Volume 2, Issue 6 , December 1998 - -January 1999




In this issue:

A Tragedy: The Demographic Impact of HIV/AIDS
SAIs: Public Sector Watchdogs
General Assembly 53rd Session concludes work on Economic and Social Issues
Special Sessions Planned in 2000
Advisory Services
Work in Progress
Meetings Held

Recent Publications

Population , Women , Public Administration , Africa , Social Policy , Statistics
The Web Page

A Tragedy: The Demographic Impact of HIV/AIDS

As part of its research work programme, the United Nations Population Division studies the demographic impact of AIDS in the world. In its 1998 Revision of world population estimates and projections , special attention is given to those developing countries which are hardest-hit (population of 1 million or more and an adult HIV prevalence of 2 per cent or more) or, because of their large population size, exhibit a large share of the developing world's HIV infections.

Among those countries, 29 are in Sub-Sahara Africa (Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Republic of Africa, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe), 3 in Asia (Cambodia, India and Thailand), and 2 in Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil and Haiti). Of the 30 million persons in the world currently infected by HIV (UNAIDS, 1997), 26 million (85 per cent) reside in these 34 countries. In addition, 91 per cent of all AIDS deaths in the world have occurred in these 34 countries.

The 1998 Revision shows a devastating toll from AIDS with respect to mortality and population loss. In the 29 hard-hit African countries that are studied, life expectancy at birth is currently estimated at 47 years, 7 years less than what could have been expected in the absence of AIDS. In the 9 countries with an adult HIV prevalence of 10 per cent or more (Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the impact of AIDS is more dramatic with more than 10 years of life expectancy already lost to AIDS. By 2010-2015, the average life expectancy at birth in these countries could be 16 years shorter than it would have been in the absence of AIDS. However, in none of the 34 countries, is the population expected to decline because of the AIDS epidemic.

In Botswana, the hardest-hit country, one of every four adults is infected by HIV. Life expectancy at birth is expected to drop from 61 years in 1990-1995 to 47 years in 1995-2000. In the absence of HIV/AIDS, it would have been expected to reach 65 years in 1990-1995 and 67 years in 1995-2000. Due to the impact of AIDS, life expectancy is projected to further fall to 41 years by 2000-2005; this is 29 years less than expected in the absence of HIV/AIDS. Mainly due to the mortality impact, population growth in Botswana has been significantly reduced. The average annual population growth rate of 3.5 per cent per year in 1980-1985 has fallen to 2.9 per cent in 1990-1995 and will likely further fall to 1.9 per cent in 1995-2000 and 1.2 per cent in 2000-2005. In the absence of AIDS, Botswana's population would have experienced growth above 2.5 throughout the 1990-2005 period. Because of the mortality impact of AIDS, Botswana's population by 2015 is expected to be 20 per cent smaller than it would have been in the absence of AIDS. Nevertheless, because of high fertility, Botswana's population is still expected to nearly double between 1995 and 2050.

In South Africa, one of every 8 adults was infected by the virus in 1997. By 1990-1995, life expectancy at birth (estimated at 59 years) was barely affected by HIV/AIDS. However, projections show that by 2005-2010, 21 years of life expectancy at birth will be lost to AIDS: the level of life expectancy is expected to be just 45 years against 66 years in the absence of AIDS. Population growth, while remaining positive, is also expected to decrease faster because of the AIDS epidemic. South Africa's annual growth rate is expected to decrease from 1.9 per cent in 1990-1995 to 0.3 per cent by 2005-2010; in the absence of HIV/AIDS, the population growth rate in 2005-2010 would have been around 1.5 per cent. By 2015, South Africa's population is expected to be 16 per cent lower than it would have been in the absence of the AIDS epidemic.

On 10 November 1998, the Population Division, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) held a technical meeting on the demographic impact of HIV. In her opening remarks to this technical meeting, Ms. Louise Frechette, Deputy Secretary General called HIV/AIDS " ... a global human tragedy, which will deny to the millions of its victims the benefits of humanity's greatest achievement-- a healthy, long life. This is one of the serious threats and challenges for the next millenium. She noted that " The official population estimates and projections in the United Nations system provided by the Population Division show an alarming impact of AIDS. The Secretary General and I believe that it is the responsibility of the international community to reverse these trends". The report of the meeting, along with the background paper, the agenda and list of participants will soon be available on the Population Division Web Site: http://www.un.org/popin/

Contact: Victor Gaigbe-Togbe, Tel. (212) 963-9900, Fax (212) 9632147, E-mail: gaigbe-togbe@un.org


SAIs: Public Sector Watchdogs "World Bank Warns Big Five over Global Audit Standards" read the headline in the 19 October edition of The Financial Times. The article continued: "The bank's action is likely to accelerate the introduction of a global financial reporting code based on International Accounting Standards and tougher auditing rules set down by the International Federation of Accountants."

While the concerns raised by The World Bank have merit, they relate primarily to the private sector. What about supreme audit institutions (SAIs) which carry out audit work in the public sector?

For many developing countries, the issue of auditing standards is real, but more important matters need to be addressed beforehand:

  • Support from lawmakers: do they take audit reports seriously? Is there adequate follow-up by a parliamentary subcommittee?
  • A legal mandate: it may be relatively weak, too narrow or with inadequate resources to carry it out;
  • Independence: it may be lacking in the appointment process, in remuneration for the SAI head, in the term of office, etc.
  • Access to information: in some countries, it is too restricted for the public sector auditor to report meaningfully to the governing body; and
  • Finally, there may be an insufficient institutional support system to address the shortage of professional accountants needed, and independent professional associations, where they do exist, often lack support to carry out the usual professional training and standard setting activities.

The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) is a very supportive organization for SAIs (close to 180 belong to it). Periodic joint INTOSAI/UN seminars are held with financing, in part, from DESA. Also, INTOSAI has developed audit standards that members are expected to follow.

Why is all of this important for DESA? Considerable funding, policy advice and technical assistance have been invested in DESA programmes and projects to improve budgetary and financial management systems in developing countries and those with economies in transition. To assist nations to become more self-sufficient in such areas, SAIs deserve support for they encourage compliance with laws and regulations and indirectly serve as a major catalyst for change. While SAIs are in an ideal position to support government reforms, they also need strengthening if we want more transparency and accountability in the public sector.

Contact: William Radburn, Tel. (212) 963-8801, E-mail: radburn@un.org


General Assembly 53rd Session Concludes Work on Economic and Social Issues

The work of the 53rd General Assembly on economic and social issues marks definite progress for the United Nations as a forum of diverse views and catalyst for common action based on shared values.

On process, the session incorporated many innovative elements such as panel discussions, briefings and the active involvement of representatives from civil society. Some of the personalities who interacted with the Committees such as Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein, or Robert Hormats, Vice President of Goldman Sachs, exposed them to the views of the corporate and finance world. Another significant feature of the legislative process was the greater cooperative spirit between delegations as witness the high-level dialogue in September and ECOSOC's high-level segment, both of which fostered increased confidence and trust. Finally, the number of resolutions adopted was significantly lower than in past years. The quality and timeliness of the documentation submitted to the Committees also improved significantly. Thus, in terms of overall efficiency of work, the General Assembly has been more effective than in the past.

On more substantive grounds, the downside of globalization as reflected in the East Asia crisis, was the dominant theme and the United Nations is now widely seen as being at the forefront of the debate on globalization. The catalytic and policy development role of the General Assembly was in evidence as preparations were put into place for the finance-for-development process (2001), Copenhagen+5 (2000) and Beijing+5 (2000).

The more sensitive and difficult items where change is incremental, as well as the items on which delegations had difficult conceptual debates (such as the role of human rights in operational activities for development or whether a convention on the right to development can be framed as a parallel concept to civil and political rights) also represent the continuation of a process of defining shared interests and common concerns. For example, the resolution on traditional customary practices harmful to women and girls such as female genital mutilation calls for concrete action to support good practices, whereas last year's resolution had been more tentative on this matter. Traditional issues before the Second Committee such as debt, trade and commodities showed advances but to some extent also mirrored the old standoff between the developed and developing countries.

There was continued resistance to "reform" by some as was evident in two areas: operationalizing the development account, and the recommendations in the report of the Secretary-General based on the task force report on Environment and Habitat.

Overall, the work of the 53rd General Assembly has substantively moved the agenda of the United Nations macroeconomic issues, has restored the catalytic role of the General Assembly on gender issues, social development and finance for development, and has demonstrated a new spirit of dialogue and trust.


Special Sessions Planned in 2000

On 2 December, the Commission on the Status of Women held the second open-ended consultation on preparations for the 43rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the Special Session on Beijing+ 5, to be held in 2000. Issues discussed included the organization of work of the preparatory committee, rules of procedure, documentation and participation of NGOs. The title of the Special Session as decided by the General Assembly at its current session will be: "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century"

Contact: Kristen Timothy, Tel. (212) 963-3104, E-mail: timothy@un.org

*****

The General Assembly has decided to hold the Special Session on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995) and further initiatives from 26 to 30 June 2000 at the United Nations Office at Geneva. The Government of Switzerland has pledged support for developing and least developed countries to attend.

The objectives of the Special Session will be to reaffirm, not renegotiate, the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and to recommend concrete actions and initiatives towards full and effective implementation of the commitments made at the Summit.

Countries are concerned that the seriousness of the current economic crisis in much of the world has negative social and economic consequences, demonstrating the necessity of full implementation of the commitments made at the Summit.

The General Assembly emphasized the urgency of placing the goals of social development at the centre of economic policy-making, including policies influencing domestic and global market forces in the global economy, and it expressed concern that the volatility of short-term capital flows may have negative consequences for social development, undermining the goals of the Summit and setting back progress in its implementation, in particular in developing countries.

The resolution (A/RES/53/28), based on a draft tabled by Chile with over 130 co-sponsors, was adopted on 19 November by consensus.

Contact: Gloria Kan, Tel. (212) 963-5873, Fax (212) 963-3062, E-mail: kan@un.org


FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Focus Group Meeting on the UN Model Double Taxation Convention
New York, 9-10 December

The eighth meeting of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters ("Ad Hoc Group of Experts") held in Geneva, 15-19 December 1997, requested the Secretariat to organize a focus group meeting for the revision of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries and refer the results of its work to the ninth meeting.

Under ECOSOC resolution 1273 (XLIII) of 4 August 1967, the Ad Hoc Group of Experts is composed of 25 experts in tax administration from 15 developing and transitional economy countries and 10 developed countries to foster tax treaties between developed and developing countries. The Model Convention and the Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries were both published in 1980. In light of the evolving changes affecting the world economic environment and particularly international taxation, the ECOSOC requested the Ad Hoc Group of Experts to revisit the Model Convention and the Manual and consider the experiences of countries in bilateral applications of the Model Convention.

Like the OECD Model Convention, last revised in 1997, the UN's is a compromise between the " source" and "residence" principles of international taxation. Its revision will reflect the outcome of modifications in other Model Conventions (OECD, USA, Caribbean, Andean Group, etc), recent treaty practices between developed, developing and transitional economy countries, development of new financial instruments and transborder financial transfers, effective apportionment methods of transfer pricing and exchange of information practices.

Contact: Suresh Shende, Tel. (212) 963-4189, Fax (212) 963-2916, E-mail: shendes@un.org

Economic and Social Council, 1998
Substantive Session
New York, 16-17 December

Elections will be held and issues such as UN/Bretton Woods institutions cooperation, restructuring and the harmonization of functional commissions will be covered.

Forum on Asia-Africa Cooperation in Export Promotion
Seoul, Republic of Korea, 14-16 December

The meeting is being organized by the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Korea. The objective is to demonstrate the importance of promoting the private sector and to enhance the capacity of African countries to develop and diversify their exports. African countries will review practical experiences in export promotion and learn from Asian countries. About 40 participants from 25 African and 10 Asian countries as well as participants from African and Asian regional and subregional organizations and representatives of relevant programmes and agencies of the United Nations system are expected to attend.

Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel. (212) 963-4839, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: josepha@un.org

International Organizing Committee for the General Conference of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP)
Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, 15-17 December

The IUSSP is the main population NGO and the Population Division has long worked with it. Its next General Conference will be in Brazil in 2001. Its Organizing Committee, of which the Director of the Division is an ex-officio member, will draw up the Conference's scientific programme.

Contact: Birgitta Bucht, Tel. (212) 963-3188, Fax (212) 963-2147, E-mail: bucht@un.org

Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW)
Pre-Session Working Group
New York, 11-15 January 1999
20th Session
New York, 19 January -5 February 1999

The Committee -- the only United Nations human rights treaty body that deals only with women's rights -- will review the reports of seven signatories of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including the initial reports of Algeria, Kyrgyzstan and Liechtenstein and periodic reports from Greece, Thailand, China and Colombia. Two informal consultations with CEDAW members will be open to NGOs. The Committee meets twice annually.

On 26 August 1998, Kazakhstan brought to 162 the number of Convention signatories. Adopted in 1979 and opened for signature in March 1980, the Convention is now among the international human rights treaties with the most ratifications - and reservations.

The provisional agenda of the 20th session has been posted on line: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/2Oagenda.htm

Contact: Jane Connors, Tel. (212) 963-3162, E-mail: connorsj@un.org or Philomena Kintu, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org

Government-Led Initiatives in support of IFF's programme of work: NGOs/Government of Costa Rica's Global Workshop on the International Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation
San Jose, Costa Rica, 18-22 January 1999

Jaime Hurtubia will attend this workshop on behalf of the IFF secretariat which has provided ongoing support from the beginning. This global workshop will be the culmination of a series of regional ones by international NGOs associated to the IFF process, held in Krasnoyarsk, Russia; Nadi, Fidji; Winnipeg, Canada; Santiago, Chile; Accra, Ghana; Bonn, Germany; Bogor, Indonesia; the final regional workshop as organized by indigenous people's organizations is to be held in Quito, Ecuador, 8-10 January 1999. The report of the Initiative will be presented to the third session of the IFF in Geneva, 3-14 May 1999.

For further information contact the global secretariat of the Initiative: E-mail: slovera@nciucn.nl or Jaime Hurtubia in the IFF secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-4219, Fax (212) 963-3463, E-mail: hurtubia@un.org.

Economic and Social Council
Organizational Session, 1999
New York, 21 January 1999

The Council will meet to elect its Bureau for 1999.

Economic and Social Council
Organizational Session, 1999 (Resumed)
New York, 2-5 February 1999

The resumed 1999 organizational session of ECOSOC will likely hear a statement by the Secretary-General. The meeting will also review plans for a number of expert panels to be held during the substantive session of the Council in July in Geneva. Among the themes: empowerment and advancement of women, ans social policy issues. NGO participation in the five-year reviews of conferences will also be taken up.

Commission for Social Development, 37th Session
New York, 9-19 February 1999

In its first week of work, the Commission will address issues of social services for all; in the second week, it will deal with preparations for the year 2000 Special Session five year after the Copenhagen Social Summit.

Committe on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Pre-Session Working Group, 21st Session
New York, 8-10 February 1999

Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting on Privatization and Regulation in Developing Countries and Transistional Economies
New York, 16-18 February 1999

How to privatize and regulate? Transitional and developing economies, particularly the least developed ones, have a myriad practical issues and problems to address. The Public Finance and Business Development Branch is organizing the meeting which is intended to collate and analyse recent operational experience and present a report to ECOSOC in a practical form for member countries' use. The meeting will be open to interested staff members.

Contact: Haiyan Qian, Tel. 963-3393, E-mail: qianh@un.org or Tony Bennett, Tel. 963-2296, E-mail: bennetta@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on Criteria for LDCs and Vulnerability
February 1999

The meeting will be devoted to fine-tuning the criteria for inclusion in, and graduation from, the Least Developed Countries grouping, and to consideration of vulnerability issues of developing countries.

Gobal Video Conference to Commemorate "A Life Free of Violence: It's Our Right"
8 March 1999

The 90-minute Video Conference spanning four continents on "A Life Free of Violence: It's Our Right" which was scheduled to take place on 24 November 1998, will now take place on 8 March 1999 from 9.30 to 11.00 a.m. The event takes place in conjunction with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The sites of the video conference are the UN General Assembly Hall in New York, Mexico City, Brussels, New Delhi and Johannesburg. The event is being organized by UNIFEM in collaboration with several UN entities, including DAW.

Contact: Dong Wu, Tel. (212) 963-0272, E-mail: wud@un.org


ADVISORY SERVICES

The UNDP Resident Representative in Yemen has requested support from the Programme in Accountability and Transparency (UNDP/MDGD/PACT) to conduct a programming mission for the Government, and identify areas where it could improve its accountability and transparency. An initial "scan" of financial transparency and accountability was made last March. PACT is now contracting with DESA to provide the leader of the full programming mission, Tony Bennett, and an expert on anti-corruption programmes, Elia Armstrong. The team will also include an audit expert, probably from the Netherlands Court of Audit, and an Arabic-speaking lawyer. The mission is tentatively scheduled for three weeks in February 1999, and will end with the presentation of an agreed technical assistance programme support document to the UNDP Project Appraisal Committee in Sanaa.

Contact: Tony Bennett, Tel. 963-2296, Fax 963-2916, E-mail: bennetta@un.org

In late December, Dimitri Argyriades will go on an advisory mission to Baku, Azerbaijan to assist the National Institute of Politology in launching NGO management courses, review the development of the second phase of our NGO project, and participate in the forthcoming tripartite review. Depending on the situation by that time, he may travel for a day to Yerevan, Armenia to discuss with Parliament details of the Regional Conference on Decentralization to be held in the spring of 1999.

Dimitri Argyriades, Tel. (212) 963-2304, Fax (212) 963-2916, E-mail: argyriades@un.org

On 15 December, Horatio Boneo will visit Mexico to complete arrangements with the electoral authorities for the translation into Spanish of the Administration and Cost of Elections (ACE) documents.

Contact: Horatio Boneo, E-mail: boneo@un.org


WORK IN PROGRESS

Guidelines for Sustainable Consumption

Informal consultations are under way on guidelines for sustainable consumption as an extension of the 1985 UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection. ECOSOC requested work on this issue in 1997, and an expert meeting in São Paulo, Brazil, in January 1998, prepared a draft text (E/CN.17/1998/5). However, at the 1998 CSD session, delegations were not ready to discuss it in detail. In order to advance the process, the CSD Bureau requested Vice-Chairman Navid Hanif (Pakistan) to undertake informal consultations for the 1999 CSD session and the Intersessional Working Group that will consider consumption and production patterns (along with tourism) on 22-26 February 1999. At a preliminary meeting on 28 September 1998, Mr. Hanif reviewed the issue for delegations, there was a brief exchange of views, and he invited delegations to conduct national consultations and submit detailed comments on the draft text in writing. On that basis, an informal revised draft of the guidelines was prepared and distributed on 23 November. Consultations on the revised draft will take place in December. It is hoped that an agreed text can be submitted to the Intersessional Working Group in February.

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

Financing for Development forum

At its 52nd session, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/52/179) that set in motion an earlier decision to establish a working group to make recommendations on the form, scope and agenda of a high-level United Nations intergovernmental forum on financing for development. The forum will be held before the end of 2001. The Development Policy Analysis Division (DPAD) is responsible for organizing the meeting. It has prepared the following papers, which have been posted on the revised webpage on the Financing for Development (FfD) process at: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ffdreports.htm

(1) The short, printed Index Report (A/53/470) called for in the GA resolution listing key elements and recurring themes that were distilled from the responses to the FfD questionnaire;

(2) A detailed, on-line Index Report with all the information contained in the 185 responses to the questionnaire that were received by 15 September. The on-line Index Report classifies the responses for each recurring theme by type of stakeholder and according to the views expressed by each one, and provides appropriate bibliographic references;

(3) Three additional reports on volatility in global financial flows (A/53/398), transfer of resources between developing and developed countries (A/53/228), and the current work of the United Nations system on financing for development (A/53/479);

(4) The initial documentation on the start of the formal debate in the Second Committee on the establishment of an open-ended working group (see above) to consider the "form, content, and agenda" of the international consultations. It is anticipated that, before the end of 1998, the Committee will adopt a resolution establishing said working group which would begin its work in January 1999.

The Index Report (A/53/470) summarizes the results of the questionnaire in the following areas:

1) Mobilizing domestic resources for development
2) Mobilizing international private financial flows for development
3) International financial cooperation for development
4) External debt (bilateral, multilateral, and commercial
5) Trade and financing for development
6) Innovative sources of financing
7) Governance of the international monetary, financial, and trade systems
8) Interrelationship between major elements and other special topics.

Contact: Harris Gleckman, Tel. (212) 963-4690, Fax (212) 963-1061, E-mail: gleckman@un.org


Meetings Held

Asia-Africa Expert Group Meeting on Improving the Productrivity
and Competitiveness of the Informal Sector in Africa
Banjul, The Gambia, 1-3 December

The meeting was organized by the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) in collaboration with the Government of the Gambia and the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (UNDP) to review the productivity and competitiveness problems of micro- and small-scale informal sector enterprises in selected value-added manufacturing, trade and services subsectors; to share and disseminate experiences, best practices and measures to improve the productivity and competitiveness of such enterprises, and to graduate them into the formal domestic economy as well as the export market. About 40 participants from 14 African and 5 Asian countries as well as participants from African regional organizations, representatives of relevant programmes and agencies of the United Nations system and of African non-governmental organizations were invited.

Contact: Raj Bardouille, Tel. (212) 963-2645, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: bardouille@un.org

Roundtable discussion on Energy, Environment, Resources and Sustainability
New York, 25 November

Twenty-two middle to senior managers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Turkmenistan visited DESA for this new annual training programme which is part of a continuing collaboration between the Tata Energy and Resources Institute (India) and the Energy and Transport Branch. Because of the broad range of research projects of the participants, technical advisors from several DSD branches attended and contributed.

Contact: Mohan Peck, Tel. (212) 963-8799, Fax. (212) 963-4340, E-mail: peck@un.org

Lecture on Results-oriented Management and Accountability
New York, 16 November

In a 16 November presentation to the Division of Public Economics and Public Administration which was attended by staff from the whole Secretariat, Dr. Lyle Wray, Executive Director of the Citizens League of Minnesota, argued that orienting activities toward outcomes encourages an organization to (1) increase flexibility, (2) energize action and involvement, (3) replace more limiting input factors, and (4) link many contributing factors in one result. He postulated that "process" standards are often undervalued and "outcome" standards often overlooked as key elements of performance. He noted that in the information age, organizations are networked and their joint work is coordinated through outcomes which provide the currency for communication among workers and between organizations.

Dr. Wray said it is normal for an organization to have a three-to-eight-year rolling strategic planning cycle, within which results-oriented budgets are created for budget cycles. He urged his audience to consider how each unit "adds value" to the long-term United Nations goals of peace and development. Further, he suggested linkages of unit activities to organizational outcomes, thereby leading to the development of a framework for a performance measurement system. Feedback in such a system would provide performance improvement strategies to staff, managers, and accountability bodies.

Albrecht Horn, Deputy Director of DPEPA chaired the meeting.

Contact: Jeanne-Marie Col, Tel. (212) 963-8377, E-mail: col@un.org

Partnership and Leadership: Building Alliances for a Sustainable Future
7th International Conference of the Greening of Industry Network
Rome, 15-18 November

The Greening of Industry Network is an international research and policy partnership for the transition of society to sustainable development, in general and of industry, in particular. Its mission is to provide a platform for people from different regions and backgrounds (academia, business, Governments, NGOs) to engage in research and dialogue on innovative ideas, and practices relevant to said transition.

Participants noted that over the past decade, companies have begun to transform the environment from an operating problem into a business opportunity. In some industries, competitive advantage is now rooted in such capabilities as pollution prevention, eco-efficiency management, product life-cycle design, and environmental technology innovation. In particular, two engines of change are revolutionizing corporate business strategies: (1) the globalization of markets/internationalization of firms, and (2) the increasing strategic importance of environmental management.

The evolving relationship between business and public authorities was an issue that pervaded the discussion. One paper undertook an integrated analysis of its dynamics at the environmental interface. Another presentation examined the increasing uncertainties faced by firms due to more self-regulation in terms of environmentally responsible behaviour and sustainable business operations. Yet another paper argued that if proactive corporative environmental management fosters competitiveness links to it should be considered in the formulation of public policy, which, in turn, can influence the development of local and regional environmental protection networks.

Education and knowledge dissemination were two other cross-cutting issues in the discussion. Two general questions have to be answered: (1) What kind of conceptualizing and problem solving skills, knowledge and values do graduates need to advance the transition to sustainable development through their future professional work? (2) How can the "consumer" of education cause the educational institutions to develop these skills, knowledge and values among their students?

Also discussed were new opportunities the emerging global information infrastructure has opened up for the dissemination of knowledge, such as the CERES-GKN International Consortium of universities, laboratories, companies, and governmental organizations to assist decision-makers around the world in making environmentally sound, technologically feasible, and economically justifiable choices in the development of products and processes.

The next Conference is planned to be at the University of North Carolina, USA, 14-17 November 1999. Its theme will be "Sustainability: Ways of Knowledge/Ways of Action."

Contact: Dirk Pilari, Tel. (212) 963-6757, Fax (212) 963-4260, E-mail: pilar@un.org

Regional Consultative Meeting on Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
Manila, Philippines, 10-12 November

This first multi stakeholder meeting was held at the Asian Development Bank and co-organized by ADB, DESA and ESCAP, with the co-sponsorship of the Environment Agency of Japan. It was attended by representatives from 15 countries in the region, as well as those from regional intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, financial institutions and NGOs active in the region. Some of its recommendations included the following:

  1. The regional and sub-regional institutions need to collaborate in expediting the availability of information on CSD processes for action and further dissemination to other stakeholders in the region;
  2. The planned Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in 2000 should be renamed the Asia and Pacific Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Development with its agenda to reflect such focus;
  3. Ongoing efforts related to environment outlooks and state of the environment reports in the region should be coordinated;
  4. An Asia and Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development should be developed, building on existing institutions and mechanisms;
  5. Coordination and consultation among subregional organizations and their national focal points should be enhanced through joint programming, sharing of information and expertise and regular contact.

    Contact: Hiroko Morita-Lou, Tel. (212) 963-8813, Fax (212) 963-1267, E-mail: morita-lou@un.org

Expert Consultation on Preventing Violence in the Family
Geneva, 7-9 October

This Expert Consultation was organized by UNICEF, UNDAW, UNIFEM, International Women's Rights Action Watch and Save the Children. Participants included practitioners in children's and women's rights and members of the Committees on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Rights of the Child. Following a keynote address by University of Manchester Professor Rebecca Dobash, the Consultation discussed the media, law and policy, community-based approaches and monitoring and data collection and their role in violence prevention. Working groups also considered regional strategies to prevent family violence and the role of treaty bodies in this context. Following the Consultation, members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child were given a half-day briefing. A report on the Expert Consultation will be available in early 1999.

Contact: Jane Connors, Tel: (212) 963-3162, E-mail: connorsj@un.org

World Conference on International Cooperation of Cities and Citizens
for Cultivating an Eco-Society
Tokyo, 26-29 May

This important Conference was held jointly by the United Nations and the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo, the largest city in the world. The aim was to promote the sharing of experiences and best practices in cultivating a sustainable eco-society in order to ease the burden on natural ecology, to encourage participants to commit to cultivating an eco-society and to identify mechanisms to promote international cooperation for that purpose.

Appropriately, the report of the Conference was produced on a CD-ROM. It and the executive summary report (hard copy) will be presented on 21 December, in Conference Room 9, United Nations Headquarters, from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. A press release will be prepared shortly.

Contact: Ulrich Andersen, Tel. (212) 963-8389, Fax (212) 963-2916, E-mail: andersenu@un.org


RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Population

Revision of the World Pupulation Estimates and Projections

The Population Division has recently released the 1998 Revision of the biennial United Nations world population estimates and projections that are used in the United Nations system for activities requiring population information.

World population will reach 6 billion in 1999. It is growing at 1.33 per cent per year (2.04 per cent in 1965-1970). The medium-fertility projection, usually considered as 'most likely', indicates a world population of 8.9 billion in 2050.

From 1804, when the world passed the 1 billion mark, it took 123 years to reach 2 billion in 1927 but only 47 years to reach 4 billion in 1974. However, it is expected to take 54 years to reach 8 billion in 2028. The slowdown of world population growth comes mainly from decreasing fertility, especially in the less developed regions where 97 per cent of the world population increase takes place. The global average fertility level now stands at 2.7 births/woman (early 1950s: 5). It is at or below replacement level (2.1 births/woman) in 61 countries or areas with a combined population of 2.6 billion (1998).

For the first time, the number of 80+ seniors is estimated and projected for all countries: 66 million in 1998. This number is expected to reach 370 million by 2050. In addition, in 1998, around 135,000 are estimated to be centenarians; by 2050 2.2 million are expected to be.

Contact: Joseph Chamie, Tel (212) 963-3179, Fax (212) 963-2147, E-mail: chamiej@un.org

Women

The integration of a gender perspective into the work of human rights treaty bodies HRI/MC/1998/6, 3 September 1998

The Division for the Advancement of Women has completed a study on "The integration of a gender perspective into the work of human rights treaty bodies". It reviews the steps taken by five treaty bodies (Human Rights Committee, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Committee against Torture, and the Committee on the Rights of the Child) since 1993 to integrate gender concerns in their work, assesses current practice and identifies areas for further improvements. The tenth meeting of persons chairing human rights treaty bodies held in September 1998, "strongly endorsed" the study. It will be the subject of the next issue of Women 2000.

