Volume 4, Issue 4 , August-September 2000



In this issue:

Substantive Session of ECOSOC 2000

General Assembly Special Session on Social Development

Beijing + 5
National Reporting on Sustainable Development
Forthcoming Meetings
Technical Cooperation

Forthcoming Publications

Policy Analysis , Women

Recent Publications

Statistics , Public Administration
Meetings Held

Substantive Session of ECOSOC 2000
5-28 July 2000

ECOSOC 2000 was successful in placing the United Nations in a strategic position to help bridge the digital divide. This year's session has helped position the Council as an open forum for dialogue among key stakeholders in the economic and social arena, and as a catalyst for building productive partnerships among the main global players.

The session received wide coverage in the world press, which focused on ECOSOC's role as the forum for launching a world campaign to bring IT to the developing world. Such wide coverage was facilitated by the strong support given by DPI.

The view that emerged at the high-level segment was that the United Nations could play a crucial and unique role in providing an interface between the information technology community and the development community. There was a consensus among all stakeholders that IT could be a key instrument for accelerating global development and international cooperation, and that the UN's contribution to development will be greatly reinforced if it proves able to adapt to, and use, IT effectively.

As a concrete follow-up to the Ministerial Declaration on IT adopted at the high-level segment, the Council decided, at the closing meeting of the session, that an IT Task Force (and a Trust Fund) should be created under the Secretary-General's leadership. This will further digital opportunities in developing countries, help formulate strategies for IT development, and forge a strategic partnership between the United Nations system, private industry foundations, donors, and other relevant stakeholders. To this end, the Council requested the Secretary-General to carry out consultations with all stakeholders and report to it at a later session.

The coordination segment of the Economic and Social Council (10-12 July) ended with the adoption of agreed conclusions on progress made within the UN system regarding integrated follow-up to the major UN conferences and summits of the 1990s. The main focus was on the lessons learned from recent 5-year reviews. The Council invited its functional commissions to consider options to enhance the effectiveness of inter-governmental review processes, and will revert to this issue at its 2001 session.

The operational activities segment (13-18 July) focused on (1) resources and funding of operational activities for development, and (2) simplification and harmonization of programming, operational and administrative procedures. The segment included a policy exchange with the executive heads of Funds and Programmes, and a presentation by UN country teams (Ghana and Madagascar). The two resolutions adopted by the Council will provide guidance for the preparation of the next triennial review of operational activities for development, and they express the widely shared concern at the insufficiency of core resources for operational activities.

The broad theme chosen for the humanitarian affairs segment "Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian response and the role of technology in mitigating the effects, with particular reference to the displacement of persons arising therefrom", enabled the Council to consider a range of important and related issues. Very intensive negotiations over several weeks led to some agreement on provisions regarding coordination, and regarding the role of technology in natural disaster mitigation; but consensus on the key - and politically controversial - issue of internally displaced persons (IDP's) eluded the Council. It was decided, in the circumstances, not to proceed to the adoption of any agreed conclusions at this stage, and to simply take note of the Secretary-General's report (which was well received), and call for another report on coordination for next year, so as to make it possible for consultations and consensus-building to continue over the coming months.

The general segment confirmed the continued important role of the Council in reviewing and guiding different elements of the work of the system from an overall perspective, and in reflecting upon the cross-cutting policy issues emerging from its subsidiary machinery. Extensive informal consultations, held in parallel to the formal session, enabled delegations to go through the many proposals emanating from the Council's subsidiary machinery and to reach agreement on a number of resolutions.

The website of ECOSOC 2000 is at: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Tel. (212) 963-4628, Fax (212) 963-1712, E-mail: khan2@un.org


General Assembly Special Session on Social Development
26-30 June 2000

The results of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on social development were highly significant. The conference was attended by over 5000 people, of whom over 2000 were delegates from 160 countries. While most delegations were led by ministers, 19 heads of state or government led their country's delegations. When these delegation heads were speaking during the five days, or attending the outstanding Geneva Forum on the role of civil society, their colleagues were completing negotiations on the Geneva Declaration. This Declaration includes a ringing political statement on the centrality of more equitable, socially just and people-centred societies; an assessment of what has happened since the Copenhagen Social Summit five years ago; and about 160 paragraphs on new initiatives.

A new initiative that could be of the greatest importance is the decision to conduct 'a rigorous analysis of advantages, disadvantages and other implications of proposals for developing new and innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for dedication to social development and poverty eradication programmes.' That is, there is to be a study authorized without dissent by the member countries of the UN, into a currency transaction tax (CTT), the Tobin tax, and other potential sources of revenue for social development. The Canadian delegation, speaking also for Norway, said at the final plenary that the intention of this paragraph is that a study of the CTT should be made.

It is appropriate to emphasize this decision amongst the many others because it could lead to the beginning of more effective global public management of the international financial system. The study could lead to proposals for additional means of raising desperately needed financial resources for education, health services, infrastructure and credit to stimulate socio-economic development. This and other paragraphs also articulate the importance of reducing financial volatility and of managing financial crises better, including through temporary debt repayment standstills when large financial outflows are threatened and by protecting expenditure on social services during crises.

There was agreement for the first time on a global target for poverty reduction, of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. This is implicitly understood to at least include all those with incomes of less than a dollar a day, of whom there are estimated to be about 1200 million. A decision was taken to begin a more integrated global campaign to reduce poverty. The preparation of an international employment strategy by the ILO will begin with a global employment forum which is to be held next year.

There are about forty substantial fresh initiatives or new international agreements for action in the Declaration. Others include: recognition that the achievement of the agreed target of access to basic education for all by 2015 will cost around $8 billion a year; a call for all UN agencies to integrate health policies more effectively into their programmes in other areas; action through trade agreements and increased incentives for research to improve access of developing countries to affordable and effective pharmaceuticals; strengthened commitment to basic workers rights, and to social protection for the vulnerable; and recommendations for national targets and major new action to reduce infection rates for HIV/AIDS. After extensive debate there was agreement on the importance of 'positive or affirmative action' to achieve gender equality. Corporate social responsibility was added to the international agenda for the first time. And so on.

