Volume 5, No. 3, June-July 2001


ECOSOC Deliberates on African Sustainable Development, ICT Issues
Johannesburg Summit Update
ICT Task Force Preparations  
Follow-up to the Millenium Declaration
Competence Development on Gender Mainstreaming in DESA

Current meetings
Sustainable Development
Economic and Social Policy
Advancement of Women
Social Development
Public Administration

Technical cooperation
New Initiatives
Social Development
Public Administration

Recent publications
Public Administration

Forthcoming publications

Meetings held


ECOSOC Deliberates on African Sustainable Development, ICT Issues http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

The role of the United Nations system in supporting the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development will be at the heart of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council this year. Ministers, heads of delegation, heads of United Nations organizations and representatives of NGOs will gather in Geneva from16 to 18 July 2001 for the high-level segment of the Council’s substantive session, beginning with high-level policy dialogue with the heads of IMF, World Bank, WTO and UNCTAD.  Other events planned for the high-level segment include ministerial roundtables, an African investment forum, a panel of eminent personalities and an exhibition on good practices in Africa. 

Ministerial roundtables are expected to generate a free exchange of views on human resources development and capacity building (led by UNDP); eliminating poverty in the context of globalization (led by DESA); enhancing food security (led by FAO); reversing environmental degradation (led by UNEP); reversing the health crisis, in particular the spread of HIV/AIDS (led by WHO); industrialization (led by UNIDO); trade diversification (led by UNCTAD); improving transportation and communications (led by ECA); effective mobilization and utilization of resources, including debt relief (led by the World Bank); and improving governance, human rights and conflict prevention (led by the UN Secretariat).

An African investment forum will address the policy and regulatory environment of African countries, priority areas and sectors for investment, infrastructure, and partnerships. The President of ECOSOC, African ministers, African private entrepreneurs, trade unions and investors, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, IFC, ILO, UNCTAD, UNIDO and sub-regional development organizations will participate in the forum.  A ministerial communiqué is likely to be adopted at the end of the high-level segment. Further information is at http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/dev_afr/index.htm

Another important theme of this year’s ECOSOC is information and commnication technology (ICT). ECOSOC has played a pivotal role in this area since its adoption of a ministerial declaration in July 2000 on the role of information technology in the context of a knowledge-based global economy. The Council has also been a major driving force behind the groundbreaking initiative to set up an ICT Task Force, which will enable the UN system to bring together the information technology community and the development community to develop innovative approaches for bringing ICT capacity to the developing world.

At this year’s coordination segment, the Council will continue to move forward on this initiative, and will examine the role of the United Nations in promoting development with respect to access to and transfer of knowledge and technology, especially information and communication technologies, inter alia through partnerships with relevant stakeholders, including the private sector.  Further information is at http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/itforum/ict.htm

The Council’s substantive session will be held from 2 to 27 July 2001 in Geneva, beginning with the coordination segment (2-4 July), and followed by the operational activities segment (5-10 July), the humanitarian affairs segment (11-13 July), the high-level segment (16-18 July) and the general segment (19-25 July). The Council will discuss the triennial policy review of operational activities for development at the operational activities segment. The humanitarian affairs segment will address the issue of strengthening the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance from the United Nations, by holding panel discussions regarding the various challenges involved, including issues of gender. 

Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Director, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. (212) 963-4628, Fax (212) 963-1712, E-mail: khan2@un.org

Johannesburg Summit Update

A milestone for the future environmental, social and economic well-being of the world was reached in May, when key decisions were made at the tenth meeting of the Commission for Sustainable Development in New York on preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in 2002.  Governments agreed on the framework for the preparations for this summit of world leaders, which will focus the spotlight on the degree of progress made thus far in translating into practice the principles of sustainable development and the measures referred to as Agenda 21, agreed upon ten years ago.

  The principles of sustainable development and the actions agreed upon continue to provide the basis for addressing many environmental and social problems in ways that are integrated with economic decision-making. Much has changed though over the past ten years in the regulatory and institutional framework for the implementation of these measures. The most notable of these changes are the growth of the private sector and the globalization of the marketplace, aided by unprecedented advances in communication technology.

  Although there are numerous case studies that clearly establish that a sustainable future is possible, many indicators of global well-being have shown a declining trend or stagnation over the past decade. The challenge for world leaders at Johannesburg will be to draw upon the successes and failures of sustainable development over the past decade and to chart a new direction for the implementation of these measures.

