Negotiations during the PrepCom will take place in working groups and are not intended to renegotiate Agenda 21 - the blueprint for sustainable development agreed upon at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro - but to develop a roadmap for implementation.
One of the working groups will be devoted to discussions on sustainable development governance, including how to manage the intergovernmental process after the Summit.
Desai said that the Commission on Sustainable Development has been an innovative body that has succeeded in keeping sustainable development alive on the international agenda.
But it needs some changes.
“Institutions like the CSD have to reinvent themselves,” he said.
While the Commission has brought ministers and representatives of all major groups together, Desai said its main weakness is that it has not been able to generate sufficient action for implementation.
He said the Commission should be strengthened to have an impact on the regional and sub-regional levels.
He also said that there should be a more direct relationship between the CSD and the World Bank, IMF and the World Trade Organization.
In addition, delegates will discuss possible partnership arrangements that will result in initiatives to actually implement sustainable development programmes and projects. The partnerships will be voluntary, but Desai explained that they would not come at the expense of “clear, goal-oriented” agreements by governments.
The Johannesburg Summit process could learn from Monterrey. Desai said that while some people had worried that having a finalized agreement going into Monterrey would detract from the conference, in practice, it turned out to be a very positive step. “People wanted to know, what were the heads of State assembled there going to say,” he said. “That is what led to the success.”
Second World Assembly on Ageing
The Second World Assembly on Ageing of 2002 in Madrid is being convened on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the first World Assembly on Ageing in Vienna.
The Assembly will be devoted to the overall review of the outcome of the first World Assembly and to the adoption of a revised Plan of Action in the context of a society for all ages
, the theme of the 1999 International Year of Older Persons, which has its roots in the 1995 Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development.
The Second World Assembly on Ageing is asked to give particular attention to: linkages between ageing and development, particularly in developing countries; measures to mainstream ageing within the context of current global development agendas; appropriate forms of public and private partnerships at all levels to build a society for all ages; and measures to strengthen the solidarity between generations.
The Commission for Social Development, in accordance with decision of the General Assembly, has served as the Preparatory Committee for the Second World Assembly.
This Preparatory Committee has been in charge of the negotiation on the draft outcome documents of the Assembly: the
International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 and the Political Declaration.
By Friday’s closing on 1 March, the level of agreed paragraphs of the International Plan of Action was approximately 65 per cent.
The text that remains pending, while not necessarily controversial, has stimulated debate on several issues, including health, employment, and human rights and development.
Some specific areas for further negotiations include:
As a way of facilitating negotiations on some of the difficult paragraphs, the Chair of the Committee appointed four facilitators to work with the negotiating groups. He identified four subject areas – poverty, human rights, health, and employment and labour issues – and their respective paragraphs therein, and divided them among the facilitators. One of the facilitators is also working with the Political Declaration. The facilitators will continue their efforts through Madrid. Once the wording of the Plan of Action and the Political Declaration are agreed, a proposal from the Group of 77 and China to restructure the draft Plan will be considered.
There are also some activities preceding and developing in parallel
to the World Assembly like The
that will immediately precede the Assembly on 1 to 4 April.
This global conference of professionals in the field of ageing will bring together researchers, educators and service providers to contribute to the World Assembly in Madrid.
The NGO Forum
will begin before and overlap with the Assembly in Madrid, on 5 to 9 April.
NGOs from all over the world are expected to attend the Forum, which will offer a platform for NGOs to exchange their experiences and work on issues concerning older persons.
At the Assembly on 8 to 12 April, a parallel side events programme that will encompass high level roundtables, panels, workshops, meetings and cultural exhibitions is being organized by the host Government of Spain and will involve UN system agencies, international non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental bodies and Member States. Among these, “Dialogues 2020: the Future of Ageing” will encompass high level roundtable discussions on, inter alia, issues related to development, active ageing, social protection and sustainability, participation and rights, and intergenerational networks. For further information, visit the web site of the Spanish Organizing Committee: www.madrid2002-envejecimiento.org
Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Conference on Financing for Development ended on 22 March in Monterrey, Mexico, with the closure of its summit segment. The conference brought together 51 presidents and prime ministers, numerous finance and foreign ministers, leaders of international organizations and financial institutions, as well as business and civil society leaders, to address the challenges of development financing and poverty alleviation.
The signal achievement of the conference was the adoption by acclamation of the Monterrey Consensus, which asserts the international community's resolve to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in the context of a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system. The text concludes with a commitment to strengthen the United Nations as the main organization to revamp the international financial system, working with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The conference was the culmination of a process that began with the adoption of General Assembly resolution 54/196 in December 1999, which was mandated to promote international cooperation in six key areas -- mobilizing domestic resources, increasing private international investment, strengthening official development assistance (ODA), increasing market access and ensuring fair trade, solving the debt burden, and improving the coherence of global and regional financial structures and promoting fair representation of developing countries in global decision-making.
Speakers during the Conference called for increased international aid in the form of ODA, foreign direct investment (FDI), and other arrangements, to assist countries in reducing poverty and furthering development. Others stressed the need to forge partnerships and promote cooperation at all levels to achieve sustainable development.
