Volume 6, No. 4, August-September 2002


  In this issue:
  Johannesburg Summit
Global dialogue on development

International Financial System

GA Reports

Trends and analysis
Indicators

Migration

Technical cooperation
Gender Adviser in Afghanistan
Current and forthcoming publications
  Geographic Names
Current and upcoming meetings
 

 

Economic and Social Council, 2002 Session
  http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

The ECOSOC high-level segment held from 1-3 July at UN headquarters in New York brought together some forty relevant ministries and senior officials and a significant number of heads of UN agencies and civil society participants to discuss the theme “The Contribution of Human Resources Development, including in the areas of health and education, to the process of development”. The segment concluded its work by adopting by consensus a strong and clear Ministerial Declaration that underlines the centrality of human resources development to poverty eradication and sustainable development and calls for more resources to education and development.

The high-level segment was the culmination of a preparatory process which began in February and March this year with three roundtables on health, education and human resources development. The preparatory roundtables, which involved the Governments, the UN system, civil society and the private sector, were excellent opportunities for all stakeholders to share best practices on related issues and were pivotal for building momentum on the theme.

           In his opening statement the Secretary-General called on ECOSOC to give life to the guiding motto of the United Nations in the twenty-first century:  putting people at the centre of the organization’s activities. The theme of the high-level segment was about putting that motto into practice, he said. According to Mr. Annan, health and education are the twin pillars that the well being of individuals should be built upon. Health and education are also mutually reinforcing:  a healthy individual has a better chance of achieving his or her potential; educated individuals have a better chance of remaining healthy, and contributing to the health and development of their family, their community, and ultimately, their country.

Mr. Annan underlined the important role of ECOSOC in ensuring an integrated follow-up process to the major UN conferences. This process must be results-oriented and systematic, Mr. Annan said, and it must avoid duplication or fragmentation.  The focus from now on needed to be on implementing the commitments that have been made.

The segment began with an address by Mr. Paul O’Neil, Secretary of Treasury of the United States, followed by a high-level policy dialogue with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Horst Köhler; the Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mr. Rubens Ricupero; the Managing Director of the World Bank, Ms. Mamphela Ramphele; and Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Mr. Miguel Rodriguez Mendoza, on current developments in the world economy and follow-up to the Monterrey Conference.

During the segment, a number of ministerial high-level roundtables and roundtable breakfasts were held that brought together key stakeholders from Governments and civil society, including NGOs and academia, for an informal dialogue on the subject of human resources development.  Building on the preparatory roundtables held this Spring, the topics covered by the roundtables ranged from the implications of food security, the link to sustainable development, the situation in Africa, shelter, regional cooperation, ICTs to gender mainstreaming. The high quality discussions of the roundtables brought energy and dynamism to the segment through exchange of experiences from various perspectives on policies for improving human resources in all countries and facilitated the creation of a strong sense of consensus on the importance of human resources development in all its aspects to the process of development.

In his closing statement, the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ambassador Ivan Šimonović noted that the rich and lively discussions gave a clear sense of direction on the way ahead for realizing internationally agreed goals for health, education and development. The adoption of a Ministerial Declaration was an important signal that the spirit of compromise was still alive and well, he noted.

According to Ambassador Šimonović , the discussions shed new light on the importance of a multisectoral approach to human resource development and stressed that health, education, and progress in other sectors are mutually reinforcing. ECOSOC came to recognize the dual role of human resources development – as a goal in its own right, and as a means to long-term economic growth and poverty eradication. As to the process of reviewing progress made in reaching goals of major UN conferences, it was for implementation he emphasized. “We must begin demonstrating that we mean what we say, as no time should be wasted; 2015 is approaching quickly. We should not change our targets, but we should be more reliable in the delivery of what we have promised.”

            The Coordination Segment had as its theme, "Strengthening further the Economic and Social Council, building on its recent achievements, to help it fulfil the role ascribed to it in the Charter of the United Nations as contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration." As the Deputy Secretary-General said in her opening statement, making an effective contribution to the realization of the goals set at the various UN conferences and the implementation of their plans of actions will test all the capacities of ECOSOC for achieving policy coherence, monitoring progress and guiding the work of the UN system.

In response to the Secretary-General's report which highlighted the challenges facing the Council and improving the Council's response, a range of views were expressed by the delegations and panelists on promoting collaborative efforts of all actors for achieving the outcomes of recent major UN conferences and summits, and the need for more integrated approaches to development and peace.

Two panel discussions were organized during the Coordination Segment to enable focused and interactive debate on specific aspects of the strengthening of ECOSOC.   The first panel was on “Improving ECOSOC’s role in the follow-up of the Millennium Declaration and other major UN conferences and summits” which discussed ways of strengthening the Council’s role in mobilizing coherent and well coordinated efforts by the UN system and the broader international community in pursuit of the goals set at these major meetings, while maintaining the integrity and identity of each conference follow-up process.  Panelists, who played leading roles in recent major UN conferences, stressed from their own experience on the importance of coordination, effective conference follow-ups and implementation and strong leadership of the Council and coordination.

