Volume 6, No. 1, February-March 2002

  In this issue:
  Financing for Development

Functional Commissions

International Forum for Social Development

Global dialogue on development

Conference on Freshwater

Human Resources Development Roundtables

Trends and analysis
Statistical Territories
Technical cooperation
NGO Capacity Building
Current an upcoming meetings
Current and forthcoming publications
 

Preparations for Johannesburg
New York, 28 January-8 February
Prepcom II

            The second session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in New York from 28 January to 8 February, 2002. The Commission on Sustainable Development has been acting as the preparatory body for the Summit, which is to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September. The Summit will bring together world leaders to identify concrete steps to further implement Agenda 21, the action programme adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.      

           In the roundtable discussions, regional preparatory meetings and brainstorming sessions leading up to the PrepCom, there has been virtual unanimity in the belief that Agenda 21, the global plan for sustainable development, is still a solid framework for action, but that efforts to implement it in the ten years since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro have not been satisfactory.    

            The struggle for sustainable development has been an "uphill task," according to Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai, in his opening address to the PrepCom. "At each stage we go a little bit further up the hill, and at Johannesburg, the goal is to make it up to the top."  

            The Rio Conference, he said, marked a move away from confrontation toward an approach that sought to find common ground. It also marked a new phase in international affairs, ushering in efforts to find consensus on programmatic issues.

            Among the "quite substantial" achievements of the last decade, Desai said, is a new awareness, not just about the issues, but about how environmental issues have to be dealt with in connection with development, and not in isolation. Desai said that Rio also brought two new terms into common policy usage - the first being the idea of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This means that all countries have a responsibility to work towards sustainability, but in different ways, according to their level of development. The other term is the "precautionary principle", stating that even if the long-term effects of a problem are uncertain, action cannot wait until the effects are felt, for then it may be too late.

            "We must also recognize that we don't see the results on the ground," Desai said, whether in poverty reduction or environmental protection. Now that the Doha WTO meeting has put development at the centre of the trade agenda, and the Monterrey Conference on Finance for Development is putting development at the centre of the finance agenda, Desai said the challenge for Johannesburg is to put sustainable development at the centre of the development agenda.

            In a report on implementing Agenda 21 , United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had confirmed that while Agenda 21 remains a powerful, long-term vision, progress towards reaching the goals set at Rio has been slower than anticipated, and in many ways conditions are worse than they were ten years ago. Yet while there is agreement that the process of putting Agenda 21 into practice needs to be reinvigorated, and that there must be a departure from business as usual, there has been a great deal of uncertainty over what programmes and projects are needed, who will do them, and when they will be done. In the regional meetings that preceded the PrepCom, representatives of government and civil society made it clear that they wanted the Johannesburg Summit to concentrate on the effective implementation of Agenda 21, accelerating progress towards poverty eradication efforts, and addressing new realities such as globalization and the spread of HIV/AIDS. There were also many calls to strengthen the international system so that it could promote sustainable development more effectively.

            Just before the PrepCom, at a brainstorming session held on 16-17 January, there was evident disappointment over current efforts to implement sustainable development. Iran, speaking for the Group of 77, representing over 130 developing countries, said that since Rio, 66 countries have become poorer, the environmental situation is becoming worse, and that levels of assistance have decreased. "We should address the root causes of non-compliance with Agenda 21. I don't want to be paranoid, but we need to tackle the realities. We should not repeat the experiences of the past."

            The recently concluded PrepCom represents another step towards Johannesburg. Since 28 January, representatives of governments and all the other major stakeholders in civil society have been participating in discussions in an attempt to chart a course of action. There is a consensus forming around the idea that partnerships, between any combination of stakeholders, will be vital for any implementation efforts. Dr. Emil Salim of Indonesia, Chairman of the Preparatory Committee, said that he was encouraged by the preparations of the major groups. "We're past the notion that implementation of sustainable development rests only on the desk of governments. It also rests with the stakeholders." There was, however, concern over who should monitor the partnerships. Several developing countries have suggested that the responsibility for implementing sustainable development rests solely with governments, while developed countries have stressed the need for the private sector to play a major role.

            To move the sustainable development agenda forward, the Secretary-General, in his report, had offered a Ten-Point Plan suggesting the issues that must be tackled. The ten points include globalization, poverty eradication, changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, health, energy, managing ecosystems and biodiversity, freshwater, finance and technology, initiatives for Africa, and international governance for sustainable development.  Mr. Desai said the Ten-Point Plan was an attempt to see what actions could realistically be taken at the local, regional and global levels to strengthen sustainable development. "The main challenge," he felt, "is to secure the political commitment to undertake practical steps in partnerships."

            The idea of promoting partnerships has been gaining support. At the PrepCom dialogue held on 30 January 2002, there was extensive discussion about multi-stakeholder participation in sustainable development efforts. Representatives of governments and the nine major groups identified in Agenda 21 -- youth, women, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations (NGO), local authorities, trade unions, business and industry, science and technology, and farmers -- came together to consider how to turn the lessons learned and barriers identified into tangible actions through partnerships in future sustainable development work.

            Initiatives that are agreed upon will require resources, which have been sorely lacking over the last decade. While developing countries have called for increases in official development assistance, at least so that donor countries honor the 0.7 per cent of GNP commitment, representatives of some donor countries say that is unrealistic. Salim said the Summit has to provide the incentives for attracting resources. "If the programmes are right, the money will follow," he said. Noting that the European Union mentioned that they were working toward the goal of 0.7 per cent for ODA, Salim said that programmes, such as for poverty eradication, must have "sex appeal" to taxpayers in developed countries. "There has to be proper resource management and there should be a programme approach that makes it attractive to raise resources," he said. "We don't need high-flying rhetoric. We need doable, deliverable programmes that are effective and measurable."

            At a press briefing during the PrepCom, Mr. Desai and Dr. Salim said that they expected that the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit would be a major statement of purpose rather than a laundry list of small programmes to be implemented. Mr. Desai said the preparatory process for the Summit had itself been unusual.  Rather than starting points, the preparatory sessions were “focusing” events to consolidate outcomes of activities already undertaken at either regional or thematic levels. Thematic meetings had been held, for example, on issues that would be Summit priorities, including renewable energy, water and a healthy environment. Likewise, regional meetings had resulted in regional consensus on problems and directions.

PrepCom 2 is transmitting to the third session of the Committee in late March-April:

  • the Chairman’s Report of proposals on time-bound measures, and global implementation initiatives, for negotiation by States;

  • a list of initiatives, practical measures, and implementation partnership proposed, which do not require negotiation among States;

  • the Chairman’s Summary of the review and assessment of Agenda 21 implementation, and the Summary of the Multi-stakeholder dialogue, for information.

            A flow chart of the preparatory work of the expected outcomes of the World Summit for Social Development is available online.

            Contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-5949, E-mail: vasilyev@un.org

***


           
Mr. Nitin Desai participated in a major Panel relating to the Johannesburg Summit which was held at the World Economic Forum, also known as the “Davos” meeting held this year in New York.  The Panel included Mr. Valli Moosa, South African Minister for Environment, Mr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, and Sir Mark Moody Stewart, who is leading the business sector involvement in the Johannesburg Summit.  The Panel discussed the objectives of Johannesburg Summit and obstacles that they face in bringing the issue of sustainable development centrally into the national and international agenda.  It was a well-attended Panel and participants expressed concern at the dominance of short-term issues at the cost of longer term issues including the need to protect the earth’s natural resource base.

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Internatio nal Conference on Financing for Development  
Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March 2002
http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/

             After two weeks of intensive negotiating, countries reached agreement on a wide range of issues that puts development at the centre of global financial reforms and paves the way for the summit-level International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD) in Monterrey, Mexico on 18–22 March 2002.

            Ambassador Shams had Ahmad, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Ambassador Ruth Jacoby of Sweden, the two co-Chairs for the Preparatory Committee for the Internatio nal Conference on Financing for Development, announced t he conclusion of its fourth and final session on 28 January 2002 .  A greement on the final outcome document for the Conference -- now called the Monterrey Consensus -- was reached on 27 January , when it was informally approved by the PrepCom. This marks the first time in recent memory when a preparatory committee has completed its substantive work so far in advance of a conference. Hailed by many delegations as a success for the UN and for multilateralism, the document includes agreements and proposals covering the six areas of the FfD agenda. Its last section, “Staying engaged”, spells out what is needed in terms of implementation and follow-up, including strengthened and better use of ECOSOC and other intergovernmental bodies.

            The financing for development process ha s taken a bi g leap with the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus out come document, said Mr. Ahmad. This doc ument will now be presented to world leaders in Monterrey, and constitutes a real opportuni ty to build global partnerships in the pursuit of development. He stressed that the Monterrey Conferen ce will not be a stand-alone event; instead it should be seen as the first building block in a long and con tinuing process. The point is an important one to the Group of 77, representing over 130 developing countries, and to non-governmental organizations who had fought for such an acknowledgement in the agreement.

            The seventy-three paragraphs of the Monterrey Consensus tackle trade, aid, debt, investment, strengthening national capacities and coherence of global and regional financial structures.  “Divergent positions” between the developed and developing countries remain, said Ambassador Ahmad.   But these positions now have equal representation in a common ground for discussion and a coherent document that allows participating countries to follow up language with action in Monterrey.

            Without progress in the area of financial resources, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said, universal goals agreed to by 147 Heads of State and Government and 191 nations at the Millennium Summit – such as cutting in half extreme poverty by 2015 – are in jeopardy.

            The Monterrey Consensus requires d eveloping countries to make every effort to bring about reforms in their economies; improve governance and the rule of law; follow pro-poor growth policies; invest in the social sector and poverty eradication programmes; strengthen workers' rights; environmental protection; and ensure macroeconomic stability through fiscal d iscipline. Developed countries w ill be expected to take measures t o ensure the transparency of the global trade regime and equitable market access to the products of developing countries.  T hey will also be expected to avoid linking trade with environment and labour standards; refrain from anti-dumping and countervailing duties; provide 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA); reduce the debt burden of developing cou ntries; and assist them through capacity-building and technology transfer.

            Ambassador Ruth Jacoby drew attention to the uniqueness of this process : representatives of civil societ y and the private sector were included t hroughout the preparatory process, as were institutional stakeholders, primarily the World Bank, the Inte rnational Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization . The participation of all stakeholders, from the very beginning through to the final hours of negotiations, has “never been done before”. With the outcome document fully drafted and agreed to before the actual conference, the benefits to delegates and stakeholders are enormous. In contrast to many other global conferences, the Monterrey meeting will not be about negotiating a text but instead about charting new territory in development financing and global financial systems, Ambassador Jacoby indicated.

            Regarding the controversy surrounding a paragraph concerning ODA targets (paragr aph 34 of the final document), Ms. Jacoby explained -- w ithout naming names -- that there were two as pects of the paragraph that had cause d divisions between countries. First, the goal of reaching 0.7 per cent of g ross domestic product (GDP) for ODA proved to be a contentious issue, she said. This target had been agreed upon 32 years ago, and at present there are only five developed countries that ha ve reached it. One major donor had not accepted the target and was not part of the consensus 32 years ago. Prolonged negotiations at the PrepCom resulted in an agreement on the need for “a substantial increase” in ODA and for building support for increasing aid by urging developed countries “to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7% of GNP as ODA”. Secondly, Secretary-General Annan had called for a doubling of current ODA by $50 billion at the opening of the PrepCom meeting on 14 January 2002, a figure NGOs and other stakeholders were eager to see included in the Consensus.  However, while objections from some developed countries led to compromise, Ambassador Jacoby stressed that the paragraph showed the direction in which the world was committed.

            Countries also agreed on a “follow up International Conference to review the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus”, whose format would be decided upon no later than 2005.  For developing countries, a time frame in which world leaders would reassemble to take stock of implementing the results from Monterrey was important.  But other parties argued that it was too early to set a fixed date for the next stage of the Consensus’ implementation.  Regardless of specific dates, all participants are agreed that the progress on development financing begun in Monterrey will continue afterwards, Ambassador Jacoby noted.

            Ambassador Ahmad s tressed the fact that the process must not be seen only i n the context of ODA. It has a holist ic approach and six main areas, domestic resource mobili zation, external capital flows, trade, debts and ODA , and finally systemic issues. Official deve lopment assistance is just one of the six areas which a re being addressed as a means of financing development.

            Further opportunities to discuss the way forward will come through the roundtable format in Monterrey, which brings Heads of State and Government together with civil society leaders, CEOs and international financial institution chiefs for two days of open dialogue. But developing countries, the initiators of the FfD Conference, were pleased with the language on trade and other institutional reforms that will give them a chance to more fully integrate into the world’s financial system, Ambassador Ahmad added.

            FfD, the first-ever global Conference focused entirely on development financing, is aimed at mobilizing the resources needed to boost the economic growth of developing countries and to fulfill internationally agreed social and humanitarian goals. Another distinctive feature of the Monterrey meeting will be national representation at a high-level by finance and foreign ministries, as well as by Heads of State and Government, and their engagement with representatives from civil society, private sector and international financial institutions also participating at Monterrey.

            Contact: Oscar de Rojas, FfD, Tel. (212) 963-2587, E-mail: derojas@un.org  


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Intergovernmental Meetings

Preparations for Johannesburg
International Conference on Financing for Development
Commission for Social Development
Commission on the Status of Women 
Statistical Commission
Commission on Population and Development
UN Forum on Forest
Review Workshop on Work in Progress for NEPAD
Tokyo International Conference for African Development Steering Committee Meeting
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Expert Group Meetings
International Forum for Social Development
Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Energy and Sustainable Development: 
    New Partnerships for Concrete Actions

International Conference on Freshwater
Completing the Fertility Transition 
Inter-Agency Meetings
First Session of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality
Ad Hoc Inter-Agency Task Force on Energy

 

Intergovernmental Meetings  

Commission for Social Development
Fortieth Session
New York, 11-21 February
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/2002.htm

Priority theme: "Integration of social and economic policy" (See Report of the Secretary-General E/CN.5/2002/3.) 

