Volume 8, No. 3, May-June 2004

  In this issue:
 

USG Ocampo addresses BWIs Committees

Global dialogue on development

Forests
CEDAW
Indigenous issues
NGOs
Rights of persons with disabilities
ECOSOC 2004


Outcomes:
     High-level meeting
        ECOSOC - BWIs
     Social development
     Status of women
     Statistics
     Population
     Development policy
     Public administration
 

Trends and analysis
DESA work on conflict prevention
 
Technical cooperation
Low-cost connectivity
Publications and web sites
Statistics
Population
Internet governance

Comings and goings
ASG for gender issues retires
New Statistics Division Director

Meetings

Commission on Sustainable Development, Twelfth Session
New York, 14-30 April 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12.htm

     More than 60 Ministers are among the hundreds of Government delegates who met at the United Nations to assess how the world has fared since the Johannesburg Summit in its efforts to implement goals for sustainable development. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development's Twelfth Session (CSD-12) is the first substantive review of progress since the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002. It aimed to critically review what action has been taken towards meeting the targets agreed at the Summit, which include and expand upon the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

     The Commission focused its review this year and will focus its policy response next year on three of the world's most pressing problems: water, sanitation and human settlements. Progress in each of these areas was assessed, highlighting the obstacles and constraints to meeting the agreed goals. These include halving by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and significantly improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

     As a new feature, segments of the CSD-12 were web cast and can be viewed on the UN webcast page; for taped sessions, please visit the Archives section on the same page at: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd/csd12/csd12_webcast.htm

Progress Report: How is the world faring?

     Reports by the Secretary-General prepared by DESA show that, in the short time since the World Summit, there have been mixed results in terms of progress towards meeting the commitments on sustainable development. Findings include the following:

Improving access to safe water and sanitation

  • During the 1990s, improved drinking water supply and sanitation reached an additional one billion people in developing countries roughly one-sixth of the world's population.
  • Major deficits remain in rural areas, where three out of five people still lack access to improved sanitation and 30 per cent lack access to an improved drinking water source.
  • Deaths from diarrhoeal diseases have declined by 60 per cent over the past 20 years; still, they remain a leading killer in developing countries, claiming 1.8 million lives, mostly children, in 2002.
  • In Africa, guinea worm disease has been almost eradicated through improved water and hygiene initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and improved monitoring. Reported cases dropped from 3,500,000 in 1986 to 75,000 in 2000, a decline of 98 per cent.
  • To achieve the MDG targets by 2015, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimates that $30 billion could be needed annually in the next eleven years to provide safe drinking water and improved sanitation to an additional 1.6 billion people and 2 billion people, respectively.

Improving the lives of slum dwellers

  • Almost one-third of the world's urban population, or more than 900 million people, is estimated to live in slums. Without concerted action now, the number of slum dwellers could swell to 1.4 billion by 2020.
  • Even by meeting the target of significantly improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by that year, this will only affect less than 10 per cent of the projected slum population.
  • East Asia has been especially successful in reducing slums, thanks to high economic growth, poverty reduction policies, targeted slum upgrading, and shelter programmes.
  • North Africa and parts of Latin America have also undertaken major slum upgrading, with regularization of land titles increasingly seen as essential to promote infrastructure investment and facilitate slum dwellers' access to credit for home improvements.
  • Some countries in Central America have managed to expand the stock of low-cost housing in step with demand, significantly slowing the expansion of slums.

Partnerships and Capacity Building

     A key aim of the Commission session is to move forward partnership initiatives involving Governments, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies and the private sector. As part of the Johannesburg Summit process, more than 200 partnerships, with over $235 million in resources, were launched. There are now 291 CSD-registered partnerships for sustainable development. At CSD-12, a "Partnerships Fair" is showcased some of these and provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to create synergies and explore new opportunities.

     Another feature of this session was the "Learning Centre" which offered a series of capacity-building courses by well-known institutions and organizations. Among them are the universities of Harvard, Columbia, and Hokkaido (Japan), the World Bank, and the Global Environmental Facility as well as several UN entities.

Focus on Small Islands' Challenges

     From 14 to 16 April, the CSD-12 session focused on preparations for the United Nations International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, to be held in Mauritius from 30 August to 3 September 2004. Ambassador MacKay from New Zealand facilitated the informal consultations during the 3-day meeting. Further informal consultations will resume in mid-May; a compilation text from the 3-day meeting has been distributed.

     Contact: Maria Mercedes Sanchez, Division for Sustainable Development, Tel. 1212 963 9421.

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USG Ocampo addresses BWIs meetings

       Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, addressed the spring meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions in Washington on 24 and 25 April.  The speeches are available online at http://www.un.org/esa/usgstats.htm .

      Speaking to the Development Committee , he stressed the importance of joint follow-up concerning to the Millennium Development Goals and the Monterrey Consensus. He looked forward to an increased and closer collaboration in the future, particularly in the preparation for the follow-up to the Millennium Goals next year, the next high-level dialogue in the Assembly on the financing for development and, of course, the next high-level meeting of the Economic and Social Council.

Intergovernmental Meetings

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 4), Fourth Session, Geneva, 3-14 May 2004
Informal meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)Utrecht, The Netherlands, 5-7 May 2004
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Third Session Theme: "Indigenous Women", New York, 10-21 May 2004
Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, 2004 Regular Session, 10-28 May 2004
Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Third Session, New York, 24 May-4 June 2004
Economic and Social Council, Substantive Session of 2004 New York, 28 June-23 July 2004: High-level Segment, New York, 28-30 June 2004

Outcomes

Commission for Social Development, Forty-second Session, New York, 4-13 February 2004
Commission on the Status of Women, Forty-eighth Session, New York, 1-12 March 2004
  Statistical Commission, Thirty-fifth Session, New York, 2-5 March 2004
  Commission on Population and Development, New York, 22-26 March 2004
Committee for Development Policy, Sixth Session New York, 29 March-2 April 2004
Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), Third Session, New York, 29 March-2 April 2004
Special high-level Meeting of the ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods Institutions and World Trade OrganizationNew York, 26 April 2004
Expert Group Meetings
United Nations ICT Task Force, Regional Meeting on Internet Governance Shanghai, China, 21 May 2004
Meeting on Equity, Inequalities and Interdependence New York, 17-18 June 2004

Intergovernmental Meetings  

United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 4), Fourth Session
Geneva, 3-14 May 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/forests/session.html

      Preparations are underway for the Fourth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF 4) which will be held from 3 - 14 May 2004 at Geneva. The Session will consider implementation of the proposals for action of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests in five programmatic areas: social and cultural aspects of forests; traditional forest-related knowledge; scientific forest-related knowledge; monitoring, assessment and reporting; and criteria and indicators. The meeting will also examine the reports of the Ad Hoc Expert Group Meetings on: Approaches and mechanisms for monitoring, assessment and reporting (December 2003, Geneva) and Finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies (December 2003, Geneva).

      To facilitate the exchange of experiences and increase opportunities for dialogue amongst participants, two side events focusing on Africa and Small Island Developing States will be organized.

           Contact: Njeri Kariuki, Secretariat on the United Nations Forum on Forests, Tel. 1917 367 6048.

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Informal Meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Utrecht, The Netherlands, 5-7 May 2004
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

       At the invitation of the Government of the Netherlands, the Committee will hold its fourth informal meeting at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (SIM) in Utrecht. The Committee will focus on its working methods with a view to strengthening implementation of the Convention. Specifically, the Committee will review its consideration of States parties reports and concluding comments. Most significantly, the Committee will discuss the option of meeting in parallel working groups for consideration of periodic reports so as to increase the number of reports it can consider per session and thus reduce the backlog of reports awaiting consideration. An excursion to the International Courts in The Hague is planned for 8 May. Previous informal meetings were hosted by Spain (1995), Germany (2000) and Sweden (2002).

       Contact: Emanuela Calabrini, DESA/Division for the Advancement of Women/Women's Rights Section, Tel 1212 963 8814.

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Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Third Session
Theme: "Indigenous Women"
New York, 10-21 May 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/pfii/index.html

      United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will open the third session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, scheduled to meet from 10 to 21 May at United Nations Headquarters in New York. This year's session will focus on indigenous women, who, together with indigenous girls, represent the some of the most vulnerable and victimized peoples in the world. Some 1,500 people representing more than 500 indigenous groups worldwide are expected to attend this year's session.

Theme: Indigenous Women

      Indigenous Women has been chosen as the theme of the Third Session because of the central importance of women to indigenous cultures and in recognition of their special needs and vulnerabilities. As keepers of gender specific traditional knowledge and culture, it is mainly through the indigenous woman that traditional language and culture is transmitted from one generation to the next. Her well-being is critical to the survival and prosperity of indigenous peoples and their unique and precious cultures in a globalizing world, and her vulnerability has been amply demonstrated.

