United Nations

A/53/374


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

15 September 1998

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH




                                                      A/53/374
       
                                                      Original: English
                     

General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Agenda items 93 and 113*

Sustainable development and international 
  economic cooperation
Programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999

     * E/1998/100.

   
                 Utilization of the development dividend


                     Report of the Secretary-General


Contents         

                                                     Paragraphs   Page 

  I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1-8        3

 II.  Networking for development . . . . . . . . . . .   9-16       4

III.  Proposals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17-72       5

      A.   Promotion of electronic commerce (United 
           Nations Conference on Trade and Development) 17-23       5

      B.   Capacity-building in economic and social 
           policy analysis in Africa through the 
           networking of expertise (Economic 
           Commission for Africa). . . . . . . . . . .  24-30       6

      C.   Extension of access of developing countries 
           and countries with economies in transition 
           to Mercure satellite telecommunication 
           system for interconnectivity in 
           environmental information and data (United 
           Nations Environment Programme). . . . . . .  31-37       7

      D.   Computer and telecommunication system for 
           international and national drug control 
           (United Nations International Drug Control 
           Programme). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  38-44       8


      E.   Capacity-building and networking for the 
           implementation of the Habitat Agenda in 
           least developed countries (United Nations 
           Centre for Human Settlements) . . . . . . .  45-51       9

      F.   On-line development centre (Department of 
           Economic and Social Affairs of the United 
           Nations Secretariat). . . . . . . . . . . .  52-58      10

      G.   Research network for global policy analysis 
           (Department of Economic and Social Affairs 
           of the United Nations Secretariat). . . . .  59-65      11

      H.   Activities for the implementation of Agenda 
           21, the Copenhagen Declaration and the 
           Programme of Action of the World Summit for 
           Social Development, and the Beijing 
           Declaration and Platform for Action 
           (Department of Economic and Social Affairs 
           of the United Nations Secretariat). . . . .  66-72      12

Annex

           Resource requirements, by project . . . . . . . . . .   14


        I.     Introduction


1.   The present report contains proposals for use of the
development dividend following the establishment of the
Development Account, as discussed in the report of the
Secretary-General entitled "Renewing the United Nations:
a programme for reform" (A/51/950; see in particular
actions 21 and 22) and further elaborated upon in the
addendum thereto entitled "Creating a dividend for
development" (A/51/950/Add.5).

2.    The General Assembly, in paragraph 6 of its
resolution 52/235, entitled "Development account",
requested the Secretary-General to submit proposals on the
use of the funds available under a new section 34 of the
programme budget for the biennium 1998 1999. In
paragraph 4 of the same resolution, the Assembly requested
the Secretary-General to include programmatic objectives
and direction of the Development Account. The report of
the Secretary-General on utilization of the development
dividend (E/1998/81) was submitted to the Economic and
Social Council at its substantive session of 1998; the present
report includes further details on the proposals made in that
report.

3.    In accordance with that resolution, the present report
has been prepared and is submitted for consideration. The
report contains proposals that have been drawn up within
$13.065 million appropriation to maximize its impact. They
draw upon and contribute to the relevant priorities and
subprogrammes established in the medium-term plan for the
period 1998-2001. However, the proposed projects will
complement and not substitute existing activities.

4.    The Programme Manager for the development account
is the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social
Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, who is the
Convener of the Executive Committee-Economic and Social
Affairs, which comprises the Department of Economic and
Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the United
Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations
Centre for Human Settlements, the United Nations
International Drug Control Programme, the regional
commissions, the United Nations University, and the
research/training institutes. The Executive Committee, inter
alia, strengthens policy coherence and cost-effectiveness
in the economic and social area. One of its main objectives
is to maximize programme impact and minimize
administrative costs. The Executive Committee, in its
statement of objectives, expressed the need to facilitate a
more effective participation of developing countries in
global processes and to achieve a better balance between
the global and regional dimensions of development in terms
of analysis, norm setting and technical assistance. The
current proposals have been formulated by individual
entities comprising the Executive Committee, in the context
of these broad objectives, as well as in the light of the report
of the Secretary-General on utilization of the Development
Account (A/52/848). Those entities will also be responsible
for their implementation.

5.    The Agenda for Development strongly emphasizes the
role of the United Nations system for revitalizing
development. In a world where globalization, liberalization
and interdependence have become key features of the world
economy, the most important challenge for developing
countries is the realization of development, which, inter
alia, calls for economic growth and favourable external
conditions. That is the larger setting for the proposals
contained in the present report.