            The second panel addressed the theme of “ECOSOC reform:  making ECOSOC’s work have a greater impact”.  The debate covered how to make the Council more effective in carrying out its Charter responsibilities for coordination and for the oversight of operational activities and in spurring the development cooperation efforts of a broad range of partners. The panel, comprised of former Presidents of the Council and high-level representatives of the UN system, generated a number of proposals to strengthen ECOSOC's work.  Agreed conclusions were adopted.

            Among the draft resolutions discussed by ECOSOC during its General Segment held from 18-26 July 2002 were those on the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Advisory group on African countries emerging from conflict (E/2002/L.12); mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system (E/2002/L.14); the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (E/2002/L.16); long-term programme of support to Haiti (E/2002/L.17); tobacco and health (E/2002/L.26); conversion of the World Tourism Organization to a specialized agency of the UN system; and coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda (E/2002/L.30).

              Following to the Council debate on the Monterrey follow-up, a resolution on the International Conference on Financing for Development was also adopted. Negotiated under the chairmanship of the Council Vice-President, Ambassador Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala, the resolution builds on the agreements at Monterrey to give clearer meaning to the intention of all stakeholders to "stay engaged" in the follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development. The Monterrey Consensus provided a unique opportunity for engaging partners on issues of development, finance and policy coherence and maintain the focus on the implementation.  This year's special high-level spring meeting between the Council, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization served as a forum for an exchange of views on matters related to the follow-up of the Monterrey conference.

            In early September, the President of the Council intends to liaise with the Bretton Woods Institutions and WTO on the modalities and calendar for further intergovernmental interactions as a follow-up to Monterrey. By October, preparations should begin for the April ECOSOC/BWI’s meeting.  Arrangements were envisaged for extensive contributions to the process from the private sector and civil society.

            A meeting of the chairpersons of the functional commissions of ECOSOC or their representatives with the Bureau of ECOSOC was held, for the first time, on 23 July 2002 during the general segment of ECOSOC. The meeting sought to strengthen coordination between various commissions and with the Council itself. The meeting was followed by a panel of the chairpersons of the functional commissions attended by Member States, UN staff and civil society representatives.

            The chairperson of the Commission Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Mr. John Kangai; Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Ms. Patricia Olamendi; Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Krzysztof Jakubowski; Commission on Science and Technology for Development, Prof. Vijaya Kumar, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Mr. Ole Henrik Magga, all attended the meeting.  Representatives of the chairs of the Commissions on Population and Development, Social Development, Status of Women and Forum on Forests were also present.

            Participants discussed ways how to further synenergize the output of commissions' work though a more coordinated linking of their multi-year programmes of work. The need to enhance and deepen cooperation between the functional commissions and with ECOSOC was stressed. Also discussed was the impact of the recent and upcoming major UN conferences on the work of the commissions According to the participants, the follow-up to the Millennium Summit and other major UN conferences provided a good opportunity to enhance a holistic and integrated approach.

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World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September
http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/index.html

            Prospects for resolving the outstanding differences over the outcome document for the World Summit on Sustainable Development next month have sharply improved after a special high-level meeting convened at the request of South African President Thabo Mbeki as Chairman of the Summit.
As the ministers or other high-ranking officials from 27 countries discussed their views on a wide range of topics, it became evident that the gap between many positions had narrowed, some to the point of seemingly semantic differences.

            "There is more hope now than there was at the end of Bali," South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said as the meeting concluded. "I do not see major differences in the positions of the delegations. It should not take long to get an agreement in Johannesburg."

            About three-quarters of the implementation plan was agreed upon at the last preparatory meeting for the Summit in Bali, Indonesia. The one-day meeting in New York was held to find common ground so that countries could bridge the remaining differences quickly in Johannesburg. The meeting itself was not a negotiation session, but rather, an exchange of views of delegations to explore the contours of an agreement.

            In particular, consensus appeared to emerge on some key issues, such as the interpretation of the Rio Principles and on how to articulate the progress that was achieved at the World Trade Organization meeting in Doha last November, and at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey last March. Differences were also narrowed on issues concerning the establishment of new targets and timetables, particularly on setting a target for reducing the number of people who lack proper sanitation facilities.

            The actual negotiations on the text will take place in Johannesburg, and proposals are being considered to add two extra days for consultations prior to the official start of the Summit.

            Zuma added that it was important, for the success of the Summit, that all world leaders attend. She said, "We want to see everyone in Johannesburg."

            United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he, along with President Mbeki, had initiated the idea for the meeting yesterday so that "Member States arrive in Johannesburg with a clear idea of how the negotiations can succeed and, in turn, result in the launch of concrete initiatives."

            The Secretary-General urged countries not to renegotiate prior agreements, particularly those reached at Doha and Monterrey and he called for countries to focus on achieving results in the five key areas of water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity. He also said countries should provide "adequate assurances" that there will be an adequate replenishment of the Global Environment Facility. The GEF is an important funding mechanism to support programmes that combat environmental degradation.

            The new agreement gives a major boost to the Summit, which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September. The Summit, which will be attended by world leaders and representatives of citizen groups and businesses, offers an historic opportunity to confront serious and growing threats to human well-being and the protection of the environment.

            "There was a real change in attitude and atmosphere here," Johannesburg Summit Secretary-General Nitin Desai commented as yesterday's meeting concluded. "Countries have shown a great willingness to move forward and seek convergence. There was a good deal of movement - it isn't tangible yet, but the progress is perceptible."