High Level Panel and Dialogue, 10 May

      The afternoon of the first day, a High-level Panel and Dialogue on Women will be addressed by the Second Vice-President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Mrs. Noeli Pocaterra, and Mrs. Mary Robinson, Chairperson of the Council of Women World Leaders, Executive Director of the Ethical Globalization Initiative, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and former President of Ireland. Also participating will be Permanent Forum Member and Vice-Chairperson Madame Njuma Ekundanayo; Mrs. Kyung-Wha Kang, Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women; and Ms. Stella Tamang, Chairperson of the International Indigenous Women's Caucus. The Panel will be chaired by Mr. Ole Henrik Magga, chairperson of the Permanent Forum. Observers representing Member States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, indigenous peoples' organizations and non-governmental organizations are invited to take part in the dialogue with the panelists and Members of the Forum.

Other related events

      Also scheduled for the session are numerous films, presentations, exhibitions and panel discussions, focusing on a variety of topics as biological diversity, genetic technologies, labour rights, indigenous connectivity, and traditional knowledge and peace-building. An exhibition mounted by the Department of Public Information and the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations will be opened at a cultural event and reception on Tuesday, 11 May, at 6:30 p.m. in the Public Lobby of the Visitor's Entrance.

      Contact: Elissavet Stamatopoulou, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1917 367 5100.

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Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, 2004 Regular Session
10-28 May 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/committee.htm

       The Committee will consider 59 deferred applications, 100 new applications of the organizations applying for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and 50 quadrennial reports of the non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the ECOSOC.

       The Committee will be provided with the unprecedented input of 22 non-governmental organizations including coalitions from around the world for the 2004 High Level and Coordination Segment of the Economic and Social Council.

       The input to the High Level Segment includes recommendations to eradicate poverty in the LDCs from the first NGO/Civil Society Forum and Panel held in New York on 18 March 2004. This Forum was jointly sponsored by UNDESA NGO Section, OHRLLS, CONGO, WFUNA and the LDC Watch. Participants included about 150 NGOs as well as some representatives of Governments and business community. Through this report recommendations by civil society from the perspective of its unique community based and grassroot level experience would be submitted for consideration by Governments at the ministerial High Level Segment of ECOSOC on 28-30 June 2004.

       The contribution to the Coordination Segment includes recommendations to strengthen rural service center, including institutions and mechanisms for local and regional planning, as endorsed by the ECOSOC Coordination Segment in July 2003. The Forum was organized by FOCA in participation with national and international, State and Federal authorities, Municipalities, universities, practitioners and organizations of civil society in fulfillment of the Open City concept. Through this Forum a Brasilia Declaration was adopted and focused on the role of civil society in sustaining rural development, improving agricultural productivity and achieving the 7th Millennium Development Goal.

       The NGO Section is cooperating with the Group of 77 Secretariat to organize and hold an event celebrating four decades of solidarity for development. ABONG, a network of Brazilian NGOs, is assisting in organizing the Civil Society Forum which will be convened from 11 to 17 June 2004 in the Anhembi Conference Centre, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

     Contact: Hanifa Mezoui, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, NGO Section, Tel. 1212 963 8652.

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Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Third Session
New York, 24 May-4 June 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/rights/ahc3.htm

      The Third Session will be held from 24 May to 4 June 2004. The Working Group of the Ad Hoc Committee met from 5 to 16 January 2004 and prepared a draft convention that will be discussed at this upcoming meeting.

      Contact: Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 3256, Fax 1212 963 0111.

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Economic and Social Council, Substantive Session of 2004
New York, 28 June-23 July 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/

       High-level Segment
       New York, 28-30 June 2004

       http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/hl2004/index.htm

      The theme for the 2004 ECOSOC high-level segment will be: "Resources mobilization and enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010." As part of the high-level segment on 28 June 2004, an investment promotion forum will be organized. The investment promotion forum will seek to identify best practices in mobilizing investment for poverty reduction in the LDCs and it will include as participants Ministers and other representatives of Member States, heads of UN agencies and representatives of the business sector and civil society.

      In order to provide support for the theme, DESA organized preparatory events on 17 February and 17-18 March 2004 to allow for all stakeholders to examine the theme in terms of the overarching goal of the Brussels Programme of Action to eradicate poverty and reach sustained economic growth and sustainable development in the LDCs.

      The proceedings of the 17 February 2004 event were reported in DESA News, Vol. 8, No. 2, March-April 2004 .

      On 17 and 18 March 2004, the Council convened its second preparatory meeting which featured country-level presentations by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Benin and Chairman, Group of LDCs; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau; the Minister for Planning, Development and Reconstruction of the Republic of Burundi; theVice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Finance of Timor Leste; the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United States; and the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations. The analysis of the specific country situations enabled the Council to better understand the development constrains faced by LDCs and the ways to overcome them both by domestic policies and through international cooperation.

      The ministerial roundtables provided an excellent opportunity to analyze policies and measures at the global and national levels conducive for resources mobilization for achieving poverty eradication in the LDCs. The opening remarks by Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, which were delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs of DESA Mr. Patrizio Civili, focused on two major issues confronting many of the LDCs today: the vicious cycle of conflict in which many of the LDCs are trapped; and dependency on primary commodity exports. With the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Burundi and Guinea-Bissau, ECOSOC has established a role in international support to African post-conflict countries. The Group on Burundi, established in August 2003, recently presented its report to ECOSOC, calling for support to the country in the transition phase and making recommendations on the way forward. The Group on Guinea-Bissau continues to play an important role in mobilizing support to the Transitional Government.

Special Meeting of ECOSOC to Assess the Work of the ECOSOC Ad hoc Advisory Groups on African countries Emerging from Conflicts
3 May 2004

      In July this year, during its substantive session, the Council will make an assessment of its mechanism of ad hoc advisory groups on African countries emerging from conflicts. In preparation, the Council will focus on lessons learned from the work of the two Ad Hoc Advisory Groups that have been created so far: the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Guinea-Bissau and Burundi. The establishment of the two Groups has given new opportunities to ECOSOC to play a significant role in post-conflict recovery issues. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea-Bissau, the Minister for Planning, Development and Reconstruction of Burundi and representative of United Nations Agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions will take part.

Panel on reform of the Economic and Social Council
7 May 2004

      On 7 May 2004, from 3-6 p.m. the Council will hold an informal panel discussion on "The reform of the UN ECOSOC". The panel will be moderated by Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. José Antonio Ocampo and it will strive to identify new economic and social challenges facing the world today with a focus on the capacity of the ECOSOC to address such challenges. Among the panelists will be H.E. Mr. Gert Rosenthal, Permanent Representative of Guatemala and former President of ECOSOC; Professor Ivan Šimonovic, University of University of Zagreb School of Law and former Permanent Representative of Croatia and President of ECOSOC; Mr. Jonathan Moore, Associate to the Harvard University Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Public Policy and former Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations; and Professor Edward Luck, Director of the Columbia University Center on International Organization.

ECOSOC panel discussion on gender mainstreaming in the work of United Nations system intergovernmental bodies
22 June 2004

      On 22 June 2004, the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and the Division for the Advancement of Women, will carry out a panel discussion on "Gender mainstreaming in the work of United Nations intergovernmental bodies", to support preparations for the Council's 2004 Coordination Segment.

      The panel will provide an opportunity to share experiences on lessons learned, good practices and challenges ahead with regard to gender mainstreaming in selected sectoral areas falling within the responsibility of intergovernmental bodies. Discussions also intend to draw attention to efforts already undertaken in the intergovernmental bodies to incorporate gender perspectives, and to identify and discuss constraints to gender mainstreaming, as well as what more could be done in the future.

      The panel will be the occasion for ECOSOC to review how far United Nations intergovernmental bodies have gone to implement its guidance on mainstreaming gender; assess whether the 1997 agreed conclusions remain a useful framework for mainstreaming gender; discuss ways and means to improve this framework and how to link this framework to the Millennium Development Goals and other outcomes since 1997.

Panel on SIDS
10 June 2004

      On 10 June 2004, the ECOSOC will hold a panel discussion on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to enable the Council to engage itself with the preparations for the 10 year review of the Barbados Plan of Action on SIDS.

Meeting of the chairpersons of the functional commissions
19 July 2004

      A meeting of the chairpersons of the Functional Commissions with the members of ECOSOC will take place on 19 July 2004, from 3-6 p.m. The focus of the discussion will be on the working methods of the functional commissions, particularly within the context of their implementation of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits as mandated in GA resolution 57/270B.

     Contact: Sarbuland Khan, Director, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1212 963 4628.

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Outcomes

Commission for Social Development, Forty-second Session
New York, 4-13 February 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/csd/csocd2004.htm

       At its forty-second session, the Commission for Social Development considered three topics under its agenda and multi-year programme of work, namely the priority theme, "Improving Public Sector Effectiveness"; the review of relevant United Nations plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups; and emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development: International migration and migrants from a social perspective.

       In respect of the priority theme, the Commission adopted a resolution in which it recommended the endorsement of its agreed conclusions thereon by the Economic and Social Council. In these conclusions, the Commission, inter alia, stresses that Governments have the primary responsibility for the provision of social services to enhance social development so as to contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals.

       Aside from holding a general debate on the priority theme, the Commission held a panel discussion on "Improving public sector effectiveness".

