Mr. Desai, as Secretary-General of the Conference, highlighted two major outcomes of the Summit. First, as previously noted, the partnerships approach resulted in a number of significant initiatives. Second, the Summit has brought about the active engagement of the corporate sector in the implementation phase. Mr. Desai cited a number of examples, including the umbrella agreement reached between the world’s nine largest electricity utilities and the UN. If these partnerships work in areas such as energy or water, they will be a major part of what the Summit will be remembered for. In the same context, it is important to note that the outcome document calls for a stronger global commitment to corporate accountability.
Mr. Desai felt that the focused and substantive media coverage of the Summit had helped to broaden the general understanding of sustainable development. While much of the coverage dealt with controversies, Mr. Desai emphasized the fact that these controversies were central to the Summit’s agenda.
At the Summit itself and at numerous parallel events, there was an unprecedented level of civil society involvement. There was also a great deal of criticism and protest around a wide range of issues: some critics feared that the Summit had provided encouragement to the increased use of nuclear energy by choosing not to specifically exclude it from the category of ‘energy technologies’ to be pursued, others questioned the wisdom of handing over to private enterprise a resource as indispensable to human life as water. There was sharp criticism of the role of the U.S., the largest consumer of the world’s natural resources, particularly over the issue of the Kyoto agreements. Critics and demonstrators expressed scepticism about the strength of the corporate commitment to the environment, in some cases from the standpoint of uncorrected past corporate failures in this regard, as in the protest held by the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal, India, in 1984.
However, Mr. Desai observed that unlike the Monterrey conference, the Johannesburg Summit did not elicit an entirely uniform reaction of disappointment from NGOs. Some NGOs even entered into partnerships with the corporate sector, as in the case of Greenpeace’s agreement with the World Business Council on climate change.
In concrete terms, agreement was reached in Johannesburg on commitments and implementation initiatives in the following areas.
Regarding Summit follow-up, Mr. Desai identified two challenges. The first is to avoid looking at issues in terms of conference by conference goals. A framework of action is required to preserve the system-wide character of the Summit, and to encompass bilateral, corporate sector and NGO activities. The second challenge is to determine the modalities of the interface between the UN and the Summit partnerships. He observed that a similar challenge exists in relation to follow-up to the World Summit on Social Development. The WSSD was the last in a series of summits, and as a result the department’s focus is now shifting from policy development to influencing programmatic action, he said.
Mr. Desai stressed the importance of highlighting the positive aspects of the partnerships, which had achieved more than had been anticipated (although the actual amount of additional resources they have generated is still being determined). It is important, in his view, to look at the agreed outcome as a base rather than as a ceiling in terms of possible follow-up action. In a number of areas, including energy and Africa, countries are expected to go beyond the Summit consensus.
Contact: JoAnn Disano, Director, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-0902, E-mail: email@example.com
(Back to top )
Fifty-seventh Session of the General Assembly
The Second Committee of the General Assembly (Economic and Financial), largely serviced by DESA, began its deliberations on Monday 30 September under the chairmanship of Marco A. Fernandez of Honduras, a former DESA staffer elected on 8 July under the amended rules of procedure which allow for elections to take place three months or more before the session. It is expected that this year’s discussions will address issues related to the follow-up and implementation of the Monterrey Conference and the Johannesburg Summit, among others. N o resolutions were adopted last year under the item on macroeconomic issues which were ‘on hold’ in anticipation of the two major conferences.
Discussions on item 86, Macroeconomic policy questions, should reflect on the outcome of the Monterrey, Doha and Johannesburg meetings. Items 86(a), International trade, (d), External debt, and (e), International financial system, may be particularly relevant for the substantive preparations for the next spring meeting of ECOSOC, Bretton Wood Institution, and World Trade Organization which will address specific issues regarding the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. The discussions on trade will also draw from the mid-term review of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, contained in the Report of the Trade and Development Board. The conclusions of the tenth submitted to this session.
Important issues regarding the Monterrey follow-up will be discussed under three items. The outcome of Monterrey will be reviewed under item 95, Financing for Development. This will be the occasion to take an initial account of stakeholders’ initiatives in support of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Under item 88(d), High-level dialogue, the GA will decide how to reconstitute the high-level dialogue to enable it to become the intergovernmental focal point for the general follow-up to Monterrey. In an effort to continue moving forward the substantive debate in the Monterrey follow-up, the S-G’s report on item 96, Globalization and Interdependence focuses on governance, one of the key issues that emerged from Monterrey. The report addresses areas such as global coherence, participation in decision-making and the role of civil society in intergovernmental processes.
Several items are important in the context of the follow-up to the Millennium Summit and the global conferences. The outcome of WSSD will be reviewed under item 89(a), Implementation of Agenda 21. Further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS will be discussed under item 89(f). The implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 will be reviewed under item 98, Third UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries. Under Item 94, Integrated and coordinated follow-up to major UN conferences, the GA will examine how best to address the reviews of the implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s, in the economic and social fields, including their format and periodicity (resolution 56/211). ECOSOC’s role in integrating the review and follow-up processes of the Millennium Summit and of other conferences and summits would be considered in order to streamline the conference review processes.
Under item 91, UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, further action to achieve the 2015 targets will be discussed, including the identification of resource requirements and possible sources of funding such as the proposal for a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication (A/57/137). Funding modalities of the UN system alternative to the current pledging conference will be discussed under item 90, Operational activities.
A number of plenary items may have important implications on the issues addressed in the Second Committee, such as item 32, Information and communication technology for development; item 33, Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa; item 41, Final review and appraisal of UN-NADAF; item 44, Outcome of the Millennium Summit, and the new proposals of the Secretary-General for reforming the Organization.
Some delegations have also initiated informal contacts on how to restructure the Second Committee agenda, and in particular, the issues under the item on macroeconomic policy questions so as to develop a coherent process for the follow-up to Monterrey.
The Secretary-General’s reform proposal will clearly have broad implications for the whole range of economic and social issues and how these are addressed by the Assembly.
Contact: Nikhil Seth, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-1811, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Back to top )
The Secretary-General’s report on reform, Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change (A/57/387 ), was released on 23 September.
The three main purposes of the current reform exercise are to align programmes of work with the new priorities set by the Millennium Declaration; to lighten the workload, and to make processes more efficient. While the report provides an overall outline of the proposed changes to be introduced, details will appear in the 2004-2005 programme budget.
This reform exercise is the initiative of the Secretary-General and builds on progress made during the past five years in implementing his Programme of Reform of 1997 (A/51/950 ). It is neither a response to pressure from Member States nor a budget-cutting exercise. The self-assessments undertaken by departments were the starting point for the report. The five main messages conveyed by the report are: doing what matters; serving Member States better; working better together; allocating resources to priorities, and investing in excellence.
With regard to improved services to Member States, the increased efficiency of technical conference support and fewer and better reports to intergovernmental bodies are called for, as well as an improved architecture of reporting. Concerted efforts would be made to eliminate duplication of reports and publications. For this purpose reviews would take place not just within, but across departments and programmes (e.g. DESA, UNCTAD, regional commissions). The Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs (EC-ESA) could provide key guidance on this front. It is hoped that the General Assembly will approve this general approach, or give the Secretary-General the authority to respond flexibly to parliamentary bodies' requests for reports.
In terms of those aspects which most affect DESA, the report acknowledges the important contributions of the Department to policy development through the global conferences of recent years. It is also recognized that the department’s broad and complex responsibilities have stretched its capacities. It therefore proposes that a small policy-planning unit be established, and a post for a third Asistant Secretary-General be provided in the next programme budget.
In line with the recommendations of the Independent Evaluation of the UN-NADAF, the resources of OSCAL would be transferred to the office of the Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa, in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, who will guide the preparation of reports and inputs for Africa-related debates by the General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies.
Other proposals affecting DESA as well as other departments include the improved oversight of publications and increasing migration to online service and delivery while maintaining the capacity to provide hard copy where needed, the establishment of a high-level panel to review relations with NGOs, a comprehensive review of the division of labour in technical cooperation, the abolition of the Repertory of Practice, and the introduction of an improved planning and budgeting system.
