Volume 8, no. 6 November-December 2004

    Dialogue on development     |     Trends and analysis     |     Technical cooperation     |     Publications     |     Comings and goings     |     Calendar

Webcast of the closing statement

President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Jean Ping, closing statement of the general debate: English | Français

In this issue

Globalization, MDGs, UN reform, environment top economic and social concerns in General Assembly 59th session general debate

2nd Committee – on economic and financial issues – stresses global economic outlook, innovative sources of financing for development, review of operational activities, Barbados+10

Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development

Microcredit as an instrument for the eradication of poverty

International migration


Feature article

General Assembly 59th session : highlights of the general debate in the economic and social sphere

The general debateof the 59th session of the General Assembly, which dominatedSeptember’s calendar, was marked by a renewed call for multilateralism,strengthening the rule of law and enhanced cooperation and coordination amongthe international community in the area of development as well as peace andsecurity. Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their commitment to build astrong United Nations which would take the lead in ensuring lasting peace andsustainable development. Delegations were unanimous in their support for reformof the United Nations to enable the Organization and its main bodies to addressthe new challenges of the millennium effectively.

Globalization

The world facesmany challenges in the current millennium including terrorism, transnationalcrimes such as drug trafficking as well as trafficking in human beings, rampantpoverty, hunger, disease, poor health and a lack of basic social services,illiteracy and alarming rates of environmental degradation. In an era ofincreasing globalization, Member States asserted that such challenges could beaddressed effectively only through collective global action and called upon theinternational community to work in harmony to build a better world for all.

Many delegationsfelt that globalization had yielded unequivocally positive results. Yet thecontinued imbalance in the distribution of its benefits, the progressive wideningof the gap between developed and developing countries and the worseningeconomic conditions in several countries in the South and the related adverseeffects on the environment would accentuate discontent and frustration. Suchproblems could even lead to violence and instability.

Highlighting thelinks between peace and security and development, Member States urged theinternational community to reaffirm its commitment to development through adeeper and more comprehensive integration of the developing countries in theglobal economy. Delegations observed that a profound transformation wasunderway in international relations where, inter alia , intensifyingglobalization of economies, production, trade and information, on one side, andterrorism, violence, poverty and disease, on the other created contradictorytrends and fragmentation. Global governance and multilateralism neededstrengthening.

Withglobalization, the inter-linkages and inter dependence among the people of theworld had increased as well as the movement of people across borders. Speakersstressed that migration facilitates the transfer of skills and knowledge andstimulates economic growth and development. Delegations urged all nations tocooperate in ensuring the protection of fundamental rights of migrant workersand called on them to exert every effort to accede to the InternationalConvention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Membersof Their Families. Delegations recognized that to make globalization fairer, theMillennium Declaration must be implemented and the international community mustwaste no more time in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. They welcomedthe report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization andsuggested that the United Nations system should study the report’srecommendations before the review of the Millennium Declaration. Shifting awayfrom a narrow focus of markets, the Report’s recommendations paid greaterattention to people and their varied needs and interests.

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

The fight againstpoverty was not only a form of prevention but the core of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs). These were reaffirmed as the central mechanismguiding the UN system’s activities. Delegations voiced their concern over theslow progress made towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals andunderscored the need to generate political will. In order to achieve the MDGs,delegations recommended that necessary steps be taken through increased ODA,and debt relief. Also, new and innovative mechanisms were critical. Slowprogress in debt relief continued to stretch already scarce resources availableto poor countries thereby impeding their development. Highlighting the need fornew and innovative mechanisms of financing for development, delegationswelcomed the Brazilian initiative “Action against Hunger and Poverty” whichstrives to devise and implement viable financing mechanisms, in an attempt toreach a consensus on the possible means for effectively attaining the MDGs by2015. HIV/AIDS remained a priority for most countries. Delegations stressedthat combating HIV/AIDS must be an integral part of the global campaign againstpoverty. Moreover, HIV/AIDS prevention was inextricably linked to reproductivehealth and rights. Without the requisite preventive care, access to affordabledrugs and the health delivery infrastructure, developing countries would losethe gains from development made thus far.

Countriesunanimously agreed that an enabling environment was essential to achieving theMDGs. This included free and fair trade and more foreign investment.Delegations welcomed the progress made at the World Trade Organization’sGeneral Council meeting in Geneva in July which putthe Doha agenda back ontrack. However many speakers felt that the successful conclusion of the DohaRound was important since key issues were at stake such as anti-dumping, thestatus of agricultural products and textiles, various complex issues related tointellectual property and how to deal with pandemics using generic or lowcostdrugs.

