Volume 5, No. 4, August-September 2001


Johannesburgh Summit: The Regional Roundtables
Review of the 2000 Round of Censuses
World Youth Forum
Multilateral Treaty Framework: Focus on Women and Children

Current meetings

Economic and Social Policy
Sustainable Development
Advancement of Women
Social Development
Public Administration
Africa and Least Developed Countries

Technical cooperation

Sustainable Development
Public Administration
Social Development
Advancement of Women

Recent publications

Sustainable Development
Policy Analysis
Public Administration

Forthcoming publications

Meetings held


Johannesburg Summit:
Regional Eminent Persons Roundtables

As part of the preparations for the Johannesburg Summit, DESA has convened five Regional Eminent Persons Roundtables to draw on the experience of independent experts and representatives of major groups from each region. The main objective of the roundtables was to make recommendations aimed at expediting progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 that will be considered by the regional inter-governmental preparatory meetings as well as other meetings relevant to the Summit preparatory process.

The regional nature of the roundtables has meant that outstanding people from each region have been able to offer perspectives on the particular needs of the five regions, and to make innovative proposals for contributing to sustainable development. Participants were selected on the basis of their experience in sustainable development and international processes, and their understanding of the role and needs of major groups. They contributed both inspirational and pragmatic ideas for regional and global sustainable development. The participants also constitute a core of influential individuals who can promote the outcomes of the roundtables within their constituencies.

The Europe and North America Roundtable was held in Vail, Colorado, from 6-8 June, and hosted by the independent Denver-based Centre for Resource Management. The meeting was co-chaired by Sir Crispin Tickell (UK), Ray Anderson (USA) and Larry Papay (USA). There was wide recognition that this region uses an unfair amount of the world’s resources, and has a special responsibility in helping to eradicate global poverty. Participants expressed a profound sense of urgency, agreeing that the present generation may be among the last that can correct the current course of world development before it reaches a point of no return. The results of the roundtable will be submitted to the ECE Regional Prepcom preparatory meeting, 24 -25 September, Geneva.

The Regional Roundtable for Latin America and the Caribbean was hosted by the Government of Barbados, and held in Barbados from 18-20 June. The meeting was chaired by Sir Alister McIntyre (Grenada). The region’s high levels of poverty and income inequality, and the serious pressures on the region’s biodiversity, were identified as overriding issues. Among the concrete proposals from this roundtable was the establishment of a “Village of Hope” at Johannesburg, similar to that set up at the 1994 Small Island Developing States conference in Barbados, where best practice could be displayed and disseminated. The report of this Roundtable will be submitted to the Latin America Caribbean Regional Prepcom in Rio de Janeiro, 23-24 October.

The African Roundtable was hosted by the Government of Egypt, and held in Cairo from 25-27 June. The meeting was chaired by Dr Mostafa Tolba, and devoted considerable attention to the challenge of globalisation. Although participants agreed that Africa has not benefited from globalisation, it was recognised that the achievement of sustainable development will be even more difficult if Africa does not prepare itself for participation in the global order. The report recommends that the Regional Prepcom (Nairobi, 15-18 October) should identify a set of priority issues from among those cited in the report, and develop them for endorsement at Johannesburg.

The East Asia Pacific Roundtable, hosted by the Government of Malaysia, was held in Kuala Lumpur from 9-11 July. The meeting was chaired by Tan Sri Ismail Razali from Malaysia. Participants noted that the huge diversity of the region poses particular challenges for achieving sustainable development, and that the 1997 financial crisis has diminished the capacity of many countries in the region to address these challenges. Various proposals for regional cooperation were put forward, including the establishment of a regional council for sustainable development and a regional symposium on science for sustainable development.

The Central and South Asia Roundtable was hosted by the Government of Kyrgysztan in Bishkek from 30 July-1 August.

The reports of the roundtables will be submitted to the Regional Inter-governmental Preparatory meetings as well as to the first Global Prepcom in January 2002.

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

  ECOSOC 2001

The 2001 substantive session of ECOSOC was held in Geneva from 2-27 July.  It focused on supporting the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development, on aiding the transfer of information and communications technology (ICT) to African and other developing nations, and on improving responses to humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters.

The High Level Segment focused on the 'The role of the United Nations in support of the efforts of African countries to achieve sustainable development '.  One major highlight of the meeting was the decision to support the New African Initiative, developed by African countries and approved by the OAU in its July session. The Ministerial Declaration emerging from the meeting invites the Secretary General to take the requisite measures to ensure an effective and coordinated response of the United Nations system to the Initiative. In addition, it notes that the preparatory process for the final review and appraisal of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, scheduled for September 2002, presents an opportunity to assess the role that the United Nations and the international community have played in supporting Africa’s priorities, including a comprehensive review of initiatives on Africa.  Concurrently an NGO Forum was held, and one focusing on investment initiatives for Africa.  The main report for the segment was issued under symbol E/2001/83.

