Volume 17, No.5 - May 2013

Trends and analysis

Youth encouraged to start innovating

In connection with the recent ECOSOC Youth Forum, UN Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi, Mashable’s Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet and Founder of boo-box Marco Gomes, shared their thoughts on how to empower youth to be future innovators

“Everyone has a share in making the world a better place,” said the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi, as he spoke with DESA in connection with ECOSOC’s Youth Forum held on 27 March. Mr. Alhendawi also described the close connection between young people and science, technology and social media, saying “young people are not just the consumers of these applications, they are the innovators and they are the people that are paving the way for more innovations to come”.

When talking about some of the measures young people can take to change the world, Mr. Alhendawi pointed to the possibilities of new technologies, enabling us to connect. He also underscored the importance of moving from virtual to real. “I think young people hold the potential to do that, and they should really believe in themselves and believe that it is not about changing everything always. It is about starting something new, small ventures, a new enterprise,” he said.

“The opportunities are endless,” said Mashable’s Chief Marketing Officer Stacy Martinet, sharing her advice for today’s youth and describing the prospects brought on by the age of digital media and the rapid pace of innovations in technology. “They should take their ideas and creativity and start working on things that are important,” she said, also underscoring the power of social media as a way to connect, collaborate and to help transform societies.

“To use science and technology to change the world, the most important thing is prepare yourself, educate yourself,” said Marco Gomes, Founder of boo-box, emphasizing the need to be very well prepared before starting on such an endeavor. “Pay attention to what’s around you. Your community, your city, your country – they are full of opportunities,” Mr. Gomes said, adding encouragingly, “the world needs true innovation that improves people’s lives.”

Highlighting the role of the United Nations, Ms. Martinet said, “places like the UN and national and local governments are really also empowered to support young people who want to get involved (…) I think this is an exciting moment to do more for young people.” This is something which was also echoed by the UN’s newly appointed Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi. “I am very much optimistic that in my office and with my mandate, I will be able to use and leverage all different tools that we have to reach out to young people and make them closer to the United Nations,” Mr. Alhendawi said.

Mr. Alhendawi, Ms. Martinet and Mr. Gomes are all supporting the work of ECOSOC, bringing the voices of youth into the important discussions and decisions of the Council ahead of its annual meeting in Geneva in July, as well as its major online campaign, “Innovate Your Future”, on Facebook and Thunderclap. The campaign seeks worldwide support to help empower youth and shape future innovators.

Share ideas with ECOSOC on how to leverage science, technology and culture to create a better world:

Show support for youth worldwide on Thunderclap:

Discussing impact of extractive industry on tax policies

DESA’s Financing for Development Office (FfDO) is organizing an expert group meeting on the taxation of the extractive industry on 28 May

UN Photo/Andi Gitow

Taking place at UN Headquarters, the event is organized with the view to identifying pressing issues for developing countries in this area and to informing the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters during its next annual session (Geneva, 21-25 October 2013).

The meeting will bring together invited representatives from national tax authorities, experts from international financial organizations, as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Together they will discuss the impact of the extractive industry on national and international tax policy and administration. In light of the upcoming launch of the UN Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries, there will also be discussions on the nexus between transfer pricing and the taxation of the extractive industries. The final session will focus on lessons learned in building capability in resource tax policy and administration.

The meeting will be held in the run up to the Special Meeting of ECOSOC on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, which will be held on 29 May 2013.

For more information:
Expert Group Meeting on Extractive industries taxation

Implementing the System of National Accounts

8th Meeting of the Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts will take place in Luxembourg on 28-31 May

Implementing the system of national accounts (UN Photo/Michos Tzovaras)The Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts (AEG) has been established to assist the Inter-secretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) in resolving issues on the research agenda of the System of National Accounts (SNA), identifying emerging research issues, and assisting the ISWGNA in the review of the SNA implementation programme.

The composition of the AEG reflects the global community representing all regions in the world and comprises 16 members (not including the five representatives of the members of the ISWGNA, Eurostat, IMF, OECD, UN and WB). The main purpose of this meeting is to consider guidance on issues related to the implementation of the SNA, such as financial output, global production, delineation of head offices, holding companies and special purpose entities, pension entitlements, stability fees, treatment of freight and insurance in the 2008 SNA, and the SDMX initiative.  

For more information:
8th Meeting of the Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts

Google+ hangout highlights Major Groups successes at Rio+20

Google+ Hangout arranged on 26 March highlights successes of the Major Groups and other stakeholders at the Rio+20 Conference

As part of the ongoing follow-up of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development hosted a Google+ Hangout on 26 March that highlighted the successes of the Major Groups and other stakeholders at the Rio+20 Conference.

The hangout explored the views of civil society on the positive and concrete outcomes of the conference, and the Major Groups’ ongoing follow up of the conference.

Panellists featured Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign; Chantal Line Carpentier, Major Groups Programme Coordinator at DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development; Farooq Ullah, Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future; Maruxa Cardama, Former Secretary General of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (NRG4SD); Jeffery Huffines, Organizing Partner of the NGO Major Group. The discussion was moderated by John Romano, Social Media Focal Point for DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development.

For more information:
Sustainable Development in Action Google+ Hangout Series