Volume 18, No.02 - February 2014

Publications and websites

Technical reports

Report on World Social Situation 2013: Inequality Matters

dspd-rwssPublished by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of UN DESA, the report places special focus on policy and disadvantaged social groups, in addition to examining the consequences of high inequality. “Much can be learnt from those countries that managed to reduce inequality even under an uncertain and volatile global environment,” said Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s Under–Secretary-General. “The international community can play a role in providing support to policies that help reduce inequality.”

A unique contribution of the report is that it brings special attention to the disparities that are experienced by five specific social and population groups – youth, indigenous peoples, older persons, persons with disabilities and migrants – and also illustrates how such disparities intersect with and reinforce one another.

The report illustrates that growing inequalities can be brought to a stop by integrated policies that are universal in principle while paying particular attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. It reminds world leaders that, in addressing inequalities, policy matters.


WYR_GraphicLaunch of the 2013 World Youth Report “Youth and Migration”

The Division for Social Policy and Development in UN DESA is holding a launch event of the 2013 World Youth Report: Youth and Migration, to be held on 14 February from 1:15 to 3:00 pm, at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium at UN Headquarters in New York. The event will depict the lives of young migrants through different art forms, including poetry, dance, acting, film and music etc. You are invited to the event!

If you are from outside the UN and interested in attending the event, please send your name, organization name and email address to before 7 February, 2014. However, the Focal Point on Youth will not bear any cost incurred in relation to your attendance to this event. Should you need further information, please contact


Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions

Encompassing more than one billion, today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known. For some of them, mental-health conditions are the leading causes of adjustment problems, affecting their integration into society and employability. A new report has just been released by UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) to shed light and raise awareness on this issue.

The main objective of the report is to make use of available research on this topic to raise awareness and to start a global dialogue on how to address mental-health conditions among young people. There is often still considerable social stigma around such conditions and it is hoped that this paper can start a dialogue to discuss and consider how to best address these issues in an open format. The ultimate goal is to ensure that youth are fully integrated in society.

The report presents some key findings including that there is considerable burden and disability associated with mental-health conditions, particularly among those for whom the conditions start during youth. It also states that these conditions have a significant impact on youth development and that a public-health approach with preventive interventions is instrumental in addressing this issue at a global level.


Statistical compilations


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. LXVII – No. 12, December 2013

In addition to the regular recurrent monthly tables, this issue includes the quarterly and bimonthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Earnings in non-agricultural activities, by sex; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value and volume indices, and value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Selected series of world statistics.


Handbook of National Accounting: Financial Production, Flows and Stocks in the System of National Accounts

The Handbook is a joint product of UN DESA’s Statistics Division and the European Central Bank (ECB). It provides practical guidance on measuring the contribution of financial corporations to a country’s gross domestic product and issues related to the compilation of financial assets and liabilities in accordance with the SNA. These measurements are also supporting the identification of domestic and cross border economic and financial vulnerabilities. This Handbook is important because it enhances the statistical capacity of national accounts compilers to provide a more accurate picture of the contribution of the financial sector to the economic performance of a country enabling more informed decisions on economic policies.

A large number of national statistical offices, central banks and international organisations made valuable contributions to the Handbook in the course of a consultation procedure coordinated by the Statistics Division and the ECB.


Outreach material

Sustainable Development in Action – Issue 1, Volume II

The latest issue, published by UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development, highlights among others, the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals and the “High-level Expert Group Meeting for the Global Sustainable Development Report 2013 – Engaging National Assessments” that took place in Beijing. The newsletter aims to feature the work carried out by Member States, United Nations system, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want.


Discussion papers

Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects No. 62

Published by UN DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, the January issue reveals that global economy is expected to grow at a pace of 3.0 per cent in 2014 and 3.3 per cent in 2015, compared with an estimated growth of 2.1 per cent for 2013, however unemployment rates will remain a major challenge.


Meetings records


The Twin Challenges of Reducing Poverty and Creating Employment

dspd-recordsThis e-publication is based on papers presented at two Expert Group Meetings, jointly organized by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) in UN DESA and the International Labor Organization (ILO), that brought together specialists to undertake a review of progress in eradicating poverty and to analyze policy responses to the global jobs crisis in different countries and regions of the world. It calls for a reorientation of macroeconomic policies from the current heavy emphasis on short-term stability to the promotion of sustained, inclusive and equitable growth. It stresses the need for the integration of social and economic policies to enable the attainment of people-centred development outcomes.


Working papers

The New Aid Paradigm: A Case of Policy Incoherence

From around 2000 onward, donors and recipient governments embarked upon a new aid paradigm. The most important elements include increased selectivity in the aid allocation, more ownership of recipient countries based on nationally elaborated Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), and more donor alignment and harmonization via program-based approaches such as budget support. The paper assesses the theoretical merits of this new paradigm, identifying some contradictions and limitations, and then examines its implementation over the past decade and its results. The empirical results largely confirm the earlier identified weaknesses and limitations. The paper concludes with some suggestions for improving aid practices.