There were concrete announcements as well. Ireland, for example, announced plans to reach the aid target of 0.7 per cent of GNP; Japan announced cancellation of debt for low-income countries; and Italy announced an aid initiative of over $100 million.

There were enough decisions to feel elated about the outcome. Still, not enough was achieved: much of the wording is too cautious and carefully modulated, and many more issues should have been addressed. But there was agreement on some huge tasks, and there is plenty for all national governments, Parliaments, international agencies, corporations, trade unions, NGOs, and all concerned individuals to do.

Implementation depends principally on governments, but much is also required of the international system. The Social Policy and Development Division has quickly begun writing to other parts of the system to draw their attention to recommendations of relevance to them. Plans are being made for an independent inquiry into new sources of funding. A regionally representative group of authoritative experts is likely to be appointed and asked to report in time for the UN event on finance for development in 2001. They are likely to invite submissions from interested governments and civil society organizations. UNDP and other relevant organizations have begun planning ways of consolidating ongoing initiatives into a global poverty eradication campaign.

To conclude with the challenge issued at the end of the Political Declaration:

At the dawn of the new millennium, aware of our responsibilities towards future generations, we are strongly committed to social development, including social justice, for all in a globalizing world. We invite all people in all countries and in all walks of life, as well as the international community, to join in renewed dedication to our shared vision for a more just and equitable world.

John Langmore
Director, Division for Social Policy
and Development

The website of Copenhagen +5 is at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/geneva2000/index.html


Beijing + 5
5-9 June 2000

The General Assembly special session, "Women 2000: Gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century", also known as Beijing +5, took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2000. The General Assembly, in resolution 52/100 , had decided to convene the special session to review progress in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, and scheduled it to take place five years after the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. In resolution 52/231 , the General Assembly asked the Commission on the Status of Women to act as the preparatory committee (PrepCom) for the special session. The PrepCom held three sessions: 1998 (2-13 March 1998 and a number of informal meetings), 1999 (15-19 March and 1 April), and in 2000 (3-17 March and 20 April).

During its plenary meetings, the special session heard statements that focused on both the progress made and the obstacles remaining to the implementation of the Platform for Action. The plenary was addressed by 178 Member States, including two prime ministers, four vice-presidents, ministers and vice-ministers. Representatives of three non-member States, 16 observers, five heads of UN programmes and specialized agencies, five non-governmental organizations and the chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) also addressed the plenary.

At the opening session, the Secretary-General emphasized the progress made since the Fourth World Conference in Beijing. Human rights of women have gained recognition, violence against women is now an illegal act in almost every country, and there has been worldwide mobilization against harmful traditional practices. But he noted that much remains to be done, including addressing new challenges such as HIV/AIDS and increased armed conflict. While women have entered the labour market in unprecedented numbers, the gender divide still persists, with women earning less and being involved in informal and unpaid work. There has been no breakthrough in women's participation in decision making processes and little progress in the legislation in favour of women's rights to own land and other property. In his statement, the Secretary-General focused on the importance of education, stressing that it was both the entry point into the global economy and the best defence against its pitfalls. Once they were educated and integrated into the workforce, women would have more choices and provide better nutrition, health care and education for their children.

Governments in their statements to the plenary meetings of the special session strongly reiterated their commitment to the Beijing goals and called for international cooperation to fight against poverty and trafficking in women. Overwhelming support was expressed in favour of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The General Assembly adopted by consensus the Political Declaration and the outcome document "Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action" (A/S-23/2) on June 10, 2000. In his closing statement, the President of the General Assembly remarked that there had been no backward movement on Beijing language and that in several areas the outcome document moved the global agenda on gender equality forward.

With the adoption of the outcome document, governments and the international community once more reaffirmed their commitment to the Platform for Action and a common development agenda with gender equality as an underlying principle. The outcome document has recognized that the efforts towards ensuring women's advancement need to combine a focus on women's conditions and basic needs with a holistic approach based on equal rights and partnerships, promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It has further recognized that policies, programmes and budgetary processes should adopt a gender perspective, be based on clear research-based knowledge of the situation of women and girls and sex disaggregated data, be defined in terms of short and long term time-bound targets, with measurable goals and follow up mechanisms to assess progress.

Recognizing that the full enjoyment of all human rights is essential for realizing gender equality, development and peace in the twenty-first century, Governments emphasized the importance of renewed relations among different stakeholders, including organizations of the United Nations system, the Bretton Woods Institutions, other international and regional intergovernmental bodies, parliaments and civil society, including NGOs and the private sector, at all levels for the full and effective implementation of the Platform. Governments also drew attention to the fact that the realization of the goals of gender equality, development and peace at the national and international level needs to be supported by the allocation of necessary human and financial resources for specific and targeted activities.

The special session reaffirmed the importance of gender-mainstreaming in all areas and at all levels, and the complementarity between mainstreaming and special activities targeting women. Certain areas were identified as requiring focused attention. These included education, social services and health, including sexual and reproductive health, particularly in respect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; violence against women and girls; the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women; natural disaster and environmental management; the development of strong, effective and accessible national machineries for the advancement of women; and the formulation of strategies to enable women and men to reconcile and equally share work and family responsibilities.

Within this context, the special session agreed on 199 actions to be taken at the national and international levels by Governments, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, including international financial institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other actors of civil society. A number of these actions set new targets and reconfirmed existing ones:

    (a) Closure of the gender gap in primary and secondary education by 2005, and free and compulsory and universal primary education for both girls and boys by 2015;

    (b) The achievement of a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women;

    (c) The creation and maintenance of a non-discriminatory, as well as gender sensitive legal environment through reviewing legislation with a view to striving to remove discriminatory provisions as soon as possible, preferably by 2005 ;

    (d) Universal access to high quality primary health care, throughout the life cycle, including sexual and reproductive health care, not later than 2015.