At the meeting, governments elected Mr. Emil Salim from Indonesia to chair the Bureau that will guide the preparatory process. They also agreed on the timetable of regional and global preparatory meetings (“prepcoms”) through which the details of the agenda for the Summit will be developed. Regional prepcoms, which will be supported by national and sub-regional meetings, will take place August to November 2001, and the global prepcoms will take place January to June 2002, culminating in a high level ministerial meeting in Indonesia in June 2002. Business groups, non-government organizations and other stakeholders have also planned initiatives and events over the next year to raise awareness and to ensure that their views are taken into account in the preparatory process for the Summit. 

  In addition to the prepcoms, a number of regional roundtables of eminent persons are being held June to August 2001 to ensure that a wide range of views can be brought into the preparatory process. The roundtables will enable the UN to draw on the political and practical experience of more than 100 independent experts and representatives of major groups from each of the UN regions. The main objective of the roundtables is to elaborate practical proposals and suggest innovative approaches aimed at expediting sustainable development.  The preparatory meetings to Johannesburg to be held in June-July are listed below under “Current Meetings”

The May ministerial meetings of OECD, with participation of environment, trade, and finance ministers, showed that member countries were mobilizing for the Johannesburg Summit. The final communiqués included strong commitments on decoupling economic growth from a range of environmental issues, and on measures to ensure and assess sustainability.  Mr. Desai participated.

The United Nations Foundation has provided funding for media outreach for the preparatory process.  An information booklet for general distribution, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002,   (symbol DPI/2191) outlines the goals and preparations of the Summit. It can be obtained from the Public Inquiry Service, or from the Division for Sustainable Development. The internet domain name: www.johannesburgsummit.org has been secured for the conference.

Contact: Andrey Vasilyev, Senior Officer, Office of the Director, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-5949, E-mail:  vasilyev@un.org OR Zehra Aydin-Zipos, Focal Point for Major Groups, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-8811, E-mail: aydin@un.org


Mexico, the host country of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development, has designated Monterrey as the venue.  The conference will be held from 18 to 22 March 2002. Planning missions are under way.  The preparatory process of the conference itself includes interactive informal dialogues with participation by the Bretton Woods Institutions, OECD and civil society. Further information is at http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/index.html#eventsnow

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

ICT Task Force Preparations

            Significant preparations are under way for the first meeting of the Information and Communication Technology Task Force (ICT TF) in early September. The Task Force has been created by the Economic and Social Council to build digital opportunities for all. It is a groundbreaking international instrument in that it comprises ITC leaders of both the public and the private sector.

            The meeting, convened by the Secretary General, is expected to approve a plan of action and road map for implementation, developed by a special advisory group in May. The plan will be reviewed at a working level meeting of the ICT TF during a business conference organized by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston on 13-14 June in Cambridge, Mass. An award will be given to Mr. Figueres-Olsen for his outstanding work for the ICT TF to help bridge the global digital divide.

            In fall 2001, the ICT TF will enter into the implementation phase, including building regional centers, instituting a panel of advisors, and launching bilateral and multilateral ICT activities.

            DESA has worked very closely with the UN Development Programme and UN Fund for International Partnership during the past months in developing a viable strategy for the ICT TF. Most recently, Mr. Pekka Tarjanne, former Secretary General of ITU, agreed to lead ad interim secretariat arrangements for the Task Force.

Contact: Maria Lehtinen, Tel. (212) 963-7478, E-mail: lehtinen@un.org

Follow-up to the Millenium Declaration

            The Executive Committee for Economic and Social Affairs (EC-ESA), for which Mr. Desai is convenor, and the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) are jointly responsible for preparing the chapter on “Cooperating for Development” of the forthcoming annual report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly. Extreme poverty is the theme. Sections would be devoted to LDCs, HIV/AIDS, social development, sustainable development and Africa, and show how the work of the UN is contributing to reaching the goals of the Millennium Declaration.  EC-ESA will focus on policy analysis, and the UNDG on operational activities.