Some changes could be introduced immediately, others over the course of the coming year, and still others over a longer timeframe. The redeployment of resources to different priorities would be the main source of financing for the reform initiatives; a small increase in resources in the next UN programme budget would also be proposed to Member States. The 2004-2005 programme budget proposals would reflect the reforms and would be scrutinized by a small team of outside experts.
Contact: Office of the Under-Secretary-General, DESA, E-mail: email@example.com
(Back to top
General Assembly, 57th SessionExpert Group Meetings
Expert Group Meeting on Global Priorities for Youth
A total of 188 speakers participated in the general debate. This included 33 Heads of State, 14 Heads of Government, 14 Deputy Prime Ministers and 110 Foreign affairs Ministers.
In the current political climate, the focus of the general debate was inevitably on political and security issues. In fact many of the development issues on the UN Agenda – poverty, human rights, sustainable development, - were seen with reference to the need to address the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity.
As described by Chile, "a safer world requires that we build consensus and develop new approaches that take account of the multi-dimensional nature of the threats and which place people at the center of its concerns." Ridding the world of persistent poverty was underscored as the greatest global challenge. The Secretary-General's remarks that multilateralism was the one and only way to respond to pressing issues, both on the developmental and political sides, resonated in the debate.
The Johannesburg Summit, the Millennium Declaration Goals, and the Monterrey Consensus enjoyed broad political support. The dominant concern was on how to move to an "era of commitment and implementation" and how to ensure globalisation becomes a positive, inclusive force.
World Economic Situation
A number of countries referred to the world economic down-turn and the repercussions of September 11. Developing countries expressed difficulties in participating in the multilateral trading system and called for increased ODA and foreign direct investments, debt relief, and the reform of the international financial architecture and trade to enable wider participation. The benefit of regional cooperation for helping countries to integrate in the world economy was stressed by several speakers.
Trade was essential for development. The outcome of the WTO Conference in Doha offered the opportunity to set up a more open and transparent multilateral trade system, which would help increase the developing countries’ share in international trade. Reduction of tariffs on agricultural products and the elimination of subsidies were essential. Speakers were concerned that the unprecedented advance of ICT was widening the gap between developed and developing countries. In this regard, UN and other relevant international organizations were asked to become more proactive in bridging the digital divide.
World Summit on Sustainable Development
In general, the World Summit on Sustainable Development was considered a success. Many speakers referred to the far-reaching decisions taken at the Summit and underscored the importance of realizing the goals contained in the programme of implementation. A few others expressed concerns and regretted that it had not been possible to agree on meaningful targets in all areas. It was also regretted that it had not been possible to make greater advances on the issue of renewable energy. The comprehensive outcome on oceans was also appreciated.
A number of Small Island Developing States drew attention to their unique environmental and economic problems, and called for greater support by the international community. Samoa, speaking as Chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), said that small island developing states were satisfied with the provisions in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation dedicated to the sustainable development of Small Island developing States. Many, however, regretted the lack of action to address climate change and called for ratification and full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. It was hoped that the next WTO ministerial conference would lead to enhanced market opportunities for these countries.
A theme, which recurred, was that the challenge of sustainable development and poverty eradication can be met only if the UN and other international organizations, development banks, civil society and the private sector collaborate much more closely, and coordination and coherence of international action is ensured. (See also feature above
The Consensus achieved in Monterrey was praised especially for strengthening partnership between developed and developing countries, which were indispensable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The Monterrey Consensus was the basis for redirecting the course of globalization, through finance and trade, and ensuring a more equitable growth that would help in the battle against poverty.
Developing country statements called for the implementation of the financial commitments made at the Monterrey Conference to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to implement outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit. Aid was recognized essential for realizing the international development agenda and speakers reiterated the need to make speedy progress towards the 0.7% target. Increasing aid effectiveness and diminishing conditionalities were also deemed important.
Many speakers welcomed the new global partnership that had emerged from this year's UN conferences and summits. It now had to be translated into effective actions by all partners and genuine international cooperation. Partnerships were essential to achieve environmental protection and development. Importance was attached to monitoring progress towards agreed goals.
Africa and NEPAD
The establishment of the African Union and of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) was widely welcomed.
Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in Africa was slow. Poverty, famine, conflict, control of natural resources, influx of refugees and displaced persons, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other diseases continued to affect the continent. NEPAD raised hopes that Africa could resume a faster path to development. Speakers expressed strong support to NEPAD as a programme for the socio-economic revitalization of Africa. They appreciated its orientation towards good governance, human rights, economic and social goals close to those of the Millennium Declaration.
NEPAD was viewed by several speakers as a reaffirmation of the new spirit of partnership defined in the Monterrey Consensus. It was designed and owned by the African countries themselves and took a comprehensive view of the myriad problems facing Africa. In this regard, many African speakers said that NEPAD was a framework for them to move from rhetoric to purposeful action, and for the international community to help Africa, to become part of the mainstream economy. The need for the international community to support NEPAD and the role of UN in the coordination of activities were stressed. Speakers appreciated that the G8 Summit in Kananaskis had endorsed NEPAD.
Assistance was needed in the areas of agriculture, health, education, ICT, nutrition, water and sanitation, and affordable and sustainable energy. Significant flows of foreign investment, access to markets and partnerships and international support, through ODA and debt relief, and infusion of technology were essential to sustain Africa’s development. The private sector had to help in fighting disease. It was noted by Tanzania that the solution for a crisis in an African country cannot be left to NEPAD alone. (See also feature below )
Other key economic and social issues
Delegations also emphasized that education, respect for human rights, empowerment of women and empowerment of the poor were essential for achieving international development goals.
It was felt that, as Brazil said, a modern understanding of development must encompass the protection of human rights, be they civil and political or economic, social and cultural. Some speakers reaffirmed the right to development. A few speakers called for integrating human rights into all the United Nations activities. A new generation of human rights mechanisms had to be created.
Speakers called for pursuing the goals of the GA special session on children, so as to guarantee children a decent standard of living in a safe environment and to ensure that they can complete at least primary school. The conferences on ageing and population, HIV/AIDS and the food summit were also touched upon. Several called attention to the need to address trafficking in women and human beings and to become party to the new Protocol on these issues.
Delegates called for stronger commitments to combat communicable and other diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, which threatens to undermine development programmes. They urged increase contributions to the Global Health Fund. HIV/AIDS was seen as a continuous concern of developing countries, particularly in Africa. Several speakers also reiterated the importance of multilateral action for combating crime, trafficking in persons and drug trafficking .
The Monterrey consensus called for more assistance for the Least Developed Countries . Benin reiterated that each least developed country should design strategic priorities for development in keeping with its local context. Further efforts were called for to open markets to products of LDCs and to build these countries’ capacities. It was hoped that the establishment of the Office of the High Representative for Least Developed countries in the UN Secretariat would promote regular consultations and closer follow-up of agreed programmes of action to ensure their fulfillment.
Landlocked developing countries called attention to the economic disadvantages they face. The lack of territorial access to the sea, aggravated by the remoteness and isolation from major international markets and prohibitive transit transport costs continue to constitute major obstacles to national economic development. In this regard, the decision of the General Assembly to convene in 2003 an International Ministerial Meeting on Transit Transport Cooperation was appreciated.
UN reform on the economic and social side
Effective multilateralism requires a strengthened UN. Many speakers expressed support for the new impetus for reform of the organization proposed by the Secretary-General . Although most interventions on UN reform focused on the Security Council, reform of General Assembly and ECOSOC was called for to make them more complementary and effective toward the common interest. Speakers stressed that the UN should continue to keep development at the forefront of its agenda with the MDG as a main focus. A few speakers stressed that a deep UN reform was needed to help the organization to respond to new challenges, notably sustainable development, and involve civil society actors in its work.
Several speakers acknowledged the continued efforts to strengthen the Council and its role within the UN system, including the improved cooperation with the BWIs, NGOs and the private sector and the establishment of an ad hoc advisory group on African countries emerging from conflict . The increased interaction of ECOSOC with the Security Council and the GA, in particular, through the ad hoc advisory group on Africa, was supported. There was also a call for reform and restructuring of the World Bank, the IMF and WTO so that they become more democratic and better focus on development and poverty eradication. (See also feature above )
A compilation of new proposals and initiatives formulated during the general debate appears as an annex to DESA News.
