Volume 1, Issue 2 , December 1997



In this issue:

Universal Declaration is Theme of DAW Activities
What's in a Name?
Foresters Adopt a Common "IPF Language"
Notes
Forthcoming Meetings
Advisory Services
Forthcoming Publications
Just Published
The Home Page

Universal Declaration is the Theme of DAW Activities

The international community is preparing to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UHDR) in 1998. The commemoration will constitute one of the themes underpinning the activities of the Division for the Advancement of Women.

  • These activities will begin with the eighteenth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in January , where a draft general recommendation on women's equal enjoyment of the right to health will be discussed. A statement on reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women will be elaborated by the Committee. This constitutes the framework of the Committee's central contribution to the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary.

  • One issue of Women 2000 , a twice-yearly publication of the Division will be produced in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and will be devoted to an assessment of how far the human rights of women have become part of the system-wide response to the Universal Declaration, and the Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

  • The forty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (2-13 March 1998) will have as its central focus a review of four of the twelve critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action. The areas under review are those deeply concerned with the human rights of women: violence against women, women and armed conflict, human rights of women and the girl-child. The Commission will be assisted in its review of these areas by four panels, comprising representatives of Governments, the United Nations system and civil society, which will seek to assess progress made in these sectors to translate the required actions identified in the Platform from rhetoric into reality. Throughout the time of the Commission, panels and discussions relating to these critical areas will be hosted by NGOs. In addition, the Commission itself is expected to devote part of one of its meetings to a discussion of the Declaration. Throughout the Commission, also, the open-ended working group on the preparation of an optional protocol to CEDAW will continue its deliberations, inspired by the commemoration of the UDHR.

  • As part of the preparation for the Commission on the Status of Women, the Division organized three expert group meetings on the critical areas of concern which are under review. An expert group meeting focusing on adolescent girls and their rights was held in October 1997 in Addis Ababa. During November an expert group meeting on gender-based persecution , exploring human rights issues arising in the context of armed conflict, was held at York University, Toronto. In early December, an expert group meeting on women's enjoyment of economic and social rights was held in Turku, Finland. Expert group meetings provide an opportunity for leaders in the field to discuss current thinking relating to a particular issue. These meetings allowed for an assessment of how far the equal enjoyment by girls and women of human rights in particular contexts has progressed since the adoption of the UDHR.

  • International Women's Day is celebrated annually on 8 March. An event to mark International Women's Day will be organized by the Department of Public Information, in cooperation with the Division for the Advancement of Women and the Group on Equal Rights for Women, in collaboration with other partners in the United Nations system, and will take place on 5 March 1998. This event will focus on women's enjoyment of their human rights in the context of the Universal Declaration and will form part of a coordinated programme incorporating NGO and other activities. The programme will aim to raise public consciousness of progress made and the further steps that need to be taken in that regard.

  • The results of the Commission on the Status of Women will be made available to the Commission on Human Rights during which a high level panel on women's enjoyment of those rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration will take place. In addition, it is expected that the Division will contribute to the report to be presented to the co-ordination segment of the 1998 session of the Economic and Social Council which will consider the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme for Action.

  • The ninth meeting of the persons chairing the human rights treaty bodies will take place in the Autumn of 1998. The Division will prepare a background paper for this meeting which will analyze what the various treaty bodies have done, and should do, in integrating gender perspectives into their work.

  • The final public activity of the Division commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UDHR will take place at the time of the General Assembly in 1998. As well as participating in the preparations of a panel on 24 November 1998, on Women's Rights the Responsibility of All, the Division will launch a booklet and a page on its web-site describing how far the rights in the Universal Declaration have been interpreted to advance the interests of women. The publication and web-page will be launched during the 24 November panel. This will be accompanied by an exhibition incorporating that prepared for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1997.

Abigail Loregnard-Kasmally

The web site of DAW is at: http://www.un.org/dpcsd/daw


What's in a Name?

The Seventh United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names and the Nineteenth Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) will take place at Headquarters from 12 to 23 January 1998.

What does "Standardization of Geographical Names" mean? Why is this standardization of significance and importance? What do this Conference and the Group of Experts try to accomplish?

Geographical names are important to each of us and they impact on the work of the United Nations in areas such as environmental management, sustainable development, peacekeeping operations, and economic aid.

The spelling and application of names of cities, villages, land and water features must be clear, accurate, current, and unambiguous. Effective communication depends on appropriate use of these names on maps, in the media, and in legal documents. Inaccuracy and misrepresentation may lead to inefficiency and misdirection.