            The timing of the high-level segment , immediately following the OAU Summit in Lusaka, and the level and breadth of participation at the segment (it included, Mr. Annan and the Executive Heads of IMF, the World Bank, WTO and UNCTAD), have served to establish the Council as a main rallying point for the sustained support that the international community is to extend to the New African Initiative and African Union.

            The operational activities segment provided useful recommendations which should facilitate the adoption, at the next General Assembly, of a consensual resolution on new directions for the operational activities of the United Nations system, in the context of the Assembly’s “Triennial Policy Review” of these activities.  Recognition of developing countries’ leadership and ownership of their development was a main message of both the high-level and the operational activities segments.

            The coordination segment ended with the adoption of agreed conclusions on strengthening system-wide coordination in respect of information technology, which unanimously recognized the importance of public-private partnerships in pursuing United Nations objectives.

            Progress was also made at the humanitarian affairs segment in establishing a credible role for ECOSOC in providing guidance for the coordination of United Nations humanitarian assistance.  The Council urged increased support for these activities while maintaining the needed focus on development funding.

            The general segment confirmed the Council’s commitment to guiding different elements of the work of the system from an overall development perspective, and to maintaining a strong focus on the coordinated follow-up to global conferences, drawing on the Millennium Declaration as a major new instrument of political impetus and integration.  While the large number of items on this segment’s agenda makes it difficult to give it a coherent thrust, the Council’s interest in utilizing the segment to address new and emerging issues such as genetic privacy and non-discrimination is to be welcomed.  The resolution adopted on this topic addresses specific recommendations to Member States (rather than simply to UN system agencies), and is thus a distinct contribution to policy development.

            This year’s session showed the Council as an open forum for dialogue inclusive of all key players and stakeholders, and a catalyst to build partnerships and contribute innovatively to policy coordination and development.

Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Director, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. (212) 963-4628, Fax. (212) 963-1712, E-mail: khan2@un.org OR Leslie Wade, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-4420, Fax: (212) 963 3892, E-mail: wade@un.org

Review of the 2000 Round of Censuses

Over 55 heads of population and housing census programmes from nations around the world (together responsible for officially enumerating approximately three fourths of the world's population of 6 billion people) plan to participate in the Symposium hosted by the United Nations Statistics Division. Apart from updating our knowledge about the number, age and sex of the world's population, census programmes also provide information regarding literacy and educational levels, family size, quality of housing facilities, and city size. The Symposium's main purpose is to address the question: when and under what circumstances do censuses succeed? The discussions among participants will identify issues and problems that emerged in the current census round (1995-2004) and seek solutions that may serve to guide census planning during the next round (2005-2014). They will also identify national strategies that contribute to the success of censuses with respect to relevance, cost, coverage, timeliness and accuracy.

The Symposium will focus on the following six issues:

(i) Strategies for involving stakeholders in census activities

(ii) Strategies for choosing among data collection methods as sources of demographic and social statistics: censuses, sample surveys and administrative records

(iii) Adapting new technologies to census operations

(iv) Maintaining census related activities during the intercensal years

(v) Identifying and resolving problems of census mapping

(vi) Post Enumeration Surveys: Are they worth it or not?

The provisional agenda, list of participants and country papers describing national census counts are available online.

The concerns that emerge in the Symposium will be reviewed by members of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population in a Side Meeting of its General Conference in Brazil on 21 August. IUSSP members hold important advisory positions in census programmes around the world, and the Side Meeting offers an opportunity for this international forum of demographers and population specialists to collectively consider problems and issues raised during the United Nations Symposium, and to discuss the role that they might play in strengthening the next round of censuses, beginning in 2005.

Contact: demostat@un.org

Fourth session of the World Youth Forum
Dakar, Senegal, 6-10 August

            The fourth session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations system is being held in Dakar, Senegal, from 6-10 August . The theme of the meeting is 'Empowering Youth for Action ', and it is being convened by the United Nations in partnership with the Senegalese National Youth Council and the Government of Senegal.

            The meeting aims t o draw the world's attention to youth empowerment issues and challenges of the 21st century. It is expected that the meeting will adopt the Dakar Youth Empowerment Strategy . This document is likely to include concrete recommendations, strategies and tools for the empowerment of young people , for their participation in decision making , and for the evaluation of policies and programmes on key youth issues, so as to ensure their implementation at the local, national, regional and international level s.

            The meeting is attended by approximately three hundred delegates from youth organizations from around the world, as well as representatives of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations.