Delegations fromdeveloping countries recognized that domestic policies, at home have to bereformed to embark on a path of sustainable development. Yet, they felt thatwhile their countries had undertaken reforms, the international environment wasnot conducive to enable poor countries such as theirs to achieve the MDGs. Theyrecognized the G8’s continued support for the New Partnership for Africa ’s Development(NEPAD), whose primary objective was to eradicate the increasing poverty in Africa . Yet, significantdebt burdens remained, as did substantial distortions in trade, especially inagricultural commodities. FDI flows were also insufficient. Without an enablingenvironment, countries poor counties, n particular the LDCs, would not be ableto achieve their goals in development including the MDGs.

Reform of the United Nations/High Level PlenaryMeeting in 2005

Delegations agreedthat there was a need for comprehensive reforms of the United Nations to ensureits suitability and capability to face the current challenges to peace anddevelopment. Several delegations called for the reform of the United Nations,specifically advocating for an expansion of the Security Council to make itmore representative. They felt that such reform was long overdue because of thechanged world situation.

Calling for reformof the General Assembly, countries emphasized that the General Assembly was thecentral organ of the United Nations, the only one with universal membership.Therefore, the General Assembly had to become more than an annual forum whereMember States focus carefully on critical topics. The ECOSOC had to eventuallybecome the central organ in the United Nations system for consultation anddecision making on economic and social issues. Speakers pointed out the need toimprove UN coordination on development, health and environment and proposed ameeting of approximately leaders to boost overall reform efforts. They observedthat proposals for enhancing coordination between the GA, ECOSOC and SecurityCouncil had made limited progress, United Nation’s economic and socialprogrammes needed reform and ECOSOC and its functional commissions couldbenefit from fewer meetings and less redundancy.

Member Stateslooked forward to the 2005 High Level Plenary Meeting to be held during the60th anniversary of the United Nations. They emphasized that the meeting mustbe comprehensive, balanced and effective and deal with the interlinked concernsof peace, security, poverty and sustainable development Many delegationsexpressed their support to the convening of High-Level Plenary Meeting in 2005to review the progress of all commitments in the Millennium Declaration andstressed that all Member States have a collective responsibility to implementthe commitments set forth in it.

Environment

Rapidenvironmental degradation was a major cause for concern for severaldelegations. Member States called for the urgent ratification of the KyotoProtocol. Speaking for the plight of Small Island Developing States,delegations stressed that the ten-year review of the implementation of theBarbados Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to beheld in Mauritius in January 2005would be a timely opportunity for the international community to take specialconsideration of the vulnerability of SIDS. They hoped that seriousconsideration would be given to adopt mechanisms that could support therecovery and reconstruction efforts of SIDS in the aftermath of naturaldisasters.

This article appears courtesy of the Office of ECOSOC Support andCoordination, and was first published in News from ECOSOC (vol. 3, no. 3).Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1212/963-4201.




Global dialogue on development

General Assembly Second Committee stresses global economic outlook, innovative sources of financing for development, MDGs, review of operational activities, and Barbados +10

During the generaldebate of the Second Committee, a total of 71 speakers took the floor. Manymore participated in the question and answer sessions. Overall, it was a richand broad debate that put forward a range of concrete new proposals.

The backdrop ofthe debate was the slowing global economic recovery. Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-Generalfor Economic and Social Affairs, framed his introductory statement around theglobal economic outlook. He highlighted several factors at the origin of therecent slowdown in the global recovery and addressed their implications for thedevelopment goals. In an innovation this year, the floor was then opened for aninformal and lively question and answer session, which helped us in betterunderstand the various views on this issue. This new format was broadlywelcomed. Following are some of the main issues highlighted during the debate.Combined with a renewed support of multilateralism by smaller countries, therewas strong articulation by the most marginalized countries of their concernsand perspectives.

It emerged fromthe debate that the follow-up process for the International Conference onFinancing for Development, follow-up to the Brazil-Chile-France-Spain initiativefor “Action against Hunger and Poverty,” preparations for the 2005 high-level event,preparations for the Barbados+10, and the 2004 triennial comprehensive policy reviewwould require special attention of the Committee. Strong commitment wasexpressed to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and of theoverarching goal of poverty reduction. There was also a broad consensus on theneed for the Second Committee to promote concrete measures during this sessionto achieve progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

However, thecontinued imbalance in the distribution of the benefits of globalization, thewidening income gap between and within countries, worsening economic conditionsin several countries, weak employment generation and the related adverseeffects on the environment were highlighted as major obstacles towards theachievement of the MDGs.

