In this issue:
In December 1999 the General Assembly agreed to convene a high-level intergovernmental event in 2001 to consider national, international and systemic issues on financing for development in the context of globalization and interdependence.
On 31 March, the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the High-level Event on Financing for Development agreed to hold consultations with the World Bank, IMF, and WTO, schedule meetings to advance its substantive work, and involve NGOs and the private sector. (Complete texts are available on the FFD Web site http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/index.html).
The PrepCom Bureau had met with the Executive Board of the World Bank on15 March. The Board proposed a three-prong arrangement to involve the Bank in financing for development: the Bank would provide staff to the joint FFD secretariat in New York, have the Bureau and the Executive Board meet at crucial moments, and invite continued informal discussions at the inter-governmental level.
The Bureau is to meet with the General Council of WTO; the IMF Executive Board will soon discuss its potential role in financing for development.
On NGO participation, the PrepCom agreed to follow the Beijing+5 procedures that all ECOSOC accredited NGOs may participate in PrepCom work. Other NGOs and business associations wishing to accredit themselves may submit background information to the FFD secretariat. The Bureau will submit the applications to the PrepCom for approval. Applications for participation in the first substantive session of the PrepCom, starting on 15 May, can be sent or e-mailed to the FFD coordinating secretariat (FFD@un.org ).
All delegations stressed the need for private sector involvement. The Bureau was asked to develop recommendations to that effect.
The current timetable of events is:
Before 15 May
second half of 2000
first half of 2001
These meetings are held to implement a recent General Assembly resolution. The General Assembly agreed by consensus in December 1999 to convene a "high-level intergovernmental event" in 2001 involving political decision-makers at least at the ministerial level. (A/RES/54/196 ). The high-level meeting will consider national, international and systemic issues relating to financing for development in a holistic manner in the context of globalization and interdependence. The event will address development through the perspective of finance, as well as the mobilization of financial resources for the full implementation of the outcome of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s.
A Coordinating Secretariat on Financing for Development has been established with staff seconded by DESA and other leading institutions.
Contact: Oscar de Rojas, Tel. (212) 963-2587, E-mail: email@example.com
The statement of Mr. Desai to the 38th session of the Commission on Social Development in February set the key note for the work leading up to the Social Summit+5 event in Geneva in June. We reproduce below the salient points.
… One of the major successes of the Summit has been the way in which it actually anticipated many of the concerns that have surfaced over the past five years and in many cases provided a way ahead for dealing with these concerns …
… One of the very powerful and major impacts of Copenhagen [is that] it has managed to place poverty eradication on the agenda of the influential economic policy entities in the world. Unfortunately, the resources required for poverty eradication are not yet forthcoming. … If poverty eradication is to become the guiding principle of the work on development cooperation in the multilateral institutions in the United Nations system, it will require concessional resources for United Nations operational activities through the Funds and Programmes and the other entities, concessional resources for the activities which the World Bank undertakes particularly through IDA, and consessional resources through bilateral channels. …
A second area is the much more widespread discussion, debate and concern about the problem of ageing, which crystallized very much around what was done for the International Year of Older Persons. … I have always argued, that one should never refer to the "problem" of ageing, because after all the fact that we live longer is something that we have always wanted to do … What is a problem is that we don't have economic and social structures which are capable of coping with this very welcome development in the human condition. Another area, … the demographic and health side, … is the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in poor countries, and even more particularly in Africa. If you look at the demographic projections, perhaps for the first time in modern history we have a situation where for a group of countries the expectation of life will be reversed; whereas it is around 55-60 years in most countries of Southern Africa, the expectation is that it will come down to something like 45 years …, in a time span of the next 5 to 10 years. This is a tremendous impact. Beyond this there is the social impact if you look at the number of children in these countries who have no parents, no primary care giver. How will societies function if a large proportion of children have no primary care giver ? …
The third area where I believe the outcome of Copenhagen has the possibility of contributing, relates to the growing sense of anxiety about globalization, a phenomenon of growing inter- linkages between the trading and the financial systems of the world economy. These anxieties about globalization are partly about the extent to which the process is manageable and the extent to which the process leads to crisis and instability. The anxieties about globalization are not simply about the need for more effective programmes on poverty eradication at the national level and at the global level. They go beyond this: there are anxieties about employment, anxieties about inequality, anxieties about marginalization. And they have certainly surfaced in a much bigger way in the past 5 years than in the years before that. They were anticipated in the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development. … Can we make the 5-year review process a clear call for globalization with social justice ? …
… The fourth area where I believe that the Copenhagen process has made a valuable contribution and that we need to build on. … is what I would describe as the importance of recognizing that values must play a role in determining economic policies, that economic policies cannot be based simply on the ideal of free market competition and profit maximization. Yes, that is certainly the basis on which the market economy functions. But there is a growing recognition, arising partly out of the concerns about globalization that I had mentioned earlier. … that policy needs to temper competition, profit maximization and free markets with values that reflect our responsibility for the well being of others, our sense of solidarity for the well being of others. This is something which has now been discussed far more openly not just in academic circles but also in policy making circles. An example of this was the fact that it was the Finance Ministers of the world who called for social principles to guide the work of global financial institutions and others. I see this as something which is again an important contribution of the Copenhagen Summit and the follow up processes … a challenge to which the +5 process has to respond. …
These are the challenges that I believe face you in the +5 process: to push the consensus on poverty so that it moves from being a consensus on goals to also being a consensus on the provision of resources for realizing these goals; to reflect more deeply on the consequences of demographic changes arising from ageing, arising from the AIDS pandemic and other areas; to see how we can respond to the anxieties relating to globalization; and to see whether we can articulate a framework for reflecting values of solidarity and responsibility more fully in the way in which markets operate. …
High-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions
New York, 18 April
This will be the third such ECOSOC meeting, held back to back with the spring meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions. It is to be a free dialogue between finance ministers and ECOSOC participants. The General Assembly recommended that this year's meeting discuss modalities to achieve a strengthened and more stable international financial system, responsive to the challenges of development. The meeting will also discuss poverty eradication and other issues of concern to the two sets of institutions, in the broader context of the outcomes of the spring Washington meetings.
