Volume 5, Issue 1 , February-March 2001



In this issue:

Financing for Development

World Summit on Sustainable Development

UNESIS UNSTATS Database
World Economic Situation and Prospects 2001: a Publication
Themes of 2001 Economic and Social Council
Forthcoming Meetings
Technical Cooperation
Recent Publications:
Sustainable Development
Statistics
Social Development
Policy Analysis
Meetings Held
Comings and Goings

Financing for Development
http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/

The Secretary-General will open the 12-23 February session of the Preparatory Committee on Financing for Development (FfD) on Monday. His policy report on action-oriented proposals on all issues within the financing for development agenda was introduced to the press on 30 January. The 64-page report has 87 recommendations for consideration by governments and is expected to be a crucial input to the deliberations. In preparation, the Bureau has met with the Boards of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, and has engaged in a discussion of the main substantive issues.

With this, the Financing for Development event enters its substantive phase. The PrepCom is expected to devote one day each to the chapters of the report, and subsequently consider next steps. A panel of high-level personalities on finance for development - the "Zedillo panel" - has been constituted to advise on the process. It will convene on 14 February and meet with members of the Bureau.

The Secretary-General's report covers:

  • Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development
  • Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment and other private flows
  • Trade
  • Increasing international financial cooperation for development through, inter alia, ODAAddressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

The report will be posted online for comments by officials from Governments, international organizations, civil society, the business community and individual stakeholders. For each recommendation, stakeholders are invited to provide their proposed wording changes, arguments for their improvements to the text, and references to supplemental material on the web or in published form. All comments, arguments, and references will be posted for review on the web following a confirmation process.

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


World Summit on Sustainable Development
http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/

The General Assembly defined in December the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development that will take place in 2002, ten years after the epochal Rio Conference on Environment and Development. The GA accepted the generous offer of South Africa to host the summit and further decided that Indonesia would provide the venue for the third and final substantive preparatory session to be held at the Ministerial level. The South African government has chosen the city of Johannesburg as the seat of the summit.

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) will act as the preparatory committee for the summit and hold three preparatory substantive sessions subsequent to the initial session in May 2001.

A High-level Steering Committee chaired by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette has been established to deal with policy issues. It will include the heads DESA, UNEP, and UNDP, and expanded to include heads of other parts of the UN Secretariat when required. DESA will provide secretariat support to the Committee. For regular co-ordination of preparatory activities, a working level Inter-departmental Task Force will be established by DESA, attended by a representative of the host government.

Preparations will be undertaken at the national, regional, and global level. Below is a brief outline of the major initiatives. For a fuller account, click on http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/flat/index.html

National level

National reviews and assessments of the implementation of Agenda 21 would begin as early as possible, and be facilitated by the establishment of national preparatory committees. It is important to create incentives that would enhance a stimulating and participatory environment for preparations at the national and local levels. The Secretariat has invited all countries to launch the following four initiatives: "101 ways to promote sustainable development" ; "Sustainable development visions for the 21st century" , "Children's Agenda 21 Posters" and "National Progressions" .

Regional level

Intergovernmental regional preparatory meetings will take place from September to November 2001. The timing should allow them to receive inputs from national assessments, and make their own timely contribution to the global intergovernmental preparatory process, starting with the second session of the Commission on Sustainable Development acting as preparatory Committee of Rio+10, 28 January-8 February 2002.

DESA, in consultation with UN Regional Commissions, UNEP, and others, is organising regional Agenda 21 roundtables , involving prominent experts and representatives of key sectors. The roundtables, planned for May-July 2001, would elaborate for the regional preparatory meetings practical proposals and innovative approaches to implement Agenda 21.

Global level

The documentation for Rio+10 is coordinated by the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development (IACSD). It will include: a joint statement by the Heads of the Organizations of the UN system; one review report per thematic cluster of Agenda 21; a comprehensive policy report of the Secretary-General , which will review the status of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21, and outline emerging challenges to sustainable development. This report will be submitted to the second session of the preparatory committee in early 2002 for substantive deliberations.

Global thematic Agenda 21 roundtables with the involvement of eminent persons, prominent experts, and representatives of major groups from all regions who have political and practical experiences in the field of sustainable development will be held. The role of such roundtables would be to prepare inputs to intergovernmental preparatory meetings, with a particular emphasis on promising policies and approaches, and innovative ideas to could foster progress in implementation of Agenda 21. When appropriate, thematic roundtables could build on relevant results of regional roundtables. About 3-5 thematic roundtables, involving 25-30 experts each, are considered.

Arrangements for Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues during the preparatory meetings and the Summit are currently being elaborated in consultation with major groups' organisations and will be brought for consideration of the first meeting of CSD10 acting as the PrepCom, 30 April - 2 May 2001. As part of these plans, major groups are invited to undertake their own assessments of progress achieved in the past ten years, including assessments of the role and contribution of the major groups themselves to sustainable development.

