Volume 4, Issue 6 , December 2000 - -January 2001



In this issue:

Debate on conference follow-up

ACC decides on new structure

Financing for Development event is scheduled
Forum on Forests established
Forthcoming Meetings
Technical Cooperation

Publications
            Just Issued:
            Statistics
            Social Development
            Forthcoming:
            Africa
            Public Administration

Meetings Held


Debate on conference follow-up

The Economic and Social Council is the central forum in the United Nations that provides overall guidance and coordination to the UN development system, and promotes integrated follow-up to United Nations conferences in the economic, social and related fields. In recent years, the Council has endeavoured to develop stronger substantive links and policy coherence between the Council and its functional Commissions, as well as among the Commissions themselves. A guiding principle in this effort is to arrive at a more integrated and coherent follow-up to the major UN conferences and summits of the 1990s, a goal that the Council has pursued since 1995. The Commissions' contribution in this regard is essential as they have primary responsibility for preparing these events, and for guiding the follow-up and implementation processes (the "+5" and "+10" events). A chart of upcoming events is attached.

Last July, the Council discussed integrated and coordinated follow-up to major UN conferences and summits at its coordination segment, and adopted agreed conclusions 2000/2 (A/55/3, Chapter V). The Council identified the problems and shortcomings of the reviews, but did not achieve consensus on better alternative arrangements. Consequently, the Council is now seeking the views of its functional commissions based on their experience with conference processes.

The commissions are expected to take up this matter at their upcoming sessions in the spring, to review the options submitted on this matter to the Council (see report of the Secretary-General E/2000/57 ), and to present their views and proposals to the Council, in particular concerning the periodicity of future reviews. DESA's input to the Commissions' work will help shape the outcome of these discussions.

World Summit on Sustainable Development is the first of the "+10" events in 2002. Taking place in South Africa, it will be convened at the summit level - the "World Summit on Sustainable Development", prepared by the Commission for Sustainable Development. It will be interesting to see whether conference fatigue has reached a point where other Commissions will want to keep conference review and follow-up at a technical level, or whether the momentum in favour of high-visibility political events will prevail. Equally interesting will be to see how the decision reached on World Summit on Sustainable Development will influence the debates, and how the history of each conference will shape its future, especially since they have raised awareness and put issues on the global agenda in a way the regular intergovernmental processes might never have managed.

Table of major events 2001 – 2006, and mandates

  2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Major events International Year of Volunteers

UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations

Habitat II + 5

6-8 June, GASS

LDC III,

14 – 20 May, Brussels

HIV/AIDS

25 – 27 June, GASS, New York

UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects, 9-20 July

4th World Youth Forum, 5 – 12 August, Senegal

World Conference against racism,

31 Aug – 7 Sept,

South Africa

Second high-level dialogue on development through partnership,

17 – 18 Sept, GA

World Summit for Children +10

19 – 21 September, GASS

FAO Special Meeting to review progress achieved towards the goals of the 1996 World Food Summit (November)

 

International Year of Mountains

Rio + 10, at Summit level

(June)

Financing for Development event (first quarter of 2002)

Second World Assembly on Ageing, 8-12 April, Madrid, Spain

GA review of UN NADAF (September?)

Third high-level dialogue on development through partnership,

GA, September (or 2003 ??)

International Year of Freshwater (pending adoption of res at GA 55)

World Summit on the Information Society (ITU, possibly in Tunisia)

10 years after the World Conference of Human Rights (no mandate for specific event)

Five years after the GASS on Countering the World Drug Problem (request for regular reporting to CND)

Third high-level dialogue on development through partnership,

GA, September (or 2002 ??)

10 years of Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS. GASS in 1999, to review Barbados programme of action (mandate for 2004 review in para 47)

UNCTAD XI

Ten years after ICPD (no mandate for specific event)

International Year of Microcredit (GA res. 53/197)

10 years of Beijing. GASS in 2000, with mandate for 2005 in PD para. 9.

10 years of Copenhagen. GASS in 2000 with no specific further mandate - "at an appropriate time"

Eleventh UN Congress on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders (no definitive mandate, Mexico has invited)

 

End of the United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)

World Food Summit mid-term review by FAO Committee on World Food Security – in the context of a special forum of the regular session of the CFS (para. 60 (h))

Contact: Christina Brautigam, Tel. (212) 963-0535, E-mail: brautigamc@un.org


ACC decides on new structure

At its Fall meeting, the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) devoted one full day to framing the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. ACC also discussed health and other social implications of globalization, Financing for Development, the Third United Nations Conference on LDCs. On globalization, there had been general support for increased coherence in the UN's views. Mr. Somavia of ILO will be writing a paper on integration into the global economy.