Keynote address, 11 February, a.m. session: 
Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.

High-Level Panel discussion, 11 February, p.m. session:
Mr. Tumusime Mutebile, Governor, Bank of Uganda
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF
Mr. Peter Marris, Professor of Sociology, Yale University
Ms. Roxana Viquez Salazar, Executive President, Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (IMAS), Costa Rica

            There will also be an NGO-segment as well as a question-and-answer segment with entities of the UN System on the priority theme is also scheduled.

             The Commission will consider the following reports: Integration of social and economic policy (E/CN.5/2002/3), Follow-up to the International Year of the Family in 2004 (E/CN.5/2002/2) and Monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (C/CN.5/2002/4).  

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

            The Commission shall also serve as the preparatory committee for the 2nd World Assembly on Ageing.  The second session of the preparatory committee, which will be held from 25 February to 1 March 2002, will consider the draft outcome of the Second World Assembly on Ageing (Madrid, 8-12 April 2002), as well as the following document: Recognizing and responding to abuse of older persons in a global context.

            Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, Fax: (212) 963-0500, E-mail: sidorenko@un.org

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Commission on the Status of Women
Forty-sixth Session
New York, 4-15 March

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw

            The Forty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 4 to 15 March 2002.  At the session, the Commission will discuss the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and to the special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.  Under this item (3), with its sub-items, the CSW will have before it several reports of the Secretary-General.  One report will provide the regular update on measures taken and progress achieved in the follow-up to the FWCW and in mainstreaming a gender perspective within the UN system (the “rolling report”). Item 3 will also cover reports requested under specific mandates, such as on Palestinian women, on the release of women and children taken hostage, on Afghan women, and the report on the joint work-plan between the DAW and the OHCHR.  Also under item 3, the CSW will discuss the working methods of the Commission, and progress in improving the status of women in the United Nations system.

            There will be discussion of follow-up to ECOSOC resolutions and decisions, and policy guidance provided by ECOSOC at its 2001 session under item 5, and under item 6, the Commission will discuss the function of its communications procedure.

            Under item 3 (c), there will be two thematic issues under discussion at the Commission’s meeting: eradicating poverty, including through the empowerment of women throughout their life cycle in a globalizing world; and environmental management and mitigation of natural disasters: a gender perspective. In accordance with current working methods, there will be one panel for each thematic issue under discussion at the forty-sixth session. Each panel will consist of four participants: two from the Member States, one from civil society, and one from the UN system.  Both panels take place on 6 March 2002.

            Reference Documentation: Commission on the Status of Women Forty-sixth session, Provisional Agenda. E/CN.6/2001/2.

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

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Statistical Commission
Thirty-third Session
New York, 5- 8 March
http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/statcom/sc2002.htm

The thirty-third session of the Statistical Commission will be held in New York from 5 to 8 March 2002.  The main items on the agenda are population and housing censuses, disability measurement, International Comparison Programme, statistical capacity building, definition and measurement of e-commerce, and harmonization of development indicators, including the statistical implications of the Millennium Declaration follow-up process.

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

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Commission on Population and Development
Thirty-fifth Session
New York, 1-5 April
http://www.unpopulation.org  

            The Population Division/DESA is the secretariat for the Commission.  The special theme for the Commission is "reproductive rights and reproductive health, with special reference to human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).  The Concise Report on the subject, prepared by the Population Division for deliberation at the Commission, covers entry into reproductive life; reproductive behaviour; family planning; abortion; maternal mortality and morbidity; sexually transmitted infections; HIV/AIDS, and reproductive rights

            Contact: Larry Heligman, PD, Tel. (212) 963-2147, E-mail: heligman@un.org

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UN Forum on Forests
Second Session
New York, 4-15 March
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/forests.htm

Change of Venue

            UNFF 2 will be held on 4-15 March, at UN Headquarters in New York.  The meeting had originally been scheduled to take place in Costa Rica.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Government of Costa Rica has withdrawn its offer to host the session

High-level Ministerial Segment
13-14 March

The segment is part of the Second session of the Forum. The expected outcome of the Ministerial
deliberations is:

  • Endorsement of UNFF Plan of Action and political commitment towards its implementation;
  • Enhanced international cooperation, including recognition of the role of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) to facilitate countries’ implementation of the Plan of Action;
  • Repositioning of forests on the national and international political agendas;
  • Ministerial message to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) as well as other fora.

CPF Network

            The Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) has initiated efforts to cooperate and communicate with relevant stakeholders in an informal network, by drafting a concept paper on the CPF Network. The concept paper has been prepared in close consultation with many stakeholders and outlines the objectives, functions, participants and working modalities of the CPF Network. The concept paper will serve as the basis for the first CPF Network meeting, scheduled on Tuesday 6 March in the evening at UN Headquarters, open to all UNFF 2 participants.  It is envisaged that the participation in the CPF Network will be open-ended and broad.  The partnership will have its sixth meeting on 3 March and its seventh on 9 March at Headquarters.

            Contact: Mia Soderlund, UNFF, Tel. (212) 963-3262, E-mail: soderlund@un.org

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Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Twenty-sixth Session
New York, 14 January-1 February
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/26sess.htm

            The twenty-sixth session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) took place at UN Headquarters in New York from 14 January to 1 February 2002.  The Committee reviewed the reports of Estonia, Fiji, Iceland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

            CEDAW’s twenty-seventh session will take place from 3 to 21 June 2002.  The Committee has invited eight States Parties to present their reports at this session.  Subject to their confirmation, the countries expected to present their reports are Belgium, Congo, Denmark, Guinea-Bissau, St. Kitts and Nevis, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Zambia.  An exceptional session of the Committee, which has been authorized by the General Assembly, will also take place in New York from 5 to 24 August 2002. At this session, which is being held to reduce the accumulation of States Parties reports awaiting review , the Committee will examine the reports of Argentina, Armenia, Barbados, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, and Yemen. The Pre-Session Working Group for both the twenty-seventh session and CEDAW’s exceptional session took place from 4 to 8 February 2002.

            The Committee adopted a statement of solidarity with the women of Afghanistan, which was transmitted to Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai, through the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi. The Committee also adopted statements to be forwarded to the Second World Assembly on Ageing (Madrid, 8 to 12 April 2002), and to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2 to 11 September 2002).  It continued work on its twenty-fifth general recommendation, which will address article 4.1 of the Convention, on temporary special measures, aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women.  The Committee plans to hold an informal meeting in Lund, Sweden in April 2002, to discuss, inter alia , its working methods and concluding comments.

            With Mauritania being the latest country to ratify or 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. The Optional Protocol to the Convention entered into force on 22 December 2000, and to date, there are 73 signatories and 31 parties to the Optional Protocol.

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

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Review Workshop on Work in Progress for the  New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
South Africa, January 2002

              The Workshop was convened by the NEPAD Steering Committee.  Its main purpose was to define the outline and detailed content of the Programme of Action that the NEPAD Heads of States Implementation Committee have to develop for presentation to the African Union (AU) Summit in July 2002, and to serve as a basis for an enhanced partnership with developed countries especially the G8 and the European Union (EU).

