Vol. 10, no.1 January-February 2006

Dialogue on development | Trends and analysis | Technical cooperation | Publications | Comings and goings | Calendar

The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council are expected in 2006 to operationalize the 2005 World Summit decisions on development issues and on strengthening the ECOSOC system.

in this issue

Operationalizing the 2005 World Summit Decisions on Development and ECOSOC Reform: Given the current pace of consultations, ECOSOC will likely be able to finalize the details of these activities early next year

General Assembly outcomes:Second Committee concludes 60th session on UN development agenda

Feature Article

Operationalizing the 2005 World Summit

Decisions on Development and ECOSOC Reform

Given the current pace of consultations, ECOSOC will likely be able to finalize the details of these activities early next year.

The General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council are expected in 2006 to operationalize the 2005 World Summit decisions on development issues and on strengthening the ECOSOC system that includes the functional commissions, regional commissions and expert bodies. While the decisions regarding development cover a wider canvas and attest to DESA’s work in multifarious ways, the decisions regarding the ECOSOC system largely deal with four major areas: (1) undertaking annual ministerial review of implementation of the internationally agreed development goals; (2) holding Global Policy Dialogue; (3) convening a biennial development cooperation forum; and (4) strengthening the Council’s capacity to respond rapidly to developments in the economic, social, environmental and humanitarian fields.

Given the current pace of consultations, ECOSOC will likely be able to finalize the details of these activities early next year. This will require an intense process of consultations. And countries will need to ensure that the Council adopts the new working methods needed to deliver tangible and meaningful results in the drive to implement the development goals.

The informal consultation of the GA plenary on the follow-up to the 2005 World Summit Outcome on development and ECOSOC reform has met five times under the co-chairmanship of Ambassador Johan C. Verbeke of Belgium and Ambassador Cheick Sidi Diarra of Mali with the aim of drafting two separate General Assembly resolutions: one that deals with development issues and the other, ECOSOC reform. In the fifth meeting that was held on 20 December 2005, the Co-Chairs announced that the next meeting would be held on 13 January 2006 on development and on 16 January 2006 on ECOSOC reform. The Co-Chairs expressed their intention of finalizing the work of informal consultation by mid- to the early second half of January 2006 so as to leave sufficient time for ECOSOC to work out the details on its work.

ECOSOC is the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies and the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC consisting of 10 functional commissions, five regional commissions and expert bodies. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes . The Council serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. It is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Presidency of ECOSOC will be handed over from Pakistan to Tunisia on 17 January 2006 during a session of ECOSOC. The first organizational session is tentatively scheduled to be held during the first week of February.

During January and February ECOSOC will hold the 34th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (New York, 16 January - 3 February) to review reports submitted by States parties on measures taken to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

During the same period in New York, the 7th session of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Disability Programme will take place. The Committee’s activities are all geared towards producing the text of a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

The next regular session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (New York, 19-27 January) will consider from NGOs applications for consultative status with ECOSOC, requests for reclassification and submissions of quadrennial reports.

The Commission for Social Development at its 44th session (New York, 8-17 February) will review the First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) and the progress made since its launch. The Commission will also consider the issues of youth, family and ageing and address its methods of work.

At its 6th session, the United Nations Forum on Forests will complete the review of its work programme initiated during its previous session (13-24 February). This could lead to an organizational session later in 2006 that would decide on the Forum’s new multi-year programme of work, covering a range of potential new issues.

The Commission on the Status of Women at its 50th session (New York, 27 February-10 March).

Contact: Ms. Caroline Lombardo, Office of the Under-Secretary-General, + 1 212/967-9212 or Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8415.


Global dialogue on development

General Assembly

Second Committee

60th session

New York, 23 September-19 December

http://www.un.org/ga/60/second/index.html

The Second Committee concluded its work on Monday, 19 December, able to reflect the Summit outcomes and acknowledging that peace, development and human rights were interlinked.

The Committee made significant strides in the areas of macroeconomic policy questions, financing for development, globalization and interdependence, sustainable development as well as eradication of poverty. Resolutions were also passed on recommending holding of a high-level dialogue on international migration, strategies to maximize globalization’s positive social impact, condemning all forms of corruption and solutions to debt problems in developing countries. Altogether, 43 resolutions were adopted this year of which twelve went to a vote, among them the resolution on trade and development, protection of global climate, convention to combat desertification and migration and development.

In their concluding remarks, the representatives of the United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Union, noted that the 2005 World Summit had considered many items on the Second Committee’s agenda. The Committee had reaffirmed commitment to the outcomes of international conferences; and been able to reflect the Summit outcomes. Consensus achieved in the Committee was indicative of its commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The European Union remained determined to revitalize the Committee’s work.