ACC was briefed by:

the Secretary-General of ITU, on preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003;

the Director-General of FAO, on the UN response to long-term food security, agricultural development and related aspects in the Horn of Africa;

the Director-General of UNESCO, on the outcome and follow up to the World Education Forum;

the Executive Director of UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNDCCP) on the UN High-Level Political Signing Conference of the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime;

the Executive Director of UNICEF, on preparatory work for the 2001 General Assembly Special Sessions on the follow up to the World Summit for Children and on HIV/AIDS;

the High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the World Conference on Racism in 2001;

and the Secretary-General of IMO, on World Maritime Day and the role of IMO.

At the executive level, it decided to replace its subsidiary structure with two high-level committees, on programmes and on management, composed respectively by deputies to the Head of the Organization and by chief administrative officers. The two bodies will recommend their respective subsidiaries, generally no longer on a standing but rather on an ad hoc basis. A single, consolidated secretariat co-located in New York and Geneva, embodied in the Office for Inter-Agency Affairs, will service the ACC.

Given DESA's heavy involvement with the ACC machinery, a meeting of Directors chaired by Mr. Civili was held to work out the Department's position in relation to the streamlining. DESA Divisions provide substantive support to ACC sub-bodies on sustainable development, oceans, advancement of women, population, and statistics.

At the invitation of UNEP, the Committee will hold its next session in Nairobi on 2-3 April 2001.

Contact: Karina Gerlach, Tel. (212) 963-5858

The ACC website can be accessed at: http://acc.unsystem.org/


Financing for Development event is scheduled

The General Assembly has decided to change the date of the high-level international intergovernmental event on Financing for Development to the first quarter of 2002 on the proposal of the preparatory committee of the event. On the table at this first-ever joint meeting of the UN and the world's leading trade, finance and development organizations will be proposals for beefing up trade and investment flows to developing countries, rehabbing international financial architecture and mobilizing national and international resources. This process builds on the just concluded hearings with the private sector, and the earlier consultations with civil society, when NGOs brought up issues of globalization. As no venue has yet been established, the GA invited interested countries to host the event and thanked donors to the FfD Fund.

The Preparatory Committee will hold a meeting from 14-25 January 2002 in New York. Other substantive sessions are scheduled for 12-23 February 2001 and 30 April to 11 May 2001.

In February, the PrepComm will consider the report of the Secretary-General for the event, which will contain numerous proposals in line with the FfD agenda; the reports from the civil society and the private sector hearings, and reports from regional consultations. Some 50 NGOs have so far been accredited to the FfD process.

The final statements from the Asian, African, European and Latin American and Caribbean regional consultations are now available on line.

Contact: Harris Gleckman, Tel. (212) 963-4690, E-mail: gleckman@un.org OR Federica Pietracci, Tel. (212) 963-8497, E-mail: pietracci@un.org .

The Webpage of FfD can be accessed at: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd


Forum on Forests Established

The year 2000 has proved to be a year of great significance to forests. It was remarkably intensive in forest deliberations under the aegis of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

First, the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) concluded its work in February 2000. At the conclusion of its mandate the IFF recognised the need to move from dialogue to action and consolidate decisions made during the five-year process of IPF/IFF. It recommended the establishment of an international arrangement on forests that would, in particular, seek to promote the implementation of the forest-related international agreements, including IPF/IFF proposals for action. These proposals for action represent a wide-ranging set of intergovernmentally negotiated recommendations that give guidance on how to further develop, implement and coordinate national and international policies towards management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Second, the eighth session of the CSD, in May 2000, endorsed the IFF4 decision on the international arrangement on forests and forwarded it to ECOSOC for further consideration and action.

Finally, following intense informal consultations among Governments from June to September 2000, ECOSOC adopted, on 18 October 2000, the Resolution entitled "Report of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests".

By adopting the Resolution, the Council established a new permanent body, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), with universal membership. The UNFF succeeds the five-year process of the ad hoc IPF/IFF from 1995 to 2000. This is the first Council subsidiary body created since the establishment of CSD in 1992, after Rio.