Contact: Marion Barthelemy, Tel. (212) 963-4005, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Final Review of the United Nations
New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF)
The events at the 57th session of the General Assembly centre around two Agenda Items, namely:
Contact: Yvette Stevens, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-5084, E-mail: email@example.com
Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) mandated the Secretary-General to carry out a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the results of the study to the Council. Both documents will be released in October 2002. The Security Council, under the presidency of Cameroon, is scheduled to hold an open debate on women, peace and security on 25 October 2002.
The preparation of the study on women, peace and security has been co-coordinated by the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women in close cooperation with the Inter-agency Task Force on Women, Peace and Security. The study draws on the collective experience of the UN system and analyses the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and describes the relevant international legal framework; and reviews the gender perspectives in peace processes and in peace operations; humanitarian operations, reconstruction and rehabilitation, including Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration processes.
The study indicates that while women and girls share experiences with men and boys during armed conflict, the culture of violence and discrimination against women and girls that exists during peace times is often exacerbated during conflict and negatively affects women’s ability to participate in peace processes and ultimately inhibits the attainment of lasting peace. The study documents how during the last 15 years the UN system, Member States, regional organizations and civil society increased efforts to better respond to the differential impact of armed conflict on women and girls and recognized women’s efforts in conflict prevention and conflict resolution. The study, however, also notes that one of the major constraints to integrating gender perspectives into peace and humanitarian operations is a lack of implementation of existing policies and guidelines.
The study recommends the systematic integration of gender perspectives in all peace accords and mandates of peacekeeping and peace-building missions as well as in the programming and delivery of humanitarian assistance; representation of women at all stages and at all levels of peace operations, in humanitarian operations and in decision-making processes in post-conflict reconstruction; improved compliance with existing international legal norms; adequate gender awareness training of staff before and during deployment in field missions; and clearly defined codes of conduct and their enforcement. It also recommends financial resources to strengthen the integration of gender perspectives in UN activities related to peacekeeping and peace-building as well as support for women’s peace initiatives and networks.Contact: Sylvia Hordosch, DAW/OSAGI, Tel. (212) 963-5450, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outcome of Ad Hoc Committee
on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on
The Committee organized its substantive work in accordance with the thematic approach, including kind and scope of legal instruments, its relation to other human rights instruments and the United Nations standard rules and overarching principles/rights, equality in civil and political rights, equality in economic, social and cultural rights, panel discussions, monitoring mechanisms and other topics.
The Ad Hoc Committee recommended a draft resolution to the Third Committee of the fifty -seventh session of the General Assembly on proposals for a comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The draft report is contained in A/AC.265/2.Contact: Akiko Ito, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1996, E-mail: email@example.com
The Commission for Social Development, as part of its on-going review of the relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, will review the global situation of youth at its forty-first session in 2003. The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/56/117 of 18 January 2002, further requested the Secretary-General to present a comprehensive report on this issue, with concrete action oriented recommendations, to the Commission at its forty-first session.
To this end, the Division for Social Policy and Development is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on Global Priorities for Youth to take place in Helsinki, Finland, 6-10 October 2002. Preparations are almost complete for the meeting and around eighty participants are expected. The participants include representatives of major regional and international youth NGOs, representatives of United Nations agencies, experts, discussants and Finnish government delegates.Contact: Joop Theunissen, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-7763, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Subgroup of the Expert Group
on International Economic and Social Classifications Meeting
The main purpose of this meeting will be the discussion of the conceptual basis for the ISIC and CPC revision in 2007, resulting in a concept paper proposal that will determine scope and methodological approach to the revision process. Background papers for the meeting will be posted on the UN Classifications website at: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/class/
Contact: Ralf Becker, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4600, E-mail: Beckerr@un.org
Expert Group Meeting on the Technical Report
on Household Surveys
This meeting will assemble about twenty experts from around the world, for the purpose of reviewing the draft volume of the forthcoming UN publication on household surveys in developing and transition countries. The publication provides a comprehensive review of several aspects of the design, implementation, and analysis of household surveys, with principal focus on three operating characteristics of surveys: Design Effects, Survey Costs, and Non-sampling Error. In particular, the publication examines the portability of these operating characteristics or their components, across surveys, sub-populations, countries, and time. The experts are expected to critically review the draft volume and make final recommendations, before it is submitted for official publication. The technical material and other documents related to the publication are available at the project website: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/hhsurveys/index.htmContact: Ibrahim Yansaneh, SD, Tel. (212) 963-2054, E-mail: Yansaneh@un.org
Meeting of the Steering Committee
of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
The Meeting of the Steering Committee will be comprised of seven experts of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters to prepare the agenda items for the 11th Meeting of the Group of Experts as well as to examine the issues relating to taxation which have emerged from the Monterrey Consensus. The Steering Committee will examine the suggested agenda items, namely, the revision and update of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries and the Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries, transfer pricing, new financial instruments, taxation of electronic commerce, mutual assistance in collection of tax debts, intermediation and arbitration, protocol for mutual assistance procedure, treaty shopping and process of financing for development.Contact: Suresh Shende, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-4189, E-mail: email@example.com
Expert Group Meeting on Information
and Communication Technologies and their Impact on and use as an Instrument for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women
The Division for the Advancement of Women of DESA in cooperation with the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO), is organizing an expert group meeting on Participation and access of women to the media and its impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women. The meeting will take place at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Commission on the Status of Women, as part of its multi-year programme of work for 2002-2006, decided to consider the theme "Participation and access of women to the media, and information and communication technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women" as a priority theme at its forty-seventh session in 2003. In order to assist the commission in its work, the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) will convene an expert group meeting on “participation and access of women to the media and its use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women. The Expert Group meeting will consider the experiences and approaches that have proven successful in specific contexts, and will draw out generalised lessons and recommendations for policies and actions directed at various levels - national, regional and international. Taking account of the rapid pace of technological change in the area of media and communications, the group will try to look to the future in an attempt to anticipate new challenges and emerging trends.
In preparations for the meeting, an on-line discussion on "Participation and access of women to the media and its impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women" is running from 26 August to 27 September 2002. The results of the on-line discussion will be presented at the Expert Group Meeting in the Beirut, Lebanon, 12 to15 November 2002.
The Division for the Advancement of Women is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on "Trafficking in women and girls" which will take place in Glen Cove, New York, USA from 18 to 22 November 2002. The Expert Group Meeting will form part of the Division’s preparation for the forty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will address as one of its thematic issues women’s human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.
The Expert Group Meeting will be attended by experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and observers from various geographical areas and drawn from a variety of fields and expertise. The meeting aims to identify strategies and programmes which have shown to be most effective in the fight against trafficking in women and girls in various parts of the world. It will discuss best practices in combating trafficking in women and girls, with a particular focus on initiatives taken at the national level and taking into consideration, inter alia: the factors which contribute to trafficking and strategies to address such factors; the effects of racial and social marginalisation on women who have been trafficked; the impact of immigration laws on trafficking and migration; provision of remedies and redress for victims and access to justice; human rights protection for victims of trafficking; and the issue of repatriation for victims of trafficking and possible consequences.
The issue of trafficking was chosen due to the evidence of the increase of the phenomenon in the recent years, with an estimate by the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention of more than 700,000 people, including women and children, being trafficked every year for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labour and the need to find a solution to this problem through international co-operation. The issue of trafficking will be discussed within the broader theme of women’s human rights and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls as defined in the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly which will be considered by next session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Thus, the report of the CSW will place the outcome of the EGM within the context of the broader theme.Contact: Emanuela Calabrini, DAW/WRS, Tel. (212) 963-8814 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
High Level Committees on Management
and Programmes to be held in preparation for CEB
In preparation for the Fall 2002 CEB session to be held on 8-9 November at UNHQ in New York, the High Level Committee on Management (HLCM) and the High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) will hold their fourth session of 2002 in Geneva (Palais des Nations) and Vienna (UNIDO) on 7-8 October and 23-24 September, respectively.
High Level Committee on Programmes, fourth session, Vienna, 23-24 September
HLCP’s agenda focussed on: Preparations for CEB discussion on follow-up to the Millennium Summit; the future role of HLCP in the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration; UN system’s collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs); follow-up to HLCP decisions on UN system support for Africa’s development; inter-agency cooperation in evaluation of global programmes; system-wide follow-up to WSSD; preparations for the forthcoming international conferences in 2003: World Summit on Information Society; and update on the UN system Staff College.