The Committee devoted considerable attention on financing for development. The General Assembly would underline the need to implement commitments laid down in the Monterrey Consensus to establish good governance and the rule of law, create enabling environments to mobilize domestic resources, and enhance coherence and consistency in the international monetary, financial and trading systems, according to one of three draft resolutions that the Second Committee approved on 19 December.

By another approved draft, on implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), the Assembly would stress that international cooperation was vital in supplementing developing-country efforts to use their domestic resources for development and poverty eradication, together with coherent and consistent domestic policies.

The General Assembly would decide to hold the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in New York on 14 and 15 December, according to a draft resolution that the Second Committee approved on 16 December. The Dialogue would consist of four plenary meetings and four interactive round tables focusing on the impacts of international migration on economic and social development; measures to protect the human rights of migrants and prevent the trafficking of persons; remittances; as well as capacity-building and the sharing of best practices at the bilateral and regional levels.

The General Assembly would also stress that development strategies must be designed to minimize the negative and maximize the positive social impacts of globalization, while striving to ensure that all population groups benefited from it, according to another draft resolutions that the Second Committee approved by consensus.

An approved draft on women in development would have the Assembly call on Governments, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations and civil society to commit fully to implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

The General Assembly would condemn corruption in all its forms and emphasize the need to improve the efficiency, transparency and accountability of domestic administration, public spending and the rule of law, according to adraft resolutions that the Second Committee approved without a vote on 13 December.

The Second Committee approved as well its draft provisional programme of work for the sixty-first session of the General Assembly.

All approved draft proposals are available at http://www.un.org/ga/60/second/draftpropstatus.htm

Contact: Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8415

World Summit on the Information Society

Tunis, 16-21 November

http://www.itu.int/wsis

Consensus and commitment pave way to a more equitable information society.

The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) closed on 21 November after almost a week of intense negotiations, eight plenary sessions, 308 parallel events organized by 264 organizations and 33 press conferences attracting around 19,000 participants worldwide.

Hailed as a resounding success by national delegations from 174 States and participants from more than 800 entities including United Nations agencies, private sector companies and civil society organizations, the Summit was convened in Tunis to tackle the problem of the “digital divide” and harness the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) to drive economic and social development.

The two Summit outcome documents -- the Tunis Commitment and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society -- were endorsed by world leaders at the closing plenary of the Summit on Friday evening.

Addressing delegates at the eighth and final Plenary session, Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General of the Summit, said it had been a long road and seven years since the idea for the Summit was first adopted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Minneapolis Plenipotentiary Conference. “It is fitting that this stage of our journey ends here in Tunis, the capital of the country that launched the process”, said Mr. Utsumi. “Uniquely, WSIS was a Summit held in two phases. Through this approach, WSIS took place in one developed and one developing country. This helped ensure that the full range of issues of the Information Society were addressed, while highlighting the critical need to bridge the digital divide.”

“The outcome of this World Summit on the Information Society should be seen in the light of the broader Development Agenda, generated over the past decade and a half through major UN conferences and summits”, said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Jos� Antonio Ocampo during the High-Level Dialogue on Governance, Global Citizenship and Technology: the Role of Parliaments in the Information Society.

“The agenda itself represents a wealth of achievements in terms of priority setting, policy consensus, and public commitments to specific courses of action and to multi-stakeholder partnerships. But the full force of the Agenda, and of the internationally agreed development goals that have derived from it, will not come to benefit societies until we achieve a more extensive and enduringly effective implementation. At the global level, this will require much greater coherence in implementing the outcomes of the conferences and summits. The 2005 World Summit took key steps in this direction and in this implementation drive, the World Summit on the Information Society has a crucial role to play.”

The UN ICT Task Force took part with a series of events aimed at furthering the Summit Agenda by fostering multi-stakeholder participation in the ICT for Development processes and promoting creative use of technology for improving the quality of life in developing countries.

These events helped to further the agenda of the Summit “with an eye on the road after Tunis”, said the Task Force’s Executive Coordinator, Sarbuland Khan. “The World Summit has provided a highly visible forum for advancing the critical role of ICT in achieving development goals, and for putting ICT for development issues on the ‘radar screens’ of policy-makers”, Mr. Khan said. “What is most important now is to ensure that the energy generated does not dissipate, that the issues do not recede from the policy agenda, and that the vision and action plan formulated by the Summit do not go unfulfilled."

The nine parallel events, organized with some of the Task Force’s partners, showcased the broad range of ICT-related issues addressed by the ICT Task Force and included an event on measuring the information society, the role for parliaments in the information society and choosing the right technologies for education.

Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs addresses the WSIS plenary on 18 November as the Chairman of the UN ICT Task Force

http://www.un.org/esa/desa/ousg/statements/2005/20051118_wsis_plenary.html

rtsp://ibs.itu.int/archives/wsis/p2/summit/pl-051118-1600-en.rm?start=02:39:35&end=02:47:15

Contact: UN ICT Task Force Secretariat, +1 212/963-5796, http://www.unicttaskforce.org,

Climate Change Conference agrees on future critical steps to tackle climate change

Montreal, 29 November-9 December

http://unfccc.int/2860.php

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) closed on 9 December with the adoption of more than 40 decisions that will strengthen global efforts to fight climate change.

Reflecting on the success of Montreal 2005, the Conference President, Canadian Environment Minister St�phane Dion said: “Key decisions have been made in several areas. The Kyoto Protocol has been switched on, a dialogue about the future action has begun, parties have moved forward work on adaptation and advanced the implementation of the regular work programme of the Convention and of the Protocol.”

Richard Kinley, acting head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat said: “This has been one of the most productive UN Climate Change Conferences ever. Our success in implementing the Kyoto Protocol, improving the Convention and Kyoto, and innovating for tomorrow led to an agreement on a variety of issues. This plan sets the course for future action on climate change.”

”The long-awaited entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, earlier this year, marked an important political breakthrough”, said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Jos� Antonio Ocampo during the High-Level Segment. In September, the 2005 World Summit seized that momentum and directed prominent attention to climate change. World leaders underlined the UN Framework Convention as the “framework for addressing future action on climate change at the global level.” And they firmly “committed to moving forward the global discussion on long-term cooperative action to address climate change,” in accordance with the Convention’s principles.

Key decisions were made that outline the path to future international action on climate change. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the process for future commitments beyond 2012 got under way. A new working group was established to discuss future commitments for developed countries for the period after 2012.  It will start work in May next year.

Under the Convention, a dialogue on strategic approaches for long-term global cooperative action to address climate change was also launched. A series of workshops is planned to develop the broad range of actions needed to respond to the climate change challenge.

Contact: Mr. Mohammad Reza Salamat , Division of Sustainable Development, +1 917/367-3200

Election of the Bureau of the Economic and Social Council

New York, 9 January

http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/bureau.html

The Bureau of the Economic and Social Council will be elected by the Council at large on 9 January. The Bureau's main functions are to propose the agenda, draw up a programme of work and organize the session with the support of the United Nations Secretariat.

Contact: Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8415

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Person with Disabilities

7th session

New York, 16 January-3 February

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc7.htm

The General Assembly decided in its resolution 56/168 in 2001, to establish the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, based on a holistic approach in the work done in the fields of social development, human rights and non-discrimination and taking into account the recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission for Social Development.

The Committee calls upon the organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, including the World Bank, to intensify their cooperation in support of the work of the Committee, as well as in anticipation of the implementation of the draft convention, and invites the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in close collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to take the necessary steps to secure this inter-agency collaboration.

The first session of the Ad Hoc Committee in 2002 decided to seek views and suggestions on a convention by States and all relevant international, regional and national organizations. At its Second Session in 2003, the Ad Hoc Committee decided to establish a Working Group with the aim of preparing and presenting a draft text of a convention, which would be the basis for negotiation by Member States. The Group would take into account all previous contributions submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee.

The Ad Hoc Committee started its negotiation on a draft convention at its Third Session in 2004 to promote, protect and fulfill the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. The present version to be considered at the 7th session will include articles on equality and non-discrimination, raising awareness , accessibility, freedom from torture and exploitation, respect of privacy, work and employment as well social protection. The proposed Convention should provide for effective monitoring at the national and international levels.

Several side events will take place, including by the Disabled Peoples' International on Visibility of Women with Disabilities in the UN Convention, the World Bank on Alliances for Inclusive Development and Rehabilitation International on Links between HIV/AIDS, Poverty and Disability.

Contact: Mr.Jean Pierre Gonnot, Division of Social Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-3256

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

34th Session

New York, 16 January-3 February

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/34sess.htm

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women will review reports submitted by States Parties on measures taken to implement the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). At its 34th session the Committee will consider the reports of Australia, Cambodia, Eritrea, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mali, Thailand, Togo and Venezuela.

Contact: Ms. Philomena Kintu, Secretary of the Committee, +1 212/963-3153

Regular session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

New York, 19-27 January

http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations is a standing committee with the main tasks to consider from NGOs applications for consultative status, requests for reclassification and submissions of quadrennial reports. It is also responsible to implement the provisions of Council resolution 1996/31 and the monitoring of the consultative relationship.

The Committee meets annually for three weeks and also holds informal meetings prior to each session for the purpose of clarifying matters arising from applications for consultative status. If necessary, with the approval of the Council, the Committee holds a resumed session of up to two weeks annually. Informal consultations may take place on an ad hoc basis.