In this context,it was emphasized that the 2005 high level event must be effective in pushingimplementation and it should give new impetus to the realization of the MDGs.Several delegations called for a special focus on development. It was alsoemphasized that the Meeting should have a negotiated consensus outcome. Withglobalization, the movement of people across borders has increased and it iscritical to address the issue of migration in a comprehensive manner. Hence,several speakers welcomed the General Assembly’s decision to convene ahigh-level dialogue on migration in 2006 and Peru ’s initiative tohost an international conference of developing countries with importantmigration flows next year.

Speakers emphasizedthe need to strengthen the FfD follow-up process and keep it focused onachieving results in all areas of the Monterrey Consensus. Many recentinitiatives and studies on innovative sources of financing need to be carefullyexamined by the Second Committee so as to decide during the 2005 event which ofthem could be implemented. The initiative undertaken by Brazil, Chile, Franceand Spain “Action against Hunger and Poverty”, which strives to devise andimplement viable financing mechanisms received broad support and there weremany calls for undertaking measures to promote its implementation.

While welcomingthe recent agreement reached at WTO on a framework for future negotiations, theneed for greater market access, special differential and preferential treatmentand removal of subsidies and other harmful barriers as envisioned in the Doha agendawas repeatedly emphasized. In addition to renewed calls for aid flows to risewell above current levels, in line with the Monterrey commitments,there were also broad consensus on the urgent need for new efforts on debtrelief, including debt cancellation to the poorest countries and a new HIPCframework. Measures in this respect should not detract resources devoted totheir development. It was stressed that all these actions must be part of acoherent overall approach in support of development.

Many speakersunderlined that the International Meeting to review the implementation of theBarbados Programme of Action, to be held in Mauritius , should lead to arenewed political and financial commitment in support of the sustainabledevelopment of small island   developingStates. The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by Russia was alsowelcomed. Many delegations highlighted the situation of middle-income countriesand the need to address their particular development constraints, throughstrengthened international cooperation and trade liberalization.

There was also acall for a more comprehensive and innovative approach to conflict prevention,resolution and post-conflict development, inspired by the engaging address byProf. Collier. It was observed that such a comprehensive approach would beessential for the realization of the development goals. Finally, during thisgeneral debate, the Committee received reports on the outcomes of the annualmeetings of the Development Committee and the International Monetary andFinance Committee. The dialogue with the representatives of the World Bank andthe IMF led to interesting discussions.

The text of Mr. Ocampo’sopening statement to the Second Committee is available online at http://www.un.org/esa/usgstats.htm .This article appears courtesy the Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination andwas first published in News from ECOSOC (vol. 3, no. 3). Contact: Ms. AliyeCelik, Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4201.

2004 triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development

From 1-5 November 2004, the General Assemblywill undertake its triennial comprehensive policy review of operationalactivities for development.  The mainpurpose of the 2004 TCPR is to evaluate the capacity of the UN system to assistdeveloping countries to pursue their priorities and meet their needs in the contextof the consensus on the development agenda that follows the MillenniumDeclaration and the other global conferences and summits.

Member States have assigned an important roleto the operational activities for development of the UN system in helping countriesto achieve the MDGs in accordance with their national priorities and needs. TheUN system with its far-flung field offices and its historic credibility canprovide invaluable support. The TCPR should review the UN system policies andmechanisms in place or necessary and appropriate which enable its operationalactivities to play their assigned role. The TCPR 2004 will assess how the UNsystem at the country level is positioned and what changes, if any, might beneeded to make it a more cohesive and effective development partner, in tandemwith other partners.

It is expected that the General Assembly willadopt a new resolution on this subject setting out   a general orientation for the UN system forthe next three years in programming and coordinating its operational activities.The next TCPR take place in 2007.

In addition to the core discussion for TCPR,two side events are being organized by DESA scheduled on 1 and 2 November 2004 , to set the ground for the formal debate by MemberStates on the TCPR. The first will be an interactive panel on the UNdevelopment cooperation: reforms, resources and results. Departing from theusual format that consists of a series of presentations preceding an openforum, this event entails an interactive exchange between a group of high-levelrepresentatives of Member States from recipient and donor countries andexecutive heads of a select number of UN organizations.

