Volume 7, No. 3, June-August 2003

  In this issue:
 

Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD11)

Global dialogue on development

Indigenous issues

Trends and analysis
International migration

Rural development


Millennium indicators

DESA information technology strategy

Technical cooperation
Associate experts

CARICOM environment
Publications
Statistics on small islands

Statistical organization

COMTRADE database

Statistics web pages

World Economic and Social Survey
Meetings
"Paperless Committee "
 


Economic and Social Council
Substantive session
Geneva, 30 June-25 July
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/e-2003-l5.pdf

High-level Segment on Rural Development
30 June-2 July
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/hl2003/index.htm

            This year, the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council will be held in Geneva.  The Council will begin its deliberations on 30 June with an address of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi Annan, followed by the yearly high-level policy dialogue with the participation of the heads of international financial and trade organizations (World Bank, IMF, WTO [trade] and UNCTAD) on current developments in the world economy and international economic cooperation, as well as the theme of this year’s high-level segment “Promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development.”


            On 30 June the Council will begin its high-level segment under the chairmanship of the President of ECOSOC H.E. Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala) with four Ministerial Roundtable discussions, to be co-chaired by a Minister and a Head of a UN agency, fund or programme, which will focus on a key aspect of the theme of the high-level segment. On 1 and 2 July the Council will hold a number of Ministerial Roundtable Breakfasts hosted by UN agencies, funds and programmes to allow for representatives of Member States, UN system and civil society to explore more in-depth in an informal setting issues related to the theme of the high-level segment. The Council will also hear statements from Member States, representatives of the UN system and the civil society on the theme and plans to adopt a Ministerial Declaration, providing policy guidance and recommendations for action.

              The high-level segment will be the culmination of an intensive preparatory process that started in March and April 2003  (see below) in close cooperation with key UN agencies, funds and programmes such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World Bank and the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP).  The background papers, presentations,

and records of meetings provided inputs to the Secretary-General’s report on “ Promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development” (E/2003/51), which recognizes that accelerated rural development is essential to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the millennium development goals. The report provides policy recommendations on ways to promote an integrated approach to rural development, encompassing the economic, social and environmental dimensions, with a number of mutually reinforcing policies and programmes that address a broad range of issues related to rural development.  (For further information see: http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/hl2003/Prep.htm )

            The 2003 substantive session will continue with the operational activities segment, which will be held from 3 to 7 July under the chairmanship of Vice-President of ECOSOC H.E. Ambassador Abdul Mejid Hussein (Ethiopia), and the coordination segment, to be held from 8 to 10 July under the chairmanship of Vice-President of ECOSOC H.E. Ambassador Murari Raj Sharma (Nepal).   The humanitarian segment, which will focus on “Strengthening of the coordination of United Nations humanitarian assistance, with particular attention to humanitarian financing and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance, and transition from relief to development” will be held from 10 to 15 July 2003 under the chairmanship of Vice-President of ECOSOC H.E. Ambassador Valery P. Kuchinsky (Ukraine) .   During the segments several panel discussion will be organized to assist the Council in its work.   The Council will end its substantive session with the general segment, which will be chaired by Vice-President Ambassador Marjatta Rasi (Finland). During the general segment, to be held from 16 to 25 July, the Council will discuss, among others, reports of the functional commissions and expert bodies.

Dialogue with civil society

            On 24 March 2003 the Council convened two informal dialogue sessions with a distinguished group of researchers, professionals from institutions specialized in rural development and civil society representatives, as well as senior representatives of governments and relevant United Nations agencies on the role of rural development in the achievement and implementation of internationally agreed development goals including those contained in the UN Millennium Declaration. During the brainstorming sessions, converging points of view were expressed on the need for policy changes in the field of rural development.  A new impetus for rural development was considered essential if the international community wanted to reach the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the overall objective of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.

            At the brainstorming sessions it was agreed that the high-level segment of ECOSOC should attempt to provide answers to questions such as what should be done differently in rural development, including in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) and other instruments, and what changes would be helpful in the policy environment in programme countries as well as in the international arena.  The following points emerged as recommendations for the Council’s action:

  • ECOSOC could promote integral rural development by investing to make rural poor into empowered agents of change, assisting in their social incorporation, creating opportunities for the poor to generate income in regions, promoting political support for rural development and improving learning in this area.

  • ECOSOC should identify the key leverage or entry points for promoting such an approach with participation of the rural poor, improving productivity, encouraging sustainable agriculture and access to education, health and other services to the rural poor.

  • ECOSOC, at its high-level segment, could give political impetus to move the Doha process forward on agricultural trade and subsidies.  It could also advocate for a significant portion of the increased ODA committed in the Monterrey Consensus being earmarked for agriculture and rural development.

  • ECOSOC as a major UN body has an important role to play in promoting policy coherence at the international level and ensuring the links between various international processes, conventions and programmes.  For example, the link between the UN Convention on desertification and rural development strategies could be highlighted in the ECOSOC framework.

UN system discussions

            On 30 April 2003 the Council held a one-day meeting on “The role of rural development in the achievement and implementation of internationally agreed development goals including those contained in the UN Millennium Declaration”. The meeting began with a high-level panel on UN system coordination for rural development with Mr. Lennart Båge, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Mr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, Under Secretary General and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Africa; and Mr. Bruce Jenks, Director, Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships of United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP) as panellists.

            As part of the meeting, seven roundtable discussions were organized by United Nations agencies, funds and programmes on themes that are of crucial importance for achieving rural development.

            Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Director, DESC, Tel. (212) 963-4628, E-mail: khan2@un.org

(Back to top )

Intergovernmental Meetings

 United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF3)
 Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on
       Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities

Working Group on Communications under the CEDAW Optional Protocol
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, (CEDAW)
      Twenty-ninth session

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, (CEDAW)
      Thirtieth session, Pre-sessional Working Group

Outcomes of Meetings
     - Commission for Sustainable Development
     - Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Expert Group Meetings
Expert Meeting on Consumption and Production Patterns
Expert Group Meeting on Improving Public Sector Effectiveness  
Ad Hoc Group of Experts Meeting on Anchoring Peace

Inter-Agency Meetings

High Level Committee on Management  
Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality
Outcomes of Meetings
     - United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination

Intergovernmental Meetings

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF3)
Third session
Geneva, 26 May-6 June
http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html

            The Forum will treat three elements: Economic Aspects of Forests; Forest Health and Productivity; and, Maintaining Forest Cover to Meet Present and Future Needs.  Enhanced Cooperation and Policy Coordination on Forests will also be a major discussion topic.

            Online registration for the UNFF Newsletter is now available at: http://esa.un.org/UNFF/personInfo.asp

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
Second session
New York, 16-27 June
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/adhoc2meet.htm

            In preparation for the second session, the Division for Social Policy and Development provided support through the Development Account for the organization of the following meetings:

Expert Group Meeting and Seminar on an International Convention to Protect and Promote the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
Bangkok, 2-4 June
http://www.worldenable.net/bangkok2003/

Arab Regional Meeting on Norms and Standards Related to Development and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Beirut, 27-29 May

African Regional Consultative Conference
Johannesburg, 1-6 May
http://www.osdp.gov.za/

Américas Regional Seminar and Workshop on Norms and Standards Related to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Development
Quito, 9-11 April
http://www.worldenable.net/quito2003/

Interregional Seminar and Regional Demonstration Workshop on Accessible Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Persons with Disabilities
Manila,3-7 March
http://www.worldenable.net/manila2003/

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

Working Group on Communications under the CEDAW Optional Protocol
New York, 25-27 June

            The Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women will have a three-day closed meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

            Contact: Janette Amer, WRS/DAW, Tel. (212) 963-5361, E-mail: amer@un.org OR Eleonor Solo, WRS/DAW, Tel. (212) 963-1524, E-mail: solo@un.org

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Twenty-ninth session
New York, 30 June-18 July

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/29sess

            At this forthcoming session, the Committee will review the reports of eight States parties to the Convention.  They are:

  • Combined initial through fifth periodic reports of Brazil (CEDAW/C/BRA/1-5)
  • Combined initial through third and fourth periodic reports of Cost Rica (CEDAW/C/CRI/1-3 and CEDAW/C/CRI/4)
  • Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Ecuador (CEDAW/C/ECU/4-5)
  • Combined third and fourth, and fifth periodic reports of France (CEDAW/C/FRA/3, CEDAW/C/FRA/3-4/Corr.1 and CEDAW/C/FRA/5)
  • Fourth and fifth periodic reports of Japan (CEDAW/C/JPN/4 and CEDAW/C/JPN/5),
  • Second periodic report of Morocco (CEDAW/C/MOR/2)
  • Fifth periodic report of New Zealand (CEDAW/C/NZL/5)
  • Second and third periodic reports of Slovenia (CEDAW/C/SVN/2 and CEDAW/C/SVN/3).
            The Committee will also have before it the report on ways and means of expediting the work of the Committee (CEDAW/C/2003/II/4).

            Contact: Philomena Kintu, WRS/DAW, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
Thirtieth session
Pre-sessional Working Group
New York, 21-25 July
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/30sess.htm#presession

            The pre-sessional working group will have a closed meeting to review the following reports:

  • Combined fourth, fifth and sixth periodic reports of Belarus (CEDAW/C/BLR/4-6)
  • Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Ethiopia (CEDAW/C/ETH/4-5)
  • Fifth periodic report of Germany (CEDAW/C/DEU/5)
  • Second periodic report of Kyrgyzstan (CEDAW/C/KGZ/2)
  • Combined second and third periodic reports of Nepal (CEDAW/C/NPL/2-3)
  • Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Nigeria (CEDAW/C/NGR/4-5)

            Contact: Philomena Kintu, WRS/DAW, Tel. (212) 963-3153, E-mail: kintup@un.org

(Back to "Global dialogue in development" ) (Back to top )

Outcomes

Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD11)
Eleventh session
New York, 28 April- 9May
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd.htm

            Meeting for the first time since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September 2002), the Commission on Sustainable Development dedicated its eleventh session to the elaboration of its future programme, organisation and methods of work.  The Commission decided that, in order to fulfil its mandate, its future work will be organised as a series of two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles, which will include, in the first year of the cycle, a Review Session, and in the second, a Policy Session.

            The Commission further decided that its Review Sessions will undertake an evaluation of progress in implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, while focusing on identifying constraints and obstacles in the process of implementation. To allow effective consideration of regional and sub-regional inputs, the Commission also decided to invite the Regional Commissions to consider organising regional implementation meetings ahead of the Review Sessions. The Policy Sessions, building upon the outcome of the Review Sessions and the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meetings preceding it, will take policy decisions on practical measures and options to expedite implementation.

          The Commission also decided to continue to include High-Level Segments in its sessions, further enhance the contributions from major groups, including the scientific community as well as educators, and provided criteria and guidelines for partnerships associated with the follow-up to the WSSD.

            For the 2004-2005 cycle, the Commission decided to focus on the themes of water, sanitation, and human settlements, while also giving priority attention to linkages with cross-cutting issues, including poverty eradication, changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns, and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development.

            In the context of its future programme and organisation of work, the Commission decided to request ECOSOC to consider extending the term of the CSD Bureau for future sessions to match the CSD two-year work cycle, and to consider the status of NGOs accredited to WSSD so that the Commission could benefit from their contributions as soon as possible.