Contact: Mrs. Hanifa Mezoui, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8652

Organizational session of the Economic and Social Council

New York, 7-10 February

http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/

In the course of the organizational session the Council will draw up the basic programme of its work for the year.

The High-Level Theme for its 2006 substantive session will be “Creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development. The theme for the 2006 coordination segment will be “Sustained economic growth for social development, including the eradication of poverty and hunger”.

Contact: Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8415

Commission for Social Development

44th session

New York, 8-17 February

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/csocd2006.htm

The priority theme of the 44th session of the Commission for Social Development will be the review of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) and progress made since its launch (Report of the Secretary-General E/CN.5/2006/3).

As called for by the General Assembly, the Commission will also address its methods of work (Note by the Secretariat on future organization and methods of work of the Commission for Social Development (E/CN.5/2006/5). Towards that end, the Secretariat will produce a note on the Commission’s work methods, based on guidance from ECOSOC. Under the new arrangement, the Commission will follow the work cycle of the Commission on Sustainable Development and organize its work in a series of two-year action-oriented cycles of implementation.

The Commission will also review the relevant United Nations Plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, including:

Ageing

The Commission is expected to determine the calendar for its review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which in the past has featured a unique “bottom-up participatory approach.” The report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.5/2006/2) will contain a suggested calendar, developed in consultation with the UN regional commissions. The report will also include proposals regarding the review itself. The Third Committee will continue to address issues related to implementation of the Plan of Action, including strengthening national capacities and mainstreaming ageing into national development planning and international development agendas.

Youth

At its sixtieth session, marked by the ten-year anniversary of the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth, the General Assembly called on the Commission to develop an annex to the Programme of Action which would include five emerging issues of concern: globalization, information and communication technology (ICT), HIV/AIDS, conflict and intergenerational relations. The Commission is expected to begin action on these issues and may request the Secretary-General to prepare a report containing suggestions and recommendations. DESA understands that the Commission may also be asked by a number of Member States to consider a resolution on youth employment. While the Assembly’s Third Committee will not have a specific report for consideration, it is expected to continue discussion on implementing the Programme of Action.

Family

Although no secretariat reports will be issued on family in 2006, the General Assembly invited the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to disseminate a compilation of existing development cooperation activities of the UN system in this field. A compilation will thus be provided to the Commission as a conference room paper.

Disability

A report of the Special Rapporteur on disability of the Commission for Social Development on the monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (E/CN.5/2006/4) will be provided to the commission.

Two panel discussions will take place during the 44th session:

  • Wednesday, 8 February, 3:00 pm: "Review of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty"
  • Friday, 10 February, 3:00 pm: "Review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing"

The Provisional annotated agenda and organization of work of the session (E/CN.5/2006/1), as well as copies of the reports and other information, can be found at the web site of the Division for Social Policy and Development .

Contact: Division for Social Policy and Development - Diane Loughran, +1 212/963-1707 (first part of the session);   Mr. Bob Huber, + 1 212/963-3936 (second part of the session).

Forum on Forests

6th session

New York, 13-24 February

http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html

In its 6th session, the United Nations Forum on Forests will complete the review of its work programme initiated during its previous session. This could lead to an organizational session later in 2006 that would decide on the Forum’s new multi-year programme of work, covering a range of potential new issues.

These could include: forest law enforcement, governance and trade; the role of forest resources in internal conflict, conflict prevention and peace-building; the role of sustainable forest management in achieving broader development goals, particularly poverty reduction and promoting sustainable livelihoods; issues of ownership and access to forest resources in sustainable forest management; international cooperation to address invasive species, forest fire and information technologies; and cooperation and coordination between the Forum and regional bodies, particularly the UN Regional Commissions.

The Forum may also establish an ad hoc expert group on critical and/or emerging issues and some sort of subsidiary body that would consider a voluntary instrument on forests.

Contact: Mr. Pekka Patosaari, Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forest, + 1 212/963-3160

Commission on the Status of Women

50th Session

New York, 27 February-10 March

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/50sess.htm

At its 50th session, the Commission on the Status of Women will consider two themes: “Enhanced participation of women in development: an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and the advancement of women, taking into account, inter alia, the fields of education, health and work” and “Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes at all levels.” Consideration of the themes will be initiated by interactive expert panels. The Commission will adopt agreed conclusions on the themes.

The Commission will continue its practice of organizing a high-level round table to provide opportunity for high-level representatives to dialogue on a topic of importance for national level implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The theme proposed is “Incorporating gender perspectives into the national development strategies on implementing the internationally agreed development goals requested in the 2005 World Summit.”

Under the agenda item on emerging issues, the Commission will hold an interactive expert panel on the gender dimensions of international migration. The outcome, a Chairpersons’ Summary, will be forwarded, through ECOSOC, as a contribution to the high-level dialogue on international migration and development, to be held in September 2006.

