DESA News

Volume 17, No.04 - April 2013

Trends and analysis


A renewed global partnership for development

The UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda just released its second report ‘A renewed global partnership for development’ and a Facebook chat will be arranged on 4 April, providing an opportunity to discuss and engage with the authors of the report

 Facebook live chat on a renewed global partnership for developmentFollowing its first report ‘Realizing the future we want for all’, which provided initial thinking on potential dimensions and contours of a renewed global development agenda, the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda just published its second report.

Focusing on the global partnership, the report ‘A renewed global partnership for development’, provides a set of recommendations on the potential format and dimensions of a global partnership for the post-2015 era, including the establishment of robust mutual accountability systems.

The global partnership for development, as crystallized in Millennium Development Goal 8 has played a crucial role in galvanizing international support for development. But the world is not the same as it was in 2000. Many pressing issues of a global nature have emerged in recent years, which require true collective action from all countries to create an enabling environment for development.

Such a renewed global partnership for development to underpin any post-2015 development agenda must be broader in scope and deeper than the current one. While existing commitments, as reflected in MDG 8 remain highly relevant, new thinking is needed on how to reflect pressing development challenges and the increasing importance of a large array of stakeholders engaged in development cooperation. In order to ensure coherence and effective coordination a robust mutual accountability mechanism will be needed all levels.

A Facebook chat on 4 April will offer the opportunity to discuss key findings of the report directly with the authors. It will also provide a chance to learn more about the future global partnership for development. Ask UN experts your questions and sign up to join the event on 4 April from 9:00 – 11:00 am EDT.

For more information:

Sign up to join Facebook chat!

The UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda report ‘A renewed global partnership for development’

Promoting public administration worldwide

The United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) will meet in New York on 15-19 April

12th session of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Committee is comprised of 24 members who meet annually at UN Headquarters in New York. It 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.

In addition, the Committee also provides programmatic guidance to DESA’s Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), including the annual review of its work programme.

Since its conversion from a Group into a full-fledged Committee in 2001, CEPA has been meeting annually to provide guidelines on public administration issues related to the implementation of the internationally agreed development goals (IADGs), including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It has also reported to ECOSOC on the governance and public administration dimensions of sustainable socio-economic development, particularly focusing on the themes of human capital development, participatory governance, capacity development in crisis and post-conflict countries, and innovations in public administration and governance, among others.

For more information:
12th session of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration

Role of philanthropic organizations beyond 2015

A Development Cooperation Forum Special Policy Dialogue will take place on 23 April to discuss how the post-2015 development agenda can best draw upon the important contributions of philanthropic organizations to development

The role of philanthropic organizations in the post 2015 settingIn collaboration with UNDP, the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development (netFWD) and the Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support (WINGS), DESA is organizing this special ECOSOC event on the role of philanthropy in development cooperation.

Building on the first such meeting held in preparation for the 2012 DCF, the Dialogue will identify ways to scale up innovative approaches to philanthropic engagement in development cooperation through strategic partnerships with governments and other development actors.

The one-day meeting aims to generate inputs for the ongoing preparations for a post-2015 development agenda and for the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum. It will specifically inform DCF High-level Symposia on the renewed global partnership for development and on the future of international development cooperation in the post-2015 setting. A global e-discussion will precede the event.

The policy dialogue will bring practitioners from philanthropic organizations together with senior representatives from United Nations Member States, as part of an ongoing effort to encourage strategic partnerships and collaboration. All are invited to participate on 23 April.

The Special Policy Dialogue will take place one the day prior to the ECOSOC Partnerships event on “Partnering for innovation solutions for sustainable development” on 24 April, geared towards the theme of the 2013 annual ministerial review.