       Also under the priority theme, the Commission recommended to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of a draft resolution entitled "Implementation of the social objectives of the New Partnership for Africa's Development", in which the Council would, inter alia, welcome the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as a programme of the African Union for peace and sustainable development that embodies the vision and commitment of all African Governments and peoples. It would stress the need for renewed and political will at the national, regional and international levels to invest in people and their well-being so as to achieve the objectives of social development.

       In connection with its review of plans and programmes of action pertaining to the situation of social groups, the Commission considered draft resolutions relating to older persons, persons with disabilities and the family. Regarding older persons, the Commission recalled that the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing requested the systematic review of its implementation by Member States as being essential for its success, that the modalities of review and appraisal should be decided as soon as possible, and that the General Assembly requested the Commission for Social Development to address the issue of the periodicity and format of the review of the implementation at its forty-second session. To promote wider awareness of modalities for a bottom-up approach to review and appraisal, a panel discussion was organized in order to bring before the Commission experts with knowledge and experience of participatory methodologies.

       The Commission then adopted a resolution on modalities for review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing that, inter alia, decides that the Commission would undertake review and appraisal every five years, with each review and appraisal cycle to focus on one of the priority directions identified in the Madrid Plan.

       With regard to persons with disabilities, the Commission also recommended to the Economic and Social Council the adoption of two draft resolutions. The first, regarding the further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities, and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities, welcomes the work of the Special Rapporteur on Disability of the Commission for Social Development; would recommend to the General Assembly to consider the suggested supplement to the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities contained in the annex of the report (E/CN.5/2004/4), with a view to completing its consideration at its 59th session; and invites the Special Rapporteur to contribute to the consideration by the General Assembly of the suggested supplement. The second draft resolution, regarding the comprehensive and integral international convention to promote and protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, requests the Commission for Social Development to continue to contribute to the process of negotiation of a draft convention.

       The Commission recommended to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, the adoption of a draft resolution concerning the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family and beyond, in which the Assembly would, inter alia, urge Governments to continue to take sustained actions at all levels concerning family issues, including applied studies and research, to promote the role of families in development and to develop concrete measures and approaches to address national priorities.

       As part of its consideration of the agenda item on "emerging issues, trends and new approaches to issues affecting social development", the Commission heard a panel presentation on the main findings of the Third International Forum for Social Development which had taken place in October 2003. The subject of the meeting was "International migration and migrants from a social perspective". Also under this item, the Commission held a panel discussion on "International migration and migrants from a social perspective".

       In response to General Assembly resolution 57/270B, in which the Assembly requested each functional commission to examine its methods of work in order to better pursue implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits on the basis of a report with recommendations to be submitted by the Secretary-General to each functional commission, the Commission considered the Report of the Secretary-General on the Review of the methods of work of the Commission and held an exchange of views. The Commission noted the Report, took note of the views expressed during the session, and decided to continue consideration and discussion of the methods of work at its 43rd session.

       The Commission was also invited to review the proposed strategic framework for social policy and development for the biennium 2006-2007 and to provide its comments thereon.

       Finally, the Commission recommended that the Economic and Social Council approve the provisional agenda and documentation for its forty-third session in 2005.

     Contact: Johan Scholvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 4667.

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Commission on the Status of Women, Forty-eighth Session
New York, 1-12 March 2004
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/48sess.htm

       On 1 March, the Commission held a High-level Round Table on the theme: "Gaps and challenges in measuring progress in implementation, in the context of the review and appraisal of implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly by the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-ninth session in 2005." The round table was organized in collaboration with the Statistical Commission (which held its thirty-fifth session from 2-5 March 2004.) This was the first such practical collaboration between functional commissions. The round table was co-chaired by the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, and the Vice-Chair and Chair-Designate of the Statistical Commission. Thirty- two high-level representatives to the Commission on the Status of Women from capitals (Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and heads of national machineries) participated, as well as three Ambassadors, four delegates to the Statistical Commission and invited representatives from six United Nations entities and three non-governmental organizations. The round table provided a unique opportunity for interactive dialogue between users and producers of statistics. Participants shared practical experiences, lessons learned, good practices and gaps and challenges in measuring progress towards the achievement of gender equality. A Chairpersons' summary will be included in the report of the Commission on the Status of Women.

       Expert panels were held on the two thematic issues before the Commission: "The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality" and "Women's equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building". The very good expert presentations were followed by interactive dialogue where participants shared experiences, lessons learned and good practice examples and raised questions and areas requiring further attention. Chairpersons' summaries from the two panels will be included in the report of the Commission.

       A total of 110 speakers participated in the General Debate. These included representatives of 82 Member States, 2 Observer States, 12 entities of the United Nations, 3 intergovernmental organizations and 11 non-governmental organizations. The speakers included 14 Ministers, 3 Vice-Ministers and 18 Ambassadors, as well as Permanent Secretaries and heads of national machineries.

       The Commission adopted agreed conclusions on the two thematic issues. The agreed conclusions on "The role of men and boys in achieving gender equality" focused on the need to raise awareness of men and boys through education and upbringing, encouraging the sharing of domestic responsibilities including caring roles, and promoting an increased role for men and boys in eliminating violence against women and preventing HIV/AIDS. The agreed conclusions draw significantly from the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/2004/9) and contain essentially new text.

       The agreed conclusions on "Women's equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building" focus on conflict prevention, peace processes and elections and reconstruction and rehabilitation in post-conflict situations. The agreed conclusions draw significantly from the report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/2004/10) and, to a more limited extent, from the reports of the expert group meetings organized by the Division and OSAGI on peace agreements and post-conflict electoral processes, respectively. The agreed conclusions are essentially new text.

       The Commission adopted five resolutions by consensus: on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan; women, the girl-child and HIV/AIDS; mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programmes in the United Nations system; revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW); and preparations for the forty-ninth session of the Commission. Two resolutions were adopted by vote: on the situation and assistance to Palestinian women (39 to 1,with one abstention); and the release of women and children taken hostage, including those subsequently imprisoned, in armed conflicts (41 to 1). A decision was adopted on the working methods of the Commission on the Status of Women.

       The resolution on the preparations for the review and appraisal, mandated in the multi-year programme of work of the Commission at its forty-ninth session in 2005, called for a focus on implementation, including through the expanded use of interactive dialogue and with broad-based participation of governmental delegations at the highest levels and of civil society and organizations in the United Nations system. The Commission recommended that ECOSOC recommend to the General Assembly to convene a high-level plenary during the Commission's session in March, to which the Commission could transfer its general debate. The bureau was requested to continue the practice of periodically convening open-ended sessions to consult with interested Member States on the preparation for the review and appraisal.

       Following the presentation of the report of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women, the Commission decided to take note of the report of the Working Group and to include it in the report of the Commission. The Commission also considered the future functioning of its communications procedure on the basis of a report of the Secretary-General (E/CN.6/2004/11 and Addenda). While there was agreement that the procedure needed to be made more effective, there was no consensus on how this should be achieved. The Commission decided, on the basis of an oral proposal by the Chairperson, to postpone consideration of " the future work of the Working Group on Communications on the Status of Women, the report of the Secretary-General and the different views and proposals put forward by Member States" until its fiftieth session in 2006.

       Over 1.000 non-governmental organizations, representing the five regions, attended the Commission. A total of 176 side events were organized. The DAW website received over 200,000 page views during the session.

       A panel of international experts to commemorate International Women's Day, 8 March, was organized by the Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality during the Commission. The theme of the panel, which was opened by the Secretary-General, was "Women and HIV/AIDS".

     Contact: Carolyn Hannan, Director Division for the Advancement of Women, 1212 963 3104.

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Statistical Commission, Thirty-fifth Session
New York, 2-5 March 2004
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/sc2004.htm

The thirty-fifth session of the Statistical Commission was well attended, with 51 member countries participating in the session as observers in addition to the 24 members. At the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, the Commission considered a report on the global implementation of these principles and reaffirmed their broad application by all national statistical systems. There was a lively debate on development indicators and the Commission concluded that “further investment in the development of sustainable statistical capacity, especially in countries with the least developed statistical services, is required”. Further topics discussed included the planning of the next round of population and housing censuses (2005-2014); a review of international programmes on the production of health statistics; the preparation of a handbook on poverty statistics; the updating of the 1993 System of National Accounts; indicators on information and communication technologies. The final report is available on the Statistics Division’s website at  http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/doc04/Report-English.pdf

Contact:  Stefan Schweinfest, Statistics Division, Tel. 1212 963 4849.

Commission on Population and Development, Thirty-seventh Session
New York, 22-26 March 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/population/cpd/comm2004.htm

      The special theme of the 37th session of the CPD was the 10-year review and appraisal of the progress made in achieving the goals and objectives of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).   Four resolutions were adopted by the Commission, namely, (i) provisional agenda for the 38th (2005) session; (ii) working methods of the Commission; (iii) special themes for 2005 and 2006; and (iv) work programme on population.