Contact: Joop Theunissen, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-7763, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: Theunissen@un.org

Multilateral Treaty Framework : An Invitation to Universal Participation
Focus 2001 – Rights of Women and Children

During the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, a highly successful treaty signature/ratification event occurred: Millennium Summit Multilateral Treaty Framework: An Invitation to Universal Participation . That event focused on 25 core treaties representative of the fundamental goals of the United Nations, and during the Summit 84 States undertook 274 treaty actions (signatures, ratifications and accessions etc). Encouraged by this achievement, this year the Legal Counsel has invited States Members of the United Nations to renew their commitment to the international treaty framework for advancing the rights of women and children:  “Multilateral Treaty Framework: An Invitation to Universal Participation.  Focus 2001 – Rights of Women and Children.”

Reflecting a key concern of the United Nations, the focus of this year’s event will be 23 treaties relating to the advancement of the rights of women and children. From 19 September to 5 October 2001, States that have not already signed, ratified or acceded to those treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, and particularly those treaties affecting the rights of women and children, will have a special opportunity to do so in the presence of the media. Appropriate media arrangements will be made to cover the event.

Focus 2001 is being organised by the Office of Legal Affairs in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, against the background of the efforts of the Secretary-General and the United Nations to enhance the international rule of law as a central priority for the United Nations in the new century. The advancement of the rights of women and children is an integral part of this effort. The General Assembly, in its Millennium Declaration , emphasised the need to promote respect for all internationally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms. In particular, it stressed the urgent need to combat all forms of violence against women, to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and to strengthen the capacity of all States to implement the principles and practices of democracy and respect for human rights.

Since the creation of the United Nations, the international rule of law has seen significant advances, primarily through a framework of multilateral treaties which affects the full spectrum of human activity. An intricate network of treaties has been put in place which influences the relationships of States with each other, and increasingly affects the daily lives of individuals. A number of multilateral human rights treaties have been elaborated to protect and advance human rights, and, in particular, the rights of women and children. The Secretary-General is the major depository of these multilateral treaties in the world, with over 500 multilateral treaties being deposited with him. In his Millennium Report , the Secretary-General underlined the importance of encouraging more States to become parties to these international legal instruments and thus contribute to advancing the international rule of law. The Secretary-General also recognized that while some countries do not participate in the multilateral treaty framework for reasons of substance, a far greater number do not do so simply for lack of expertise and resources.

A booklet highlighting the theme of the upcoming treaty signature/ratification event and summarising the key objectives and provisions of the selected 23 treaties relevant to the rights of women and children will soon be published. It is currently available on the Internet, in English and French (see <http://untreaty.un.org >).

Contact: Jane Connors, Chief, Women’s Rights Unit, Division for the Advancement of Women, Tel. (212 963-3162, E-mail : connorsj@un.org OR Janette Amer, Tel. (212) 963-5361, E-mail: amer@un.org



Economic and Social Policy

General Assembly
56th session
New York, 11 September-23 December
High-level Dialogue on Facilitating the Integration of Developing Countries into the World Economy in the 21st Century
New York, 17-18 September

            The work of the GA will be covered in the next issue of DESA News

General Assembly
27th special session on Children
New York, 19-21 September

Information and Communication Technology Task Force (ICT TF)
First meeting
New York, 13-14 September

ACC - High-level Committee on Management
2nd meeting
Geneva, 10-11 September  

ACC – High-level Committee on Programmes
2nd meeting
Washington, DC 13-14 September

Sustainable Development

Interregional Symposium on Water-related Disaster Reduction and Response
Bangkok, Thailand, 27-31 August  

            See discussion under Technical Cooperation, below

Johannesburg Summit Process:

Subregional PrepCom for Southeast Asia, hosted by the Asian Development Bank:
Manila, Philippines, 15 - 17 August  

Subregional PrepCom for Central Asia:
Almaty, Kazakhstan, 19 - 21 August  

Subregional PrepCom for South Asia:
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22 - 24 August

  Subregional PrepCom for South Africa: Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting:
Gaborone, Botswana, 3 - 5 September 2001  

Subregional PrepCom for Northern Africa:
Tunis, Tunisia, 5 - 7 September  

Subregional PrepCom for the Pacific: Apia, Samoa, hosted by the South Pacific
Regional Environment Programme (SPREP):
Apia, Samoa, 5 - 7 September  

Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Johannesburg Summit 2002: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)/Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Djibouti, Djibouti, 10-12 September

Subregional PrepCom for Central Africa: Economic Commission for Central African States (ECCAS) meeting:
Libreville, Gabon, 17 - 19 September  

Western Asia Stakeholders Round Table Meeting:
Bahrain, 23 - 25 September  

ECE Regional Prepcom preparatory meeting
Geneva, 24-25 September

Subregional PrepCom for West Africa: Economic Commission For West African States (ECOWAS) and Inter State Committee on Fight Against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS):
Abuja, Nigeria, 24 - 26 September  

Advancement of Women

Roundtable on “Impact of multiple forms of discrimination on women”
Durban, South Africa, 2 September

In the context of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance to be held in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August-7 September, the Division for the Advancement for Women and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights are co-sponsoring a roundtable on “Impact of multiple forms of discrimination against women”.  The roundtable will focus on challenges relating to the advancement of an agenda for women’s human rights, centered on the basic principles of universality and indivisibility of human rights, equality and non-discrimination.  Panelists will propose recommendations for future action.