High Level Committee on Management, fourth session, Geneva, 7-8 October
HLCM’s agenda focussed on: Security and safety of staff; information and communications technologies; the impact on management and programmes of the changing relationship between regular and voluntary funding; greater commonality in health insurance arrangements; emergency preparedness and the development of business continuity plans; and reform of the pay and benefits system.
The recommendations of both High Level Committees will be presented to CEB for consideration at its meeting on 8-9 November.
At the second regular 2002 session of CEB to be held in New York, 8-9 November 2002, Executives Heads will be taking up the issue of system-wide follow-up to the Secretary-General’s report on “Preventing armed conflicts”, the second of the special themes to be covered in the first annual report to the General Assembly on the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration. At this session, CEB will also consider how it might best approach the two themes to be covered in next year’s report on the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration: financing for development, and strategies for sustainable development in the context of the outcomes of Monterrey and Johannesburg Summits. The Committee will also review the reports of its two high-level committees and will be briefed by the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union on preparations for the World Summit on the Information Society.
CEB will hold a retreat on 9 November as a follow-up to their earlier discussions on the campaign for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and on the issue of African development, addressing the system’s relationship with the new African Union, and focusing on defining a policy framework for the United Nations system’s support of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Contact: Eric Lacanlale, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-6889, E-mail: email@example.com OR Karina Gerlach, Tel. (212) 963-5858
ESCAP Regional Meeting on Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing
Responding to the Johannesburg Summit’s Call for Sustainable Consumption and Production
The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg called for “changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production”. While this phrase could cover virtually all of sustainable development, it has come to have a more specific, if not always well understood, meaning.
Until recently, environmental and social protection measures have generally taken the form of “command and control” policies, such as bans on lead in gasoline, emissions limits for power plants or automobiles, and water quality standards for industrial effluents. While such policies have often been effective, they also have limitations. Their costs may be greater than their benefits, or than alternative means to the same goals; they may elicit powerful political resistance when their burden affects influential groups; and they are difficult to apply to consumption patterns determined by the individual decisions of millions of consumers.
Determining the most cost-effective and politically feasible way to achieve development goals requires analysis of the economic, social and environmental impact of policy options. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, for example, could be achieved through fossil fuel taxes, subsidies for renewable energy, energy efficiency requirements for appliances and buildings, public information and mobilization campaigns for energy conservation, funding for research on cleaner energy and energy efficiency, and other measures. Determining the most effective combination of policies that is politically acceptable requires analysis of available and potential technologies, costs of changing technologies, costs of administering policies, impact of taxes on consumer and producer behaviour, impact on employment in various industries, and impact on low-income households. Such integrated policy analysis is a central focus of work on “consumption and production patterns.”
As part of the effort of the Division for Sustainable Development of DESA to promote more sustainable production, an international Expert Group on Environmental Management Accounting has been organized. It has been demonstrated that enterprises often do not undertake profitable changes in production systems because their management information systems do not identify them as profitable, or because no one in the enterprise has an incentive to change the system. If, for example, management of hazardous waste is treated in cost accounting as corporate overhead cost rather than a cost of the production line responsible, then production managers have no incentive to find non-hazardous alternatives that might reduce costs, and the accounting system does not provide the information necessary to compare the costs of the alternatives. Governments are interested in promoting accounting systems that allocate all environmental and social costs to product lines since they will lead to cleaner production together with lower costs without the enforcement costs of conventional environmental regulations.
A new initiative of the Division will be to examine how public procurement policies can help expand markets for more sustainable goods and services. A number of cities, including New York, for example, are ordering public vehicles with clean-air technologies, such as natural gas fuel, hybrid engines, and prospectively, fuel cell vehicles. Economic and administrative incentives are also encouraging the use of such technologies in taxis. These policies, in addition to their direct impact on urban air quality, will promote the development of the fuel and service infrastructures necessary to encourage broader public use of clean vehicles.
The broad agenda of changing consumption and production patterns and the integrated policy analysis will benefit from collaboration between many UN agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations. Based on the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the Division for Sustainable Development is planning to organize a meeting to define a conceptual and organizational framework to identify existing and planned activities in the area, exchange information on the activities, and disseminate the results. The European Union was a strong supporter of this work area at the Summit and is expected to lead government efforts in the area. DESA, UNEP and UNIDO all have substantial activities in this area.
Contact: Ralph Chipman, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-5504, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freshwater : Monitoring Global Progress
Some of the world’s greatest advocates in the water sector gathered on 3 September 2002 at the Water Dome in Johannesburg for a side event of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), jointly organized by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Led by the Summit’s Secretary-General Nitin Desai, and held in the presence of HRH the Prince of Orange, the event focused on concrete ways to measure the state of a nation’s water as a means of improving water resources management in the longer term. Several speakers stressed the opportunity afforded by the International Year of Freshwater, 2003.
Mr. Desai stated, “Perhaps water has been the biggest success story at the WSSD. We have clear goals for both water supply and sanitation. The broader issues of water resources management have had the greatest attention in the partnership announcements.” Among NGOs, IGOs and bilateral donors, the greatest levels of funding had been pledged in the water sector, including $970 million over the next three years from the USA, a major European Water Initiative and $500 million from the Asian Development Bank for the Water for Asian Cities programme. There was wide recognition that water was central to the whole agenda of the Summit, together with health, girls’ education, land management, agriculture and biodiversity. “If you get the water management right at the village level, it will improve land management, fisheries, biodiversity, energy and their impact on poverty. Water connects all the areas of sustainable development.”
Mr. Desai announced that 2003 has been proclaimed the International Year of Freshwater by the General Assembly, following the proposal made by the President of Tajikistan. It is excellently timed to measure what countries can do as follow up on agreements reached in the area of water. The 23 UN agencies participating in the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) could help countries measure their performance in implementation of promised water programmes.
One of the co-coordinators of the UN Task Force on Implementation of the Water-related Millennium Development Goals, Mr. Albert Wright (who is also Chair of the African Water Task Force) noted that the Water Dome provided a unique opportunity for all the “water people to meet each other, do business and lobby the Summit.” Mr. Roberto Lenton, the second Coordinator, described how the Task Force was laying out the steps needed for the international community to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe and affordable water supply and sanitation by the year 2015. Sir Richard Jolly, Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, also linked the water and sanitation goals to the assessment programme of the UN system. He stressed the importance of setting goals and monitoring, so that the public and the media have up-to-date assessments and feedback on whether programmes are on track, moving ahead or lagging behind.
Three presentations were made on case studies being included by the WWAP in the World Water Development Report – for Thailand, Sri Lanka and Peru/Bolivia.
In closing, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, reminded those present that, “water is the centre of the global debate. Freshwater is the interface between energy, health, food security and biodiversity.” He said that UNESCO considered the International Year of Freshwater 2003 to be vitally important, and that the release of theWorld Water Development Report at the 3 rd World Water Forum in Japan in March 2003 would be an important contribution to the International Year. He was pleased that UNESCO and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs would be coordinating preparations for that effort.
All participants were in agreement that, in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals in water and sanitation, monitoring systems would have to be put in place. The World Water Assessment Programme was seen to be a very good starting point, as the programme can be extended widely throughout the developing world. The International Year of Freshwater, 2003 is being regarded as an excellent opportunity to mobilize resources and to hold governments accountable for their commitments in the areas of water resources and sanitation management.