In addition to further action on the twelve critical areas of concern the document addresses areas which have become prominent since the Beijing Conference. In this regard, emphasis was placed on women's access to decision-making particularly in peace keeping processes, gender-sensitive approaches to HIV/AIDS and humanitarian crises, changing patterns of migratory flows, new technologies, violence against women, including trafficking and in armed conflict and the realization of women's full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural and civil and political rights. Actions also addressed the challenges presented by globalization to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Many of the actions identified specific groups of women as the primary target, these include:

    (a) older women/ageing;
    (b) adolescents/young women;
    (c) refugees/asylum seekers;
    (d) indigenous women;
    (e) entrepreneurs/self employed;
    (f) migrant women;
    (g) rural women;
    (h) disabled women;
    (i) female household heads.

As in the case of other conference reviews, the special session stressed the need for continued international cooperation to increase the flow of resources for the Platform's goals of gender equality, development and peace, in particular through reaffirmation and fulfillment of the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of the gross national product of developed countries for overall official development assistance, support for the Cologne initiative for the reduction of debt and the 20/20 initiative. The identification and implementation of development-oriented and durable solutions integrating a gender perspective to the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries in order to help these countries finance development programmes and projects, including the advancement of women, were emphasized.

NGO participation at the special session

Region

# of NGOs

%

# of Participants

%

.
Africa 123 11.8 239 11.6
Europe 311 29.9 593 28.8
Latin American and
the Caribbean
110 10.5 218 10.6
Asia and the Pacific 202 19.4 406 19.7
Western Asia 22 2.1 39 1.9
N/A 270 26.0 557 27.1
.
TOTALS 1038 100.0 2052 100.0

Participation in the Beijing+5 special session by NGOs was successful with 2052 NGO participants representing 1,038 NGOs from all regions of the world actively participating in the session and related activities. This includes ECOSOC/Beijing and new NGOs accredited to the special session of the General Assembly (GA decision 54/467) as well as NGOs accredited to ECOSOC or the Beijing Conference in 1995.

Five NGOs addressed the Plenary of the General Assembly. Each NGO represented one of the regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Asia.

Thirteen NGO representatives addressed the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole speaking on issues ranging from mental health, widowhood, violence against women, education, etc. These speeches were very well received by the Committee members and other observers, including the NGO community itself.

The Division for the Advancement of Women, ( DAW) held daily briefings for NGOs each morning to update them on progress made in the outcome document and other issues relevant to NGO participation.

During the special session, NGOs held 15 side events and 20 caucus meetings at the UN which addressed problems relevant to their countries and/or regions. A number of NGOs also organized numerous other events at the UN Church Center, the US Customs House, and other venues throughout New York City.

Media Coverage of the Beijing+5 special session

The Beijing+5 special session attracted worldwide media coverage. Its focus was on the areas of concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action and on the UN's role in advancing the status of women, the negotiations and the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Women's progress in various countries was highlighted, and the continuing challenges they faced were carefully analyzed.

The special session attracted a record-breaking number of participants, including representatives of Member States, the UN system and NGOs. In all, nearly 10,000 people, including 1500 media representatives, gathered in New York. The high number of journalists from all over the world who registered for the conference provides a clear indication of the fact that the issues affecting gender equality and women's rights are now significantly better known and firmly in place on the international agenda.

Media reports were supportive of women's efforts to improve their status and showed an astonishingly high degree of knowledge of the Beijing Platform for Action (PfA). The media focused on a few key issues, using interviews with NGO advocates to illustrate them. Among the most widely reported of the PfA issues were violence against women including trafficking in women and girls; reproductive, sexual and other health issues such as HIV/AIDS; the feminization of poverty; the role of men in gender equality; women's human rights, and women's lack of access to political and economic decision-making.

The validity of an international gathering such as the Beijing+5 was questioned in many media articles, but in general there was agreement with Professor Gita Sen, who said in the Hindu (Madras) newspaper that the struggle to find international acceptance of certain concepts does have meaning for women worldwide. "It has a political meaning in an era of globalization when international political mobilization cannot be ignored. Purely local mobilization will not do. Look at Seattle" she added.

Many articles looked closely into what had been achieved since 1995. According to a New York Times editorial on June 3, which said that while the Beijing conference "established concrete targets" and "set timetables for measuring progress", because of socio-cultural resistance, financial constraints, and a refusal to give priority to women's issues "most of what Governments call action is still just lofty talk". But it added "most of the governments represented at Beijing had drawn up plans to keep their promises, and 64 countries had changed laws." It credited "growth of local women's groups" with bringing about these changes. Another paper cited the determination of women to achieve results, by quoting an NGO representative who said "if governments won't commit, the women will, and we are going to hold them to it."

Many positive articles were written about the gains women have made since 1995. It was reported that new laws in many countries have raised the legal age for marriage; banned female genital mutilation; criminalized domestic violence and recognized rape as a war crime. Many reports made the case that economies cannot thrive without women as full partners. It was noted that since Beijing, women on the whole have become better educated, more aware of their rights and readier to use them. An example of a victory for women cited by one newspaper was that women's advocacy organizations had successfully lobbied in 1998 for the inclusion of rape as a crime against humanity in the statute for an international criminal court.

The difficulties of the negotiating process were well covered. The San Francisco Chronicle on 15 June 2000 wrote: "Conservative opponents from orthodox religious groups and nations tried but failed to roll back a woman's right to make decisions about her own body". The media generally agreed that tensions in negotiations over lifestyles, abortion, religion, the family and sexual rights in general should not derail the quest for social justice for women.