            The Commission also decided to recommend to ECOSOC that during its twelfth session in 2004, it will undertake a three-day preparatory meeting for an in-depth assessment and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

            Contact: Maria Mercedes Sanchez, DSD, Tel. (212) 963-9421, E-mail: sanchezmm@un.org

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Second session
New York, 12-23 May
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/pfii/index.html

            The second session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was attended by more than 700 delegates representing Member States, and more than 400 organizations.  As stated in its report at its first session, the Permanent Forum decided to make indigenous children and youth a focal point of its work in the years to come.  To reconfirm this commitment, the Permanent Forum made this the theme of the second session.

            The Permanent Forum held a high-level panel on indigenous children and youth and made recommendations to the United Nations system and especially to UNICEF, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and other relevant agencies (ILO, UNESCO, and WHO) aimed at improving the quality of life for indigenous children.

            Foremost in the concerns of the Permanent Forum Members was the need to develop an accurate picture of the state of the world’s indigenous peoples as a foundation for its on-going work.  Further to this, the Members have developed a draft decision for approval by ECOSOC, which recommends that a workshop be held to further examine the need for accurate data-collection and the disaggregation of data.  Some States (such as New Zealand and Australia) have already indicated a willingness to participate and to promote good practices in census taking and data-collection.

            Recommendations were collaboratively developed between Forum Members, the UN system (Inter-agency Support Group), the Indigenous Caucus, indigenous representatives and some Member States.  Theythe six mandated areas of economic and social development, environment, health, education, culture and human rights.

            Contact: Elissavet Stamatopoulou, DSPD, Tel. (917) 367-5100, E-mail: stamatopoulou@un.org

(Back to "Global dialogue in development" ) (Back to top )

Expert Group Meetings

Expert Meeting on Consumption and Production Patterns
Marrakech, Morocco, 16-19 June

            The World Summit on Sustainable Development Plan of Implementation called for the development of a ten-year framework of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. This meeting has been organised to provide expert inputs to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) for consideration as part of its future work on sustainable consumption and production.

            Contact: Ralph Chipman, Tel. (212) 963-5504, E-mail: chipman@un.org

Expert Group Meeting on Improving Public Sector Effectiveness
Dublin, 16-19 June

            This expert group meeting has been organized to provide substantive input to the Forty-second session of the Commission for Social Development to be held in February 2004.  The priority theme of this session is "Improving public sector effectiveness".  A report from the meeting containing a summary of discussion and recommendations will be used as an input for the forthcoming report of the Secretary-General on the priority theme of the Commission

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

Ad Hoc Group of Experts Meeting on Anchoring Peace : Reconstructing Governance and Public Administration for Peaceful, Sustainable Development
Yaounde, Cameroon, 14-18 July

The chief objective of the meeting is to focus on rebuilding governance institutions and public administrations after violent conflict in ways that create an effective, viable state with sufficient and appropriate mechanisms for representation, participation, reconciliation, conflict management and national cohesion.  It also aims to broaden understanding of issues, develop policy recommendations and reinforce the capacities of the Member States’ governance systems and institutions. The meeting is organized in conjunction with the International Institute of Administrative Sciences’ (IIAS) Second International Regional Conference on “Shared Governance: Combating Poverty and Exclusion.”

Contact: Gay Rosenblum-Kumar, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-8381, Email: rosenblum-kumar@un.org

(Back to "Global dialogue in development" ) (Back to top )

Inter-Agency Meetings

High Level Committee on Management
Fifth session
New York, 12-13 June
http://ceb.unsystem.org/hlcm/default.htm

            The session will focus on: security and safety of staff; measures to improve system-wide mobility; emergency preparedness and business continuity planning; the impact on management and programme of the changing relationship between regular and voluntary funding; issues brought forward from the networks; procurement; work programme; dialogue with the representatives of staff associations; and other business.

            Contact: Eric Lacanlale, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-6889, E-mail: lacanlale@un.org OR Karina Gerlach, Tel. (212) 963-5858

Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality
Paris, 10-11 July

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/ianwge

            The Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) will hold a joint meeting with the OECD/DAC Network on Gender Equality in Paris.  The theme of the meeting will be gender perspectives in post-conflict reconstruction, with particular reference to Afghanistan as a case study.

            Contact: Ms. Sylvia Hordosch, OSAGI, Tel. (212) 963-5450, E-mail: hordosch@un.org

Outcomes

United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination
First regular session of 2003
Paris, 25-26 April
http://ceb.unsystem.org/default.htm

            CEB addressed the follow-up to the Millennium Summit, focussing on the theme “Strategies for sustainable development” – one of the themes to be given special attention in the next report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration.  The report of the High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) on the system’s follow-up to WSSD provided the basis for the discussion.

            Specific aspects discussed included health, agriculture, biodiversity/ecosystem management and adequate shelter, which have an institutional focal point in the UN system; as well as fresh water resources, and water and sanitation, and energy, which do not.

            Other matters considered included: Education for all; the forthcoming World Summit on the Information Society; and a new security training programme for field offices, on CD-ROM.

            CEB held a retreat on the evening of 25 April and the morning of 26 April at the Château de Rambouillet, at which Members were briefed and had an exchange of views on, among other issues, developments relating to the Doha Trade Round and the work of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, and concluded the discussion initiated at the regular session on a number of issues on the session’s agenda.

            Contact: Karina Gerlach, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-5858

(Back to "Global dialogue in development" ) (Back to top )

International Migration
DESA ICT Strategy

Panels, symposia and events

United Nations Public Service Day and United Nations Public Service Awards
On -line discussion: "The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality"
United Nations International Day of Cooperatives
Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives Meeting
International Youth Day

International Migration

            International migration is an important programme issue for the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

            The various aspects of international migration addressed by DESA include:

  • data collection, statistics and demographic analysis;
  • national policies on international migration;
  • social integration and employment of migrants;
  • migration and development;
  • human rights, gender discrimination and trafficking in women and girls;
  • migration and sustainable development; and
  • migration and globalization.