The Forum is a high level intergovernmental body to promote the implementation of agreed actions towards sustainable forest management, to enhance of coordination of forest related issues, and to strengthen political commitment to sustainable management of all types of forests. It will develop a multi-year programme of work, a plan for the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action, and seek financial and technology transfer support sustainable forest management. The goal of a treaty on all types of forests recedes for consideration in five years.

UNFF would have high-level ministerial segments, including policy dialogue with the heads of organizations participating in the collaborative partnership on forests, as well as other forest-related international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments. It would also organize multi-stakeholder dialogues to receive and consider inputs from forest related NGOs, private sector, indigenous people and other relevant major groups.

As a part of the international arrangement on forests, ECOSOC also invited the heads of relevant international organisations to form a collaborative partnership on forests, modelled after the informal, high-level Inter-agency Task Force on Forests (ITFF), to support the work of the UNFF and to enhance cooperation and coordination among participants.

The organisational meeting of the UNFF on 12 February 2001 will elect its Bureau and decide on the geographical location of the UNFF secretariat. The organisational meeting will be followed by four days of informal consultations regarding the multi-year programme of work of the UNFF.

An international expert consultation on shaping the programme of work for the UN Forum on Forests was held on 27 November - 1 December 2000 in Bonn, Germany. This "8-Country Initiative" was launched by the Governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Iran, Malaysia and Nigeria in order to assist the international community in developing the multi-year programme of work for the UNFF.

The first substantive session of the UNFF is scheduled for mid June 2001 to adopt its multi-year programme of work and a plan for the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action.

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

Contact: Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist, Tel. (212) 963-3263, E-mail: barsk-rundquist@un.org


FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Economic and Social Council
Organizational session, 2001
New York, 9 January 2001

The Council will elect its Bureau for 2001.

Meeting of National Experts on Postal Savings for Development in Asia
Tokyo, 13-14 January 2001

Contact: Mark Scher, Tel. (212) 963-8018, E-mail: scher@un.org

Preparatory Committee for the High-level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development
New York, 14-15 January 2001

See lead article.

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
24th Session
New York, 15 January-2 February 2001

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 Burundi, Kazakhstan, Maldives and Uzbekistan, the third and fourth periodic reports of Finland, and the third and combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Egypt. It will also examine the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Mongolia and the combined second, third and fourth periodic reports of Jamaica. A new chairperson will be elected along with three vice-chairpersons and a rapporteur for a two- year period.

With Saudi Arabia's ratification of the Convention on 7 September 2000, the number of States parties to the Convention reached 166.

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

Economic and Social Council
Organizational session, 2001
New York, 30 January-2 February 2001

Third Biennial Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service
Windhoek, Namibia, 5-6 February 2001

The Conference will deal with: New Challenges, Roles and Perspectives of African Institutes of Public Administration. The Charter for Civil Service in Africa will be adopted at this event. DPEPA is jointly organizing the Conference with the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD).

Training material (manual and CD ROM) on Public Service Professional Ethics for Developing Countries developed by DPEPA in collaboration with CAFRAD and the Moroccan Ministry of Civil Service and Public Administration Reform will be presented at the Conference.

Contact: Yolande Jemiai, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: jemiai@un.org OR Mohamed Sall-Sao, Tel. (212) 963-4503, E-mail: sall-sao@un.org ; Najet Karaborni, Tel. (212) 963-6207; E-mail: karaborni@un.org , on the training materials.

Second International Preparatory Conference for the Third UN Conference on Least Developed Countries:
New York, 5-9 February 2001 (tentative)

The Conference will consider the draft outline of the New Programme of Action for LDCs. The Third UN Conference on LDCs will be held in Brussels from 14 to 20 May 2001.

Contact: Leslie Wade, Tel. 963-4420, Fax 963-3892, E-mail: wade@un.org .

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Pre-session Working Group for the 25th session
New York, 5-9 February

United Nations Forum on Forests
Organizational Meeting
New York, 12 February 2001
Informal Consultations
New York, 13-14 February

See lead article .

Preparatory Committee for the High-level International Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development
2nd Substantive Session
New York, 12-23 February 2001

See lead article .

Seventh International Seminar of the Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities
Cairo, 13-15 February 2001

DPEPA is supporting and will participate in the Seminar on "Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Applications in Planning and Sustainable Development", held under the auspices of the Egyptian Cabinet.

Contact: Guido Bertucci, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: bertucci@un.org OR Najet Karaborni, Tel. (212) 963-620, E-mail: karaborni@un.org

Commission for Social Development
39th session
New York, 13-23 February 2001

Full coverage will be provided in the next issue of DESA News.