The growing role of NGOs as watchdogs of the UN process and of their own governments was seen in the media as lending credibility to events such as Beijing+5. In commenting on the strong support which NGOs have given to the Beijing+5, a newspaper said NGOs saw the +5 not as a document to pay lip-service to, but as the "culmination of women's struggles for justice in their diverse contexts around the world and an embodiment of their vision and hopes for a society that recognizes women's rights as human rights".

The special session, which has generated the most extensive coverage of women's rights in recent times, was seen by the media to be a success. They reported that it had preserved the goals of the Beijing PfA and had strengthened the language of that document, and that there was consensus that it had achieved its goal of advancing women's efforts to gain justice and equality. As one paper stated: "Delegates smartly defeated attempts to reverse some gains outlined in the Beijing agreement. They preserved the goal that says women should make choices about their own sexuality, despite formidable challenges from social and religious conservatives." Another paper's editorial "Uplifting Women's Rights" found that in spite of "a strong backlash" the conference was "a success for proponents of women's rights".

For more information on the Beijing+5 Special Session, please visit the DAW website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/followup/beijing+5.htm

Contact: Abigail Loregnard-Kasmally, E-mail: loregnard-kasmally@un.org

Contact for details of NGO participation: Amina Adam, E-mail: adama@un.org

* * * * *

The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA) organized a forum on Women's Global Access and Leadership on Thursday, 8 June 2000 during the special session to discuss the participation of women in a country's political life, both as voters and as elected officials.

Contact: Helena Alves, Tel. (212) 963-8836, E-mail: alvesh@un.org


National Reporting on Sustainable Development

In July 2000, the National Information Analysis Unit (NIAU) of the Division for Sustainable Development sent the Guidelines on National Reporting for the 9th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), in 2001. The major sectoral theme is to be Atmosphere/Energy; the cross-sectoral themes are Information for Decision-Making and Participation, and International Cooperation. The Economic Sector/major group theme will be Energy/Transport. The Guidelines are posted on the web at: http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo

Preparations have also begun for national reporting and country profiles for the 10-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 to be held in 2002.

NIAU is collecting inputs from Member States on how to improve the guidelines for the elaboration of national reports after 2002, as part of the preparations for the comprehensive review of the implementation of Agenda 21. This would serve two important purposes: facilitate the reporting process for Governments themselves, and enhance the usefulness of the information provided (for instance, to highlight national achievements in the implementation of Agenda 21, lessons learned, and specific challenges encountered).

NIAU is also in the process of preparing country profiles to complement those presented during the five-year review held by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session in 1997. By 2001, draft country profiles will be sent to all reporting countries for their review. Final versions will be published in 2002.

The United Nations system-wide sustainable development web site (at http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo ) contains the information provided by Governments in their national reports to the Commission, on a country-by-country and issue-by-issue basis. The Secretariat continues to update the web site with new information as Governments submit it. Detailed information can also be found in document E/CN.17/2000/16 .

For queries regarding any issue relating to national reporting kindly contact the National Information Analysis Unit: Hiroko Morita-Lou, Tel. (212) 963-8813, E-mail: moritalou@un.org OR Maria Mercedes Sanchez, Tel. (212) 963-9421, E-mail: sanchezmm@un.org


FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

AUGUST 2000

Trade and Investment Promotion Strategies for African Countries
Seoul, 31 July-13 August

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) are co-organizing the training programme entitled "Trade and Investment Promotion Strategies for African Countries". It is a follow-up to the Forum on Asia-Africa Cooperation in Export Promotion that was held in Seoul in December 1998 and attended by 70 participants from 22 African and 10 Asian countries, as well as representatives of 7 regional and sub-regional organizations in Africa and Asia, and representatives of the United Nations system of organizations.

The programme has been designed to introduce the African participants to the Korean experience of export-oriented economic growth, processes of Korea's export policy formulation, incentives for export promotion, export finance, development of overseas markets, export marketing strategies and export-import procedure. In doing so, the participants will learn about measures for creating an environment to promote trade and investment, development of export finance, improvement of export-import policies, and system and information gathering skills for tapping international markets. Through this training programme, the participants will be able to contribute to promotion of trade and investment in African countries and also to economic cooperation between African and Asian countries.

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

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development
2nd session
New York, 14-25 August

Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 11th session
New York, 31 August

This meeting will elect 11 members to serve four-year terms of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, beginning 1 January 2001. The experts serve in their personal capacity on the Committee which is the monitoring body of the Convention.

The new Members of the Committee will be elected by secret ballot from the following list of persons nominated by States parties.

1. Feride Acar - (Turkey)
2. Sjamsiah Achmad - (Indonesia)
3. Maria Martha Fernandez de Escoto - (Honduras)
4. Francoise Gaspard - (France)
5. Maria Yolanda Ferrer Gomez - (Cuba)
6. Aida Gonzalez - (Mexico)
7. Rena Ibrahimbekova - (Azerbaijan).
8. Sultana Kamal - (Bangladesh)
9. Alix Boyd Knights - (Commonwealth of Dominica)
10. Fatima Kwaku - (Federal Republic of Nigeria)
11. Raquel Macedo De Sheppard - (Uruguay)
12. Goran Melander - (Sweden)
13. Asha Rose Mtengeti Migiro - (United Republic of Tanzania)
14. Sanji Mmasenono Monageng - (Republic of Botswana)
15. Rookmeenee Narainamah Narayen - (Mauritius)
16. Ahoua Ouedraogo - (Burkina Faso)
17. Oleksandra M. Rudnyeva - (Ukraine)
18. Gaudence Rwamaheke (Burundi)
19. Hanna Beate Schopp-Schilling - (Germany)
20. Heisoo Shin (Republic of Korea)
21. Kirana Sumawong - (Thailand)
22. Regina Tavares da Silva - (Portugal)

The documents listed below for the eleventh meeting of States Parties are expected to be printed by 25 August 2000, and will be available on the ODS and on the DAW website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw

CEDAW/SP/2000/1 -- Agenda

CEDAW/SP/2000/2 -- Declarations, Reservations, Objections and Notifications of Withdrawals of Reservations relating to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

CEDAW/SP/2000/3 -- Election, in accordance with Article 17, paragraphs 4 and 5, of the Convention, of eleven members of the Committee to replace those whose terms are due to expire on 31 December 2000: Report of the Secretary-General.