            "The most important achievement of the meeting," according to South African UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, " was the conclusion among many delegates that it was possible to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues which would lead to a successful conclusion of the Johannesburg Summit."

            The 27 countries invited by President Mbeki to attend the meeting as "Friends of the Chair" include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Russian Federation, Samoa, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela. Many other countries also attended as observers.

            A number of documents in addition to the plan of implementation will be distributed at the Conference, including a CD-ROM  entitled "Country Profiles: National Implementation of Agenda 21", with 140 Country Profiles for 2002 and other documents,  a summary of national implementation of Agenda 21, and an account of country experiences with national reporting to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

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Intergovernmental Meetings

  World Summit on Sustainable Development
  General Assembly, 57th Session
 Ad Hoc Committee on the Comprehensive and Integral International Convention to
     Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
  Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
     against Women

  High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the New Partnership
     for Africa's Development

  Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly for the Final Review of the
     Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the
     1990s
  GA meeting on Information and Communication Technologies
Expert Group Meetings
 UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names
 UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names
  Outcome of the Expert Group Meeting: "Social responsibility of the private sector and forging
     partnerships for social development"

  Outcome of the Expert Group Meeting: “Sharing of Experiences and Practices in Social
     Development”

Inter-Agency Meetings

 Meeting on International Migration
  Inter-Agency Meeting on Coordination of Statistical Activities

Intergovernmental Meetings  

General Assembly
Fifty-seventh Session
New York, 10 September-December

DESA reports to the forthcoming fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly include:

International financial system and development
Resolution 56/181

This report, responding to General Assembly resolution 56/181, describes recent developments in the international financial system that have a special relevance to development, bearing in mind the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development.  It contains estimates of the mainly negative net transfer of financial resources of groups of developing countries in 2001 and updates developments in the past year in international financial reform. It contains several recommendations that seek to advance the reform of the international financial architecture.

Contact: Barry Herman, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-4747, E-mail: Herman@un.org

The challenges and constraints as well as progress made towards achieving the major development goals and objectives adopted by the United Nations during the 1990s
Rresolution 56/191

This report is the latest update on the implementation of the Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade (1991–2000).  It provides an overview of progress made during the decade towards achieving the development goals set out in the Strategy and in subsequent United Nations conferences, and identifies factors that constrained progress.  It concludes that, while the 1990s witnessed some improvements on the economic and social fronts over those achieved during the 1980s, the international community at large failed to reach the goals and, thus, is now required to further strengthen its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  This report relates closely to the new annual report on progress towards the implementation of the Millennium Declaration being prepared by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General .

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

Integration of the economies in transition into the world economy
Resolution 55/191

The report examines the situation in economies in transition and policies to facilitate their further integration into the world economy, and sustain the positive trends in the economic and social development of those economies during the 1990s.  A particular focus will be on microeconomic and industrial-level policies implemented during the decade and aimed at strengthening market-oriented reforms, and their effects on the activities of the private sector – the main actor in these countries’ integration.

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

Other key reports include those on:

  • the final review of UN-NADAF

  • international financial architecture

  • globalization and interdependence

  • High-level dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation

  • outcome of the World Summit for Sustainable Development

  • UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty

and on:

  • Preparations for the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004

            The latter report describes the state of preparation for the observance of the tenth anniversary at the global, regional and national levels.  It provides information on salient activities and experiences of the United Nations system, Member states and the non-governmental organizations sector.  It also includes recommendations for a successful observance of the anniversary.  (Contact: Amr Ghaleb, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-3238, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: ghaleb@un.org )

Ad Hoc Committee on the Comprehensive and Integral International Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
New York, 29 Jul
y -9 Aug ust
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable

This Ad Hoc Committee was established in accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/168 of 19 December 2001, entitled "Comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities".  By this resolution, the General Assembly invited, inter alia, non-governmental organizations, to make contributions to the work entrusted to the Ad Hoc Committee, based on the practice of the United Nations.

More information on the Ad Hoc Committee, including accreditation and participation of non-governmental organizations, is available on the Internet under "Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities", the United Nations Persons with Disabilities Internet site, and at Worldenable: http://www.worldenable.net .

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

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Exceptional Session
New York, 5-23 August
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/27sess.htm

Since 1997, the Committee has met twice annually.  On the recommendation of the Committee , the General Assembly approved on an exceptional basis a session of three weeks’ duration in August 2002, consisting of 30 meetings of the Committee to be used entirely for the consideration of the reports of the States parties in order to reduce the backlog of reports.

At this session, the Committee will review the reports of eleven States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including: the second periodic reports of Armenia and the Czech Republic respectively, the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Guatemala, the fourth periodic reports of Argentina, Barbados and Yemen respectively, the fifth periodic reports of Mexico, Norway and Peru respectively, and the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Greece and of Hungary respectively .

The 27th session of CEDAW held in June had included a very fruitful informal meeting on working methods and reporting procedures in which 86 state parties took part.  Several countries expressed interest in receiving technical assistance in preparing their national reports on the implementation of CEDAW.  Once the backlog has been dealt with, the challenge will be to get reports from the 46 state parties which have never reported.