The importance of considering the particularities of States and the efforts they had made to qualify for aid when making policy-decisions was also underscored. Other speakers noted that poverty and inequalities could lead to despair and provide a breeding ground for violence, crime, corruption and terrorism. The need for strong follow-up action to ensure implementation of the goals of the Consensus was emphasized by many.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
also attested to the importance of the Conference when he said, "We are here to discuss the fate of people. Not people in the abstract, but million upon million of individual men, women and children." High-level round-table discussions, on subjects such as coherence and partnership, a variety of side events, and the NGO Forum, moved the discussions forward. Closing remarks at the Summit segment were made by Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
High-level round-table discussions, on subjects such as coherence and partnership, a variety of side events, and the NGO Forum, moved the discussions forward. Closing remarks at the Summit segment were made by Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
Although civil society groups participated in discussions, the NGO Caucus made it clear that it was not part of the Monterrey Consensus. At a press conference on the final day of the conference, the NGO Caucus affirmed that it did not consider the Consensus to be the basis for combating poverty or advancing economic, social and cultural rights.
Because there had been agreement on the draft outcome text prior to the meeting, this conference was able to focus on substantive policy discussions. These tended to be unusually open, involving the full spectrum of stakeholders. For instance, at a roundtable held on the subject of coherence in development on 20 March, there was an exchange of views between United Nations Member States and institutional stakeholders, as well as participants from the business and civil society sectors.
Thus, the need for conceptual and operational coherence was discussed by officials from developed and developing States; by institutional stakeholders such as the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, WTO, Inter-American Development Bank, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica, and Pacific Island Forum; by business sector organizations like Business Council for Sustainable Development (Mexico), Business Council for the United Nations, Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and Industry, TechniQuímica, Potomac Associates, Standard & Poor's, and Upstart Business Strategies; and also by civil society groups including African Center for Empowerment Gender and Advocacy, ATTAC/Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development, Intermon Oxfam, WFUNA/UNA-Argentina, Campaign to Reform the World Bank, World Council of Churches (EcuTeam), and Third World Network.
It is noteworthy that the UN Secretary-General’s statements about financing the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals brought up the issue of trade and development aid. Thus, in his19 March speech on "Investing in the world's future", he said that the governments of the developing countries are asking for “a fair chance to trade their way out of poverty, without having to face tariffs and quotas or to compete against subsidized products from rich countries.
Many are also asking for relief from unsustainable debts.
And many are saying that, in order to do without handouts, they need a helping hand up, in the form of increased aid from wealthier countries.
Until now, most developed countries have reacted with scepticism to this request -- feeling that too much aid was wasted in previous decades by corrupt or inefficient governments.
But they also realize that we live in one world, not two; and that no one in this world can feel comfortable, or safe, while so many are suffering and deprived.
And now they are also realizing that there is a global deal on the table: where developing countries adopt market-oriented policies, strengthen their institutions, fight corruption, respect human rights and the rule of law, and spend more on the needs of the poor, rich countries can support them with trade, aid, investment and debt relief.
Last Thursday, President Bush announced an important American contribution, when he pledged $5 billion of additional spending over three years for a "Millennium Challenge Account", to help developing countries improve their economies and standards of living. On the same day, the European Union announced that by 2006 its members would increase their development assistance by $4 billion a year, so as to reach an average of 0.39 per cent of gross national product -- a significant step towards the agreed United Nations target of 0.7 per cent.
These amounts will not be sufficient by themselves. All economic studies agree that, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we need an increase of at least $50 billion a year in worldwide official aid -- a doubling of present levels.
But these decisions do suggest that the argument on principle has now been won. All governments accept that “official aid is only one element in the mix, but an essential one”.
Again, in his concluding statement on 21 March, the Secretary-General told the conference that "Aid does work". He ended by applauding the conference’s achievements and emphasizing the need for concerted action. “The Monterrey Consensus is not a weak document, as some have claimed. It will be weak if we fail to implement it. But if we live up to the promises it contains, and continue working on it together, it can mark a real turning point in the lives of poor people all over the world”.
Contact: Oscar de Rojas, FfD Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-2587, E-mail: email@example.com
(Back to top )
UN Information and Communications Technologies Task Force
The United Nations Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Task Force had its second meeting on 3-4 February 2002, within three months of its formal launch by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan.
The major discussions centred around national e-strategies for poverty eradication, and the World Summit on Information Society. It was stressed by representatives of developing countries, multilateral organizations, donor community and civil society that there are no universal recipes for e-strategies for poverty eradication. The diversity of experiences and situations makes it necessary to design country-tailored strategies. The Task Force welcomed initiatives in this regard, such as the national strategy seminars in a number of developing countries being organized by regional networks, and the Digital Opportunity Initiative led by UNDP and the Markle Foundation. Other members of the Task Force were encouraged to build partnerships that would help developing countries to integrate national e-strategies into overall development goals and priorities and link them with national Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP), UN Common Country Assessment (UNCCA) and UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
The meeting also addressed the question of the Task Force’s contribution to the World Summit for Information Society which will take place in Geneva in 2003.
Following a presentation by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Task Force members noted that they could help develop a conceptual framework and content issues. The unique membership of the Task Force makes it an ideal institutional arrangement to promote global consensus on the major issues that the Summit will tackle. The Task Force can also help build regional consensus on key issues through regional networks, as well as play a significant role in raising awareness about the Summit. It was noted by participants that the regional networks of the Task Force could contribute to the provision of regional perspectives in the framework of the preparatory process of WSIS.
With a view to further strengthening coherence and complementarity of action, the Task Force considered that key global institutions, in particular the WTO, as well as a number of global private companies prominent in the ICT field, should be invited to participate and contribute to the work of the Task Force.