Contact: Jane Connors, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Philomena Kintu, E-mail: kintup@un.org

SEPTEMBER 2000

General Assembly
55th session
New York, 5 September-23 December

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

General Assembly
The Millenium Assembly of the United Nations - The Millenium Summit: The Role of the United Nations in the Twenty-first Century
New York, 6-8 September

See coverage at: http://www.un.org/millennium

Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) - Subcommittee on Statistical Activities
34th session
Washington, 20-22 September

The ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities will hold its thirty-fourth session at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington D.C. The main items to be discussed are:

    (i) Issues related to the work of the inter-agency task forces on national accounts, international merchandise trade statistics, statistics of international trade in services, and finance statistics.
    (ii) Electronic commerce and its implications for statistics.
    (iii) Policy on dissemination of statistics in electronic form.
    (iv) Good practices in citation in international statistical publications.
    (v) Classification of statistics and statistical activities.
    (vi) Environment statistics.
    (vii) Global integrated presentation of the work plans of the international organizations in statistical methodology.
    (viii) Coordination of development indicators in the context of the follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits.
    (ix) Quality assurance, arrangements with common questionnaires and conflicting statistics.
    (x) UNDP Human Development Report (HDR).

ACC - Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development
16th session
Geneva, 21-22 September

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
2000 session (Resumed)
New York, 25 September

Expert-group Meeting on Microfinance and Poverty Eradication in Africa
Addis Ababa, 25-29 September

The Expert-group Meeting is part of a three-phased project entitled "Women, Microcredit and Poverty Eradication", which has been designed and is being monitored by OSCAL in close collaboration with the Gender in Development Programme of UNDP. The first phase was a study that compiled local microfinance practices. The second phase consisted in three one-week observation missions to Ethiopia in July 1999, Cameroon in February 2000 and Nigeria in April 2000. The third phase, the Expert-group Meeting, will bring together practitioners of microfinance from up to 17 African countries, Japan, Bangladesh and sister organizations of the United Nations system. The meeting will develop a methodology/model of African microfinance that builds upon existing African traditional practices. By showing how microfinance institutions, if enhanced and made efficient, can help solve macro-problems associated with poverty eradication in Africa, this project leads to a better understanding of the potential contribution of microfinance to poverty eradication.

Contact: Ruth Engo, Tel. (212) 963-4780, E-mail: engo@un.org OR Herta Kaschitz, Tel. (212) 963-2692, E-mail: kaschitz@un.org , Fax (212) 963-3892.

Anti-Corruption Summit 2000
XV International Financial Management Conference
Arlington, Virginia, 21-23 September

DPEPA will present a paper on "Why Anti-Corruption Crusades Often Fail to Win Lasting Victories".

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761; E-mail: bertucci@un.org

International Institute for Public Ethics Year 2000 Conference
Ethics in the New Millennium - Bridging the Public and Private Sectors
Ottawa, Canada, 24-28 September

DPEPA will participate in 'The View from Multilateral Institutions' panel, and will also hold a joint workshop with OECD/PUMA on presenting the "Public Service Ethics in Africa" study results.

Contact: Elia Armstrong, Tel. (212) 963-2926, E-mail: armstronge@un.org OR Stefan Lock, Tel. (212) 963-4533, E-mail: lock@un.org

International Research Conference on Social Security
Helsinki, 25-27 September

Larry Willmore (DPEPA) and co-author Susan St. John will present a paper titled "Two Legs are Better than One: New Zealand as a Model for Old Age Pensions". The full text of the document will be posted shortly on the web page of the conference organizer, the International Social Security Association, at http://www.issa.int

Contact: Larry Willmore, Tel. (212) 963-4758, E-mail: willmore@un.org

High-level Panel on Information Technology and Public Administration
New York, 26 September

Three themes will be addressed: (1) IT in public administration: today and tomorrow; (2) Policy and strategies for effective use of IT in public administration; and (3) ways and means of bridging the gap between developed and developing countries. DPEPA and the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination will co-organize and serve this Panel.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761; E-mail: bertucci@un.org

OCTOBER 2000

Ad Hoc Group of Experts Meeting on Strategies for Improving Resource Mobilization
Montreal, 2-6 October

The meeting will focus on the problem of maximizing the mobilization of financial resources from both domestic and foreign sources while ensuring that those resources are utilized in the most efficient and productive ways. It will encourage the cooperation between the revenue administrations of the developed countries on the one hand, and of the developing countries and economies in transition on the other, as regards the strategies of resource mobilization and fiscal management.

Contact: Abdelhamid Bouab, Tel. (212) 963-8406, E-mail: bouab@un.org

Project LINK Fall 2000 meeting
Oslo, 2-6 October

Project LINK is co-ordinated by DESA and the University of Toronto. The meeting will be hosted by Statistics Norway and will be attended by representatives of several international and regional institutions as well as participants from over 60 countries. The meeting will cover three broad topics: (1) update of the world economic outlook made in the Spring LINK meeting held in New York, including the LINK global outlook as prepared by the Economic Assessment and Outlook Branch (EAOB) of the Division of Policy Analysis and Development (DPAD); (2) current economic policy issues, such as the global implications of the 'new economy', structural reforms in Africa and issues of international taxation; and, (3) econometric modelling techniques and their application to policy analysis, including the presentation of new country models and cross-country comparative studies. A preliminary agenda of the meeting is available at the divisional web site at: http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/link

Contact: Pingfan Hong, Tel. (212) 963-4701 .