To date, the Committee has considered 119 initial, 87 second, 68 third, 35 fourth and ten fifth periodic reports.  It has also considered five reports on an exceptional basis – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), and Rwanda.

As of 25 July 2002, the Convention has been ratified or acceded to by 170 countries, while there are 41 States parties to its Optional Protocol.

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

Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Twelfth Session
New York, 29 August

            This meeting will elect 12 members to serve four-year terms of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, beginning 1 January 2003. The experts serve in their personal capacity on the Committee which is the monitoring body of the Convention.  Experts whose term of office expires at the end of 200 2 are: Charlotte Abaka (Ghana), Emna Aouij, (Tunisia), Ivanka Corti (Italy), Feng Cui (China), Naela Gabr (Egypt), Savitri Goonesekere (Sri Lanka), Rosalyn Hazelle (St. Kitts and Nevis), Rosario Manalo (Philippines), Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini (South Africa), Frances Livingstone Raday (Israel), Zelmira Regazzoli (Argentina), and Fumiko Saiga (Japan).

            As at 26 July 2002, the following alphabetical list of persons were nominated by States parties:   Mary Atieno Ang’awa (Kenya), Sonia Awad Ibrahim (Lebanon), Yolande Bain-Joseph (Grenada), Meriem Belmihoub-Zerdani (Algeria), Huguette Bokpe Gnancadja (Benin), Feng Cui (China), Cornelis Flinterman (Netherlands), Roslyn Hazelle (St. Kitts and Nevis),  Naela Mohamed Gabr (Egypt),  Savitri Goonesekere (Sri Lanka), Tadelech Haile Michael (Ethiopia), Rassolguessida Clémence Ilboudo (Burkina Faso), Antigoni Karali-Dimitriadi (Greece), Salma Khan (Bangladesh), Akua Kuenyehia (Ghana), Rosario G. Manalo (Philippines), Mavuela Mayisa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Krisztina Morvai (Hungary), Pramila Patten (Mauritius), Victoria Popescu Sandru (Romania), Frances Livingstone Raday (Israel), Zelmira Regazzoli (Argentina), Fumiko Saiga (Japan), Dubravka Šimonović (Croatia)

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

High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
New York, 16 Sep 2002

Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly for the Final Review of the Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF)
Substantive sessions
New York, 24-26 September
New York, 7-11 October
http://www.un.org/esa/africa/oscal.htm (no longer valid)

            The review, which is based on the report of an independent evaluation of UN-NADAF, aims at bringing out lessons from UN-NADAF that would benefit the on-going elaboration of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).  The ten-year history of UN-NADAF and its documentations are available on a website developed by OSCAL.

            In connection with the final review and appraisal of UN-NADAF, a number of "Dialogues Among Development Partners" are being held.  The goal is to focus on ways in which inter-governmental organizations, national governments, NGOs, academic institutions, and the business community can, not only exchange views, but also work together to promote and support African development.  The dialogues will review major issues relating to sustainable development in Africa, examining and learning from successful examples of socially responsible projects.

Topics include: Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building; Linking Development to Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare; Governance, Participation and Decision-Making; Poverty and Development Experience of Africa: The Way Forward; and Partnership for the Implementation of NEPAD .                                    

Co-organizers with OSCAL include: WHO, UNIFEM, UNFPA, DPI, Africa Recovery, DPA, ECOSOC NGO Section, UNCTAD, UNDP, United Methodist Office for the UN, Partnership Africa Canada, Trickle-up Program, UN-NGLS, Business and Professional Women International (BPWI) and NGO Committee on Mental Health.

The report on the independent assessment of UN-NADAF is available at: http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/AC.251/8&Lang=E

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

***

A background paper on resource flows to Africa during the period of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF) takes stock of and examines the trends in the external resource flows to Africa (including ODA, FDI and other private flows) during the ten-year period of the UN-NADAF.  This is particularly important in the context of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which, like the UN-NADAF, critically depends on adequate resource flows from the international community.

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

GA meeting on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
New York, 17-18 June

            The meeting consisted of four plenary sessions, two informal panels, and side events, serviced the secretariat of the UN ICT Task Force in DESA.  While the meeting did not break new ground in terms of substance, it reaffirmed the relevance of ICT to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and of the multi-stakeholder approach. There were 60 speakers from national delegations, many of which ICT experts.  Some 200 private sector representatives participated in the side events.  In his statement the Secretary-General stressed the need for the UN’s involvement in ICT to be sustained by resources, and the need for developing countries to be engaged more meaningfully in ICT initiatives.  The meeting focussed attention on the work of the  UN ICT Task Force.

            Contact: Sergei Kambalov, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-4751, E-mail: kambalov@un.org

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Expert Group Meetings

UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names
Eighth Session
Berlin, Germany, 27 August-5 September

The session will be held in Berlin in accordance with Economic and Social Council Decision 2000/230 of 26 July 2000.

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

UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names
Twenty-first Session
Berlin, Germany, 26 August and 6 September

The session will be held one day prior and one day after the Eighth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names.