DESA - Inter and Intra Regional Cooperation to Promote Effective Social Development Policy and Practice: A Forum for the Exchange of Asia-Africa Experiences
Nairobi, 20-23 February 2001

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

Ad Hoc Open-ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
2nd Session
New York, 26 February-2 March 2001

Contact: Manuel Dengo, Tel. (212) 963-4208, E-mail: dengo@un.org

ACC - Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality
6th session
New York, 28 February-2 March 2001

Contact: Carolyn Hannan, Tel. (212) 963-3104, E-mail: hannan@un.org


 

TECHNICAL COOPERATION
(http://esa.un.org/techcoop/ )

Women

Meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-Building"
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15-16 January 2001

The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the African Women's Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD), is organizing a consultation meeting on "Enhancing Women's Participation in Peace-Building" from 15 to 16 January 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting aims to review current initiatives on women and peace-building in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to identify gaps as well as capacity building needs. Based on the outcome of the meeting, a regional training workshop will be organized in 2001 to strengthen women's capacity and to enhance their contribution to peace building and sustainable peace and security.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Makiko Tagashira, E-mail: tagashira@un.org

Sub-Regional Workshop on CEDAW Report Preparation
Auckland, New Zealand, 13-15 February 2001

DAW is organizing a sub-regional training workshop entitled "Support to the Preparation of State Party Reports to be submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)". The workshop will be held in Auckland, New Zealand from 13 to 15 February 2001, and will be organised in close collaboration with the Government of New Zealand, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, UNDP Fiji, ESCAP and the UNIFEM regional office.

The workshop aims (a) to support policy and decision-makers in participating countries to implement and report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; (b) to strengthen the capacity of Government officials responsible for preparing initial and periodic reports as well as monitoring progress in implementation of the Convention; (c) to enhance Governments' knowledge and understanding of women's rights in accordance with the Convention; and (d) to 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

Social Development

Sub-regional training workshop in Guatemala for Central America and Caribbean countries on implementation of Copenhagen Programme of Action
Guatemala, 4-8 December

As part of its follow-up activities to the World Summit for Social Development, DSPD organized from 4 to 8 December, a workshop in collaboration with the Government of Guatemala to assist countries in the sub-region in developing their capacity to implement and follow-up the Copenhagen Programme of Action.

The workshop will, assist participants in the formulation of sub-regional and national policies aimed at the implementation of the commitments of the World Summit; provide training on the priorities arising from the commitments made at the Summit and Copenhagen+5.

Contact: Julio D'Arcy, Tel. (212) 963-5603 .

Public Administration

Inauguration of UN Thessaloniki Centre for Professionalism in Public Service
Thessaloniki, Greece, 1 December

DPEPA assisted the Government of Greece, in the establishment of a Centre for the enhancement of professionalism, performance and transparency in public administration in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. The official inauguration of the Centre and the first meeting of its Steering Committee took place on December 1st 2000.

Contact: Gary Manukyan, Tel. (212) 963-5410; E-mail: manukyan@un.org

Technical review of GIS component of ETH/97/013 "Capacity Development for Public Policy and Management" - Ethiopia

Follow-up activities are under discussion with UNDP to strengthen the decentralization process and the national and regional capabilities on regional planning and development.

Contact: Najet Karaborni, Tel. (212) 963-6207; E-mail: karaborni@un.org

Assistance for a national conference on public service
Sudan, 20-25 January 2001

A new SPPD will be approved shortly by UNDP to provide assistance to the Government of Sudan for the preparation and the implementation of a national Conference on Public Service that will take place from 20 to 25 January 2001. The SPPD will also take into account the follow-up work of the Conference and the formulation of a Programme Support Document on "Strengthening Public Service Capacities in Sudan". A three-week mission composed of a team leader from DESA and 5 international consultants will be undertaken from 15 to 31 January 2001.

Contact: Najet Karaborni, Tel. (212) 963-6207; E-mail: karaborni@un.org


PUBLICATIONS

Just Issued

Statistics

Handbook on geographic information systems and digital mapping
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/79
Sales No. E.00.XVII.12

This handbook is one of a series to assist countries in preparing for the 2000 round of censuses. It discusses definitions, essential features and uses of geographic information systems and digital mapping in population and housing censuses. It includes the use of latest developments and cites examples from countries in different regions. The United Nations has issued a series of international recommendations on population and housing censuses under the title 'Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses'. They have been widely used by national statistical offices and census officials in countries throughout the world in planning and organizing their censuses, as well as other related data collection activities, particularly demographic and socio-economic surveys. These publications are usually supplemented by handbooks such as this, which discuss particular topics or phases of a census operation in detail. The handbooks in general are more detailed guidance on the content of censuses.