To strengthen research and analytical support for the Task Force work programs, relevant UN structures, such as the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and the Working Group on Informatics, will be invited to collaborate with the Task Force in areas of common interest. The Task Force secretariat was requested to develop modalities to this end.
The six Working Groups (WGs) of the Task Force also held their meetings on 3-4 February. The Working Groups, open to non-members of the Task Force, attracted active interest and participation by numerous organizations and programs.
It was agreed that the third meeting of the Task Force would be held at the UN Headquarters on 30 September - 1 October 2002. The Working Groups were invited to consider convening their meetings around major related events scheduled for the year, in particular the meeting of the General Assembly devoted to ICT for development to be held on 17 and 18 June, and a conference on digital divide to be hosted by the Government of Finland in Tampere on 29-31 July.
Given that the African continent has been identified as a primary focus for Task Force activities in promoting ICT-for-development, and that the UN General Assembly will focus on Africa at its 57th session, the meeting endorsed the Bureau’s proposal that the September 2002 Task Force Meeting place special emphasis on Africa, in particular, on formulating recommendations for action programme on such topics as promoting human capacity development, access, connectivity, governance, and national e-strategies.
Contact: Enrica Murmura, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-5913, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Back to top
Commission for Social DevelopmentExpert Group Meetings
Spring 2002 Session of Chief Executives Board
At its fortieth session, the Commission for Social Development considered two topics under its agenda and multi-year programme of work, namely the priority theme “Integration of social and economic policy”; and the review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups.
With regard to the priority theme, the Commission agreed on a set of conclusions that contain analysis and recommendations for action to promote the integration of social and economic policy at the national and international levels.
The agreed conclusions will be transmitted to ECOSOC as a contribution to the high-level segment of its substantive session of 2002 as well as to the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit for Sustainable Development.
In connection with its review of plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, the Commission adopted a resolution concerning the preparations for and observance of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family as well as two resolutions on disability, entitled “Comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities” and “Further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities and protection of their human rights”, respectively.
In addition, the Commission adopted a decision on the working methods of the Commission for Social Development by which the timing of elections of the new Chairman and other members of the Bureau of the Commission would be changed from being held at the beginning of the regular session of the Commission to immediately following the closure of its regular session.
The Commission reviewed the ongoing work of groups of countries and international organizations in various fields of demographic, social, economic and environmental statistics and on certain cross-cutting issues in statistics.
Of particular note, the Commission endorsed the recommendations on establishing a standing committee for indicators, supported by UNSD as the secretariat; it expressed the opinion that further harmonization and rationalization of indicators is needed, in particular with respect to the recent emergence of the Millennium Declaration indicator set; it agreed that the report of the Friends of the Chair (on indicators) be submitted to the Economic and Social Council along with the concerns voiced by the Commission with respect to the relationship between the various indicator sets, including the Millennium Indicators.
The Commission welcomed the interim results of the inquiry into the instances of duplication of statistical data collection that countries had identified, and the intention of the involved organizations to complete their follow-up of all the instances cited: UNSD, working with all the agencies of the (former) ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities, will develop proposals for the next session of the Commission on how to proceed more broadly and address more comprehensively the problem of duplication of data collection. The Commission requested the international organizations to develop a new system for effective coordination given that the ACC Subcommittee on Statistical Activities had been disbanded as at 31 December 2001.
Contact: Richard Roberts, SD, Tel. (212) 963-6037, E-mail: email@example.com
The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) held its second session on 5-15 March at UN Headquarters.
It included a stakeholder dialogue and a high-level ministerial segment.
The session completed its deliberations with notable progress made on several complex and controversial issues.
The Forum stressed the need for implementation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IPF/IFF) proposals for action related to the following substantive items: combating deforestation and forest degradation; forest conservation and protection of unique types of forests and fragile ecosystems; rehabilitation and conservation strategies for low forest cover countries (LFCCs); rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands and promotion of natural and planted forests; and concepts, terminology and definition.
It was pointed out that implementation was contingent upon access to adequate financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building and new and innovative approaches to providing them.
It was also noted that there was a need for forest law enforcement and the importance of cross-sectoral linkages, particularly the linkage of forests to sustainable development.
During the session, policy deliberations focused largely on the ministerial declaration and message to World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the terms of reference for the ad hoc expert groups and the criteria for review of the effectiveness of the international arrangement on forests.
The Forum unanimously adopted the Ministerial Declaration and Message from UNFF to WSSD as contained in document E/CN.18/2002/L.2, which the Forum has requested the Secretary-General to transmit to World Summit on Sustainable Development.
In his remarks on opening day Mr. Desai had noted that UNFF is an important input into the WSSD process; he had stressed the need to consider forests in the broader context of sustainable development; and said that connecting the forest agenda with the emerging anti-poverty agenda would be crucial in this regard.
The high-level segment was chaired by Mr. Juan Mayr Maldonado, Minister of the Environment of Colombia and was attended by 50 ministers and ministerial level representatives and heads of missions.
The high-level segment also consisted of a policy dialogue between the ministers and the heads of member organizations of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF member organizations are: DESA, FAO, UNEP, WB, GEF, UNDP, CBD, UNFCCC, UNCCD, CIFOR, ITTO, IUCN, and ICRAF), especially on four critical issues: (i) forests and the current international political and policy agendas; (ii) cross sectoral harmonization at the national, regional and global levels, including fostering synergies between forest-related instruments and organizations; (iii) forest conservation, protection and use; (iv) financing for sustainable forest management.