Participants in the roundtable include Angela E.V. King, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women; Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Rapporteur on violence against women; Gabriela Rodriguez, Special Rapporteur on Migration; Gay McDougall, expert member of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and Charlotte Abaka, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General and former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, will chair the roundtable.

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

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Sub-regional workshop
Palau, 24-28 September

            See discussion under Technical Cooperation, below

Expert Group Meeting on 'Environmental management and the mitigation of natural disasters: a gender perspective'
Turkey, 5-8 November

The expert group meeting, organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women, will consider the gender aspects of environmental management and the mitigation of natural disasters, in all phases of disaster emergency (before, during and in the recovery phase).  It will also explore the relationship between natural disasters and sustainable development (globalization, unsustainable development and climate change) from a gender perspective.  The expert group meeting will produce gender-specific policy recommendations to address the problems associated with natural disasters (before, during and after) and to empower women and enhance their capacity to play an active role in their communities, in policy-making and for achieving sustainable development.  It will address, in particular, institutional capacity-building such as the integration of a gender perspective into community based disaster mitigation and women’s role in environmental decision-making at all levels.

The Beijing+5 special session of the General Assembly acknowledged an increase in casualties and damage caused by natural disasters and raised awareness of the inefficiencies and inadequacies of existing approaches and intervention methods in responding to such emergency situations from a gender perspective.  It suggested that a gender perspective be incorporated into disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery strategies.  The special session also recommended that the United Nations system and international and regional organizations should assist governments in developing gender-sensitive strategies for the delivery of assistance and responses to humanitarian crises resulting from natural disasters.

The Commission on the Status of Women, in its multi-year programme of work for 2002-2006, decided to consider the topic  "Environmental management and mitigation of natural disasters: a gender perspective" as a priority theme at its upcoming session in 2002 and a possible contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002).

Contact: Maria Hartl, Gender Advisory Services, DAW, Tel. (212) 963-3140, E-mail: hartl@un.org OR Santiago Martinez de Orense, Tel. (212) 963-4526, E-mail: martinez-orense@un.org


Global Review of the 2000 Round of Population and Housing Censuses: Mid-decade Assessment and Future Prospects
New York, 7-10 Augus

See discussion under Features, above

ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities
35th session
UNIDO Headquarters
Vienna, 18-20 September

The main items on the agenda are:

Issues related to statistics of international merchandise trade, international trade in services, finance statistics, national accounts, and price statistics; Major new initiatives planned by organizations; Common questionnaire to collect statistics on expenditure by visitors in countries; Good practices in citation in the outputs of international statistical offices; Placing statistics on the Internet and related pricing policy; Coordination of development indicators in the context of follow-up to major UN conferences; Reporting on the review of global progress towards the Millenium Declaration goals; and Quality assurance for statistics in international statistical services.

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

Social Development

Government of Senegal/National Youth Council of Senegal - Fourth Session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System
Dakar, 6-10 August  

            See discussion under Features, above

Consultation of representatives of Governments and non-governmental organizations of the South East Asia Association for Regional Cooperation countries
Pune, India, 17-19 August

            This meeting is being co-organised by the Ageing Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) on the International Plan of Action on Ageing, in preparation for the World Assembly on Ageing, next year.

            Contact: Diane Loughran, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-1707, Fax: 212-963-3062, E-mail: Loughran@un.org

Expert meeting for the Economic Commission for Europe Ministerial Conference
Spain , 10-12 September  

            This meeting is being co-organised by the Ageing Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) , on the economics of ageing.

            Contact: Diane Loughran, Division for Social Policy and Development, T el . (212) 963-1707, F ax: 212-963-3062 , E- mail: Loughran@un.org

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Regional preparatory Consultation for the Second World Assembly on Ageing
Macao , 26-29 September  

            This meeting is being co-organised by the Ageing Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) .

            Contact: Diane Loughran, Division for Social Policy and Development, T el . (212) 963-1707, F ax: 212-963-3062 , E- mail: Loughran@un.org

International Workshop on Poverty Eradication
Bangkok, Thailand, 12-14 September

            See discussion under Technical Cooperation, below

Public Administration

Seoul Anti-Corruption Symposium 2001
Seoul, Korea, 30-31 August  

            See discussion under Technical Cooperation, below

Tenth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
Geneva, Switzerland, 10-14 September

The Ad Hoc Group of Experts (set up by the Secretary-General pursuant to the ECOSOC resolution 1273(XLIII) of 4 August 1967) consists of 25 members: 10 from developed countries and 15 from developing countries and economies in transition. In addition to the Ad Hoc Group members, several tax administrators, tax experts and representatives from international financial organizations, non-governmental and professional organizations will attend the meeting as observers.