Clarity or confusion?

Names are spelled in different ways; one name is applied to more than one feature; several names are applied to one feature. There are even greater problems, when names are expressed in different writing systems such as Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, and so on. Ways of converting these scripts to the Roman alphabet ("romanization") may be many. Map and atlas users might wonder which name is correct: Jenissei, Ienissei, or Yenisey are all used for the same river in Russia.

Journalists and the public may not understand each other when Basra and Al-Bassrah are used for the same place in different transcriptions of the original Arabic name; or when Cape Town, Kaapstad, Ekapa, Le Cap, Kapstadt, or Kapkaupunki are used interchangeably. News from Wien may not be seen as identical to those from Vienna, Wenen or B&Oslashcs! These are some of the issues the Conference and the Group of Experts work together to clarify and to "standardize".

The two bodies are serviced until 31 December 1997 by the former DDSMS and from 1 January 1998 by the Statistics Division.

In the next issue of the Newsletter we will provide a summary of the work of the Conference.

K. Hans Stabe

Online information on the two meetings is available at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/ddsms/ddsms.htm , click on Natural Resources and Energy

K. Hans Stabe, may be reached as follows:
Tel. (212) 963-8564
Fax. (212) 963-1270
E-mail: stabe@un.org


Foresters Adopt a Common "IPF Language"

The 11th World Forestry Congress
concludes with the Antalya Declaration

The outcome of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests had already been recognized as a major achievement by a number of international fora including CSD 5, Earth Summit +5, and ECOSOC, but also FAO's Committee on Forestry (COFO), the Commonwealth Forestry Association, and the International Tropical Timber Council.

October 1997 saw the next big event on the international forest agenda. This was the 11th World Forestry Congress (WFC), which was held in Antalya, 13-22 October 1997 with the theme "Forestry for Sustainable Development: Towards the 21st Century", organized by Turkey and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The meeting is held every six years and attracts around 3,000 forestry professionals from all over the world. This one had nearly 4,500 participants from 149 countries thereby breaking all previous records. Although this turned the Congress into an organizational nightmare it also provided for a unique opportunity for professional foresters to exchange views and review progress in the field of forestry.

The Antalya Declaration issued by the Congress noted the proposals of CSD's Intergovernmental Panel on Forests in February 1997, which "reflect a balanced, holistic and integrated approach to sustaining the multiple benefits of forests"; welcomed the decision of UNGASS 97 to establish the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests to promote the implementation of the proposals; and asked the international community to implement the proposals and "ensure that further international forest policy dialogue and associated actions, within the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and other policy fora continues to be based on openness and transparency".

Tage Michaelsen

The web site of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests can be accessed at: http://www.un.org/dpcsd/dsd/iff.htm

Tage Michaelsen, who attended the Congress with Jag Maini, can be reached at
the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Division for Sustainable Development
Tel. (212) 963-5294
Fax. (212) 963-3463
E-mail: michaelsen@un.org


Notes

As called for in Kofi Annan's reform package, a review of activities in the macroeconomic area has been carried out by DESA and UNCTAD. The main conclusions were: a joint UNCTAD-DESA report on the world economic situation and prospects will be issued each January commencing in 1999, replacing Part One of DESA's World Economic and Social Survey; the Survey will focus on the integrated analysis of economic and social development at the global and national levels; the Trade and Development Report of UNCTAD will focus on the integrated treatment of development and interrelated issues in the areas of trade, finance, technology and investment; DESA will continue to report on finance for development; debt and global financial markets issues will be studied mainly by UNCTAD.

(Source: About UNCTAD , November 1997)

*****

A major report to the Security Council on conflicts in Africa is under preparation in the Secretariat. The report will focus on security/development linkages and will highlight the efforts required from countries both within and outside Africa, and the support needed for African initiatives and regional and subregional cooperation efforts. The report is being coordinated by Ibrahima Fall from the Department of Political Affairs, Makha Sarr of OSCAL, and Messrs. Prendergast, Speth and Desai on behalf of the Secretary-General. Two consultants from Harvard University will be working on the report.

*****

Mr. Desai was the keynote speaker at a UNU Seminar on "UN and the Global Environment in the 21st Century from Common Challenges to Shared Responsibilities" . The seminar was part of the UNU five-year long project on the UN system in the 21st Century. He is currently in Japan to represent to Secretary-General at the Council of the United Nations University and participate in the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Climate Change Convention in Kyoto.