The Forum decided to continue at its next session, the discussions on the terms of reference for the ad hoc expert groups on: (i) finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; (ii) monitoring, assessment and reporting and (iii) parameters on a legal framework on all types of forests.
The third session of the UNFF will be held in Geneva from 26 May to 6 June 2003.
The Commission had before it two thematic issues: “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”.
Panel discussions followed by dialogues on both thematic issues took place on 6 March 2002 to facilitate the preparation of the agreed conclusions.
The Commission passed several resolutions:
For the first time in its 55-year history, the Commission is being chaired by a man, Mr. Othman Jerandi (Tunisia).
Nearly 600 NGO representatives accredited with ECOSOC participated in the session and its related activities. The Division for the Advancement of Women which services the Commission facilitated 108 events.
Contact: on the work of the Commission, Christina Brautigam, GAS/DAW, Tel. (212) 963-0535, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Larry Heligman, PD, Tel. (212) 963-2147, E-mail: email@example.com
The Committee will make a contribution to the 2002 ECOSOC High-level segment on the role of human resources development, including in the areas of health and education, the process of development, as requested by ECOSOC resolution 2001/43.
The Committee’s agenda will also give special attention to a number of outstanding issues concerning the effectiveness of external assistance, with a focus on Africa and on the identification of the least developed countries, as proposed
in the report of the CDP at its third session.
Contact: Anatoly Smyshlyaev, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-4687, E-mail: Smyshlyaev@ un.org
In addition to a review of progress of the First World Assembly on Ageing, held in Vienna in 1982, the Second World Assembly will work towards adoption of an International Plan of Action on Ageing that will consider the social, cultural, economic and demographic realities of ageing in the new century. In addition, from 1-4 April in Valencia, Spain, leading researchers and representatives from academic institutions will gather to discuss the Research Agenda on Ageing. There will be a Side Events Programme in Madrid from 5-12 April, including a high level round table cycle called: “Dialogues 2020: The future of Ageing”, a series of events promoted by UN System Agencies, International NGO’s and Member States; and an NGO Forum.
The Spanish Government also has a website at:
The Economic and Social Council will hold a special high-level meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 22 April 2002, the day following the conclusion of the meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee in Washington. It is intended to be a free-flowing dialogue between the Council and a panel composed of finance ministers/high-level officials who have participated in the spring meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions.
This will be the fifth such meeting providing an important opportunity for interaction, at the international level, between policy makers in the areas of finance, development cooperation and foreign affairs. This year, the meeting has particular importance in light of the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development
in March 2002. The outcome of Monterrey asked the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the WTO “to address issues of coherence, coordination and cooperation, as a follow-up to the Conference, at the spring meeting between the ECOSOC and the Bretton Woods institutions.”
The panel of speakers will be composed of the Chairpersons of the Development Committee and the International Monetary and Financial Committee, as well as a high-level representative of the Government of Mexico, as the host country of the Monterrey Conference. In addition, the Chairmen of Group of 10 and the Group of 24 will be invited to participate as lead discussants. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the World Bank and the management of the IMF are also expected to participate in the meeting. The President of the ECOSOC will chair and moderate the debate.
The theme of the meeting will be "Dialogue on the Outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development and of the Meetings of the Development Committee and the IMFC".
Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Director, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-4628, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Marion Barthelemy, Tel. (212) 963-4005, Email: email@example.com OR Ian Kinniburgh, Director, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-4838, E-mail: Kinniburgh@un.org
The Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law is hosting an informal closed meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Lund, Sweden to discuss, inter alia
, the Committee's working methods and concluding comments.
At its high level segment in July, ECOSOC will address the theme “The contribution of human resources development, including areas of health and education, to the process of development”. In preparation for this, the Council held on 5 March the third in a series of one-day roundtable discussions, this one on synergies between health and education in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. UNDP and the World Bank, together with ILO, UNFPA and WHO, provided key inputs to these discussions. Roundtables on health and on education had previously been held, in February, with inputs from WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF, and other agencies. The background papers, presentations, and records of commentary from the three meetings constitute major inputs to the report of the Secretary-General that is currently under preparation for submission to the Council, and will help form the basis for a concrete and action-oriented Ministerial Declaration in July 2002. Materials from each of the roundtables are available on DESA’s ECOSOC website.
The President of the Council, Ambassador Ivan Simonovic of Croatia, presided over the 5 March roundtable, and Mr. Eduardo Doryan, Special Representative of the World Bank to the United Nations, and Mr. Hafiz Pasha, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, served as co-chairs. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on the Millenium Declaration Goals, addressed the Roundtable by video link. A large number of ECOSOC ambassadors participated in the discussions.
Professor Sachs emphasized that investing in health and education are critical to achieving the MDGs, as part of an interconnected web of interventions designed to reduce poverty, increase productivity and promote national development. He also emphasized that, in keeping with studies on costs of achieving the MDGs, there was no way that poor countries could lift themselves to even the minimum targets without significant outside help. At the same time, he urged that in order to answer questions of aid effectiveness and to stimulate necessary external funding, it was important to define development objectives more narrowly, to estimate costs more precisely, to allocate resources for specific goals and to prepare “business plans” for implementation.
Presentations by other speakers included those by Mr. Shantayanan Devarajan (World Bank) on synergies between health and education and their links to economic growth and income poverty; Jan Vandemorrtele (UNDP) on the emerging evidence of an “education vaccine” for HIV/AIDS; John Langmore (ILO) on the impact of human resource development on employment and productivity; Iqbal Alam (UNFPA) on monitoring of health and education MDGs; and Dr. Andrew Cassels (WHO) on health as an integral component of national development and poverty reduction strategies.