Contact: Yacob Zewoldi, Tel: (212) 963-0445, E-mail: zewoldi@un.org

Statistical Yearbook, 44th issue, CD-ROM
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.S/CD/20
Sales No. E.00.XVII.2

The United Nations Statistical Yearbook 44th issue, CD-ROM (SYB-CD) provides access to time series data for over 200 countries and areas of the world on a broad range of social, economic and environment statistics. It contains more than 400 series based on data from over 20 international statistical sources and is organized into 19 topics. The CD provides a user-friendly software for browsing the database, selecting series of interest, viewing the selected series in a spreadsheet format and exporting the data. The CD can be installed on multiple clients from network installations.

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

Population and Vital Statistics Report
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/215
Series A Vol.LII, No. 4
Data available as of 1 October 2000

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 1999 and 2000 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 1999 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

Handbook on census management for population and housing censuses
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/83
Sales No. 00.XVII.15

The publication is a reference document on management aspects of conducting a population and housing census. It provides guidance on how (i) to develop a structure able to effectively manage the census planning and operational processes; (ii) to plan all the process that need to be considered in establishing a census; and (iii) to design control and monitoring processes. The structure of the handbook reflects as closely as possible the census cycle. The initial chapters discuss management aspects concerning the planning and preparatory stages, followed by discussions on the operational stages (i.e. field operations and processing), dissemination of census results, and finally evaluation. The publication can also be useful to those who need to plan surveys given the detailed description of the overall process of collecting, processing, and disseminating the data.

Contact: Angela Me, Tel: (212) 963-4823, E-mail: me@un.org

Handbook of National Accounting:
Links between Business Accounting and National Accounting
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/76
Sales No. 00.XVII.13

The handbook is part of a series of handbooks in support of the implementation of the 1993 System of National Accounts. Its objective is to show that it is possible to use business accounts to compile the sequence of accounts of the financial and non-financial corporations and it is a cost-effective way to obtain information on corporations without surveying. From the handbook, one learns how to read financial statements of corporations, the similarities and differences between concepts in business accounts and economics and the necessary adjustments to be made to business accounts to obtain national accounts for economic analysis. The handbook is useful to not only national accountants who are responsible for the compilation of national accounts, but also economists and business analysts who want to know the limitation of business accounts in order to use them properly for economic analysis.

Contact: Viet Vu, Tel: (212) 963-4862, E-mail: vu@un.org

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/333-Vol. LIV - No. 9
September 2000

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

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/334-Vol. LIV - No. 10
October 2000

Special features in this issue: World shipbuilding; Total exports and imports: index numbers of quantum, unit value and terms of trade by regions; Civil aviation traffic: passenger-km and cargo net ton-km.

Social Development

Families and the world of work: four case studies: Argentina, Egypt, India and the Netherlands
(ST/ESA/272)

Contact: Mr. Amr Ghaleb, Tel. (212) 963-3238

The website for the Family Unit of DSPD is at : http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/index.html

Forthcoming

Africa

Third Asia-Africa Forum: Joining Hands for Strengthening Partnerships

OSCAL has finalized the report entitled "Third Asia-Africa Forum: Joining Hands for Strengthening Partnerships", which is currently in the printing process. The report contains the Kuala Lumpur New Millennium Statement and the summary and conclusions of the Third Asia-Africa Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 23-26 May 2000.

The report specifically identifies capacity constraints in Asia and Africa, and highlights the relevant experiences from both the regions to overcome these constraints. A group of Asian and African institutions is also identified to initiate the formation of "Asia-Africa cooperation networks". Given the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) in accelerating the process of globalization, and the consequent widening of the gap between the developing and developed countries, specific possibilities of incorporating ICT into future Asia-Africa cooperation are examined. The report also presents a list of recommendations for enhancing cooperation in agriculture and private sectors between the two continents.

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

Public Administration

African Public Service: New Challenges, Professionalism and Ethics

In cooperation with the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development, DPEPA is publishing the report of the Second Biennial Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service held in Rabat, Morocco, 1998 (in English and in French).