*****

BĂ©atrice Labonne, Director, DESDNREM, presented a substantive paper on the contribution of small-scale mining to poverty reduction, and perspectives for technical cooperation in Africa , at the Second Conference of African Ministers Responsible for the Development and Utilization of Mineral and Energy Resources in Durban. This is an approach of growing interest, which was reported in detail last week in the New York Times .

*****

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Prospects for Regional and Interregional Electricity Networks in the ESCWA Region was held in Amman, Jordan from 25-27 November 1997. The Energy Management Branch participated by sending two international experts to the meeting as a joint programming exercise with ESCWA. The strategic objectives of the meeting, convened by ESCWA in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the National Electric Power Company of Jordan, included fostering electrical power interconnection projects in the ESCWA region, examining prospects for the establishment of a regional electric power grid, and clarifying the role of both privatization of the electric power sector and increased private investment in the electric power industry. The operational objectives of the Meeting included providing guidance to ESCWA in developing a work programme consistent with the strategic objectives. Two working papers prepared by the ESCWA Secretariat were presented as a context for the Meeting. The papers addressed, respectively, technical and economic aspects of establishing a regional electricity power network and experiences with privatization of power generation in specific ESCWA member countries. These papers were followed by country papers from the member states.

A paper presented by the DESA Energy Branch described the evolution and current status of NORDEL, an association created to promote electricity cooperation in the Scandinavia region. The presentation covered the technical, economic and administrative requirements associated with creating the NORDEL system, which was established in 1963 to create standards for efficient utilisation of the Nordic electricity generation and transmission systems and to facilitate an interconnected power system in Scandinavia. The paper also described NORDEL experience with linking to external power systems via High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connections. The lessons learned by NORDEL have particular relevance for the ESCWA region, which is confronted with similar political and security issues in linking electrical power systems in a competitive-cooperative manner.

The final part of the meeting was concerned with providing guidelines for developing a programme of work for ESCWA. The guidelines included increasing the awareness of the governments concerning the importance of establishing interconnections, updating the previous studies with improved quality of input data, and performing a study on dispatch and control of an integrated power system for the ESCWA countries. Although a recommendation was made, and discussed, to form an association for cooperation within the field of electricity similar to the NORDEL and UCPTE (Union for the Coordination of Electricity Generation and Transmission) associations, this recommendation was postponed for further consideration by ministries of the participating countries.

Contact: Michael Willingham, Division for Economic and Social Development and Natural Resources Management
Tel. (212) 963-8796, Fax. (212) 963-4340, E-mail: willingham@un.org

*****

In cooperation with the European Space Agency and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, the Department organized the fourth training course on applications of European Remote Sensing satellite data (ERS-1 and ERS-2) to natural resources, renewable energy and the environment. This session of the training course, the fourth and last of a series co-financed by the Italian Government through the Italian Trust Fund for New and Renewable Sources of Energy, was organized for English and Portuguese speaking African specialists. The training course, attended by 20 participants from 14 African countries, was held at the European Space Research Institute in Frascati, Italy, from 24 November to 5 December 1997.


Forthcoming Meetings

Below is a list of the current meetings with DESA participation:

Expert group meeting on vulnerability index for Small Island Developing States
New York, 15-16 December 1997

Experts from governments, UN and non-UN organizations and academia have been invited. The meeting will review two working papers - one on an Ecological Vulnerability Index and the other on an Economic Vulnerability Index.

Contact: Deonanan Oodit, Division for Sustainable Development
Tel. (212) 963-4671, Fax. (212) 963-4260, E-mail: doodit@un.org.

Regional consultative workshop on the provision of sustainable energy services to rural areas
organized in collaboration with ESCAP
Bangkok, 15-17 December 1997

Contact: Mohan Peck, Division for Economic and Social Development and Natural Resources Management
Tel. (212) 963-8799, Fax. (212) 963-4340, E-mail: peck@un.org

African Regional Forum on Renewable Energies
Bamako, 15-19 December 1997

The Seminar is organized by UNESCO and is intended to provide inputs for the formulation of a regional programme on solar energy, to be supported by Africa's development partners. OSCAL is invited to make a statement at the opening ceremony of the Forum, which will be presided over by the President of the Republic of Mali.

