Volume 17, No.09 - September 2013

Trends and analysis

How to formulate empowering policies and strategies

UN-PhotoSophia-Paris-(2)An expert group meeting is convened in New York on 10-11 September in preparation for the 52nd session of the Commission for Social Development. This meeting should provide suggestions on how to advance the empowerment of people.

In its resolution 2012/7, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations decided that the priority theme for the 2013-2014 review and policy cycle of the Commission for Social Development would be “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”. The 52nd session of the Commission will take place in February 2014 and should agree on a policy outcome (i.e. a resolution) on this priority theme

The outcomes of the expert group meeting will constitute an important input for the work of the Commission, particularly by providing concrete, evidence-based suggestions for the formulation of strategies that have been shown to advance the empowerment of people. The expert group meeting will also be of use to suggest topics that the Commission, within its mandate, should take up in the years ahead. Taking into account that the international community is in the process of defining its future development agenda, the outcomes of the meeting should inform such process of the implications of empowerment for the design of the agenda.

The expert group meeting aims to facilitate the deliberations of the Commission for Social Development on a policy outcome on the promotion of the empowerment of people by undertaking a comprehensive review of policies and strategies that create an enabling environment for the empowerment of individuals and social groups and that enhance their capacity to effectively participate in all spheres of life, including in decision-making. It will highlight challenges, good practices and lessons learned. It should further put forth concrete, evidence-based recommendations for the formulation of policies at the national, regional and international levels.

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A review of the global work on gender statistics

The DESA Statistics Division (UNSD) is organizing the 7th meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics (IAEG-GS) in New York from 12 to 13 September. 

The meeting will bring together representatives from national statistical offices, international agencies and Regional Commissions to review global work on gender statistics. The objectives of the meeting are to review the work of the Advisory Group on Emerging Issues, discuss the Minimum Set of Gender Indicators and update the members on capacity building efforts in gender statistics through a continued dialogue on the coordination of gender statistics activities.

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Advancing concepts and methods in energy statistics

The 8th meeting of the Oslo Group will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 24-27 September and will be hosted by the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan.

The meeting will gather experts in energy statistics from countries and international/regional organizations to discuss issues in energy statistics and advance concepts and methods. This meeting of the Oslo Group will focus on the review of the complete draft of the Energy Statistics Compilers Manual (ESCM) which is being prepared to support the implementation of the International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (IRES) and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Energy (SEEA-Energy). It will also discuss future directions of the city group.

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A cross-regional Group of Friends of Older Persons

UN-PhotoMartine-Perret-(2)The fourth working session of the working group took place from 12-15 August, and saw an increased number of Member States taking part and offering perspectives and positions. Also noteworthy was the level and quality of interventions.

There is some consensus amongst Member States of the shortcomings that exist when it comes to the enjoyment by older persons of their human rights, and broad agreement on the overall analysis of the situation of the human rights of older persons and the urgent need for improvement. Member States hold a range of views on how to address these shortcomings. Some are of the view that there the existing international  normative framework provides adequate protection of older persons, but implementation, monitoring and accountability fall short of delivering these rights. Others hold the view that a legally binding instrument which would consolidate and provide clarity on the application of all existing rights to older persons is necessary to collate and is a necessary to achieve their economic and social integration and protect them from abuse and discrimination.

The Fourth Working Session revisited some specific rights such as the right to social protection, the right to health, the right to work as well as various dimensions of age discrimination.

The Session also discussed the regional findings of the second review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (2012) on the promotion and protection of human rights and dignity of older.

An update was provided on three ongoing regional processes: the drafting of a Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Older Persons; the elaboration of a Council of Europe recommendation on the human rights of older persons and; the project of a Pan-American convention on the promotion an protection of the rights of older persons.

For the first time, the Open-ended Working Group on ageing also held an interactive dialogue with representatives of civil society in attendance.

Member States put forward a number of proposals for consideration by, and in support of the work of the Working Group.  The formation of a cross-regional Group of Friends of Older Persons was announced during the closing debate. It aims at building on discussions of the Working Group and transforming them into concrete actions. The Group of Friends also intends to focus discussions to further the dignity and rights of older persons beyond the annual session of the Working Group by generating dialogue across the UN system including agencies and subsidiary bodies among others.

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