6.    The performance criteria for financing project
proposals from the Development Account are indicated in
the report of the Secretary-General on the Development
Account (A/52/1009). The projects for the utilization of the
Development Account have been developed on the basis of
those criteria. For the biennium 1998-1999, the projects
focus on the concept of networking for development as a
key means to broaden the benefits of the process of
globalization and to avoid the risk of marginalization of
developing countries, in particular the least developed
countries, in the world economy. The concept is mainly
concerned with the way in which the United Nations can
facilitate and contribute to the participation of developing
countries in global and regional information networks.

7.    Section II below describes the overall concept of
networking for development. Section III contains a number
of specific proposals formulated and agreed upon by the
members of the Executive Committee for Economic and
Social Affairs, which are introduced for funding by the
Development Account.

8.    At its thirty-eighth session, during its consideration
of the programme narrative for section 7A, Economic and
social affairs, and section 26, Public information, the
Committee on Programme Coordination noted with concern
that without suitable indicators to measure progress towards
the accomplishment of objectives, eventual evaluation could
not fully determine the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness
and impact of the programme, and recommended that
improvements be effected by better formulation of
objectives and the inclusion of indicators of achievement
(see A/53/16, Part 1, paras. 179 and 180, and 206 and 207).
Moreover, during several informal consultations on the
development account, the view was repeatedly expressed
that project proposals should contain measurable indicators
of progress. Consequently, in keeping with the views
expressed by the Committee on Programme Coordination,
efforts have been made in the present report to develop
project designs that would allow an assessment of progress
in terms of accomplishments and impact. Accordingly, the
project design for each proposed project -- in addition to
providing background information to the problem to be
addressed, the relation to the medium-term plan, the
duration of the project, the proposed activities and
estimated resource requirements -- sets forth the
objective(s), the expected results and relevant indicators of
expected achievements. The objective expresses the overall
desired accomplishment that the Organization wishes to
achieve during the period through the implementation of the
project in question. Expected results are the changes or
other benefits that will accrue to the end-users or recipients
of the project activities in the course of striving to achieve
the objective. In relation to the objective(s), the expected
results are generally of a more concrete nature. Indicators
are measurable features that will help to determine whether
and to what extent the expected results have been achieved.
They are derived from the expected results, and are
designed to provide an objective and specific scale against
which progress can be measured. Indicators look beyond the
mere quantity of the activities and outputs of the projects
and attempt to measure their impact.


       II.     Networking for development


9.   The rationale for this approach is that full and
effective participation in the emerging global information
network is increasingly of fundamental importance for a
country to benefit from globalization and to avoid
marginalization. Information technology has made
commerce, banking, entertainment, services, the assembly
line, education and health care all fundamentally different
today than they were only a decade ago. Today, information
technology goes far beyond mass media communication,
offering possibilities for change and new perspectives on
development. Information technology permits rapid
dissemination of ideas, processes, and supplements
education, science, health care and culture.

10.  This approach has been recently reiterated by the
Commission for Social Development in its resolution 36/1,
which contains agreed conclusions for attention and
follow-up by the Economic and Social Council that,
inter alia, indicated that information is not only a
commodity. Access to information is essential for full
participation in all spheres of life, including the global
economy. In its resolution 1998/29, the Economic and
Social Council also reiterated the high priority that it
attaches to ensuring easy, economical, uncomplicated and
unhindered access for States Members of the United Nations
and observers, through, inter alia, their permanent missions,
to the growing number of computerized databases and
information systems and services of the United Nations.
Policies should be formulated to promote new, cost-effective, 
inclusive and participatory approaches in the
production, dissemination and use of information. To avoid
the widening of the gap between the information-rich and
the information-poor, particularly the gap between
developed and developing countries, strategies must be
developed to prioritize and promote adequate investment,
including access to technology, in order to provide equal
opportunity for all. In particular, measures should be taken
to promote access by developing countries to the new
information superhighway.

11.  Information flows -- and consequently information
technology -- have been and are a major engine of
globalization. However, many developing countries are still
at the margin of the global economy, and will be unable to
participate in it positively without a significant enhancement
of their ability to connect to major international information
networks. Furthermore, developing countries' data
requirements for economic, social and environmental policy
management, including monitoring and implementation of
national and regional programmes, as well as requirements
emanating from the recently held United Nations global
conferences, are exceptionally high.

12.  Providing information technology presents a low-cost
solution for the better integration of developing countries
in the world economy, where timely information plays a
vital role. Information technology contributes to a better
integration of developing countries in the world economy,
and it creates the conditions in which exchanges of
experiences and best practices within and among developing
countries, as well as between developed and developing
countries, can take place. Effective country-level follow-up
of recent United Nations global conferences calls for
institutional capacities to integrate economic, social and
environmental aspects in development decision-making.
Improved access to modern information technology will
facilitate such integration.