The panellists will be: Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, Chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee; Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda, Minister of Finance of Thailand, Chairman of the Development Committee; German Suarez, President of the Central Bank of Peru who is expected to become the Chairman of the Group of 24, and Ulrich Gygi, Secretary of State of Finance representing Switzerland as the country chairing the Group of Ten. The Finance Ministers of Nigeria, as the country chairing the G77 in New York, and of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, have been invited to participate as lead discussants. The Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination is organizing this meeting jointly with the Department for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services. A paper identifying issues and questions on the theme is being prepared by the Development Policy Analysis Division in consultation with the World Bank and the IMF.
Contact: Johan Scholvinck, Tel. (212) 963-4667, Fax (212) 963-3351, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On 17 March Mr. Desai met in the Dag Hammarskjold Library with staff at grade P-5 and above to brief them on work priorities over the next year as well as human resources reform proposals.
DESA priorities for 2000 include substantive support to policy deliberations in the UN on such important topics as the role of information technology in a knowledge-based economy (at the high-level segment of ECOSOC), and globalization and its multi-dimensional impact (Millennium Assembly). Through the Beijing+5 and Geneva 2000 processes, DESA will help Member States take stock of progress in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action and the Copenhagen Programme of Action. The Financing for Development process will also begin this year, hopefully leading to strengthened international development cooperation and increased interaction with the Bretton Woods Institutions and the finance communities. On technical cooperation, Mr. Civili stressed the continuing need to ensure that activities, while responding to programme country priorities, also serve to advance global policy objectives and commitments.
Regarding human resources reform, Mr. Desai mentioned proposals on delegation of authority to programme managers and managed mobility.
High-level panel of experts on information and communication technology
In resolution 54/231 , the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to convene a meeting of high-level experts on information and communication technology.
This panel is expected to prepare a report with recommendations on the UN role in:
The report should be ready in early June and so contribute to ECOSOC's deliberations, at its July high-level segment, on "Development and international cooperation in the 21st century: The role of information technology in the context of a knowledge-based global economy".
Contact: Sergei Kambalov, Tel. (212) 963-4751, Fax (212) 963-3351, E-mail: email@example.com
Commission on Sustainable Development, Eighth session
Preparations for the eighth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-8), opening on 24 April, are at the top of its Bureau's agenda. The main themes are: integrated planning and management of land resources (natural resource sector); financial resources; trade and investment; economic growth (cross-sectoral) and agriculture (economic sector/major group).
Multi-stakeholder dialogue segment on sustainable development . Scientists in the major groups' delegations will be involved and representatives of scientific organizations will be invited as resource persons. The dialogue segment will be attended by representatives of United Nations organizations and other international institutions, such as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). for geographical balance in major groups' delegations and for the effective participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
National (regional) presentations. Countries planning to make presentations on land and agriculture are requested to cover bioregional approaches in their land planning policies.
High-level segment (26-27 April 2000). The Bureau seeks to involve Environment Ministers and Ministers responsible for finance, agriculture and land planning in order to ensure a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach. The segment will have five formal meetings on the five main themes with a dialogue among the participants.
For more information, please visit the CSD8 Web site at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd8/csd8_2000.htm
Contact: Leticia Silverio, Tel. (212) 963-4670, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
LINK Project - Expert Group Meeting on the World Economic Outlook
The participants will review the short-term global economic outlook 2000-2001, prepared by the Economic Assessment and Outlook Branch of DPAD with the assistance of the modeling framework of Project LINK, on the basis of national assessments.
Contact: Jozef Van Brabant, Tel. (212) 963-4752
Economic and Social Council
See lead article above.
Preparatory Meeting of the Third Africa-Asia Forum (AAF III)
The co-organizers, the Government of Japan, UNDP, OSCAL/DESA and the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA) will finalize the agenda and their Forum responsibilities. OSCAL is to prepare the main background paper "Status of Africa-Asia Cooperation since the Bangkok Forum".
Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel. (212) 963-4839, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: email@example.com
Panel on "Affordable Access and Telecentres, Networking and E-Governance, E-Commerce, Partnerships Between Public and Private Sectors" (Organized by UNDP in conjunction with the High-level Segment of ECOSOC)
Contact: Hans d'Orville, Tel. (212) 906-3687
DESA/UNDP/Swedish Government/Swedish Organizations - Global Forum on Local Governance and Social Services for All
Contact: Helena Alves, Tel. (212) 963-8836, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Economic and Social Council
Contact: Maria Lehtinen, Tel. (212) 963-7478
Commission on Sustainable Development
Contact: Andrey Vasilyev, Tel. (212) 963-5949
Panel on "Information Technology and Economic Growth and Development" (Organized by UNU in conjunction with the High-Level Segment of ECOSOC) New York, 5 May (tentative)
Contact: Jacques Fomerand, Tel. (212) 963-6345
Meeting of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance, 15th meeting
Organized by DPEPA, the session on "Globalization and the State" will consider how globalization affects the role and functioning of the State and the types of responses, whether institutional or managerial, which are appropriate to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative consequences.
In addition to plenary sessions, the meeting will be organized into working groups to address the Globalization and Economic Governance, Globalization and Institutional Adaptation, and Globalization and Managerial Capacity.
Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: email@example.com
Panel on "Universal Access to Information and Informatics for Human Development and ICTs in Learning and Education for Development" (Organized by UNESCO in conjunction with the High-level Segment of ECOSOC)
Contact: Andrew Radolf, Tel. (212) 963-5974
Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
The Committee will begin the review of applications of NGOs for consultative status with ECOSOC. The second part will be held 12-23 June.
Contact: Hanifa Mezoui, Tel. (212) 963-8652, Fax (212) 963-3892
Open-ended Ad Hoc General Assembly Working Group on Africa
The Working Group's role is to monitor the implementation of the recommendations in the 1998 report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on The Causes of Conflict and Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa . The Group began work on 7 March. Its focus is on poverty eradication, debt relief/cancellation, financing for development, and refugees. OSCAL's backstopping has provided background material, analysis of information and related substantive support.
For the May meeting, OSCAL is to prepare a concise report on the implementation of the recommendations by the UN Systems and on obstacles. Hearings may be held at a later date.
DESA/Governments of Japan and Malaysia/UNDP/Global Coalition for Africa - Asia-Africa Forum III
Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel. (212) 963-4839, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Panel on "Information Technology for Development" (Organized by WIPO in conjunction with the High-level Segment of ECOSOC)
Contact: Orobola Fasehun, Tel. (212) 963-4109
DESA/UNDP - High-level Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region
Contact: Haiyan Qian, Tel. (212) 963-3393 OR Hongren Zhou, Tel. (212) 963-6639
General Assembly special session, Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century
(Beijing + 5)
This high-level plenary review of the Beijing Platform for Action will focus on examples of good practices, positive actions, lessons learned, and the remaining obstacles and challenges. It will assess progress in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, and will consider further actions for gender equality. At the end of the session, Governments will issue a declaration calling for a recommitment to the Beijing Platform for Action. Many Heads of State and Government ministers, as well as several First Ladies in their capacity as heads of their national councils on women, are expected to attend the five-day session. In addition, some delegations will be headed by or include First Ladies.
The call for a high-level review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action was made by the UN General Assembly in January 1998. At its 42nd session in March 1998, the Commission on the Status of Women initiated preparations for the high-level review in the 2000.
For more information on Beijing+5, please visit the DAW Web site: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/followup/beijing5/index.html
Contact: Abigail Loregnard-Kasmally, E-mail: email@example.com
Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
The Committee will continue its review of applications of NGOs for consultative status with ECOSOC.
Contact: Hanifa Mezoui, Tel. (212) 963-8652, Fax (212) 963-3892
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 23rd
At its forthcoming session, the Committee will review the reports of eight States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including the initial reports of Cameroon, Lithuania, the Maldives and the Republic of Moldova, and the periodic reports of Austria, Cuba, Iraq and Romania.
With Niger, the latest country to ratify or accede to the Convention on 8 October 1999, the number of States parties became 165. Adopted in 1979 and opened for signature in March 1980, the Convention is now among the international human rights treaties with the largest number of ratifications.
General Assembly - 24th special session on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and further initiatives
Coverage of the session will be provided in the next issue of DESA News.
Contact: John Langmore, Tel. (212) 963-5855
ACC - Subcommittee on Demographic Estimates and Projections, 21st session
Contact: Joseph Chamie, Tel. (212) 963-3179
UN and CARICOM Bodies Meet, Issue Joint Statement
The second general meeting between the UN Secretariat and its specialized agencies and the Caribbean Community secretariat and associate institutions ended in Nassau, Bahamas on 28 March 2000. The CARICOM delegation was led by Carla Barnett, Deputy Secretary-General. The UN system delegation was led by Patrizio Civili, Assistant Secretary-General, Economic and Social Affairs.
