Volume 15, No.5 - May 2011

Trends and analysis

Briefings put spotlight on girls, young women and indigenous issues

Two new youth sessions will take place in New York highlighting Girls and Young Women on 6 May and Indigenous Issues and Youth on 19 May.

The International Year of Youth briefing events continue to bring attention to different youth issues in the lead up to the High Level Conference on Youth to be held on 25-26 July at UN Headquarters in New York. The next session in line is on “Girls and Young Women” and will take place at the UN in New York on 6 May from 1:15 pm -2:45 pm. It will feature panelists from UN Women, United Nations Population Fund and young people from NGOs working on these issues.

On 19 May, the topic for discussion will be “Indigenous Iissues and Youth” focusing on the role indigenous youth play in issues of concern to them, highlighting initiatives and projects undertaken by young people. This session will be held in the UNICEF house from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm and is co-organized by the UN Programme on Youth, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, UNICEF and the Youth Caucus on Indigenous Issues.

The UN Programme on Youth has just finished its Facebook consultation with young people on the topic of “Girls and Young Women” and has now launched its new discussion on “Indigenous Issues and Youth”. Young people are encouraged to speak out and contribute to the consultations. Please circulate the link information below around your youth networks.

UN Programme on Youth’s Facebook discussion on “Indigenous Issues and Youth”:

For more information on the briefing sessions:

Role of youth in international migration

Symposium on “Migration and Youth: Harnessing Opportunities for Development” will be arranged in New York on 17-18 May

UNICEF, the current Chair of the Global Migration Group (GMG), of which DESA is also a member, is organizing this two-day Symposium immediately prior to the informal thematic debate on international migration and development, organized by the President of the General Assembly on 19 May.

The Symposium will consist of three plenary sessions and four parallel roundtables focusing on the role and participation of youth in international migration, the impact of international migration on youth, and the need to improve the protection and well-being of young migrants.


Each session is being organized by one or more members of the Global Migration Group. DESA and the World Bank are co-organizing the first panel on “Globalization, Cooperation and Youth: Newly Emerging Trends”. Under-Secretary-General of DESA, Mr. Sha Zukang has been invited to participate in a high-level panel together with Mr. Joseph Deiss, the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Peter Sutherland, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration and Development, and other senior officials.

The Symposium will bring together experts and practitioners who will present the latest evidence on the relationship between youth, migration and development and share good practices in leveraging the benefits of international migration for youth and young migrants and addressing its negative impacts. Participants will include representatives from the UN system and other intergovernmental organizations, Members States and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including representatives of academic institutions, the private sector and youth organizations.

Mr. Anthony Lake, UNICEF’s Executive Director and current Chair of GMG, will present the main outcomes of the Symposium during the informal thematic debate on international migration and development on 19 May. GMG members will prepare background papers for the sessions and roundtables of the Symposium.

For more information:

Platform to exchange knowledge and experience on ICTs

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2011: Open Consultations on Thematic Aspects and New Innovative Format will be held in Geneva on 18 May

The Sixth Facilitation Meeting of Action Lines C1 on the role of public governance in the promotion of ICTs for development, C7 on e-government and C11 on international and regional cooperation, will be held during the WSIS on 18 May. The meeting is open to all stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society and international organizations. The purpose is to provide a platform for exchange of information and experiences; to identify the propriety areas for implementation within the Action Lines; and to create synergies among different stakeholders for more effective knowledge sharing and collaboration in order to ensure the implementation of WSIS at the international, regional and national levels.

The meeting could also contribute to further coordination of major stakeholders’ activities to support strategic planning and the implementation of accessible, inclusive and participatory government. One of the current trends for e-government development is active and strong citizens’ and businesses’ involvement in public services delivery. This tendency is based on an unprecedented accessibility and openness of public administration data and possibilities for citizens and businesses to build value added public services on top of it. It is also one of the challenges for governments to have a reliable set of indicators and methodologies to measure new emerging effects of development.

WSIS is a unique two-phase UN summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi-stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels. The goal is to achieve a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information.

For more information:

Cyber-security, cyber crime and safeguarding citizens

The Fourth Parliamentary Forum on Shaping the Information Society will take place in Geneva on 18-20 May

DESA, through The Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), will be hosting this event entitled “The Triple Challenge of Cyber-Security: Information, Citizens and Infrastructure”.

The Forum will focus on the representative, law-making and oversight responsibilities of members of parliaments regarding the issues of cyber-security. It will address the particular challenges posed by the illicit use of information and communications technologies, such as the safeguarding of citizens in the connected environment; the protection of State information, data and infrastructures; and the transnational response to cyber crime.

The aim of the Forum is to further the dialogue among legislators on the different strategic and political priorities implemented at the national level and outline a broad perspective of different national engagements directed at responding to the challenge discussed. Its goal is also to delineate the role and responsibilities of parliaments in their legislative and oversight functions with respect to the topics addressed, identify good parliamentary practices and prepare recommendations for action by legislatures.

The Forum is expected to attract 150 members of parliament with responsibilities for Information Society issues from all over the world, as well as senior representatives and officials of international organizations, and experts from agencies, governments, the ICT industry and academia.