Expert group meeting on "Policy Responses to Population Ageing and Population Decline"
New York,16-18 October

The meeting is a follow-up to the report Replacement Migration: Is it a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations? , issued by the Population Division in March 2000. It is funded in part by a grant from the United States National Institute on Aging.

The meeting will focus on the eight countries considered in that report, namely France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States, and on the two regions Europe and the European Union. The meeting aims to investigate the consequences of expected population decline and population ageing as well as the policy responses to cope with such demographic changes. More specifically, the meeting aims to: 1) review the demographic prospects of each country and region during the next half century; 2) identify the consequences of population decline and population ageing, and 3) examine various policy options that Governments might adopt to cope with such unprecedented demographic challenges. Policy responses are of two types: those addressing the determinants of expected population ageing and decline (such as by affecting migration, raising fertility, etc.), and those concerning the consequences of the demographic change (such as by increasing the age of retirement, altering pension systems, etc). In addition, the meeting is expected to stimulate scientific discussion on these issues and improve the knowledge base and to identify priorities for future research in order to enhance informed policy and programme planning.

Contact: Joseph Grinblat, Tel. (212) 963-3216

ACC - Subcommittee on Water Resources, 21st session
Bangkok, 16-20 October

Preparatory Committee for the High-level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development
Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean
Colombia, 31 October

The regional meeting for Asia was held in Jakarta 4-6 August. The meetings for Europe and Africa will be held later this year.

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


TECHNICAL COOPERATION

CEDAW Capacity Building Session
Yaoundé, 18-29 September

The Division for the Advancement of Women is organizing a two-week step-by-step capacity building session in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 18-29 September 2000. The training session aims to:

    (i) Support policy and decision-makers of Cameroon to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the concluding comments of the 23rd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
    (ii) Enhance Government officials' knowledge and understanding of women's rights in accordance with the Convention;
    (iii) Strengthen the capacity of Government officials who are responsible for the preparation of initial and periodic reports and for monitoring progress in the implementation of the Convention and CEDAW's concluding comments;
    (iv) Increase awareness and capacity of representatives of NGOs/civil society about the Convention and the rights contained therein.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Tsu Wei Chang, E-mail: changt@un.org

Workshop on Women and Armed Conflict
November/December

The Gender Advisory Services Unit of the Division for the Advancement of Women plans to organize a workshop on Women and Armed Conflicts. The meeting will be held in collaboration with the African Women Committee on Peace and Development (AWECPD), the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the UN Department for Peace-keeping Operations (DPKO). The workshop will aim to prioritize areas related to capacity-building for gender and peacekeeping, peace negotiations and peace building; exchange of information and experience on gender and peace; and strengthening the catalytic role of AWECPD.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Tsu Wei Chang, E-mail: changt@un.org

Public Service Ethics in Africa Project (RAF/99/004)
Kampala, 4-6 September

The project will host the final Steering Group and Consultants' Meeting to finalize the results of the comparative study of public service ethics in Africa, immediately following the IV African Governance Forum.

Contact: Elia Armstrong, Tel. (212) 963-2926, E-mail: armstronge@un.org OR Stefan Lock, Tel. (212) 963-4533, E-mail: lock@un.org

'Support to the Rwanda Public Service' presentation (RWA/99/017)
New York, 12 July

Mr. John-Mary Kauzya, DPEPA interregional adviser, gave a presentation on his mission to Rwanda from 28 May to 25 June 2000, where he provided an analysis of the emerging national decentralization policy and implementation strategy. The presentation showed how decentralization can be used as an instrument to leverage development with reconciliation, empowerment and social integration in a situation burdened with unique post-conflict and genocidal dimensions.

Contact: John-Mary Kauzya, Tel. (212) 963-1973, E-mail: kauzya@un.org


FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS

Policy Analysis

Project LINK

A report covering the major discussions held at the Spring 2000 meeting of Project LINK, which was held at the United Nations Headquarters from 17-20 April has been completed. It will be soon posted in the DPAD's website: http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/link .

Contact: Douglas Walker, Tel. (212) 963-4411 .

World Economic and Social Survey 2000

Chapter 1 (The world economy in 2000) of the publication World Economic and Social Survey 2000 was recently issued (ECOSOC document E/2000/50. It is also available on DPAD's website at: http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/link . The Survey will be released as a United Nations sales publication by late August-early September.

Contact: Ian Kinniburgh, Tel. (212) 963-4838 .

Women

Gender Mainstreaming Assessment for Sub-Saharan African programmes

The Division for the Advancement of Women, in close collaboration with UNDP Africa carried out an assessment of Gender Mainstreaming in UNDP-funded governance and poverty alleviation programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. The study covered 18 countries, 74 programmes and 115 projects. The final report and information kits will be published in October 2000.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Tsu Wei Chang, E-mail: changt@un.org

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Statistics

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/329 - Vol. LIV - No. 5
May 2000

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

The World's Women 2000 - Trends and Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.K/16
Sales No. E.00.XVII.14

The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics is the third issue in the series of reports (the other two issued in 1991 and 1995) that looks at the status of women through the lens of statistical data and analysis. It highlights the main findings of statistical analysis on women's situation as compared to men's worldwide in a broad range of fields --- including families, health, education, work, human rights and politics. For more information, see www.un.org/Depts/unsd/ww2000/index.htm .

Contact: Erlinda Go, Tel. (212) 963-4507, E-mail: go@un.org

Population and Vital Statistics Report
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/213
Series A Vol.LII, No.2
Data available as of 1 April 2000

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 1998 and 1999 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 1998 estimates for 229 countries or areas of the world, which are listed separately in the Report. Also shown for each country or area are the results of the latest nation-wide census of population (total, male and female) and, wherever possible, nationally representative statistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths (deaths under one year of age) for the most recent year available. If a nation-wide population census has never been taken, but a sample survey has, the survey results are shown in the "Latest population census" column until census data become available.

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report supersedes all previous issues, and the data contained in it are themselves subject to future revision. For more detailed data and data relating to years not shown here, readers should consult the Demographic Yearbook.

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

Demographic Yearbook, 49th Edition 1997 CD-ROM
Historical Supplement 1948-1997
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/CD/28
Sales No. E/F.99.XIII.12

This presentation of historical demographic statistics represents a supplement to the 49th issue of the United Nations Demographic Yearbook (DYB). The Demographic Yearbook is a comprehensive collection of international demographic statistics, prepared by the Statistics Division. The Demographic Yearbook Historical Supplement 1948-1997 is the first electronic version of the Demographic Yearbook (DYB-CD). Through the cooperation of national statistical services, official demographic statistics are presented for about 229 countries or areas throughout the world. Estimates prepared by the United Nations Population Division have been used in certain instances to supplement official statistics. The use of United Nations estimates has made it possible to present tables giving summary data for all countries or areas of the world using 1997 as the latest available year for the 50-year series presented.

Contact: Alice Clague, Tel. (212) 963-4972, E-mail: clague@un.org

Public Administration

Building Partnerships for Good Governance: The Spirit and Reality of South-South Cooperation
New York, 1999.
ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/82

This publication summarizes the proceedings of the World Conference on Governance, held in Manila, the Philippines, 31 May - 4 June 1999. The Conference pointed out the growing interest in the major elements of sound and effective governance, such as sound economic and financial systems; broad partnerships between government, business, non-governmental organizations and civil society; and strategic capacity-building of institutions and human resources. The themes covered the role of world conferences and universities in developing and promoting global partnerships; national governance mechanisms and mobilizing civil society to foster partnerships and building eco-partnerships in local governance.

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

* * * * *

Other recent publications in the same series - see below - are available in hardcopy from the DPEPA Reference Unit or on the Divisional website at: http://www.un.org/esa/governance/library.html .

    - Capacity-Building in Selected Least Developed Countries
    - Decentralization: Conditions for Success
    - Economic Governance: Guidelines for Effective Financial Management
    - Etudes comparatives des statuts généraux de la fonction publique
    - Financial Management in Transitional Economies
    - Monographies sur les réformes de l'administration publique de quelques pays africains
    - Professionalism and Ethics in the Public Service
    - Promoting Ethics in the Public Service
    - Redesigning Methods and Procedures for the Delivery of Local Services in Small Island Countries
    - Transparency and Accountability in Government Financial Management

Contact: Ms. Dawne Gautier, (212) 963-2306, Room DC1-1264

* * * * *

Larry Willmore's paper Export Processing Zones in Cuba has been circulated as DESA Discussion Paper No. 12; his address to the First Meeting of the OECD Forum on Private Pensions is circulating as Three Pillars of Pensions? A Proposal to End Mandatory Contributions , DESA Discussion Paper No. 13; both are posted on the web at www.un.org/esa/papers.htm .


MEETINGS HELD

Women

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW )
23rd Session
New York, 12-30 June

The twenty-third session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) -- the only United Nations human rights treaty body that deals exclusively with women's rights -- took place at UN Headquarters in New York from 12 to 30 June 2000. The three-week session reviewed the reports of seven States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including the initial reports of Cameroon, Lithuania and the Republic of Moldova, and the periodic reports of Austria, Cuba, Iraq and Romania.

At its session, the Committee adopted the revised Rules of procedure contained in document (CEDAW/C/2000/II/WG.1/WP/1) and began discussing proposed procedures relating to the optional Protocol to the Convention, including the respective responsibilities of the Committee and the secretariat.

The twenty-fourth session of the Committee will take place at UN Headquarters from 15 January to 2 February 2000. The periodic reports of Egypt, Finland, Jamaica and Mongolia will be examined. Burundi, Kazakhstan, the Maldives and Uzbekistan have been invited to present their initial reports, but have not yet confirmed.

The advanced unedited concluding comments of the Committee are available at the DAW website: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/23sess.htm

Contact: Jane Connors, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Philomena Kintu, E-mail: kintup@un.org

Africa

Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-III)
First session
New York, 24-28 July

The Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) prepared a note on the "Contribution of the Major United Nations Conferences to the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s and their Implications for the Third United Conference on the Least Developed Countries" (A/CONF.191/IPC/13).

The session discussed substantive preparations and the outline of the new Programme of Action including international support measures for LDCs, social development, domestic policy framework, the development and strengthening of productive capacity, and the mechanisms for implementation and follow-up of the outcome of LDC-III.

A series of intersessional meetings will be held leading up to the second session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee, which will take place in the first week of April, 2001. OSCAL will be contributing to the preparatory activities of the conference by organizing two meetings on (i) energy development and (ii) best practices from Asia for LDCs in the area of science and technology development, in cooperation with the Division for Sustainable Development and ESCAP respectively.

Contact: Yvette Stevens, Tel. (212) 963-5084, E-mail: stevens@un.org OR Leslie Wade, Tel. (212) 963-4420, E-mail: wade@un.org .

Third Session of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc Working Group of the General Assembly on the Causes of Conflict and Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa
New York, 17-21 July

During this session, delegates were briefed by the Representative of the Secretary General in Liberia, Mr. Felix Downes-Thomas and the Special Representative of the Secretary General on the Impact of Armed Conflicts on Children, Mr. Olara Otunnu. The main item on the agenda was the finalization of the report of the ad hoc Working Group to the Fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, as mandated by resolution 54/234 . OSCAL provided substantive servicing to the meeting.