For outreach, a special 2002 issue of CSD Update was circulated to more than 4500 of subscribers last August. The official 2002 web-site was launched in November 2000 at the following address: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org . Other activities are being planned.

Contact: Dirk Pilari, Tel. (212) 963-2803, Fax (212) 963-4620, E-mail: pilari@un.org OR Andrey Vasilyev, Tel. (212) 963-5949, Fax (212) 963-4260, E-mail: vasilyev@un.org


UNESIS UNSTATS Database
http://unstats.un.org

The UNSTATS Database is now available on Internet (URL unstats.un.org, password protected) as well as intranet (URL unstats, no password required). The latest available data have been loaded for all series in the database from over 30 international sources. Country profiles have been added in several areas including social indicators (based on the Minimum National Social Data Set, MNSDS). Following successful access deployment to the regional commissions last fall, the UNSTATS database is now being made available to all staff at major UN offices in New York, including UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, and in the field to UNDP resident coordinators offices and UN Information Centres. Any other UN or IGO office can be provided a password at no charge on request to unstats@un.org . A two month evaluation period has been completed with 50 potential subscribers in the private and academic sectors and as soon as the comments received have been analyzed, paid subscriptions will be available to NGOs, academic institutions and the private sector worldwide, in cooperation with the Sales and Marketing Section and with the assistance of an e-publishing consulting firm. Comments, requests and suggestions from all users inside and outside the UN are encouraged. An evaluation form is provided at the site.

Contact: Robert Johnston, Tel. (212) 963-455, E-mail: johnstonr@un.org


World Economic Situation and Prospects 2001: a Publication
http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/wess/wess01c1.pdf

This third annual joint report by DESA and UNCTAD presents an overview of current macroeconomic developments and issues based on information available as of 30 November 2000. Some of the main findings are: the recovery in world economic activity from the 1997-98 financial shocks is easing off, but world economic expansion should continue at a moderate pace in 2001; world gross domestic product will grow by 3.5 per cent in 2001, following a surprisingly strong 4 per cent in 2000. Despite slower average world growth, increases in economic activity in 2001 are likely to be widespread across the world and accompanied by a rapid growth of international trade and foreign investment; growth in developing countries, in particular, remains stronger than in the more economically advanced areas, and conditions for an easing of global fiscal and monetary policy stances have emerged. Large current-account imbalances in major economies, international investor nervousness, financial and foreign-exchange market instabilities and rising petroleum prices pose threats that policy makers must contend with. In addition, a "hard landing" for the United States would have negative consequences for the world at large. This material was combined with inputs from UNCTAD on foreign direct investment flows and merger and acquisition activity in 2000.

Contact: Ian Kinniburgh, Tel. (212) 963-4838, Email: Kinniburgh@un.org


Themes of 2001 Economic and Social Council
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

The organizational session of ECOSOC elected its bureau (Cameroon, as President, and Costa Rica, Portugal, Syria, Croatia as its members) and adopted the work programme for the Council's session in July. Africa and information technology would be the themes of the high-level and coordination segments respectively while the operational activities segment would focus on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review. The theme of the humanitarian sector remains to be decided.


FORTHCOMING MEETINGS

Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-III)
Second Session
New York, 5-9 February

The Second Session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-III) is being held to discuss the Draft Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries. A third session of the Committee will take place from 2-6 April 2001. OSCAL will be contributing to the preparatory activities of the conference by holding an expert group meeting on science and technology for the development of the LDCs in New York from 12-14 March 2001, and publishing a report on energy for sustainable development of the LDCs.

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

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

http://www.un.org/esa/ffd

See lead article above.

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

United Nations Forum on Forests
Organizational Meeting
New York, 12-13 February

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm

The meeting will elect its Bureau and decide on the geographical location of the UNFF secretariat. The meeting will be followed by two days of informal consultations regarding the multi-year programme of work of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

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 proposals for action of its predecessors, the International Panel on Forests, and the International Forum on Forests.

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

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

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/2001.htm

The thirty-ninth session of the Commission for Social Development,13-23 February 2001, will consider a report of the Secretary-General on the priority theme, "Enhancing social protection and reducing vulnerability in a globalizing world" (E/CN.5/2001/2) as well as a report on the sub-theme, "The role of volunteerism in the promotion of social development" (E/CN.5/2001/6). In accordance with General Assembly resolution 54/262, the Commission shall also serve as the preparatory committee for the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing. The first session of the preparatory committee, which will be held from 26 February to 2 March 2001, will consider a report of the Secretary-General entitled "Towards the Second World Assembly on Ageing" (E/CN.5/2001/PC/2), containing proposals for a revised international plan of action and a long-term strategy on ageing.