Data collection, statistics and demographic analysis

            The Statistics Division collects data on international migration through questionnaires that cover inflows and outflows of migrants, and selected characteristics of migrant stock (such as age, occupation of foreign-born population, citizenship).  For countries of Europe, the Statistics Division in collaboration with ECE and Eurostat sends out a joint questionnaire on international migration to national statistics offices.

            The statistical data on international migration reported by Governments are published periodically in The Demographic Yearbook .   The 1996 Yearbook , for example, included data on arrivals and departures for the period 1986-95.  Also noteworthy in this regard is the report Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration, Revision 1 that was issued in 1998.  These recommendations are being disseminated through workshops and side-meetings held in connection with other international migration meetings.

            The Population Division maintains a database on migrant stocks, including refugees and asylum seekers, using available census information and data compiled by UNHCR.  These databases appear in special reports devoted to international migration, the most recent of which is International Migration Report 2002 and the wall chart International Migration 2002 , and in chapters of more general reports, such as World Population Monitoring .   Information on migrant flows are mostly estimates and projections incorporated in the biennial publications of World Population Prospects .

            An important study issued by the Population Division is Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?.   Using various scenarios, the report investigates the migration that would be needed in countries with ageing and declining populations to offset the ageing and the decline. This report received very wide attention and had a large role in influencing recent migration policies in a number of countries.

National policies on migration

            I n the wake of the United Nations World Population Conference held at Bucharest in 1974, the Population Division began tracking Governments’ perceptions and policies on immigration and emigration.  The following questions related to current levels of immigration and emigration are monitored for countries: Is the level considered to be too high, satisfactory or too low?  Does the Government wish to raise, lower or maintain the level of immigration and emigration?  What policies have Governments implemented to influence the level of immigration and emigration?

            National migration policies have been published in various publications, most recently: Wall Chart on International Migration 2002; International Migration Report 2002; and   National Population Policies 2001.  In 1997, the Population Division issued the publication International Migration Policies .  In addition, at the request of the General Assembly, the Population Division has been preparing every two years since 1995 a report of the Secretary-General concerning the views of Member States toward international migration and development, as well as the activities of organizations in the United Nations system in this area.  The next report is being prepared for the 58th session of the General Assembly.

Social integration and employment of migrants

            The Division for Social Policy and Development (DPSP) is addressing issues relating to the social dimension of globalization, employment, social integration, and persons in situation of conflicts. A meeting, entitled International Migrants and Development, is being organized by the DSPD-hosted International Forum for Social Development.  It will take place on 7-8 October 2003, prior to the GA deliberation on international migration.  The 2003 report to the General Assembly on the World Social Situation contains one chapter on the social vulnerabilities of migrants.

            Also, in 1997 the Committee for Development Planning considered the issue of international migration and employment, with the participation of what is now the Development Policy and Planning Office and of the Population Division.

Migration and development

            This area concerns the issues of the economic impact of migration and the place of migration in sustainable development and in globalization. These issues are being addressed in several places within DESA.

            The Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), organized a panel discussion on the theme "Better managing migration for sustainable development" in July 2002, during the high-level segment of ECOSOC, in collaboration with IOM. The theme of migration was also addressed in the 2002 Secretary-General's Report on the "Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence.

            International migration and development was the special theme of the 1997 World Population Monitoring , prepared by the Population Division. This document analyzed, inter alia , the causes of international migration, the impact of international migration on the development of countries of origin and on the development of countries of destination.

            The Population Division participated in the organization of the Technical Symposium on International Migration and Development that took place in The Hague in 1998.  This meeting, part of the activities of the United Nations Administrative Committee on Coordination Task Force on Basic Social Services for All, addressed a large array of social and economic issues linked to international migration.

Human rights, gender discrimination and trafficking in women and girls

            The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) addressed the topic of women’s labour migration in the 1999 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development: Globalization, Gender and Work.

            In 2000, at its twenty-third special session, the General Assembly adopted the outcome document on “Women 2000: development, equality and peace for the twenty-third session” in its review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Since then, the Division has carried out various activities related to migration, with a particular focus on discrimination and violence against women and trafficking in women and girls. In November 2000, an Expert Group Meeting on “Gender and Racial Discrimination” was organized in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Fund for Women in Zagreb (Croatia).  This meeting, inter alia , adopted recommendations to specifically tackle the issue of migration.

            Since 2000, the Division for the Advancement of Women has prepared the Secretary-General’s reports on “Violence against women migrant workers” and on “Trafficking in women and girls”.  In November 2002, an Expert Group Meeting on “Trafficking in women and girls” was organized in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  The meeting examined human rights, criminal justice and gender based approach to combat trafficking in women and girls and adopted a number of recommendations against trafficking.

            The Division for the Advancement of Women serves as secretariat for the servicing of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).  In its consideration of State parties’ reports, CEDAW regularly addresses the issues of migration and trafficking in women and girls.

Inter-agency coordination on international migration

            In July 2002, the Population Division organized the first inter-agency coordination meeting of international organizations dealing with migration. Participants were from within as well as outside the United Nations system.  The purpose of the meeting was to promote improved coordination among the various organizations.  The meeting issued a report, Coordination Meeting on International Migration, which included brief descriptions of the work of each of the participating organizations.

Planned future activities

            The Statistics Division is planning an interregiona l workshop on the collection of international migration statistics for the second half of 2003.  It will also launch a pilot data collection, using a revised Demographic Yearbook Questionnaire on International Travel and Migration. This pilot test will cover approximately 35-40 countries and areas. Based, inter alia, on the pilot findings, the Statistics Division will initiate the preparation of the Handbook for Implementation of International Recommendations on Statistics of International Migration .

            The Population Division plans to continue its studies on flows and stocks of migrants, as well as on migration policies. These studies will be reflected in forthcoming World Population Prospects , in a detailed report on levels and trends of migrant stocks, and in forthcoming reports on national population policies. It will also continue its efforts in organizing coordination meetings on international migration, with the next one to be held in October 2003.