The final report as well as statements of delegates and representatives of United Nations organizations and representatives of the Secretary-General can be found on Web site of the Working Group at www.un.org/esa/africa/adhocWg/index.html (no longer valid) .

Contact: Yvette Stevens, Tel. (212) 963-5084, E-mail: stevens@un.org ; Emmanuel Goued Njayick, Tel. (212) 963-5006, E-mail: gouednjayick@un.org ; Raj Bardouille, Tel. (212) 963-2645, E-mail: bardouille@un.org OR Leslie Wade, Tel. (212) 963-4420, E-mail: wade@un.org .

Cleaner Fossil Fuel Systems: A Business and Investment Agenda for Africa
Dakar, 26-28 June

The conference, organized by the World Energy Council, examined strategic directions and policies relating to fossil fuel exploitation and utilization in Africa. It acknowledged that fossil fuels remained the most available, appropriate and affordable forms of energy for a large number of African countries. Ms. Yvette Stevens, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries, delivered the keynote address, in which she reviewed the availability of fossil fuel supplies in Africa in the context of the socio-economic situation and the potential need for energy in the continent.

Contact: Yvette Stevens, Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: stevens@un.org

Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC)
40th session, (First part)
New York, 5-30 June

The Committee for Programme and Coordination discussed the progress report of the Secretary General on the implementation of the United Nations Special Initiative on Africa (UNSIA) for the implementation of UN-NADAF on 22 June. The report was prepared by OSCAL based on the inputs received from the United Nations system of organizations, which highlighted progress in governance, information technology, education, health, gender and population. An independent evaluation of the Special Initiative on Africa since its inception five years ago will be submitted to CPC in 2001.

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

Public Administration

Seminar on Administrative Reform in Asia
Beijing, 14-15 July

The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA), who organized the meeting with the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) and the Government of China, presented a paper by Yolande Jemiai on 'Public Sector Reform Revisited in the Context of Globalization'.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: bertucci@un.org OR Yolande Jemiai, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: jemiai@un.org

Annual Conference of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration
Beijing, 10-13 July

The theme of the conference was 'Improving Accountability, Efficiency and Responsiveness in Government: DPEPA made presentations on 'Assuring Quality in Public Administration Training Programmes' and UNPAN, and participated in working groups on education and training programmes and public service reform.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: bertucci@un.org OR Yolande Jemiai, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: jemiai@un.org

'Governance of the Global Information Economy' Panel
New York, 28 June

Organized by the PPAD Branch of DPEPA, the panel was an official event of ECOSOC 2000 programme on Information Technology for Development (see lead article above). The meeting discussed different alternatives for Internet governance, including traditional law, internet architecture, and new institutions.

Contact: Larry Willmore, Tel. (212) 963-4758, E-mail: willmore@un.org

Third Ibero-American Conference of Ministers of Public Administration and State Reform
Panama, 26-27 June

DPEPA participated in the Third Ibero-American Conference of Ministers of Public Administration and State Reform. The Conference dealt with strategies for the modernization of institutions geared to an efficient management of the advancement of the well-being of children and youth. Of special interest to DPEPA was the decision to strengthen the decentralization processes to facilitate increased participation of citizens in the design and implementation of the public policies.

Contact: Helena Alves, Tel. (212) 963-8836, E-mail: alvesh@un.org

Annual Conference of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS)
Bologna, Italy, 19-23 June

The conference focused on globalization. DPEPA reported on its flagship activities and presented the main findings of the Fifteenth Meeting of Experts on the UN Programme in Public Administration and Finance held in May 2000 (see below).

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: bertucci@un.org

High-level Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region
Shanghai, 5-7 June

The first High-Level Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region was successfully conducted 5-7 June 2000 in Shanghai, China. The Forum, co-organized by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and DESA, attracted 700+ mayors, ministers and secretaries, city and state officials, and technical experts from 42 cities of 27 countries from this region. The Forum consisted of: a Mayor's Round Table, a Technical Conference, and an Information Technology Exhibition which was visited by over 150,000 people. The Forum adopted the Shanghai Declaration to stimulate cooperation in city informatization and established a Regional Cooperation Committee. The second Forum will be held in May 2001 in Shanghai.

For additional information, see: http://www.apcity.org

Contact: Hongren Zhou, Tel. (212) 963-6639, E-mail: zhou@un.org

Governance for the 21st Century - Public Sector Reforms
Port of Spain, 19-22 May

DESA and the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration, supported by the Italian Government, organized High-Level Ministerial Consultations on the above subject. The meeting discussed new approaches to the management of the public sector, the reconsideration of public sector functions and issues of privatization and regulation. The meeting adopted policy recommendations and requested DESA and CARICAD to focus on the follow-up on training programmes and specific capacity-building measures to modernize governance systems.

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

Fifteenth Meeting of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance
New York, 8-12 May

The meeting was devoted to the theme of 'Globalization and the State'. It deliberated on the effects of globalization on the role and functioning of the State, and on the various possible institutional and managerial responses of the State which might maximize the benefits and minimize the negative consequences of globalization. In considering the marginalization that accompanies globalization, the meeting also addressed the processes that affect national and global economic governance systems.

As mandated, the meeting also reviewed, commented and made recommendations for the draft Medium-Term Plan for 2002-2005 on subprogramme 7.8, Public Administration, Finance and Development. The meeting also reviewed the current programme budget for 2000-2001 and made recommendations for the next biennium's programme budget.

Lastly, the meeting commented on and made recommendations for some major undertakings of the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, namely, the United Nations On-line Network of Regional Institutions for Capacity Building in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN), the report on 'The State of the Public Sector', the Africa Charter on public administration, and called for improvements in relationships with other UN funds and programmes, particularly with UNDP, in the area of public administration and development.

The meeting was attended by 32 experts and 38 observers.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761; E-mail: bertucci@un.org