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

Expert Group Meeting: Will Africa embark on a sustained growth path during this decade?
New York, 21-23 February

The report of the Expert Group Meeting, a contribution to the 2001 ECOSOC High-level segment on African sustainable development, will be submitted for discussion during the third session of the Committee for Development Policy in April (see below).

Contact: Anatoly Smyshlyaev, Tel.(212) 963-4687, E-mail: smyshlyaev@un.org

High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP)
Vienna, 26-27 February

As requested by ACC, the Committee will undertake a zero-based review of inter-agency coordination arrangements in the programme area in the context of the follow up to the Millennium Declaration and the development of a coherent structure of global public policy goods. Two substantive items in its agenda will be poverty, and the support of the UN system for the sustainable development of Africa.

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

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/enrexpert.htm

The Group will consider a report of the Secretary-General on options and strategies.

Contact: Kui-Nang Mak, Tel (212) 963-8798, E-mail: makk@un.org

First Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing
New York, 26 February-2 March

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/ageing/waa/index.html

The meeting will focus on the draft revised International Plan of Action on Ageing, included in the report of the Secretary?General, Towards the Second World Assembly on Ageing. The aim of the Second Assembly on Ageing is to elucidate and address the global ageing agenda beyond the 1982 Plan of Action on Ageing and address, in addition to the needs of older persons worldwide, the dramatic force of population ageing and its impact on development and institutions, particularly in developing countries. The Preparatory Committee will discuss the format of the Second Assembly and the organization of its work.

Contact : Diane Loughran, Tel. (212) 963?1707, E-mail: loughran@un.org

Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality
6th Session
New York, 27 February-2 March

http://acc.unsystem.org/-subsidiary.bodies/iacwge.htm

The ACC Inter-agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality (IACWGE) will meet for its sixth session from 27 February to 2 March 2001. Ms. Angela E.V. King, UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, is the Chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee will identify new issues that require intervention from the UN system or need to be addressed in the follow-up to the Beijing+5 special session of the General Assembly. The Committee will also discuss follow-up to its inter-sessional activities and the implication of the ACC reform on its work. One day of the session will be dedicated to a workshop on approaches and methodologies for gender mainstreaming.

Under the aegis of the ACC, the Committee was established to monitor, on the basis of performance indicators, the implementation by the UN system of the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and gender-related recommendations emanating from UN conferences and summits within the purview of the system. It advises the ACC on ways and means of ensuring effective cooperation and coordination of the UN system in that regard, and in support of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the work of the UN system.

Reference Documentation:

  • Report of the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality on its fifth session (New York, 23 to 25 February 2000). ACC/2000/3

Contact: Christina Janssen, Tel. (212) 963-8502, E-mail: janssenc@un.orgjanssenc@un.org

Statistical Commission
32nd session
New York, 5-9 March

http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/statcom/sc2001.htm

The main issues on the agenda are:

Human settlements statistics; Gender statistics: progress on time-use surveys; Statistics of international trade in services; Natural resources and environment statistics: London Group on Environmental Accounting; Coordination of development indicators in the context of the follow-up to United Nations conferences and summits; and the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report.

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

Commission on the Status of Women
45th session
New York, 6-16 March

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/45sess.htm

The 45th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place from 6 to 16 March 2001. At the session, the Commission will discuss the follow?up to the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) and to the special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century". Under this item, with its sub-items, the CSW will have before it several reports of the Secretary-General. One report will provide the regular update on measures taken and progress achieved in the follow-up to the FWCW and in mainstreaming a gender perspective within the UN system (the "rolling report"). This will include reports requested under specific mandates, such as on Palestinian women, on women hostages, and on Afghan women. This item will also cover the report on the joint work-plan between the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the report of the SG containing the system-wide medium-term plan for 2002-2005, the multi-year work programme for 2002-2006, and the working methods of the Commission.

There will be a discussion of follow-up to ECOSOC resolutions and decisions, and policy guidance provided by ECOSOC at its 2000 session, and a report on the function of its communications procedure.

The two thematic issues under discussion at the Commission's meeting are women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS; and, gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In accordance with current working methods, there will be one panel for each thematic issue. Each panel will consist of four participants: two from the Member States, one from civil society, and one from the UN system.

The first panel on women, the girl child and HIV/AIDS takes place on 8 March 2001. HIV/AIDS has evolved from being a health issue to a major development and security issue. It has moved to the top of the agenda of many UN bodies as is evident in the GA resolution (A/Res/55/13) on the convening of a special session of the General Assembly to review and address the problem of HIV/AIDS in all its aspects from 23 to 25 June 2001, and in the open debate of the Security Council on 10 January 2000. The panel builds on work currently under way in the Division, and in particular an expert group meeting (EGM) jointly organized by DAW, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The EGM entitled "The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and its Gender Implications", was held in Windhoek, Namibia from 13 to 17 November 2000.