            The Division for Social Policy and Development, in view of the fact that most migrants are a largely voiceless group, is considering liaising with existing NGOs and migrant groups with a view of establishing a forum along the line it operates with other social groups (e.g., youth, older persons, persons with disabilities).

            Further to General Assembly resolution 56/131, the Division for the Advancement of Women will prepare the next report on “Violence against women migrant workers” (in 2003) and, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 57/176, the report on “Trafficking in women and girls” (in 2004). The Division will furthermore prepare, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights”, a publication on best practices with regard to combating trafficking in women and girls.

            The Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination is planning another event on the "Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence" at the upcoming General Assembly, which will include international migration.

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

(Back to "Trends and analysis" )   (Back to top )

Panels, symposia and events

United Nations Public Service Day and United Nations Public Service Awards
New York, 23 June
http://www.unpan.org/dpepa_PSaward.asp

            The General Assembly established the United Nations Public Service Day, to be observed annually on 23 June, by its resolution A/RES/57/277 .  In connection with the first United Nations Public Service Day later this month, United Nations Public Service Awards will be given out.  The awards are presently given in three categories:

  • Improvement of public service results;
  • Improvement of the quality of the public service process; and
  • Innovations in the public service.

            For the year 2002, nominations from 81 governmental agencies and organizations were received by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), which administers the awards, and 14 winners were chosen from the regions of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America (the winners are listed on the UNPAN website).  The accomplishments of the Public Service Award recipients will serve as examples of successful practices and innovations to others in their countries, in their regions and worldwide.

            On 23 June 2003 the United Nations will for the first time bestow certificates of recognition upon the winners of the United Nations Public Service Awards.  At the same time, a Public Administration Panel will meet.  DPADM has selected six winners to form the panel, namely: National Custom House (Bolivia), City of Vancouver (Canada), Department for Efficiency in the Administration (Italy), Muscat Municipality (Oman), Public Procurement Service (South Korea), and Patents and Companies Registration Office (Zambia), where they will present their outstanding experiences in public administration that were distinguished by the United Nations. The panellists will examine innovations and successful practices in public administration, as well as lead discussions on how those practices can be replicated and tailored to specific circumstances of other countries.  The Permanent Representatives of the Member States to the United Nations, accredited NGOs, regional organizations, public administration institutions, media and the Secretariat staff will be invited to attend the panel discussion.  The panel will be web cast on the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN), the official DPADM site.

            The United Nations will bestow the Public Service Awards every year.  Nominations have been invited for 2003, and online nomination forms can be found on the UNPAN website.

            Contact:  Elza Maharramova, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-8389, Fax: (212) 963-2916, Email: maharramova@un.org .

On -line discussion
“The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality”
New York, June/July

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/48sess

            The Division for the Advancement of Women will organize on-online discussion on the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality.  The results of the discussion will provide inputs to the expert group meeting on the same theme, to be held in September/October 2003.  UN entities, NGOs and the academia are welcome to attend. Further information will be posted on DAW website.

            Contact: Ms. Anna Modersitzki, GAS/DAW, Tel. (917) 367-3124, Email: modersitzki@un.org

United Nations International Day of Cooperatives
New York, 5 July
http://www.copacgva.org/idc/index.htm

            The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives will be celebrated on 5 July 2003. The theme for this year's Day is related to the contribution of the world cooperative movement toward the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.  A display of information and literature on cooperatives and the cooperatives movement to mark the Day is being organized in New York by the Division for Social Policy and Development.

            Contact: Albert Vinokourov, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1713, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: vinokourov@un.org

Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives Meeting
Geneva, 23-24 July
Geneva
http://www.copacgva.org

            The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) is an on-going partnership between representatives of the world cooperative movement and the United Nations and its agencies with the aim to promote and coordinate cooperative development.   This meeting of COPAC will undertake a review of the Committee's future role.

            Contact: Albert Vinokourov, DSPD, Tel. (212) 963-1713, Fax: (212) 963-0111, E-mail: vinokourov@un.org

International Youth Day
New York, 12 August
http://www.un.org/youth

            International Youth Day will be celebrated on 12 August 2003. The theme for this year's event is youth employment, highlighting developments in the Secretary-General's Youth Employment Network. More information regarding the Network is available at: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/exrel/partners/youth.htm

            Information regarding the event will be posted at the web site.

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

(Back to "Trends and analysis" )   (Back to top )

DESA ICT Strategy

            The DESA information and communication technology (ICT) strategy for the 2004-2005 biennium was approved earlier this month by senior management, based on a proposal prepared by the Information Support Unit, OUSG.  The strategy aligns the commitment of ICT resources to the programmatic objectives of the Department. In particular it emphasizes integration of ICT services at the departmental and inter-departmental levels.  The Under-Secretary-General has played a crucial role over the years in leading the strategic application of ICT as a major enabler of development goals.

            In implementing DESA’s ICT strategy, priority will be given to projects that support interaction with national focal points, an enhanced capacity to provide advisory services, and integration of data to facilitate analysis of development trends.  Online meetings and electronic networks of practitioners are also seen as projects with potentially significant impact.  A departmental ICT committee will facilitate DESA ICT activities and follow-up on implementation of the strategy in line with the priorities identified.

            Information and communication technology is likely to become a major focus of governing bodies in their review of the proposed programme budget 2004-05.  An appropriation of over 190 million dollars is being proposed.  Member States are intent on ensuring that maximum benefit is derived from the investment. DESA’s share is six million dollars, rising to ten including development account projects, technical cooperation activities, and projects funded from trust funds.

