Volume 17, No.02 - February 2013

Trends and analysis

World Youth Report calls for participation of young people

As part of the preparations for the 2013 UN World Youth Report (WYR) on Youth Migration and Development, the UN Focal Point on Youth launched a four-week online discussion platform on 23 January

(UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

Newly available estimates of international migrants by age produced by the Population Division of DESA indicated that by mid-2010, globally, there were 27 million international migrants aged 15 to 24, constituting about one-eighth of the global migrant stock of 214 million.

While considerable attention is given to the issue of migration and its potential economic and social impacts on origin, transit and destination countries, to date, very little attention has been given to understanding the livelihood struggles and opportunities that migration presents for young migrants themselves.

The forum therefore aims at bringing together young people, who have experienced or been affected by migration, to share their personal stories and perspectives.

“We need to listen to what youth have to say about their migration experiences or how migration affects their human development. The World Youth Report which is expected to be launched on International Youth Day, 12 August 2013, will offer youth, youth-led organizations, policymakers and the general public, youthful perspectives that could influence the development potential of migration for young people while mitigating risks. The report will highlight the “voices of youth” on the opportunities and challenges migration presents in origin, transit, and destination countries under various types of migration – regular, involuntary and undocumented. This is particularly relevant in the lead up to the 2nd UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in October 2013,” said Daniela Bas, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development of DESA.

To highlight some of these concerns, challenges and successes, the UN World Youth Report 2013 will attempt to offer a multidimensional account and perspective on youth migrant life experiences. Besides the e-consultation, the UN Focal Point on Youth has been organizing a number of interactive activities such as an online survey and a Google+ Hangout with young people and experts.

To ensure that the World Youth Report is based on the perspectives of those young people, DESA is inviting the participation of young individuals aged between 15 to 35 years and representatives of youth-led organizations, to share their perspectives and experiences on youth and migration.

Efforts will also be made to target young people who have no or limited access to the Internet or online platforms to facilitate their participation in the consultative process, mainly through youth migrant networks and other relevant youth organizations.

More information:
E-consultation in preparation for UN World Youth Report 2013

Enhancing cooperation on international migration

DESA’s Population Division will be organizing the Eleventh Annual Coordination Meeting on International Migration in New York on 21-22 February

Enhancing cooperation on international migration (UN Photo/Paul Banks)

The meeting is being held in response to a General Assembly resolution from 2004, which requests the Secretary-General to continue convening meetings to coordinate international migration activities.

The meeting has four main objectives. First, in response to recent General Assembly resolutions, the meeting will review preparations for the second High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will be organized by the General Assembly on 3 and 4 October 2013. Second, the meeting will discuss how the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which was created as a result of the first High-level Dialogue held in 2006, has advanced the global dialogue on international migration and development. Third, the meeting will be briefed on recent contributions to the migration evidence base. Fourth, the meeting will allow international organizations to exchange information on current migration activities and to present new initiatives.

By bringing together entities of the UN system, other relevant intergovernmental organizations and civil society, the coordination meeting provides a unique opportunity to enhance interagency coherence and cooperation on migration in maximizing the benefits and addressing the negative impacts of migration for development.

The outcomes of the meeting will contribute to the report of the Secretary-General on international migration and development to be prepared for the 2013 High-level Dialogue.

For more information:
Eleventh Coordination Meeting on International Migration

Big data offers real time information

Seminar on “Big Data for Policy, Development and Official Statistics” will be held on 22 February in New York ahead of the opening of the UN Statistical Commission

Big data offers real time information (UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz)The arrival of the Internet, mobile devices and other technologies has caused a fundamental change to the nature of data. Big Data has important, distinct qualities that differentiate it from “traditional” institutional data, in particular its timeliness. If governments wanted to, they could already let Big Data play a role in providing information on topics that are currently under the purview of national statistical offices (NSOs).

Traditionally, data processing for analytic purposes followed a fairly static blueprint, with modest amounts of structured data created with stable data models, loaded into an enterprise data warehouse. Non-expert users could then perform basic data visualization and limited analytics via front-end business intelligence tools. With recent developments, data are no longer centralized, highly structured and easily manageable, but are highly distributed, loosely structured and increasingly large in volume. The volume, type and the speed at which new data is created has thus changed and it is also generated by a range of sources, including mobile devices, Internet transactions, networked devices and sensors, social networking and media.

National Statistical Offices have started to explore how best to harness this phenomenon of Big Data in their mission to supply quality statistics for improving economic performance, social well-being and environmental sustainability. The attraction lies in the sheer amount of data which could be available in, or near, real time. Potentially, Big Data could be used as intelligence to better solve emergency situations and it also presents an opportunity for the official statistical community to better meet its mission of disseminating timely and quality statistics.

Should NSOs change their business operations to take on the opportunities of using Big Data for official government purposes? What will be the consequences of using Big Data for policy and development and how secure is a cloud environment for storing confidential data? These and other questions will be addressed during this seminar gathering participants from NSOs, UN Global Pulse and OECD, and corporations including representatives from Google, Amazon Web Services, and SAS.

In order for Big Data to truly gain mainstream adoption and achieve its full potential for official statistical purposes, it is critical that the statistical community does not ignore Big Data, but recognizes the use of it as part of their information management model, prepares an inventory of the state of play and formulates the implications for official statistics.

For more information:
Big Data for Policy, Development and Official Statistics

150 experts gather for forest financing meeting

The UN Forum on Forests held the second meeting of the ad hoc expert group on forest financing (AHEG2) on 14-18 January in Vienna, Austria

150 experts gather for forest financing meetingMore than 150 experts from 75 countries and 23 regional and international organizations and processes, as well as major groups and independent experts attended the event.

Experts heard several presentations on the findings of the 2012 Advisory Group on Finance study on forest financing, the Organization-Led Initiative Co-Chairs Summary, the Facilitative Process meetings on forest financing, the study on the impacts of the price of carbon on forest financing, and private sector financing for forests as well as other relevant input including the background studies on forests and economic development. Two key note speakers also provided their views on the feasible and realistic strategies on forest financing. 

These presentations and related interactive discussions led to identification of some actions and measures that should be taken to mobilize financing for forests at all levels and from all sources.

AHEG2 participants highlighted the fact that new global trends such as increased urbanization, as well as ongoing deliberations on the post 2015 UN development agenda and the sustainable development goals have affected the discussion on forest financing. They also discussed data, geographic and thematic gaps in regard to financing forests, as well as the means to address these gaps. Regarding data, participants highlighted the need to broaden the basis for data collection from multiple sources, as well as ensuring systematic efforts at all levels to generate accurate, consistent and reliable data.

Actions necessary to improve an enabling environment, capacity development activities, involvement of various stakeholders in mobilizing financing for forests were also discussed, as well as measures to increase financing for forests at all levels. Moreover, various options and measures for mobilizing forest financing at the national, regional and international levels were addressed.

The role of national forest programmes, as an effective policy tool for such purpose, as well as other options such as development of national forest financing strategies, and establishment of national forest funds were highlighted.

The pros and cons of establishing a voluntary global fund to finance sustainable forest management were also deliberated. A number of additional ideas were suggested such as “identifying brokering intermediary institutions” to mobilize funding for forests or having an umbrella structure to coordinate the existing multilateral funds related to forests.   

The Co-Chairs prepared a summary of the meeting in which they also provided a set of proposals and options on forest financing. Experts attending AHEG2 adopted the report of the meeting and took note of the Co-Chairs Summary which is annexed to the AHEG2 report.  

For more information:
Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing (AHEG2)