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Outcome of the Expert Group Meeting: “Sharing of Experiences and Practices in Social Development”
Havana, 12-14 June

This expert group meeting was organized by the Division for Social Policy and Development in preparation for the 41st session of the Commission for Social Development in 2003, which deals with the priority theme “National and International Cooperation for Social Development”.  The meeting in Havana served as a forum for experts from different countries to exchange views on national, regional and international experiences and best practices in the field of social development.  A report from the meeting containing analysis of the obstacles encountered and lessons learned will be used as an input for the forthcoming Report of the Secretary-General on the priority theme of the Commission.

            Contact: Wenyan Yang, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-4714, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: yang@un.org

Outcome of the Expert Group Meeting: "Social responsibility of the private sector and forging partnerships for social development"
Copenhagen, 26-29 June

This expert group meeting was organized to provide substantive input to the 41st session of the Commission for Social Development to be held in February 2003.  The priority theme of this session is “National and international cooperation for social development”, of which two sub-themes are “the social responsibility of the private sector” and “forging partnerships for social development”.  The report from the meeting containing a summary of discussion and recommendations will be used as an input for the forthcoming Report of the Secretary-General on the priority theme of the Commission.

Contact: Eric Olson, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0013, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: olsone@un.org  

Inter-Agency Meetings

Meeting on International Migration
New York, 11-12 July

            This meeting was well attended, including representatives from the international community and civil society.  While recognizing the considerable scope that existed for strengthening the work of the system on migration issues, including coordination of activities and data collection and analysis, most participants felt that, in the period ahead, international cooperation on migration issues will be more politically feasible if pursued on a regional rather than global basis.  The meeting’s report will be issued in a few weeks. In 2003 a Secretary-General’s report on international migration and development is to be prepared for the GA.

The subject of international migration has come up frequently during the past year in the UN.  Issues have been raised regarding the definition of what constitutes legal migrants.  In the sustainable development context, the focus has been on the population/environment/development nexus.  Rights of migrants have been a concern in numerous fora. DAW has written reports on illegal trafficking of migrant women. On the economic side, there is growing attention on migration in the area of services.  “Recommendations on statistics of international migration” were adopted by the Statistical Commission in 1997.   Currently there are some 185 million foreign born persons living in different countries worldwide.  Given the broad interest in this topic, DESA might  carry out high profile work on international migration as a key feature of globalization, perhaps in the context of a future World Economic and Social Survey .

Inter-Agency Meeting on Coordination of Statistical Activities
New York, 17-19 September

            In order to continue the coordination work which took place previously under the auspices of the ACC subcommittee on statistical activities, UNSD in consultation with chief statisticians in of the UN system (and beyond) is calling an inter-agency meeting on the coordination of statistical activities.  The meeting will determine the future format of interagency coordination in the area of statistics. One the key substantive issues that have been suggested for the agenda are “Improving the quality of data used for indicators for the Millennium Development Goals and Targets” and “Reducing duplication of data collection from countries”. Issues for which follow-up action at a higher level will be required, will be brought to the attention of the “High Level Committee on Programmes” of the Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB).

            Contact: Stefan Schweinfest, SD, Tel. (212 963-4849, E-mail: schweinfest@un.org OR
 Sabine Warschburger, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4297, E-mail: warschburger@un.org

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Panels, symposia and events

  Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association
  International Youth Day
  Conference of the International Association of Official Statistics
  UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing
  ESCAP Regional Meeting on Ageing   

Noteworthy Publications

Ongoing Research work on Statistical Indices: Construction, Interpretation and use in
    Measuring Development

Panels, symposia and events

Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association
New York, 11-15 August

            UNSD will be organizing a session at the prestigious academic 2002 Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association. The session (JSM Activity #36) is entitled "Some Statistical Problems in International Statistics". The topics presented by UNSD will be: "Combining Development Indicators: Scaling, Weighting and Interpretation in Principal Component Analysis" by Ms. Gisele Kamanou, “A Model for Multiply Imputing Missing Data in the 2002 Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) under MAR and Non-ignorable Response Mechanism” by Ms. Tanja Srebotnjak, and “A system approach to environmentally-adjusted aggregates” by Ms. Alessandra Alfieri and Ms. Ilaria Di Matteo

            Contact: Ibrahim Yansaneh, SD, Tel. (212) 963-2054, E-mail: yansaneh@un.org

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International Youth Day
New York, 12 August

http://www.un.org/youth

The third commemoration of International Youth Day 2002, will take place on 12 August. The theme of this year's observance is "Now and for the Future: Youth Action for Sustainable Development" and focuses on the Johannesburg Summit. On this day the Secretary-General will call upon youth of the world to work to build a better world for all.

A panel of eminent persons and youth will convene at United Nations headquarters to commemorate the day and discuss issues related to the goals of the Summit. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium. Interested staff and their young relatives and friends are invited to attend.

            Contact: Joop Theunissen, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-7763, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: theunissen@un.org

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Conference of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS)
London, 27-29 August

            This conference, which takes place every two years, will be devoted in 2002 to the topic “The New Economy”. UNSD is funding 23 people from developing countries and countries in transition to participate in the Conference. A number of UNSD staff members will also actively participate in this meeting. The Conference is one of the major fora attended by managers of official statistics and as such an excellent venue for statisticians all around the world to discuss recent developments in statistics. During the conference UNSD will also organize a steering committee meeting on its technical cooperation programme: Strengthening Statistical Capacity in the ASEAN Region.