 The second panel will consist ofmembers of a UN country team, a senior representative from the government, anda representative from civil society and will focus on the UN developmentcooperation: coordination, participation, and effectiveness. The panelcomplements the previous day's panel and provides an opportunity to bring tothe attention of delegations on first hand evidence of the actual functioningof the UN development system, sharing experiences and lessons learned at thecountry level.

Contact: Massimo D'Angelo, Office ofECOSOC Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4731.

Microcredit as an instrument for the eradication of poverty

The Second Committee will discuss agenda item89 on the eradication of poverty and other development issues on Monday, 15 November 2004 .   A focus of the debate will be the report ofthe Secretary-General on the implementation of the first United Nations Decadefor the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) and on the International Year ofMicrocredit, 2005 (A/59/326 ).

Section I of this report focuses on thecontribution of microcredit and microfinance to the implementation of theDecade. It examines the role that microcredit and microfinance can play instrategies to eradicate poverty, the challenges facing their future developmentand the role of Governments and the international community in providing poorpeople with greater access to financial services.

Section II discusses the preparations alreadyunder way for the International Year of Microcredit, and highlights the keyinitiatives and activities to mark the Year planned by Governments, the UnitedNations system and other stakeholders.

The Year of Microcredit provides asignificant opportunity to raise awareness about the importance ofmicrofinance, and in particular microcredit, in the eradication of poverty, andto further enhance existing programmes that support sustainable, inclusivefinancial sectors around the world. Department of Economic and Social Affairsand the United Nations Capital Development Fund are the joint coordinators forthe Year.

Representatives of governments, UN agencies,the private sector, microfinance partners and non-governmental organizationswill participate in a launch of the programme in New York on 18 November.   The UN International School children's choirwill give a special performance in collaboration with various world-renowned musicians.Director Sterling Van Wagenen will premier his documentary on themicroenterprise movement, which highlights the impact of microfinance inpromoting the social and economic welfare of low-income people.

A number of UN agencies will host luncheonpanels the same day. Afternoon high-level panels will identify the constraintsimpeding the growth and sustainability of the microfinance sector and willdiscuss removing the barriers to building inclusive financial sectors. Thepanels will launch the discussions on the main issues of the Year ofMicrocredit addressing the central question of "why are so many bankablepeople un-banked" as well as the importance of collecting accurate data tobetter serve those who do not have access to good financial services. A finalplenary session will offer the Advisors' Group for the Year, a group ofprominent leaders in the field of economic development, banking and finance,the opportunity to summarize day's discussions aiming to present a vision ofhow to move forward.

To launch the Year of Microcredit, an efforthas been undertaken by Harvard University Business School students to organize microentrepreneur awards and tohave winning microfinance clients ring the "opening bells" of stockexchanges around the world.

Contacts:Division for Social Policy and Development –  Ms. Felice Llamas, + 1 212/963-2924 (report of the Secretary-General);Ms. Sarangerel Erdembileg, + 1 212/963-4720 (International Year).

International migration

 In response to General Assembly Resolution58/208, which requests the Secretary-General to continue convening meetings tocoordinate activities regarding international migration, the PopulationDivision held a third coordination meeting on international migration from27-28 October 2004 in New York. The dates of the meeting were selected so as togive participants the opportunity to attend also the presentation of theSecreatry-General's report on international migration and development(A/59/325 ) in the Second Committee of the General Assembly, which was scheduledfor 29 October. In addition to providing a forum for the exchange ofinformation on activities in the area of international migration anddevelopment, this third coordination meeting provided a venue to discusssubstantive issues related to the preparation of the General Assembly'shigh-level dialogue on international migration, which will take place duringits sixty-first session in 2006.

Contact:Ms. Hania Zlotnik, Population Division, +1 212/963-3185.




Trends and analysis

Seminar on relevance of population aspectsfor the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
New York , 17-19 November 2004

In preparation for the United Nations summitto review progress made in the achievement of the millennium development goals,the Commission on Population and Development will consider at itsthirty-seventh session in April 2005 how the implemention of the Programme ofAction of the International Conference on Population and Development, in allits aspects, contributes to the achievement of the internationally agreeddevelopment goals, including the millennium development goals. In order toprovide the Commission with the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment onthis subject, the Population Division is organizing the seminar on relevance ofpopulation aspects for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals from17-19 November 2004.

Contact : Ms. Hania Zlotnik,Population Division, +1 212/963-3185.