Contact: Yolande Jemiai, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: jemiai@un.org


 

MEETINGS HELD

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Public Sector Indicators
New York, 13 December 2000

The meeting will discuss and assess current methodologies for measuring the size of the public sector in developed and developing countries, as well as economies in transition. An expanded version of the report "Public Sector Indicators" (ST/SG/AC.6/2000/L.2), prepared by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA), will serve as the main background document of the meeting. Staff of DESA Statistics Division, Development Policy Analysis Division and DPEPA (convenor), experts from the IMF, OECD, and the academic community are attending.

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

Meeting on the Proposed Rules of Procedures of the Optional Protocol to Women's Convention
Berlin, Germany, 27-30 November

Members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women met in Berlin at the invitation of the Government of Germany from 27 to 30 November 2000 to finalize the proposed draft rules of procedure for the Optional Protocol to the Convention, prepared by Silvia Cartwright of New Zealand, a member. Two members of the Human Rights Committee served as resource persons.

The draft adopted at the meeting will be considered for adoption by the Committee at its twenty-fourth session in January 2001. The Optional Protocol to the Convention enters into force on 22 December 2000. Twelve States parties to the Convention have ratified the Protocol and sixty-two have signed it. The Protocol provides for a right of individual petition and establishes an inquiry procedure.

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

The website of the of CEDAW is at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/index.html

Expert Group Meeting on gender and racial discrimination
Zagreb, Croatia, 21-24 November

The meeting, organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), considered three main topics: combined gender and racial discrimination of women and girls, such as ethnic/gender based violence and trafficking; obstacles women face as a result in the enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights both in public and private domain; and measures to eradicate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and their specific effects on women and girls.

The recommendations of the group refine and expand the "actions to be taken" at both international and national levels outlined in the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Beijing+5 special session of the General Assembly. They will be taken up to the Commission on the Status of Women at its 45th session, in March 2001, as it discusses gender and all forms of discrimination. They will be an input to the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance itself which will take place in Durban, South Africa from 31 August to 7 September 2001.

Contact: Jane Connors, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Nathalia Zakharova, E-mail: zakharova@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on the HIV/AIDS Pandemic and its Gender Implications
Windhoek, Namibia, 13-17 November 2000

The meeting, organized by the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) concluded that the HIV/AIDS pandemic must now be regarded as a disaster which requires short-term relief measures to alleviate immediate emergencies, and long-term interventions that would transform relations between women and men to eliminate gender inequality and reduce the risk of infection. It urged Governments and the international community to immediately distribute emergency food aid, including nutrient supplements and home-based care packs to people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in the most severely affected countries and regions of the world.

The role of men and changes in gender relations were considered key elements in fighting the pandemic. Experts appealed to Governments, international organizations and NGOs to multiply their effort to challenge gender inequalities in relation to HIV and AIDS, and to encourage men's fuller participation in prevention, impact alleviation and care.

The experts' recommendations will be forwarded to the upcoming 45th session of the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women in March 2001. The Commission will consider "Women, the girl-child and HIV/AIDS" as a priority theme.

Contact: Dorota Gierycz, E-mail: gierycz@un.org OR Maria Hartl, E-mail: hartl@un.org

Meeting on Information on Decision Making
Ottawa, 26-28 September

The meeting analyzed the issue of information for decision-making and participation, covered in Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, including the development and use of indicators as tools to support national decision-making processes, the use of new information technologies, and problems of data collection in developed and developing countries, and made recommendations for the CSD at its ninth session in 2001.

Some of the conclusions are:

Reliable access to information is essential for knowledge-based decision-making; and access to sustainable development sources of data and information at the right time and at the right cost is critical.

The management of data, information and knowledge is crucial to sustainable development.

Problems in definition, differences in reporting periods, and statistical and measurement methods are technical constrains facing many countries.

Intrinsic knowledge is part of the human heritage and has economic, social and environmental value.

Modern decision-making structures need to encompass and make use of the multiple views, approaches and value systems of the diverse communities affected by public and private decision-making.

Significant efficiencies can be gained through improved harmonization in data collection at the international, national and local levels.

Tools to transform collected and analyzed data and indicators into usable information for relevant stakeholders and decision-makers are needed.

New approached to financing information and mobilizing financial resources for the development of information systems for sustainable development should be addressed.

The meeting was sponsored by the Government of Canada and co-sponsored by DESA Division for Sustainable Development and UNEP.

Contact: Kirsten Rohrmann, Tel. (212) 963-2137, E-mail: rohrmannk@un.org

The website of the Division for Sustainable Development is at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/