The meeting will focus on the revision and updating of the United Nations Model Convention between Developed and Developing Countries, in light of recent developments in electronic commerce and their impact on international taxation. The experts will also discuss the draft revised United Nations Manual for Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries, which was originally published in 1979. Transfer pricing, new financial instruments, and mutual assistance in tax collection will also be discussed.

Contact:  Suresh Shende, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-4189, E-mail: shende@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on Governing Diversity: Exploring Linkages Between Decentralized Governance and Conflict Resolution
St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 10-14 September  

            Contact: Gay Rosenblum-Kumar, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 9638381, E-mail: rosenblum-kumar@un.org

Africa and Least Developed Countries
http://www.un.org/esa/africa/oscal.htm (no longer valid)  

Second Substantive Session of the Open-Ended Ad Hoc General Assembly Working Group on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable development in Africa
30 July-3 August  

The second substantive session of the Working Group took place from 30 July to 3 August. In this final session, the Group considered the draft report of its work this year, which covered the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the1998 Secretary General’s Report relating to Education, and Conflict Prevention and Peace Building. In addition, the Working Group proposed modalities for future work in the follow-up of the recommendations of the Secretary General’s Report. An updated matrix showing the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the Secretary General’s Report can be found on the website created for the Working Group by OSCAL:  http://www.un.org/esa/africa/adhocWg/index.html (no longer valid)

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

Second TICAD Expanded Steering Committee Meeting
New York ,
10-11 September  

The agenda of the meeting includes : review of the first draft of the discussion papers; final arrangeme nts for the Preparatory Meeting; and pending issues for the Ministerial Meeting scheduled to be held in Tokyo from 3-5 December 2001. OSCAL has been assigned the task of preparing, with UNESCO , the draft discussion paper on "Education in Africa: Issues and Challenges" and , with Japan 's Ministry of Foreign Affairs , a paper on "TICAD II Review".

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


Sustainable Development

Interregional Symposium on Water-related Disaster Reduction and Response
Bangkok, Thailand, 27-31 August  

An Interregional Symposium on Water-Related Disaster Reduction and Response is being jointly organized by DESA, ESCAP, the United States National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Secretariat for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The meeting will be held at ESCAP headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Symposium will bring together experts and decision makers from national and regional institutions in Asia and the Pacific, as well as representatives from other regions, international organisations, the private sector and civil society, including NGOs, to discuss the increasing social and economic impact of water-related disasters (especially floods) in Asia.

The principal output of the Symposium will be an update of the Guidelines for Reducing Flood Losses that were produced after the Symposium on Flood Forecasting for the Americas, held in Brazil in November 1999. This document will be broadened to articulate a global vision for future challenges and to provide concrete methodologies to reduce the impact of water related disasters in line with the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

The Symposium will also provide recommendations that will feed into the global sustainable development agenda, including the International Conference on Freshwater: Key to Sustainable Development, Bonn, Germany, 3-7 December 2001, as well as the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, September 2002, and the national and regional processes leading up to the Summit.

Contact: Marcia Brewster, National Resources and Minerals Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-8590, Fax: (212) 963-4340, E-mail: b rewster@un.org

Public Administration

Seoul Anti-Corruption Symposium 2001
Seoul, Korea, 30-31 August

The Seoul Anti-Corruption Symposium 2001 will be hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government , and is being co-organized by D PEPA and the Asia Foundation. Seoul’s successful installation of a web-based system to track corruption-prone applications for permits and licenses will be discussed at this Symposium with others who may be interested in adopting such a system. The Symposium will also consider anti-corruption initiatives that have bee n introduced in other regions. In preparation for this event, the Division received planning delegations from the Seoul Metropolitan Gov ernment in March and May 2001. During the latter visit, the Mayor of Seoul, Kun Goh, also paid a courtesy visit to Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss joint cooperation.

Contact: Elia Armstrong, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, Tel. (212) 963-2926; E-mail: armstronge@un.org

Social Development

International Workshop on Poverty Eradication
Bangkok, Thailand, 12-14 September

            The International Workshop on Poverty Eradication Through Community Development is being organised by the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission f or Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA).

            The workshop will focus on building capacities and strengthening collaborative efforts, particularly among community-based and non-governmental organizations and other local stakeholders. The aim is to develop or increase familiarity with new information technologies and to utilize those technologies to promote their fuller integration into the economic, social and political lives of societies. 

            Contact: Mr. Yoshinobu Yonekawa, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-7009, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E- mail: Yonekawa@un.org

Advancement of Women

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Sub-regional workshop
Palau, 24-28 September

The Gender Advisory Services Unit of the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) is organizing this sub-regional workshop as a follow up to the CEDAW workshop conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2001. The workshop will target six Pacific Island States which have not yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau. It will provide assistance to these Northern Pacific Island States which are considering ratifying the Convention, but are constrained by specific legal and/or cultural issues.