            Contact: Isabela Heng, SD, Tel. (212) 963-3270, E-mail: heng@un.org

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UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing
Berlin, 11-13 September
http://www.mica2002.de

The ECE will hold this Conference in Berlin with a view to adopt the Regional Implementation Strategy following the adoption in Madrid last April of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. The Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development will attend on behalf of DESA.

Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: sidorenko@un.org

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ESCAP Regional Meeting on Ageing
Shanghai, China, 23-26
September
http://www.unescap.org

Organized by the ESCAP secretariat, this meeting aims at the adoption of a regional strategy for the implementation of Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.

            Contact: Rosemary Lane, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5090, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: lane@un.org

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Noteworthy Publications

Ongoing Research Work on Statistical Indices: Construction, Interpretation and use in Measuring Development

            The Statistics Division is currently working on a research paper exploring the measurement of development progress through the construction of a composite index based on several development indicators. Imitating and refining the construction of the Human Development Index (HDI), an indicator of progress is developed that is based on the simple ideas of distance and threshold (or goal).  The concept of threshold is defined as a quantile of an appropriate distribution. The elements, then, that enter the computation of the index are combined by multiplying with the inverse of an appropriately defined variance-covariance matrix. The properties of the index are studied, as well as its asymptotic distribution. The empirical work utilizes a set of data on the Millennium Declarations Goals (MDGs) compiled by the Statistics Division.

            Contact: Gisele Kamanou, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4328, E-mail: kamanou@un.org

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Asia and the Pacific
Eastern Europe and CIS
Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia and the Pacific

Briefing on the Work of the UNAMA Gender Adviser
New York, 15 July

            Fatiha Serour, Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), who has been working for the past two months as Interim UN Gender Adviser for Afghanistan, gave a briefing on 15 July on the progress achieved so far by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), and specifically her work in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Mr. Brahimi.  Gulbadan Habibi (UNICEF) described her experience as one of four Afghan-American representatives in the recent Loya Jirga. Ms. Angela King, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, was the convener and moderator of the meeting.

            Ms. Serour discussed her responsibilities as Gender Adviser.  Included were:  advising the SRSG and heads of agencies on how to mainstream gender and developing a model of integration of gender into all activities; ensuring the use of gender perspective in implementing the Bonn Agreement; encouraging gender balance in UNAMA recruitment; and designing a coordination mechanism/framework that would encourage inter-agency dialogue and joint or collaborative actions.

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

Outcome of the Third High-level Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region
Shanghai, China, 12-14 June
http://www.unpan.org/directory/conference/guest/browseoneconference.asp?conference_id=1279

            Seventy-four cities from 45 countries (not only from this region) participated in the Forum, including 300 private sector representatives.  The theme was e-government in the region, in terms of both connectivity and applications.  Former US Vice President Al Gore was the keynote speaker.  A parallel event was the inauguration of the ICT regional network of the ICT Task Force.  The report of the meeting will be sent to the UN ICT Task Force.

           Contact: Guido Bertucci, Director, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-1714, E-mail: bertucci@un.org

Eastern Europe and CIS

Regional Workshop on Capacity-Building in Governance and Public Administration for Sustainable Development
Thessaloniki, Greece, 29-31 July

            The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA), in cooperation with the United Nations Thessaloniki Centre (UNTC), held a Regional Workshop on Capacity-building in Governance and Public Administration for Sustainable Development. The Workshop was targeted at the countries with economies in transition, and 48 participants representing governments and NGOs from the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and CIS attended.  Representatives from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Economic Commission for Europe, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe also participated in the Workshop.

            The Workshop focused on the major challenges and opportunities faced by decision makers in the area of sustainable development. The participants are to review their national sustainable development strategies and identified initiatives that might be undertaken to promote sustainable development in their countries.  The participants also discussed the main thematic areas of the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in August/September 2002 and the Summit’s implications for government and the public service. The trainers at the Workshop presented the topics of governance issues and the role of public administration in the formulation and implementation of strategies for sustainable development, institution-building and human resources development strategies for sustainable development.  The report of the Workshop will be presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

           Contact:  Guido Bertucci, Director, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-5761, E-mail: bertucci@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on “New Challenges for High-Leve l Leadership Training in Public Management and Governance in a Globalizing World”
Turin, Italy, 19-20 September

            The Division for Public Economics and Public Administration of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA/DPEPA) and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) have recently agreed to initiate a four-year cooperation to improve the quality of education and training in public administration for both the current and next generation of governmental leaders. Among the critical challenges faced by governmental leaders are the following: dealing with globalization, coping with increased complexity and ambiguity, changing values and professional behaviours, increased competition for knowledge workers, increased concern for respect of human rights and equal opportunity issues.

            The first activity of the Joint UN/IASIA Initiative will be the organization of an Expert Group Meeting on "New Challenges for High Level Leadership Training in Public Management and Governance in a Globalizing World”.  In addition to UNDESA and IASIA, the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) will be associated with this activity.

            The objective of the Expert Group Meeting is to establish a core group of experts in public administration and training, with a special interest in and knowledge of the education and training needs of senior governmental leadership, to design the methodology for the joint UNDESA/IASIA Initiative. The output will be a profile of training needs and appropriate curricular suggestions for the education and training of both the current and next generation of governmental leadership.