            President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa gave the keynote address.  The themes covered were those identified in the NEPAD document. For each theme, background papers were prepared by selected experts and institutions at Plenary and Break-Away sessions.  OSCAL, chaired the break-away session on Health and Communicable Diseases.

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

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Tokyo International Conference for African Development Steering Committee Meeting  
New York, 4 February 2002

          At this meeting a review was made of the outcome of the TICAD Ministerial meeting held in December and discussions were held on follow-up activities leading to TICAD III, which is scheduled to take place during the last quarter of 2003.  It was agreed that TICAD III should focus on areas that would provide support to NEPAD.  In this connection, the meeting concluded that TICAD III should be preceded by an African-Asia Forum (AAF IV) that would be in two parts.  The first part would concentrate on Asia-Africa cooperation in key issues such as HIV/AIDS and Agriculture, while the second part would be dedicated to Asia-Africa cooperation in Private Sector Development.  During the second part, consideration would be given to the participation from the private sector of both Asia and Africa.

Contact: Emmanuel Goued OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963- 5006 , E-mail: njayick@un.org  

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Expert Group Meetings

International Forum for Social Development
New York, 7-8 February
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev

            The International Forum for Social Development is a new initiative of the Department to bring together personalities from Governments, international and regional organizations, the private sector and civil society for an informal dialogue on global issues of development and social progress.

            The Forum is part of the Department’s efforts to follow up the outcome of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development as well as subsequent major international gatherings, including the Millennium Summit.  The overarching theme of the International Forum for Social Development, which is being carried out as a three-year technical cooperation activity financed by voluntary contributions, is Open Societies, Open Economies: Challenges and Opportunities .  The Forum will seek to support efforts at the national and international level to harmonize social development and globalization and to support developing countries and social groups not currently benefiting from the globalization process.

            The theme of the first Forum will be Financing Global Social Development .  It will take place in New York on 7-8 February 2002, prior to the 40th session of the Commission for Social Development, which will address the priority theme of integration of economic and social policy.

            This Forum will comprise two events:

Symposium on Financing Global Social Development
New York, 7 February

1.         A Symposium will be held on 7 February in the Economic and Social Council Chamber with approximately 50 invited participants and open to members of delegations as well as Secretariat staff, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the media.  The Symposium will be structured around four themes:

  • Is there a rationale for an international/global financing of social development?
  • Is globalization favourable to the financing of social development?
  • Ideally, what should be the contours of the financing of social development?
  • Which features of the current situation should be most immediately and most usefully addressed?

2.         On 8 February, a closed Seminar, with around 20 participants, will consider in greater detail some of the issues debated by the Symposium. 

            Contact: Jacques Baudot, Coordinator of the International Forum for Social Development, Tel. (212) 963-4596, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: baudotj@un.org

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Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Energy and Sustainable Development: New Partnerships for Concrete Actions
New Delhi, India, 21-23 January

            More than 75 representatives from NGOs, civil society, the private sector, governments and international agencies participated in the “Multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Energy and Sustainable Development: New Partnerships for Concrete Actions” which was held in New Delhi, India, 21-23 January 2002.  The Roundtable was hosted by the government of India and the Tata Energy Research Organization (TERI) and the government of India, and was sponsored by DESA with support from the United Nations Foundation and the Global Environment Facility.  ESCAP cooperated on the organization of the Roundtable.   In addition, there was active participation by UN agencies working in the field of energy including UNDP, UNIDO, UNEP, IAEA, the World Bank and the regional commissions.

            The Roundtable was convened to gather input for proposals on concrete actions as a follow-up to decisions taken at the intergovernmental meetings on energy during the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable held last year and to contribute to preparations for the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.  Specific issues considered were in line with those identified as key issues by CSD-9 and included access to energy, equity, poverty alleviation, renewable energy, clean technologies, integration of economic, social and environmental aspects of energy, mobilizing financial resources, and partnerships.    Discussions centered around developing ways and means of utilizing energy resources to promote sustainable development goals given that while energy is vital for socio-economic development, its emissions account for a significant portion of pollution at the local and global levels.

            The Roundtable issued the New Delhi Communique on Energy and Sustainable Development that detailed options and strategies for concrete actions to promote sustainable development at the national, regional and international levels including the establishment of a global risk management fund, partnerships for financing energy projects, partnerships to support fuel switching, use of cleaner fuels and technologies and the establishment of a clearing house mechanism for exchanging information and experiences.  It was noted that the mechanisms and actions proposed could form the basic building blocks for a world initiative on energy for sustainable development and recommended that actions be taken toward this end.

            Contact: J. Gururaja, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-8785, E-mail: gururaja@un.org

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International Conference on Freshwater
Bonn, Germany, 3-7 December 2001:
http://www.water-2001.de

            An important thematic meeting was held in Bonn, where more than 2000 participants, including delegates from 118 countries, 46 ministers, and stakeholders from all parts of civil society, gathered for the International Conference on Freshwater, from 3 to 7 December 2001. The Conference was hosted by the Government of Germany in close collaboration with the United Nations, and in particular the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.  

            The Bonn conference focused on freshwater as a key to sustainable development, stressing the need to find practical and innovative solutions to the global freshwater crisis. The conference reviewed the role of water in sustainable development, assessed the progress and failures in the implementation of Agenda 21 and identified practical steps for improving implementation. The conference outcome includes a Ministerial Statement, a compilation of key recommendations for action, and a summary report of the multistakeholder sessions. Broad participation of all kinds of stakeholders was ensured through multistakeholder-dialogue sessions and a plenary session on gender and water. In their final ministerial statement containing action-oriented policy recommendations, the ministers looked to the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development to help generate enough support to implement a sound water programme.

            The Freshwater Conference is expected to have a major impact on the process leading up to the Johannesburg Summit. Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai told the Conference participants in his introductory statement that he sees water as a strategic resource for putting sustainable development into practice. He underscored the decisive role of sustainable water management as a key to poverty eradication, stressing that the achievement of sustainable water use and management is also central for all other dimensions of sustainable development. On the subject of the relationship between the Johannesburg Summit preparatory process and the programme of the Freshwater Conference, he said that he hoped the Summit would borrow some of the key organizational elements of Bonn, such as the way in which scientific and professional inputs were presented, the integration of social, economic and environmental dimensions, and the focus on concrete steps to achieve conference goals in an open and transparent process.

            Contact: Manuel Dengo, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-4208, E-mai l : dengo@un.org OR Henrike Peichert, Tel. (212) 963-8759, E-mail: peichert@un.org  

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Expert Group Meeting on Completing the Fertility Transition
New York, 11-14 March

            The meeting aims to bring together researchers from the different regions of the world in order to investigate the prospects for fertility decline in those countries with “intermediate” levels of fertility; i.e., those countries whose total fertility rate is currently above replacement level and below five children per woman.   Among the primary questions for the meeting are:  Will less developed countries follow the patterns experienced by the more developed countries, that is attain fertility levels below replacement?  Or will fertility levels in these countries stagnate at some intermediate level well above replacement?  Is fertility more likely to fall below replacement level in some countries than in others?  What are the factors or lead indicators that might be especially relevant and useful for formulating plausible assumptions on future fertility?