Contact: David Stillman, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-6307, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Leslie Wade Tel. (212) 963-4420, E-mail: email@example.com OR Ajit Yogasundram, Tel. (212) 963-5737, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The second meeting of the Panel of Eminent Personalities on the Independent Evaluation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF) was held at the United Nations Headquarters from 25-27 March. The meeting examined the report on the independent evaluation of the New Agenda produced by a team of four senior consultants led by Mr. Yves Berthelot, former Executive Secretary for the Economic Commission of Europe and former Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD.
With respect to this meeting, it should be recalled that the 1999 ECOSOC Coordination Segment and the General Assembly by its resolutions 54/234 and 55/216 requested that an independent high-level quality evaluation of the New Agenda be undertaken for the purpose of its final review and appraisal by the General Assembly in 2002.
The UN-NADAF is a political compact between African countries and the international community adopted by the General Assembly in December 1991 for a duration of 10 years to foster the development of Africa. An ad hoc
Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly has been established by resolution 56/218 to conduct the final review and appraisal of the Agenda. While the organizational session of the ad hoc
Committee of the Whole is scheduled for June 2002, the substantive sessions for the final review and appraisal will be held in September/October 2002.
The report on the Independent evaluation will be made available to delegations and all concerned by 31 May 2002.
FAO will be hosting the Spring 2002 session of CEB (formerly ACC) at its Headquarters in Rome on 10-11 April. The main item on the CEB agenda continues to be the integrated and coordinated follow-up to the Millennium Summit. At this session the focus will be on “Treatment and prevention of diseases, including HIV/AIDS and malaria”, which is one of two themes in this year’s report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. In addition the Executive Heads will discuss the outcomes of the HLCM and HLCP meetings, which will include an update on the New Partnership or Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
As is customary, the Executive Heads will meet in private session throughout the first morning followed by an open session in the afternoon and a retreat the following day. The focus of the retreat will be: Campaign for the Millennium Development Goals.
The Network discussed emerging trends, challenges and themes that required interventions from United Nations entities in the follow-up to the Beijing Conference and the Beijing+5 special session. Members highlighted a number of sectoral areas in which the gender dimension could be reinforced, such as poverty and social protection, governance, measures against trafficking, migration, ICTs and culture. Monitoring and evaluation, as mechanisms of accountability, were also discussed. Members particularly emphasized two challenges lying ahead: institutionalizing gender perspectives in the work of their respective organizations and linking the gender dimension with all the critical areas of concern areas covered by the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Declaration.
A new task force on working methods and the link between the CEB and the Network was set up. It was also agreed that the Network would request CEB through the High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) to devote one of its sessions to gender mainstreaming in connection with ECOSOC’s review of progress in gender mainstreaming to be held in 2005.
The next session would be held from 25 to 28 February 2003, prior to the 47th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
* Formerly the Inter-Agency Meeting on Women and Gender Equality (IAMWGE)
The Report of the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, in New York (26 February to 1 March 2002), will be released as IANWGE/2002/11.
The outcomes of these meetings will be presented to the CEB at its spring session in Rome.
Contact, Eric Lacanlale, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-6889, E-mail: email@example.com OR Karina Gerlach, Tel. (212) 963-5858
Expert Group Meeting on Millennium Indicators
The Statistics Division convened from 19-22 March 2002 an expert group meeting on "International indicators for monitoring implementation of the Millennium Declaration". Data specialists from 17 international agencies as well as 7 independent national statistical experts participated in the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Tim Holt (United Kingdom). In preparation for the meeting the Statistics Division had analysed the 48 indicators of the roadmap document on implementation of the Declaration presented by the Secretary General and had published on its Internet site (millenniumindicators.un.org
) the presently available international data series related to the various goals and targets. The Statistics Division site contains available data series for individual countries for the period 1980- 2000, as well as notes on their sources and definitions.
The expert group reviewed the indicators one by one and discussed questions such as "Are the data in the database the latest available (published)?", "Are the sources and definitions accurately quoted; are additional caveats on the series needed to avoid misinterpretation?", "When is the next update of each dataset scheduled for release?", "Are the data available at present sufficient and reliable enough to infer trends?". The meeting agreed on a final 'working list' of indicators, incorporating a small number of changes which it recommended as highly desirable from a technical point of view for submission to the Executive Office of the Secretary General.
The international agencies responsible for the various data series committed themselves to provide all necessary updates to UNSD by 15 April, in time for the data analysis meeting to be convened by the Secretary-General's office the end of April. Based on this meeting DESA under the leadership of UNSD will transmit a synoptic draft report on progress towards the millennium declaration goals to the EOSG, to be included in the General Assembly report.
Contact: Robert Johnston, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4557, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Day of Families
The eighth year anniversary celebration of the International Day of Families will be observed worldwide on 15 May. The international theme for 2002 is “Families and Ageing: Opportunities and Challenges”. This theme was suggested in the context of the Second World Assembly on Ageing to be held in Madrid in April 2002. In Dag Hammarskjold auditorium on 16 May there will be an observance with several speakers and the reading of a message from the Secretary-General.
