Volume 14, No.1 - January 2010

Trends and analysis

Teaming up in e-government

European Union’s 5th Ministerial Meeting on e-Government was held in Malmo, Sweden from 19-20 November

The Director of DESA’s Division for Public Administration & Development Management participated in a panel on global teamwork in e-government as part of the Ministerial Meeting. Ms. Qian was joined on the panel by representatives from the European Commission, OECD, the World Bank, and IBM.

DESA’s message to participants, which was conveyed in a prepared statement, was that European interests do not stop at the EU border and collaboration should not stop there either. The Information Society is the future society and global e-government collaboration presents a tremendous opportunity for visionary leaders.

Global cooperation in e-government, as in other areas of public interest, is both possible and desirable in all areas covered by the UN development agenda – indeed in all areas where international cooperation is already taking place. The simplest way to organize global teamwork would be through existing institutions such as the United Nations.

The world is not lacking for cooperation mechanisms. It is only lacking resolve. In the global arena, that resolve usually begins with a UN General Assembly resolution, and EU Member States should begin by sponsoring one.

Developing with culture and identity

Experts will meet from 12-14 January in New York to understand indigenous peoples’ development and to identify the means to realize such development under multiple cooperation

Recommended by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) at its eighth session in May 2009 and authorized by the Economic and Social Council at its regular session on 30 July 2009, the International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Peoples – Development with Culture and Identity – will bear multiple goals and also be the special theme of the ninth session of the UNPFII.

Permanent Forum members, indigenous experts, states and representatives from United Nations agencies and funds will have the opportunities to exchange information and analysis on the various concepts of development and practices and their impact on indigenous peoples’ livelihoods, communities, cultural practices and lands and natural resources. Positive and negative practices will be highlighted to give references to further measures.

The meeting will analyze enshrined human rights within international standards and policies and how they contribute to indigenous peoples’ concept of development with culture and identity. Options and further plans to build the necessary conditions for development such as empowering and strengthening indigenous peoples’ organizations and governance systems will be identified. They will also analyze opportunities for partnerships with indigenous peoples on development issues and how such arrangements might be informed by good practices and corporate responsibility models.

The final report and recommendations of the Expert Group Meeting will be to be submitted to the ninth session of the UNPFII.

For more information on the experts meeting to understand indiginous peoples development.

Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment

e-Discussion on Women and Poverty will be held from 11 January to 12 February, organized by the United Nations Development Programme and DESA

In March, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will undertake a 15 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. In late June, the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review will examine the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In September, the UN General Assembly will undertake the 2010 review of implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and propose policy measures to accelerate implementation over the period to 2015. 2010 will also be a watershed year for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

This e-discussion presents a unique opportunity to make voices heard, and to influence the deliberations of the above events by formulating critical policy messages and action agenda to the United Nations intergovernmental processes. Participants can bring new thoughts and ideas to the policy debate, drawing on their experiences, and help make a difference in the fight against poverty.

The e-discussion will address the following topics:

  • What are the new understandings of poverty and its gender dimensions that have evolved since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action? What are good practices in gender-responsive poverty analysis and poverty reduction activities?
  • How can the institutional and policy environment for addressing the gender dimensions of poverty be strengthened, building on the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Declaration?
  • How can national poverty reduction strategies and programmes as well as international support more effectively address the gender dimensions of poverty in the build-up to 2015?
  • What are the core policy messages for leaders participating in the 2010 CSW, ECOSOC, and the High-level Plenary Meeting on MDGs? What are the most critical actions required to tackle “gender and poverty”, in light of new obstacles and challenges, such as climate change and the impact of the global economic and financial crisis?
  • How could financing for gender equality be strengthened in order to alleviate the gender dimensions of poverty?

The e-discussion is open to all stakeholders. Practitioners, experts and policy-makers, from within and outside of the UN system, and especially those working at the country level, can make use of this opportunity to contribute to the United Nations intergovernmental processes, and more broadly, help create a more equal world.

More information on ediscussion on Women and Poverty.