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

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Inter-Agency Meetings


First
Session of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality
New York, 26 February-1 March

            The ACC Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) will meet from 26 February to 1 March 2002. Ms. Angela E.V. King, UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, is the Chairperson of the Network.

            The session will follow-up on the meeting of the Administrative Committee on Coordination/High-level Committee on Programmes.  It will discuss integrated and coordinated follow up to Beijing+5 in the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, and also matters related to the Commission on the Status of Women.

In other work, the Network will examine follow-up to inter-sessional activities:

  • Women, peace and security, including inter-agency activities in Afghanistan;
  • Database activities (including compilation of good practices, gender training materials and WomenWatch);
  • Gender mainstreaming in programme budgets;
  • Mainstreaming of a gender perspective in common country assessments and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework; and
  • Gender and financing for development.

            Also included on the agenda will be tools and indicators for gender impact analysis, monitoring and evaluation; and gender and information and communications technologies.

            Under the aegis of the ACC, the IANWGE was previously known as the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality (IACWGE) from 1997 to 2000, and then the Inter-Agency Meeting on Women and Gender Equality (IAMWGE) in 2001.  The group was established to monitor, on the basis of performance indicators, the implementation by the UN system of the Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women and gender-related recommendations emanating from UN conferences and summits within the purview of the system. It advises the ACC on ways and means of ensuring effective cooperation and coordination of the UN system in that regard, and in support of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the work of the UN system.

            Reference Documentation: Report of the Inter-Agency Meeting on Women and Gender Equality (New York, 27 February to 2 March 2001).  ACC/2001/3

            Contact: Michio Sarumida, DAW, Tel. (212) 963-5253, E-mail sarumida@un.org

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Ad Hoc Inter-Agency Task Force on Energy
Seventh Session
New Delhi, India, 22 January

The Ad Hoc Inter-agency Task Force on Energy held its seventh session in New Delhi, India in the margins of the Multistakeholder’s Roundtable on Energy and Sustainable Development.  It was attended by staff working in the area of energy from UNDP, UNIDO, UNEP, DESA, ESCAP, ECA, GEF, and the World.  Ongoing and planned activities of each agency were discussed in a continued effort to coordinate activities in energy in general and as part of preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.  

            Contact: K. Abdalla, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-8416

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Panels and symposia

Pensions and Ageing
Postal Savings and Financial Services
Orderly Debt Workouts: A Dialogue Between Private Investors, the IMF and NGOs  
Seminar on Rights-based Development Approach: Relevance and Significance in a Globalizing
    World

DPEPA Panels at ASPA 63rd National Conference 
15th UN/INTOSAI Interregional Seminar on Government Auditing 
Human Resources Development Roundtables
Regional Conference on African Women and NEPAD
Workshop to Develop a Study Module on Energy and Sustainable Development 

Panels and symposia

Pensions and Ageing

           The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration is organising a side event on “Pensions and Ageing” for the International Conference on Financing for Development. A panel of four experts will highlight the recent work of DESA on ageing, including preparations for the forthcoming Second World Assembly on Ageing, and discuss possible reform of mandatory systems of pensions in developing countries. Particular attention will be given to (a) pre-funding of pensions (b) creation of individual accounts and (c) the alternative of universal, non-contributory pensions.

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

Postal Savings and Financial Services


            Policy issues in the use of the postal infrastructure for savings mobilization was discussed on 17 January 2002 at the Finance for Development Preparatory Committee side event sponsored by the Development Policy Analysis Division.  The presentation covered the utilization of the postal network: in mobilizing domestic financial resources; its use in delivering financial services to the excluded – women, rural communities and the urban poor; the use of postal giro services in providing safe, cost-effective remittances for overseas workers; and on the intermediation of postal savings funds for sustainable development, including micro-finance institutions.  Reviewed were the experiences of postal financial services in twelve Asian developing countries.  These findings can also be found in DESA Discussion Paper No. 22 , which was distributed at the Pre Com event.

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

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Orderly Debt Workouts: A Dialogue Between Private Investors, the IMF and NGOs  
New York, 23 January 2002

            Arranged to bring to the fore for discussion the need for a new modality to deal with the debt difficulties of the developing countries with significant private sector debt, this side event of the FfD Prep Com featured a frank appraisal of the recently proposed approach to sovereign debt restructuring, re-introduced into international debate by IMF Deputy Managing Director Anne Krueger.

            Chaired by Mr. Arial Buira, Special Envoy of President Vicente Fox of Mexico, the members of the panel were: Mr. Michael Chamberlin (Executive Director, Emerging Markets Traders Association), Mr. Frank Fernandez (Chief Economist, Securities Industry Association), Mr. Sean Hagan (Assistant General Counsel, International Monetary Fund), and Mr. Jurgen Kaiser (Coordinator, German Jubilee Campaign “erlassjahr.de”).

            Contact: Leo A. Buencamino, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963- 4755. E-mail: Buencamino@un.org

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Seminar on Rights-based Development Approach: Relevance and Significance in a Globalizing World
New York, 18 January

            The two speakers were Andy Norton, Social Development Adviser, Overseas Development Institute, U.K., and Phil Evans, Senior Development Adviser, Department for International Development (DFID), U.K. and the U.K. Mission. 

            Mr. Norton’s presentation was based on a recent publication that he has co-authored entitled “To Claim our Rights: Livelihood Security, Human Rights and Sustainable Development ”. Mr. Evans’ presentation was based on DFID’s experience with the rights-based approach in the field.  The power-point slides from both presentations are available upon request. 

            Contact: Eric Olson, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0013, E-mail: olsone@un.org

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DPEPA Panels at ASPA 63rd National Conference
Phoenix, Arizona, 24-25 March
http://www.aspanet.org or http://www.unpan.org

PANEL 1: "Building Economies from the Government Up: Celebrating a New Charter for Public Service in Africa" . A regional consensus on a general framework for public service in Africa was formalized in a multinational Charter for Public Service* in February 2001.  This historic event inspired the proposed dialogue between leading theorist Don Klingner and H.E. Mr. Hage G. Geingob, Prime Minister of Namibia.  The dialogue will focus on the role of bureaucracy and alternative personnel systems in developing the capacity of government in comparative perspective. 

PANEL 2: "Comparing Responses to the Issue of Diversity" . This panel will examine the way different national civil service systems have responded to the issue of human diversity within their ranks.  We will consider national cases that have historically had racially and ethnically diverse populations from four different geographic regions:  Central Asia; Africa; Europe; and North America in order to determine how national government employment policies have reflected and responded to the common condition of heterogeneous populations. The examination will primarily focus on what lessons can be gained from these national examples about how diversity can be actively managed to enhance perceived legitimacy of public institutions and public trust, citizen satisfaction with government outputs, and, as a consequence of conflict prevention, to bring forward greater domestic peace and national security

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

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15th UN/INTOSAI Interregional Seminar on Government Auditing
The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Auditing the Use of Public Funds
Vienna, Austria, 8-12 April
http://www.unpan.org/whatsnew002.asp

            The objective of the interregional seminar on government audit, organized jointly by DESA and International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), is to acquaint participants from Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) from developing and transition economies countries with current audit approaches and techniques, provide opportunities for exchange of ideas and experiences between developing and developed countries and to examine the suitability of alternative approaches for application at the national level in order to strengthen their audit systems.