Contact: Amr Ghaleb, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-3238, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: email@example.com
The programme will focus on a discussion of the global economic outlook, particularly the dynamics of the recovery ongoing in the world economy. With more 100 international economic experts inside and outside the Project LINK network, the meeting will also encompass in-depth discussions of a few special topics: the increasing synchronization of the world economy and the rising interdependency of the global economic growth on the single engine of the United States; the prospects for trade liberalization in the post-Doha round; financial restructuring in developing countries; and African economic development. Many issues to be discussed in the conference are highly related to DPAD’s work under way in preparing part one of this year’s World Economic and Social Survey.
Contact: Pingfan Hong, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-4701, E-mail: Hong@un.org
The purpose of the Meeting is to provide support to Member States and national, regional and international cooperative organizations in their efforts to create a supportive cooperative environment and to promote an exchange of experience and best practices.
The Meeting will develop, in cooperation with the relevant members of the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives, including the United Nations and other international and national organizations, a coordinated approach towards the creation of a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives at national and international levels.
Contact: Albert Vinokourov, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1713, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
DAW will facilitate two sub-regional consultations on “Reducing the Gender Dimensions of Poverty: Microfinance Policies, Processes and Practices”.
The consultations will focus on facilitating dialogue among key stakeholders with regard to sustainable and effective microfinance for women. They will also 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.
The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration is organizing a Meeting on Cross-Border Local Governments’ Cooperation to be held in Maputo, Mozambique on 22 May 2002 as a prelude to the Fifth Africa Governance Forum (AGF V) being held 23-25 May. While the AGF V will discuss the theme of Local Governance and Poverty Eradication, DPEPA’s sponsored Meeting will discuss cross-border local governments/authorities’ cooperation, immediately providing the AGF V with the Meeting’s outputs.
The Meeting will seek to use the examples of the Maputo Development Corridor in Mozambique and South Africa, and the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania to illustrate and explore a wider concept of regional cooperation and integration for economic development. Representatives from the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation and the Maputo Development Corridor will attend the Meeting which will be facilitated by consultants hired by DESA. The consultants are in the field in South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania writing the cases for the Meeting’s discussion.
The specific objectives of the Meeting are the following:
Contact: Mr. John-Mary Kauzya, DPEPA, Tel.: (212) 963-1973, E-mail: email@example.com
The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration is developing a series of technical cooperation and normative activities on the theme “Governance and Public Administration Reform and Reconstruction for Peaceful Development”. The Division has been contributing to a number of inter-agency activities related to governance, conflict transformation and post-conflict reconstruction and plans to hold an Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on this theme in the 2002-3 biennium.
The centerpiece of DPEPA's technical cooperation in this area has been a two-year regional project with the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, RAF/99/024: Capacity-Building in Conflict Management, which is nearing completion of its first phase. The project has aimed to enhance Governments' capacities to anticipate and respond to conflicts and crises by formulating policies and strategies for the early mitigation and on-going management of conflicts before they become violent. To do so, the project has worked with a group of African and international conflict transformation specialists to develop four thematic participatory workshops that address the following subjects:
Pilot training workshops are being conducted around the continent and have been very well received in Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone where follow-up activities are being initiated. The final two pilot workshops are scheduled for Kenya and Uganda in April 2002. In the next phase, the course material and methodology will be transferred to cooperating academic and management institutions in sub-Saharan Africa and the materials will be tailored to meet countries’ specific needs. DPEPA will ensure that the training workshops can be replicated as part of these institutions' regular curriculum for government officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches, for NGO staff and clients, international aid agency personnel, civil society, and all development partners.
Smaller technical cooperation projects have been launched in Eastern Europe including: the establishment of a mediation facility in Romania; research on structural and proximate conflict causes in South Eastern Europe and support to UNDP's 'Early Warning for Crisis' projects in the RBEC region.
The Regional Programme formulation in support of the National Human Development Reports, noted in the previous issue of DESA News, has reached its halfway point with missions by Katsiaouni (Nigeria), Diagne (Senegal) and Le Nay (Cameroon). Further missions are programmes for Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Most of these missions are undertaken jointly with UNDP, notably the Regional Bureau for Africa in the National Human Development Report Office, and upon their completion a regional programme will be undertaken.
The United Nations Statistics Division, in collaboration with the Statistics Division of ESCWA, has started the implementation of the Development Account Project "Strengthening Statistical Capacity in the ESCWA countries".
The main objective of the project is to build a statistical network in the ESCWA region to provide for a regional approach to official statistics and strengthen inter country coordination among the countries in the ESCWA region. The thematic areas that will be covered by the project in three years are: organization and management of statistical systems, census content, management and data processing, environment statistics and disability statistics. The first meeting of the Project Steering Committee is planned in Oman on 6 April 2002. Other activities for the year 2002 include:
Contact: Angela Me, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4823, Fax: (212) 963-9851, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beijing Consultation Meeting on Networking and Capacity Building for Social Development in Northeast Asia
The objectives of the Meeting are to provide a forum for experts to present and discuss drafts on research papers on these issues and to contribute to a comprehensive report for submission to the United Nations General Assembly.
The comprehensive report will present country-specific and issue-specific observations and proposals for collaborative action, networking and capacity building for social development in the Northeast Asian region.
Co-sponsors: China Society for Promoting the Guangcai Programme, Beijing Society for Promoting the Guangcai Programme, and a project financed under the Development Account entitled “Capacity-building and Networking for the Follow-up to the Five-year Review of the Implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development.
