latin America: Population Projections" (Spanish and English bilingual edition) (Symbol LG/DEM/G.180)

"La Integración Centroamericana y la Institucionalidad Regional" (Spanish)

"Selected Statistical Indicators of Caribbean Countries Vol X, 1997" (English) (LC/CAR/G.535)

"La Educación de las Mujeres: de la Marginalidad a la Coeducación" (Spanish) (LC/L.1120)

"Integración Regional Latinoamericana, Globalización y Comercio Sur-Sur" (Spanish) (LC/R.1820)

"Non-Tax Revenue of Subnational Governments: Theoretical Background, Experience from an International Perspective and Recommendations" (English) LC/L.1115

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ECA' Forthcoming Publications

Status of Women in Africa - 53 country brochures (Book format)

Enhancing the effectiveness of African CSOs/NGOs - Working Paper Series

Economic Report on Africa, 1998 - Flagship publication

A comparative analysis of the commitments under the treaty establishing the African Economic Community and the agreements from the Uruguay Round of Multilateral trade negotiations: Proposal for harmonization - Conference Proceeding.

Gender and ICTs, African Women Speak Out!

African Women Report

African Statistical Yearbook

Science and Technology for Sustainable Development - Briefing Paper Series

Study on the liberalization of World Trade, globalization, & African economic integration: a reassessment of the Abuja Treaty processes for establishing the African Economic Community - Working Paper Series

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ESCWA Publications

Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

Manual on Arabic/English Braille Computer for blind women and information accessibility guidelines in the ESCWA region (E/ESCWA/SD/1998/9)

ESCWA-1996-97 biennial Report (E/ESCWA/1998/1)

Manifestations of and approaches to alleviating poverty in Western Asia: The role of income-generating activities in eradicating poverty and improving the standard of living in local communities (E/ESCWA/SD/1998/2)

Developmental role of the informal sector in community development: cases of Egypt and the Republic of Yemen (E/ESCWA/SD/1998/1)

The role of NGOs in local community development (E/ESCWA/SD/1998/6)

Critical assessment of local community development in Arab rural areas, concepts and experiences (E/ESCWA/SD/1998/3)

Manual on community development (E/ ESCWA/SD/1998/8)

Final report on the Expert group meeting on the implementation of the 1993 System of National Accounts (E/ESCWA/STAT/1998/3)

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Regional Commissions New York Office (RCNYO)

For information on publications of the Regional Commissions, or for any other matter relating to the newsletter, please contact:

Regional Commissions New York Office (RCNYO)

Room S-3127, United Nations

New York, NY 10017

Tel. 212 (963-6905, Fax (212) 963-1500

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Regional Commissions Homepages

ECE: www.unece.org/welcome.html

ESCAP: www.unescap.org

ECLAC: www.eclac.cl

ECA: www.un.org/Depts/eca

ESCWA: www.escwa.org.lb

Regional Commissions Development Update: www.un.org/News/facts.htm

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