For more information:

DCF Special Policy Dialogue

Special Policy Dialogue for the 2012 DCF on: “Private philanthropic organizations in international development cooperation: New opportunities and specific challenges”

2013 Ethiopia High-Level Symposium on “A renewed global partnership for development for a post-2015 era” – 6 to 7 June 2013

Global e-discussion preceding event on 23 April

ECOSOC Partnerships event on “Partnering for innovation solutions for sustainable development” on 24 April

Preparing for UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

In preparation for its 12th session, members and the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues met in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo on 11 – 15 March

UN Photo/Kibae Park

Hosted by the Government of Congo and opened with a statement from the President, H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, delivered by the State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, the meeting provided an opportunity for Permanent Forum members to meet with local ministries, diplomatic missions, the UN Country Team, as well as indigenous peoples organizations and civil society organizations. 

During their consultations with indigenous peoples, Forum members were informed on the continuing problems of discrimination and marginalization. Indigenous representatives described the problems they face in accessing schools and universities and getting jobs. Indigenous women spoke of the lack of maternal and child care, and difficulties encountered while giving birth in forests. 

The Forum members met with parliamentarians, and with government officials, including the Minister of Forests, and offered different examples to overcome the persistent challenges faced by the indigenous peoples.  

They also met with UN agencies and other partners who provided information on various projects and programmes developed within the framework of the national action plan on the improvement of the quality of life of indigenous peoples. 

The Forum members also highlighted the upcoming World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, to be organized by the UN General Assembly in September 2014, as an opportunity to define a global action plan to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  They encouraged the Republic of Congo to be engaged in this process.  

“The Republic of Congo has taken a key step in adopting Law No 5-2011 on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Populations”, said Grand Chief Edward John, UNPFII Chair, ”your country is a leader in Africa on indigenous peoples’ rights. We hope other countries will be inspired to follow this good practice.” The key challenge now is to implement the law, he added. 

The 12th session will take place on 20 – 31 May 2013.

For more information:
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Google+ Hangout puts spotlight on youth migration

As part of the 2013 UN World Youth Report consultation process, the UN Focal Point on Youth organized a Google+ Hangout on 6 March with a panel of experts and youth representatives to discuss the theme of “Youth Migration and Development: Towards Sustainable Solutions”

The Hangout explored practical strategies on realizing youth migrants’ potential, protecting their human rights, and promoting their social inclusion — and how these can be achieved through collaborative efforts with youth organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Harnessing the human development potential of youth migrants

Migrants can be productive members of transit and destination countries as well as contribute to the sustainable development of their countries of origin. They can provide financial as well as social remittances, including innovative ideas, practices, identities and social capital.

Young migrants, especially those in irregular situations and females face multiple challenges throughout the migration process – from pre-departure, in transit, post-arrival and then also in return and reintegration. They are often ill-advised and susceptible to abuse and exploitation. “Information is protection,” remarked Jo Rispoli of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who stated that migrant youth and youth organizations need to be involved in the three “E’s – engagement by giving them a voice/platform at meetings; enablement through skills and vocation training; and empowerment.”

Youth participation in addressing migration’s challenges can be extremely important. Another panelist, Dynka Amorim, a young migrant himself and coordinator of Bué Fixe, described his organization’s initiative in promoting young migrants access to health care in Portugal. “Regular and irregular migrants are sometimes unaware of their right to health, so we work to inform and engage them on a wide range of HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health issues using media platforms like radio and social media,” Dynka added.

Partnerships: From grassroot level to the global arena

In addition to grassroots projects, the panel emphasized the importance of collaboration amongst relevant state and non-state actors to promote the social inclusion and rights of migrants.

Social inclusion is critical to promoting community cohesion and integration of young migrants. “The Swedish government works with civil society partners to promote young migrants’ access to health care and social services for youth. Activities are undertaken to combat racism, xenophobia and social exclusion,” stated Daniel Pettersson of the Swedish Mission to the United Nations.

As migration affects all countries, a Global Forum on Migration and Development has been created for policymakers to understand and discuss migration’s multiple dimensions, its complex impact on global development, and how challenges can be mitigated. Bela Hovy, Chief of DESA’s Population Division, encouraged youth to participate in civil society consultations that are scheduled to take place in July 2013 prior to the 2nd High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development.