13.  Information technology sets the stage for increasingly
indispensable networking, not only among policy makers
in developing countries but also among research institutions
in these countries. Furthermore, information technology will
make it possible to have such networking encompass
linkages to the world at large, including the United Nations
policy analysis capabilities and its research institutes.

14.  The networking of experts must have a clear purpose.
The many recommendations of the cycle of United Nations
conferences on capacity-building can provide this focus.
The efforts that are being made at the country level and that
are supported by the United Nations funds, programmes and
agencies, inter alia, can be strengthened by more effective
arrangements for exchange of knowledge, experience and
ideas between countries.

15.  In his reform proposal, the Secretary-General
announced his intentions of increasing the use of
information technology and strengthening South-South
cooperation. Focusing the utilization of the development
dividend on information technology and networking for
development should be an important contributor to this goal.

16.  The eight current proposals are set out below.


      III.     Proposals


        A.     Promotion of electronic commerce (United
               Nations Conference on Trade and
               Development)


               Objectives

17.  Under the overall goal of promoting the development
of developing countries in the context of globalization and
interdependence, the objective proposed is to strengthen the
capacity of developing countries and countries with
economies in transition for trading at lower costs through
electronic commerce.


               Background 

18.  Electronic commerce is attracting attention in
multilateral discussions due to its potential impact on
international trade and development. It offers excellent
opportunities to trade at lower cost through the elimination
of intermediation and participation in global markets.
Currently, these opportunities have not been fully identified
and taken advantage of by developing countries and
countries in transition due to information gaps, high cost
and lack of external support in the start-up stages. The
United Nations system can play a catalytic role by providing
information, equipment and the networking capabilities
through a strengthening of the Global Trade Point Network
operated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development (UNCTAD).

               Relation to medium-term plan

19.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 9 (Trade and
development), particularly subprogramme 9.4 (Services
infrastructure for development and trade efficiency), and
will complement relevant programme activities in that area.
It will realize distinct results within two bienniums.


               Expected results

20.  The implementation of the project will result in (a) the
elimination of some of the obstacles to participating in
electronic commerce and increased access to physical
network, resources and technology, and (b) enhanced
awareness of decision makers and negotiators from
developing countries and countries in transition about the
nature and issues related to electronic commerce.


               Indicators

21.  Indicators will include: use of electronic commerce
by Government officials/decision makers who participated
in training programmes; number of hits on the Global Trade
Point Network (GTPNet) Web site; number of target
countries using proposed new electronic commerce
software; and number of respondents to survey indicating
that they have acquired understanding of (nature and issues
related to) electronic commerce through training materials
provided by the project.


               Duration

22.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Proposed activities

23.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Development and maintenance of information
exchange and policy analysis frameworks, particularly for
government officials in developing countries and countries
in transition, on (i) the impact of current proposals made in
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development, the World Trade Organization and elsewhere
for a global framework for electronic commerce, and (ii) the
nature and implications of potential internationally agreed
commitments/standards in the area of trade facilitation and
electronic commerce concerning government policies on the
different sectors involved in issues related to electronic
commerce;

               (b)     Analyses of the effects of internationally
adopted documentary standards and business practices for
electronic commerce (at both government and industry
levels) on businesses in developing countries and countries
in transition; two high-level expert meetings to discuss the
conclusions and recommendations of the above studies;

               (c)     Expert assistance and advice provided to the
Governments on policy issues relating to trade facilitation
and electronic commerce; trade points on the setting up and
marketing of electronic commerce services for small and
medium enterprises (SMEs) clients; 

               (d)     Two round-table conferences on electronic
commerce, bringing together Governments, the private
sector and civil society;

               (e)     Development of specialized software, such as
a database management system for electronic trading
opportunities from the Global Trade Point Network, and
dissemination through the network of trade points and the
GTP Net Web site; enrichment of the GTPNet Web site
through user-friendly design and the development of
interactive features to improve communication with clients;

               (f)     Preparation of computer-assisted training
courses for SMEs in developing countries and countries
with economies in transition on (i) export and import
practices in the age of electronic commerce, (ii)
international payments in electronic commerce, (iii) freight
forwarding and electronic commerce, and (iv) international
marketing, with a particular focus on the use of the Internet;
dissemination of information about electronic commerce,
with a focus on issues of relevance for developing countries
and countries in transition;

               (g)     Organization of a training-of-trainers course for
participants from 10 pilot countries.


               (For resource requirements, see annex)


        B.     Capacity-building in economic and social
               policy analysis in Africa through the
               networking of expertise (Economic
               Commission for Africa)


               Objectives

24.  Under the overall goal of assisting the understanding
by the international community of emerging challenges and
persistent problems in global development, the objective
proposed is to achieve more informed and broad-based
economic and social policy-making in Africa at the national
level, through a network of development expertise on the
region.