The sub-regional workshop will:

  • increase participants’ knowledge of  the Convention and its benefits for women;
  • increase their awareness and understanding of the provisions of the Convention as they apply to each sector/area affecting women’s rights;
  • identify the main obstacles to ratification  (national legal framework, customary law and practices) and ways of overcoming them;
  • outline the processes and implications of ratification and ensuing responsibilities for State Parties; and
  • identify practical mechanisms for implementation, monitoring and reporting on the Convention.

The workshop is being jointly organized by DAW, UNDP-Fiji, ESCAP and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).  Funding is being provided by UNDP, while DAW will provide technical assistance and training.

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


            Two brochures on aspects of the technical cooperation programme of the Department were recently issued: e-TC discussed the application of information and communication technology to DESA technical cooperation work; Knowledge and Skills for Managing Globalization points to the new overall orientation of DESA TC programmes. The two brochures can be requested from the Office of the Coordinator for Technical Cooperation, Room DC2-2315, x3-1047.



Monthly Bulleting of Statistics

Vol. LV – No. 5
May 2001

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

Vol. LV – No. 6
June 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.

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

Handbook on Census Management for Population and Housing Censuses
Sales No. 00.XVII.15/Rev.1
(The present publication is identical to ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/83 , except for the addition of annex VII) 

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

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

Compendium of Human Settlements Statistics 2001
Sales No. E.01.XVII.5  

            This Compendium presents statistics on human settlements and housing conditions for 243 countries or areas and 315 cities in the areas of population, households and urbanization, and for up to 100 countries or areas and 200 cities.  It focuses on the process of urbanization and characteristics of cities in developed and developing regions.  The Compendium contains 13 tables and includes graphical presentation of statistics.

Contact: Srdjan Mrkic, Statistics Division, Tel. (212) 963-4940, E-mail: mrkic@un.org

Population and Vital Statistics Report
Series A Vol.LIII, No.2
Data available as of 1 April 2001 

            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

National Accounts Statistics:  Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables,
1996-1997 Part I and Part II
Sales No. E.00.XVII.11

            The National Accounts Statistics Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables, 1996-1997 Part I and Part II, contains detailed national accounts estimates for 165 countries and areas.  The estimates for each country and area are presented in separate chapters with uniform table headings and classifications as recommended in the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA), 1968 edition.  A summary of the conceptual framework f the SNA, its classifications and definitions of transactions are also included in the population.

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

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Success Stories, Vol. 5
Special Issue on Small Island Developing States 

The fifth volume of sustainable development success stories has now been compiled using information submitted over the past year.  The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), through the Division for Sustainable Development, has been recording successful efforts to implement Agenda 21 since1997. The usual practice has been to focus on success stories related to Agenda 21 topics currently being discussed at the CSD. However, volume five of the success stories is a special issue that follows the General Assembly Special Session on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) held in New York in September 1999, and it is entirely dedicated to success stories in SIDS. It reports on practical measures taken in SIDS to further the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Barbados Programme of Action.

The success stories collected have been presented to the CSD to bring positive experiences to light and to encourage information sharing about sustainable development in SIDS. The stories are also posted on the SIDSNet website at www.sidsnet.org. In the future, the collection of SIDS success stories will be conducted online, and submissions will be accepted all year round. The database will be accessible at the above-mentioned website.

Several stories demonstrate that SIDS can achieve sustainability, given the necessary technology and the political will. In most cases, community involvement and participation has contributed to the success of the project. Not only do communities usually have an extensive knowledge of the problems affecting their territory, but they are also aware that it is now possible to learn and implement ways to sustainably use, manage and conserve their natural resources.

Contact: Manuel Dengo, Natural Resources and Mineral Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. (212) 963-4208, Fax: (212) 963-4340, E-mail: dengo@un.org

Policy Analysis

World Economic and Social Survey 2001

Prepared by the UN's Development Policy Analysis Division, the Survey notes that a deep slowdown in the world's major economies - triggered by the downturn in the United States - is dragging down growth prospects of developing and transition economies, and threatens to continue well into the second half of 2001. The slowdown in the United States has been caused by the interrelated decline in corporate profits, the tightening of credit conditions and the decrease in investment spending. According to the Survey, 2000 had been a remarkably good year in that none of the economies in transition went backward and declined in gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time in ten years. Unfortunately, the momentum did not last into 2001. The report urges reform of the global trading system and the international financial architecture as a long-term measure "to facilitate development by securing less volatile and more balanced world economic growth."  Chapter I of the Report has been released under symbol E/2001/50.  The full report will be issued later.