See above under Africa South of the Sahara
Participants set out to
discuss sustainable local economic development issues in regions where tourism is, or has the potential to become, the drive of the local economy. They debated on what level of government is best suited to deal with the management of financial, human, natural, and cultural resources that are key to the development of the tourism industry, and on how to maximize the economic benefits of tourism, in view of the limits posed to its growth by environmental, social and economic considerations. The meeting provided a rich exchange of experiences and ideas on ways to look at tourism in the context of decentralization, and ended with a consensus on a number of conclusions and recommendations. A final report of the meeting is under preparation, and will include analytical papers and case studies presented in the Colloquium.
Contact: Ms. Angela Capati-Caruso, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5318; E-mail: email@example.com
The heads of all United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) Online Regional Centres (ORCs) and two representatives of regional commissions will gather to review the progress made in the implementation of the UNPAN programme since the last Meeting in April 2001. The group will also make decisions on the major activities to be carried out in the coming year, particularly addressing the issues on how to respond to the requests made in the recently adopted General Assembly and ECOSOC resolutions concerning the expansion of UNPAN at the national level and better utilization of the UNPAN system by the developing countries. UNPAN is a network of public administration institutions, managed by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
UNPAN is a network of public administration institutions, managed by the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) have recently announced a new three-year initiative to improve the quality of education and training in public administration. The goal is to strengthen institutional capacity and, in so doing, have a long-term impact on the development of effective and transparent governance throughout the world. In order to jumpstart the initiative, DESA and IASIA are jointly organizing an Expert Group Meeting on “Public Administration Education and Training: Searching for Methodologies to Build Capacity for Human Resources Development”.
The objective of the Expert Group Meeting is to establish a core research group of experts in public administration and training to design the methodology of the joint IASIA/UNDESA initiative. It will also promote the exchange of experiences and ideas and create an opportunity for new thinking in order to produce an output which will be relevant for guiding countries to improve their civil service to become knowledge organizations. The Expert Group Meeting also aims at identifying the implementation mechanisms of the initiative and the involvement of regional organizations. Finally, by promoting the exchange of country experiences and best practices, the meeting will also take advantage of synergies arising from strategic partnerships.
The Expert Group Meeting will generate a background document with agreed priorities for the initiative, based on a methodological approach designed by the experts and a detailed and substantive Plan of Action for the next three years. Check www.unpan.org
under “What’s New” in early April for further information.
Contact: Ms. Yolande Jemiai, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: email@example.com
Chief Executive Board (CEB)
Economic and Social Council
Economic and Social Council
See article above
Committee for Development Policy
Project LINK Meeting
Commission on Population and Development
International Conference on E-Government for Development
Contact: Jay De Vera, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-0525, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration will make a substantive contribution at this conference in civil service reform.
Contact: Guido Bertucci, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: email@example.com
General Assembly of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administration (CIAT)
General Assembly of the Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations (CIAT), sponsored by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, will be held in Quebec from 20 to 23 May, 2002.
The main theme of the Assembly will be “Opportunities for Improving Tax Compliance through Interaction and Cooperation”.
For this event, UNDESA has been invited as a Special Guest and will be represented by DPEPA.
The topics discussed at the Assembly will include the mechanism of coordination among government agencies, interaction with the private sector, and international cooperation to improve tax compliance. The cooperative actions of the tax administration will be analysed in relation to the political institutions and public authorities of the country.
Seminar on Management and Organization of Statistical Systems
Workshop on Census Data Processing
CSD Acting as the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development
See article above
Monthly Bulletin of Statistics
Special features in this issue:
Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations Officials; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value index and quantum indices; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports:
unit value and quantum indices; Selected series of world statistics.
Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4865, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Account Statistics:
Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables, 1998
The publication contains detailed national accounts estimates for most countries or areas of the World for the years 1987 and 1998.
The estimates for each country or area are presented in separate chapters with uniform table headings and classifications as recommended in the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA).
A summary of the SNA conceptual framework, classifications and definitions are included in the publication.
The publication contains statistics on national accounts aggregates and detailed variables such as gross domestic product, national income, savings, household and government consumption, exports and imports, etc.
It is a valuable source of information on the economic situation of countries.
Contact: Matthias Reister, SD, Tel. (212) 963-2038, E-mail: email@example.com
Guidelines and Principles for the Development of Disability Statistics
This publication is aimed at assisting national statistical offices and other producers of disability statistics in improving the collection, compilation and dissemination of disability data.
The document addresses methodological issues in the area of disability by providing guidelines and principles related to data collection, through surveys and censuses and also on the compilation, dissemination and usage of data and disability.
The publication builds on the Manual for the Development of Statistical Information for Disability Programmes and Policies, and also on the section on disability in the Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 1.
Contact: Margaret Mbogoni, SD, Tel. (212) 963-7845, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1999 International Trade Statistics Yearbook, Vol. I and Vol. II
Volume I provides historical information on the external trade performance of individual countries in terms of current values. Information showing important commodities traded by an individual country (latest 4 years) and the country’s trade with its major trading partners and regions (latest 5 years) are also shown. Summary tables for each country show imports by broad economic categories, exports by industrial origin and the percentage share of the country’s trading partners and regions in relation to its total trade. This volume contains data for 179 countries or reporting customs areas. Volume II contains selected commodity tables showing total world trade of those commodities analyzed by regions and countries, as well as various specialized tables.