               Background

25.  Besides the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA),
which has the responsibility to advise Governments on
urgent national and regional policy issues, other institutions
and independent researchers in and outside Africa also
undertake research activities relevant to the African policy
environment. Linking these institutions and providing
results of their policy analysis more directly to decision
makers would add value to and increase the policy impact
of their work in the continent. The proposal will enable
ECA to tap network-affiliated expertise in a cost-effective
way to amass critical talent on behalf of the region, and to
make available to Member States relevant advice in a timely
manner. By teaming up with ECA, the networks and their
affiliated policy researchers would enjoy the benefit of
having a more direct impact on policy outcomes in ECA
Member States. In the implementation of the proposal, ECA
will mainly play the role of facilitator catalyst and serve as
a clearing house for best practices and a source of African
development information.


               Relation to medium-term plan

26.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 14 (Economic and
social development in Africa), particularly subprogramme
14.1 (Facilitating economic and social policy analysis), and
will complement relevant programme activities in that area.
It will offer a low-cost solution to developing countries in
networking of development expertise, and will realize
distinct results within two bienniums. 


               Expected results

27.  The implementation of the project will result in the
strengthening of a network of development expertise on
Africa with and among research centres and individual
experts, and enhanced analytical and applied skills at the
national policy-making level in support of economic and
social policy-making. 


               Indicators

28.  Indicators will include: number of research institutions
in/outside Africa participating in the network; number of
electronic communications between members of the
network; number of electronic visits to databases; number
of researchers and interns who have completed exchange
visits within the network; number of studies completed and
disseminated on behalf of the network; and number of
research institutions/researchers indicating that
skills/knowledge have been acquired from use of the
network and have been applied in government-sponsored
research.


               Duration

29.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Proposed activities 

30.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Undertaking studies of common national policy
issues, such as trade and exchange regimes, structural
adjustment policies and private-sector promotion policies;
undertaking analysis of subregional problems, such as
economic integration, transportation and standardization
issues, and water and natural resources management;
conducting studies on Africa-wide issues and issues facing
Africa, versus the rest of the world, such as global
environmental topics, international trade, monetary
arrangements and external debt negotiations;

               (b)     Strengthening communications infrastructure
through electronic connectivity with the target network
institutions;

               (c)     Organizing an annual network partners forum;

               (d)     Setting up a visiting scholars' programme at
ECA to increase the pool of professionals with hands-on
experience in policy analysis and operations;

               (e)     Implementing a staff exchange between research
institutions to pool expertise for its maximum usage in the
region; 

               (f)     Setting up a fellowship programme for young
African professionals to familiarize them with and
contribute to the research and policy operations of ECA,
Member States and the network, and to prepare these young
people for possible career assignments to network
organizations and Member States Governments;

               (g)     Establishing and sharing common databases in
the networks to increase the availability, quality and
accessibility of basic research inputs;

               (h)     Developing research methodology expertise in
the network.


               (For resource requirements, see annex)


        C.     Extension of access of developing
               countries and countries with economies in
               transition to Mercure satellite
               telecommunication system for
               interconnectivity in environmental
               information and data (United Nations
               Environment Programme)


               Objectives

31.  Under the overall goal of promoting the development
of developing countries in the context of globalization and
increasing interdependence, the objective proposed is to
increase the capacity of Governments of developing
countries and countries with economies in transition to
implement more effective environmental and natural
resources management through the use of Mercure satellite
telecommunication earth stations. 


               Background

32.  In November 1997, the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) launched the Mercure satellite
telecommunication system. The system is intended to
provide a high-speed satellite telecommunication capability
for environmental information and data exchange.
Currently, 16 countries have operational earth stations under
the Mercure system. For decision makers in developing
countries and countries with economies in transition, the
absence of access to a high-speed telecommunication system
is a serious obstacle to obtaining internationally available
information and data. Even for countries that have
connectivity on the Internet, access at very high costs is a
serious impediment. The proposal aims to provide selected
developing countries and countries with economies in
transition with the basic Mercure satellite
telecommunication earth stations and the associated local
area network capacity (optional) with a view to
strengthening their capabilities to access and exchange
environmental and sustainable development information and
data. 


               Relation to medium-term plan

33.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 10 (Environment),
particularly subprogramme 10.5 (Global and regional
servicing and support), and will complement relevant
programme activities in that area. It will offer a low-cost
solution to developing countries in environmental and
natural resources management, and will deliver distinct
results within two bienniums.