            Contact: Luciana Marulli-Koenig, ISU, Tel. (212) 963-0060, E-mail: marulli@un.org OR Patrick Spearing, ISU, Tel. (212) 963-3352, E-mail: spearing@un.org

(Back to "Trends and analysis" )   (Back to top )

Africa South of the Sahara
Eastern Europe and CIS
Global Initiatives

Africa South of the Sahara  

UNDP/DESA mission
Southern Africa, 7-20 June

            A joint UNDP and DESA mission to Southern Africa will take place in South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia, in line with the formulation requirements  of the regional project RAF/02/10 regarding  economic policy and poverty reduction. This is the third in the series of missions under this sub-Saharan  project, funded by UNDP and executed by DESA.

             Contact: Olympios Katsiaouni, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-6417, E-mail: katsiaouni@un.org OR Jean Le Nay, Tel. (212) 963-5552, E-mail: nay@un.org OR Dan Olden, Tel. (212) 963-5319, E-mail: olden@un.org

Poverty Alleviation and Decentralization: Exchange of Asian Experience with West Africa
Dakar, 1-2 July

            Ten African countries, anglophone and francophone, have been selected to share their experience on the theme of the workshop. Their participation includes representatives both from government and civil society.  Three keynote papers will be delivered, two from Africa, and one from Asia, on training, decentralization and the role of civil society in poverty alleviation.

            Contact:  Olympios Katsiaouni, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-6417, E-mail: katsiaouni@un.org OR Idrissa Diagne, Tel. (212) 963-3857, E-mail: diagne@un.org

Eastern Europe and CIS

Capacity-Building Programme for Diplomats: Strengthening Capacity on E-government and ICT Policy
Rome and Turin, 16-27 June and 30 June-11 July

            To better prepare developing countries to participate in the forthcoming World Summit for the Information Society, the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, with the sponsorship of the Government of Italy, is organizing a “Capacity-Building Programme for Diplomats: Strengthening Capacity on E-government and ICT Policy”.  The objective of the programme is to strengthen the participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in international ICT decision-making.

            The programme will consist of training/learning activities for a duration of two weeks conducted in two sessions: from 16-27 June 2003 for diplomats of Eastern European countries, and from 30 June-11 July 2003 for African diplomats.  The programme will take place in Italy:  One week will be held in Rome and will cover ICT concepts, issues, initiatives, strategies and applications at national, regional, and international levels.  The other week will be held at the International Training Center of the ILO in Turin and will cover communication and negotiations techniques, with special reference to international ICT negotiations.

            Participants in the programme will be diplomats from selected Eastern European and African countries who are involved in the international ICT decision-making process — especially the preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society.

            Contact: Angela Capati-Caruso, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-5318, E-mail: capati-caruso@un.org

Global Initiatives

National Recruitment Services and United Nations Organizations on the Associate Expert/Junior Professional Officer/Associate Professional Officer programmes
Fourth meeting
Bonn, 7-10 April
http://esa.un.org/techcoop/associate_experts.asp

           The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is responsible for coordinating and implementing the Associate Expert/Junior Professional Officer/Associate Professional Officer programmes,  established pursuant to ECOSOC resolution 849 of 1961.   In addition to providing a tool for technical cooperation for development, one of the principal objectives of these programmes is to offer young graduates from universities or institutions of higher education an opportunity to acquire international professional experience in technical cooperation activities of the United Nations system.

            About one thousand young professionals participate in the programmes at any given time in the UN System. They are funded by more than 20 donors, whose contributions approach one hundred million dollars.   Concerning the UN Secretariat the Associate Experts Programme counts more than 130 experts assigned to the technical cooperation activities of the Secretariat. Italy is the major single donor, sponsoring twenty-eight associates (May 2003) in projects in the field, in the Regional Commissions, and at Headquarters. Other major contributors are the Netherlands, Denmark,Germany and France.

            Biennial meetings are held where representatives of the concerned National Recruitment Services and participating United Nations agencies/organizations, funds and programmes discuss various coordination issues.  The fourth in the series of biennial meetings was held in Bonn in April, in which representatives from the following donor governments and organizations participated:

Governments/Donors : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, La Francophonie, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

UN Agencies/other organizations: UN/DESA, UNOPS, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNV, IFAD, IOM, ITC, FAO, UNESCO, UNHCR, WHO, WMO, WFP, ILO, United Nations System Staff College, UNCCD and UNFCC as observers, and the European Union.

            T he meeting recommended that donor Governments who have not already done so extend support to candidates from developing countries as Germany has agreed to do.  The documentation provided by DESA, including a statistical overview (1996-2000) of how the experience gained has influenced the career development of the Associate Experts, and a review of its work, were well received.  Other organizations and agencies were encouraged to provide similar data for the information of donors.

            On supervision of AEs/JPOs/APOs, participating agencies were asked to enhance the tools (e.g. induction, training, performance management) needed to facilitate integration of newly appointed junior professionals in the structure of the project/office of assignment.  This should guarantee proper supervision and monitoring of performance with particular emphasis on coaching.  The meeting also recommended to the participating agencies that they jointly study standardizing administrative entitlements related to hardship duty stations for presentation to the donor governments at the next meeting, possibly in 2005.

            Contact: Furio De Tomassi. DESA/EAO, Tel. (212) 963-8343, E-mail: tomassi@un.org

(Back to "Technical Cooperation" )   (Back to top )


Statistics
Africa
Economic and Social Policy   
Population
Public Administration   

Statistics
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/updates.htm

Wo rld Statistics Po cketbo ok , Special Issue: Small Island Developing States
Preliminary (
Series V No. 24/SIDS)

            The present special issue of the United Nations annual World Statistics Pocketbook provides a compilation of basic social, economic and development indicators that together comprise a framework for assessing in quantitative terms each State’s current development situation.

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

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/362
Vol. LVII – No. 2
February 2003

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

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/363
Vol. LVII – No.3
March 2003

            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 indices, quantum indices and value; Selected series of world statistics.