Eighth meeting of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
Geneva, 15-19 December 1997

This biennial meeting will be devoted to updating two reports on tax issues as well as focusing its discussions on new financial instruments; transfer pricing; and tax havens, with special reference to the exchange of information.

Contact: Abdelhamid Bouab, Division for Governance, Public Administration and Finance
Tel. (212) 963-8406, Fax. (212) 963-2916, E-mail: bouab@un.org

Committee for Development Planning
Working Group III
New York, 17-19 December 1997

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
New York, 12-16 January 1998

The Committee will resume its 1997 session during which it will review some one hundred quadrennial reports on NGOs activities, processed by the NGO section. In addition, it will consider a number of reclassifications of NGOs which requested a different status in the Economic and Social Council as well as the requests submitted by NGOs on the Roster of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) which have expressed their wish to expand their participation in other fields of the Council. Lastly, it will decide on the status of a number of organizations on which it could not reach a decision at its last substantive meeting in May. The resumed session will be followed by another week of exchange of views during which the Committee will discuss its methods of work and particularly the possible enlargement of its membership.

The next three-week substantive sessions of the Committee will take place on 18-29 May and 22-26 June in New York. During these sessions, the Committee will examine the requests for consultative status with ECOSOC and its Commissions of some three hundred NGOs, a figure that doubled since last year, duly processed by the NGO section throughout the year.

High-level Seminar on a System for Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) policy use
Manila, 12-16 January 1998

The seminar will review the results of the Philippines Economic-Environmental Accounting (PEENRA) and its database system will be held in Manila. In addition to assisting in the implementation of the project on regional integrated environmental accounting, a representative of the Statistics Division will present a paper on the policy use and usefulness, notably in formulating and monitoring sustainable development strategies in the country.

Contact: Peter Bartelmus, Statistics Division
Tel. (212) 963-4581, Fax.(212) 963-0623, E-mail: bartelmus@un.org
or Alessandra Alfieri, Tel. (212) 963-4590, Fax. (212) 963-0623, E-mail: alfieri@un.org

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Pre-sessional Working Group
New York, 12-16 January 1998

Eighteenth session
New York, 19 January-6 February 1998

Eight states parties will present their reports. The countries and the document numbers are given: Initial report of Azerbaijan (CEDAW/C/AZE/1); Initial report of Croatia (CEDAW/C/CRO/1); Initial report of the Czech Republic (CEDAW/C/CZE/1); Initial report of Zimbabwe (CEDAW/C/ZWE/1); Combined second and third periodic reports of Republic of Bulgaria (CEDAW/C/BGR/2-3); Combined second and third periodic reports of Indonesia (CEDAW/C/IDN/2-3); Combined second and third, and the fourth periodic reports of the Dominican Republic (CEDAW/C/DOM/2-3 AND CEDAW/C/DOM/4); Combined third and fourth periodic reports of Mexico (CEDAW/C/MEX/3-4 and Add.1). The work of the Committee to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights is covered in the article above on that topic.

Contact: Jane Connors, Division for the Advancement of Women
Tel. (212) 963-3162, Fax. (212) 963-3463, E-mail: connorsj@un.org

Forum on Forests and Energy
Schneverdingen, Germany, 16-20 January 1998

This workshop organized by the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation will look into the role of wood in energy systems.

Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, Division for Sustainable Development, will attend.
Contact Elisabeth at: Tel. (212) 963-3263, Fax. (212) 963-3463, E-mail: barsk-rundquiste@un.org
or Jutta Poker of the Alfred Toepfer Academy at: Tel. (49-5199) 989-21, Fax. (49-5199) 989-46

United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names
nineteenth session
New York, 21-23 January 1998

See article above "What's in a name ?" relating to this meeting.

Committee for Development Planning
Working Group II
New York, 21-24 January 1998

Contact: Ralph Chipman, Division for Sustainable Development
Tel. (212) 963-5504, Fax. (212) 963-4260, E-mail: chipman@un.org

Economic and Social Council
Organizational session, 1998
New York, 22 January 1998

Expert Group Meeting on Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management
Harare, 27-30 January 1998

Following the outcome of the 19th Special Session of the General Assembly and in preparation for the 6th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Government of Zimbabwe will host an Expert Group Meeting on Strategic Approaches to Freshwater Management, to be convened in Harare. The meeting -- which will be organized by the Division for Sustainable Development -- is being sponsored by the Governments of Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and by the European Commission.

