Volume 17, No.03 - March 2013

Global dialogue on development

Tackling emerging challenges for development

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will convene for its fifteenth annual meeting to be held in New York on 18-22 March

Committee for Development PolicyThe year 2013 is a year of transition. Time is fast closing to the end of the period the international community assigned to itself to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) while discussions on the contours of UN development strategy for the post 2015 era have already started.

The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will address these and other emerging development issues at its fifteenth annual meeting, which also marks the first time the new CDP membership, nominated last year by the Secretary-General, meets in plenary. 

A source of independent advice on critical matters

As a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council, the CDP provides independent advice on critical issues on the international development agenda. The Committee is also responsible for the triennial review of the list of least developed countries (LDCs).

Membership is composed of twenty-four experts nominated by the Secretary-General on the basis of their personal for a three-year term. At its plenary session, the CDP drafts its annual report which includes the main conclusions and policy recommendations of the discussions on studies prepared by members with the assistance of the Secretariat. The report is then considered by the Council at its substantive session in July. 

Science, technology and innovation for achieving sustainable development

As a contribution to the Council’s deliberations at its high level segment of its substantive session, the CDP will analyze science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture for the achievement of the MDGs – the topic of this year’s Annual Ministerial Review.

It will also consider the vulnerabilities and development needs of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and continue with its work on the future of the UN development agenda beyond 2015 focusing, this time, on emerging issues in the global environment

The Committee will examine the role of science, technology, and innovation policies in the context of national development strategies, and the potential contribution of international cooperation in the area of technology transfer and capacity building. 

It will focus the analysis on answering the following questions: what policy measures should countries undertake at different catch-up stages while climbing up the technological ladder?  What can countries at the bottom of the technological hierarchy learn from the experiences of countries currently at higher levels?

More importantly, are these experiences still applicable in today’s context? As protection of intellectual property rights is strengthened at the global level, the acquisition of new products or production methods has become more restrictive and more costly. In this regard, there is need to consider alternative strategies and new ways to engage international cooperation, particularly by countries with greater technological capabilities and resources, to best support catch-up efforts.

Emerging issues in the global economy: implications for the post-2015 development agenda

The world has changed significantly since the adoption of the UN Millennium Declaration: an increasing heterogeneity among developing countries, the rise of new powers coming from the developing world, the new geographical patterns of global poverty, the heightened importance of international public goods for national development, and the increasing relevance of private actors in the international environment. 

This changing landscape is raising fundamental questions on whether the current global rules and structures allow the building of effective responses against international problems and the promotion of a fair distribution of development opportunities among all countries and to identify the necessary policy responses to that end. The Committee will discuss this issue to contribute to framing a renewed global architecture to implement a post-2015 international development framework to achieve an inclusive, sustainable and equitable development as envisaged by the Declaration.

Development needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The Committee will examine the vulnerabilities and development needs of SIDS and possible policy responses, focusing on how to further the full and effective implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) and the Mauritius Strategy.

In particular, the Committee will consider whether there is need to refocus efforts towards a more results-oriented approach and establish whether improved and additional measures might be needed to more effectively address the unique and particular vulnerabilities and development needs of SIDS. In this regard, while a wide range of measures in critical areas are already in place or under development, there is a need to fully implement, scale up and continuously improve these measures, in particular to reduce  the occurrence and magnitude of external shocks, to enhancing copying mechanisms by the provision of necessary resources in the aftermath of negative shocks, and to establish a robust and effective global monitoring framework for the implementation of the BPoA and Mauritius Strategy.

During the week of 18-22 March, the Committee will be holding a series of briefings and panel discussions on the various agenda items. Announcements will be posted in the UN Journal.

For more information:
The Committee for Development Policy

Innovation Award: Call for Stories on People’s Empowerment

DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) seeks to find and bring to scale the most incredible stories on people’s empowerment around the globe. Stories like YOURS!

Empowerment stories

You can nominate yourself, or another person you admire who empowered you and therefore your unique and special story. We truly believe that the major social challenges of our time can be solved only with the full participation of people at all levels of society.

This innovation award represents DSPD’s commitment to the promotion of people’s empowerment and social development globally. It is administered by DSPD as part of its mission to promote more equitable growth, seeks to identify innovative approaches for poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and decent work for all.

The deadline for submitting your stories is 14 May 2013.

Once the selection process is completed, we will be honored to announce the final six winners on our website. Winners will also receive an award certificate from the United Nations.

To submit your story, please complete the online form following 2 basic rules:
1 – 1.000 words maximum for your written story (in English)
2 – 10 minutes maximum for your recorded video-story (in English or with English subtitles)

Empower yourself and inspire the world!

To submit your story, please visit:
Innovation Award: Call for Stories

Global celebration of forests

21 March has been declared to be the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly

Global celebration of forests (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)This new global celebration of forests builds on the successes of the International Year of Forests in 2011, and provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and of trees outside forests.

Activities expected to take place on the International Day include tree-planting and other community-level events, and national celebrations including art, photo and film as well as social media outreach.

The launch of the International Day will take place in many countries. Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General of DESA, along with Chinese government officials, will be launching the International Day of Forests in China at a ceremony in Beijing on 21 March.

DESA’s United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat was designated by the General Assembly to facilitate the implementation of the International Day, in collaboration with FAO, Governments, and other members of the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests and international, regional and subregional organizations as well as relevant stakeholders, including civil society.

The UNFF Secretariat is working with the UN Graphic Design Unit to develop a logo for the International Day, which will be launched in time for the first celebration of the Day this year on 21 March. In addition, a mobile App on Forest facts, as well as other social media products will be launched by the UNFF Secretariat on the International Day of Forests.

A webpage for the International Day of Forests is currently under development and will be accessible from the United Nations Forum on Forests website at

How will you celebrate the International Day of Forests?
Governments, international, regional and sub-regional organizations, and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to share information on their planned activities for the International Day of Forests by contacting the UNFF Secretariat at

Five draft resolutions approved to promote people’s empowerment

On 15 February, concluding its fifty-first session, the Commission for Social Development (CSocD) approved five draft resolutions for adoption by the Economic and Social Council

The resolutions cover a range of issues crucial to the promotion of societies rooted in respect for the dignity of every individual, from youth and disability, to ageing and African development.

The Commission’s approval of the texts capped two weeks of negotiations, panel discussions and general debate under the priority theme “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”.

Representatives of Governments and civil society advocates from around the world described efforts to stimulate job creation, combat poverty and create inclusive societies, with a view to informing the Commission’s policy session next year, and more broadly, the global development agenda beyond 2015.

“We have just concluded eight intense and fruitful days of work,” Commission Chair Sewa Lamsal Adhikari (Nepal) declared in concluding remarks, noting that delegates had affirmed the essential role of Governments in creating and enabling environment to empower people, by providing the necessary tools and capacity-building opportunities. Decent work was also vital to promoting empowerment, reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion, she added.

The Commission had laid the foundation for the fifty-second session, Ms. Adhikari continued, saying the 47-member body would produce a policy outcome on the priority theme. After recapping the work accomplished, she thanked delegates for their “flexibility and resolve”, exercised in a spirit of cooperation, which had facilitated the consensus approval of all the texts under consideration. She also thanked the facilitators for their “extreme patience” in guiding consultations.

Several of the texts approved highlighted the critical importance of empowering people and of their participation in advancing social development.

For more information:
51st Session of the Commission for Social Development