The Commission will develop a new multi-year programme of work from 2007, taking into account its past experience, lessons learned and good practices, as well as the experience of other functional commissions. It will also further refine its working methods, as requested by ECOSOC.

As is its practice, a Working Group of representatives of each of the regional groups will consider the communications submitted to the Commission under its Communications Procedure and prepare a report for submission to the Commission in a closed session. The Commission itself will continue its discussion on the Advisability of the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on laws that discriminate against women, including on the basis of a Secretary-General’s report compiling the views of Member States and the OHCHR. During the meeting, the Commission will also commemorate the holding of its 50th session.

Contact: Secretariat of the Commission, Division of Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-3463.


The West Asia regional implementation meeting

Cairo, 13-15 November

The West Asia regional implementation meeting (RIM) for the Preparation of the 14th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14), organized by ESCWA and the League of Arab States (LAS) was held in association with the 7th session of the Joint Committee for Environment and Development of the Arab Region (JCEDAR) at LAS Headquarters in Cairo. The RIM was attended by government officials from 18 of 22 Arab countries, representatives of relevant regional organizations and major groups (NGOs, scientific and technological community, business and industry).

The participants discussed the four regional assessment reports on the CSD14 thematic cluster (energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere, climate change), prepared and presented by ESCWA in collaboration with UNEP/Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) and the recommendations of the "Regional Arab Conference on Energy for Sustainable Development and Related Environmental Issues" that was jointly organized by ESCWA, LAS and UNEP/ROWA in Cairo on 10-12 September 2005.

The West Asia RIM adopted a report, subsequently endorsed by the Executive Bureau of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE). The RIM outcome report will serve as the Arab regional review report on progress achieved at regional and sub-regional levels in the implementation of the commitments, goals and targets related to the four areas of the CSD-14 thematic cluster. It also reflects on challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of such goals and targets in the Arab region as well as spotlighting the priority areas for action for further implementation in the four thematic areas.

Expert group meeting on indicators of sustainable development

New York, 13-15 December

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/natlinfo/indicators/egmIndicators/egm.htm

The United Nations Division for Sustainable Development organized an expert group meeting on indicators of sustainable development (ISD) as part of its regular programme in this area. The meeting brought together experts from member states, United Nations system organizations, other inter-governmental organizations, including, for example, EUROSTAT, OECD and the World Conservation Union, and non-governmental organizations, including the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The Division for Sustainable Development is particularly grateful to the contributions to this meeting from the Statistics Division (both Environment Statistics and National Accounts) and from the Population Division within DESA.

The meeting reviewed the current list of ISD in the light of new knowledge and recent indicator work, including, e.g., the Millennium Development Goal indicators. It also assessed developments in indicator frameworks and discussed the relevance of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting to the ISDs. Finally, the experts made a number of recommendations, most prominent of which were the need for DSD to continue coordinating the global work on ISD; the value of providing a forum for countries to test and review their national ISD, including in the context of their national sustainable development strategies; and the critical importance of supporting countries in their efforts to institutionalize their ISD activities.

ECE regional implementation meeting

Geneva, 15-16 December

The ECE regional implementation meeting (RIM) is organized by the Economic Commission for Europe in collaboration with UN-DESA. The meeting is reviewing progress made in the ECE region on Energy, Industrial Development, Climate Change and Atmosphere/Air pollution. The outcomes of the ECE RIM will be reported to the 14th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2006.

High-level mission to Bolivia

La Paz, 16-22 January

A high-level mission is being organized by DESA to support the recently elected Government in Bolivia.  This mission will be coordinated by USG Jos� Antonio Ocampo, and is part of the agreed assistance the UN has been implementing in that country.  The mission will meet with the new authorities and will analyse and advise on the most pressing issues, such as decentralization, nationalization of hydrocarbons and macroeconomic issues.  DESA is also planning to serve as a "bridge" on all these issues to reach minimum consensus among all sectors in Bolivia in light of the imminence of the call for a Constitutional Assembly in Bolivia.

Contact: Mr. José Manuel Sucre- Ciffoni, DPADM, +1 212/963-0701

Committee for Development Policy

Expert group meetings

New York, 25-27 January

http://www.un.org/esa/policy/devplan/

The Committee for Development Policy will hold two expert group meetings on preparation of the triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries (25-26 January) and coping with economic vulnerability and instability: national and international policy responses (27 January).

Contact: Committee for Development Policy, Development Policy and Analysis Division, +1 212/963-8457

Economic and Social Council roundtable

Brasilia, 26 January

A roundtable is being organized by the Economic and Social Council of Brazil and DPADM to discuss with other Economic and Social Councils of the world the role this institution can play in monitoring the progress on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals. This is part of a series of roundtables planned in conjunction with the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions (IAESCSI).