      The Commission confirmed that the special theme for 2005 would be population, development, and HIV/AIDS, with special emphasis on poverty.  The theme for 2006 would be international migration and development.

      In addition to the regular substantive reports, a new substantive report was added for the 2005 session, on the contribution of the ICPD Programme of Action to implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and other development goals. With respect to the resolution on working methods, the Commission decided, beginning at the next session, to elect its Bureau at the end of each session.  There was some discussion on the general way of addressing the working methods of the CPD. The Commission session was suspended on the afternoon of 26 March.

     Contact: Larry Heligman, Population Division, Tel. 1212 963 3208.

 

Committee for Development Policy, Sixth Session
New York, 29 March-2 April 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/policy/devplan/index.html

      The Committee discussed measures to improve resource mobilization and enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the Decade 2001-2010 (the theme adopted by ECOSOC for its forthcoming high-level segment in late June). The Committee also dealt with question of how to evaluate progress towards good governance, development and poverty reduction, in the context of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

      In addition, the Committee addressed issues associated with the Committee's 2003 triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The session included useful presentations (and exchange of ideas) by selected international organizations on effective benefits available to LDC, which contributed to the Committee's proposals on smooth transition strategies for countries that graduate from the list of LDCs.

      The major conclusions and recommendations of the three working groups set up during the Committee's session to address those three themes are summarized below.

Resource mobilization and enabling environment for poverty eradication in the context of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the Decade 2001-2010

      The Committee noted that economic growth and poverty reduction require resource mobilization and that amount of resources will depend on a variety of factors, including the development of effective partnerships with donors allowing for increased quantity and quality of aid, as well as the ability to attract private capital flows. Among the challenges to domestic resource mobilization are incomplete financial sector reform, weak fiscal policy, capital flight and limited formal savings, as well as external debt and difficulties in generating new exports. Macroeconomic stability, enhancing the impact of aid and attracting FDI are some of the challenges to mobilizing external resources, according to the Committee.

      The Committee made several recommendations. Among these was institutionalizing appropriate governance systems, taking a number of measures to mobilize domestic resources, stimulating domestic savings and improving public financial management and accountability, taking measures to reduce capital flight, improving the management of remittances and debt, as well as implementing policies for the integrated management of loans and grants and coordinating ODA. It was also noted that channeling investment to the areas where the poor are most active was a key element in a sustainable growth-enhancing strategy for poverty reduction.

Commitment to good governance, development and poverty reduction

      The Committee found that the concept of good governance could be instrumental for the goals of poverty reduction only if the process of measurement and assessment is not biased in favour of the "external" criteria relevant to the donors, investors and international monitoring bodies, but is instead meaningful from the "internal" perspective of the country, especially regarding the poor. Thus, in designing institutions and mechanisms for good governance in developing countries an interactive process between donor and recipient countries is of value. On the one hand, outside impositions from donor countries have often been a failure when they are insensible to the cultural and historical peculiarities of the recipient countries. On the other hand, recipient countries need the assistance from donor countries to bring the characteristics of their institutions and social, political and economic processes closer to those required by good governance.

      The Committee described how the concept of good governance is still evolving. It is part of the conceptional competition, the debate on concepts to find answers to serious problems, to further sustainable development and to reduce poverty. The least developed countries should actively participate in this discourse on good governance, and they should develop expertise and capacity for doing so. Good governance should be part of the national policy agenda of these countries and they should try to make the concept of good governance productive and useful for their specific problems, particularly their low income, low human assets, and high vulnerability.

      A specific proposal of the Committee was that the least developed countries should establish a forum to which they may invite development partners. The forum would serve for the exchange of experiences and best practices and for monitoring their progress towards better governance. Another proposal was that institutions that establish global norms and standards for aspects of good governance should also invite the least developed countries to participate in their deliberations.

Matters related to the 2003 triennial review of the list of Least Developed Countries

      The Committee confirmed the conclusion of its fifth session that Cape Verde and Maldives qualified for graduation from the list of LDCs and recommended (to ECOSOC) that they be graduated from the LDC category. At the same time, the Committee stressed the necessity to put in place a smooth transition strategy by both the countries themselves and the international community. In that regard, the Committee recommended that ECOSOC invite all development partners - including relevant organizations of the United Nations system, OECD/DAC countries and members of WTO - to facilitate this transition, in particular through the provision and/or maintenance of development financing, trade-related assistance and technical cooperation, as well as the maintenance, for a transition period, of existing preferential rules applicable to LDCs, in order to avoid a negative shock from graduation.

      Amongst the measures to ensure a smooth transition for countries graduated from LDC status, the Committee agreed on an innovative proposal for the United Nations to convene an Ad hoc Country Advisory Group, in which the graduated country, in cooperation with its development partners, would identify measures - in the areas of trade-related preferences, development finance and technical cooperation - to ensure that the development prospects of graduated countries are maintained. The guiding principle of this initiative is that specific transition support measures, monitoring arrangements and the period of transition will be decided on a case-by-case basis so that the development progress of graduated countries is not interrupted or reversed.

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     Contact: Iam Kinniburgh, Director, Development Policy and Planning Office, Tel. 1212 963 4838.


Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), Third Session
New York, 29 March-2 April 2004
http://www.unpan.org/cepa-3.asp

      The 3rd Session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration took place from 29 March - 2 April 2004. Eighteen out of twenty-four experts participated at this session. The Bureau of the Committee, for this session, was composed of: Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi (Uganda); Marie-Françoise Bechtel (France); Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira (Brazil); Wang Xiaochu (China); Jocelyne Bourgon (Canada); and José Oscar Monteiro (Mozambique).

      In accordance with the Council decision 2003/60, the Committee focused on six substantive items. Key substantive findings are given below:

      1. On "Revitalizing public administration as a strategic action for sustainable human development", the Committee noted that even with the evolution of public administration practices over time and the more profound shifts associated with newer approaches such as New Public Management (NPM), the core values and mission of public administration remain unchanged and well-accepted, such as the nature of the public goods and common interest. Public administration remains the pre-eminent locus and responsible guarantor of the public interest and of providing public service. Public administration is a vital player within public management and governance and, therefore, it needs to be revamped, revitalized and refocused, given the centrality of its position.

       2. On "The Role of Human Resources in Revitalizing Public Administration", the Committee observed that the human resources are the life blood of public administration which depends on an enabling environment supported by quality staff who take pride in serving the public, demonstrate professionalism and uphold the values, ethics, integrity and accountability of public service. The development of the human capacity to support public administration needs a long-term perspective and commitment from government.

       3. On "The Role of the Public Sector in Advancing the Knowledge Society", the Committee noted that a knowledge society must be productive, environmentally sustainable and socially coherent. In this context, it is apparent that the next big question in the debate on governance will be reinventing a more active role for civil society in the context of organic linkages between civil society, government and business.

       4. On "Strengthening Public Administration for the Millennium Development Goals: A Partnership-Building Approach", the Committee expressed its views that enabling partnerships, both with the civil society organizations and the private sector, are important for pursuing, on the one hand, the pro-poor policies and for transparency and accountability in public-sector budgeting and resource allocation, and on the other, investments for economic growth.

       5. On "Public Sector Institutional Capacity for African Renewal", the Committee noted that developing institutions of governance and public administration in Africa is critical for responding to the momentous challenges of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in general, and of poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa in particular. Without overcoming obstacles in governance and public administration, Africa will continue to lag behind in the achievement of the MDGs.

       6. On "Analysis of Existing Basic Data on the Public Sector", the Committee stressed that the government expenditure and consumption data compiled from the IMF and the World Bank sources present an incomplete picture due to the absence or omissions of data from the local governments and the public enterprises. However, even this level of data highlights some interesting trends in governance performance such as low tax/GDP ratio; high central government concentration, etc. Governments need to compile consolidated data to help measure accurately the cost-effectiveness of service delivery and to indicate efficiency in domestic resource mobilization, both of which are vital for achieving the MDGs.

      With respect to the work of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in public administration, the Committee made a number of recommendations:

      1. The Committee reviewed and unanimously endorsed the Strategic Framework for the period 2006-2007 drafted for submission to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session;

      2. The Committee took note of the in-depth evaluation by the Office of the Internal Oversight Services of the Programme on Public Administration, Finance and Development and concurred with its recommendations;

      3. The Committee took note with appreciation of the UNPAN accomplishments achieved upon the completion of the first phase of the Programme. Recognizing the imperative role that UNPAN plays as a central part of a global network of public administration organizations, CEPA has welcomed the initiation of the second phase of its implementation;

      4. The Committee underscored the need for better dissemination of the Secretariat's outputs and promotion of its activities in the area of public administration;

      5. Noting the close cooperation of the United Nations Programme on Public Administration, Finance and Development with UNDP at both country and regional levels, the Committee encouraged further discussion in order to enhance it; and

      6. In taking note of the Report of the Secretary-General on Technical Cooperation activities, the Committee emphasized the importance of synergy between normative and technical cooperation work, and that the Secretariat should continue implementing technical cooperation as an essential feeding mechanism into the deliberations of the UN policy-making organs.