            The Seminar will cover a broad range of topics such as audit of public enterprises, performance audit, comprehensive audit, internal management control systems, application of government audit standards, accounting and auditing of foreign aid programs, computer-based audit, the role of SAIs in the process of restructuring the public sector, and the role of SAIs in fighting corruption and mismanagement.

            Contact: Jay De Vera, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-0525, E-mail: devera@un.org

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Human Resources Development
Roundtables

            In preparation for the consideration of the Council's high-level segment theme on "The Contribution of Human Resources Development, including in the areas of health and education, to the process of development", ECOSOC decided to hold three one-day roundtable discussions on the sub-themes "Health and Human Resources Development (5 February 2002), "Education and Development" (14 February 2002) and on the overall theme "Human Resources Development, including in the areas of health and education to the process of development" (5 March 2002).

Participation in each of the Roundtables will consist of approximately 40 representatives, including 18 ECOSOC ambassadors, 4 to 6 Ministers from the relevant substantive areas coming from different regions, 4 to 6 Executive Heads/senior officials of relevant United Nations system organizations involved in health, education and human resources issues, and 6 to 8 experts and development practitioners from the academic world, foundations, and NGOs.             

Each Roundtable will provide a forum for in-depth discussion of issues. A two-hour period has been reserved during each of the Roundtables for a presentation by agencies of "good practices" relating to the relevant theme. The results of the deliberations will be presented to the Council's high-level segment at its substantive session in July 2002. The outcome of the Roundtable discussions will provide a summary of concrete policy recommendations which would be incorporated in the report of the Secretary-General and channelled to other relevant fora.

            The first round table, held earlier this week, focussed on global health challenges, providing an opportunity to discuss the recent findings of the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health; the launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the implications for the evolving global response to poverty; and the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.             

            The morning session discussed stewardship of health systems; increasing the impact of development assistance for health; global public goods; and access to medicines.  The afternoon session was devoted to a discussion of “good practices” as presented by the partner agencies -- the World Bank, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNAIDS -- to determine how they could be improved and most effectively utilized.  The WHO Director-General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland led the round table.

            Contact: David Stillman, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-6307, E-mail: stillman@un.org , OR, Leslie Wade Tel. (212) 963-4420, E-mail: wade@un.org , OR Ajit Yogasundram, Tel. (212) 963-5737, E-mail: yogasundram@un.org

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Regional Conference on African Women and NEPAD

            The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) organized from 3-5 February 2002 a regional conference on African women and their role in the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in Otta, Nigeria. Some 50 leading women decision makers and activists, representing various African governments and civil society organizations attended this regional conference.  OSCAL gave a presentation focusing on the content of NEPAD and what role African women can play in its implementation.

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

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Workshop to Develop a Study Module on Energy and Sustainable Development

Vienna, 25-27 February

            The Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries has been invited by the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, the organizer of the workshop, to present the LDC perspectives, based on a report on the subject prepared by OSCAL and presented at the LDC III Conference.

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

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Africa South of the Sahara
Arab States
Asia and the Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
Global Initiatives

Africa South of the Sahara  

Building Capacity for FfD: Recent Success Stories

            Three ongoing technical cooperation projects were discussed at an FfD side event on 18 January 2002: DPAD’s “Research Network for Development Policy Analysis” was   presented by Prof. Charlotte du Toit, Executive Coordinator of the joint United Nations/University of Pretoria project, and Prof. Sibusiso Vil-Nkomo, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Management Science, University of Pretoria.  The objective of the project is to strengthen capacity of policy makers in 16 participating African countries to formulate and implement development policies utilizing econometric modelling tools for policy analysis.  Mr. Jerzy Szeremeta, Chief, Policy Analysis and Development Branch, Division for Public Economics and Public Administration/DESA, made a presentation on “Regional governance and sustainable development: fiscal decentralization in tourism-driven economies” and Mr. Richard Kerby, Private Sector and IT Advisor, Strategic and Regional Initiatives Programme Unit, Africa Bureau, UNDP, presented two projects “Entrepreneurship and Management Training in Africa”.  About 45 people attended, from missions, NGOs, agencies and other United Nations Departments.

            Contact: Ada Samuelsson, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-3819, E-mail: Samuelsson@un.org

Poverty and Artisanal Mining:
Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea and Mali

            A Support Services for Policy and Programme Development (SPPD) project financed by UNDP, RAF/1999/023, addresses the issue of poverty and artisanal mining. Evidence shows that there is a strong link between the permanence of poverty and artisanal mining. This activity, where women play a prominent role, is clearly not sustainable. Four countries, Ethiopia, Mali, Ghana and Guinea, have volunteered and have been visited by a multi-disciplinary team in order to propose, inter alia, alternative activities. Béatrice Labonne and Jeam Le Nay visited the last country, Guinea, from the 13th to the 20th of January 2002.  Other involved in the project are Olympios Katsiaouni and Vladimir Servianov.

            Contact: Jean Le Nay, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5552, E-mail: nay@un.org

New Project: Regional Programme Support Project for National Human Development Report and Regional Human Development Report Preparation and Mainstreaming of Human Development in National Development Programmes in Africa

            Objective: Reinforce capacity building in Sub-Sahara African countries for analyzing their state of human development and formulating sound human development policies and initiatives within the context of national development programmes.

            Contacts: Idrissa Diagne, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-3857, E-mail: diagne@un.org , OR Olympius Katsiaouni, Tel. (212) 963-6417, E-mail: katsiaouni@un.org , OR Jean Le Nay, Tel. (212) 963-5552, E-Mail: nay@un.org


Workshop on Capacity Building for the NGO Informal Regional Network in Africa
Hammamet, Tunisia, January 2002

               A diverse group of Non-Governmental Organizations from all parts of Africa has established an Informal Regional Network on NGOs (UN-NGO-IRENE) with the aim to improve communications and strengthen partnership with the United Nations, particularly with the intergovernmental committees and commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the key policy making body of the UN in the areas of economic and social development.

            Fifteen African NGOs representing the five African sub-regions and a number of Tunisian NGOs, most of them in consultative status with ECOSOC met with UN officials and other partners to work out arrangements for the Network.  The initiative spearheaded by the NGO Section of DESA is designed to ensure a two-way flow of information between networks of NGOs in Africa and the UN system.

            The NGO Section would provide a range of services, including regular flows of information to assist NGOs in making full use of their consultative status with ECOSOC.

            The Network addresses the longstanding difficulty of establishing and maintaining regular contact between the NGO Section in New York and the large number of NGOs with limited communications systems.  These organizations are therefore deprived of up to date information on UN activities in the economic and social fields and the electronic systems of communication that has become a trademark of the increasingly influential NGO sector.