The meeting will address the following major themes: (a) strategic approaches to sustainable and integrated water management, in which water is considered a key resource in social and economic development, (b) actions needed to protect the health and productivity of the environment, including impacts on human health from degradation of water resources, (c) actions at the local, national and international levels for the generation and efficient utilization of financial resources for water related activities and (d) actions required to enhance participation and improve institutional and regulatory frameworks. It will also focus on cross-sectoral issues, such as capacity building and information management.

The results of the Harare meeting will be considered during the meeting of the CSD's Ad hoc Inter-sessional Working Group that will meet in late February-early March 1998.

Contact: Pierre Najlis, Division for Sustainable Development
Tel. (212) 963-4800, Fax. (212) 963-1795, E-mail: najlis@un.org

Expert Group Meeting Extending the UN Consumer Protection Guidelines
Sao Paulo, 28-30 January 1998

The State Government of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has offered to host the Ad-Hoc Inter-Regional Expert Group Meeting on the extension of the UN Consumer Protection Guidelines to include Sustainable Consumption.
The Guidelines for Consumer Protection have been established by the UN in 1985. Over the past ten years they have proven to be valuable tools for Governments, in particular in developing countries, for drafting of policy and legislation on consumer protection. ECOSOC has now asked for an inter-regional expert meeting to gather recommendations and suggestions from consumer organizations, business, environmental NGOs, academics, and governments on an extension of the guidelines on the issue of sustainable consumption. The results of this meeting will be discussed at the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) Inter-Sessional Working Group meeting in February and the 6th session of the CSD in April 1998.

Contact: Erik Brandsma, Division for Sustainable Development
Tel. (212) 963-0013, Fax. (212) 963-4260, E-mail: brandsma@un.org.

Meeting on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU)
Addis Ababa, January 1998

The General Assembly requested the convening of a follow-up meeting between the United Nations and the OAU to review and evaluate the progress in the implementation of the recommendations agreed upon at the 1995 meeting between the two Secretariats. OSCAL will coordinate the substantive preparation of the part of the meeting dealing with economic, social and related areas, dealing with cooperation in the harmonization of initiatives on African development and support for the African Economic Community. The meeting, originally scheduled for December 1997, has been postponed to January 1998.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries
Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org

Economic and Social Council, Organizational session
New York, 3-6 February 1998

Statistical Commission, Working Group on International Statistical Programmes and Coordination
nineteenth session
New York, 10-13 February 1998

Commission for Social Development
thirty-sixth session
New York, 10-20 February 1998

More information on the two meetings above will appear in our next issue.

Meeting of States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
tenth meeting
New York, 17 February 1998

This meeting will elect 12 experts to serve four-year terms of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, beginning 1 January 1999. The Committee is the monitoring body of the Convention.

Contact: Jane Connors, Division for the Advancement of Women
Tel. (212) 963-3162, Fax. (212) 963-3463, E-mail: connorsj@un.org

Workshop on the Implementation of Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Commission on Sustainable Development proposals
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 19-21 February 1998

This workshop organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization will look into the proposals for action in Asia and the Pacific with special reference to national forest programmes.

Contact: Tage Michaelsen, Intergovernmental Forum on Forests
Tel. (212) 963-5294, Fax. (212) 963-3463, E-mail: michaelsen@un.org
or Mr. Jean Clement, Food and Agriculture Organization
Tel. (39-6) 5705-3589, Fax. (39-6) 5705-2151, E-mail: jeanclaude.clement@fao.org

Commission on Population and Development, thirty-first session
New York, 23-27 February 1998

More information on this meeting will appear in our next issue.

Meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II)
Senegal, February 1998

The task of the Preparatory Committee of 21 members that was constituted at the Preparatory Conference in Tokyo in November 1997 is to formulate the "agenda for action" for adoption at the Second Tokyo International Conference, which is scheduled to take place from 19 - 21 October 1998. It has been agreed that TICAD II should focus on the following priority areas: social development, private sector development, agriculture and environment, governance and conflict management, and peace and development. The modalities of cooperation agreed upon are capacity-building, regional cooperation, South-South cooperation and donor coordination. OSCAL will participate as co-organizer in providing substantive support to the Preparatory Committee.

Contact: Makha Sarr, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries
Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: sarr@un.org
or Kimiko Uno, Tel. (212) 963-2166, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: uno@un.org
or Leslie Wade, Tel. (212) 963-4420, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: wade@un.org


Advisory Services

A multidisciplinary team was sent on mission to Honduras from 10-15 November to prepare the strategy for the UNDP programme on sustainable development . A follow-up mission is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 1998 at which time a strategy for energy end-use efficiency may also be elaborated.