The second panel on gender and all forms of discrimination, in particular racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance takes place on Tuesday, 13 March 2001. The panel builds on the work of another expert group meeting organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the OHCHR and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The expert group meeting entitled "Gender and racial discrimination", was held in Zagreb, Croatia from 21 to 24 November 2000.

Reference Documentation: Commission on the Status of Women Forty-fifth session, Provisional Agenda. E/CN.6/2001/1

Contact: Dorota Gierycz, Gender Analysis Section, DAW, Ext. 3-5913, E-mail: gierycz@un.org

Commission on Sustainable Development - Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Transport and Atmosphere
New York, 6-9 March

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd9/iwgcsd9.htm

Commission on Sustainable Development - Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Information for decision-making and participation and on International cooperation for an enabling environment
New York, 12-16 March

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd9/iwgcsd9.htm

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Science and Technology for the Development of LDCs
New York, 12-14 March

The meeting, organized by OSCAL/ DESA, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, has the objective to examine and review the problems experienced in the LDCs relating to the development, adoption and effective use of science and technology in selected sectors, such as agriculture and agro-processing, micro and small enterprises and information technology. Organized in the context of strengthening South-South cooperation, the meeting will provide an opportunity to share successful experiences and lessons learned from Asian and African countries in the development and utilization of science and technology in the selected sectors. The outcome of the meeting will contribute towards the preparatory process of the Third United Nations Conference on LDCs.

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

International Planning Committee for the World Youth Forum
Expert meeting
Dakar, 14-16 March

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/forum/index.html

An expert meeting of the International Planning Committee for the fourth session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations system will take place in Dakar, 14?16 March 2001. A meeting of UN agencies and bodies concerned with youth will be held on the preceding day, 13 March. The fourth session of the World Youth Forum will also be held in Dakar, from 5 to 12 August 2001.

Contact: Joop Theunissen, Tel. (212) 963 7763, E-mail: theunissen@un.org

Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development
New York, 22-23 March

http://acc.unsystem.org/-subsidiary.bodies/iacsd.htm

The committee will be dealing with matter relating to the Commission on Sustainable Development as well as the preparations for the World Summit for Sustainable Development to be held in South Africa in 2002. It will also consider the reports of the inter-agency meetings on Freshwater and on Oceans and Coastal Areas.

Commission on Sustainable Development
9th session (Organizational session)
New York, 31 March

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd9/csd9_2001.htm

See lead article above.

Commission on Population and Development
34th session
New York, 2-6 April

http://www.undp.org/popin/unpopcom/34thsess/welcome.htm

The theme of the session is "population, environment and development".

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

First regular session of ACC, 2001
Nairobi, 2-3 April

http://acc.unsystem.org/

At the invitation of UNEP the ACC will hold its first regular session of 2001 in Nairobi on 2-3 April. Items on the agenda will include support of the UN system to African development, follow-up to the Millennium Summit, issues related to globalization, and the review of the ACC subsidiary machinery.

ACC approved the establishment of two high-level committees, one on programmes and another on management, that are to assist ACC and act on its behalf in the overall coordination of the work of the system in the policy and programme area on one hand, and the management area on the other. The two Committees have been mandated to make recommendations for a further streamlining of inter-agency structures in their respective areas. The intent is to:

  • exploit information and communication Technologies to ensure more continuous and systematic interactions among programme managers in different areas, while staying away from fixed periodicity of meetings whenever feasible;
  • further establish a task orientation in the methods of work of the inter-agency system; and
  • replicate in all relevant sectors the successful innovations in the sustainable development programme areas with the designation of lead agencies and the establishment of systems of task managers.

The High Level Committee on Management (HLMC) held its first meeting in New York on 10-12 December. Senior managers of the UN system reviewed the structure, functioning and secretariat support of the Committee, its future work programme, and dealt with current concerns for effective recruitment. With regard to the subsidiary structure, the Committee decided that most of the issues dealt previously through standing committees would now be dealt with through Task Forces.

The High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) will hold its first meeting on 26-27 February in Vienna. (See its agenda in the chronological listing above)

The reports of both these Committees will be submitted to ACC in April.