Youth civil society representatives can provide contributions during global and national level consultation processes, where they will be able to voice their most pressing issues, priorities and diverse experiences. “Migrant is such a broad concept. We have all different backgrounds and different reasons and ways to migrate. Our needs are different. So it is not going to be a standard success formula for all the migrants,” stated Lonneke van Zundert, a youth representative panelist.

Migration and the post-2015 agenda

With a lot more evidence on the scope, scale and impact of migration on development, there was also discussion on whether migration should be included in the post 2015 agenda.

Migration is seen as an enabler of equitable and sustainable development. The question remains as to how the issue can be integrated into the post 2015 agenda. Reducing the cost of remittances and recruitment fees as well as reducing barriers to migration and protecting the rights of migrants are some of the ways of considering migration within the post 2015 agenda. “We have to think collectively in terms of how these will be phrased, either in terms of goals or as an enabler of the development goals,” remarked Bela Hovy.

For more information:
UN World Youth Report website

Discussing audit and advisory activities

In collaboration with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institution (INTOSAI), DPADM organized the 22nd UN/INTOSAI Symposium in Vienna, Austria from 5 to 7 March

Photo courtesy INTOSAIThe theme of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) was “Audit and Advisory Activities by Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs): Risks and Opportunities, as well as Possibilities for Engaging Citizens”.

In attendance were more than 150 participants, including more than 40 heads of SAIs, from more than 60 countries and representatives from international organizations. Mr. Wu, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General, made an opening statement on citizen engagement in public accountability in the post-2015 UN development framework. He emphasized the importance of good governance as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, which is the core of the post-2015 development agenda: 

“The United Nations and the international community recognize that economic growth, social development and environmental protection form the three pillars of sustainable development. Cross-cutting, effective and efficient public administration is also critical in supporting the three pillars. Some experts suggest that good governance is the fourth pillar of sustainable development. I agree. Good governance strengthens and reinforces the inter-linkages of the social, economic and environmental pillars, and ensures that the future we want is translated into reality.” 

The meeting concluded that by using advisory approaches in addition to traditional government audits, SAIs can contribute to the effective and efficient achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and influence the post-2015 Development Agenda. The participants recommended that INTOSAI, through a working group, monitor measures to mitigate the risks of waste and loss of public funds in order to give technical advice to the international community.

They also encouraged UN Member States and relevant UN agencies to implement the resolution on Promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening Supreme Audit Institutions (A/RES/66/209).  

For more information:
Expert Group Meeting – 22nd UN/INTOSAI Symposium

Leading government services

DPADM and the Government of the United Arab Emirates co-organized the Government Summit, the first meeting on governance held in the Gulf Region, on 11-12 February in Dubai under the overall theme “Leading Government Services” 

Leading government services (Paul Banks)The Summit included a Ministerial Roundtable on “Innovation in Public Governance, a Ministerial Perspective” and three parallel workshops focusing on “Innovation in Public Governance: Perspectives from United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) Winners” and on the sub themes of; (i) innovation in regulatory reform and administrative simplification for effective service delivery; (ii) innovation in public governance through networks and partnerships; and (iii) innovation in e-services. Each workshop featured a speaker from DPADM and a past UNPSA winner.

Prior to the Summit, which was attended by over 2500 government officials from the Arabic Region, both parties organized a capacity-building workshop on Innovation in Public Governance to showcase and discuss the work and ideas of the Division on the United Nations E-Government Survey, United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN), United Nations Public Administration Country Studies (UNPACS) and the UNPSA. The pre-Summit workshop was attended by over 250 government officials from the UAE.

At the close of the summit, the DPADM team, led by Mr. Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief of the eGovernment Branch, was invited to meet with the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office of the Government of the UAE who expressed appreciation for their substantive contribution towards the overall organization of the event, and requested further support from DESA and DPADM in upcoming activities.

For more information:

Promoting Innovation in Public Governance for Effective Service Delivery: A Global Perspective