Contact: Ronald Jansen, SD, Tel. (212) 963-5980, E-mail: email@example.com
As a contribution to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, to be held in Madrid, Spain on 8 to 12 April 2002, the Division for the Advancement of Women has prepared an issue of Women2000 on the “Gender dimensions of ageing”. It analyses ageing from a gender perspective by looking at both the impact, in old age, of discrimination faced by women throughout their life cycle, as well as the essential role played by older women at the family and community level. This issue of Women 2000 calls for increased efforts to improve the situation of older women through gender-sensitive policies and programmes. It also argues for changes in the negative stereotyped portrayal of older women in the media so that, rather than being seen as a burden, older women are considered for what they really are: a vital resource to society.
Also just issued :
Women 2000: “Widowhood: Secluded or Excluded”
The CD-Rom focuses on the events that have shaped the international agenda for women's equality from 1945 to 2000.
It offers extensive coverage of the four UN Women's Conferences held in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing, the parallel non-governmental forums, and the Beijing+5 special session of the General Assembly.
The CD-ROM discusses the important role of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and includes important documents from the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.
Japan has been active in its efforts for Africa’s development since the First Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) was held in 1993. The TICAD II held in 1998 adopted the “Tokyo Agenda for Action” with emphasis on African countries’ ownership and its partnership with the international community as two central principles. The TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting that was held from 3-4 December 2001 served as a milestone in the TICAD process, by reviewing results of the TICAD II and setting a tone for the TICAD III.
The report is the proceedings of the above-mentioned Ministerial-level Meeting. It also contains the chairperson’s statement of the Ministerial-level Meeting, chairperson’s summary report of the preparatory meeting for TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting and statements of Governments of Japan and Mali, representatives of African development partners and the co-organizers.
The report deals on what the TICAD process had accomplished this far and the emphasis it places on such areas as (i) strengthening the foundation of development, through promotion of peace and good governance (ii) investing in people, focus on human resource development, education and health sectors; and (iii) reducing poverty through economic growth. It also pointed out that the spirit and objectives of NEPAD were in line with those advocated by TICAD.
Contact: Abraham Joseph, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-4839, Fax: (212) 963-3892, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Population Ageing 2002
The Population Division has issued an updated Wall chart on Population Ageing.
The Wall chart, entitled Population Ageing 2002, provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive information available on population ageing at the global, regional, sub-regional and national levels.
It was produced as part of the Division’s ongoing work on the demographic, economic and social aspects of population ageing and as a contribution to the Second World Assembly on Ageing.
Contact: Barry Mirkin, PD, Tel. (212) 963-3921, E-mail: email@example.com
Population Bulletin of the United Nations
The publication contains the report and papers presented at a technical meeting that brought together experts from different world regions to address issues concerning population ageing and living arrangements of older persons, including historical and social contexts, the social process through which living arrangements of older persons influences the demand for formal and informal support systems and how governments respond to these perceived needs. The meeting also aimed to improve the knowledge base, identify priorities for future research and raise the long-term visibility of ageing–related issues.
Contact: Barry Mirkin, PD, Tel. (212) 963-3921, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Population Ageing 1950-2050
This report provides a description of global trends in population ageing based on the medium variant of the 2000 Revision of the United Nations Population Estimates and Projections and includes a series of indicators of the ageing process by development regions, major areas, regions and countries. Topics include demographic determinants of population ageing;
the magnitude and speed of population ageing;
the changing balance between age groups; a
demographic profile of the older population,
particularly the progressive ageing of the older population itself and its feminization; and two socio-economic characteristics of the older population
that can greatly affect the well-being of older individuals, labour force participation and literacy. In addition, annex tables present profiles of ageing, including estimates and projections of numbers of older persons and the summary indicators that are discussed in the main text.
PRED Bank, version 3
The latest version of the Population, Resources, Environment and Development Databank (PRED Bank) is now available on CD-ROM.
The PRED Bank brings together data series dealing with various aspects of population, labour force, education, economic and social development, land, water and energy use. It also provides the texts of selected international treaties and conventions related to major environment and development issues.
The 131 variables include regional, sub-regional and national data for 228 countries and regions.
Population data are those of the Population Division.
Other data were provided by various United Nations agencies and programmes as well as other research centres and nongovernmental organisations.
World Public Sector Report (2001)
The inaugural issue of Division for Public Economics and Public Administratio n ’s World Public Sector Report, which focuses on the theme “Globalization and the State”, is now available for dissemination. The 200 page publication discusses in Part II "Defining and Measuring the Size of the State". In addition, the preface, foreword, table of contents and introductions to both parts I and II of the report can be found at: http:// ww.unpan.org/dpepa_worldpareport.asp
Contact: Mr. Guido Bertucci,Director, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: email@example.com
The Bulletin on Social Integration Policies is a new quarterly information publication of the Division for Social Policy and Development that will be launched on 1 April.
will be issued 4 times a year during the biennium 2002-2003. It replaces three previous bulletins published by the Division, Disabled Persons Bulletin, Youth Information Bulletin and Bulletin on Ageing. It integrates other ad hoc information publications related to family policies, the social roots of conflict and intergenerational issues.
The Bulletin will be accessible after 1 April at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/
Contact: OdileFrank , DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-6901, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NationalSustainable Development Strategies: Global Perspectives
Volume II - Expert Papers Presented to the Forum
Available from the National Information, Strategies and Institutions Branch, DSD, DC2-2277
A Report on Meeting of National Focal Points on Improving National Reporting to the CSD was submitted to the CSD PrepCom for WSSD, and a number of country profiles were added to the Divisional database
A CD-ROM of key documents on sustainable development from Rio to Johannesburg was produced and distributed at the second WSSD PrepCom. An update is being planned.
Contact: Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Tel. (212) 963- 0060, E-mail: email@example.com
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