Pending the review of the subsidiary structure of HLCP, inter-agency coordination work should continue and thus programmed inter-agency meetings are taking place. A meeting of the Inter-agency Committee on Sustainable Development is scheduled for 22-23 March 2201 in New York. (A brief discussion of its work is in the chronological listing above)

An Inter-agency meeting on Women and Gender Equality will also be held in New York, from 27 February to 2 March 2001. (See brief discussion above)

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

Committee for Development Policy
Third session
New York, 2-6 April

http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/devplan/index.html

The third session of the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) will be held at the United Nations Secretariat in New York from 2 to 6 April 2001. In order to make a contribution to the 2001 ECOSOC High-level segment on the role of the United Nations system in supporting the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development, the Committee will formulate a set of recommendations in this area, taking into account the report of the Expert Group Meeting on African growth, held in late February (see above). The Committee's agenda will also give special attention to a number of outstanding issues concerning the designation of the least developed countries.

On 31 January 2001, ECOSOC appointed to the Committee for Development Policy the 24 experts listed in document E/2001/L.2 for a term beginning on the date of appointment and expiring on 31 December 2003.

For additional information, please contact: Anatoly Smyshlyaev, Tel. (212) 963-4687, E-mail: smyshlyaev@un.org

Project LINK meeting
New York, 9-11 April

http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/link/index.html

The programme will encompass a discussion of the global economic outlook, as produced within the Project LINK network, as well as sessions on special topics related to work under way in preparing part I of this year World Economic and Social Survey .

For details on further preparations and the evolving programme, contact: Jozef M. van Brabant, Tel. (212) 963-4752, E-mail: van Brabant@un.org OR Ramachandra Kurup, Tel. (212) 963-8534, E-mail: Kurup@un.org

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

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

American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Conference
Rutgers University
Newark, 12 March

DPEPA is organizing a panel for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Conference held at Rutgers University on 12 March. The theme will be "Motivation and Accountability in Public Service: Theory and Practice - the United Nations Experience with HR Reform" presented by Ms. Rafiah Salim, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management.

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


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

Social Development

Inter and intra-regional cooperation meeting to promote social development
Nairobi, 21-23 February

As a follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development and mandates of the General Assembly, the Division for Social Policy and Development in collaboration with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development will organize in Nairobi, 21-23 February 2001, a meeting which will enable Asian and African countries to exchange ideas and experiences on inter-and intra-regional cooperation to promote effective social development policy and practice.

Specifically, the main objectives of the meeting are:

  • to review the current social problems and policies of African and Asian countries in their efforts to promote social development;
  • to create a forum for policy makers in Africa and Asia for the exchange of ideas and experiences on good practices;
  • to promote cooperation between Asian and African countries on the most effective ways of implementing development policies; and
  • to establish networks between Asian and African agencies and civil society, including research institutions and universities.

About 30 senior government officials from selected African countries, directly involved in designing and implementing social policy programmes will attend, as well as scholars doing research in the field of social development, are expected to attend the meeting.

Contact: Vyatcheslav Cherkasov, Tel. (212) 963-5097, E-mail: Cherkasov@un.org

Women

Project on Capacity Building of National Machineries for Gender Equality
Addis Ababa, April

DAW and DPEPA are organizing a regional meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to be held in April 2001. Representatives from national machineries in Africa and other regions will gather to discuss a recently completed needs assessment report on the status of national machineries. This meeting will aim to:

  • validate the needs assessment report;
  • formally set up a Regional Task Force and devise its terms of reference;
  • devise an implementation schedule and the relevant monitoring mechanisms; and
  • produce and publish guidelines on implementation methodologies and monitoring indicators and systems for the countries participating in the project.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, Tel. (212) 963-8379, E-mail: serour@un.org

DAW Advisory Services to Uganda

On 16 January 2001, at the request of the Government of Uganda and UNDP (Kampala), DAW commenced a post-project evaluation mission to Uganda to assess the impact of the "Umbrella Project for Women in Development" (UGA/88/004). The results of the evaluation were discussed at a stakeholders' workshop held on 13 February 2001. The final report will recommend innovative areas of support for the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to enable the mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the national development process.

Contact: Fatiha Serour, Tel. (212) 963-8379, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Delawit Amelga-Aklilu, Tel. (212) 963-3395, E-mail: aklilu@un.org

Public Administration

Capacity Building Programme for Diplomats in the Third Millennium
Rome and Turin, 12-23 March

The programme is sponsored by the Italian Trust Fund for Human Resources and Capacity Building and is administered by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA). It seeks to train middle-level diplomats from developing countries in order to provide them with the knowledge and negotiating techniques that will ensure agreements beneficial to their countries. A second phase will take place 21 May-1 June.

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

Third Global Forum on Reinventing Government
High-Level International Training Seminars
Naples, 12-17 April

The Forum, 15-17 April, will be focused on fostering democracy and development through e-government, and will discuss the enormous potential of information and communication technologies for improving the overall quality of governance methods and results, and for favouring economic and social growth in both developed and developing countries. The event is organized by the Italian Government with the support of DPEPA, OECD, the World Bank and the EU.