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

International Workshop on “Social Impact of Privatisation and Responsibility of Business in Conditions of Transition to a Market Economy”
Sofia, 10-12 September

This international workshop is organized by DESA, Division for Social Policy and Development, in cooperation with the Government of Bulgaria and the United Nations Development Programme for participants from 12 different transition economies.  Representatives from United Nations agencies, the private sector and NGOs will also be invited to participate in the workshop.

The objective of the meeting is to conduct an analysis and prepare recommendations on the social consequences of privatisation and the social responsibilities of privatised firms in transition to a market economy.  The workshop will facilitate the exchange of experience among countries with economies undergoing transition, and will provide a forum for senior officials to identify issues to be addressed in strengthening governments’ capacity to design and implement more effective social policies connected to privatisation.

Contact: Alexei Tikhomirov, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1070, E-mail: tikhomirov@un.or

Workshop on Census Tabulations for CIS Countries
Kiev, Ukraine, 21-25 October

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) is organizing a Workshop on Census Tabulations for CIS Countries under the framework of the UNFPA funded project RER/00/P03 "Strengthening Population and Housing Census Taking Capabilities in West CIS Countries". The meeting will be held in Kiev, Ukraine from 21-25 October 2002. The objectives of the workshop are:

  • To introduce the participants to the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for tabulating census data;
     

  • To exchange experiences between countries that have already completed census tabulations and countries that are in the process of designing census tabulations;

  • To provide the participants with examples based on their census questionnaires on how to design a tabulation plan taking into consideration issues such as consistency with international recommendations and national needs.

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

Latin America and the Caribbean

Public Investment Policies, Natural Disaster Prevention Policies and Social Impact
Central America, September 2002

            In September, the Division for Social Policy and Development and the Division for Sustainable Development, with the collaboration of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will organized a joint mission to Central America to discuss with government officials and civil society organizations a subregional project on the linkages between public investment policies, natural disaster prevention policies and social impact.

            The mission, financed by DESA, will discuss with relevant stakeholders a project concept from which it will build up a formal project proposal to be submitted for consideration by donors and multilateral financial institutions for implementation at the subregional level. The final product is envisaged as a subregional project that would aim at building national capacity on public investment and natural disaster policies and social considerations, based on a subregional framework that could promote horizontal cooperation amongst the participating countries, a much needed but neglected approach in a region with countries facing very similar constraints to managing natural disaster, its financing and its social impact.  

           Contact: Julio D’Arcy, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5603, E-mail: darcy@un.org OR Manuel Dengo, Tel. (212) 963-4208, E-mail: dengo@un.org

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Statistics
Advancement of Women
Africa  
Policy Analysis
Sustainable Development


Statistics

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

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/352
Vol. LVI – No. 4
April 2002

            Special features in this issue:  World shipbuilding; Civil aviation traffic:  passenger-km, cargo net ton-km; Total exports and imports by regions:  quantum and unit value indices, terms of trade.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/353
Vol. LVI – No. 5
May 2002

            Special features: Indices of world industrial production, by branches of industry and by regions, 1995=100; Producers’ or wholesale price indices, 1990=100; Earnings in manufacturing by sex; Construction of new buildings.

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

Population and Vital Statistics Report
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/221
Series A Vol. LIV, No. 2
Data available as of 1 April 2002

            This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 2000 and 2001 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 2000 estimates for 234 countries or areas of the world, which are listed separately in the Report.  Also shown for each country or area are the results of the latest nation-wide census of population (total, male and female) and, wherever possible, nationally representative statistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths (deaths under one year of age) for the most recent year available.  If a nation-wide population census has never been taken, but a sample survey has, the survey results are sown in the “Latest population census” column until census data becomes available.

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

Glossary of Terms for the Standardization of Geographical Names
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/85
Multilingual Publication

            It is increasingly evident that the consistent use of standardized geographical names is an essential element of effective communication worldwide.  Unambiguous nationally-endorsed names support socio-economic development, sustainable environmental management and spatial data infrastructure.  In 1987, the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names set up a Working Group on Terminology, with the aim of compiling a new dictionary of technical terms employed in the standardization of geographical names (also known as place names or toponyms).  This multilingual dictionary, presents definitions for a common global understanding of some 375 technical terms pertaining to geographical names:  their language, standardization, computer storage and cartographic use.  The text for this new edition of the Glossary was compiled in English, with equivalent terms and definitions prepared, under the guidance of geographical names experts, in the other five official languages of the United Nations.

            Contact: Amor Laaribi, SD, Tel. (212) 963-1640, E-mail: Laaribi@un.org

1999 Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.P/39
Sales No. E/F.02.XVII.2

            The Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook provides statistics on the production of about 530 major industrial commodities.  Data are provided for a ten-year period and for approximately 200 countries.  The commodities have been selected on the basis of their importance in world production and trade of principal products of mining and manufacturing.  At the end of the publication are two Annexes:  annex I is an index of commodities in alphabetical order; annex II is a table of correspondence between the ISIC-based commodity codes, the SITC Rev.2, SITC Rev.3 and Harmonized System (HS) codes.

