Volume 14, No.10 - October 2010

Trends and analysis

Further improving UN data portal

DESA’s Statistics Division will host the Third Data Managers’ meeting in New York from 6-8 October

The Meeting will provide an opportunity for data managers from international agencies to update each other on recent developments in data dissemination and identify ways of expanding and improving the UNdata portal further ( The meeting will cover several specific topics, including: data quality processes, SDMX, social networking for the statistical community, and the use of API.

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“World e-Parliament Report 2010” and the challenges of new technology

Technology experts gather in e-Parliament Conference from 21-22 October in Midrand, South Africa

The 2010 World e-Parliament Conference, which is being organized by DESA, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliament of South Africa and the Pan-African Parliament and coordinated by DESA’s Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, will be held at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Apart from discussing the findings of the “World e-Parliament Report 2010”, the conference will focus on issues and challenges of “Governing at a time of technological changes” and emphasize the relationship between parliaments and media in light of the advent of new technologies.

At the Conference, leaders and members of parliaments, secretaries-general, parliamentary staff and officials, experts from international organizations and academics who work and deal with information and communication technologies in legislatures will have the opportunity to analyze good practices, exchange views on latest trends and institutional developments, learn from each other’s experiences, network with peers, and build partnerships in an international setting.

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Revision of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention

In accordance with ECOSOC decision E/2010/L.36 of 23 July 2010, the sixth session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters will be held in Geneva from 18 to 22 October

The main objective of the session will be to complete the revision of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries, in accordance with the Committee’s mandate. The session will also address important issues and proposals in other areas of the work of the Committee, such as for instance “transfer pricing” and capacity building in national tax systems.

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Implementing the rights of persons with disabilities

Third Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was held from 1-3 September at UN Headquarters in New York, under the theme: “Implementing the Convention through Advancing Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”

The session began with elections for members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in accordance with article 34 of the Convention. As the total number of ratifications had passed 80, the membership of the Committee was increased by six to a total of 18 members. Additional elections were held for the six members of the Committee whose term expires in 2010.

Substantive roundtable discussions and an interactive informal session with civil society discussed the implementation of Articles 11, 19 and 24 of the Convention, on issues of inclusion and right to education, living in community and addressing the needs of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. A session was dedicated to an update on the implementation of the Convention within the UN System.

For the first time, a Civil Society Forum was held on the day prior to the opening of the Convention. The fourth Conference of States Parties to the Convention will be held on 7-9 September 2011.

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Global Alliance for ICT and Development received support in Preparatory Meeting

On 1-2 September, the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) held a Preparatory meeting for the presentation of its ICT for MDGs Project in the context of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly

The main purpose of the meeting was to refine and further develop, through an interactive discussion, the design and features of the project in preparation for a forthcoming presentation at the High-level Breakfast on 21 September. The event was attended by over 140 participants from 44 countries representing Governments, UN agencies and other international organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia.

There was overwhelming support for the Project on behalf of the participants. High-level representatives of developing country Governments, the African Union and the League of Arab States highlighted the urgency and practical relevance of this project. Important offers of support and participation were made by many participants, including the Governments of India, Italy and Germany, as well as by the private sector (Microsoft, Telefonica, Intel and others) and major civil society organizations.

Among other important decisions, the meeting agreed on a new name for the Project: ‘MDG eNabler’. It was also decided that an advisory committee will be established to help develop methodology and modalities for information processing and coordination of work.

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