For more information:

Panels to highlight cooperation on migration and contribution of migrants to development

Informal Thematic Debate on International Migration and Development will take place at the UN in New York on 19 May

The President of the General Assembly is organizing this one-day informal thematic debate, providing an important opportunity for Member States to review their policies on international migration and development and to assess progress towards international cooperation on international migration ahead of the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will be held in 2013.

The debate will consist of two interactive panels with invited speakers. The morning panel will focus on the contribution of migrants to development and will be chaired by Mr. William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


The afternoon panel will address the issue of improving international cooperation on migration and development and will be chaired by Dr. Khalid Koser, Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The President of the General Assembly will open and close the debate. The Secretary-General will also make opening remarks. Peter Sutherland, SRSG on International Migration and Development will make a substantive summary of the debate. Mr. Anthony Lake, UNICEF’s Executive Director and current Chair of GMG, will participate in the afternoon panel and deliver a statement on behalf of the Global Migration Group.

The first High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, held in 2006, established that international migration can contribute to development if supported by the right policies. Since 2006, Governments and the international community have been pursuing a variety of policies and programmes to maximize the development impacts of international migration, and to reduce its negative effects.

International migration is increasingly being mainstreamed in national development plans and poverty reduction strategy papers. To date, over $240 million has been allocated to multilateral activities on international migration and development.

The interactive debate provides a unique opportunity for Member States and other stakeholders to take stock of achievements to date, to identify the factors that reduce the benefits of migration, and to suggest ways to reduce or eliminate these factors ahead of the 2013 High-level Dialogue.

For more information:

Workshop on the benefits of e-governance

The international workshop “Greater Government Transparency and Citizen Engagement to Promote Effectiveness and Accountability in Public Service Delivery” will be held in Geneva on 19 May

DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), in cooperation with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will organize this workshop during the 2011annual follow-up meetings of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

It will serve as an enabling platform of WSIS for an international and multidisciplinary group of experts and national practitioners to share their experiences and exchange practices on e/m-government, including strategies for designing, implementing, and evaluating government services, that have proven viable and have brought about lasting development results in different socio-economic and cultural contexts. The workshop sessions will provide opportunities for participants to interact with speakers, in order to develop new capacities for designing and implementing successful programmes and policies for better government transparency and citizen engagement, as well as to create or strengthen international networks of stakeholders and practitioners.

The one-day workshop will include one plenary and three thematic sessions on selected topics on citizen engagement and electronic government including the Government 2.0 platform. Each session will provide presentations followed by open discussions.

The sessions will include the following:

Plenary: Discussion on overall approaches, trends, best practices and key challenges in greater government transparency and citizen engagement to promote effectiveness and accountability in public service delivery.

Session I: m-Government:  Benefits and outcomes for citizens, government and business

Session II: Open (Linked) data and social networks services for public services delivery

Session III: Strategies for ubiquitous, inclusive, equitable and efficient public service delivery.

The workshop is expected to be attended by 40 participants including government and public administration officials, key citizens’ e/m-government experts from academia and research institutions, civil society and private sector representatives and staff from the UN system.

For more information:

CEPA meeting on improving quality of life for all

The 10th Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) was held in New York on 4-8 April

The session focused around the theme “Public governance for results”, particularly in relation to improving the quality of life for all, in post-conflict and post-disaster countries, and in social protection policies for vulnerable populations. The Committee also considered performance management in governance in relation to internationally agreed development goals and commitments, in particular in regard to education of the 2011 annual ministerial review of the Economic and Social Council. In addition, the Committee made its annual review of the UN Programme on Public Administration and Finance.

The Committee, established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in its resolution 2001/45, is comprised of 24 members who meet annually at UN Headquarters in New York. The Committee is responsible for supporting the work of ECOSOC concerning the promotion and development of public administration and governance among Member States, in connection with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

For more information:

Evaluating ICT mechanisms for inter-parliamentary cooperation

Exchange Network of Parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean (RIPALC) met in Panama City on 14-15 April

Secretaries General of 17 parliaments from across Latin America and the Caribbean gathered to exchange views and evaluate the establishment of a formal mechanism of inter-parliamentary cooperation for the region. The workshop entitled “Leveraging ICT to establish a collaborative network among Parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean” was built upon the experience of parliaments in other regions, as well as on the outcomes of meetings held in recent months in Barbados and Chile. Issues such as the digital revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean and its impact on the legislative branches were also discussed.

During the event, a proposal was presented for the establishment of RIPALC (Red de Intercambio de Los Parlamentos de America Latina y El Caribe – Exchange Network of Parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean). The Secretaries General discussed and deliberated on the establishment of bylaws for the operation of RIPALC, basing it on the model and good practices of the European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD) and the African Parliamentary Network for Knowledge (APKN). With this new platform, resolutions and studies by Latin American and Caribbean Parliaments will be open to the general public, offering greater transparency about actions taken by Parliaments and ensuring a democratic space for discussion.

Delegates from seventeen countries signed the agreement to form RIPALC. The Network’s web page, which offers tools for sharing information, was developed by the Brazilian National Congress. Provisional governance has been established as Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies will act as the Executive Secretariat, with members of the Executive Committee including Barbados, Nicaragua, Panama, Brazil, and Uruguay.

The workshop was co-organized by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament and the National Assembly of Panama.

For more information:


Global Centre for ICT in Parliament: