Volume 3, Issue 4 , August-September 1999

In this issue:

Brighter Horizons for Small Islands
ICPD+5: A Good Session
ECOSOC Reviews Work on Indicators
NGOs Evolving Relationship with the United Nations
Technical Cooperation
August-October Meetings

Forthcoming Publications

Sustainable Development , Operational Activities

Recent Publications

Population , Sustainable Development , Africa , Statistics
Meetings Held
New on the Web


The twenty-first special session of the General Assembly was held at Headquarters from 30 June to 2 July to appraise the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) adopted in Cairo in 1994. It adopted a document outlining key actions to move the process forward.

The document includes recommendations on population and development concerns, gender equality, equity and empowerment of women, reproductive rights and health, partnerships and collaborations, and mobilizing resources. It reconfirms the global consensus on population and development negotiated at ICPD. Many of the measures substantially advance women’s rights.

During the three-day special session, over 150 government representatives, some 10 observers and three non-governmental organizations delivered statements in the plenary. Specialized agencies, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations spoke in the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole. The debate was often heated, reflecting the vital nature of the issues, but ultimately only a few countries had reservations on the consensus report. The question of whether to allow NGOs to make statements at the plenary was finally resolved: Governments agreed to allow a few NGOs to speak at the end, and NGOs self-selected three speakers. It was a very labour-intensive exercise, with staff required to summarize suggestions made by delegations quickly and accurately. The capacity to provide relevant research data to negotiators in a timely fashion also proved instrumental in overcoming negotiating stumbling blocks and in reducing tension in some emotionally-charged sessions.

Preparations for the special session included meetings organized by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the Population Division; a Technical Symposium on International Migration and Development organized through an inter-agency collaborative effort, under the auspices of the Working Group on International Migration of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Task Force on Basic Social Services for All; and an International Forum organized by UNFPA which focussed on country-level operational and programme experience in the implementation of the Programme of Action.

The Commission on Population and Development, acting as preparatory committee for the twenty-first special session, met at United Nations Headquarters from 24 March to 1 April. Its task was to negotiate proposals for the further implementation of the Programme of Action. The committee held extensive negotiations on a working paper submitted by the Chairman, Ambassador Chowdhury of Bangladesh, and progress was achieved by forging consensus in many areas. However, because of the complexity of the subject and the diversity of views on some contentious issues, the committee met again in informal sessions from 5 to 7 May and on 24, 25, 28 and 29 June. The preparatory committee reached consensus on all but 16 paragraphs which were agreed up on the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole and adopted on 1 July when the Ad Hoc Committee decided to recommend the full text to the special session for adoption.

The documents of the preparatory committee and special session as well as all the statements delivered at the General Assembly are available on the POPIN web site at: http://www.undp.org/popin . The final report of the special session will be made available at the POPIN web site as soon as it is formally issued.

The success of the twenty-first special session of the General Assembly will be a positive contribution for the five-year reviews of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the World Social Summit in 2000.

Contact: Birgitta Bucht, Tel. (212) 963-3183, E-mail: bucht@un.org


Why a Special Session ?

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session to review the Programme of Action for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will take place in New York , on the 27 and 28 September. In April 1994, the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States was convened in Barbados. It highlighted the economic and ecological vulnerabilities of SIDS and adopted the Barbados Programme of Action, which sets forth specific policies, actions and measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels in support of the sustainable development of SIDS. Five years later it is time to review all the outstanding chapters and issues of the Programme of Action. The Special Session of the General Assembly will provide an opportunity to assess the achievements and examine progress, bring renewed attention and boost action and enthusiasm in support of the Programme and, moreover, reaffirm commitments made in 1994. Preparatory meetings were held in New York from 19 to 30 April as part of the annual session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The "Paradise Lost"

The Islands’ beauty and unique landscapes can be misleading. Still perceived as untouched "paradises", small islands face in reality serious environmental and economic problems. They are on the front lines of the global struggle to pursue sustainable development. Custodians of large areas of the world’s oceans and biological resources, small island States are threatened by rising sea levels, climate change and natural and environmental disasters, issues that are far beyond their control. Limited territorial resources and a reduced carrying capability, limited surface water and groundwater resources, deforestation and soil erosion and fragile coastal ecosystems are other key factors of their natural vulnerability. Natural vulnerabilities are also associated with economic and social ones. A strong dependence on imported goods and energy, a tourism industry at times exploitative and not always properly managed, overfishing, lack of infrastructures and trained personnel and, above all, a difficult and controversial adaptation to an over-reaching globalization, together with the push for greater trade liberalization, can easily lead to a sharp economic downturn.

Towards the new century

Although most island nations have shown positive changes since 1994, there is still much to be done. At present, there are not sufficient resources to carry out all the programmes needed to ensure that the environment is adequately protected and the economies are safely managed. Island States still need international cooperation to move on in their demand towards "brighter horizons". The international community, island governments and UN agencies are working together towards a better future and sustainable development to bring "paradise" back. To stress this message, the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) together with the United Nations Development Programme’s Sidsnet, among other initiatives, has prepared a new poster for the Special Session with an evocative motto: we want to enter the new millennium believing that there will be "Brighter Horizons for Small Islands".


E/CN.17/1999/6 - Report of the Secretary-General on the Status of Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (and related addendum- add.1 to add.13).

A/S-22/2 - Report of the Commission on Sustainable development acting as preparatory body for the special session of the General Assembly for the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable development of Small Island Developing States

You may also wish to look at the following web sites:


Contact: Paola Deda, Tel. (212) 963-4721, E-mail: deda@un.org


In its deliberations on the "Integrated and coordinated implementation and follow-up of major United Nations conferences and summits", the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recognized the importance of statistics and indicators (Summary of the ECOSOC president, May 1998), and decided to hold an informal meeting with panels of experts devoted to the topic of development indicators. This meeting was held 10-11 May 1999 with, among others, high-level representatives from DESA, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, ECE, ECA, UNESCO, OECD, DFID, World Bank and National Statistical Offices.

For this meeting, the Statistics Division, in close cooperation with other divisions and UN organizations, prepared an analytical and comprehensive report on the work being carried out by the United Nations system on basic indicators. The report (E/1999/11 ) revealed information gaps and data inconsistencies. It stressed the need for strengthening national statistical capacity and for further coordination of indicator initiatives within the UN system and beyond, in order to lessen the data reporting burden on countries. The expert panelists validated the findings of the report and recommended the issue to ECOSOC for further attention.

At its substantive session in Geneva, ECOSOC discussed and adopted draft resolution E/1999/L.57 , which in section II requests the Statistics Division to serve as a focal point to promote networking among national and international institutions in the area of statistics and indicators . It also invites further exploratory work to identify a limited number of common indicators and calls on all stakeholders to work together closely to coordinate statistical capacity building programmes .

Contact G. Bediako, E-mail: bediako@un.org , A. Me, E-mail: me@un.org OR S.Schweinfest, E-mail: schweinfest@un.org


The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations met from 1 to 18 June for its 1999 substantive session in New York. The Committee has the responsibility to monitor the evolving relationship between NGOs and the United Nations. It examined some 200 applications from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) applying for consultative status with ECOSOC, and granted the status to 106 organizations. One organization, Human Rights in China, was not recommended for consultative status following a request by China for a rollcall vote. A fruitful exchange of views was held on the question of accreditation, further to the letter received from the Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights on this issue. The Committee reiterated their full support for the continued participation of NGOs in the work of the United Nations, emphasizing their accountability and responsibility for the actions of the members and individuals they accredit. Taking action on a complaint filed by one of the Committee’s members against the Christian Solidarity International (CSI), the Committee entertained a roll call vote to withdraw CSI’s consultative status. Further to the NGO Committee’s recommendations, ECOSOC adopted a decision in July 1999 allowing CSI to make a submission by 31 August. It will be reviewed by the Committee which will meet "on an urgent basis" to make a recommendation to ECOSOC for consideration at its resumed session on 16 September.

The Committee adopted a decision calling for the strengthening of the NGOs Section of the Secretariat, due to the dramatic increase in number of NGOs applying for status with ECOSOC.

Responding to the initiative of the President of ECOSOC for increased participation of NGOs in the work of ECOSOC, several NGOs in general consultative status formed coalitions. With the assistance of the NGO Section, the coalitions convened a number of panels on the theme of the High-Level Segment of the Council to provide ideas and proposals to be taken into consideration during the drafting of the Geneva Manifesto on Poverty in July. Three NGOs were exceptionally authorized to take the floor on the last day of the High level Segment and to circulate written statements summarizing their recommendations.

The NGO Committee will complete its work during its 1999 resumed session to be held from 17 to 28 January 2000 in New York.

Contact: Michele Fedoroff, Tel. (212) 963-8485, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: fedoroff@un.org


As executing agency, DPEPA has begun to implement a three-year UNDP-funded project on Capacity Building for Local Governance in South Africa. The project has a US$ 2 million budget, with an additional US$2.9m is expected from donor countries. The overall objective is to assist the Government of South Africa in implementing the national Local Government Transformation Programme launched in early 1999 by the Department of Constitutional Development. It addresses issues of capacity building in the North West and the Northern Province, supporting the transformation process through the following three components: improvement in service delivery; institutional capacity building; and integrating the rights approach to development.

Contact: Gherardo Casini, Tel. (212) 963-6929.

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At the request of UNDP-Zambia, DPEPA recently participated in its Growth Triangle Initiative Working Session to design terms of reference for a pre-feasibility study of a proposed Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique Growth Triangle. Following that, the Division was requested by UNDP to formulate a project document intended to identify effective ways and means for accelerating the pace of economic growth by enhancing opportunities for cross-border trade and joint investment, employment opportunities and private business, in particular the small and medium enterprises.

Contact: Fadhil Abbass Mahdi, Tel. (212) 963-5577.

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The Energy and Transport Branch of DSD is organizing four meetings in the Arab States. From 5-8 September a Steering Committee meeting will take place for regional project RAB/96/005, Sustainable Energy in the Arab States, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The meeting will bring together senior energy officials from 14 Arab countries to plan project activities related to capacity building in energy efficiency and renewable energy development.

Following that meeting, three in-country training workshops on Energy Auditing and Energy Service Companies are to take place in Bahrain (11-14 September), Saudi Arabia (16-20 September) and Yemen (22-26 September). They will discuss energy auditing techniques and financing issues and perform energy audits at selected enterprises.

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

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The Statistics Division and the Statistics Division of the Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific, in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Statistics will conduct a workshop on Classifications from 27 September-1 October in Canberra, Australia.

The main focus will be the implementation and use of activity and product classifications in the Asia and Pacific Region, with special focus on the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) and the Central Product Classification (CPC). The workshop will discuss measures for further cooperation in economic classifications.

Countries and agencies from the Asia and Pacific region, as well as some international organizations are invited.

Contact: Ralf Becker, Tel. (212) 963-4600, E-mail: beckerr@un.org

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Benin Sub-regional Training Workshop on CEDAW Report Preparation
Cotonou, 8-9 July

A sub-regional training workshop, organized by the Gender Advisory Services Unit and the Women’s Rights Unit of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), was held on 8-9 July in Cotonou. The objectives were to provide guidelines to governments on how to prepare their national reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and to encourage the submission of reports under article 18 of the Convention. Participating States were Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Togo. The UN was represented by DESA/DAW, FAO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, and WHO. International and national Benin NGOs also participated.

The workshop covered the history of the Convention and its provisions, a framework of human rights law, the relationship between CEDAW and other treaty bodies, and general recommendations. Also incorporated were the timely submission of reports, obstacles and challenges in reporting, and reporting on the Convention’s substantive provisions (articles 1-16). Ahoua Ouedraogo, CEDAW expert and international consultant for the project, discussed the reporting process, including reporting guidelines under the Convention.

For a full copy of the report, please contact: Makiko Tagashira, Tel: (212) 963-4836, E-mail: tagashira@un.org OR Philomena Kintu, Tel: (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org

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DESA to help Kosovo's Rebirth

The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA) is playing a major role in the Department’s contribution to the Kosovo Project, with particular reference to the Interim Civil Administration. DESA was initially asked to provide support in economic institutions (economic governance) and economic/financial administration. The immediate tasks were a fact-finding mission to Kosovo, and the preparation of strategy papers to be used as input to the Secretary-General’s Report to the Security Council.

The mission was carried out by Suresh Shende, Inter-Regional Advisor in Resource Mobilization, who went to Kosovo from 30 June to 7 July to report on the state of the economic and financial administration and to suggest measures for improvement. He found that practically the entire civil administration had ceased to function.

The immediate need is to re-start the tax administration with the erstwhile Kosovar staff returning from refugee camps so as to improve the ways and means position of the Interim Administration, pending new tax policies and reforms. The banking sector ceased functioning when the fighting began and there is a need to open branches of national commercial banks. The national currency (Dinar) has been replaced, for all practical purposes, by the German Mark or US Dollar and strict measures may be needed to strengthen the Dinar.

The Kosovo provincial government and communities have no autonomy in financial or personnel matters. The Interim Administration may have to decentralize financial powers and certain administrative functions and hand them over to the communities. However, on their return to Kosovo, the Kosovars will require intensive training to enhance their administrative abilities and technical competence in specialized areas of administration.

As part of the preparations for the SG’s Report, Albrecht Horn, Deputy Director, attended a meeting in Washington on 8 July of the Working Group of the High-Level Steering Committee (HLSC) on Kosovo. The HLSC is composed of representatives from the UN, IMF, WB, EU, G-7 countries, the EU Presidency and representatives of the Stability Pact for South-East Europe.

The strategy papers from DESA include recommendations on the United Nations Mission In Kosovo (UNMIK)’s role in socio-economic policy development and implementation, with the Special Representative being responsible for policy-making in all areas of economic and social policy. This includes the setting of objectives, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation and the required institutional arrangements. Elaboration of strategies will cover public finance; monetary and exchange rate policy; trade regime; banking and finance; legal and regulatory framework for private sector development; productive and infrastructure sector development and social protection policies.

The initial Report of the SG to the Security Council was submitted on 10 July. For the second report of the SG to the Security Council, DPEPA provided input to the management structure and to the background strategic notes prepared by the IMF/WB.

Contact: Albrecht Horn, Tel. (212) 963-3924, Fax. (212) 963-1061, E-mail: horn@un.org OR Suresh Shende, Tel. (212) 963-4189, Fax (212) 963-2916, E-mail: shendes@un.org

DESA staff in Kosovo as part of UNMIK include Mary Pat Silveira, from the Division for Sustainable Development and Elizabeth Grant, from the Statistics Division.


Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives
Informal Intersessional Meetings
New York, 30 August-3 September

Due to its busy schedule, the Preparatory Committee, at its first substantive session in May, was unable to give extended consideration to a document on the proposed outcome of the Special Session which was prepared by the Secretariat on the basis of statements and written contributions by delegations during the Preparatory Committee’s session. Therefore, the Committee decided to request the Secretary-General to arrange for the convening of inter-sessional, open-ended informal consultations during the week of 30 August, in order to enable the Committee to consider further the draft text, with a view to preparing a new, integrated text by January 2000.

Contact: John Langmore, Tel. (212) 963-5855, Fax (212) 963-3062, E-mail: langmore@un.org

Regional Consultative Meeting on Sustainable Development in Africa
Abidjan, 7-9 September

The Division for Sustainable Development is organizing a Regional Consultative Meeting on Sustainable Development in Africa in partnership with UNDP, ADB, ECA, UNEP-ROA and the Earth Council.

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

ACC - Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development, 14th meeting
Vienna, 9-10 September

Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO)’s General Assembly
Muscat, Oman, 14-15 September

The General Assembly will review past activities and discuss future plans for the Organization. DPEPA staff will attend.

Contact: DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5859

ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities, thirty-third session
Madrid, 14-16 September

The ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities will hold its session at the headquarters of the World Tourism Organization.

The main items on the agenda are: (a) Environment statistics; (b) Tourism Satellite Account ; (c) The International Comparison Programme; (d) Classification of statistics and statistical activities; (e) Coordination of development indicators in the context of follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits, including capacity building; (f) "Rapid response" techniques for filling data gaps and meeting other statistical needs; (g) Global integrated presentation of the work of the international organizations in statistical methodology; and (h) Progress report on the revised Handbook of Statistical Organization.

Contact: R. Roberts, Tel. (212) 963-6037, Fax (212) 963-9851, E-mail: roberts@un.org

General Assembly, 54th session
New York, 14 September-23 December

Coverage will be provided in the next issue of DESA News.

ARADO’s International Conference on New Frontiers for Strengthening Administrative Integrity, Transparency, and Accountability
Cairo, 19-22 September

The main theme of the conference stresses the integration of the behavioural, institutional and strategic perspectives of combatting administrative corruption and strengthening integrity, transparency and accountability.

Contact: DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5859

ACC - Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions, 15th session
New York, 20-24 September

Both the Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ) and the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) will meet in September to consider the outcome of the ECOSOC session. In particular, they will consider how best to translate this year’s operational activities, substantive resolutions and related actions into links with humanitarian assistance and coordination issues in Africa. They will follow-up on global conferences as well as increased cooperation with the Bretton Woods Institutions, particularly the World Bank. The CCPOQ meeting, scheduled for the week of 20 September will also consider issues related to: poverty eradication, collaboration with the business sector, governance, knowledge management and information technology, household food security, coordinated follow-up to global conferences and summits, the role and functioning of the Resident Coordinators, including programming processes, and operational activities training.

The web site is at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

ECOSOC resolutions are at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/1999res.htm

Contact: Monica Nogara, Tel. (212) 963-5083, E-mail: nogara@un.org

General Assembly, Special session for an assessment and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
New York, 27-28 September

See lead article above.

Workshop on Economic Governance
New York, 27-29 September

The workshop, organized by DPEPA, will consider the rationales, types and forms of interaction between the State and the market. New analytical approaches will be examined in order to determine specific structures of socio-economic governance and their respective effectiveness.

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

Economic and Social Council
Follow-up Meeting to the Substantive Session
New York, September 1999

International arrangements and mechanisms to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests, in support of IFF Category III
Regional Consultations, August-October

From August through October, in addition to preparing Secretary-General reports to the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), scheduled for 31 January to 11 February 2000, the staff of the IFF Secretariat will be providing support to the two major government-led initiatives, which remain to be implemented between IFF III and IFF IV: the regional consultations on international arrangements and an expert meeting on low forest cover.

The initial global workshop on the international arrangements took place in San José, Costa Rica, 23-27 February. The final meeting will take place in Ottawa, Canada, 6-10 December. In the meantime, regional consultations are scheduled from August to October as follows (the name of the colleague tentatively scheduled to attend on behalf of the IFF Secretariat is in brackets):

East and South-East Asia, Malaysia, 2-5 August (Mahendra Joshi);
Amazon Basin, Ecuador, 6-10 September (Jaime Munoz-Reyes);
West and Central Africa, Cameroon, 30 August-3 September (Jag Maini);
Europe, Spain, 21-24 September (Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist);
Southern Latin America, Argentina, 6-8 October (Jaime Hurtubia);
East and Southern Africa, Zimbabwe, 6-10 September (Jag Maini);
Middle East, Turkey, 12-15 October (Tage Michaelsen);
North America and the Caribbean, Mexico, to be confirmed;
Oceania, Australia, to be confirmed.

The website for the Costa Rica-Canada initiative is: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/cfs/crc

Open-ended International Expert Meeting on Special Needs and Requirements of Developing Countries with Low Forest Cover and Unique Types of Forests
Tehran, 4-8 October

The meeting is at the initiative of the Government of Iran, in cooperation with other interested countries and international organizations. An international contact group meeting took place in Geneva, 13 May. Jag Maini and Tage Michaelsen will attend from the IFF Secretariat.

Further information on the IPF/IFF process is available on the website of the IFF Secretariat at:http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/iff.htm

Symposium on States, Markets and Social Progress: Roles and Cooperation of the Public and Private Sector
Beijing, 11-13 October

In order to provide substantive input to the deliberations of the Preparatory Committee on Copenhagen+5 early next year, the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) will organize a number of activities and events. The Symposium on States, markets and social progress: Roles and cooperation of the public and private sectors is being organized in cooperation with the State Development Planning Commission of China.

Some 30 experts will be invited. Additionally, up to 20 local participants will attend. Observers from the United Nations system and from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations or institutions will also be invited.

Round Table on "Modernization of Public Management"
Mexico, 19-22 October

DPEPA will organize a round table at the Fourth International Congress of CLAD on State and Public Administration Reform. The round table is to identify possible strategies for modernizing public administration in Latin America, taking into account the particulars of the region and the fact that pursuing efficiency is not an end per se, but rather a means to achieve quality and variety of public services for everybody.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5859, Fax 963-9681, E-mail: bertucci@un.org OR Qian Haiyan, Tel. (212) 963-3393, Fax. (212) 963-2916, E-mail: qian@un.org

Judicial Colloquium on the Application of International Human Rights Law at the Domestic Level
Vienna, 27-29 October

DAW will convene a judicial colloquium on the application of international human rights law at the domestic level to mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the tenth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The colloquium will provide an opportunity for judicial practitioners from around the world to examine how international human rights law can be used at the domestic level to achieve equality for women and girls and to exchange experiences in this regard. It will provide an overview of relevant international human rights norms and extensive opportunities to discuss cases where international human rights norms have been used to benefit women and girls. The colloquium aims to:

assess how courts in different legal systems use international human rights treaty law to ensure that women and girls are guaranteed their rights to equality and non-discrimination; exchange experiences on the use of international human rights treaty law in domestic courts at different levels, taking into account different methods of incorporation of treaty law into domestic law; and discuss strategies for more creative and widespread use of international human rights norms contained in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Convention on the Rights of the Child Conventions at the domestic level, in both common law and civil law systems.

Some 80 senior judges and magistrates (at the appellate level, if possible) from around the world are expected to participate. Judges and magistrates who have themselves drawn on international human rights treaty law in decision-making will be joined by practitioners whose work could provide them with potential uses of treaty law in equality and non-discrimination cases involving women and girls. The participants will also include a few academics and representatives of international organizations who work on women’s and children’s issues.

Contact: Jane Connors, Tel: (212) 963-3162, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Christine Brautigam, Tel: (212) 963-0535, E-mail: brautigamc@un.org

1999 Regional Conference on the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) "A New Millennium - Global Challenges- Regional Solutions"
New York, 28-29 October

Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), 2nd regular session
New York, 28-30 October


Sustainable Development

World Energy Assessment

A joint effort by DESA, UNDP and the World Energy Council to prepare a World Energy Assessment (WEA) is under way as an input for the ninth session of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD9) in 2001. Energy for sustainable development will be the main subject of discussion at CSD9.

The first draft of 11 chapters of WEA was discussed at an advisory panel meeting on 12-13 July. The advisory panel is comprised representatives of governments, UN agencies, the private sector, academia, research and development, and NGOs. The next steps will be for the lead authors to prepare the second draft before the end of August based on peer reviews and comments received. A broad-based outreach program will follow in 2000 and 2001, once the WEA document is finalized in early 2000. Three donor countries (namely Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden) and the UN foundation have provided funds for the preparation of the document.

Contact: Mr. Mak Kui-nang, Tel. (212) 963-8798, Fax (212) 963-4340.

Operational Activities

Capacity-building Supported by the United Nations: Some Evaluations and Some Lessons

The period August-September will see the wider distribution of a recent publication by the Development Cooperation Policy Branch of the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination on six impact evaluations carried out last year in the context of the triennial comprehensive policy review of UN operational activities for development with a focus on capacity building. A number of new impact evaluation missions are being prepared for Fall. Their main focus will be on poverty eradication and capacity-building.

The web site is at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

ECOSOC resolutions are at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/1999res.htm

Contact: Monica Nogara, Tel. (212) 963-5083, E-mail: nogara@un.org



Population Ageing 1999

As part of its ongoing work on the demographic, economic and social aspects of population ageing and as a contribution to the International Year of Older Persons 1999, the Population Division has issued the first-ever United Nations Wall Chart on Population Ageing . It provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive information available on population ageing at the global, regional, sub-regional and national levels. Included are data on the number and percentage of older persons, life expectancy at age 60, the percentage of the older population currently married, the potential support ratio, the statutory retirement age and the percentage of older population in the labour force. Because gender differences are so significant at older ages, data are presented for males and females separately wherever possible. A summary of the major findings appear below.

The number of older persons is increasing rapidly
The number of persons 60 or older is estimated to be nearly 600 million in 1999, and is projected to grow to almost 2 billion by 2050, at which time the population of older persons will be larger than the population of children (0-14 years) for the first time in history.

One of every 10 persons is now 60 or older; by 2050, the United Nations projects that 1 person of every 5 and, by 2150, 1 of every 3. Striking differences exist between regions in the level of ageing. For example, one out of five Europeans, but one out of 20 Africans, is 60 or older. Although the percentage of older persons is currently much higher in the more developed than in the less developed regions, the pace of ageing in less developed regions is more rapid, and their transition from a young to an old age structure will be faster.

The older population is itself ageing
Currently, the oldest old (80 or older) make up 11 per cent of the population aged 60 or older. The oldest old are the fastest growing segment of the older population and, by 2050, 19 per cent of the older population will be 80 or older.

Older people are living longer
Of those surviving to age 60, men can expect to live another 17 years and women an additional 20 years. However in the least developed countries, men reaching 60 can expect only 14 more years of life and women 16, while in the more developed regions, life expectancy at age 60 is 18 years for men and 22 for women.

Most older persons are women
Among those aged 60 or older, 55 per cent are women. And among the oldest old (80 or older), 65 per cent are women.

Older men are much more likely than older women to be married
While 79 per cent of older men are currently married, the corresponding figure for older women is 43 per cent.

The number of working age persons per older person is declining rapidly
Between 1999 and 2050, the potential support ratio will decline from 5 working-age persons per older person to 2 in more developed regions, and in less developed regions, from 12 to 4.

Where national incomes are high, older persons are less likely to work
Countries with high per capita incomes tend to have lower labor force participation rates of older workers, and older men have higher participation rates than older women. Only 23 per cent of men aged 60 or older were still economically active in more developed regions, as compared with 52 per cent in less developed regions. In more developed regions, 10 per cent of older women are economically active, compared with 20 per cent in less developed regions.

The statutory retirement age in less developed regions is generally lower than in more developed regions. Also, in about one-third of countries of the world, the retirement age is lower for women than for men. Older persons participate to a lesser extent in labor markets in more developed regions, because of the wider coverage of retirement schemes and the higher incomes provided under the systems.

Contact: Barry Mirkin, Tel. (212) 963-3921, E-mail: mirkin@un.org

Sustainable Development

Proceedings of the United Nations Mayors Seminar on Municipal Solid Waste Management and Landfill Gas Utilization

DSD, in collaboration with the Chinese Government, recently published the above-mentioned proceedings of the Mayor’s Seminar, held in Nanjing, China from 23-25 March. The publication is unique in that it presents the views of local officials from China and North America with respect to policy and regulatory frameworks that address the growing problem of urban solid waste. Papers by technical experts describe planning issues, technological options, tax incentives and access to financing. The publication is available from the Energy and Transport Branch, DC1-880.

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


Report of the Forum on Asia-Africa Cooperation in Export Promotion

This publication summarizes the conclusions and recommendations of the Forum on Asia-Africa Cooperation in Export Promotion that was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea in December 1998.

The Forum was co-organized by the Government of Korea and the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL). It was attended by 70 participants, including government officials, heads of trade and investment promotion centers, representatives of chambers of commerce and business communities from 22 African and 10 Asian countries, as well as representatives of 7 regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa and Asia, and the United Nations system. The outcome was the adoption of the "Seoul Framework for Cooperation: Enhancing Asia-Africa Trade through Export Promotion in Africa" .

The report has three parts. The first part deals with the content of the Seoul Framework and the recommendations of the Forum. The second part relates to the main issues that were discussed. It is followed by annexes which provides the statements made by the Government of Korea, the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity.

The part on the Seoul Framework has three sections. Section 1 deals with the Asian experiences and challenges facing Africa. It shows how successful elements of the export-growth strategies followed by Asian countries could be used by African countries.

Section 2 presents how Asian experience and expertise, particularly in capacity-building and institutional mechanisms, are important components for export promotion in African countries. Capacity building should be based on African countries' commitment to create an enabling environment for foreign investment, including projecting a better image of the continent and building confidence. On the other hand, Asian countries should look at Africa as an opportunity for investment and mutual benefits. Various measures are required for capacity building and they could be part of a joint strategy by Asia and Africa to expand their markets in the two regions and in third parties. With respect to institutional mechanisms, project formulation and technical obstacles to export promotion were highlighted as two major issues to be addressed.

Section 3 gives recommendations on implementation and follow-up of the measures outlined in the Framework.

In the second part, the proceedings are presented. The discussions centred on two main themes. Theme 1 discussed "Export Promotion in Asia" and in this context the Korean experience was presented. Theme 2 was on "Export Promotion in Africa" which included presentations on the experiences of Nigeria and Senegal.

This publication is an example of the catalytic activities OSCAL undertakes to raise global awareness of actions taken to promote Africa’s economic recovery and development and to enhance South-South cooperation, particularly between Africa and Asia. It will serve as a tool for policy makers within and outside both continents when making their decisions concerning trade development, particularly export promotion. It could also serve as a reference material for academic and business communities.

Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel. (212) 963-4839 OR Mariama Djibo, Tel. (212) 963-8408


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/317, Vol. LIII - No. 5
May 1999

Special features in this issue: Index numbers of world industrial production: By branches of industry and by regions; Construction of new buildings; World exports by commodity classes and by regions; Earnings in manufacturing; Index numbers of producers prices and wholesale prices.