            EC-ESA and UNDG are also contributing to the report to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration , referred to as the ”Road Map”.  An inventory is being compiled of current initiatives and ways to determine their impact in reaching the goals of the Declaration. The report should show what is going on that can contribute to the implementation, and what is not going on, but should. DESA coordinates the work on quantitative goals, and UNDP is entrusted with measuring country-level progress. Millennium goals correspond essentially to the goals of the UN global conferences. The view in DESA is that the Road Map should focus not just on monitoring implementation, but on resources as well. There is an opportunity for all DESA Divisions to take responsibility for monitoring the implementation of the development goals in their respective areas of work, with the Statistics Division acting as the departmental, and indeed UN system, focal point for this exercise, as a spin-off of its work on indicators.

Contact: Johan Scholvinck, Chief, Policy Coordination Branch, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. (212) 963-4667, E-mail: scholvinck@un.org

Competence Development on Gender Mainstreaming in DESA

A competence development programme on gender mainstreaming for professional staff in DESA is being implemented during 2000-2001. The programme, which is organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women in collaboration with OHRM, has been completed in four Divisions: the Division for Sustainable Development, the Population Division, the Division for Social Policy and Development and the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration.

The process will be completed in the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination and the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL) in the near future.  Plans are underway to complete the programme in the remaining Divisions before the end of October 2001.  These Divisions include the Development Policy Analysis Division and the Statistics Division as well as the Executive Office.

A town hall meeting will be organized on the completion of these programmes to summarize the findings and recommendations and to consolidate divisional-level plans to increase the attention to gender perspectives in substantive work. The final element in the process will be a programme for the Division for the Advancement of Women during 2002, which will emphasize the catalytic and advisory role of the Division in support of gender mainstreaming throughout DESA and other parts of the United Nations.

Contact: Carolyn Hannan, Principal Officer for Gender Mainstreaming, OSAGI, Tel. (212) 963-3104, E-mail: hannan@un.org



Sustainable Development

Preparations to the Johannesburg Summit 2002


Europe and North America
Vail, Colorado, USA, 6-8 June

Latin America and the Caribbean
Bridgeport, Barbados, 18-20 June

Cairo, Egypt, 25-27 June

East Asia and the Pacific
Malaysia, 9-11 July

Contact: Rod Holesgrove, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-5104, Fax: (212) 963-4260, E-mail: holesgrove@un.org


Northern Africa
Tunis, 11-14 June

Contact: Sekou Toure, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Africa, Tel. (254-2) 624-285, Fax: (254-2) 624-324, E-mail: sekou.toure@unep.org

Southeast Asia
Manila, Philippines, 13-15 June

Contact: Nirmal Andrews, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Tel. (66-2) 288-1870, Fax: (66-2) 280-3829, E-mail: andrewsni@un.org

Southern Cone
Santiago, Chile, 14-15 June

Contact: Ricardo Sanchez Sosa, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, Tel. (525) 202-7529/7493, Fax: (525) 202-0950, E-mail: rsanchez@rolac.unep.mx

San Salvador, El Salvador, 21-22 June

Contact: Ricardo Sanchez Sosa, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Latin América and the Caribbean, México, Tel. (525) 202-7529/7493, Fax: (525) 202-0950, E-mail: rsanchez@rolac.unep.mx

West Africa
Abuja, Nigeria, 25-28 June

Contact: Sekou Toure, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Africa, Tel. (254-2) 624-285, Fax: (254-2) 624-324, E-mail : sekou.toure@unep.org

Central Asia
Almaty, Kazakhstan, 27-29 June

Contact: Nirmal Andrews, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Tel. (66-2) 288-1870, Fax: (66-2) 280-3829, E-mail: andrewsni@un.org

Caribbean Region
Havana, Cuba, 28-30 June

Contact: Ricardo Sanchez Sosa, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico, Tel. (525) 202-7529/7493, Fax: (525) 202-0950, E-mail: rsanchez@rolac.unep.mx

Central Africa
Libreville, Gabon, 9-13 July

Contact: Sekou Toure, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Africa, Tel. (254-2) 624-285, Fax: (254-2) 624-324, E-mail : sekou.toure@unep.org

East Africa
Djibouti, 16-19 July

Contact: Sekou Toure, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Africa, Tel. (254-2) 624-285, Fax: (254-2) 624-324, E-mail: sekou.toure@unep.org

Northeast Asia
Beijing, China, end July

Contact: Nirmal Andrews, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Tel. (66-2) 288-1870, Fax: (66-2) 280-3829, E-mail: andrewsni@un.org

Andean Region
Ecuador, 2-3 July

Contact: Ricardo Sanchez Sosa, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, México, Tel. (525) 202-7529/7493, Fax: (525) 202-0950, E-mail: rsanchez@rolac.unep.mx

Commission for Sustainable Development, 10th session, Acting as the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Second Bureau Meeting
Geneva, 16-18 July

The Bureau will brief the participants in the High-Level Segment of ECOSOC, and meet with executive heads of Geneva-based international organizations and major groups.