Other missions fielded recently included:

  • To Kazakstan to participate in a regional meeting on opportunities for renewable energy applications in Central Asia organized by the World Bank;

  • To Bangkok to participate in the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development and to discuss clean coal technologies and the scope for DESA/ESCAP cooperation;

  • To Iraq with the framework of Security Council "Oil-for-Food Agreement" related to the electric power sector ;

  • To Panama to conduct a workshop on national execution modalities and procedures ;

  • To Namibia to finalize the Capacity-Building for Economic Management Programme;

  • To Myanmar to conduct a workshop related to the Human Development Initiative (HDI) Baseline Survey ;

  • To Russia , to attend the International Conference on Investment Policies in the Far East Region of Russia and to discuss possible technical cooperation there;

  • To Belarus , to participate in the Subregional conference on "Technical cooperation: trends, activities, and issues ";

  • To China to launch a diagnostic study on the current planning processes and institutional arrangements, of the Huaihe River Basin .


Forthcoming Publications

AFRICA

Overview of African Development

The document will be the first in a series of biennial reports on Africa's development. The principal areas covered will be: peace and security, democracy and good governance, economic development, human development, and initiatives on Africa. The document is intended to review progress achieved by African countries in those areas as well as the challenges lying ahead.

Report of the Asia-Africa Forum on the Economic Empowerment of Women

The report will summarize the discussions held at Bangkok from 16-19 July 1997, as well as the framework for action that was adopted.

Contact: Ruth Engo, Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries
Tel. (212) 963-4780, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: engo@un.org
or Herta Kaschitz, Tel. (212) 963-2692, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: kaschitz@un.org

Poverty Eradication in Africa

The publication will attempt to link 14 case studies to the broader concept of poverty eradication in Africa. It will show what activities the Governments and the people are planning and undertaking for the eradication of poverty and assess their sustainability.

Contact: Ruth Engo, Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries
Tel. (212) 963-4780, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: engo@un.org
or Herta Kaschitz, Tel. (212) 963-2692, Fax. (212) 963-3892, E-mail: kaschitz@un.org

SOCIAL POLICY

The Supplement to the Report on the World Social Situation, 1997 will soon be published, dealing with issues of social protection. It consists of four main chapters. The first addresses conceptual and methodological issues such as income maintenance in risk situations, social insurance and social assistance schemes, intra- and inter-generational transfers. A chapter on industrialised countries, describes demographic and economic trends and the consequences for adjustments of social insurance (pension) schemes. A chapter on transition economies, analyses issues in social insurance and social assistance schemes under conditions of systemic change. Finally, a chapter on developing economies examines the existing situation and the emerging needs for safety nets tailored to the specific socio-economic situation.

The Supplement follows up on the Report on the World Social Situation 1997 , that was published in April. Against a background of essential developments in economic growth, health, education, population and nutrition, the report examined the core social issues of poverty alleviation, productive employment and social integration. The comprehensive examination of these subjects covered concepts and quantitative indicators, as well as policies and strategies.

Contact: Albrecht Horn, Microeconomic and Social Analysis Division
Tel. (212) 963-3924, Fax. (212) 963-1061, E-mail: horn@un.org

DEVELOPMENT POLICY ANALYSIS

The State of the World Economy at the Start of 1998

The State of the World Economy and the Outlook for 1998 will be released to the press in mid-December 1997. It will also be a document of the Organizational Session of ECOSOC to be held in February 1998.

The report is prepared by the Macroeconomics Division as an update to its annual World Economic and Social Survey . The Survey is released each June as a document of the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council.

Contact: Barry Herman, Macroeconomics Division
Tel. (212) 963-4747, Fax. (212) 963-1061, E-mail: herman@un.org


Just Published

WOMEN

The Division for the Advancement of Women published jointly with the International Training Centre of the ILO the proceedings of Expert Group Meetings on "Gender, Education and Training" and "Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning of Women", held at the ILO Training Centre in Turin (Italy) in 1994 and 1996.