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

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/318, Vol.LIII - No. 6
June 1999

Special features in this issue: Selected series of world statistics; Petroleum products: Production; Trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: Unit value index; quantum index; value; Fuel imports; Some indicators on fuel imports; Registration of new motor vehicles; Retail price indexes relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials.

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

World Statistics Pocketbook
Sales No. E.99.XVII.4

The World Statistics Pocketbook provides an easy-to-use international compilation of basic economic, social and environmental indicators for 208 countries and areas worldwide. It covers 57 key indicators in the areas of population, economic activity, agriculture, industry, energy, international trade, transport, communications, gender, education and environment, based on over 20 international statistical sources. The layout provides an easy-to-view comprehensive statistical profile of each country or area; and the notes on sources and definitions on indicators provide a valuable guide for further research by the in-depth user of these statistics.

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

Handbook on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems Management, Operation and Maintenance
Sales No. E.98.XVII.11

The Handbook provides guidance to countries for the operation of reliable civil registration and vital statistics systems. It also provides background and specifications for developing and establishing civil registration and vital statistics systems in countries that do not have such systems in place. To this end, it gives the essential components and provides guidance on structure, management, operation and maintenance functions to handle the entire range of vital events such as live births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages and dissolutions of marriage from the civil registration and vital statistics perspectives. It also covers forms, data collection, record processing, storing and editing of information, issues of security, certificate issuing of vital records, the functional relations between civil registration system and the vital statistics system, the legal and administrative requirements and the daily operational and maintenance activities to ensure completeness, timeliness and accuracy. Applications at all levels of government, in the public and private domain with respect to the value and use of registration and statistical data are part of the Handbook.

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

Statistical Yearbook, Forty-third Issue, CD-ROM (SYB-CD)
Sales No. E.99.XVII.6

The sixth issue of the Statistical Yearbook CD-ROM has been released, corresponding to the 43rd issue of the print version of the Yearbook (in press) prepared by the Statistics Division. This CD-ROM provides 19 topics or categories with more than 400 series on economic and social life in over 200 countries and areas around the world. This issue of the SYB-CD uses the Beyond 20/20 software for data search and selection, table layout and data export. It can be installed on any multi-user network (LAN) and is accessible to the Department on DESA LAN.

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


Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
New York, 7 June

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) held a special commemorative event on 7 June to observe the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the General Assembly. Statements were made by Aída González Martínez, current Chairperson of the Committee; Louise Fréchette, Deputy Secretary-General; Luvsandanzangyn Ider, first Chairperson of the Committee; Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs; Angela E.V. King, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; and Yakin Ertürk, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women.

The Committee also held a round table discussion in the afternoon on the impact of the Convention at the national/domestic level. A number of former and present members of the Committee, including former Chairpersons, representatives of UN bodies, and NGOs, participated.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
New York, 7- 25 June

The Committee reviewed the reports of Belize, Chile, Georgia, Ireland, Nepal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

CEDAW’s twenty-second session will take place from 17 January to 4 February 2000. The Committee has invited eight States Parties to present their reports. Subject to their confirmation, the countries expected to present their reports are Belarus, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, India, Jordan, Luxembourg and Myanmar. The Pre-Session Working Group for the twenty-third session will take place from 7 to 11 February 2000.

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


UNESIS on Intranet

The UNESIS Common Database will soon be released by the Statistics Division on Intranet for testing. DESA staff interested in a sneak preview may access it from the Intranet. Substantial background and technical documentation are available at the Statistics Division Internet site www.un.org/Depts/unsd under UNESIS and on our Lotus Notes site for UNESIS documentation domino.un.org/unesiskb.nsf. NB: Data in this trial version are for test purposes only and have not been cleared for public use. For the latest version of the Statistics Division’s Statistical Yearbook with data compiled for public use, the Statistical Yearbook CD-ROM has just been released and made available on DESA LAN.

Contact: Lubo Vitkov, Tel: (212) 963-8340, Fax: (212) 963-0623, E-mail: vitkov@un.org

* * * * *

New Sustainable Development Web Page

The Division for Sustainable Development is launching its new web page at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/ . The page covers the normative research and operating activities of the Division.

Contact: Federica Pietracci, Tel. (212) 963-8497, E-mail: pietracci@un.org

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23 September 1999