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

2000 Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.P/40
Sales No. E/F.02.XVII.16

            The thirty-fourth issue of this annual compilation provides statistics on the production of about 530 industrial commodities for approximately 200 countries or areas and the regional and grand totals for most of the statistical series for 1991-2000.  The index of commodities, in alphabetical order and a table of correspondence between ISIC-based, SITC and Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) codes are shown in the annexes.

            Contact: Karoly Kovacs, SD, Tel: (212) 963-1414, E-mail: kovacs@un.org

Manual for the Development of a System of Criminal Justice Statistics
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/89
Sales No. E.03.XVII.6

            This Manual provides an updated framework for the development of a national system of criminal justice statistics.  It is suitable for use in a wide range of national and local circumstances and by countries that vary markedly in the underlying conditions and readiness to develop such a system of criminal justice statistics.  The Manual includes an annex that highlights some of the practical issues related to the design and creation of a sound data collection system, providing examples of data collection forms, questionnaires, statistical tables, and data analysis and presentation

            Contact: Erlinda Go, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4507, E-mail: go@un.org

Handbook of Statistical Organization
Third Edition:  The Operation and Organization of a Statistical Agency
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/88

Sales No. E.03.XVII.7

            This Handbook deals with the fundamentals of national systems of official statistics:  general principles, data collection and respondent policies, principles of organization and management, and dissemination guidelines.  Key chapters discuss the structure of statistical systems, coordination tools, the chief statistician, users and their needs, developing a progress plan, managing staff, managing information technology, interacting with respondents, getting information to the users, confidentiality and disclosure.  The intended audiences for the handbook are chief statisticians and their colleagues, and those charged with oversight of the official statistics function.  The third edition is a complete revision of the 1980 edition.

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

The CARICOM Environment in Figures 2002

            The CARICOM Environment in Figures 2002 is one of the main outputs of the United Nations Project “Strengthening Capacity in the Compilation of Statistics and Indicators for Conference Follow-up in the CARICOM region”.  The Project has been jointly carried out by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the CARICOM Secretariat, and covered the areas of social/gender and environment statistics, with a supporting component of information technology.

            The publication presents the major environmental issues in the region through textual summaries highlighting the environmental concerns, tables, charts and graphs, together with comments on the data.  It brings together available environment statistics for the CARICOM region from national, regional and international data sources.  It is expected that The CARICOM Environment in Figures 2002 will make a valuable contribution to sustainable development in the region and will be the first in a series of similar publications that will be produced by CARICOM in the future.

            Contact: Reena Shah, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4586, E-mail: shahr@un.org

Statistics Web Pages
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/

Most recent additions and updates to the Statistics Division web site  include:

COMTRADE database

The development of the COMTRADE database dissemination module has been completed.  Currently more than 650 million commodity trade transaction are available for viewing and downloading. The database received very good reviews from our international partners OECD, UNCTAD, FAO, etc. and is used by them on daily basis. Subscriber access to COMTRADE will start in June.  COMTRADE is available for public access at http://unstats.un.org

            Contact: Zoltan Nagy, SD, Tel. (212) 963-4519, Fax: (212) 963-4569, E-mail: nagy@un.org

Millennium Indicators Database
http://millenniumindicators.un.org

            As a follow-up to the UNSD/DESA and Executive Office of the Secretary-General Inter-agency Technical Meeting on MDG Indicators, held in New York in March, most of the MDG indicators in the database have been updated. The analysis of the updated data series and corresponding regional aggregates, based on inputs provided by the participating agencies, will be posted shortly.

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

Expert Group Meeting: Setting the Scope of Social Statistics
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/workshops/socialstat

            The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), in collaboration with the Siena Group, held an expert group meeting on Setting the Scope of Social Statistics in New York on 6-9 May .  The purpose of the meeting and the key issues are presented at this site.

Household Surveys in Developing Countries
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/Hhsurveys

            Covers d esign, implementation, and analysis of household surveys in developing and transition countries.

Towards the first revision of the 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA)
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/nationalaccount/snarw1.htm

            The 1993 SNA is in the process of being updated with a targeted publication date of 2008 .

Official Statistics: Principles and Practices, Organization andManagement
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/statorg/default.htm

            This site provides access to the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, the Handbook of StatisticalOrganization, in its final draft form, the good practices database, and papers on workshops on statistical organizations. (see also above ) .

Africa

The Final Review and Appraisal of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (UN-NADAF): Lessons for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
http://www.un.org/esa/afruca/oscal.htm

            A compilation on CD-ROM of key documents of the UN-NADAF process has recently been published by the Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries.

            Contact: Yvette Stevens, OSCAL, Tel. (212) 963-5084, Fax: (212) 963-3892, E-mail: stevens@un.org

Economic and Social Policy 

Directory of Senior Officials

            The Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) has updated the online version of the UN system Directory of Senior Officials (DOSO).

            DOSO is an online, searchable and printable directory of senior officials for the UN system-- a compilation of contact information for nearly 1,800 officials from close to 60 UN system entities.  The information contained in DOSO is provided on a continuing basis to the CEB Secretariat by focal points in each UN system agency, fund, programme and organization.
  It is accessible via the UN intranet and the extranet linking organ izations of the UN system.

            Contact: Karina Gerlach, CEB Secretariat, Tel. (212) 963-5858

World Economic and Social Survey 2003

            The World Economic and Social Survey is an annual analysis of the state of the world economy and emerging policy issues.  Part One of this year's Survey forecasts a global recovery in the second half of 2003.  However, world trade and international financial flows will continue to be sluggish by the standards of the 1990s and few developing countries are expected to return to their desirable rates of growth before the end of 2004.