See also feature above

Contact: Andrey Vasilyev, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-5949, E-mail: vasilyev@un.org

Other sustainable development meetings

Fourth Expert Working Group Meeting on Environmental Management Accounting
New York, 4-8 June

Contact: Tarcisio Alvarez-Rivero, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-5708, E-mail: alvarez-rivero@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on Approaches to Water Resources
Bangkok, 2nd week of June

Contact: Manuel Dengo, Director, Natural Resources and Minerals Branch, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-4208, E-mail: dengo@un.org


United Nations Forum on Forests
First Substantive Session
New York, 11-22 June

The first substantive session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 1) will set the agenda for intergovernmental forest policy deliberations for the next five years by adopting its Multi-Year Programme of Work. Another major focus of the session is the development of the UNFF Plan of Action for the implementation of the proposals for action of the previous ad hoc forest fora during 1995-2000, the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF).

In its multi-year programme of work, the UNFF will decide on, inter alia , the timing of its ministerial segments, which are vital for the global enhancement of high-level political commitment to sustainable management of all types of forests. Another prominent component of the UNFF sessions are the multi-stakeholder dialogues that provide major groups such as environmental and development NGOs, private sector forest owners, and the scientific community, among others, an opportunity to influence decisions made by governments. Open side-events will be organized during UNFF 1 to provide for an exchange of views on the scope and objectives of the UNFF’s future multi-stakeholder dialogues. 

The recent establishment of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) was a step in the direction of closer cooperation and coordination among international forest related organizations. The CPF was founded in April 2001 by eight institutions to support the work of UNFF in the achievement of sustainable management of all types of forests. These institutions are: the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, (CBD), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (DESA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, Chair), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank. The CPF's membership is expected to expand slightly as the Secretariats of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) have also been invited to join the CPF.

 The UNFF was established as a subsidiary body to ECOSOC in October 2000 with a view to facilitate the implementation of the actions agreed upon in international forest policy deliberations since UNCED (1992). These actions include the UNCED Forest Principles and an extensive set of intergovernmental recommendations, including the proposals for actions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (1995-1997) and Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (1997-2000) which give guidance on how to further develop, implement and coordinate national and international policies towards sustainable management of all types of forests.

Contact: Tiina Vähänen, UNFF Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-3262, E-mail: vahanen@un.org

Economic and Social Policy

Economic and Social Council
Substantive session, 2001
Geneva, 2-27 July 

High-level segment   “Role of the United Nations system in supporting the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development”
Geneva, 16-18 July

See feature above

ACC High Level Committee on Programmes
Geneva, 26-27 July

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

Advancement of Women

Expert Group Meeting “Situation of rural women within the context of globalization”
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 4 to 8 June

The meeting, organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), will address the social and economic challenges and opportunities posed by globalization for women in rural areas.

It will examine the impact on rural women of major global trends, such as the growth in rural non-farm economic activities, the liberalization of trade and markets for agricultural products, the commercialization of agriculture, the rapid diffusion of products, technologies, information, consumption patterns, and the new flexibility of the labour market. 

The expert group meeting will aim to produce policy recommendations to promote a more even distribution of opportunities and benefits associated with globalization. They will aim to refine and expand an agenda for “actions to be taken” at both international and national levels outlined in the Beijing Platform for Action, as well as the further actions identified in the outcome document adopted by the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (Beijing+5).

The findings of the meeting will be incorporated into the Secretary-General’s Report on the "Improvement of the situation of women in rural areas" which will be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session in 2001. The recommendations of this expert group meeting will also be made available to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-sixth session in March 2002. The report will also be provided to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which is mandated to monitor the implementation of the Convention, including article 14 on rural women.

Contact: Natalya Zakharova, Tel. (212) 963-8134, E-mail: zakharova@un.org OR Santiago Martinez de Orense, Tel. (212) 963-4526, E-mail: martinez-orense@un.org

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
25th session
New York, 2-20 July

At its forthcoming session, the Committee will review the reports of eight States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including the initial reports of Andorra, Guinea and Singapore, and the periodic reports of Guyana, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Sweden and Viet Nam.