United Nations ICT Task Force meeting
Berlin , 19-20 November 2004
http://www.unicttaskforce.org

The United Nations ICT Task Force will holdits seventh meeting in Berlin on 19-20 November. The first one-and-a-half day of the event will consist of a globalforum on promoting an enabling environment for digital development. The forumwill be an opportunity for leaders and practitioners of the public and privatesectors, academia and civil society - both members and non-members of the ICTTask Force - to engage in an interactive discussion of all aspects of thistopic. The two principal areas to be addressed during the interactive sessionsof the forum will be policy and regulatory issues and financing ICT fordevelopment. The objective of the Forum will be to provide a platform forpresentation and discussion of a broad range of viewpoints and approaches,practical experience and innovative ideas and proposals. The outcome of the globalforum, in the form of a summary of its proceedings and proposals for action,will be brought to the attention of the Secretary-General's task force on financialmechanisms and to the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit on theInformation Society for their consideration.

Contact: Mr. Sergei Kambalov, Office of ECOSOCSupport and Coordination, + 1 212/ 963-4751.

Expert group meeting on conflict prevention,peace-building and development
New York , 15 November 2004

Mr. José Antonio Ocampo,Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs will chair the meeting.Speakers include Ms. Frances Stewart from the University of Oxford ,Mr. Andrew Mack from the University of British Columbia and Ms. Necla Tschirgi, Acting President of the International Peace Academy .

The expert group meeting is intended toprovide a forum to discuss the links between security and development at theconceptual and policy levels. It will also contribute to the process ofdeveloping DESA's strategic framework on the security-development nexus.

The meeting will be conducted through workingsessions focusing on themes related to various aspects of DESA's work in thisarea: (1) Structural causes of conflict and the role of sustainabledevelopment: conflict prevention and peace-building perspectives: (a) socio-economic development policies and conflict prevention and (b) natural resourcegovernance and conflict prevention; (2 ) Socio-economic and institutionalchallenges of post-conflict peace-building and development: a long termperspective; and (3) Partnerships and civil society: roles and capabilities inconflict prevention and peace-building.

Contact: Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOCSupport and Coordination, +1 212/963-8415.

Expert group meeting on the role ofnational mechanisms in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women:achievements, gaps and challenges
Rome , 29 November- 2 December 2004

The findings and conclusions of the meetingwill provide inputs for the work of the forty-ninth session of the of theCommission on the Status of Women in 2005 that will focus on the review andappraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and theoutcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assemblyentitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for thetwenty-first century".

Contact:Ms. Natalia Zakharova, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-8134.

Panel on globalization and interdependence
New York , 29 October 2004

Professor Amartya Sen will deliver a keynoteaddress to the Second Committee of the General Assembly on "Forgingcoherence to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, in the context ofglobalization". Prof. Sen's address will be followed by remarks by Mr.Martin Wolf, columnist of the Financial Times, and by an informal question andanswer session with the members of the Assembly. The meeting precedes theSecond Committee's deliberations on the globalization and interdependence item.The event, organized by the Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, will bepresided over by H.E. Mr. Marco Balarezo ( Peru ), Chairman of the Second Committee of the GeneralAssembly.

Contact: Mr. Navid Hanif, Office of ECOSOCSupport and Coordination, + 1 212/963-8415.

Expert group meeting on the world economy- Project LINK
New York , 22-24 November 2004

Some 80 participants from about 50 countriesand several international organizations are expected to attend. The meetingwill examine the short-term economic outlook for the world economy and for allthe main geographic regions. DESA will present the LINK Global EconomicOutlook, which is prepared by combining inputs from LINK national forecastingcentres with assessments by DESA staff. Other international organizations, suchas the IMF and the World Bank, will also present their views on the prospectsfor the world economy and other participants will present regional and countryperspectives. A few sessions will discuss special economic issues in the worldeconomy, such as the impact of the latest rise in oil prices, the challenge fornew EU members of joining the euro, and some other regional issues.

Contact:Mr. Ian Kinniburgh, Development Policy and Planning Office, + 1 212/963-4838.

Panel discussion to observe the tenth anniversaryof the International Year of the Family
New York , 6 December 2004

For the afternoon of 6 December, andfollowing the General Assembly plenary meeting to be held that morning toobserve the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, theDivision for Social Policy and Development is organizing a panel discussion.The purpose of the panel discussion will be to complement the GeneralAssembly's observance of the tenth anniversary of the IYF and to analyze anddiscuss current international trends and issues relating to families.