            Contact: Ian Kinniburgh, Director, Division for Development Policy Analysis, Tel. (212) 963-4838, E-mail: kinniburgh@un.org

Public Administration

Larry Willmore and Susan St. John, “Two Legs are Better than Three: New Zealand as a Model for Old Age Pensions” ,
World Development , V ol. 29, No. 8 (August 2001), pp. 1291-1305  

Larry Willmore's paper “Two Legs are Better than Three: New Zealand as a Model for Old Age Pensions” has just been published in World Development . His co-author , Susan St. John, is Senior Lecturer in economics at Auckland University, New Zealand. This is a revised version of a paper prepared for the International Research Conference on Social Security, held in Helsinki, Finland in September 2000.

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

Ruth Bamela Engo, "Civic Competence and the E ffectiveness of A cademic Activities in Challenging P overty "
University of Western Cape, South Africa, research project

Ms. Ruth Bamela Engo, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, OSCAL, recently worked on a research project titled "Civic Competence and the Effectiveness of Academic Activities in Challenging Poverty" during her sabbatical leave at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. Her research project deals with the need to reorient education toward empowering local people and institutions as they go about solving their daily problems and attempting to move their lives out of poverty. Ms. Engo's work underscores the need to review not only the technical content of learning but also its values and impact on community efficiency.

C ontact: Ms. Ruth Bamela Engo, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-4780, Fax: (212) 963-3892, E -mail: rengo@un.org


2001 Report on the World Social Situation

            An advance unedited version of the 2001 Report on the World Social Situation, prepared by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, is now available.  The Report was considered at the 2001 substantive session of ECOSOC (Geneva, 2-27 July 2001), and will be submitted as well as at the Third Committee of the 56th session of the General Assembly (October 2001)

            The Report will be available as a United Nations Sales Publication later this year.  The introduction and overview as well as the full text of individual chapters of the advance Report are available now for download.  Hard copies of the entire advance Report can be obtained from The Division for Social Policy and Development.

            The scope of the 2001 Report on the World Social Situation is very wide, covering issues identified in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development.  The 2001 edition of the Report continues the tradition of selecting a theme for in-depth treatment.  Equity was selected for special attention in the 2001 Report.  But, unlike earlier reports, which contained separate chapters or sections devoted to the special theme, on this occasion the theme runs through the entire Report and equity was an important factor determining the Report's scope and structure.

            The 2001 Report on the World Social Situation is the fifteenth in a series of reports on the subject dating from 1952.

Financing for Development
Technical Notes

The financing for development secretariat is in the process of preparing a series of “technical notes” cataloguing existing proposals made in various inter-governmental fora on selected issues. Together with the Department for Public Information, the secretariat is also initiating a campaign to increase public awareness around the world about financing for development. Finally, the secretariat is encouraging concrete initiatives by all stakeholders in support of the financing for development process. These activities are being detailed in a report that will be presented to the Preparatory Committee at its next session in October.

Contact: Krishnan Sharma, FDCS, Tel. (212) 963-4451, E-mail: sharmak@un.org

Draft Revised International Plan of Action on Ageing

At the end of August 2001, the draft of the revised International Plan of Action on Ageing will be ready for external review by delegations, in preparation for the resumed session in December 2001 of the PrepCom for the Second World Assembly on Ageing .  It is being prepared by the Ageing Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD).

            Contact: Diane Loughran, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. (212) 963-1707, E-mail: loughran@un.org


United Nations Population Division
Workshop on Prospects for Fertility Decline in High Fertility Countries
New York, 9-11 July

The Workshop concluded that fertility rates in most high fertility countries were declining. However, it was also emphasized that the observed fertility decline in some countries was crisis-driven (caused either by economic crises or civil strife), rather than the outcome of developments in social and economic conditions, thus raising questions about the sustainability of their fertility transition. Most participants remained doubtful about whether the average number of children per woman in those countries could be expected to fall below 4 by 2025. The low status of women, especially their lagging educational attainment, was cited as the main obstacle to fertility decline.

Background documents and other materials from the Workshop are available on the Web site of the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Contact: Joseph Chamie, Director, Population Division, Tel. (212) 963-3179, E-mail: population@un.org

Second Africa-Asia Business Forum (AABF II)
Durban, South Africa , 8-14 July

The Second Africa-Asia Business Forum was organized in Durban, South Africa , from 8-14 July 2001 , by the Government of South Africa and the UNDP/TCDC. The objective of the Forum was primarily to provide a platform for African and Asian investors for forging industrial collaborations. The Forum brought together 447 participants, which included the private sector (more than 200 companies), policy-makers, and the following United Nations system organizations : DESA/OSCAL, UNCTAD, ITC, UNIDO, World bank (MIGA) and UNDP (SU-TCDC, SU-TICAD, Afri ca Bureau). Mr. Abraham Joseph represented OSCAL in the Forum.