Gender, Education and Development provides insights into the progress achieved worldwide on all levels of education of women and girls and describes the obstacles in access and achievements that still persist at regional and subregional level. It defines strategies to improve educational and training opportunities for girls and women. The experts' papers consider the rationale for girls' education, questions of strategic resource allocations and quality of education and training. They address educational policy, learning environment and access to quality education. Experts suggest action to address educational needs in especially difficult circumstances such as refugee and minority or socially disadvantaged girls and women. Price: $35 (surface), $39 (air).

Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning of Women highlights education and training of women as a means for increasing and improving opportunities in the world of work, for increasing their economic and social power, and for enabling them to fulfil their potential in contributing to the development of society. The experts' papers focus on current labour market conditions and employment trends for women, on obstacles to women's access to vocational training and lifelong learning and on strategies to overcome them. Some experts describe experiences and initiatives taken at national level. Price: $17 (surface), $19 (air).

Order from:
Publications - International Training Centre of the ILO
Corso Unit… d'Italia 125
10127 Turin, Italy
Tel. (39)11-6936 693; Fax. (39)11-6936 352;
E-mail: MDP@itcilo.it

Contact Ms. Maria Hartl, Division for the Advancement of Women
Tel. (212) 963-3140, Fax. (212) 963-3463 and E-mail: hartl@un.org

DEVELOPMENT POLICY ANALYSIS

The report of Project LINK 's most recent semi-annual meeting on the world economy, which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 22-26 September 1997, has just been released by the Macroeconomics Division. The report summarizes the views of a world-wide group of economists on the near-term outlook for the global economy, its major economic regions, and selected countries, and presents the main findings of some of the participants about several issues of economic policy and analysis. (The section of the report on South and East Asia is currently being updated, to reflect the ongoing rapid changes in Southeast and Northeast Asian economies, for use in the End-of-the-Year Note on the world economy that DESA prepares for the Secretary-General.)

A copy of the report of Project LINK meeting may be obtained from Lena Chary
Tel. (212) 963-4408, Fax. (212) 963-1061, E-mail: chary@un.org

SOCIAL POLICY

Aspects of World Employment Strategy
(Sales No. E.98.IV.1 - October 1997)

The publication contains four papers and a summary of the discussion at a one-day seminar held at the United Nations Headquarters. The primary objective of the seminar was to reflect on policies that may contribute to improving employment prospects nationally and internationally. The background to the seminar was the strong commitment made at the World Summit for Social Development to promote "the goal of full employment as a basic priority of our economic and social policies". The World Summit for Social Development has placed the issue of employment in the broader context of the objective of poverty eradication and social integration since a large part of the problem of poverty arises from unemployment and underemployment. Unemployment is a measure of vulnerability and social exclusion. In addition, the Commission for Social Development, in the Agreed Conclusions last year requested the Secretary-General "to broaden and deepen the policy debate on employment issues."

The ILO Report on World Employment 1996-1997 was used as the major source of comprehensive and rigorous analysis of employment issues and policies. The participants discussed such issues as globalization and employment, policies for encouraging employment growth as well as compensating the losers by increasing employment. The authors of the papers are John Eatwell, President of Queens College, Cambridge; Ethan Kapstein, Stassen Professor of International Peace, University of Minnesota; Eddy Lee, International Labour Office, Geneva and Ernesto Ottone, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Santiago, Chile.

Contact: Lul Hassan, Division for Social Policy and Development
Tel. (212) 963-4714, Fax. (212) 963-3062, E-mail: Hassanl@un.org.

STATISTICS

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
(ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/298, Vol.LI - No. 10) - October 1997

The purpose of this publication is to present current monthly economic statistics for most of the countries and territories of the world. In addition, each month a different selection of special tables is presented showing annual and/or quarterly data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic long-term trends and developments. Most of these special tables are also reproduced in the United Nations Statistical Yearbook. It is, however, considered to be useful to publish these data in the Bulletin as soon as they become available so that readers may have immediate access to the most current international statistical information.

Population and Vital Statistics Report
(ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/203, Series A Vol.XLIX, No.4) - November 1997

The issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 1996 and 1997 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 1996 estimates of 230 countries or areas of the world, which are listed separately in the Report. Also shown for each country or area are the results of the latest nation-wide census of population (total, male and female) and, wherever possible, nationally representative statistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths (deaths under one year of age) for the most recent years available.

1995 Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook
(ST/ESA/STAT/SER.P/35, Sales No. E/F.97.XVII.9) - November 1997

This edition of the Yearbook contains annual quantity data on production of industrial commodities by country, geographical region, economic grouping and for the world. A standard list of about 530 commodities (about 590 statistical series) has been adopted for the publication. Most of the statistics refer to the ten-year period 1986-1995 for about 200 countries and areas.