      During the session, a half-day meeting was organized to allow the Government of Mexico, together with DESA, to report to the missions and members of the Committee on the outcome of the 5th Global Forum held in Mexico. In addition, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea was invited to inform the participants on the preparation of the 6th Global Forum to be held in Seoul.

      Also, several members of the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN) were invited to speak, highlighting their major initiatives undertaken in the area of public administration.

       During the session, the Committee devoted ample time to discussing several important issues on the methods of work of the Committee itself. Additionally, it made some recommendations concerning the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the 50th resumed session of the General Assembly.

      a) To hold the next Global Forum on Reinventing Government at UN Headquarters in 2006;

      b) To devote the High-Level Segment of ECOSOC in 2006 to the subject entitled "A Service-oriented Public Administration for the Achievement of the MDGs";

      c) To celebrate the Public Service Day and Public Service Awards in a more visible manner, with a view to highlighting the value of public service and its positive achievements.

       Since public administration acts as the main facilitator in the implementation of the MDGs, ECOSOC should consider how to better leverage and integrate the work of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration in the intergovernmental processes, and particularly in the work and deliberations of other UN bodies.

       The meeting between the Bureau of CEPA and Bureau of ECOSOC was held on Tuesday, 30 March, chaired by Vice-Chairman H.E. Mr. Yashar Aliyev (Azerbaijan). The discussion focused on themes for the High-level Segment of ECOSOC and possible topics for the 4th Session of CEPA (2005) in the area of public administration. The Chairman of ECOSOC concluded the meeting by indicating that the Bureau of ECOSOC welcomes the idea of holding a High-level Segment of ECOSOC on a specific topic in public administration.

     Contact: Guido Bertucci, Director, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 1212 963 5859.

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Special high-level Meeting of the ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods Institutions and World Trade Organization
New York, 26 April 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ecosoc/index.html

       In a continued multilateral effort to further international development goals, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) hosted a day-long special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and -– for the first time -- the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

       A formally mandated part of the follow-up to the Conference on Financing for Development, the meeting built on a similar event last April by focusing on the overall subject of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus”, by which the international community asserted its resolve to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in the context of a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system.

       In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the slow pace of implementation and lack of coherence were the problems the international community faced today -- two years after the International Conference on Financing for Development, which took place in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico. In the area where progress was needed most -- trade -- the record was mostly disappointing. Indeed, with the failure in Cancún and a growing resort to bilateral trade agreements, “we have backtracked significantly”, he said. For all the problems the world was facing, it remained true today that almost every country could reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, as long as reforms were implemented and adequate external support was provided.

       The meeting was informed about the meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions that were held in Washington, D.C., over the previous weekend. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, reported on the meeting of the Development Committee, a joint ministerial body of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the outcome of a ministerial-level meeting of the International Monetary and Finance Committee was presented by Augustin Carstens, designated representative of that body’s Chair.

       Following opening statements, various aspects of the main theme were discussed in six round tables addressing the impact of private investment and trade-related issues on financing for development; the role of multilateral institutions in reaching the Millennium Development Goals; and debt sustainability and debt relief. Co-chairing those interactive discussions along with Ministers from the Netherlands, Pakistan, Madagascar, Norway, Nicaragua and Albania, were the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Deputy Director-General of WTO; the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Dean of the Board of the World Bank; the Senior Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Council had before it a note by the Secretary-General , prepared by DESA, which provides background information and raises a number of questions for consideration at this year’s six round tables.

       By agreeing on the Monterrey Consensus in 2002, the international community asserted its resolve to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development in the context of a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system. The text concludes with a commitment to strengthen the United Nations as the main organization to revamp the international financial system, working with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WTO. Reports were presented by the Chairs of the round tables, followedby the State members, by civil society representatives and further exchange of views.

      In his closing statement, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, thanked the participants of the debate and said that preparations for today’s event had been carried out through joint efforts of the international community, civil society and the private sector. Meetings had taken place between various country representatives and representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions and international agencies.

      The President of ECOSOC, Ms. Rasi, said the round tables had provided a lively and well informed discussion of key policy issues from different perspectives.

      Contact: Oscar de Rojas, Director, Financing for Development Office, Tel. 1212 963 2587.

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Expert Group Meetings

United Nations ICT Task Force, Regional Meeting on Internet Governance
Shanghai, China, 21 May 2004

      The Regional Meeting, one of the most significant parallel sessions of The 4th Annual Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region (CIAPR IV/ Shanghai Forum, 20-21 May 2004), will be organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations ICT Task Force Asia Regional Network and co-sponsored by the United Nations ICT Task Force and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

      The meeting will be the first of a series of regional thematic meetings initiated by the United Nations ICT Task Force since the Global Forum on Internet Governance held on 25-27 March 2004, which will contribute to the to the Secretary-General world-wide consultation process on Internet Governance as requested by the World Summit on the Information Society held in Geneva in December 2003.

      The meeting will focus on the themes of the public policy issues relating to Internet Governance global trend and future development, the infrastructure and environment building, the existing challenges and solutions and other related issues.

      Participants will include representatives from governments, international organizations private sector and civil society organizations, members of the United Nations ICT Task Force and its Regional Networks, leaders from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and Shanghai Municipal Government, and other officials from the region.

       Contact: Serge Kapto, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1917 367 2431.

 

Meeting on Equity, Inequalities and Interdependence
New York, 17-18 June 2004

      This closed meeting is organized by UNDESA and will bring together authors of regional studies on Equity, Inequalities and Interdependence commissioned to prepare for the Fourth International Forum for Social Development. Conceived within the context of the ten-year review of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development that will be undertaken by the Commission for Social Development in February 2005, this meeting of the Forum will be focused on the evolution of various aspects of equity and inequality in an increasingly interdependent world. Each expert in charge of the preparation of the regional studies is asked to analyse the trends in equity and equality since the mid-1990s, and reflect on the causes of these trends, and to comment on options open to countries committed to the pursuit of the objectives enounced by the Social Summit.

      Contact Jacques Baudot, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 4596.

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Department of Economic and Social Affairs Task Work on Conflict Prevention, Peace-building and Development

Panels, symposia and events

International Day of Families (2004), 13 May 2004
Panel on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in ActionNew York, 25-27 May 2004
United Nations Public Service Day and United Nations Public Service Awards, New York, 23 June 2004

Expert Groups

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on "Unlocking the Human Potential for Public Sector Performance", Florence, Italy, 6 to 8 May 2004
Ad Consultative Meeting on Priorities in Innovating Governance and Public Administration in the Mediterranean RegionNaples, Italy, 17 - 20 May 2004
Review Meeting of the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development 2004 New York, 20-21 May 2004

Department of Economic and Social Affairs Work on Conflict Prevention, Peace-building and Development
Proposed Programme of Work
 

      A DESA Task Force was established in March to develop a departmental work programme on conflict prevention, peace-building and development . The Task Force based its work on a survey of DESA ongoing activities in that area, and produced a proposed work programme.

       Contact: Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1212 963 8415.

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Panels, symposia and events

International Day of Families (2004)
13 May 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family

      The theme for 2004 is "Observance of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family".

      The International Day of Families provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families as basic units of society as well as to promote appropriate action. The Day can become a powerful mobilizing factor on behalf of families in all countries, which may avail themselves of this opportunity and demonstrate support for family issues appropriate to each society.

      The focus of activities for the observance of the tenth anniversary remains at the national and local levels. In many cases, national coordination mechanisms for the tenth anniversary were established by the Head of State or Government.

      Contact: Amr Ghaleb, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 3238.

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Panel on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Action
New York, 25-27 May 2004

http://www.bcun.org
http://www.cebit-america.com

      The United Nations ICT Task Force in partnership with the Business Council for the United Nations will convene a panel showcasing "ICT partnerships in action" during the the yearly CeBIT trade fair which will be held in New York from next month.

      The panel will bring in representatives the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the Wireless Internet Institute (W2i), the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) and others, to discuss how different types of public-private partnerships may work and be created.

      Contact: Samuel Danofsky, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1917 367 2424.

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United Nations Public Service Day and United Nations Public Service Awards
New York, 23 June 2004

http://www.unpan.org/dpepa_psaward.asp

      Organized by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, the United Nations Public Service Day will be observed at UN Headquarters on 23 June. In conjunction with this Day, the United Nations Public Service Awards for 2004 will be presented to the selected winners from various countries worldwide. A video conferencing session will also be conducted to show how the UN Public Service Day is observed in the winners' countries.

      Contact: Haiyan Qian, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 1212 963 3393.

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Expert Group Meetings

Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on "Unlocking the Human Potential for Public Sector Performance"
Florence, Italy, 6 to 8 May 2004

      The Division for Public Administration and Development Management, in collaboration with the European University Institute, is organizing an Ad Hoc Expert Group Meeting on "Unlocking the Human Potential for Public Sector Performance", which will take place in Florence, Italy from 6 to 8 May 2004. The Meeting will also benefit from synergies drawn from cooperation with the International Personnel Management Association (IPMA-HR) which will be organizing its 29th International Symposium on Public Personnel Management in Florence, Italy from 9 to 13 May 2004.