            Contact: Hanifa Mezoui, NGO Section, Tel. (212) 963-8652, Fax: (212) 963-9248, E-mail: mezoui@un.org OR Najet Karaborni, Tel. (212) 963-6207, Fax: (212) 963-2916, E-mail: karaborni@un.org


Arab States

Forum on Human Security and Gender
Marrakech, Morocco, 24-26 March

            DAW and UNDP are jointly organizing an Africa/Asia Parliamentarian Forum on "Human Security and Gender: the role of the legislature" in Marrakech, Morocco. The Forum will be held in collaboration with the Moroccan Parliament and the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Protection of the Family and Childhood and Integration of Handicapped. The event will be held following the 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU). Finance is being provided by the Government of Japan through the Japan Women in Development (JWID) Fund located in UNDP.

The Forum will:

  • discuss the role of parliamentarians - the opportunities and challenges they face - in promoting gender equality in the context of human security;
  • exchange experiences, good practices and lessons learned;
  • strengthen existing South/South networks of parliamentarians who advocate for gender equality; and
  • create additional opportunities for knowledge networking among members of parliament in support of their efforts to mainstream gender issues in the legislature.

            Contact: Fatiha Serour, DAW, Tel. (212) 963-8379, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Juliet Solomon, Tel. (212) 963-6052, E-mail: solomonj@un.org


Consultation on Gender and Poverty
Morocco, late March

            DAW will facilitate a sub-regional consultation on “Reducing the Gender Dimensions of Poverty: Microfinance Policies, Processes and Practices” in Morocco in late March 2002. The consultation will focus on facilitating dialogue among key stakeholders with regard to sustainable and effective microfinance for women.  It will also hope to develop consensus on a “minimum package” of support/capacity-building for micro-enterprise development. The conclusions and recommendations of the consultation will be used to design a model support/capacity-building package for micro-enterprise development for field testing.

            Contact: Contact: Fatiha Serour, DAW, Tel. (212) 963-8379, E-mail: serour@un.org OR Juliet Solomon, Tel. (212) 963-6052, E-mail: solomonj@un.org

Asia and the Pacific

Interregional Consultative Expert Meeting on Disability-sensitive Policy Design and Evaluation for Sustainable Livelihoods for all in the Twenty-first Century
Jakarta, Indonesia, 15-17 January
http://www.worldenable.net/livelihoods/default.htm

             The Consultative Expert Meeting aimed to furthering equalization of opportunities in social life and development for persons with disabilities through a strategic assessment of issues and trends related to sustainable livelihoods, social services and safety nets.

            The Meeting was co-financed by resources from the United Nations "Development Account Project 00/01H, Capacity building for equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities" and responds to project objective two, 'building national capacities for sustainable livelihoods, social services and safety nets by, for and with persons with disabilities."

            Contact: Akiko Ito, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1996, E-mail: ito@un.org

Latin America and the Caribbean

First National Human Development Report in Haiti

            The first National Human Development Report in Haiti is dedicated to governance and its role in the country's poor performance in terms of human development. The Socio-economic Policy and Development Management Branch of the Division for Social Policy and Development contributed to the preparation of the document through various missions. The last mission will start on the 10th of February and the report should be published in April 2002.

            Contact: Jean Le Nay, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5552, E-mail: nay@un.org

Workshop on Strengthening the Sub-regional Network in Central America and the Caribbean for Implementation and Follow-up of the Social Summit Commitments
Havana, Cuba 9-11 January
http://www.gabsoc.gob.pa

            The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) organized in Havana, Cuba, a workshop to strengthen the sub-regional network of Spanish-speaking countries in Central America and the Caribbean for implementation and follow-up of the Social Summit Commitments at the country level.  The network, Red Subregional de Seguimiento de los Acuerdos de la Cumbre Social, was established in 2000 in Guatemala.

            The participants approved two key documents, a Manual for the Operation of the Red and a Plan of Action for 2002/2003, and identified key issues, i.e., a common set of social indicators to follow the WSSD, applied research on how to link indicators to policy making and how to enhance policy impact, an improved web page for the Red.  The Red, a seminal activity supported by DESA since its inception, aims at revamping the implementation and follow-up at country level of the WSSD's Commitments.  Governments and NGOs from the Subregion are concerned that the targets agreed in 1995 and 2000 to be achieved by 2005 and 2015 would not be attained.  Tools include the exchange of information on best practices, horizontal cooperation, and applied research.  Much of this would be via a web page.

            Contact: Julio D’Arcy, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5603, E-mail: darcy@un.org

Global Initiatives

International Conference on E-government for Development
Palermo, Italy, 10-11 April

            The International Conference on E-Government for Development, hosted by the Government of Italy with the support DESA, will take place in Palermo, Sicily in mid-April 2002. The objective of the Conference, which falls within the activities to be implemented by the Government of Italy in the framework of the DOT Force Plan of Action, is to raise awareness on the opportunities offered by e-government for development; to present and explore the use of e-government to foster democracy, transparency and efficiency; and, to debate the key challenges facing governments in the design and implementation of e-government programs. This event will also provide a platform for Government leaders and representatives, high-level officials, representatives of civil society organizations and key stakeholders from developing countries and countries with economies in transition to exchange views on principles and elements for an Open Plan of Action on E-government for development. More than 400 participants from around the world are expected to assist to this event and to benefit from 10 working sessions on best practices and lessons learned on e-government.  

            Contact: Hongren Zhou, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-2926, E-mail: zhou@un.org

Car Free Day Series
http://www.uncfd.org

            In an effort to encourage 'ground-level' promotion of policies for sustainable development, the Energy and Transport Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development has started the United Nations Car Free Day series.  This initiative consists of a number of activities, including support for the first Colombia Car Free Day, held on 7 February 2002 in Bogota, organizing a Practicum for Latin American Mayors in Bogotá in conjunction with the Colombian Car Free Day to provide a forum for Mayors to discuss obstacles to development of more sustainable cities, and working with the city of Bilbao, Spain to develop a technical model for a Virtual Car Free Day there.

          Contact: uncfd@un.org


Advancement of Women
Africa
Economic and Social Policy 
Financing for Development  
Forests
Public Administration   
Population
Social Development  
Statistics
Sustainable Development

Africa

Panel of Eminent Personalities on the Independent Evaluation of the 
United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s
Second Meeting
New York, 25-27
March

            Contact:Emmanuel Goued Njayick, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-5006,E-mail: njayick@un.org

Advancement of Women

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Twenty-sixth Session
New York, 14 January-1 February

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Pre-sessional Working Group for the Twenty-seventh Session
New York, 4-8 February

Commission on the Status of Women
Forty-sixth Session
New York , 4-15 March

 

Economic and Social Policy 

Economic and Social Council
Organizational session, 2002
New York, 29 January-1 February

 

Financing for Development

International Conference on Financing for Development
Monterrey, Mexico, 18-22 March
http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/
(see lead article )

Forests

United Nations Forum on Forests
Second Substantive Session
New York , 4-15 March
(see lead article )

Population

Commission on Population and Development
Thirty-fifth Session
New York, 1-5 April

 

Public Administration 

International Colloquium on Regional Governance and Sustainable Development
in Tourism-driven Economics
Cancun, Mexico, 20-22 February         

            Contact: Jerzy Szeremeta, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-3924, E-mail: szeremeta@un.or g , OR Angela Capati-Caruso, Tel. (212) 963-5318, E-mail: capati-caruso@un.org ,

 

Social Development


The Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Second World Assembly on Ageing,
Beirut, Lebanon, 5-8 February

            Regional meeting organized by the United National Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The main objectives are to review progress achieved and obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Arab Plan of Action for the Ageing adopted in Cairo in 1993. It also aims to produce an Arab Plan of Action for the Ageing to the year 2012.