               Expected results

34.  The implementation of the project will result in
improved exchange facilities and access of Governments
of developing countries and countries with economies in
transition to information and data relating to environment
and sustainable development.


               Indicators

35.  Indicators will include: number of earth stations
installed and fully operational; and number of countries
indicating that data obtained from Mercure system is used
in environmental and natural resources management
decisions.


               Duration

36.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Activities

37.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Provision of Mercure earth stations (type B
specification) and associated equipment;

               (b)     Provision of a small-scale local area network
system (optional);

               (c)     Provision of training for earth station managers
and associated computer network officers;

               (d)     Provision of technical assistance during the
duration of the project on the use of the Mercure system to
access environmental information and data to facilitate
environmental planning and management;

               (e)     Support to the global Mercure system (satellite
transponder).


               (For resource requirements, see annex)


        D.     Computer and telecommunication system
               for international and national drug
               control (United Nations International
               Drug Control Programme)


               Objectives

38.  Under the overall goal of promoting the developing
of developing countries in the context of globalization and
increasing interdependence, objectives proposed are to
increase the capacity of participating Governments for
monitoring and management of the production,
manufacture, consumption, stocks and confiscation of
seizures of substances and preparations containing narcotic
drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.


               Background

39.  The production, manufacture of and trade in
psychoactive drugs and the chemicals needed for their illicit
manufacture should be controlled nationally and
internationally. The purpose of control is to prevent
diversion of substance into illicit channels, and to ensure
that countries obtain the quantities that they need for
medical, scientific and other licit purposes. Monitoring and
managing movements of controlled substances is a complex
process because it involves numerous partners. Information
needs to be exchanged between commercial companies,
national drug control administrations, customs officials and
the secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board.
To facilitate the process, a computer-based system, the
Computer and Telecommunication System for International
and National Drug Control, has been designed and is
available to strengthen the management and control of licit
movements of psychoactive drugs and precursor chemicals,
and to enhance timeliness of information exchange at the
national and international levels. The system primarily
enables national administrations to keep track of all
individual transactions in a computerized database. It
handles issuance of import-export authorizations,
certificates and pre-notifications with respect to
international licit trade. The system has been developed in
three separate phases. After collecting requirements from
Governments during 1990-1994, the first phase was the
actual development and test of the software package
(1995-1996). The second phase covered implementation
of the system in 25 countries (1997-1998). The third phase,
covered under the present proposal, involves the application
of the system in more countries, particularly developing
countries, and its further substantive development. It will
be achieved through the distribution, installation and
training of the Computer and Telecommunication System
for International and National Drug Control, as well as the
addition of new modules covering additional aspects of
demand reduction, such as an international drug abuse
assessment system, and modules on supply reduction, illicit
trafficking and law enforcement intelligence activities.


               Relation to medium-term plan

40.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 13 (International drug
control), particularly subprogramme 13.3 (Prevention and
reduction of drug abuse, elimination of illicit crops and
suppression of illicit drug trafficking), and will complement
relevant programme activities in that area. It offers a low-
cost solution to increasing the capacity of participating
countries in the area of international and national drug
control, and will realize distinct results within two
bienniums.


               Expected results

41.  The implementation of the project will result in the
Computer and Telecommunication System for International
and National Drug Control being installed and effectively
used in participating countries. The system will offer
support to Member States in the areas of data collection,
analysis and other aspects of international and national drug
control, while reducing the burden on Governments for
manual data-gathering, maintenance and exchange.


               Indicators

42.  Indicators will include: number of countries where the
Computer and Telecommunication System for International
and National Drug Control has been installed and
effectively used; and feedback from national users of the
system with regard to its usefulness and effectiveness.


               Duration

43.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Activities

44.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Installation of the specialized software to
enhance the capacity to access, develop and utilize
knowledge for the formulation of prevention and control
policies, both nationally and internationally;

               (b)     Establishing means for data-secure information
exchange among partners in international drug control, such
as national health authorities, national law enforcement
authorities, drug control councils, regional bodies etc.,
ensuring that national sovereignty and domestic data-
protection regulations are fully met;

               (c)     Promoting, through advanced technology, easy
and economic information exchange, international and
national cooperation, and elaborating upon information
collection methodologies and standards for greater
application worldwide.


               (For resource requirements, see annex)

        E.     Capacity-building and networking for the
               implementation of the Habitat Agenda in
               least developed countries (United Nations
               Centre for Human Settlements)


               Objectives

45.  Under the overall goal of assisting the understanding
by the international community of emerging challenges and
persistent problems in global development, objectives
proposed are to strengthen the capacity of developing
countries, particularly least developed countries, to
implement the Habitat Agenda and urban-related elements
of Agenda 21, and to assess the impact of related policies
and practices.