      The overall objective of the Expert Group Meeting is to provide a platform for worldwide experts to present and discuss the role of human capital in revitalizing public administration at the national level, with particular focus on developing countries and transition economies. About 20 to 30 experts are expected to take part in this event and to benefit from knowledge-sharing. The Meeting will provide an opportunity for participants to present and discuss critical issues concerning the role of human capital in revitalizing public administration, with particular focus on developing countries and transition economies, and identify key current and emerging challenges and trends in human resources management in today's public sector environment and discuss lessons learned in this area.

      Contact: Adriana Alberti, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 1212 963 2299.

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Consultative Meeting on Priorities in Innovating Governance and Public Administration in the Mediterranean Region
Naples, Italy, 17-20 May 2004

      The Division for Public Administration and Development Management is organizing a Consultative Meeting on Priorities in Innovating Governance and Public Administration in the Mediterranean Region, which will take place from 17 to 20 May at Formez Training and Study Centre in Naples, Italy. The Meeting is organized in collaboration with Formez and in line with the activities of the Centre for Administrative Innovation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region (C.A.I.MED). The objective of the Meeting is to provide a platform for experts from the Mediterranean region to:

      1) Present and discuss the state of public administration in each beneficiary country (both weaknesses and strengths);

      2) Identify the priorities at subregional and regional levels;

      3) Present a comparative overview of the challenges in reforming governance in the Mediterranean countries, the beneficiaries of this programme, and in selected European countries; and

      4) Provide inputs for an Action Plan on the priorities of reform of governance in the region.

      This Meeting will be instrumental in comparing and contrasting the different national experiences of the region and in defining the priority areas of reform at the subregional and regional levels in order to promote more effective North-South and South-South cooperation and exchange of successful experiences. About 45 to 50 participants are expected to take part in this event and to benefit from knowledge-sharing.

      Contact: Adriana Alberti, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 212-963-2299.

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Review Meeting of the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development 2004
New York, 20-21 May 2004

       In accordance with resolution A/RES/54/210 on Women in Development adopted by the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly in 1999, the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) is preparing the 2004 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development, to be presented to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session. The World Survey will focus on migration and mobility from a gender perspective. As part of the Division's preparation, a Review Meeting of the draft World Survey will be convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Some 20 experts and selected representatives from the UN system and IOM have been invited to attend.

       Contact: Birgitte Alvarez-Rivero, DESA/Division for the Advancement of Women/Gender Analysis Section, Tel 1212 963 8400

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

Africa South of the Sahara  

Outcome of Interregional Consultative Meeting on National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing
Vienna, December 2003,First training programme, Senegal, March 2004

      An Interregional Consultative Meeting on National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing that was held in Vienna in December 2003. The meeting focused on identifying national implementation issues, producing strategy guidelines to mainstream ageing issues into national development agendas, and contributed to the development of a technical assistance programme to help build national capacity to implement the Madrid Plan of Action. As a result of the Meeting, a number of countries in attendance requested follow-up advisory/training services from the Social Integration Branch of the Division for Social Policy and Development of DESA, including Senegal, Bolivia, Kyrgystan and Kenya.

      A team from the Branch carried out the first training programme in Senegal in March 2004, during which approximately 20 employees from various Ministries worked on analyzing two major national documents for gaps in situation analysis, objectives and programmes from a mainstreaming perspective. Participants drafted implementation plans and monitoring indicators with a view to preparing a progress assessment report in six months for submission to their Ministers.

      Contacts: Rosemary Lane, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 5090 and Fatiha Serour, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 8379.

Meeting-cum-Training Workshop on Strengthening the Capacity of National Machineries for the Advancement of Women through the Effective use of ICTs
Dakar, Senegal, 24-28 May 2004

       The second in a series of five such meetings-cum-training workshops, funded through the Development Account, will bring together representatives of national machineries from French-speaking African countries. The first workshop took place in Namibia, 19-23 April, and developed the approach and methodology for the subsequent events. The series of meetings aims to strengthen the capacity of national machineries to effectively use ICTs to advocate for successful gender equality policies and act as catalysts for systematic use gender mainstreaming in all policies and programmes. It is anticipated that the workshops will result in the establishment of an e-based network of national machineries in Africa.

       Contact: Makiko Tagashira, DESA/Division for the Advancement of Women/Gender Analysis Section, Tel. 1212 963 4836.

Capacity-building in Conflict Management - Training of Trainers (TOT)
Kampala, Uganda, 31 May-19 June 2004
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan011117.pdf

      The Division for Public Administration and Development Management of DESA is organizing a Training of Trainers (TOT) session under its Capacity-Building in Conflict Management project (RAF/03/010) from 31 May - 19 June at the Uganda Management Institute in Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of this capacity-building initiative is to strengthen and expand the teaching of conflict management principles and practices in the curricula of universities, management institutes and other organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. This first of four "training of trainers" will be on "Developing Capacity for Conflict Analysis and Early Response". The training programme will consist of two weeks of introduction to the workshop material and experiential pedagogical skills for delivering it. The third week will consist of an actual training delivered to a local audience by the participants under the supervision of the TOT leaders.

      Contact: Gay Rosenblum-Kumar, Division for Public Administration and Development ManagementTel. 1212 963 8381.

Youth Roundtable and Expert Group Meeting on Strategies for Creating Urban Youth Employment: Solutions for Urban Youth in Africa
Nairobi, Kenya, 21-25 June 2004

http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/poverty/youth_egm2.htm

      The Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, is convening this expert group in collaboration with UN-HABITAT and the Youth Employment Network Secretariat. The meeting will bring together experts in youth employment from different regions of the world, as well as young people from African countries. The five-day meeting will begin with a youth preparatory roundtable on 21 June, followed by a three-day expert meeting on 22-24 June, with a concluding youth roundtable on 25 June. The meeting will be chaired by Mr Magatte Wade of Senegal who is a member of the Secretary-General's High-level panel of the Youth Employment Network.

      Contacts: Donald Lee, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 8762 or Julie Larsen, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1917 367 6036.


Asia and the Pacific

Fourth Annual Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region
Shanghai, China, 20-21 May 2004

      The Division for Public Administration and Development Management will organize for the fourth time, in cooperation with the Shanghai Municipal People's Government, the 4th Annual Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region (CIAPR IV), to be held in Shanghai, China from 20 - 21 May. The CIAPR IV will focus on the theme "ICT for Development: the Role of Local Government", including the issues of "Global Trends of Information Technology for Development and Its Application" and "Information Technology for Development - the Strategies of China". During the Forum, an IT Expo will be introduced to provide a wider, freer and more fruitful platform for all stakeholders to jointly face the future challenges with shared expertise and experiences. The Forum is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants worldwide.

      During the two-day Forum, DPADM will also conduct a panel on e-government which will address the issues of e-government contexts and trends, e-participation and knowledge development, to be held on 21 May. In conjunction with the Forum, DPADM will also hold the 6th UNPAN Interregional Consultative Meeting on 21 May which will discuss the role of the UNPAN members in the celebration of the United Nations Public Service Day (23 June) and promotion of the United Nations Public Service Awards, the enhancement of UNPAN content development, and the United Nations Regional Commissions' participation in the UNPAN network.

       Contact: Haiyan Qian, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 1212 963 3393.

Workshop on Youth in Poverty
Jakarta, Indonesia, 8-10 June 2004

       This workshop will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia and is organized by DESA in cooperation with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator. Youth are one of the groups most affected by poverty, preventing them to take part in society and built a stable life for themselves and their (future) families. Little information is available on the number of poor young people around the world and their movements in and out of poverty. The objective of the Workshop is to gain better understanding of these characteristics, and to contribute to the development of policies and programmes focusing on young people in poverty. This will be a regional workshop focusing on youth from Southeast Asia, where one of the largest concentrations of poor young people live.

      Contacts: Joop Theunissen, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 7763, or Charlotte van Hees, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1917 367 4053.


Latin America and the Caribbean

CEDAW Training Workshop and Judicial Colloquium
Nassau, The Bahamas, 17-21 May 2004

       The Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Government of The Bahamas, is holding a training workshop for government officials and a judicial colloquium on the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (the Convention). Government officials and judicial officers from fourteen countries in the Caribbean region have been invited to attend the two events. The training workshop will be attended by government officials responsible for reporting under article 18 of the Convention and is designed to enhance the capacity of government officials to prepare States parties' reports and to more effectively implement the Convention at the national level. The judicial colloquium, which will be attended by senior judicial officers, will focus on how international human rights norms, particularly those contained in the Convention, can be incorporated into judicial decision-making and the interpretation of laws at the domestic level. Both events will be held in Nassau, The Bahamas from 17-21 May 2004.

       Contact: Saras Jagwanth, DESA/Division for the Advancement of Women/Women's Rights Section, Tel. 1212 963 6052.