International Recommendation for Construction Statistics
(ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/47.Rev.1, Sales No. A.97.XVII.11 Arabic) - November 1997

This updates the Recommendations for Construction Statistics, Rev.1. It is in compliance with the International Standard Classification of All Economic Activities, Rev.3 and the 1993 System of National Accounts.

1995 Energy Statistics Yearbook
(ST/ESA/STAT/SER.J/39, Sales No. E/F.97.XVII.8) - November 1997

The Energy Statistics Yearbook 1995 is a comprehensive collection of international energy statistics. It is the thirty-ninth in a series of annual compilations which commenced under the title World Energy Supplies in Selected Years, 1929-1950. Supplementary series of monthly and quarterly data on production of energy may be found in the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Two publications have just been issued by the Energy Management Branch of the Division for Economic and Social Development and Natural Resources Management. They are: (i) the Proceedings of the UN International Conference on Coal Bed Methane Development and Utilization (TCD/ENERGY/SEM.97/1), and (ii) a technical publication on Geographic Information Systems for Power System Planning (Sales no. E.96.II.A.1).

Following an ad-hoc meeting of a group of experts on legislation for surveying and mapping held at Headquarters on 6 June 1997 under the auspices of the former DDSMS, a Report of the Meeting has just been issued (DDSMS/SEM.97/2). The report, in addition to including the four background technical papers commissioned by the Department, presents a summary of the salient aspects of the deliberations and a set of recommendations for the benefit for specialized government agencies and users of cadastral products.

Volume I, Report of the Conference, of the Sixth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas held at Headquarters from 2 to 6 June 1997, has recently been issued (sales no. E.98.I.5). The Conference, an event taking place every four years, was organized by the former DDSMS as part of its normative activities and held in accordance with ECOSOC decision 1993/225. The Report was issued simultaneously in English, Spanish and French. Volume II, Technical Papers, a compilation of more than 50 technical documents submitted by member states, is currently being edited for publication and release early next year.

Contact: Gabriel Gabella, Division for Economic and Social Development and Natural Resources Management,
Tel. (212) 963-3101, Fax. (212) 963-4340, E-mail: gabella@un.org.


The Home Page

A new web site for the economic and social areas will be posted for online access as of 1 January 1998 at web address: http://www.un.org/esa . It has been prepared by the Information Support Unit at the request of Mr. Desai, in consultation with the various Divisions. Its intent is to represent the range of work carried out under the broad umbrella of economic and social affairs. In arriving at the design, ISU tried to satisfy three main requirements:

  1. The site aims to reflect the work of the United Nations in the economic and social areas beyond the usual boundaries of Divisions and Departments, in accordance with trends toward greater coordination and integration throughout the UN and the specialized agencies.

  2. The site aims to satisfy varying views of the Organization, with an emphasis on the views and needs of Member States. It aims to present information both from a service perspective (e.g. parliamentary services, research and analysis, etc.), and from the perspective of areas of activity (e.g. statistics, sustainable development, governance).

  3. The site aims to introduce a consistent structure between pages presented for internal consumption (Secretariat staff) on the UN intranet, and those meant for "external" audiences (Member States, etc.) via the internet, in order to simplify web site management and set the stage for increasingly automated generation of pages.

ISU would also like to engage Divisions in the ongoing maintenance of pages and services related to their respective areas where this is not already the case, in order to assure an accurate and up-to-date representation of the work of the Organization to colleagues within the Secretariat and beyond.

For further details, please contact:
Ms. Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Information Support Unit
Tel. (212) 963-3176
Fax. (212) 963-4444
E-mail: marulli-koenig@un.org

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The Statistics Division has set up a new International Economic and Social Classifications web page. It can be accessed as follows: http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/class/class1.htm under the extensive web page of the Statistics Division.

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The Division for the Advancement of Women is planning to add a page to its website, to describe how far the rights of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights have been interpreted to advance the interests of women. For details, see article above entitled: "Universal Declaration is theme of DAW Activities".

The DAW website is at: http://www.un.org/dpcsd/daw

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Coming soon to the DESA Web site will be an NGO Section Home Page . By designing and updating its Web page, the NGO section intends to not only reach a larger number of NGOs but also to provide them with a wider range of documents and information that these organizations will need to contribute and participate in inter-governmental meetings.