The highlight of the Forum was the signing of 104 Memorandums of Understanding worth US$ 80 million between the private sectors of African and Asian countries, of which 22 were intra-African. The industrial collaborations were mostly in small and medium industries , covering areas such as IT, agro-processing, textiles, educational materials and equipment, pharmaceuticals , and manufacturing industries.

OSCAL served as commentator at the Forum's UNCTAD/Harvard FDI round table on "Needs Assessment to Attract Asian FDI into Africa"; and will also provide an evaluation of the AABF II to its Advisory Committee , including ways and means of sustaining the AABF project. The AABF is one of the important follow-up activities relating to the implementation of the Tokyo Agenda for Action for Africa.

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

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
25th Session
New York, 2-20 July

The twenty-fifth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) -- the only United Nations human rights treaty body that deals exclusively with women's rights -- took place at UN Headquarters in July.  The three-week session reviewed 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 Guinea, Guyana, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Singapore, Sweden and Viet Nam.  The advanced unedited concluding comments of the Committee will soon be available at the DAW website.

The twenty-sixth session of the Committee will take place at UN Headquarters from 14 January to 1 February 2002.  The periodic reports of Iceland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka and Uruguay will be examined.  Estonia, Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago will also be invited to present their initial reports.

As of July 2001, there were 168 States parties to the Convention which was adopted in 1979 and opened for signature in March 1980.  Also as of July 2001, there were 68 signatories and 24 ratifications to the Optional Protocol of the Convention which adopted in October 1999 and opened for signature in December 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

Third Asia-Africa Forum on Combating Desertification and Mitigating Drought
Ulan Bator ,
Mongolia , 21 -25 June

Organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification and Drought (UNCCD) , and co -sponsored by the Governments of Japan and Germany, the Third Asia-Africa Forum on Combating Desertification and Mitigating Drought was hosted in Ulan Bator by the Government of Mongolia from 21 to 25 June 2001.  The Forum brought together 80 participants from Asia (40), Africa (20), and from the countries in other regions as well as international organizations (20).

The Forum undertook an assessment of the Asia/Africa Framework for Action adopted in Beijing, China in August 1996, and examined proposed start up initiatives. Progress was recorded in a number of areas of the Framework, including the development of operative structures for regional action programmes through the establishment of thematic programme network (TPN); activities related to early warning systems in the context of the working programme of the Committee on Science and Technology; the establishment of a roster of experts and an inventory of institutions with expertise in the field of combating desertification and drought.

OSCAL’s representative made a presentation on the roster of experts and the inventory of institutions, universities and centers of Asia and Africa with expertise in the field of combating desertification and drought. The African expert making this presentation reminded participants that OSCAL was one of the founders of the Asia/Africa Forum on Combating Desertification and Drought as part of its efforts to promote Asia/Africa co-operation in the framework of the TICAD process.

The forum was followed by a field visit that took the participants to Zimman Uhr, a city 850 km away from Ulan Bator, in the Gobi Desert. The visit enabled participants to become acquainted with the problems of desertification and drought facing Mongolia and the techniques being used by Mongolian experts to arrest desertification and reclaim land from the desert.

Contact: Emmanuel Goued Njayick, Principal Economic Affairs Officer, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-5006, Fax: (212) 963-3892, E -mail: njayick@un.org

UN Forum on Forests
New York, 11- 23 June

The first session of the UNFF concluded on 23 June, after two weeks of intensive negotiations. The UNFF adopted its Multi-Year Programme of Work as well as its Plan of Action during this session.  Negotiations were particularly difficult regarding issues of finance; transfer of environmentally sound technologies; monitoring assessment and reporting; trade; and the possible legal framework for all types of forests. On the other hand, all the governments acknowledged the political significance of the UNFF as the central intergovernmental forum for deliberating international forest policy and for advancing sustainable forest management in an international context. The UNFF welcomed the timely establishment of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), a body from which it expects to receive a great deal of contribution and support. The CPF was founded in April this year and consists of 10 forest-related international organizations, both within and outside the UN system.  All CPF members attended the session and reaffirmed their strong commitment and support for the work of the UNFF.

The second session of the UNFF will be held from 4-15 March 2002 in San José, Costa Rica.  This session will include a high-level segment for ministers and executive heads of the CPF member organizations.  It will also include a one-day multi-stakeholder dialogue that offers a special opportunity for different forest-related stakeholders to provide some input into the UNFF process, over and above the regular participation of non-governmental organizations in the work of the UNFF.

The report of the first session of the UNFF (E/CN.18/2001/3 (Part II)) was submitted to ECOSOC at its regular substantive session on 2-27 July 2001 in Geneva.

Contact: Mia Söderlund, Tel. (212) 963-3262, E-mail: soderlund@un.org OR consult UNFF’s website: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm

DESA News is produced every two months
Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Editor
Room DC2-1770, Tel. (212) 963-3176, E-mail: esa@un.org