Volume 16, No.02 - February 2012

Publications and websites

Technical reports

World Youth Report 2011: youth perspectives on the pursuit of decent work in changing times

World Youth Report

The World Youth Report, to be officially released on 6 February, explores the transition of young people from schools and training institutions into the labour market, a phase marking a critical period in the life cycle. The current employment scenario for young people, worsened by the global economic crisis, poses an urgent challenge with long-term implications for both young people and society as a whole.

For the first time, the 2011 edition of the World Youth Report is largely dedicated to the voices of young people themselves. The report is based on contributions from youth and representatives of youth-led organizations to an e-discussion, in which they shared their own views, experiences and recommendations on preparing for, entering, and remaining active in the workforce. The 2011 edition of the report is also the first to be produced in an interactive website that allows readers to engage on youth employment issues: how young people are experiencing and addressing employment challenges; where and how young people are succeeding in employment; how youth employment interacts with social practices; and what Governments can do to help prepare young people in the transition from education to work.

The report aims to shed light on such complex issues, while bringing the voices of young people themselves into fora where youth issues are discussed and acted upon. The report will be officially launched at a side event to the Commission on Social Development on 6 February, at 1:15-2:30 pm in Conference Room 7 (NLB), bringing together main contributors to the report as well as representatives from Member States, the UN system, youth and the private sector.

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World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012

The report, released on 17 January, is now available online. According to this flagship publication, the global economic growth started to decelerate on a broad front in mid-2011 and is estimated to have averaged 2.8 per cent over the last year. This slowdown is expected to continue into 2012 and 2013. The UN baseline forecast for the growth of world gross product (WGP) is 2.6 per cent for 2012 and 3.2 per cent for 2013, which is below the pre-crisis pace of global growth.

The report is also available now in Kindle, Nook and iBook.

Statistical compilations

2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects
Volume II: Demographic Profiles

This report presents the highlights of the results of the 2010 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The 2010 Revision constitutes the twenty second round of the global population estimates and projections produced by the Population Division since 1951.

The 2010 Revision breaks new ground in the production of population projections. It is the first standard Revision to include projections up to 2100 for all countries and areas of the world. Previous Revisions presented country projections only for the period ending in 2050. In order to extend the projection period to 2100, a new method for the projection of fertility had to be developed. The method used in the 2010 Revision is based on the advances made in projecting fertility since the 2000 Revision, advances that have been combined with a probabilistic approach to yield the future paths of fertility used in producing the medium variant of the 2010 Revision. The standard output of the 2010 Revision does not, however, include fully probabilistic projections. The standard output of the 2010 Revision includes only the usual projection variants and scenarios included in other Revisions of World Population Prospects.

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In addition, the Population Division has now made available the country profiles in individual pdf-files for each country and all major regions of the world. The profiles can be found at:

Rural Population, Development and the Environment 2011

The wall chart, prepared by UN DESA’s Population Division, presents the latest data available for 15 indicators of rural population, land use, development and environment. It provides estimates at the national, regional and world levels.

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Urban Population, Development and the Environment 2011

The wall chart, prepared by UN DESA’s Population Division, presents the latest data available for 15 indicators of urban population, living conditions in urban settlements and economic development. It provides estimates at the national, regional and world levels.

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Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or bimonthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Vol. LXV – No. 12, December 2011

This month, the following tables, which are featured in the MBS on a quarterly or bimonthly basis, are presented along with the regular recurrent monthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of UN officials; Earnings in non-agricultural activities, by sex; Fuel imports of developed economies; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports; and Selected series of world statistics..

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Outreach material

Rio+20: Making it Happen

Demographic trends are placing more pressure on water-stressed regions than ever before. With the global population expected to increase by up to 50 per-cent in the next fifty years, sustainable management of water resources will present a significant development challenge. In Volume 2, Issue 24, the Rio+20: Making it Happen newsletter focuses on water, one of the seven priority issues that the Conference will address. Also in this issue, news from the 66th session of the UN General Assembly as it wraps up the work of its main session, important deadlines for Rio+20, and the updated negotiating schedule for the UNCSD.


The latest issue highlights the 2012 regular session of the Committee on NGOs and its work ahead as well as the five-year action plan outlined by the Secretary-General to build “the future we want”. It also spotlights the fact that 740 ECOSOC NGOs need to submit their quadrennial reports in 2012, and that an updated list of all 3,536 organizations in consultative status was published late last year. The online monthly newsletter is issued monthly in electronic format to suscribers in English, French and Spanish, providing the most up-to-date information on news and upcoming events of interest to civil society at UN headquarters in New York, Geneva and elsewhere.

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Discussion papers

Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

The December issue of the Monthly Briefing of the World Economic Situation and Prospects, No. 38, highlights the grim prospects for the world economy in the coming year. The most pressing challenge is the continued jobs crisis and the declining prospects for economic growth, especially among developed countries. In this context, fiscal austerity measures can only hamper recovery by curtailing aggregate demand in the short run with negative effects on employment and incomes.

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Working papers

Beyond market access: Trade-related measures for the least developed countries. What strategy?

This paper assesses the effectiveness of non-tariff special and differential treatment (SDT) offered exclusively to the least developed countries by WTO agreements. SDTs are inefficient in at least four aspects. First, they are not easily accessed as they require a certain level of institutional capacity. Second, when accessible they either need to be complemented by other policy interventions or are offset by measures taken elsewhere. Third, some do not respond to LDC needs. Fourth, many are too vaguely defined to provide concrete benefits. Effectiveness can be enhanced by increased LDC ownership and improved policy coherence by trading and development partners.

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Policy briefs

Can a protracted slowdown be avoided?

UN DESA Policy Brief No. 36, by Oliver Paddison and Rob Vos of DPAD/DESA, states that the world economy is teetering on the brink of another major downturn. As in 2008, economic woes in the major developed economies are weakening economic prospects around the world. There are multiple concerns, but policymakers throughout Europe and the United States are mainly fixated on reducing large fiscal deficits and public debt. The concerns are serious, and the ongoing sovereign debt crises in the euro zone have been a source of continuous turmoil in financial markets.

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