With Mauritania being the latest country to accede to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on 10 May 2001, the number of States parties to the Convention became 168. Adopted in 1979 and opened for signature in March 1980, the Convention is now among the international human rights treaties with the largest number of ratifications. As of May 2001, there were 67 signatories and 21 ratifications or accessions to the Optional Protocol of the Convention, which was adopted in October 1999.

Contact: Jane Connors, Chief, Women’s Rights Unit, Division for the Advancement of Women, Tel. (212 963-3162, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Philomena Kintu, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Pre-sessional Working Group for the 26th session
New York, 23-27 July

Contact: Jane Connors, Chief, Women’s Rights Unit, Division for the Advancement of Women, Tel. (212 963-3162, E-mail: connorsj@un.org OR Philomena Kintu, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org


International Seminar on the Measurement of Disability
New York, 4-6 June

This seminar brings together a broad array of developed and developing country experts in disability measurement for statistical reporting. The specific objectives of the meeting are to review and assess the current status of methods used in population-based data collection activities to measure disability in national statistical systems, with particular attention to questionnaire design; develop recommendations and priorities to advance work on the measurement of disability; and contribute to building a network of institutions and experts, including producers and users of disability statistics to implement the developments in this field. 

The seminar is convened by the Statistics Division in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States of America.

Contact: Angela Me, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4823, E-mail: me@un.org OR Margaret Mbogoni, Tel. (212) 963-7845, E-mail: mbogoni@un.org

Committee on Contributions
61st session
New York, 11-29 June

The Committee, serviced by the Statistics Division and other Secretariat offices, will continue its analysis of the feasibility of using Price-Adjusted Rates of Exchange (PARE) for purposes of converting income measures expressed in national currencies into a common unit of currency. It will examine the consequences of the sharply depressed levels of primary commodity prices in the international markets on commodity-dependent economies; and review the current procedures concerning Member States’ application for exemption from Article 19 of the Charter.

The Committee will base its deliberations on two substantive papers from DESA - one prepared by the Statistics Division, “Systematic criteria and approaches to deciding when to replace market exchange rates for the purpose of preparing the scale: the revised approach to PARE simplified and made operational”, and one by the Development Policy Analysis Division, “The impact of recent declines in primary commodity prices on commodity-dependent developing countries”.

Contact: Felizardo Suzara, Chief, National Accounts Section, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4856, E-mail: suzara@un.org

Meeting of the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications
New York, Headquarters, Conference Room DC-2- 2330, 18-20 June

The main objectives of the meeting, hosted by the Statistics Division, include a review of the draft 2002 Update of the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) and the Central Product Classification (CPC), and the preparation of the strategy for the revision process for ISIC and the CPC for the 2007 Update. The meeting will also discuss the progress made in the work on other classifications, such as the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) or the new Classification of Environmental Protection Activities and Expenditure (CEPA).

Contact: the Classifications Hotline, E-mail: CHL@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on the Non-Profit Institutions (NPI) in the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA)
New York, Headquarters, Conference Room E, 10-12 July

The main objective of the meeting, hosted by the Statistics Division, is to review the final draft of the “Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts” prepared by Johns Hopkins University in close collaboration with the Division. The handbook includes six substantive chapters: Defining non-profit institutions, Classifying non-profit Institutions, Key variables and tables for the NPI satellite accounts, Implementing the NPI satellite accounts: Data sources, Measuring NPI output, Using the NPI satellite account.

Contact: Karoly Kovacs, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4748, E-mail: kovacs@un.org

Social Development

Expert Group Meeting on “Expenditures in the social sector as a productive factor”
Costa Rica, 11-13 June

The meeting will discuss patterns of social spending at the national level, issues in identifying social investment priorities, and coordination of policies between the social and financial branches of government. Conclusions will feed into the deliberation of the Commission for Social Development in February 2002. The meeting is part of the follow-up to the Copenhagen Summit for Social Development of 1995, and is organized by the Division for Social Policy and Development in collaboration with the Government of Costa Rica.