The ESCAP Secretariat convened an Asia-Pacific Seminar on Regional Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing in Shanghai, China, 23-26 September. Governments, NGOs, UN Agencies and other organizations were invited to attend the meeting. The meeting aimed at the adoption of a regional strategy for the implementation of Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.Contact: Diane Loughran, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1707, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: email@example.com
International Day of Older Persons
The theme of the 2002 International Day of Older Persons is "Meeting the Challenges of Ageing: Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing". The observances at UN Headquarters are scheduled for Thursday, October 3, and are sponsored by the UN/NGO Committee on Aging in collaboration with the UN Department of Public Information and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Day observances will provide a forum to discuss the immediate and long-term tasks for the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the Second World Assembly on Ageing in April 2002.Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall 2002 LINK Meeting
The Economic Assessment and Outlook Branch of the Development Policy Analysis Division of DESA will present the Global Economic Outlook and participate actively in several components of the conference program.Contact: Jozef M. van Brabant, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963 4752, E-mail: email@example.com
Inaugural Conference of ECOWAS Ministers of Public Service
The Division for Public Economic and Public Administration (DPEPA) will be presenting a paper on "The Charter for the African Public Service and the UN Millennium Declaration Goals" during the workshops. This event will be held at the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
Contact: Elia Armstrong, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-2926, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The tenth observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be held on Thursday, 17 October at the North Lawn of the United Nations, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. The Day serves to promote awareness of the urgent need to eradicate poverty everywhere in the world.
The observance is sponsored jointly by the French and Burkina Faso Missions to the United Nations and organized by the ATD Fourth World Movement, DESA, DPI and the NGO Sub-Committee for the Eradication of Poverty.
The programme will feature a reading of the commemorative stone in different languages, whose text serves as a reminder of our duty to end the scourge of poverty. There will also be testimonies from people living in poverty and a message from children. Messages from the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Administrator of the UNDP, and the Permanent Representatives of France and Burkina Faso will be read.
Contact: Felice Llamas, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-2924, Fax: (212) 963-3062, E-mail: email@example.com
Panel on International Taxation
One of the issues to be discussed in the context of the post-Monterrey Consensus will be strengthened international cooperation in tax matters through an enhanced dialogue among national tax authorities and greater coordination of the work of the concerned multilateral bodies and relevant regional organizations. At the request of the Chairman of the Second Committee of the General Assembly, DPEPA will organize a one-day panel on international taxation, conducted by three experts of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.
Contact: Suresh Shende, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-4189; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Towards Achievement of the Millennium Goals
for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Governance and Public Administration Capacity-Building: a Panel, IIAS
The International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) will hold its Second Specialised International Conference titled “Towards Quality Governance for Sustainable Growth and Development” from 5-9 November in New Delhi, India. The Conference will offer an opportunity for experts from all over the world to craft a shared vision of democratic governance and sustainable development practice and to propose practical solutions to the challenges confronting the world today. Mr. Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will deliver a keynote address at the opening of the Conference. On 8 November, the Division for Public Economics and Public Administration (DPEPA) will hold a High-Level Panel chaired by Mr. Nitin Desai entitled “Towards Achievement of the Millennium Goals for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Governance and Public Administration Capacity-Building”. The Panel will focus on the issues of capacity building in terms of socio-politico-economic development and managerial leadership, governance and public administration institutions, human resources, information, and coordinated networking.Contact: John Mary-Kauzya, Tel. (212) 963-1973, E-mail: email@example.com OR Yolande Jemiai, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The theme of the International Day will be independent living and sustainable livelihoods. The Day will provide a forum to discuss how independent living and sustainable livelihoods are part of the fundamental basis for persons with disability to enjoy full and effective participation in society. An informal briefing will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, 21 November, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. organized jointly by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Department of Public Information.Contact: Akiko Ito, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1996, E-mail: email@example.com
Reports on the Advancement of Women
Six reports and a note of the Secretary-General will be considered at the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly under agenda item 104, Advancement of Women. Consideration in the Third Committee is scheduled for 9-11 October 2002.
The report on working towards the elimination of crimes against women committed in the name of honour (A/57/169) is the first on that subject to be submitted to a United Nations intergovernmental body. It is based on information submitted by Member States and United Nations entities. It concludes that while attention has been drawn to these crimes at the international and national levels, more needs to be done, including with respect to criminalization, investigation and sentencing, training of relevant sectors and support to victims and potential victims.
Contact: Janette Amer, DAW/ WRS, Tel. (212) 963-5361, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The report on elimination of all forms of violence against women, including crimes identified in the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century” (A/57/171), is based on information received in replies from Member States and United Nations entities. It describes legislation, policy-making, capacity building and support for victims. It concludes that more efforts are required, especially with regard to evaluation of existing measures, data collection, monitoring measures and co-ordination, collaboration and exchange of information.
Contact: Eleanor Solo DAW/WRS, Tel. (212) 963-1524, E-mail: email@example.com
The report on trafficking in women and girls (A/57/170) is based on information provided by Member States, the United Nations system and other organizations. The report notes the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime and its Protocols, including on trafficking, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. It highlights legislation, policy and programmatic measures introduced at the national level and the many UN interventions. It makes recommendations for further action in the areas of training and support for victims, and also recommends measures for bilateral, multilateral and international cooperation in criminal matters.
Contact: Philomena Kintu DAW/WRS, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The report on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women consists of a status report on the Convention, while the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (A/57/38) compiles the Committee’s reports on its 26th , 27th and exceptional sessions.
Contact: Philomena Kintu DAW/WRS, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: email@example.com
The report of the Secretary-General, to be considered under agenda item 105, Implementation of the Outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the special session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" (A/57/286), reviews reflection of gender perspectives and gender equality issues in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and its main committees during the 56th session, and in the outcomes of major United Nations Conferences of the past year. Attention is also given to the Millennium Development Goals and to ECOSOC's substantive session of 2002 in regard to gender equality. The catalytic role of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women in support of gender mainstreaming is reviewed. The report recommends that gender perspectives become an integral part of the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, and the follow-up to UN conferences and special sessions. It also recommends to reflect gender perspectives more systematically in Secretary-General reports to the General Assembly.
Contact: Anna Modersitzki, DAW/GAS, Tel. (917) 367-3124, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A report pursuant to General Assembly resolution 56/127 of 30 January 2002, provides information on the improvement in the status of women in the Secretariat and in other organizations of the United Nations system. As of 30 June 2002, in the restricted category of professional staff with appointments of one year or more on posts subject to geographic distribution in the United Nations Secretariat, 41 per cent were women. In the larger population of professional staff with appointments of one year or more, women accounted for 35 per cent. In the United Nations system, the overall proportion of women in the Professional and higher categories increased only marginally from 33.5 per cent in December 1999 to 33.7 per cent in December 2000 (latest available data) with UNFPA in the lead with 50.4 per cent. At the D-1 level and above, the proportion of women at these levels ranged from a high of 50 per cent (UNITAR, ICSC) to a low in six organizations with no women at these levels (ITC, ICAT, ICAO, UNU, UPU, ICT).
Contact: Aparna Mehrotra, DAW/OFPW, Tel. (212) 963-6828, E-mail: email@example.com
In accordance with General Assembly resolution 56/125, a Working Group on Future Operation on INSTRAW completed its work. Its report is contained in document A/57/330.
The Working Group concluded that the current situation of the Institute is not viable nor the current efforts for the Institute’s revitalization would be successful unless radical reform of INSTRAW affecting its status, governing bodies, structure and financing is undertaken. In this context, while noting the recommendation of the Working Group to establish a liaison with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Secretary-General is of the view that the real issue is not INSTRAW’s institutional linkages but rather the lack of financial resources. If it is the wish of Member States that INSTRAW continue its research and training activities for women, the General Assembly should decide on the direction of the reform of INSTRAW and provide it with secure and predictable funding needed for the Institute to effectively attain its full revitalization.
Contact: Andrei Abramov, DAW/OSAGI, Tel. (212) 963-4974, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Other DESA Reports to the GA
International financial system and development
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
Integration of the economies in transition into the world economy
Contact : Anatoly Smyshlyaev, DPAD, Tel. (212) 963-4687, E-mail: Smyshlyaev@un.org
Report of the Secretary-General on the follow up to the second world assembly on ageing
This report, entitled “Follow up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing”, outlines the initial steps of follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, including the tasks and requirements of the programme element, as the focal point on ageing in the United Nations system.
Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: email@example.com
Other key reports include those on:
Training Workshop on Conflict Management
The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), in collaboration with the Centre for Conflict Resolution of the University of Cape Town, will organize a training workshop on, Conflict Management for Women, to implement some of the recommendations arising from the sub-regional consultation meeting on enhancing women’s participation in peace-building, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 23 to 25 April 2001. This is an advanced course for those who completed the 5-day basic conflict resolution training organized by DAW in collaboration with CCR from 22 – 26 October 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa. In addition, several participants who have already been involved in negotiation and mediation in conflict situations in the Mano River region will be invited to the workshop. The training will be conducted by the Centre for Conflict Resolution, and will be hosted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Advancement of Women, and Children of the Government of Guinea.Contact: Makiko Tagashira, DAW/GAS, Tel. (212) 963-4836, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub-regional Judicial Colloquiu
m on the Application of International Human Rights Law at the Domestic Level and Sub-regional Training Workshop for Government Officials Responsible for Reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
The Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, will be holding a sub-regional judicial colloquium on the application of international human rights law at the domestic level, with particular reference to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) from 4 to 6 November 2002. This will be followed by a sub-regional training workshop for government officials on ratification of and reporting under the Convention, from 6 to 8 November 2002 at ESCAP Headquarters.
The objectives of the colloquium will be to assess how courts in different legal systems have utilized international human rights treaty law to ensure that women and girls are guaranteed rights to equality and non-discrimination; to exchange experiences on the use of international human rights treaty law in domestic courts at different levels, taking into account different methods of incorporation of treaties into national legal systems; and to develop strategies for more creative and widespread use of international human rights norms contained in the CEDAW and other human rights treaties at the domestic level.
The objective of the training workshop will be to enhance the capacity of government officials to prepare States parties’ reports. This will lead to greater understanding of the legal obligations established in the Convention and thereby enhance opportunities for implementation of the Convention at the national level.Contact: Juliet Solomon, DAW/WRS, Tel (212) 963-6052E-mail: email@example.com
Africa/Asia Parliamentary Forum
on Human Security and Gender: The Role of the Legislature
DAW and UNDP will jointly organize the second Africa/Asia Parliamentarian Forum on Human Security and Gender: the role of the legislature, in collaboration with ESCAP. The Forum will be hosted by the Thai Parliament and Government. Participants will include women and men parliamentarians from selected countries in Asia and Africa. The initiative is financially supported by the Japanese Government through the Japan Women in Development (JWID) Fund in UNDP.The objectives of the Forum are to (a) discuss the role of parliamentarians - the opportunities and challenges they face - in promoting gender equality in the context of human security; (b) exchange experiences, good practices and lessons learned; (c) strengthen existing South/South networks of parliamentarians who advocate for gender equality; (d) create additional opportunities for knowledge networking among members of parliament in support of their efforts to mainstream gender issues in the legislature.
Contact: Makiko Tagashira, DAW/GAS, Tel. (212) 963-4836, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshop on Social
Indicators and Statistics in the North Region of Latin American and the Caribbean
DESA has been officially invited by the ECLAC Office of Mexico to participate in a workshop on Social Indicators and Statistics in the North Region of Latin America and the Caribbean, to be held in Mexico, 11 - 12 November. The workshop is co-organised by the Government of Cuba as the Secretariat of the Subregional Network to the Follow-up and Implementation of the Social Summit commitments, of which eight countries in the region are members – Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Two representatives of each participating country are being sponsored by ECLAC to attend the workshop. This is a complementary activity to the support provided by DESA in the establishment and operation of the Subregional Network.
DESA has supported the network with two workshops, one in 2000 and one in 2002. It also is supporting the web page of the Network, which will soon be launched at http://www.redsocial.net . The Division for Social Policy and Development of DESA is also planning to organise a third workshop in support of the Network to be held in San Salvador in December, where best practice experiences in the implementation of the commitments at the national level will be exchanged amongst participants from the eight countries. The complementary effort of ECLAC constitutes a good example of collaboration amongst United Nations agencies towards a common objective. For more details about the workshop in Mexico, contact Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, Director, ECLAC Mexico, telephone (52-55) 5263-9600 and fax: (52-55) 5531-1151.Contact: Julio D’Arcy, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-5603, E-mail: email@example.com
Conference on Improving the Quality
of Public Administration Education and Training: New Needs, New Approaches
As a second activity of the Joint UN/IASIA Initiative on Public Management Leadership, DPEPA will organize jointly with the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) a Special Event for the 50th Anniversary of the Fundacao Getulio Vargas on the theme: “Improving the Quality of Public Administration Education and Training: New Needs, New Approaches”. The conference will aim at developing methodologies for improving the quality of public administration education and training in developing and transitional countries throughout the world.
It is anticipated that the Conference will result in the development of programmes and techniques that are appropriate for the education and training of the next generation of governmental leadership, recognizing the need for specific regional and cultural relevance. Experts from throughout the world will provide reports on both the most contemporary approaches utilized in their countries as well as potential new initiatives and techniques for improving the quality of public administration education and training in a globalizing world.
A major report on new approaches to public administration education and training will be prepared following the Conference. It will include various proposals and suggestions for the types of technical assistance and demonstration projects which will help to improve the quality of preparation of the next generation of governmental leadership.
Contact: Yolande Jemiai, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-8395, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference on ICT and E-government for Regional Development and Integration for Central America
Contact: Jerzy Szeremeta, DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-3924, E-mail: email@example.com
Training Workshop on Taxation
The Monterrey Consensus observed that an effective, efficient, transparent and accountable system for mobilizing public resources and managing their use by governments is essential. It also recognized the need to secure fiscal sustainability, along with equitable and efficient tax systems and administration. Consequently, DPEPA will organize the Third Regional Training Workshop on Taxation for senior tax administrators from Central and South America and the Caribbean Basin in association with CIAT (Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations) and the Government of Brazil, at Brasilia, Brazil from 3 to 5 December 2002 on the following themes:
The objective of the Workshop is primarily to upgrade the technical skills of tax administrators from developing countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean basin, including training on practical methods and strategies for combating tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Training Workshop will utilize case study methods and also lectures by experts specializing in fiscal policy and revenue administration from both international financial organizations and prominent academic institutions.
Contact: Suresh Shende,DPEPA, Tel. (212) 963-4189;, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnership on Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles for Cleaner Air
DESA, UNEP and the United States Environment Protection Agency announced at a WSSD side event their intent to work together on a new partnership aimed at reducing vehicular pollution. The Global Partnership for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles for Cleaner Air brings together governments, industry, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs to assist developing country governments in addressing vehicular air pollution and to complement legislative initiatives on fuels and vehicles. It will focus on three priority areas:
The National Resources Defense Council and the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning have joined the partnership, as have a number of developing and developed countries. Industry associations that have agreed to participate include the International Fuel Quality Center, the Manufacturer of Emissions Control Association, the Japanese Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the European Automobile Company Association and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. A number of individual firms have also joined the effort.
The Partnership addresses issues detailed in the WSSD Plan of Implementation related to using cleaner fossil fuel technology, reducing air pollution from the transport sector and improving urban air quality and health.
Contact: Kathleen Abdalla, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-8416, E-mail: email@example.com
As part of the ground level preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Division for Sustainable Development of DESA through its joint Global Initiative on Transport Emissions with the World Bank, started the UN Car Free Day series as a way of promoting sustainable transport. The series includes Car Free Days and Regional Practicums for Mayors in Bogotá, Colombia, Fremantle, Australia, and Bilbao, Spain. Partners include wide range of stakeholders including governments, NGOs, and the private sector. The Car Free Day initiative was shown at the World Summit on Sustainable Development as part of the Virtual Exhibit and a live interview with the UN and Fremantle partners was telecast.
The Colombian Car Free Day was held on Thursday 7 February 2002. The Cities of Bogotá, Chia, Cali, and Valledupar closed all of their streets to private vehicles for the entire day, and over 10 million citizens used public or alternative modes of transport to commute to work and go about their daily activities. UNDESA invited Mayors and city officials from 24 Latin American Cities, including all capital cities, to come to Bogotá to experience the CFD and discuss possible implementation in their own cities.
The fully implemented, city wide, complete ban on private vehicles during a working day was successful in Bogotá for several reasons. The density of the city creates short travel distances that can be easily made by bicycle and thus not all trips have to be motorized. Because of the nature of the bus system, there is actually a surplus of public transport available to citizens so there was adequate space available for people moving out of cars and into buses on the CFD. The Car Free Day served to promote the use of these alternatives. As people were forced to find new ways of taking their children to school or commuting to work, they often found that using an alternative mode may even be more efficient and cost effective than using their car. The CFD thus created a mandate for the Mayor’s office to increase and improve infrastructure for bicycle use as well as public transport.