Fifth Caribbean Ministerial Consultation on "Regional Cooperation for E-government Capacity-Building"
Barbados, 17-18 June 2004

http://www.unpan.org/lacwig/latin-caribbean-working-group.asp

      The Division for Public Administration and Development Management of DESA and the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), a specialized institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), are organizing the Fifth Caribbean Ministerial Consultation on "Regional Cooperation for E-government Capacity-Building" to be held in Barbados from 17-18 June 2004. Within the context of reform of public administration in the Caribbean, the Consultation aims to provide a platform for further dialogue, commitment and closer cooperation at the regional level on government policies and strategies for the application of ICT in the public sector. Ministers and other high-level officials from the region will gather to discuss and adopt a Caribbean E-government Strategy and Action Plan, and initiate the establishment of partnerships for its implementation. This will be the fifth of a series of Caribbean Ministerial Consultations on Capacity-Building in Public Administration and Governance that DPADM and CARICAD have organized since May 2000 under the sponsorship of the Italian Government.

      Contact: Angela Capati-Caruso, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, WRS, Tel. 1212 963 5318.

Global Initiatives

Workshop on Open Access
Stockholm, 11-12 May 2004

http://www.wideopenaccess.net

      The United Nations ICT Task Force Working Group on Low Cost Access and Connectivity in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Kista IT-University will organize its second workshop on the topic of Open Access on 11-12 May in Stockholm. The workshop will identify successful solutions and standards for access networks providing open universal access ("First Mile"), as well as sustainable business models for operation and maintenance of such networks that could be disseminated as best practices.

      The goals of the workshop are to: 1) disseminate and discuss the concept of Open Communication and Open Networks; 2) disseminate case studies illustrating best practices for how to provide first mile access to more users; 3) discuss how academia, regulators and funding agents can stimulate and support entrepreneurs to provide access in new areas.

      Contact: Samuel Danofsky, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1917 367 2424.

 



Statistics
Forests
Population
Public Administration   
Social Development  
Information and Communication Technologies for Development

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

Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2003 web site
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/mi_coverfinal.htm

      This internet publication, now labeled an "unofficial working paper", complements the two-year-old Millennium Indicators Database site. The web site comprises the wealth of materials many parts of the Statistics Division and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs have pulled together with the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators last year. One of the objectives is to provide a solid benchmark and foundation for statistical reporting and interpretation of MDG indicators into and through the critical year 2005.

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS On-line
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs

       The Bulletin provides monthly statistics on 60 subjects from over 200 countries and areas, together with special tables illustrating important economic developments. Quarterly data for significant world and regional aggregates are included regularly.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/373
Vol. LVIII - No. 1
January 2004

      Special features in this issue: World shipbuilding; Civil aviation traffic: passenger-km, cargo net ton-km; Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/374
Vol. LVIII - No. 2
February 2004

       Special features in this issue: Indices of world industrial production by branches of industry and by regions; Producers' or wholesale price indices, 1990=100; Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Construction of new buildings; Total exports and imports by regions: volume and unit value indices and terms of trade.

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/375
Vol. LVIII - No. 3
March 2004

       Special features in this issue: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Selected series of world statistics.

      Contact: Gloria Cuaycong, Statistics Division, Tel. 1212 963 4865.

Indicators for Monitoring the Millennium Development Goals--Definitions, Rationale, Concepts and Sources
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/95
Sales No. E.03.XVII.18

      This publication from the United Nations Development Group contains complete and authoritative information on the concepts, definitions, implementation and sources of data for the 48 indicators selected by the United Nations for monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and targets of the Millennium Declaration, approved at the Millennium Summit at the United Nations in 2000. The United Nations uses these indicators to report annually on development progress toward the goals and targets and they are also suggested as a starting point for countries to prepare national reports on development goals. For each indicator this handbook provide a simple operational definition, the rationale for the indicator's selection, the method of computation, sources of data, references including Internet sites for data and methodologies, limitations and notes on gender issues and national and international agencies concerned with each topic.

      Contact: Robert Johnston, Statistics Division, Tel. 1212 963 4557.

 Forests

Approaches for improving transfer of environmentally sound technologies for sustainable forest management

      The publication will explore the central role of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) in sustainable forest management and the transfer of ESTs for sustainable forest management (SFM) in the work of the UNFF. It will provide a framework for improving the transfer of ESTs, looking at barriers and opportunities affecting their successful transfer.

      Three case studies on barriers to and approaches for improving the transfer of ESTs for the sustainable management of mangrove forests, tropical forests, and temperate and boreal forests will be analyzed.

      Contact: Njeri Kariuki, Secretariat on the United Nations Forum on Forests, Tel. 1917 367 6048.

Population
http://www.unpopulation.org

      The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to announce the publication of two new reports on population estimates and projections:

      "World Urbanization Prospects: The 2003 Revision" presents the latest round of the United Nations estimates and projections of urban and rural populations for major areas, regions and countries of the world, large urban agglomerations and capital cities. The results have been issued as two wall charts, and as a highlights report containing first analyses and detailed tables. The report documents the dramatic growth of the world's urban population during the past 50 years and its expected further growth over the next three decades. The speed and scale of this growth, especially concentrated in the less developed regions, pose formidable challenges to individual countries as well as to the world community. In numbers, the world urban population, of three billion today, is expected to reach 5 billion by 2030. Projections show that over half the world population will live in urban areas by 2007, thus marking the first time in history that the world will have more urban residents than rural residents. With 35 million residents, Tokyo is by far the most populous urban agglomeration.

      "World Population in 2300" provides the new United Nations long-range projections of world population to the year 2300. These new results are ground-breaking in two respects: they extend the time horizon to 2300 (previous long-range projections were to 2150) and they include country projections (previously, long-range projections are available by continent only). According to the medium scenario of these projections (in which world fertility levels will eventually stabilize at around two children per woman), world population will rise from the current 6.3 billion persons to around 9 billion persons in 2300. However, even small variations in fertility levels will have enormous impacts in the long-term. As little as one-quarter of a child under the two-child norm, or one-quarter of a child above the norm, results in world population ranging from 2.3 billion (low scenario) to 36.4 billion (high scenario) in 2300.

      These reports, related wall charts, and instructions for ordering databases in Excel format, are available on the Population Division web site, http://www.unpopulation.org .

      Contact: Larry Heligman, Population Division, Tel. 1212 963 3208.

World Population Policies 2003
Sales No. E.04.XIII.3

http://www.unpopulation.org

      This publication contains the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available on the population policy situation for all Member and non-Member States of the United Nations. The report provides an overview of population policies for every country, as of 2003 and at mid-decade for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The study includes information on national population policies in relation to population growth, population age structure, fertility, mortality, spatial distribution and international migration. Population indicators for the corresponding years are also provided. The data are also being released in a user-friendly electronic format.

      Contact: Barry Mirkin, Population Division, Tel. 1212 963 2373.

 Public Administration 

Governance World Watch
http://www.unpan.org/major_development.asp

      DPADM will issue nos. 62 and 63 of the Governance World Watch on UNPAN at the end of May and June, respectively. The publication provides a collection of news articles by various international media on the most recent major trends and developments in the areas of public policy and globalization, governance systems and institutions, information communication technology (ICT) for development, civil service and ethics in the public sector, human resources development, mobilization of financial resources for development, and private sector development.

      Contact: Haiyan Qian, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Tel. 1212 963 3393.

Social Development

Making Commitments Matter - A Toolkit for Young People to Evaluate National Youth Policy
http://www.un.org/youth

      In the fall of 2005, the General Assembly will evaluate the UN World Programme of Action for Youth at a plenary meeting of the sixtieth session. Young people have been asked to play an important role in the evaluation of the World Programme of Action. To this end, a toolkit has been developed that aims to assist youth organizations in their own evaluation of what has been achieved. Making Commitments Matter - A Toolkit for Young People to Evaluate National Youth Policy, has been prepared by the Social Integration Branch DSPD/DESA with inputs from youth organizations.

      Contact: Joop Theunissen, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1212 963 7763.

Web site for the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/

       The Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will launch a new web site on Monday 26th May 2003.

       The web page is one of the chief communication tools for both the UN system and the broad indigenous constituency. It contains information about upcoming meetings, documents, speeches and statements on the broad mandate of the Forum (economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights) and such cross-cutting issues as indigenous children and youth, indigenous women, peace building, water, data-collection and disaggregation, etc.

      The site also highlights the third session of the UNPFII which occurs this year from 10-21 May. The theme of the third session is "Indigenous Women".

      Contact: Elissavet Stamatopoulou, Division for Social Policy and Development, Tel. 1917 367 5100.

  Information and Communication Technologies for Development

Publication on Internet Governance

      The United Nations ICT Task Force is compiling a number of contributions on the subject of Internet Governance that served as background documents for the discussions of the United Nations ICT Task Force Global Forum on Internet Governance. The Forum was organized on 25-27 March 2004 as a contribution to the Secretary-General world-wide consultation process as requested by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva in December 2003.

      The publication, to be released in mid June, will address a wide range of related issues including the evolution of international discussion and debate about Internet governance, definitions of terms and conceptual frameworks, public policy issues raised by the Internet and issues related to the technical governance of the Internet.