Commission for Social Development
Fortieth Session
New York, 11-21 February

CSD acting as preparatory committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing
Second Session
New York, 25 February-1 March

 

Statistics

Statistical Commission
Thirty-third Session
New York, 5- 8 March

 

Sustainable Development

CSD Acting as the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development - Second Session
New York, 28 January-8 February
(see lead article )

Second Meeting of the Panel of Eminent Personalities to Address the Environment and Poverty Nexus Through Effective and Timely Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Agades, Niger, 25-28 February

CSD Acting as the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Third Session
New York, 25 March-5 April  

Statistics
Policy Analysis
Public Administration 
Social Development  
Sustainable Development


Statistics

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
http://www.esa.un.org/unsd/mbs

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/347
Vol. LV – No. 11
November 2001
 

            Special features in this issue:  Indices of world industrial production, by branches of industry and by regions, 1990=100; Producers’ or wholesale price indices, 1990=100; Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Construction of new buildings; World exports by commodity classes and by regions.

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

Statistical Territories of the World for Use in International Merchandise Trade Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/30/Rev.3
Sales No. E.01.XVII.8  

            The publication defines a country’s customs territory and economic territory, and provides an operating definition of a country’s statistical territory as used for international merchandise trade statistics practices.  It also gives the basis upon which individual countries compile their trade statistics.  This information was obtained by means of questionnaires that were sent to individual countries.  The results of the survey show that for many countries the statistical territory coincides with the customs territory, and suggests that many countries use customs records as their main source of statistical data.  The results also show that for some countries the statistical territory coincides with the economic territory and the geographic territory.  This kind of analysis provides users with a better understanding of a country’s merchandise trade statistics, and greatly facilitates international comparisons of external trade data.

            Contact:  Greta Salsbury, SD, Tel. (212) 963-5510, E-mail: salsbury@un.org

1998 Energy Balances and Electricity Profiles
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.W/10
Sales No. E/F.01.XVII.13

            The Energy Balances and Electricity Profiles 1998 is the tenth issue in a series of energy data for selected developing countries.  This volume presents energy balances data and electricity profiles data for 49 and 79 countries respectively.  The data are arranged to show energy production, conversion and consumption for each fuel used in the country.  Special electricity profiles for an additional group of countries are published to cover, exclusively, the electricity part of conversion and consumption activities.

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


Policy Analysis

DESA Discussion Paper No. 22
ST/ESA/2001/DP.22
http://www.un.org/esa/papers.htm

            Mark J.  Scher, “Postal Savings and the Provision of Financial Services: Policy Issues and Asian Experiences in the Use of the Postal Infrastructure for Savings Mobilization ”.  DESA Discussion Paper No. 22 (December 2001).  In many countries postal savings and giro remittances have long enabled provision of financial services to all segments of the population, particularly women, rural communities and the urban poor, and have helped mobilize savings for investment in development.  This paper reviews the postal financial systems of twelve developing Asian countries, including savings product development, investing mobilized funds, receiving overseas remittances and utilizing financial technologies.  Also examined are experiences of developed countries where market liberalization and privatization have challenged savings operations.  Finally, policies are proposed for more effective utilization of the postal infrastructure in delivering financial services in developing and transition economies.

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

 

Public Administration 

Managing Diversity in the Civil Service

            A joint DPEPA Publication has just been issued as an outcome of the Expert Group Meeting on Managing Diversity in the Civil Service held in New York on 3 and 4 May 2001.  ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/27, IOS Press 2001.

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

OPEN System of Seoul: Mechanism to Increase Transparency in Administration

This publication introduces the Online Procedures for Enhancement of Civil Applications (OPEN) System of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.  The OPEN system was developed to achieve transparency in the city’s administration by preventing unnecessary delays or unjust handling of civil affairs on the part of the civil servants.  This web-based system allows citizens to monitor corruption-prone applications for permits or approvals and to raise questions in the event any irregularities are detected. Recognising the OPEN system to be a successful example of an innovative approach to increasing transparency, deterring corruption, and bringing services closer to the citizen in public administration, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), through its Division for Public Economics and Public Administration, signed a Joint Statement of Co-operation with the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG).  Specifically, UN DESA and the SMG, with the co-operation of the Asia Foundation, held the Seoul Anti-Corruption Symposium in Seoul in August 2001.  The present manual is one output of that Symposium which the SMG has made available to the UN Member States.  It is currently available in English and is being translated into the other five official languages of the United Nations.

            Contact: Elia Armstrong, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-2926, E-mail : armstronge@un.org

 

Social Development

Report of the Secretary-General: “Integration of social and economic policy”
E/CN.5/2002/3
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/index.html

            Prepared for the 40th session of the Commission on Social Develoment, 11-21 February 2002.

            Contact: Sergei Zelenev, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-4732, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: zelenev@un.org

Report of the Secretary-General: “Follow-up to the International Year of the Family in 2004”
E/CN.5/2002/2

            Prepared for the 40th session of the Commission on Social Development, 11-21 February 2002.

            Contact: Amr Ghaleb, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-3238, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: ghaleb@un.org


Note of the Secretary-General: "Monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities"
E/CN.5/2002/4

            Prepared for the 40th session of the Commission on Social Develoment, 11-21 February 2002.  The Note contains the final report of the third mission, 2000-2002, of the Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development, and will be available at the United Nations Persons with Disabilities Internet site at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/disparl.htm

            Contact: Akiko Ito, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1996, E-mail: ito@un.org

Report of the Secretary-General: “Recognizing and responding to abuse of older persons in a global context

            Prepared for the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Assembly on Ageing, 25 February – 1 March in New York, to contribute to the discussion on the elaboration of the International Strategy for Action on Ageing 2002, to be adopted by the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid, April 2002.


Sustainable Development

The Berlin Guidelines on Mining and Sustainable Development

          The Division for Sustainable Development has prepared a set of guidelines called The Berlin Guidelines on Mining and Sustainable Development, which have emanated from deliberations of a meeting. The Guidelines are designed to provide a model for sound and sustainable management and are meant to be of assistance to regulators, practitioners, managers, government officials, mining companies and others interested in the mining industry.  The Guidelines are expected to be ready for distribution by end March 2002, at the Third Prepcom for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

 


DESA News is an insider's look at the United Nations in the area of coordination of economic and social development policies. This issue was produced by the Information Support Unit of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in collaboration with DESA Divisions. DESA News is produced every two months

Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Editor 
Room DC2-1436, Tel. (212) 963-0060, E-mail: esa@un.org