Contact person: Christine Brautigam, Tel: (212) 963-0535, E-mail: brautigam@un.org

For copies: A copy of the report can be obtained from the Division's website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/

A rights-based approach to women's empowerment and advancement and gender equality

DAW has also published the report of the workshop on "A rights-based approach to women's empowerment and advancement and gender equality", held from 5 to 7 October 1998. The workshop represents a contribution to the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. It brought together 74 participants from the UN Interagency Committee on Women and Gender Equality and from the OECD/DAC Working Party on Gender Equality. In addition to all the presentations made at the workshop, the report includes a background paper prepared by Professor Savitri Goonesekere, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and a working bibliography and websites on women's human rights. The latter are available on DAW's website, and will be issued as a brochure in 1999.

Contact person: Christine Brautigam, Tel: (212) 963-0535, E-mail: brautigam@un.org

For copies: A copy of the report can be obtained from Christine Brautigam in Room DC2-1206, or from Mismake Yimane, Room DC2-1245, Tel: (212) 963 5121, E-mail: yimane@un.org

Public Administration

Rethinking Public Administration: an Overview ST/TCD/SER.E/27

This publication identifies major forces influencing public administration (P.A.), and highlights P.A. approaches and techniques which need updating and revising. It covers governance and sustainable development; power-sharing systems; planning, policy analysis and decision-making; administrative decision-making; organizational and institutional imperatives; management systems and organizational development; civil service systems; personnel administration; human resources development; managing the national economy; financial management and the public budgeting process; P.A. reform; administrative and financial accountability and control; administrative abuse and its remedies; use of information technology; information resource management; and rhetoric and reality in developing countries.

Public Administration and Development: Improving Accountability, Responsiveness and Legal Framework ST/TCD/SER.E/46

This is a joint publication by the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) and the United Nations, produced for the professional colloquium held as part of the preparations for the resumed General Assembly session on Public Administration and Development, April 1996. The colloquium addressed the interface between the public and private sectors. Topics include the changing policy management environment, education in Eastern Europe, urban transport in Latin America, and privatization in the Asian public service. Annexes cover the resolution adopted by the General Assembly, highlights of its resumed session, and a historical overview of the relationship between the IIAS and the United Nations.

Africa

Special Programme of Support for Informal Sector Development in Africa Programme spécial d'appui au développement du secteur informel en Afrique

This bilingual publication contains the Special Programme of Support at national, subregional and regional levels. The main elements of the Programme are those that contribute to capacity-building at the country level for a more favourable policy, regulatory and institutional environment, and those that contribute to capacity-building among institutions, the informal sector operators and their organizations. The Programme of Support was adopted at the third meeting of the International Task Force on Informal Sector Development in Africa, held in Nairobi, 19 - 21 May 1997. The meeting was organized by the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL), in collaboration with the former Department for Development Support and Management Services and the Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP).

Contact: Raj Bardouille, Tel. (212) 963-2645, Fax (212) 963-3892, e-mail: bardouille@un.org

Programme of Action for Advancing Financial Intermediation in Africa Programme d'action pour l'amélioration de l'intermédiation financière en Afrique

This bilingual publication contains the summary report of the Asia-Africa High-level Workshop on Advancing Financial Intermediation in Africa, held at Grand Bay, Mauritius, 20 - 22 April 1998, and the Programme of Action, which was adopted at the meeting. The meeting was organized by the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) in collaboration with the Government of Mauritius and the Special Unit for Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (UNDP). The Programme of Action addresses the three major aspects of advancing financial intermediation in Africa, namely a sound banking system, the development of capital markets, and the need to improve the intermediation role of the informal financial sector. It sets out specific capacity-building actions pertaining to each one of those major aspects.

Contact: Raj Bardouille, Tel. (212) 963-2645, Fax (212) 963 3892, e-mail: bardouille@un.org

Social Policy

Poverty Reduction Strategies - A Review ST/ESA/260

This review of poverty reduction strategies was requested as part of a 9 January 1998 training session on poverty reduction strategies organized by the Socio-economic Policy and Development Management Branch, Division for Social Policy and Development. The review covers identification issues (what is poverty; how is it represented; who are the poor), process issues (how is social mobility induced; what to do to reduce poverty), institutional strategies, and operational implications for the Branch.

Contact: James Kanu, Tel. (212) 963-1806, Fax (212) 963-3062, E-mail: kanu@un.org

Statistics

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/309 Vol. LII - No. 9- September 1998

Provides monthly statistics on 60 subjects from over 200 countries and territories, together with special tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world and regional aggregates are included regularly.

Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, Tel: (212) 963-4865, Fax: (212) 963-0623, E-mail: cuaycong@un.org

1996 International Trade Statistics Yearbook (Vol.I and II) ST/ESA/STAT/SER.G/45 Sales No. E/F.98.XVII..2 Vol.I and II

This 2-volume publication provides information relevant to the external trade performance of some 170 countries or areas and highlights world trade of selected commodities. Volume I provides historical information on the external trade of individual countries in terms of current values, and if available, exchange rates, as well as quantum and unit value indices. Information on important commodities traded by an individual country (latest 4 years) as well as its trade with its major trading partners and selected regions (latest 5 years) is included. In addition, imports by broad economic categories, exports by industrial origin and the percentage share of a country's top ten trading partners and selected regions in relation to its total trade are shown. Volume II contains commodity tables on total world trade of commodities (3-digits of the SITC Rev.2) analysed by selected regions and major trading countries. It also includes tables of analytical data on trade flows.

Contact: Ronald Jansen, Tel: (212) 963-5980, Fax (212) 963-9851, E-mail: jansen@un.org

Population and Vital Statistics Report ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/207 Series A, Vol. L, No.4 (Data available as of 1 October 1998)

This issue gives 1997 and 1998 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 1997 estimates on 229 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 nationwide 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 year available. If a nationwide population census has never been taken, but a sample survey has, the survey results are shown in the "Latest population census" column until census data become available. The Report supersedes all previous issues, and the data in it are subject to future revision. For more detailed data, and data on years not shown here, readers should consult the Demographic Yearbook.

Contact: Manuel Otero, Tel: (212) 963-4970, Fax: (212) 963-1940, E-mail: otero@un.org

International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/52/Rev.2 Sales No. E.98.XVII.16

This publication contains the updated recommendations on methodology to compile international merchandise trade statistics as adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 29th session in March 1997. The recommendations take into account new developments in international trade, national practices of data compilation, new international agreements on customs procedures, and previous revisions of methodology in national accounting and balance of payments statistics. The publication provides guidelines on such basic issues as coverage of statistics and time of recording, trade systems, commodity classifications, valuation, quantity measurement, partner countries, and reporting and dissemination.

Contact: Vladimir Markhonko, Tel: (212) 963-5252, Fax: (212) 963-9851, E-mail: markhonko@un.org

Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration, Revision 1 ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/58/Rev.1 Sales No. E.98.XVII.14

Since its early years, the United Nations under the guidance of the Statistical Commission has issued recommendations on international migration statistics to help countries collect, tabulate and disseminate statistics on international migrants that will be useful nationally and as comparable as possible internationally. The latest such recommendations were issued in 1976. These new ones provide a means of integrating the varied types of information available through a framework to improve the quality and comparability of international migration statistics while facilitating the access of users to meaningful information on key aspects of international migration. The recommendations were based on extensive consultation with national experts and collaboration among international organizations. The Population Division prepared the final report.

Contact: Joann Vanek, Tel: (212) 963-4939, Fax (212) 963-1940, E-mail: vanek@un.org

Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems - Preparation of a Legal Framework ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F.71 Sales No. E.98.XVII.7

The Handbook shows how to develop a comprehensive legal framework for a civil registration system that underlines its juridical function, its role as a steady source of vital statistics, and its relationship with other government agencies that rely on accurate registration data. The purpose is to assist countries by providing all necessary elements and a procedure to prepare a civil registration law for complete, accurate and timely registration of all vital events (live births, foetal deaths, marriages, divorces, legal separations, annulments of marriage, deaths, adoptions, legitimations, recognitions). The Handbook is very important to countries that need to revise their legal framework -- the foundation of improvements in civil registration and vital statistics systems. It is one in a series of five prepared under the auspices of the International Programme for Accelerating the Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems inaugurated in 1991 by the Statistics Division, with financial support from the Population Fund.

Contact: Violeta Gonzales-Diaz, Tel: (212) 963-4966, Fax: (212) 963-1940, E-mail: gonzales-diaz@un.org

World Statistics Pocketbook ST/ESA/STAT/SER.V/18 Sales No. E.98.XVII.13

This is the Statistics Division's 17th compilation of basic economic and social indicators for countries and areas of the world. It responds to GA resolution 2626 (XXV) requesting the Secretary-General to supply basic national data to raise international public awareness of countries' development efforts. The indicators shown are selected from the wealth of international statistical information compiled regularly by the Statistics and Population Divisions, and the statistical services of specialized agencies and other international institutions. The Pocketbook generally covers the years 1990 and 1996.

Contact: Robert Mayo, Tel: (212) 963-4559, Fax (212) 963-0623, E-mail: mayo@un.org


THE WEB PAGE

As requested by staff members, below are the addresses of the web pages for the programme areas of our Department.

PROGRAMME AREA

ADDRESS

Economic and Social Affairs http://www.un.org/esa/
Gender Issues and Advancement of Women http://www.un.org/womenwatch
ECOSOC Support and Coordination http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc.htm
Sustainable Development http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/
Social Policy and Development http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/
Global Development Trends, Issues and Policies http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/ddpa.htm
Population http://www.undp.org/popin
Statistics www.un.org/Depts/unsd/
Public Economics and Public Administration ( www.web-write.com/GOC )
new http://www.unpan.org/DPADM/AboutUs/tabid/420/Default.aspx
Africa: New Agenda for Development http://www.un.org/africa/osaa/
Combating Desertification http://www.uncd.ch/