While in most developed countries, CFDs are promoted as an exercise in improving the natural environment, the main focus of the Bogotá CFD was that of social justice. In Bogotá, as in most developing countries, only a small fraction of the population (in this case 15%) can actually afford private vehicles yet they consume the majority of the space on roads and are the main cause of congestion. The Car Free Day in Bogotá is a way of increasing social justice – opening public space for equal use by all citizens and bridging socio-economic divides, if only on the street.
Over the last two years, Bogotá’s new Mayor, Antanus Mockus, has continued to support and drive the movement for a more equitable, efficient transport system for the city. By placing an increasing importance on citizenship and the role of individual actions in improving the face and shape of the City, he is propelling the shift in perspective that is slowly turning Bogotá into a leader in sustainable transportation policy making. The popularity and recognition of the changes taking place in Bogotá is evidenced by the growing support of similar initiatives in other Colombian cities. This year, three other cities joined Bogotá for the first Colombia Car Free Day and half a dozen more have pledged to join in next year. The Regional Practicum for Mayors also served to spread the use of Car Free Days to other parts of Latin America, with many participating Mayors pledging to use Car Free Days in their own cities.
Fremantle, Western Australia
The second event of the series was held in Framantle, Western Australia from 8-10 May 2002. Mayors and city officials from Western Australia were invited to experience Fremantle's Shed Your Car Day held on 9 May 2002. Fremantle closed the major streets of the City to private vehicles and successfully planned a number of community events aimed at promoting the use of sustainable transport. Like most cities in developed countries, Fremantle is dominated by a dependence on private vehicles. In fact, while car use is lower than in most US cities, it is greater than in any other Australian city, double that of most European cities and five times that of wealthy Asian cities. Although some public transport exists, it is not on a scale that could meet the requirements of all citizens. Fremantle uses Car Free Days as a method of promoting awareness of alternatives to car use and involving citizens in activities that directly contribute to the improvement of the air quality and reduction of noise in the city. A wide variety of activities and events are held to promote participation in the CFD including street parades, bicycle rides, drawing contests in schools and site visits for school children, and just to name a few.
The planning of the CFD involved a Work Place Challenge that consists of a competition among businesses for the greatest number of employees who pledge not to use their car; a wide range of stakeholders including city officials, local environmental groups, bus operators, local businesses and industry, local media, and a large number of volunteers. This wide-spread participation provided a feeling of ownership of the event to the people involved in its planning and is useful in creating strong advocates for future efforts to create a more sustainable transport system. As in Bogotá, the event served as a catalyst for dialogue among citizens about the future growth of the city and how the transport system could be improved to provide greater access while diminishing deleterious environmental and health impacts. The CFD, in conjunction with other sustainable transport programs such as the TravelSmart program, has been effective in demonstrating that, for many people, behavior change is possible without any significant changes to existing infrastructure.
Bilbao, held a Virtual Car Free Day in July. As a first step toward a fully implemented CFD, Bilbao modelled the impact of a reduction in the use of private vehicles and devised methods for providing alternative modes to citizens to meet transport demand.
All three Car Free Days share a common vision of reducing private vehicle use while providing viable alternatives yet each is tailored to meet the needs and local circumstances of the individual city. Although there are a number of cities throughout the world that have expressed an interest in holding their own city-wide Car Free Days, many are weary of the capacity of their existing transport infrastructure to meet demand if private vehicles were not used. Bilbao's modeling exercise will serve as an example of how a city could use transport planning techniques to plan for and accommodate the shift in demand that would arise in a fully implemented CFD. It is hoped that the Bilbao CFD will provide the foundation for a growing number of city wide, mid week Car Free Days.
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 indices, quantum indices and value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value and quantum indices, value; Selected series of world statistics.
Special features in this issue: World shipbuilding; Civil aviation traffic: passenger-km and cargo net ton-km; Total exports and imports by regions: quantum and unit value indices and terms of trade; World exports by provenance and destination.
Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4865, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Population and Vital Statistics Report
This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report presents 2001 and 2002 estimates of world and continental population, as well as corresponding 2001 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: email@example.com
Handbook of National Accounting: Use of Macro Accounts in Policy Analysis
This is one in a series of National Accounting Handbooks prepared by DESA Statistics Division (UNSD), dealing with policy analysis uses of 1993 SNA economic, social and environmental (satellite) accounts. It examines how scope, detail and consistency of benchmark, annual and quarterly macro accounts data can best serve indicator analysis of past and modeling of future trends and how compilation methods may affect such analyses. The Handbook is based on papers presented and discussions in a 1998 UNSD expert group meeting of national accountants, and specialists on monetary, fiscal and balance of payment (BOP) issues, environmental, poverty and other social concerns, input-output and other modelers and econometricians.
Contact: Matthias Reister, SD, Tel. (212) 963-2038, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Accounts Statistics:
Main Aggregates and Detailed Tables, 1999
Contains detailed national accounts estimates for 178 countries and areas. The national data for each country and area are presented in separate chapters using uniform table headings and classifications recommended in the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 1993). A summary of the conceptual framework of SNA 1993 and definitions of important terms are also included.
Contact: Matthias Reister, SD, Tel. (212) 963-2038, E-mail: email@example.com
Supporting Africa’s Efforts to Achieve Sustainable Development: an e-book
The Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination has produced a new e-book Supporting Africa’s Efforts to Achieve Sustainable Development which compiles the materials and papers from the preparatory activities for and the actual High Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council for 2001 on the role of the United Nations in support of the effort of African countries to achieve sustainable development . The ECOSOC 2001 High-Level Segment represented the first opportunity after the Millennium Summit for the international community to demonstrate its commitment to support Africa’s renewed efforts to achieve sustainable development. The Ministerial Declaration adopted by the Council called for an effective and coordinated response by the United Nations system to the New Africa’s Initiative or NEPAD.
Chapter one looks at key development challenges facing Africa discussed during the preparatory panel discussions held prior to the 2001 High-level Segment. These policy issues include governance and development; poverty eradication, focusing on rural poverty: agriculture and food security; the health crisis, including HIV/AIDS; and education, including higher education and girls education. The key recommendations are highlighted.
Chapter two reviews partnerships for African development at the country-level, looking at how the United Nations is working with Governments and civil society to achieve the International/Millennium Development Goals. The focus is on efforts at coordination and harmonization of United Nations operational activities. A number of good practices are highlighted, showing how the United Nations system, often in collaboration with various partners, is working to helping African countries reach the IDGs/MDGs.
Chapter three recaptures the main policy discussions at the High Level Segment and includes the s tatement of the Secretary General, the High Level Policy Dialogue with the Heads of International Financial and Trade Institutions, the Panel of Eminent Personalities on the theme of The Nexus between Peace and Development, some of key background documents submitted to the African Investment Forum and summaries of the Roundtables on investment climate, financing investment and infrastructure and brief summary of the High-level Debate.
Within the recent past, civil society organizations have been called upon to contribute to the substantive work of the Council. Since then, these organizations have been contributing to the debates of the Council, voicing their concerns at the highest level of the Council’s meetings. Chapter Four contains the contributions made by nongovernmental organizations to the 2001 High-level Segment, including in the preparatory stages as well as at the event itself.
Contact: Lotta Tahtinen, DESC, Tel. (917) 367-2212, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
of Products Whose Consumption and/or Sale Have Been Banned,
The Consolidated List is produced in response to General Assembly resolutions aimed at protecting the world against products harmful to health and the environment. It contains text of restrictive regulatory actions taken by one hundred five Governments on over nine hundred pharmaceuticals, agricultural & industrial chemicals and consumer products, all of which are regulated on account of their chemical composition.
The List is divided into two parts containing regulatory and commercial information respectively. Part one is prepared jointly by the United Nations with UNEP/WHO (for Chemicals or pharmaceuticals respectively) and contains, apart from actual text of the regulation and its effective date, references to the relevant national legal and statutory documents as well as bibliographical references to scientific and technical studies by international organizations relating to these products. Part two, which is compiled exclusively by DESA, contains commercial information including data on trade/brand names under which these restricted products are marketed worldwide and the name and location of their manufacturers. Also included are indices on scientific names, trade names and Chemical Abstract Service Registry numbers for ease of cross-referencing between recognized common scientific names and available trade names. The English version of the seventh issue will be posted on the web later this year. Other official language versions will be printed early in 2003.