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

Africa

African Civil Society Organizations and Development: Re-Evaluation for the 21st Century
(to be launched in September)

            Africa faces formidable challenges at the start of this 21st century.  However, while acknowledging the seriousness of Africa's predicament, it is also important not to succumb to the Afro-pessimism that often permeates the development community. There are success stories in African development, some of which are contained in this publication.  This report builds upon a series of reports from the United Nations Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries that highlight the vast, inherent potential within Africa for development.  Specifically, this report focuses on African civil society, which has emerged as a key development player in recent decades.

            Contact: Ruth Engo, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-4780, E-mail: engo@un.org

The Nexus between Peace and Development in Africa

            It is widely recognized that widespread civil conflict in Africa is one of the main causes of the continent’s poor socio-economic performance and the increase in the incidence of extreme poverty.  This paper conceptualises the link between peace and development and provides some indicators to illustrate the nexus in Africa. It discusses the role of African regional and sub-regional organizations and the international community in conflict prevention and post-conflict development in Africa. It also highlights some of the lessons learnt from the experiences of some post-conflict countries in Africa in regard to managing recovery, growth and sustainable development. This paper will be part of the background documentation for a side event on “Conflict Prevention and Peace-building”, organized as dialogue among development partners, to be held on 23 September 2002, during the final review and appraisal of UN-NADAF. 

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

Globalization and Poverty Reduction in Africa

            This is a summary report of the proceedings of a DESA workshop, which was co-organized by OSCAL and DESA Thematic Group on Poverty, and held in New York in May 2001. The workshop examined the theme of globalization and its links to poverty reduction and the economic and social situation in Africa. The debate covered, among others, trends in globalization, impact and issues in relation to poverty and an assessment of the link between globalization and poverty; the national and international response to address the challenges of globalization; and how the international community should utilize the forces of globalization to more effectively reduce poverty in Africa and meet the internationally agreed target of halving poverty by 2015.

            Contact: Raj Bardouille, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-2645, E-mail: bardouille@un.org OR Peter Gudgeon, Tel. (212) 963-6217, E-mail: gudgeon@un.org

Africa at a Glance: a statistical profile of 53 African countries
(to be launched in September)

            Contact: Willa Liburd, Tel. (917) 367-2147, E-mail: liburd@un.org

Policy Analysis

Strengthening Information and Analysis in the Global Financial System : A Concrete Set of Proposals
Discussion Paper by Barbara Samuels, II
ST/ESA/2002/DP.23
http://www.un.org/esa/papers.htm

            Today, open and low-cost access to appropriate, timely and reliable information and analysis on emerging economies and international financial flows is of heightened importance to policy makers, investors and civil society. Despite enormous progress, serious failures persist in the information available (overload of some types and gaps in others relative to end-users’ needs), uncertain credibility of public and private sources of information and analysis (including concerns of provider bias), and inadequate timeliness compared to market and media reaction speeds. This paper, drawing on extensive research, recommends four inter-related mechanisms to bridge these costly information and analysis gaps.

 Sustainable Development

Global Challenge Global Opportunity: Trends in Sustainable Development
to be launched late August/early September

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

Advancement of Women

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Exceptional Session
New York, 5-23 August

            See news item above

Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Twelfth Session
New York, 29 Aug ust

            See news item above

Africa

High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
New York, 16 Sep tember

Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the General Assembly for the Final Review of the Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF)
Substantive Sessions
New York, 24-26 September
New York, 7-11 October

            See news item above

Economic and Social Policy 

General Assembly
Fifty-seventh Session
New York, 10 Sep- Dec 2002

Ad Hoc Committee on the comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities
New York, 29 Jul y -9 Aug ust

            See news item above

Population

Meeting on International Migration
New York, 11-12 July

            See news item above

 

Public Administration 

Regional Workshop on Capacity-Building in Governance and Public Administration for Sustainable Development
Thessaloniki, Greece, 29-31 July

            See news item above

Expert Group Meeting on “New Challenges for High-Level Leadership Training in Public Management and Governance in a Globalizing World”
Turin, Italy, 19-20 September

            See news item above

Social Development

Ad Hoc Committee on the Comprehensive and Integral International Convention to Promote and Protect the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
New York, 29 Jul y -9 August

            See news item above

International Youth Day
Activities on the Theme "Now and for the Future: Youth Action for Sustainable Development"
New York, 12 August

            See news item above

International Workshop on “Social Impact of Privatisation and Responsibility of Business in Conditions of Transition to a Market Economy”
Sofia, 10-12 September

            See news item above

UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing
Berlin, 11-13 September

ESCAP Regional Meeting on Ageing
Shanghai, China, 23-26 September

Statistics

Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association
New York, 11-15 August

            See news item above

Conference of the International Association of Official Statistics (IAOS)
London, 27-29 August

UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names
Eighth Session
Berlin, 27 August - 5 September

            See news item above

UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names
Twenty-first Session
Berlin, Germany, 26 August and 6 September

            See news item above

Inter-Agency Meeting on Coordination of Statistical Activities
New York, 17-19 September

             See news item above

Workshop on Census Tabulations for CIS Countries
Kiev, Ukraine, 21-25 October

            See news item above

Sustainable Development

World Summit on Sustainable Development
Johannesburg, 26 Aug ust -4 September

            See feature above


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 issued every two months

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