Contact: Mr. José Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni, DPADM, +1 212/963-0701

Workshop on “Aid Modalities and The Promotion of Gender Equality”

Nairobi, 30- 31 January

The UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) and the OECD/DAC Network on Gender Equality will hold their joint bi-annual workshop on “Aid Modalities and The Promotion of Gender Equality”. Bilateral and multilateral agencies will discuss how to make best use of changing aid modalities and funding levels to ensure that there is progress in gender equality programming and how they can work in partnership with national partners to ensure that gender quality and women’s empowerment are placed high in the political and policy agendas.

Contact: Ms.Sylvia Hordosch, OSAGI, +1 212/963-5450

Fourth meeting of the Advisory Expert Group on National Accounts

Frankfurt, 30 January - 9 February

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/aeg.htm

The purpose of the meeting is to conclude discussions of the advisory expert group on National Accounts (AEG) in the framework of the updating of the 1993 System of National Accounts (1993 SNA) and make recommendations on issues including Employer pension schemes, Non-performing loans, Financial services, Leases and licenses, Classification and terminology of non-financial assets, Government-owned assets, Public/private/government sector delineation, etc.

Contact: Mr. Ivo Havinga, Statistics Division, + 1 212/963-4859

United Nations Symposium on Natural Gas and Sustainable Development

Qatar, 6-8 February

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/calendar/feb2006.htm

The Symposium on Natural Gas and Sustainable Development will be co-organized by the State of Qatar, Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and will be addressed by ministers of energy and experts from industry and government. It will discuss the current and future role of natural gas, the efficiency and stability of global gas markets, the technological progress in natural gas utilization, social environmental and safety aspects and natural gas in developing countries.

The symposium will also address the economic, social and environmental benefits of natural gas; the growth in gas demand in industrialized and rapidly developing countries; as well as potentials for further gas developments in developing countries. Inter-linkages between gas and electricity markets are explored.

A session will also focus on issues related to energy sector reforms and their impacts, the development of long-term contracting and gas infrastructure, and the emergence of spot trading. The session will discuss the distinctive roles that market forces and governments can play to enhance efficiency and stability.

Speakers from industry and government regulatory agencies of major producing countries will discuss as well exploration, drilling, production and down stream technologies and the relation of technological progress to the prospects for global trade of natural gas.

Contact: Mr. Tarcisio Alvarez-Rivero, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-5708

UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality

2006 annual meeting

New York, 22-24 February

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge/

The UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality will hold its 2006 annual meeting in. In line with the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, participants will review progress on gender mainstreaming with a view to developing a system-wide action plan.

Contact: Ms. Sylvie I. Cohen, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-0058

Bartolome de las Casas 2005 Award

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/news/news_2.htm

Lux de Coti, Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issus (UNPFII) received the award "Bartolome de las Casas 2005". At the same time, the UNPFII received an honorific mention of recognition on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations as a multilateral body that guarantees the presence and voices of indigenous peoples in the United Nations system.

The Bartolome de las Casas Award was established 15 years ago for the Spanish Government in order to grant a public and solemn recognition to - persons or institutions - who have distinguish themselves in the defence of the interests, rights and identity of indigenous peoples in Latin America.

Contact: Ms. Elissavet Stamatopoulou, Chief, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issue, +1 917/367-5100.


Technical cooperation

Latin America and the Caribbean

International seminar on engaging communities

Lima, 23-24 January

An international seminar of engaged governance will be held for the Andean region in Lima, Peru.  

This is one of four seminars covering the four subregions of Latin America.   DPADM has put the emphasis on the need to facilitate a process that links the community with public sector agencies, and in training public administration officials in civil society capacity-building and community engagement methodologies.  It was in this context that DESA decided to support the initiative of the Government of Peru to host the “International Seminar on Engaging Communities” for Andean Governments.  It is expected that the Seminar will develop national capacities in this important area through exchanges and training.

Contact: Mr. José Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni, DPADM, +1 212/963-0701


Publications and websites

Monographs

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2006

Forthcoming - January

https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?entry=E06WEP&title=World+Economic+Situation+and+Prospects+2006

The annual publication of WESP is a joint product of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the five United Nations regional commissions, namely, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). It provides short-term economic outlook for the world economy, as well as for major regions. It also summarizes the views of the United Nations Secretariat on key current macroeconomic, trade, international finance, and development issues, as well as the policy implications. Released at the beginning of the year, one of the purposes of this publication is to serve as a point of reference for deliberations on economic, social and related issues taking place in various United Nations entities during the year.