The Forum will be preceded by High-Level International Training Seminars on E-Government, 12-14 April. The Italian Government has made available resources to cover the costs of travel and accommodation during the seminar for one participant from countries requesting financial assistance.

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

International Symposium on Network Economy and Government
Beijing, 19-20 April and Ningbo, 23-24 April

The Symposium, sponsored by the Government of China with the support of DPEPA will bring together high-level government officials and leading international experts from the public and private sectors to discuss the current development and trends of the global network economy, its challenges and opportunities for developed and developing countries, and appropriate national and global economic governance framework for the emerging network economy. The Symposium will also address the current trends and strategies in e-commerce development and the relevant policy issues, review legal and administrative aspects of e-commerce, and examine the case study of e-commerce development in the City of Ningbo, China.

Contact: A. Capati-Caruso, Tel. (212) 963-5318, E-mail: capati-caruso@un.org

Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
Beijing, 23-25 April

The meeting will review the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts for the Tenth Meeting of the Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (Geneva, September 2001). It will also examine the revised draft of the United Nations Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries and the consultant's report thereon.

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

Second Interregional Training Workshop on International Taxation for Tax Administrators in Developing Countries and Economies in TransitionBeijing, 23-27 April

The workshop aims to upgrade the technical skills of tax administrators from developing countries and economies in transition, including practical methods and strategies for combating tax avoidance and evasion. The workshop will focus on new and innovative financial instruments, electronic commerce and taxation, and negotiation of bilateral tax treaties between developed and developing countries. It will utilize case studies and lectures by experts in international taxation and finance. The workshop, organized with the support of China, will present an opportunity for participants to share experiences and points of view on methods of resource mobilization.

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


RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Sustainable Development

Natural Resources Forum: Special issue on energy and transport

The special issue of the Natural Resources Forum for 2001 (Vol. 25, no. 2, May 2001) is devoted to the topic of energy and transport, coinciding with one of the main themes of the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The articles provide analysis and clarification of issues linking energy and transport considered by the international community at CSD's ninth session and other international fora. Several articles present specific national initiatives undertaken in industrialized or developing countries, including some projects carried out with the assistance of international agencies.

This is a complex problem that needs a broad range of policy measures. They include: planning options, affecting mode of transport and urban transport networks; technical options for vehicle and fuel technologies; regulation measures such as inspection and maintenance programmes; and economic options, including public investments, and tax, subsidy and expenditure policies. The coordination of policies among different levels of government and different agencies is important to avoid fragmentation and duplication. Coordination is also needed at regional and international levels.

In 'Transportation energy in global cities: sustainable transportation comes in from the Cold?' , Peter Newman discusses how a new global study demonstrates that economic benefits should be added to the already recognized energy, environmental and social advantages of sustainable transportation. The study indicates that the percentage of city funds going to transportation is reduced in cities that effectively utilize public transportation, including those oriented to rail, walking, and biking.

Also in the area of economic incentives, Andre de Moor has identified public subsidies as a principal cause of unsustainable transport development. In 'Towards a grand deal on subsidies and climate change' , de Moor examines the global size and distribution of energy subsidies in industrialized and developing countries; and makes proposals for effective subsidy reform in energy policies, suggesting a global strategy to eliminate energy subsidies.

On positive technical innovations, Max Ahman and his associates present a comparative technical and economic assessment of promising future fuel/vehicle combinations in 'Cars and fuels for tomorrow: a comparative assessment.'

Promising planning options are clearly set forth in Lloyd Wright's 'Latin American busways: moving people rather than cars.' Wright illustrates the how busways have proved to be so user-friendly and cost-effective in Latin America that developed nations are using them as a model for constructing similar systems in their own countries. These surface metro systems utilize exclusive right-of-way bus lanes and have become an effective alternative transportation system in many Latin American cities, including Bogota, Quito and Sao Paulo.

The busway system has also been implemented in China since 1999, with immediate success, along an entire city line in Kunming. This type of policy can be combined with unitary reductions of tail pipe pollutants and emissions, as illustrated by the case of Guangzhou, discussed in the article 'Control strategies for vehicular emissions in Guangzhou, China' , by Roger Raufer, Min Shao and co-authors.

B.W. Ang and K.C. Tan's contribution to the issue, 'Why Singapore's land transportation energy consumption is relatively low' , describes the mix of new technologies and new policies that achieved the provision of 'convenient, accessible, comfortable, safe, environmentally friendly and affordable service to the majority of the population' and the related reduction in energy use.

Regarding alternative modes of transport, Petter Naess and his colleagues present an empirical study of commuting patterns in two transport corridors in Oslo, in 'Wider Roads, More Cars.' The study shows that a considerable proportion of commuters are sensitive to changes in the speed of the respective modes of transportation, and that, while faster public transport will reduce the proportion of car commuters, the effects of such improvements will be offset if road capacity is simultaneously increased.

Contact: Marcia Brewster, Tel. (212) 963-8590, E-mail: brewster@un.org

Statistics

1998 Demographic Yearbook
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/29
Sales No. E/F.00.XIII.1

The fiftieth issue of this comprehensive compilation of demographic and related statistics for over 200 countries or areas of the world features annual tables, with a world summary of basic demographic statistics, and statistics on the size, distribution and trends in population, mortality, natality, nuptiality and divorce. Wherever possible, statistics are shown for urban/rural areas.

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

Household Accounting Experience in Concepts and Compilation
Vol. 1 Household Sector Accounts
Vol. 2 Household Satellite Extensions
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/75 (Vol.1) (Vol.2)
Sales No. E.00.XVII.16

This Handbook focuses on household sector accounts and possible satellite extensions as described in the 1993 SNA. It compiles contributions of various authors specialized in this field, reflecting a number of country experiences. Its objective is to assist countries in developing their own data sources, household sector accounts, rather than treating this sector as a residual. Volume 1 contains a description of the household sector and its complex relationship to the informal sector, presents country and case studies, and describes the links to other sectors. Volume 2 is devoted to the various types of satellite accounting, including human resources accounting and systems of economic and social accounting matrices. The final chapter focuses more generally on the measurement of social issues.

Contact: Stefan Schweinfest, Tel. (212) 963-4849, E-mail: schweinfest@un.org

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/335 - Vol. LIV - No. 11
November 2000

Special features in this issue: Index numbers of world industrial production, by branches of industry and by regions; Construction of new buildings; Earnings in manufacturing; Index numbers of producers' prices and wholesale prices.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/336 - Vol. LIV - No. 12
December 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.

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

Social Development

Through the joint efforts of UNDP and the Division for Social Policy and Development, and in collaboration with the Government of Liberia and civil society, the first National Human Development Report (NHDR) for Liberia, which had been under preparation during the prolonged years of civil conflict in the country, has now been published. The report focuses on the concept of and measurement of human development in the context of Liberia, and it shows, among other things, the country's classification based on the human development index, which measures different aspects of human development.

Contact: Olympios Katsiaouni, Tel. (212) 963-6417, E-mail: Katsiaouni@un.org

Policy Analysis

DESA Discussion Paper No. 15
ST/ESA/1999/DP.15
Mark Scher, "Bank-firm cross-shareholding in Japan: What is it, why does it matter, is it winding down?"

http://www.un.org/esa/papers.htm

This paper examines the functioning of cross-shareholding in which Japan's commercial banks in the 1990s were involved. It finds that the banks have not been especially successful monitors of members of the corporate groups and that corporate management had relatively negative appraisals of the banks. Japan has been passing through a major financial crisis, which has shaken up the role of banks. It has also reduced the extent of bank shares held by their client firms. However, shareholding continues to provide implicit relational contracts that play a role in Japanese business society. This study highlights the importance of paying adequate attention to historical and institutional factors in analysis of development.


MEETINGS HELD

24th Session of CEDAW
New York, 15 January-2 February

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/24sess.htm

The twenty-fourth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) took place at UN Headquarters in New York from 15 January to 2 February 2001. The Committee reviewed the reports of Burundi, Egypt, Finland, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan. The Pre-Session Working Group for the twenty-fifth session took place from 5 to 9 February 2001.

CEDAW's twenty-fifth session will take place from 2 to 20 July 2001. To date, the Committee has invited six States Parties to present their reports. Subject to their confirmation, the countries expected to present their reports are Guyana, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Singapore, Sweden and Viet Nam. The Pre-Session Working Group for the twenty-sixth session will take place from 23 to 27 July 2001.

With Saudi Arabia being the latest country to ratify or accede to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 7 September 2000, the number of States parties to the Convention became 166. The Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force on 22 December 2000, and to date there are 15 parties to the Optional Protocol.

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

Seventh United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas
New York, 22-26 January

The Conference, organized by the United Nations Statistics Division, provided a regional forum where governmental official, planners, scientists and experts from the Americas and other regions of the world addressed the common needs, problems and experiences in the field of cartography and geographic information, including educational and training aspects, scientific and technological requirements, implementation issues and benefits. The Conference considered three main topics: development needs and institutional capacity building, fundamental data, their collection and management, and spatial data infrastructures and their development in the Americas.

The recommendations adopted by the Conference focused on the critical role of spatial data infrastructures for economic and sustainable development, the leading role of the Permanent Committee on Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas, and other issues related to assisting members states in the region to utilize fully the opportunities provided by geographic information technology and GIS applications.

Contact: Amor Laaribi, Tel. (212) 963 3042, E-mail: laaribi@un.org

International Conference on Women and Conflict Management in Africa
Tunis, 22-24 January

OSCAL was represented at the International Conference on Women and Conflict Management in Africa held in Tunis from January 22-24, 2001. The meeting, which was sponsored by the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) was chaired by H.E. Dr. Specioza Kazibwe, Vice-President of the Republic of Uganda. Over 100 participants from 25 different countries attended. A final communiqué of this meeting is available on the ALF website.

The conference was organized in five modules: (i) an overview and assessment of women's initiatives in conflict management (ii) women in conflict management: lessons learned (iii) strengthening women's capacity in conflict management (iv) role of women in the calabashes of the conference on security, stability, development and cooperation for Africa (CSSDCA) and (v) relationship between peacemaking initiatives and international organization.

OSCAL stressed the importance of linking national security to human security as two sides of the same global security coin. Security Council resolution 1325, adopted at its special meeting on women in Oct. 2000, called on all actors involved in negotiating and implementing peace agreements to adopt a gender perspective that included the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. DESA's Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues had been instrumental in the organization of the Security Council special meeting.

Contact: Mehri Madarshahi, Tel. (212) 963-5436, Fax (212) 963-3892, E-mail: madarshahi@un.org

Advisory Committee Meeting of the AABF II
Pretoria, 18 January

The Advisory Committee of the Africa-Asia Business Forum was held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 18 January, 2001. The objective of the meeting was to review the activities to date towards the Second Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF II) to be held from 8 to 14 July 2001. The Advisory Committee members attending the meeting included: Governments of Japan and South Africa, DESA/OSCAL, UNDP/SU-TCDC, UNDP/Africa, UNDP/Asia, UNDP/SU-TICAD, UN/OPS, UNIDO, ITC and World Bank/MIGA. In addition, ten resource persons and six special invitees from Africa and Asia also attended the meeting.

It is expected about 100 industrialists from Africa and Asia will meet for a week (8-14 July, 2001) in Durban, South Africa to forge joint ventures and other partnerships. The AABF I, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1999 resulted in deals covering secondary and tertiary sectors: textiles, pharmaceuticals, information technology and manufacturing.

The Advisory meeting decided to look for alternative sources of funding to make the AABF project sustainable. Currently the Government of Japan finances the AABF project.

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

Meeting on Postal Savings for Development in Asia
Tokyo, 13-14 January

DESA, in conjunction with Keio University, with funding support from the Japanese Ministry of Education, held a meeting to compare and learn from the experiences of Asian developing countries that have used the postal network for providing financial services and mobilizing personal savings for development. The meeting included participants from the postal administrations of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, and Viet Nam, national savings institutions of the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and the National Savings Organisation of India, as well as academics from Japan and the Republic of Korea. The project is part of a dialogue on the exchange of best practices in mobilizing domestic financial resources through the use of postal savings systems and savings institutions, which utilize the postal infrastructure.

The meeting addressed common concerns among Asian countries with the aim of exchanging best practices regarding operational efficiency and techniques for the promotion of savings. The meeting also reviewed country case studies prepared by national authors; these are now being revised and prepared for publication by the project coordinator.

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


COMINGS AND GOINGS

A retreat on globalization and one on technical cooperation were held for DESA staff in January. The retreat on globalization had the goal of clarifying one aspect of the department's goals for 2001, namely greater focus on globalization. It was attended by about fifty economists and social and political scientists from throughout the department.

As one of the results of the retreat, the departmental goals will include, within the overall focus on globalization:

  • A major think piece on globalization, with department-wide inputs.
  • Migration (including a presentation Mr. Nitin Desai would be making soon to the Senior Management Group)
  • Information technology (new initiatives in light of the forthcoming report of the Task Force)
  • Global campaign on poverty, with partners in the UN system.

The retreat was supported by an online asynchronous conference (bulletin board) open to participants. Access is now being given to all DESA staff. The e-conference is at http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/ http://esaconf.un.org/~globalization.

The retreat on technical cooperation sought to elicit the DESA's technical advisors perspective on challenges, policy and organizational issues faced by the programme. Directors led a panel focusing on the role of technical cooperation in furthering some of the main substantive issues addressed by DESA. Mr. Langmore and Ms. Ertürk led the discussion on the role of technical cooperation in helping eradicate poverty and advance gender equality; Messrs Bertucci and Chamie those on building capacities to deal with globalization, and Ms. DiSano and Mr. Habermann those on the integrated follow-up to conferences, and the monitoring of progress in realizing conference programmes of action.

A fuller report on the outcome of the retreats will appear in the next issue of DESA News.