Volume 17, No.01 - January 2013

Comings and goings


Paul Cheung, Director of DESA’s Statistics Division, will retire at the end of December 2012. Since his appointment at the United Nations in 2004, Mr. Cheung has provided strong leadership to the development of the global statistical system. The UN Statistical Commission is now universally recognized as its apex entity. In 2012, there were 136 member states attending the Commission, an 80% increase from 2004.

During his tenure, the Statistics Division organized the first-ever World Statistics Day in 2010, won three UN21 Awards, and launched many innovations including UNdata. Mr. Cheung chaired the International Technical Advisory Boards for the population censuses in Iraq and Afghanistan and was involved in census preparations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Myanmar.

Recognizing the importance of geospatial information to the development of societies, he initiated the intergovernmental mechanism on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). This initiative was endorsed by ECOSOC in 2011 with the establishment of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management.

Mr. Cheung is well known and recognized around the world for his contribution to the development of official statistics and for initiating the GGIM process.  He will return to his home country Singapore and will teach at the National University of Singapore. 

Rob VosRob Vos will leave his position as Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) in January. Before joining the UN in 2005, Mr. Vos was a Professor of Finance and Development at the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, and Professor of Development Economics at the Free University in Amsterdam.

Between 1999 and 2002, Mr. Vos was Deputy Rector of the Institute of Social Studies. He has also worked as a senior economist at the Inter-American Development Bank, where he co-founded the Inter-American Institute for Social Development (INDES) and initiated the programme on improving surveys of living conditions in Latin America (MECOVI).

He has also been a visiting professor at numerous universities around the world and has worked as a policy advisor and consultant to several governments in Latin America, Africa and Asia. His work covers a broad range of development issues, including trade policy, inequality and poverty; financing for development; poverty and social policy analysis; and macroeconomic and general equilibrium modeling for development policy.

Mr. Vos has published numerous books where the most recent include “Globalization and Economic Diversification: Policy Challenges for Economies in Transition” (with MalinkaKoparanova, Bloomsbury, 2011); “Economic Insecurity and Development” (with Richard Kozul-Wright, United Nations, 2011); “Public Policies for Human Development” (Palgrave, 2010); and “Ageing and Development” (with José Antonio Ocampo and Ana Luiza Cortez, Oriental Blackswan/Zed Books, 2007).

Mr. Vos will join the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in Rome as the Director of Rural Development and Poverty Reduction.

The following staff member also retired in December:

Virgilio Castillo, Programme Analyst, Statistics Division


The following staff members were promoted in December: 

Flor Velazco Juarez, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management                                                

Silvia Schwarz, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management