As delineated in the report, the world economy is expected to expand at a rate of about 3.0% in 2006, continuing the moderation of the previous year, although many developing economies will still grow at a relatively strong pace above the average. Employment growth is pervasively unsatisfactory and dealing with high unemployment and underemployment remains a key policy challenge, particularly for many developing countries. While headline inflation has been edging up worldwide – mainly due to higher oil prices – core inflation remains tame and inflation expectation is still well anchored in a majority of countries. The WESP 2006 assesses the international economic environment facing most developing countries as auspicious in general, but warns that it will become more challenging, partly as a result of the ongoing policy tightening in major developed economies. The report identifies a number of downside risks for the world economy, primarily associated with the large and ever widening global imbalances, and the tight oil market, as well as the possible reversal of the appreciated house prices in a number of economies. Analyzing the global imbalances, which are dominated by the large external deficit of the United States, the WESP emphasizes an underlying global business investment anemia, rather than a global saving glut as hypothesized by other analysts. The report suggests that macroeconomic polices in most economies should remain accommodating and countercyclical (rather than tightening per se) to prevent global growth from weakening and global imbalances from widening further. It also advocate for more intense and broader international policy coordination in order to mitigate risks of an abrupt and disorderly global rebalancing. Meanwhile, it calls for more global efforts need to be galvanized towards the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Contact: Mr. Rob Vos, Development Policy and Analysis Division, +1 212/963-8457

Technical reports

Living Arrangements of Older Persons Around the World

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/livingarrangement/report.htm

The present publication provides the first global survey and analysis of the patterns and trends in the living arrangements of older persons. Comparable data are presented for more than 130 countries. The publication analyses the demographic, social and economic correlates of living arrangements of people aged 60 years or over as well, focusing on co-residence with family members, solitary living and the institutionalization of older persons.

Contact: Office of Ms. Hania Zlotnik, Director, Population Division, + 1-212-963-3179.

Statistical compilations

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS On-line

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs

Provides monthly statistics on 50 subjects from over 200 countries and areas, together with special tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world and regional aggregates are included regularly.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/394

Vol. LIX – No. 10

October 2005

Special features in this issue: World shipbuilding; Civil aviation traffic: passenger-km, cargo net ton-km; Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars.

Statistical Yearbook forty-ninth issue

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.S/25

Sales No. E/F.05.XVII.1

The United Nations Statistical Yearbook is an annual compilation of a wide range of economic, social and environmental statistics on over 200 countries and areas of the world, compiled from more than 35 sources including UN agencies and other international, national and specialized organizations. The 49th issue contains the most recent data available to the Statistics Division as of February 2005 and presents them in over 80 tables on topics such as: agriculture, forestry and fishing; balance of payments; culture and communication; development assistance; education; energy; environment; finance; nutrition; industrial production; intellectual property; international merchandise trade; international tourism; labour force; manufacturing; national accounts; population; prices; research and development; transport; and wages. The number of years of data shown in the tables varies from one to ten, with the ten-year tables covering 1993 to 2002 or 1994 to 2003. Accompanying the tables are technical notes providing brief descriptions of major statistical concepts, definitions and classifications required for the interpretation and analysis of the data.

Contact: Ms. Mary Jane Holupka, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4578

Demographic Yearbook fifty-fourth issue

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/33

Sales No. E/F.05.XIII.1

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/default.htm

The 2002 printed issue of the annual Demographic Yearbook has been released. This edition provides statistics on population size and composition, fertility, mortality, infant and fetal mortality, marriages and divorces. It also includes a detailed set of technical notes and footnotes explaining the sources, availability, timeliness, quality, reliability and coverage of the data presented. The primary sources of the data reported in the Demographic Yearbook are national population and housing censuses, population-related statistics from national administrative recording systems and population and household surveys reported by national statistical authorities.

The 2002 edition of the Demographic Yearbook, for the first time, presents national data on births by month of occurrence (1980-2002) and presents data on causes of death as provided by WHO. Also, for the first time, the summary table shows availability of national demographic data from countries and areas by sex.

Contact: Ms. Sabine Warschburger, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4297

Demographic Yearbook 2003 (electronic issue)

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2.htm

http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/default.htm

The 2003 electronic issue of the annual Demographic Yearbook is now being released on the Statistics Division’s website. Most tables are already available in pdf and excel format and remaining tables will gradually become available during January.

Contact: Ms. Sabine Warschburger, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4297

Household sample surveys in developing and transition countries

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/96

Sales No. E.05.XVII.6

The handbook on Household Sample Surveys in Developing and Transition Countries presents the “state of the art” on several important aspects of conducting household surveys in developing and transition countries, including sample design, survey implementation, non-sampling errors, survey costs, and analysis of survey data. The main objective of this handbook is to assist national survey statisticians to design household surveys in an efficient and reliable manner, and to allow users to make greater use of survey generated data. The publication’s 25 chapters have been authored by leading experts in survey research methodology around the world.