      Contact: Enrica Murmura, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, Tel. 1212 963 5913


  • Ms. Angela E.V. King, Assistant-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women, and head of the DESA eponymous office, retired on 30 April after a long and distinguished career publicly recognized by the Secretary-General .
     

  • Professor Paul Cheung (Singapore) has been appointed as the new Director of the Statistics Division. He will join the United Nations on 1 June 2004.

Professor Paul Cheung is currently the Chief Statistician of the Government of Singapore. In this role, he serves as the National Statistical Coordinator as well as the Chief Executive of the Singapore Department of Statistics. He is on leave of absence from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.

Born in Hong Kong, Professor Cheung received his education in Singapore and the United States. He did postgraduate work at the East-West Center, Hawaii, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his Ph.D in 1983 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Professor Cheung is well known in Asia and the Pacific region for his pioneering research in the fields of manpower, population, social planning and official statistics. He has written widely in his areas of research.

 

Advancement of Women
Economic and Social Policy   
Forests
Social Development  

 

Advancement of Women

Informal Meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Utrecht, The Netherlands, 5-7 May 2004

 

Economic and Social Policy 

Economic and Social Council,Organizational session for 2004 (third part)
New York, 4-5 May 2004

United Nations ICT Task Force, Regional Meeting on Internet Governance
Shanghai, China, 21 May 2004

Economic and Social Council,High-level segment of the substantive session 2004
New York, 28-30 Jun 2004

Economic and Social Council, Substantive Session of 2004
New York, 28 June-23 July 2004

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, 2004 Regular Session
10-28 May 2004

 

Forests

United Nations Forum on Forests, 4th session
Geneva, 3-14 May 2004

Social Development

Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 3rd session
New York, 10-21 May 2004

Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, Third Session
New York, 24 May-4 June 2004

Meeting on Equity, Inequalities and Interdependence
New York, 17-18 June 2004


Annex I

DESA’s ongoing activities in the area of conflict prevention and resolution

 

Division for the Advancement of Women & Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues

Division for Social Policy and Development

Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Division for Sustainable Development

Statistics Division

 

-    “Women and armed conflict” is a critical area of concern contained in the Beijing PoA and the outcome of the 23rd GASS.  It was considered by CSW at its 42nd session.  Women and Peace was also the theme for the International Women’s Day in 2000 and 2001. 

 

-    Much work is being carried out in the framework of the 48th session of CSW   ( 1 - 12 March   04), as one of the thematic issue is “Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and resolution and in post-conflict peace-building”.  A SG report has been prepared and two Expert Group Meetings (on women participation in peace agreements and on electoral processes in post-conflict countries) have been organized in preparation for the session.  Panel discussions are also organized during the session.

 

-    Following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women peace and security, analytical work has been carried out on this topic.  OSAGI coordinated the preparation of a major SG’s study in 2002 and strengthened coordination among UN system entities, Member States, primarily in conjunction with the Friends of 1325, NGOs and academic institutions.

 

-    DAW implements a technical cooperation project entitled “Enhancing Women’s Participation in Peace Processes” (Development Account), under which several meetings and workshops are held, including a consultation meeting on enhancing women’s participation in peace-building in Addis Ababa (April 2001) and training workshops on conflict management for women in Cape Town (October 2001), Conakry (focusing on countries of the Mano River region - October 2002) and Kigali (for countries of  the Great Lake region - September 2003).

 

 

As mandated by Geneva 2000 , the Inclusive Development Section / Social Integration Branch elaborates conceptual and operational frameworks for Inclusive Peace-building based on the concepts and principles of social integration promulgated by WSSD.  Activities include:

 

- Publication of a Secretary-General report on ‘Promoting social integration in post-conflict situations’ in Feb. 2000 (A/AC.253/23).

 

- Organization of an expert group meeting on ‘structural threats to social integrity: social roots of violent conflict and indicators for prevention’, December 2003.

 

- Co-edition of a book on ‘Trauma interventions in war and peace: prevention, practice and policy’, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, 2003.

 

 

 

The Division manages several capacity-building projects.  It implements a project aimed at assisting Governments in sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen their policy-making, institutional and personnel capacities to manage and mitigate conflicts in constructive, non-violent and sustainable ways.  Activities include: 1)  training programmes to upgrade universities, management and sub-regional training institutions; 2) technical assistance to public institutions; 3) policy advice for mainstreaming conflict prevention and 4) enhancing  the capacities of African NGOs working in conflict through the Peacebuilding Portal.

 

The Division implements several regional and country-specific activities:  (1) a regional project based at the University of Ghana entitled Training Programme in Good Governance and Peacebuilding which offers training workshops for civilian personnel in peacekeeping missions; (2) UNDP-funded conflict prevention projects in Zimbabwe and Romania; (3) Framework Team on Prevention peace and development projects in Ghana and Guyana.

 

DPADM also works in the reconstruction of governance institutions and structures in post-conflict situations. Recent and on-going activities include: Angola (reconstituting public administration), Balkans (strengthening public administration in Kosovo), Liberia (good governance), Mozambique (elections), Rwanda (judges and administration), Somalia (Somaliland-planning), South Africa (local government capacity-building), Burundi , and DRC.

 

 

 

- -  The Division has a close watching brief on key and emerging issues relating to natural resource management.  Analysis of impact of conflict on resource management and the relationship between natural resources endowments and cause of conflicts has been incorporated into the normative and analytical tasks performed by the Division, including the SG’s reports.

-  

-       Provision, at the request of Governments in Central Asia , of technical advice on water resource governance and management and, in that context, on prevention and resolution of conflict over water resources.

 

-       Contribution to a Timor-Leste reconstruction project with financing from the Human Security Trust Fund and contributed to the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project by providing independent advisory services on resource allocation.

 

 

The Division has provided technical assistance in planning and conducting census in Timor Leste , and provided assistance in census preparatory activities in Afghanistan , Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESA’s ongoing interdepartmental activities in the area of conflict prevention and resolution

Division for the Advancement of Women & Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues

Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Division for Sustainable Development

Financing for Development Office

 

-    OSAGI chairs the Inter-agency Taskforce on Women, Peace and Security and provides advocacy and support to its work.  The taskforce has inter allia analyzed the gender content of the Secretary-General’s reports to the Security Council in 2000-2003, prepared briefing notes for Security Council  missions and gender checklists for assessment missions.   OSAGI also orchestrated the joint workshop of the Inter-agency Taskforce and OECD-DAC on ‘gender and post-conflict reconstruction: lessons learned from Afghanistan ’ ( Paris , July 2003).

 

-    OSAGI co-organized with DPKO a meeting held in Namibia in July 2000 on mainstreaming gender perspectives in multidimensional peace operations.  OSAGI also played a crucial role in the creation of a full-time post of a gender adviser for DPKO at Headquarters and provided continued advocacy, backstopping and support to creating mission-based gender advisers.

 

-    In close cooperation with DDA, OSAGI worked on integrating the gender perspective in disarmament affairs by preparing briefing notes on weapons of mass destruction, peace and disarmament, small arms DDR, landmines and disarmament and development.

 

 

The Office provides substantive secretariat support to the ECOSOC Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Guinea-Bissau and on Burundi , which entails preparing briefing for the Groups, organizing meetings and missions to these countries and drafting their reports.  The Office has systematically involved DPA, UNDP and OCHA in these endeavors.

 

The Office has also engaged into a process of consulting various UN entities on how best to service ECOSOC in its consideration of the situation in post-conflict countries.

 

Through its United Nations NGO Informal Regional Network, the NGO section has disseminated information on the “Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict” as a means of mobilizing NGO participation in the integrated programme of research, consultation and discussion that will culminate in an international conference in 2005.  The NGO Section has worked closely with “Peace Boat”, the UN NGO-IRENE/Asia Regional Coordinator for Northeast Asia .  In 2003 the NGO Section, in collaboration with Peace Boat and UNIFEM co-sponsored an event at UN Headquarters on “Towards a Nuclear-Weapons-Free and Peaceful Northeast Asia”.  The NGO Section also cooperates with UNITAR in the framework of its programme on NGOs and conflict prevention.

 

The Division closely cooperates with UNDP in a number of prevention-related activities:  these include developing appropriate curricula for conflict prevention and resolution training and in the development of the Peacebuilding Portal, a networking and information sharing tool for non-governmental organizations in Africa .

 

DPADM participated in the first two inter-agency missions of the Framework Team for Coordination on Prevention to Guyana and Ghana .  Both have lead to project formulations for which DPADM continues to provide on-going advisory services.

 

DPADM is entering a collaboration with the OAS for the expansion and adaptation of the Peacebuilding Portal to include Latin America and the Caribbean . We are also exploring the development of a conflict management capacity-building project for training and institutional development, as well.

 

 

 

In 2003, the Division was tasked with co-ordinating UN inputs to the World Bank work on Governance of Natural Resources and Conflict.  Through EC-ESA, the Division invited comments and consolidated them into one UN input.

 

In collaboration with DPA, the Office works with the Rio Group on financial mechanisms to enhance democratic governance in Latin America .



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