Contact: Mohammad Akhter, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-3934, E-mail: email@example.com
The Directory contains contact information for the organizations, funds and programmes of the UN system and their respective senior officials. It is intended to facilitate communication among organizations of the system by providing contact points of staff in charge of major organizational units.
This web-based database version of the Directory was developed by the Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB).Contact: Karina Gerlach, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-5858
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAAA)
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAAA) has been published in the six United Nations official languages plus German. A user friendly digest of MIPAA will soon be published as a means to ensure the wide dissemination of the contents of the Plan of Action on Ageing.
Contact: Alexandre Sidorenko, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-0500, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Training Workshop on Conflict Management
Sub-regional Judicial Colloquium on the Application of International Human Rights Law at the Domestic Level and Sub-regional Training Workshop for Government Officials Responsible for Reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Expert Group Meeting on Information and Communication Technologies and their Impact on and use as an Instrument for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women
Expert Group Meeting on the Participation and Access of Women to the Media, and their Impact on and use as an Instrument for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women
Expert Group Meeting on Trafficking in Women and
Africa/Asia Parliamentary Forum on Human Security and Gender: The Role of the Legislature
Final Review of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF)
New York, 24-26 September
New York, 7-11 October
United Nations System Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB)
Fall 2002 LINK meeting
Inaugural Conference of ECOWAS Ministers of Public Service
Meeting of the Steering Committee of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters
Towards Achievement of the Millennium Goals for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for Governance and Public Administration Capacity-Building Panel, IIAS
Conference on Improving the Quality of Public Administration Education and Training:
New Needs, New Approaches
Conference on ICT and E-government for Regional Development and Integration for Central America
Third Regional Training Workshop on Taxation
ESCAP Regional Meeting on Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing
Expert Group Meeting on Global Priorities for Youth
Workshop on Social Indicators and Statistics in the North Region of Latin American and the Caribbean
Technical Subgroup of the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications Meeting
Expert Group Meeting on the Technical Report on Household Surveys
New proposals and initiatives formulated during the General Assembly plenary debate
Meeting commitments made and mobilizing resources
Ø The US announced its return to UNESCO.
Ø The EU reiterated that it has decided to further open its markets for exports from the least developed countries.
Ø Some countries reiterated their commitment to increase ODA (France, by 50% over the next five years; Norway to 1% of GDP by 2005, Great Britain to double by 2006 from 1997 levels. Italy pledged cancellation of additional $4 billion in bilateral debt owed to it by poor countries. Belgium pledged to reach the 0.7% target by 2010. The Netherlands would continue to dedicate 0.8% of its annual GDP to development cooperation.
Ø Venezuela proposed the creation of an international humanitarian fund.
Ø St Lucia called for a new Marshall Plan to address poverty and the disparities between developing and developed countries.
Ø Burundi supported the proposal to establish a global fund for the fight against poverty, as well as a global fund for the environment. Tunisia hoped the Fund would start its activities this year.
Ø Kenya called for an overhaul of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) eligibility criteria.
Ø Trinidad and Tobago requested the early implementation of HIPC initiative.
Ø Malawi called upon the USA to reconsider its decision and restore funding to the population agency.
Ø Kenya urged the UN to ensure stability and predictability in funding UNEP and UN-Habitat through the UN regular budget.
Ø Afghanistan reminded donor countries of the financial pledge made at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan (January 2002). Romania pledged to offer further assistance. Speakers called on international community to maintain its strong and active support to the Government of Afghanistan (Ireland, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia).
Ø Zambia requested external financial assistance for refugees.
Ø Fiji requested to extend the quota and tariff-free market access conceded to the least developed countries to developing island States.
Ø Peru proposed to create a Mechanism of Financial Solidarity for the Defense of Democracy and Good Governance.
Ø Gambia called for resources to help bridge the gap between peace and national reconstruction.
Ø Monaco and Ireland planned to increase their bilateral assistance for the sustainable management of marine resources; Monaco would contribute to the global fund on AIDS.
Dialogue and new conferences/conventions
Ø The era of large scale international conferences had come to a close, and simpler more effective ways to carry forward the development agenda had to be found (Lichtenstein, Barbados) .
Ø India reiterated its offer to coordinate a Comprehensive Global Development Dialogue, which “needed urgently to achieve the development goals by 2015”.
Ø Switzerland appealed to make active contribution to the success of the World Summit on information society, to narrow the gap between North and South in terms of access to ICTs.
Ø Organization of an international conference on peace, reconciliation and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa was proposed (Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon).
Ø Kazakhstan will host a UN Conference on the problems of landlocked countries in 2003.
Ø Thailand will host the 15th International Conference on HIV/AIDS in 2004.
Ø France and Germany proposed to begin negotiating their proposed world convention against human cloning for reproductive purposes. The initiative was supported by Malta.
Ø Tajikistan proposed to convene in 2003 a Special General Assembly Session for discussing all aspects of combating terrorism and adopting consolidated decisions, including on the implementation of the decisions of the 20th Special Session dedicated to illicit production, sales and trafficking of narcotics.
Ø Costa Rica advocated for the creation of a new generation of Human Rights mechanisms.
Ø Saint Lucia urged the United Nations to re-institute the UN Centre on Transnational Corporations (TNCs).
Ø Mongolia expressed its hope for the unanimous adoption of the Plan of Action of the UN Literacy Decade at this session of the General Assembly.
Ø Singapore suggested that the UN’s Dialogue among Civilizations be a key initiative that states should build upon.
Ø Guyana sought to promote the concept of a New Global Human Order based on a genuine partnership for cooperation between developed and developing countries.
Ø Indonesia announced that ASEAN countries would be sponsoring a resolution in the General Assembly on strengthening the working relationship between their regional organization and the United Nations system.
Ø France proposed to establish an economic and social security council and a world environment organization.
Ø Australia said there was a need to look at how to more effectively use existing UN mechanisms - particularly the GA and ECOSOC - for reviewing progress towards development goals and called for refocusing the UN work on key priorities emanating from conferences.
Ø Belgium proposed to develop a strategy for addressing illegal financing of conflicts including through trafficking of natural resources.
Ø Ukraine reiterated its support for an initiative on developing a comprehensive strategy of the UN for conflict prevention.
Ø Poland suggested that the UN Charter be reviewed in line with organization's mandate to identify new areas of responsibility for UN organs, especially to pursue multilateralism in its work, better utilize the means and resources available to Member States, and to involve non-governmental entities and private capital in the work of the United Nations. A "New Act of the United Nations at the Dawn of the 21st Century" could give fresh impetus to the UN principles, organs and mechanism.
Ø Thailand urged Member States to consider the best use of the International Institute for Trade and Development (ITD), newly established in Bangkok, operated in partnership with UNCTAD.
Ø St Kitts and Nevis expressed concern about attempts to transform UNDP into an advisory body rather than a development assistance one.
Ø Guatemala reiterated offer to host the Secretariat of the Convention for Cooperation in the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Northeast Pacific.
Ø Oman pledged to pursue a policy of cooperation in providing oil levels to serve common interests of parties. On the issue of oil, Kazakhstan expressed hope of receiving funds to improve infrastructure to make more oil available.
Ø Maldives resisted the call for the graduation of the country from the list of LDCs and urged the CDP to complete the necessary groundwork in accordance with all the relevant ECOSOC and GA resolutions before it announces its views and recommendations to the ECOSOC 2003 substantive session.
Ø El Salvador urged that the international cooperation with countries of medium development must not be limited to technical cooperation but should also include financial cooperation.
Ø A new Regional Stabilization Fund will be created within CARICOM to provide regional economies with the necessary financial resources to respond to current and longterm economic difficulties.
Ø Greece suggested that the United Nations establish a new electronic global forum where citizens can mobilize around key issues to help shape political decision making.
Ø Nauru regretted it was still subject to adverse criticism on money laundering and international cooperation on tax by the OECD Financial Action Task Force.
Ø Uzbekistan recommended to shift UN resources on narcotics programmes more to the problem of originating countries.
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