               Background

46.  The implementation of the Habitat Agenda is
primarily the responsibility of Governments. International
cooperation plays a supporting role in this process,
particularly through networking, capacity-building and
information exchange and dissemination. The Habitat
Agenda calls for Governments to further strengthen and/or
establish broad-based participatory national committees.
Many countries have now established institutional
mechanisms for the implementation of and follow-up to the
Habitat Agenda. For some of these countries, the next step
in the process is the designation and/or establishment of
national and local urban observatories to collect, analyse
and apply data and information on current human settlement
policies, strategies, trends and conditions as a basis for the
policy and decision-making processes.


               Relation to medium-term plan

47.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 11 (Human
settlements), and will complement relevant activities in that
area. It offers a low-cost solution to developing countries
in strengthening their capacity related to the implementation
of the Habitat Agenda, and will realize distinct results
within two bienniums.


               Expected results

48.  The implementation of the project will result in major
groups in recipient developing countries acquiring core
skills and knowledge relating to the analysis, exchange and
application of data and information on urban indicators. 


               Indicators

49.  Indicators will include: number of countries indicating
that the project has resulted in key groups acquiring core
skills and knowledge relating to analysis, exchange and
application of data and information on urban indicators. 


               Duration

50.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Activities

51.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Development and testing of training aids and
methodological tools for the collection, analysis and
application of urban indicators, best practices and good
policies for the monitoring and implementation of national
and local plans of action;

               (b)     Compilation of selected sets of indicators, best
practices and legislation, and their analysis in terms of
lessons learned;

               (c)     Organization of four subregional training and
transfer workshops: two in Africa, one in Latin America and
one in Asia; these workshops are to be preceded by three
regional Internet conferences to assess and match supply
with demand for expertise and experience. The workshops
will result in the exposure of 120 representatives of national
and local government, civic and community leaders,
parliamentarians and practising professionals to the
application of urban indicators, as well as lessons learned
from best practices and examples of enabling policies and
legislation;

               (d)     Organization of an interregional meeting of
partners for refining training aids and methodological tools
for their continued use and development on-line, and
implementation of an on-line classroom. The on-line
classroom will enable partners and national committees to
continuously benefit from methodological, substantive and
normative inputs from global monitoring and
implementation activities, as well as to exchange experience
and learn from each other.


               (For resource requirements, see annex)


        F.     On-line development centre (Department
               of Economic and Social Affairs of the
               United Nations Secretariat)


               Objectives

52.  Under the overall objective of assisting the
understanding by the international community of emerging
challenges and persistent problems in global development,
the objective proposed is to further South-South dialogue
through increased communication on development issues. 


               Background

53.  The implementation of the recommendations of recent
United Nations global conferences would be considerably
enhanced through the establishment of a central capacity to
facilitate information exchange. The proposed centre would
save on transportation costs by setting up virtual facilities
for drafting and negotiating reports and other documents,
conducting workshops and seminars, and accessing
information on technical cooperation experts and
individuals and institutions working in development fields
via the Internet. The project will provide an innovative
solution to undertake multilateral and multi-purpose
activities, such as an on-line forum for discussion of
development issues, an on-line facility to exchange draft and
negotiate documents, and a facility to hold on-line
interactive workshops.


               Relation to medium-term plan

54.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 28 (Economic and
social affairs), subprogramme 28.7 (Global development
trends, issues and policies). 


               Expected results

55.  The implementation of the project will result in the
availability of an on-line Internet-based facility (on-line
development centre), including on-line meeting/training
facilities and searchable directories for information on and
discussion of development issues. The proposed
configuration allows for low-cost communications between
groups and individuals, irrespective of locations and time
zones, and therefore is particularly suitable for expanding
and strengthening South-South dialogue on development.
Although more benefits will accrue as experience grows and
the network is further upgraded, considerable practical
results are expected already within the proposal period. 


               Indicators

56.  Indicators will include: number of users of the centre;
number of hits on information sites; number of specialized
directories/subdirectories set up within the centre; number
of respondents to a user survey rating the usefulness of the
centre; and number of countries in which access to the
on-line development centre is established.


               Duration

57.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Activities

58.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Set up an on-line development centre and a
network of subregional service centres to serve as a forum
enabling participants to report, draft, discuss and exchange
positions and policy documents;

               (b)     Set up on-line meeting and training facilities to
hold interactive workshops and seminars which can be
recorded and reviewed at any time, thus cutting the costs of
possible repeat events;

               (c)     Create an on-line searchable directory to
facilitate government officials, contacting individuals and
non-governmental organizations to directly access
information regarding global, regional and major national
development issues, and outcomes of United Nations
conferences. 


               (For resource requirements, see annex)



        G.     Research network for global policy
               analysis (Department of Economic and
               Social Affairs of the United Nations
               Secretariat)


               Objectives

59.  Under the overall objective of assisting the
understanding by the international community of emerging
challenges and persistent problems in global development,
the objective proposed is to increase the involvement of
developing countries research institutions in global policy
analysis, particularly in the examination of emerging issues
and critical trends in economic, social and environmental
fields. 


               Background

60.  The role of the external economic environment is
growing in developing countries. The ability of these
countries to sustain growth will depend increasingly on their
capacity to analyse current trends in their own and the
global economy, and to anticipate possible changes in these
trends in order to formulate and implement appropriate
policy measures. Many developing countries, especially
least developed countries, lack well-trained economic
analysts who can provide their decision makers with
sufficiently detailed and timely analyses and forecasts. The
United Nations Secretariat can help to provide such training
and experience through the international macroeconomic
research network maintained by the Department of
Economic and Social Affairs Project LINK. The project
aims to increase the involvement of developing country
research institutions in Project Link and other mechanisms
for global policy analysis, including studies on emerging
issues and critical trends in economic, social and
environmental fields.


               Relation to medium-term plan

61.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programme 28 (Economic and
social affairs), subprogramme 28.7 (Global development
trends, issues and policies), and complements policy
research aspects of the international network of forecasting
experts under Project LINK by introducing a technical
assistance component aimed at upgrading the capacities of
developing countries, particularly least developed countries,
in preparing national and international model-based
forecasts. 


               Expected results

62.  The implementation of the project will result in
enhanced ability of economic analysts and decision makers
in developing countries, especially in least developed
countries, to examine and forecast the macroeconomic
performance of those countries. The training of researchers
through network-based arrangements will be a low-cost
solution. The project will offer demonstrable benefits within
two bienniums in building developing countries' capacities
in macroeconomic analysis and policy-making.


               Indicators

63.  Indicators will include: number of researchers trained
who acquire and apply techniques of macroeconomic
analysis; number of databases upgraded; number of research
institutions linked to global databases; and number of
Member States indicating that scope and depth of
Secretariat reports have increased. 


               Duration

64.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2000.


               Proposed activities

65.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Train researchers from developing countries in
advanced techniques of macroeconomic analysis,
particularly through networking arrangements;

               (b)     Upgrade economic and social databases in
developing countries and improve access of their research
institutions to global databases;

               (c)     Enhance the capacity of developing country
institutions for the implementation of development
strategies through strengthening of their ability to monitor
national and international macroeconomic trends;

               (d)     Facilitate the participation of developing country
experts in workshops and seminars on macroeconomic
policy modelling and forecasting, including Project LINK
and other established activities on global policy analysis
undertaken by the United Nations.


               (For resource requirements, see annex)


        H.     Activities for the implementation of
               Agenda 21, the Copenhagen Declaration
               and the Programme of Action of the
               World Summit for Social Development,
               and the Beijing Declaration and Platform
               for Action (Department of Economic and
               Social Affairs of the United Nations
               Secretariat)


               Objectives

66.  Under the overall goal of assisting developing
countries in various aspects of the implementation of the
global programmes and platforms of action, especially the
follow-up to United Nations conferences, objectives
proposed are to strengthen the capacity of developing
countries, particularly least developed countries, to collect,
analyse and apply knowledge, information and expertise
related to policy development, with emphasis on the
implementation of commitments agreed upon at United
Nations conferences.


               Background

67.  The promotion of the implementation of Agenda 21,
the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action
of the World Summit for Social Development, and the
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action are priorities
of the approved medium-term plan for the period
1998-2001. Policy development, networking,
capacity-building, and information exchange and
dissemination are essential for the implementation of these
programmes. Agenda 21 calls for Governments to prepare
national sustainable development strategies, programmes
for monitoring their implementation, improving information
for decision-making, establishing national councils for
sustainable development, and promoting greater
participation of civil society groups. The Copenhagen
Declaration and the Programme of Action of the Summit
invite Governments to further strengthen and/or establish
broad-based participatory national and local mechanisms
for implementation and follow-up based on partnerships of
Governments (including local government),
non-governmental organizations, citizen and professional
groups, and the private sector. The Beijing Declaration and
Platform of Action urge Governments to establish or
strengthen appropriate national machineries for the
advancement of women and to broaden women's
participation and integrate gender analysis into policies and
programmes. The project will support efforts of Member
States to fully integrate the commitments made in these
documents into decision-making and in improving related
information systems for decision-making.


               Relation to medium-term plan

68.  The proposal is within the scope and priorities of the
medium-term plan, under programmes 9 (Trade and
development), 10 (Environment), 11 (Human settlements)
and 28 (Economic and social affairs), particularly
subprogrammes 28.2 (Gender issues and advancement of
women), 28.4 (Sustainable development) and 28.6
(Population). It will complement relevant activities under
those programmes, and will be an effective way to
strengthen the capacity of developing countries to
implement the declarations and programmes/platforms for
action of major United Nations conferences. 


               Expected results

69.  The implementation of the project will result in
strengthened capacity of national and local mechanisms,
particularly in least developed countries, to collect, analyse
and apply knowledge, information and expertise to policy
development, with emphasis on (a) the preparation of
national sustainable development strategies, decision-making and national
information processes in support of the
implementation of chapters 8 and 40 of Agenda 21;
(b) programme design, monitoring and evaluating
programmes and projects in support of the goals of the
World Summit for Social Development; and
(c) strengthening national machinery for the advancement
of women, women and new technologies, and to support the
increased role of women in leadership and public life, as
recommended in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action. To be implemented within network arrangements,
the project will be a low-cost solution to achieve distinct
results within the proposed period.


               Indicators

70.  Indicators will include: number of indicators
developed for the implementation of and follow-up to major
United Nations Conferences; improved Internet-based
electronic connectivity; and number of countries indicating
that the project has contributed to their improved capacities
with regard to policy development related to United Nations
global conferences.


               Duration

71.  The following duration is proposed: 1999-2001.


               Activities

72.  The following activities are proposed:

               (a)     Organization of up to 10 regional consultative
meetings to exchange national experience and information
on the development and use of national
approaches/strategies for and national experience in
implementing Agenda 21, the Copenhagen Declaration and
the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social
Development, and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action;

               (b)     Provision of advisory support service to assist
least developed countries, as requested, in the preparation
of national sustainable development strategies;

               (c)     Continued support and methodological
development of the core list of indicators of sustainable
development, in close cooperation with the 22 testing
countries, and capacity-building in those countries for fully
implementing the indicators programme;

               (d)     Organization and conduct of regional and
subregional workshops in support of capacity-building
efforts on indicators of sustainable development,
particularly to assist countries in incorporating modern
information systems and techniques into national
decision-making processes;

               (e)     Provision of assistance to developing countries
in the area of indicators of sustainable development, through
regional and subregional expert consultations to address
technical issues and problems, identify solutions, and
overcome bottlenecks and trouble spots;

               (f)     Development of prototype mechanisms
appropriate for national and local conditions to strengthen
participatory programme designs, monitoring and
evaluation;

               (g)     Preparation of guidelines and manuals for the
use of conveners and participants in national and local
mechanisms regarding the implementation of the
Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of
the World Summit for Social Development;

               (h)     Preparation of manuals and information material
on participatory social assessment techniques;

               (i)     Organization of six expert group meetings (of
20 participants each) to exchange experience regarding the
monitoring of and reporting on national efforts to implement
the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action
of the World Summit for Social Development, and
identification of obstacles to effective implementation and
monitoring of progress;

               (j)     Organization of three interregional workshops
for strengthening national machineries for the advancement
of women to exchange experiences on efforts to implement
the Beijing Platform for Action, with emphasis on women's
role in decision-making;

               (k)     Organization of five Internet conferences on
implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action to enable
women's non-governmental organizations, particularly in
developing countries, to share experiences and best
practices, and to contribute to the review and appraisal of
the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action
scheduled for June 2000.


          (For resource requirements, see annex)


                                Annex

                  Resource requirements, by project
                       (United States dollars)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Project title                                                 Amount
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Promotion of electronic commerce (UNCTAD)                   1 980 000
       
Capacity-building in economic and social policy analysis 
in Africa through the networking of expertise (ECA)         2 500 000
       
Extension of access of developing countries and countries 
with economies in transition to Mercure satellite 
telecommunication system for interconnectivity in 
environmental information and data (UNEP)                   2 215 000
       
Computer and telecommunication system for international 
and national drug control (UNDCP)                           1 100 000
       
Capacity-building and networking for the implementation 
of the Habitat Agenda in least developed countries 
(Habitat)                                                     945 000
       
On-line development centre (Department of Economic and 
Social Affairs)                                               510 000
       
Research network for global policy analysis (Department 
of Economic and Social Affairs)                               725 000
       
Activities for the implementation of Agenda 21, the 
Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the 
World Summit for Social Development, and the Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action (Department of 
Economic and Social Affairs)                                2 330 000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Total                                               12 305 000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
       
                                  -----
       

 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org