The meeting expressed satisfaction with the implementation of areas agreed at the first one, held in 1997, and particularly in:
The meeting agreed that the future work programme should cover the following:
The meeting agreed to maintain interaction between CARICOM and the regional offices of the UN system; to hold an interim meeting in 2001 and the general meeting of the two secretariats on a biennial basis; and to set up a Web site to monitor the implementation of the cooperation programme.
Rome, 6-7 April
Following consultations with executive heads and the preparatory meeting of the Organizational Committee, the agenda includes: Continued discussion of the demands on the international and national systems by the new global environment; implications of globalization for international economic cooperation and development, with particular focus on globalization and the UN system; relationship between trade and economic, social and environmental dimensions; information technology. Other topics: HIV/AIDS and the UN system, problems of UN staff and dependants with HIV/AIDS, security and safety of staff, follow-up to previous ACC decisions and results of the review undertaken on the functioning of ACC and its subsidiary machinery.
Contact: Eric Lacanlale, Tel. (212) 963-6889, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
New York, 27-31 March
The meeting's special theme was population, gender and development. The main input was the World Population Monitoring, 2000: Population, Gender and Development (ESA/P/WP.159) and corresponding concise report of the Secretary-General on World Population Monitoring, 2000: Population, Gender And Development - E/CN.9/2000/3 ). Other documents dealt with the monitoring of population programmes, flow of financial resources to implement the International Conference on Population And Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, work programme of the Population Division, and the draft medium-term plan in population for 2002-2005. Among the resolutions and decisions adopted were the special themes for 2001-2003: 2001: population, environment and development; 2002: reproductive rights and reproductive health; and 2003: population, education and development.
Contact: Nancy Yu-ping Lin, Tel. (212) 963-3210, Fax (212) 963-2147, E-mail:email@example.com
Commission on the Status of Women, Forty-fourth Session and Third Session of CSW Acting as Preparatory Committee for the Beijing+5 Special Session
At its 44th session, the CSW discussed the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women: (a) review of mainstreaming in the United Nations system; (b) emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting the situation of women or equality between women and men; and (c) implementation of strategic objectives and action in the 12 critical areas of concern.
The Commission adopted two draft resolutions: one on Palestinian women (E/CN.6/2000/L.5 ), and one on women and girls in Afghanistan (E/CN.6/2000/L.4 ). Additionally, two resolutions were approved for adoption by ECOSOC: one on the release of women and children taken hostage in armed conflicts (E/CN.6/2000/L.2), and one on women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS (E/CN.6/2000/L.6 ). The draft provisional agenda for CSW45 was also adopted with two thematic areas: women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS; and gender, and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The PrepCom discussed preparations for Beijing+5 to assess the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and propose further actions and initiatives. It focused on two documents: a raft political declaration submitted by the Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee (E/CN.6/2000/PC/L.5 as orally revised on 17 March); and Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action: Proposed outcome document submitted by the Chairperson of the preparatory committee.
Because of continuing negotiations on the second document, the PrepCom decided, pending ECOSOC approval, to meet again on 3 June to complete its work.
Also pending adoption by the Assembly, the Committee approved a draft provisional agenda for the special session to appraise progress in the 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action and identify further actions to overcome obstacles to its implementation.
The Commission and the PrepCom were attended by some NGO representatives representing 300 organizations.
For more information on CSW44 and the third PrepCom, you may wish to visit http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/44sess.htm
Contact: Abigail Loregnard-Kasmally, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, 29 February-3 March
At its thirty-first session the Statistical Commission adopted the draft Tourism Satellite Account: Methodological References, subject to its being amended. In following up the coordination of development indicators, the Commission: (a) reiterated the need to lessen the reporting burden on countries by reducing the number of data requests sent by international organizations; (b) stressed the importance of coordination among and within international organizations; and (c) expressed support for the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) initiative to strengthen capacity building in social statistics in connection with the forthcoming Geneva 2000 Special Session on Social Development.
The Commission also:
(a) made detailed recommendations for the contents of the Compilers Manual for International Merchandise Trade Statistics;
(b) gave directions on the assessment of the implementation of the 1993 System of National Accounts (1993 SNA), requested the Intersecretariat Working Group on National Accounts (ISWGNA) to consider specific issues in April 2000, endorsed the creation of a group of friends of the Chair and invited the High Level Group and the Technical Group of the ISWGNA to report the results of their deliberations to it;
(c) welcomed the progress made in many areas of statistics, and gave directions in several of these areas. It endorsed the recommendations for future work on the International Standard Classification of All Economic Activities that had been made by the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications and gave directions for it.
With regard to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) and General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) of the International Monetary Fund, the Commission urged the IMF to reinforce the relevant partnerships between statistical agencies, central banks and finance ministries and asked it to take into account the outcomes of the data quality debate it had prompted.
The Commission considered the UNDP's Human Development Report (HDR) and registered its concern that the HDR is based on valid statistical evidence. It, therefore asked its Chairman to appoint a group of statistical experts to prepare, in conjunction with the UNDP, a report on the accuracy of the statistical information in the HDR.
Contact: Richard Roberts, Tel. (212) 963-6037, Fax (212) 963-9851, E-mail: email@example.com
Bangkok, 12-19 February
This is a short, 13-paragraph statement mainly on globalization seen both as an opportunity for integration in the world economy and a risk of marginalization for the poorest countries, notably in Africa and the least developed. UNCTAD is seen as a UN focal point for the integrated treatment of development and interrelated issues in trade, finance, investment, technology and sustainable development.
The Plan of Action has 171 paragraphs, of which 90 per cent had already been agreed. A Committee of the Whole negotiated the balance, which took a full week as there were quite a few hurdles. Some points may be of interest to DESA: UNCTAD is to focus on four fields of activity: globalization and development; investment, enterprise development and technology; trade in goods and services and commodity issues; and services infrastructure for development and trade efficiency. Of those, the first one is most closely related to DESA's work.
For further details, please refer to the Plan of Action, as adopted by the Committee of the Whole on 18 February.
The general debate was attended by 159 delegations, with 116 represented at the ministerial level and 16 at the head of State level. It was punctuated by addresses, notably by Juan Somavia (ILO), Mike Moore (WTO), James Wolfensohn (World Bank) and President Bouteflika of Algeria (OAU).
Juan Somavia , likened current globalization to "casino capitalism" which could not continue with so many being excluded. He called for a multicultural perspective and rejected the "one-size fits all" solutions. He saw social dialogue as an instrument of stability and small and mid-sized entreprises as crucial for employment creation, the most important ingredient in the eradication of poverty.
Mike Moore noted that the international trading system must work better and be fairer. Discussions on the agenda had started with a focus on reducing agricultural subsidies and liberalization in services. He called for assisting the LDCs with special support packages, funding WTO technical cooperation activities and implementing WTO agreements, one of the most difficult issues in the pre-Seattle period. Showing his frustration with the Seattle debacle, he stated that attacking globalization was misdirected energy.
James Wolfensohn noted that the number of poor people is increasing, as the gap between, and within, developed and developing countries gets wider. In the fight against poverty, he noted the enormous increase in private sector involvement. On ODA he observed that development was not just a question of money but of governance. He stressed the importance of the technological revolution with the digital age providing enormous opportunities. But the digital divide may either be breached or cemented into place, he warned.
President Bouteflika, spoke not only for Algeria but also, and mainly, on behalf of the OAU which is currently chaired by Algeria. He noted that market forces had downgraded human development and increased social precariousness. Capital was being favoured over labour and a bias in favour of creditors and their short-term interests was evident. Developing countries were excluded from consultations and decision-making. He recognized Africa's responsibility with respect to conflicts and other destabilizing events. However, three factors had negated her efforts: (1) price fluctuations in primary commodities and the resultant worsening terms of trade; (2) insignificant FDI combined with a drop in ODA and worsening savings capacity; and (3) the debt burden. Middle income countries had become net capital exporters and new conditionalities of democracy, human rights and anti-corruption measures were being imposed. He called for the G7 Cologne initiatives to be implemented for those countries.
In addition to the various formal meetings, there were side events such as a seminar on financial architecture; a seminar on Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and Trans National Corporations (TNCs); and a round-table on the human dimension of development with entrepreneurs from developing and transition countries, including Narayama Murthy of Infosys. Mr. Murthy argued for a minimalist government largely devoted to the creation of talent, i.e., education; a policy regime conducive to attracting venture capital; a competitive market place; and a climate which respects the creation of wealth. He saw great potential in bringing IT to the poorest of the poor, which could help them greatly.
In the final analysis, what was UNCTAD X all about? It did gain in significance when the Seattle meeting failed. But when one juxtaposes the call by the developed countries for a comprehensive round - presumably one which includes environmental concerns and labour standards - and the interests of the developing countries in a more limited focus on implementation of what was agreed at the Uruguay Round and the tackling of agricultural subsidies and protectionism on textiles, there clearly is still a hard slog ahead. Still, UNCTAD X showed a convergence of views on development problems and the challenges ahead.
Contact: Johan Scholvinck, Tel. (212) 963-4667, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, 31 January-11 February
The meeting helped build consensus on forest policy. All countries now agree that the main priority for the next few years is to implement the proposals for action adopted in 1995-2000 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and its successor, the IFF.
The IFF recommended to:
The CSD is expected to adopt the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests report and forward it to ECOSOC, which, at its July 2000 session, will probably decide whether the UNFF is to be a part of its machinery or a General Assembly subsidiary.
Further information, including the unedited substantive parts of the IFF report, is on http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm
A summary of deliberations, including photographs and links to the history of the IPF/IFF process, is available on http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/forestry/iff4/index.html
Contact: Tage Michaelsen, Tel. (212) 963-5294, Fax. (212) 963-3463, E-mail: email@example.com
Addis Ababa, 27-29 March
Kathmandu, 3-5 April
In order to prepare for the Conference to be held in Brussels in May 2001, three regional expert meetings (one for English-speaking African LDCs, one for French-speaking African LDCs and the Americas; and one for Asian and Pacific LDCs) have begun to review the implementation of the Programme of Action for the 1990s, and to provide substantive inputs for the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee, and the Conference itself.
The expert meeting for English-speaking African LDCs was held in Addis-Ababa, 27-29 March, and the one for Asian and Pacific LDCs in Kathmandu, 3-5 April. As DESA's focal point for the Conference, OSCAL participates in the regional meetings and will attend the Preparatory Committee and the Conference.
Contact: Leslie Wade, Tel. (212) 963-4420, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
New York, 22 March
The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and OSCAL convened this meeting. The Steering Committee is composed of said Government, OSCAL, UNDP and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and serves as the guiding body for the effective implementation of the Seoul Forum's recommendations. The meeting was to: (I) review the Forum's recommendations on capacity building and institutional mechanisms for export promotion in Africa, (ii) discuss the organizational and logistical aspects of the ROK Government-initiated training programme and (iii) elaborate the role of the Steering Committee in the long-term perspective of the Seoul Framework. The training programme (31 July-13 August) will address the human resource issue of capacity building for export promotion. It will involve 20 African trade and investment policy makers selected by OSCAL and the ROK Government.
Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel. (212) 963-4839, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: email@example.com .
Round-table Discussion on "Globalization, Gender and Work"
The Division for the Advancement of Women sponsored this meeting on the 1999 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development . It was moderated by Dorota Gierycz, Chief, Gender and Analysis Section, DAW. Panelists included: Korkut Ertürk, Professor, University of Utah and the New York New School, Martha Alter Chen, Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard and Diane Elson, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UNIFEM and Professor, University of Manchester.
Contact: Dorota Gierycz, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, 28 February
The Economic and Social Council met in partnership with the Security Council to discuss cooperation in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in Africa, and to examine ways to develop cooperation through special initiatives for AIDS and Africa.
Following statements by Mr. Desai and the January and February Chairmen of the Security Council, the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Peter Piot, reported significant progress in partnerships for development, with contributions from private corporations and civil society.
Glen Cove, New York, 24-26 February
The objective was to debate the structure, content and strategy of the second Forum taking into consideration lessons from the first one. On the Advisory Committee were UNDP/TCDC, SU/TICAD, UNDP/Asia, UNDP/BDP, UNDP/Africa, DESA/OSCAL, World Bank, MIGA, UNCTAD, ITC, UNOPS, UNIDO and the Government of Japan.
It was noted that AABF I had generated many memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with 27 disclosed and signed at the event's closing. These MOUs, and others that were not disclosed, are estimated at over US$100 million.
The Advisory Committee recommended that AABF II be held in Africa for four days in February/March 2001. The selection of countries and criteria for participating firms were also discussed.
Contact: Abraham Joseph, Tel: (212) 963-4839, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: email@example.com .
Compilation of CSW Agreed Conclusions
The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) is in the process of publishing Commission on the Status of Women: Agreed Conclusions on the Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing Platform for Action, a compilation covering 1996-1999. It will be available in time for the Beijing+5 General Assembly Special Session as a sales item.
Contact: Natalia Zakharova, Tel. (212) 963-8134, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgMaterials on the Optional Protocol to the Women's Convention
DAW is compiling a collection of documents entitled The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: Text and Materials . The publication, to be released in June, traces the process leading to the adoption by the General Assembly of the Optional Protocol to the Convention and its opening for signature, ratification and accession. It intends to give government officials, scholars and activists easy access to texts and materials on the development of the Optional Protocol.
Contact: Christine Brautigam, E-mail: email@example.comBringing international human rights law home
In June, a new publication entitled Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Application of the Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child at the Domestic Level will be launched. It brings together the papers presented at a judicial colloquium organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women for the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in October 1999. Some 100 senior judicial officers discussed the use of these two treaties in domestic court cases to promote equality between women and men. Centred on three themes of the colloquium - nationality, marriage and family relations; violence against women; and women's and girls' work-related rights - the publication brings together keynote papers by six international experts, as well as case studies by judicial officers from 25 countries.
Replacement Migration: A Solution For Declining And Ageing Populations?
Replacement migration refers to the international migration a country would need to prevent population decline and ageing resulting from low fertility and mortality rates. The report looks at eight low-fertility countries (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States) and two regions (Europe and the European Union). In each case, alternative scenarios for 1995-2050 are considered, highlighting the impact that various levels of immigration would have on population size and ageing.
The report argues that some immigration is needed to prevent a decline in all countries and regions covered. However, the level of immigration in relation to past experience varies greatly. For the European Union, a continuation of the immigration levels in the 1990s would roughly suffice to prevent total population from declining, while for Europe as a whole immigration would need to double. The Republic of Korea would need a relatively modest net inflow of migrants -- a major change, however, for a country which has been a net sender until now. Italy and Japan would need notable increases in net immigration. In contrast, France, the United Kingdom and the United States could maintain their total population with fewer immigrants than in recent years.
The numbers of immigrants needed to prevent declines in the working age population are larger than those needed to prevent declines in total population. In some cases, such as the Republic of Korea, France, the United Kingdom or the United States, they are several times larger. If such flows were to occur, post-1995 immigrants and their descendants would represent a strikingly large share of the total population in 2050 -- between 30 and 39 per cent in the cases of Japan, Germany and Italy.
The levels of migration needed to prevent population ageing are many times larger than the migration streams needed to prevent population decline . Maintaining potential support ratios (the ratio of the working-age population to the old-age population) would in all cases entail volumes of immigration entirely out of line with both past experience and reasonable expectations. In the absence of immigration, the potential support ratios could be maintained at current levels by increasing the upper age limit of the working-age population to roughly 75 years.
The report suggests that the new challenges of declining and ageing populations will require a comprehensive reassessment of many established policies and programmes, with a long-term perspective. Critical issues to be addressed include: (a) appropriate retirement ages; (b) levels, types and nature of retirement and health care benefits for the elderly; (c) labour force participation; (d) assessed amounts of contributions from workers and employers to support retirement and health care benefits for the elderly population; and (e) policies and programmes on international migration, in particular replacement migration and the integration of large numbers of recent migrants and their descendants.
Contact: Joseph Grinblat, Tel. (212) 963-3216, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Charting the Progress of Populations
A Population Division publication Charting the Progress of Populations (Sales No. E.00.XIII.6), provides a summary on 12 key socio-economic indicators on the goals agreed by governments at the global conferences of the 1990s. Special attention was given to the International Conference on Population and Development, the World Summit for Social Development, the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II). The report is one of the background documents before the Commission on Social Development and the 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, to be held in Geneva in June.
The 12 indicators are: total population; access to basic health services; family planning (contraceptive prevalence); underweight prevalence among pre-schoolers; maternal mortality; infant and under-5 mortality; life expectancy at birth; gross enrolment ratio for primary and secondary education levels combined; adult illiteracy; access to safe water; access to sanitation; and floor area per person. These indicators were selected for their relevance to six of the main themes of the global conferences: population, with special emphasis on reproductive health and family planning services;
primary health care; nutrition; basic education; drinking water and sanitation; and shelter. A particular effort was made to show where countries currently stand and how close they are to the agreed goals.
Contact: Mary Beth Weinberger, Tel. (212) 963-4531, E-mail: email@example.com
The Population Division has just published two wall charts entitled Urban and Rural Areas 1999 and Urban Agglomerations 1999 . They present the results of the 1999 revision of world urbanization prospects, the estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations in all countries and of the major urban agglomerations in the world. The full set of results is available in digital form under the titles Urban and Rural Areas 1950-2030 (The 1999 Revision) and Urban Agglomerations 1950-2015 (The 1999 Revision) .
Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
Special features in this issue: world shipbuilding; total exports and imports: index numbers of quantum, unit value and terms of trade by regions.
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/326 - Vol. LIV - No. 2
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: developed economies only; earnings in manufacturing; index numbers of producers prices and wholesale prices.
Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, Tel: (212) 963-4865, Fax (212) 963-0623, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Population and Vital Statistics Report
This issue gives 1998 and 1999 estimates of world and continental population and 1998 estimates for 229 countries or areas. Also shown for each country or area are the results of the latest census (total, male and female) and, where possible, statistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths for the most recent year available. If a nationwide census has never been taken, but a sample survey has, its results are shown in the "Latest population census" column until census data become available.
This issue supersedes all previous ones, and its data 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: email@example.com
Classifications of Expenditure According to Purpose:
This one-volume publication covers four international economic classifications of expenditure by purpose: COFOG, COICOP, COPNI and COPP classify transactions by government, households, non-profit institutions and producers. COFOG is a revised and expanded version of a now-superseded United Nations document entitled Classification of the Functions of Government (Statistical Papers, Series M. No.70); COICOP, COPNI and COPP were recommended in the 1993 System of National Accounts as international classifications for data compilation and analytical uses, with their revised versions first published in full here. The classifications are on www.un.org/Depts/unsd/class/class1.htm .
Contact: Magda Csizmadia, Tel: (212) 963-4819, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview of African Development 1999 Report : The Challenge of Rehabilitation on the Eve of the Third Millennium:
This report on rehabilitation, a follow-up to the first Overview of African Development 1997 report by OSCAL, deals with a timely topic for war-weary African countries. The four chapters cover institutional rehabilitation; the rehabilitation of education systems; the rehabilitation of infrastructure; and economic management and reconstruction. The concluding remarks sum up the main findings and recommendations.
DAW and UNESCO Launch Joint Publication "Towards a Women's Agenda for a Culture of Peace"
On 16 March the publication Towards a Women's Agenda for a Culture of Peace , jointly published the DAW and UNESCO, was launched at Columbia University before a wide audience by Angela E.V. King, Assistant Secretary-General for Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and by three editors of the book -- Dorota Gierycz of the Gender Analysis Section; Ingeborg Breines, UNESCO; and Betty Reardon of the International Peace Research Association.
Contact: Dorota Gierycz, E-mail: email@example.com
Women, Microcredit and Poverty Eradication
A project to highlight the potential contribution of microfinance to poverty eradication is being executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in close collaboration with the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) and the Gender-in-Development Programme of UNDP, with Government of Japan funding. It aims to show how microfinance institutions, if enhanced and made efficient, can help solve macro-problems. As a first phase, about 85 microfinance fact sheets have been compiled into a study to consolidate local microfinancing practices. The second phase consists in three missions to scrutinize three initiatives in Africa: one to the Africa Village Academy (AVA) in Ethiopia in June 1999, one to the Group of Common Initiative of the Women Farmers of Bogso (GICPAB) in Cameroon in February 2000, and one to the Country Women's Association of Nigeria (COWAN) from 17 to 20 April. These three initiatives were selected bearing in mind regional distribution, language and population as well as the level of community service and of technical microcredit management. After the third mission a seminar on microfinance and community
Gender Mainstreaming in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Gender Advisory Services Unit/DAW/DESA organized a Technical Review Meeting on 20-21 March to discuss the findings of a study on gender mainstreaming in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study was initiated by UNDP/Africa in collaboration with DESA/DAW to review/assess their gender mainstreaming activities in relation to governance and poverty eradication. The meeting specifically aimed to (a) review the draft report; and (b) formulate operational recommendations. Participants included representatives from country offices, other Divisions in DESA as well as agencies including UNFPA and UNIFEM. A report summarizing the discussions and recommendations will be circulated within and outside DESA. It also includes a work plan prioritizing these recommendations as immediate, short-term and medium-term action. In addition, there was a consensus on the need to draw UNDP/Africa managers' attention to the urgency of considering gender mainstreaming/equality as a priority in UNDP's current restructuring process. A political statement to that effect is currently being finalized. The final report will be officially launched during the Special Session.
Assessment Team In Somaliland
A DESA inter-divisional team visited Somaliland (Northwest Somalia) in January to assess capacities and needs in economic planning and management, governance and water resources. The mission was coordinated by Yusuf Osman, and included Olympios Katsiaouni, John-Mary Kauzia, Claude Sauveplane and Suresh Shende. In Nairobi, the mission met with the Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, D. Stephen, and the UNDP Resident Representative for Somalia, R.C. Kent. In Somaliland, the mission had extensive discussions with the civil administration, the technical cooperation community, including local NGOs and umbrella groups, and civil society institutions. Socieconomic development and water resource management concerns were at the core of the capacity assessment, which was closely supported by the Administration and its development partners. At the end of the mission, preliminary findings were submitted to the Administration and a more comprehensive report prepared.
Contact: Yusuf Osman, Tel. (212) 963-6418
Statistical Technical assistance to Turkmenistan
In the past few months, UNSD, with UNFPA support, has helped the National Institute on Statistics and Forecasting (NISF) of Turkmenistan prepare for the December 2000 mini-census with questionnaire design, sampling, and survey implementation. National training on sampling techniques was given, 15-25 February, and advisory services were provided in October 1999 and March 2000. UNSD will help NISF implement the mini-census and disseminate the data.
UNSD staff who provided assistance to NISF are Iqbal Alam, Grace Bediako, Ibrahim Yansaneh, and Angela Me.
Contact: Angela Me, Tel. (212) 963-4823, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Livelihood
The Natural Resources and Small Island Developing States Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development has recently launched a regional SPPD project in Africa on "Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Livelihood: Focusing On Artisanal Mining Communities". The project is being implemented by the Branch, with technical inputs from the Socio-economic Policy and Development Management Branch of the Division of Social Policy for Development. Complementary expertise in DESA, ILO and UNDP Headquarters, particularly SEPED and APU, and country offices in Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea and Mali, will be brought to bear. The objectives are to produce a set of policy options and best practices, for use by government, IGOs and civil society at the micro, meso and macro levels. The policies are to promote alternative and complementary sustainable livelihoods in artisanal mining, and upgrade the artisanal mining sector to an economically viable activity.
Contact: Anatoli Belov, Tel. (212) 963-8786, E-mail: email@example.com
A new departmental web server specifically intended to support dynamic database applications on the internet is now available to DESA Divisions. This service, provided by ISU, will make it possible to deliver ASP applications with a UN address and in-house systems support. The base address of all such web sites will be http://esa.un.org, with redirection from http://www.un.org possible for those cases where it is important to retain the URL of www.un.org for promotional purposes. The Statistics Division is the first to take advantage of the service, with applications on the UN Classification Registry and the Monthly Bulletin of Statistics.
Those divisions interested in the new service should contact: Roberto Borgogna, Tel. (212) 963-4787, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and assistance.