            Contributing to the on-going discussion on policies for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, Part Two of the Survey examines how economic policy changes may affect poverty, as well as on what measures can be taken to offset negative effects.  It examines the links between macroeconomic policies, including trade policies, economic growth and poverty, pointing to the importance of the time horizon chosen when assessing the impact of a policy.  It stresses the need to devise policy responses to the effects of short-run economic shocks, examining the case of the urban poor.  With respect to rural poverty, it examines market-based approaches to land-reform and the liberalization and privatization of staple food markets in African developing countries.  It also examines government and individual coping strategies to deal with the dramatic increase in poverty in the transition economies since 1990.

            Contact: Ian Kinniburgh, DPPO, Tel. (212) 963-4838, E-email: kinniburgh@un.org

Report of the Committee for Development Policy
Fifth session

7-11 April

            The report of the Committee for Development Policy, at its fifth session on 7-11 April 2003, contains the contribution of the Committee to the high-level segment of the 2003 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council on promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development. The report examines the concept and role of global public goods (GPGs) in development policy. The report also provides the methodology and data used in the triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and evaluates the countries to be added or graduated from the list of LDCs.

            Contact: Anatoly Smyshlyaev, Secretary, Committee for Development Policy, Tel. (212) 963-4687, E-mail: smyshlyaev@un.org

Population

Fertility, Contraception and Population Policies
ESA/P/WP.182
http://unpopulation.org

            The study traces the evolution of Governments views and policies concerning fertility levels and trends and how changes have been reflected in Government support for family planning and access to contraceptive methods.  Reproductive behaviour, once viewed as a matter outside the purview of Government action, has become widely accepted as a major concern of Governments and the practice of limiting access to family planning methods has almost vanished. The study highlights the successful role of the United Nations in engaging Governments to deal with population issues and in promoting the international acceptance of family planning.

            Contact: Barry Mirkin,
PD , Tel. (212) 963-3921, E-mail: mirkin@un.org

International Migration Report 2002
http://unpopulation.org

            The first part of the report contains an extensive overview of the subject, including methodological issues, major substantive findings, recent views of governments and documents from ongoing consideration of international migration issues by the United Nations General Assembly.   The second part of the report contains country profiles for every country in the world with respect to migration levels and trends (1990-2000) as well as selected policy indicators.

            This report complements the more succinct wall-chart International Migration 2002 of October last year, which is also available on the population website.

            Contact: Hania Zlotnik, Tel. (212) 963-3185, E-mail: zlotnik@un.org

 Public Administration 

Africa Governance Web Page
http://www.unpan.org/agi.asp

            The Division for Public Administration and Development Management is currently administering the Africa Governance Inventory (AGI), a database containing financial and descriptive information on over one thousand governance initiatives totalling over 5 billion US dollars in twenty-four countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The database aims to support governments, development partners and civil society members in improving coordination, programming and management of resources allocated to governance. The AGI should also help to share governance experiences at the regional level.

            To that effect the AGI will be provided with a web-enabled interface allowing users to view/enter information on governance initiatives in the continent. Focal points in each country will manage the national database.

            Contact: Valentina Resta, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-8423, Email: restav@un.org

DESA Discussion Paper
Universal Pensions in Mauritius: Lessons for the Rest of Us

ST/ESA/2003/ DP.32
http://www.un.org/esa/papers.htm

            That the Government of Mauritius provides nearly every resident over the age of 60 with a non-contributory, basic pension is one of the best-kept secrets in the world. The scheme dates from 1950 and became universal in 1958, following abolition of a means test. Remarkably, introduction of a compulsory, contributory scheme for workers in the private sector appears to have strengthened the non-contributory regime without affecting its universality. This paper examines the past and future of non-contributory, universal pensions in Mauritius, and draws lessons that might be useful for other countries, especially those in the developing world.

            Contact:  Larry Willmore, DPADM, Tel. (212) 963-4758, Email: willmore@un.org


Advancement of Women
Economic and Social Policy 
Forests  
Social Development  
Statistics
Sustainable Development

"Paperless Committee"

            The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations employed information andcommunication technology extensively and innovatively during the just concluded2003 regular session, in an effort to eliminate the large volume of paperdocumentation that is normally required for the conduct of its work. This wasachieved through a pilot electronic meeting system, the “PaperlessCommittee”.

            The system provided online access to the documentation required by theCommittee, including conference room papers, requests for information bydelegates on NGO applications for status with the Economic and Social Council,responses from NGOs, attendance lists of representatives, and retrieval ofbackground documentation about applicant NGOs. Hewlett Packard Corporation madeavailable the hardware and wireless connectivity for the Committee andSecretariat staff, as well as system development expertise.  Human resources to set up the system and work with committee members as‘guides and trainers’ was provided by the Mumbai Educational Trust of India,with a two- month sponsorship of nine students.

            At the request of the Committee, the NGO Section of the Division ofECOSOC Support and Coordination as secretariat of the Committee is looking intodeveloping the pilot into a production system that will enable pre-sessionsubmission and processing of applications for status; electronic pre-sessioninformal consultations; and in-session consultations facilitated by access todocuments, electronic mail, and discussion groups. The system will includesecure, reliable communication between all entities, and in particular amongdelegates.

            Contact: Hanifa Mezoui
, DESC/NGO, Tel. (212) 963-8652 , E-mail: mezoui@un.org

Advancement of Women

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
29th session
New York, 30 June-18 July

            See news item above

Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality
Paris, 10-11 July

            See news item above

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
30th session
Pre-sessional Working Group
New York, 21-25 July

            See news feature above

Economic and Social Policy 

Economic and Social Council
Substantive session
Geneva, 30 June-25 July
Including:

High-level Segment on Rural Development
30 June-2 July

           See news feature above

Forests

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF3)
Third session
Geneva, 26 May-6 June

           See news item above

Social Development

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Proctection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
Second session
New York, 16-27 June

            See news item above

Expert Group Meeting on Improving Public Sector Effectiveness
Dublin, 16-19 June

            See news item above

Sustainable Development

Expert Meeting on Consumption and Production Patterns
Marrakech, Morocco, 16-19 June

            See news item above


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

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