Contact: Sergei Zelenev, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-4732, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: z elenev@un.or g

Public Administration

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Innovations in Mobilizing Global Resources for Development
New York, 25-26 June

The meeting, organized by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, will discuss papers written on four main themes: "Global Taxes: an Overview", "The Tobin Tax on Currency Transactions", "Revenue from Allocation of Emission Permits" and "Taxation of the Arms Trade". Documentation for the meeting will be posted at www.unpan.org . The meeting, originally to be held in Genoa, 30-31 May, will open at Headquarters in Conference Room 7 and continue in Conference Room 6.

Contact: Larry Willmore, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-4758, E-mail: willmore@un.org


New Initiatives

Since the beginning of the year, DESA has launched a number of new initiatives to strengthen its technical cooperation programme and better link it with its research work and its support of intergovernmental bodies. These efforts are guided through the monthly meetings of Directors on technical cooperation convened by the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. They received a new impetus at the retreat on technical cooperation held in January with advisors.

In follow-up to that retreat, a group of advisors developed a note setting out proposed new orientations for DESA’s technical cooperation. Drawing on this note, the Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG), jointly with the Divisions' Directors, is working to further elaborate an internal strategy for DESA's technical cooperation, as well as a public information brochure on the goals and main strengths of the Department’s technical cooperation, that will be produced in time for the ECOSOC’s session in July.

A calendar has been agreed upon for undertaking key actions discussed at recent DESA meetings on technical cooperation. For instance, OUSG and ISU are working together to develop an internal website for posting new technical cooperation projects.  This Website should enable divisions to regularly exchange information on the operational activities that they plan to undertake.  Besides stimulating a DESA-wide reflection on new projects, it should encourage early cooperation among divisions.

Another initiative aims to encourage the development of new technical cooperation approaches and products that will build on the Department's special comparative advantage resulting from its privileged link with intergovernmental processes and its substantive capacities in a range of social and economic areas. An electronic forum has been established for debating and articulating such new ideas, and can be accessed at http://esaconf.un.org/~tc

A new type of technical cooperation that uses information and communications technology as its medium is taking root in the Department. The Department has a number of flagship activities in this area, such as its support of Internet based networks among demographic research institutes in Africa and Asia (Population Division) and the services offered through the UN Public Administration Network or the Statistical Division's Website. DESA is now applying the lessons learned from these activities to a broader range of its technical cooperation programmes and to more countries. These activities will be publicized in an information brochure entitled ""e-TC: technical cooperation through using ICT".                   

Mr. Nikhil Chandavarkar, as Interregional Advisor in OUSG, is assisting in strengthening central DESA support to divisions in interdisciplinary technical cooperation, thematic evaluations, donor relations and resources mobilization, and links between normative and operational activities and other aspects of Technical Cooperation.

Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries
Brussels, 14-20 May


The conference, organized by UNCTAD, concluded with a Declaration and Programme of Action. The statement of Mr. Desai, delivered by Ms. Yvette Stevens, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries, dealt with the role of technical cooperation in addressing a key constraint facing LDCs, namely the need to strengthen human and institutional capacities. It included the announcement of ten deliverables in which DESA was involved, in the areas of energy, water supply, negotiation of double taxation treaties, improvement of public sector performance, conflict prevention and management, population research, and statistics. 

             Contact: Yvette Stevens, Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries, Tel (212) 963-5084, E-mail: stevens@un.org

Social Development

International workshop on networking and capacity building for social development in Northeast Asia
Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China, 3 - 8 June

The workshop will focus on international frameworks for training and research on themes of social policy that were highlighted at the GA follow-up to the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development. Representatives from central and local government, NGOs, business and the UN will participate in the meeting, organized by the Social, Economic Policy and Development Management Branch of the Division for Social Policy and Development, in collaboration with Chinese local organizations.

Contact: Shian-Lung Lai, Chief, Socio-Economic Policy and Development Management, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-6168, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: Lai@un.org

Seminar on strategies for implementing the Standard Rules in relation with internet accessibility
México City, 4-7 June

The seminar will explore development and use in the Americas of internet-enabled products and services, with special emphasis on internet accessibility for people with disabilities. The seminar is expected to produce a strategic framework on promoting accessibility appropriate to conditions in the Americas.

The Fundación Mexicana de Integración Social, the International Organization on Independent Living for People with Disabilities, and Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia are organizing the seminar with the support of the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability administered by the Division for Social Policy and Development.

The Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities were adopted by the General Assembly in 1993. The text is annexed to GA resolution 48/96.

Contact: Clinton Rapley, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-1141, Fax:  (212) 963-3062, E-mail: rapley@un.org

Public Administration

International Symposium on Network Economy and Economic Governance
Beijing and Ningbo, China, 19-24 April

Co-sponsored by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration and the Government of China, the symposium discussed the current development and trends of the global network economy, and appropriate national and global economic governance frameworks. It aimed at promoting the exchange of substantive knowledge and the acquisition of technical skills for the development of the network economy in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition, as a contribution to bridging the digital divide and build digital opportunities. 

The proceedings of the Symposium, including theme papers and technical reports, are to be published and made available to ECOSOC at its July session. 

Contact:  Alex Trepelkov, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-7633, E-mail : trepelkov@un.org OR A. Capati-Caruso, Tel. (212) 963-5318, E-mail : capati-caruso@un.org

Online Dialogues on E-Governenance
Thessaloniki, Greece, 28, 29 May

Two online meetings were recently hosted by the United Nations Thessaloniki Centre, established a year ago by DPEPA and the Government of Greece with funding from the Development Account.  The first was a dialogue on E-Government, the challenges and opportunities it offers, and the requirements that it places on bureaucracies. It brought together centres from five different countries, namely: the School of Public Administration in Ukraine, the State Civil Service of Public Administration of Latvia, the Moscow State University Research Computing Centre, the Greek National School of Public Administration, and DPEPA.

The second event addressed improving public policy and administration in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS.  Participants included representatives of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS, the Economic Commission of Europe, the ILO International Training Centre, the European Institute of Public Administration, the Greek National Centre of Public Administration, DPEPA and UNTC.

The e-archives of the meetings are available at: info@untcentre.org

Contact: Gary Manukyan, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-5410, E-mail: manukyan@un.org

Second UNPAN Training Workshop on E-information Management
Dakar, Senegal, 16-20 July

The Division for Public Administration and Public Economics and the Institute for Economic Development and Planning will hold the second UNPAN Training Workshop in Dakar, Senegal from 16-20 July.  A total of 30 participants from the UNPAN Regional Centres from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America will be trained on the management and operation of the UNPAN software.

Contact:  Haiyan Qian, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-3393, E-mail: qianh@un.org



Results of the Eighth United Nations Inquiry among Governments on Population and Development
Sales No. E.01.XIII.2

As part of the effort of the Secretariat to ensure proper monitoring of the implementation of the goals and recommendations adopted by the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, periodic inquiries are sent to Member States and Observers. This report provides a statistical summary of the responses of Governments to the Eighth Inquiry, which was transmitted in November 1997. Major aspects of the views and policies of Governments on population and development are presented, along with frequency distributions of the replies to each questionnaire item and tables showing responses by geographical area, development region and country.

Contact:  Ellen Brennan, Chief, Population Policy Section, Population Division, Tel. (212) 963-3210, E-mail : brennan@un.org

HIV/AIDS: Population Impact and Policies 2001 (Wall Chart)
Sales No. E.01.XIII.6 

The Population Division has issued the first United Nations wall chart on HIV/AIDS, in conjunction with the General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS to be held 25-27 June 2001. The wall chart features the most recent demographic data from the 2000 Revision of the United Nations population estimates and projections. Data on population size and life expectancy with and without AIDS-related mortality are presented. The chart also shows Government policies, ranging from the perceived importance of the AIDS epidemic to measures taken to prevent the spread of the HIV virus. Policy responses were obtained from the Eighth United Nations Inquiry among Governments on Population and Development (see above) .

Additional data include UNAIDS estimates of HIV/AIDS prevalence, number of AIDS deaths and AIDS orphans, condom use and health expenditure per capita. Graphics show the approximate number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in each area of the world and the effect of AIDS-related mortality on population size and life expectancy.

Contact:  Ellen Brennan, Chief, Population Policy Section, Population Division, Tel. (212) 963-3210, E-mail: brennan@un.org


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics

Vol. LV – No. 2
February 2001       

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

Vol.LV – No. 3
March 2001

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.

Vol. LV – No.4
April 2001

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.