Contact: Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4849

Population and Vital Statistics Report

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/234/235

Series A Vol.LVII, No.2

Data available as of 1 July 2005

This is a subscription publication therefore, no sales number

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents data for countries or areas on population size (total, male, and female) from the latest available census, estimated total population size for 2003 or 2004 (the later available year), and the number and rate of vital events (live births, deaths, and infant deaths) for the latest available year since 1980. These data are presented as reported by national statistical authorities to the Demographic Yearbook of the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This issue also presents data for the world and its major areas and regions on estimated population size (total) for both 2003 and 2004. These estimates were prepared by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The data described in this paragraph are presented in three tables:

Table 1. Estimated mid-year population by major area and region, 2003 and 2004

Table 2. Population, latest available census and estimates for 2003 or 2004

Table 3. Live births, deaths, and infant deaths, latest available year since 1980

Contact: Ms. Sabine Warschburger, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4297

Journal

Policy application of energy indicators (November 2005)

Forthcoming - January 2006

http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0165-0203&site=1

The Natural Resources Forum is publishing a special issue on Policy Application of Energy Indicators (November 2005). This special issue is based on the programme on "Indicators for Sustainable Energy Development (ISED)" led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), EUROSTAT and DESA. The featured articles highlight how energy indicators were developed, refined and tested by different international and regional agencies, as well as national experts, to analyze and meet the energy needs of the countries by using those indicators. Brazil, Cuba, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia and Thailand participated in the ISED, and their findings are included in the issue, along with the approaches taken by international and regional agencies in support of this programme.


Comings and goings

Comings

Mr. Sergei Kambalov has been appointed Chief of ECOSOC and Interorganizational Cooperation Branch, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, effective 1 October 2005. He joined the UN in 1989, and has served in various capacities, recently as the Chief of Policy Coordination Section, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination and then as the Deputy Executive Coordinator of the Secretariat of the UN ICT Task Force. Prior to joining the UN, he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. Mr Kambalov holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from the Diplomatic Academy, Moscow. He is also a graduate of the Department of Economics, University of Moscow.

 
Goings

The following staff members retired from the organization between 1 October and 30 November.

Mr. Rene Chie, Programming Assistant, Population Division

Ms. Brigid Doneland, Social Affairs Officer, Division for Social Policy and Development

Mrs. Solita Pecache, Administrative Assistant, Division for Social Policy and Development

Mr. Dirk Pilari, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Division for Sustainable Development Ms. Kathleen Suite, Statitics Assistant, Statistics Division

Promotions

The following staff members were promoted between 1 October and 30 November.

Ms. Fei Cheng, Research Assistant, Division for Social Policy and Development

Ms. Maria Victoria Esquivel, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division

Ms. Veda Gittens, Technical Cooperation Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Ms. Meriam Gueziel, Staff Assistant, Division for Social Policy and Development

Mr. Zhiyang Lao, Information Systems Assistant, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Ms. Anna Marquinez, Staff Assistant, Statistics Dilvision

Mr. Brian Pozun, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division

Mr. Man Mohan Soni, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division


Calendar

January

Economic and Social Council

Election of Bureau

New York, 9 January

International Expert Workshop on the Millennium Development Goals and Indigenous Peoples

New York, 11-13 January

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol to the Convention

New York, 11-13 January

34th session

New York, 16 January-3 February

Pre-sessional working group

New York, 6-10 February

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

7th session

16 January-3 February

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

Regular session

New York, 19-27 January

Committee for Development Policy

Expert Group Meetings

Preparation of the triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries

New York, 25-26 January

Coping with economic vulnerability and instability: national and international policy responses

New York, 27 January

February

United Nations Symposium on Natural Gas and Sustainable Development

Qatar, 6-8 February

Economic and Social Council

Organizational session

New York, 7-10 February

Commission for Social Development

44th session

New York, 8-17 February

United Nations Forum on Forests

6th session

New York, 13-24 February

Commission on the Status of Women

50th session

27 February-10 March

Financing Energy for Sustainable Development

New York, date to be determined

Observances

2006 The International Year of Deserts and Desertification

http://www.unccd.int/publicinfo/iyddlogo/menu.php

The United Nations General Assembly, at its 58th session, adopted resolution A/Res/58/211 which declares 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.

The main objective of the year is to get the message across that desertification is a major threat to humanity, compounded by both climate change and loss of biological diversity. Land degradation affects one third of the planet's land surface and around one billion people in over a hundred countries.

DESA News is an insider's look at the United Nations in the area of coordination of economic and social development policies. The newsletter is produced by the Communications and Information Management Service of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with DESA Divisions, and is issued every two months.

Contact: Communications and Information Management Service, + 1 212/963-5874