Contact on all three: Gloria Cuaycong, Chief, General Statistics Section, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4865, Fax (212) 963-0623, E-mail: cuaycong@un.org

Population and Vital Statistics Report
Series A Vol. LIII, No. 1

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

Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framewo rk

This publication was produced by four international organizations:  the World Tourism Organization, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the United Nations Statistics Division.  The recommendations contained in this publication are based on a common conceptual framework for the design of a tourism satellite account.  The purpose of a tourism satellite account is to analyze in detail all the aspects of demand for goods and services that might be associated with tourism within the economy; to observe the supply of such products and describe how this supply interacts with other economic activities.  One annex of the publication presents a provisional list of tourism-specific products as a reference for countries that wish to develop their own list of tourism-specific products.  Countries can use the recommendations of this publication for constructing a tourism satellite account that should permit greater international comparability in tourism statistics.

Contact: Magdolna Csizmadia, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4819, E-mail: csizmadia@un.org

Public Administration

"Three Pillars of Pensions: Is There a Need for Mandatory Contributions?" by Larry Willmore (DPEPA) has recently been published in OECD Private Pensions Conference 2000 (Private Pension Series No. 3, Paris, 2001), pp. 385-397. An earlier version of this paper circulated in June 2000 as DESA Discussion Paper No. 13, and is posted at: http://www.un.org/esa/esa00dp13.pdf

Contact:  Larry Willmore, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-4758, E-mail : willmore@un.org



Two flagship publications of DESA will be issued over the summer: the World Economic and Social Survey , prepared by the Division of Policy Analysis for Development, and the World Social Situation , prepared by the Division for Social Policy and Development.  Press launches will be scheduled.

Contact: Ian Kinniburgh, Director, Development Policy Analysis Division, Tel. (212) 963-4838, E-mail: kinniburg@un.org OR   John Langmore, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-5855, E-mail: langmore@un.org



Special High-level Meeting of the Economic and Social Council
with the Bretton Woods Institutions
New York, 1 May

The meeting’s objective was to promote common efforts to achieve international development goals, especially poverty eradication. It brought together world policy figures on financial, monetary, development and foreign affairs. The consensus on the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration was clear. 

Debt relief was a major focus of the debate, along with building a stable and well-managed international financial system, increasing market access for developing countries, and combining growth with social justice to achieve sustainable development. The meeting should provide an important contribution to the preparations of the International Conference on Financing for Development, in which the Bretton Woods Institutions are quite active. It also helped raise the profile of the Council as a strategic and innovative forum where the community of top policy-makers on development comes together annually.

The opening statement of Secretary-General and the summary of the Plenary are available online  (DPI Press Releases SG/SM/7785 and ECOSOC/5942). The informal summary of the proceedings will be issued as an ECOSOC report for the July session.

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

            The Administrative Committee on Coordination discussed follow-up to the Millennium Summit, and support for the sustainable development of Africa.

            The focus of the discussion was on how poverty programmes, employment generation, and social services could be sustained in the climate of fiscal contraction and liberalization that characterizes globalization.  An inventory of initiatives and programmes furthering the objectives of the Millennium Declaration will be prepared for the Secretary-General’s “road map” report to the next session of the General Assembly.

On Africa, ACC wants the system to work together in support of a single, Africa-led framework of action, shift the focus of coordination to the regional level, and integrate the Africa agenda with other agendas (e.g. poverty eradication, LDCs, finance for development, trade rounds, etc.).  ACC supports the Millennium Africa Recovery Programme (MAP) launched by the Presidents of South Africa, Algeria and Nigeria, as a major new Africa-led initiative that could serve to provide the common framework.

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

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on Managing Diversity in the Civil Service
New York, 3-4 May
http://www.unpan.org/whatsne w002.asp

The Meeting, organized by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA), addressed managing for diversity, the importance of political action from the top, the necessity of having a legal framework, the need to establish a balance between merit and diversity, the persistence of informal barriers on the way to achieving equal representation, and the impact of globalization.

Four panels were organized on definitions, regional aspects, and selected themes such as ethnic minorities, women, and disability in the civil service, as well as strategies for managing diversity in the public sector.  Next steps will be to focus on legislation, policies and management practices especially in Africa, create space for conversation between researchers and practitioners, and provide diversity training. High-level UN and government officials participated. Mr. Desai opened the meeting.

The report will be published jointly with the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS).

Contact: Y. Jemiai, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-8395; E-mail : jemiai@un.org OR E . Maharramova, Tel. (212) 963-8389, E-mail: maharramova@un.org