Contact: Mr. Eric Olson, Division forSocial Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-0013.



Technical cooperation

Global initiatives

Giving aVoice to People with Disabilities in the Development of a Convention concerningtheir Human Rights
Dar-es Salaam , Tanzania , 15-19 November 2004

This is acapacity building and training pilot project implemented in partnership withDisabled Peoples' International (DPI), a global non-governmental organizationof persons with disabilities, which has an important role in representingpersons with disabilities across regions and disabilities at the GeneralAssembly Ad Hoc Committee elaborating and negotiating an InternationalConvention on the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. The trainingis aimed at strengthening the organization and better preparing it to take anactive part in the process towards a Disability Convention.

Contact:Ms. Vittoria Beria, Divisionfor Social Policy and Development, +1 917/367-3173.

Roundtableof national human rights institutions and the national machineries for theadvancement of women
Ouarzazate , Morocco , 15-19 November 2004

Theroundtable will be hosted by the Conseil Consultatif de l'Homme du Maroc (CCDH)and will bring together representatives of national human rights institutionsand national machineries for the advancement of women from fifteen countriesfrom all regions of the world. The meeting is organized by Division for theAdvancement of Women (DAW/DESA) in collaboration with the Office of the HighCommissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Theobjective of the roundtable is to build the capacity of these institutions to moreeffectively promote and protect women's human rights by contributing to abetter understanding of the linkages between gender equality and women's humanrights.

Contact: Ms.Emanuela Calabrini, Division for the Advancement of Women, + 1 212/963- 8814.


Africa South of the Sahara

Regional Meeting on Internet Governance
Mauritius , 8-10 December 2004

The United Nations ICT Task Force AfricanStakeholders Network and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), incollaboration with the Government of Mauritius, will organize a regionalmeeting on Internet Governance to be held on 8-10 December 2004. The outcomesof the meeting will feed into the activities of the Secretary-General's WorkingGroup on Internet Governance, the African Regional Preparatory Conference forthe World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) to be held in Accra on 29 January - 4 February 2005 and the global preparatory process of the Tunis phase of the WSIS.

Contact: Mr. Samuel Danofsky, Office ofECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 917/367-2424


Asia and the Pacific

Forging Partnerships for Social Protection
Kovalam , India , 2-4 November

Next month the Division for Social Policy andDevelopment is organizing an International Workshop "Forging Partnershipsfor Social Protection". The workshop take place on 2-4 November in India , in Kovalam ( Kerala State ) and has an aim to review country experiences in Southeast Asia in adapting social protection to needs of both formaland informal sectors. The workshop will explore the complex economic, social,organizational, financing and other factors which have a bearing on thedevelopment of viable social protection systems in the region. The workshopwill seek to identify useful models, case studies and best practices whichshould be examined by the government ministries, NGOs, CBOs and otherstakeholders in building and maintaining social protection systems.

Contact: Mr. Sergei Zelenev, Division forSocial Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-4732.

Subregional Workshop for Southeast Asia on the Poverty/Environment Nexus
Bangkok , Thailand , 8 - 10 November 2004

The Division for Public Administration andDevelopment Management will organize the workshop in collaboration with ESCAPand the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The workshop will be one of thefirst major activities under the Development Account Project "R":"Networking and Capacity-Building for Poverty Alleviation throughCommunity-Based Development in the Areas Affected by EnvironmentalDegradation." Participants from Cambodia , Laos , Myanmar , Thailand and Viet Nam will undertake a strategic visioning exercise,formulate the National Action Plan for each country, and outline a subregionalfacility for monitoring and evaluation. The workshop will also be attended byofficials from DESA, ESCAP and UNEP, as well as observers from otherBangkok-based international organizations and NGOs, and those from relevantThai organizations.

Contact: Mr. Yoshinobu Yonekawa, Division for Public Administration andDevelopment Management, +1 212/963-7009.

Regional Forum on Revitalizing Governmentin South Asia : Public-Sector Capacity and Globalization
Hyderabad , India , 13-15 December 2004

The Regional Forum on Revitalizing Governmentin South Asia will be organized by DESA and UNDP in partnershipwith the Administrative Staff College of India, to be held from 13 to 15 December 2004 in Hyderabad , India . The overall purpose of the Forum is to discuss goodpractices and innovative approaches in revitalizing government andstrengthening public-sector capacity to further the agenda of the countrieswith respect to globalization and the United Nations Millennium DevelopmentGoals. This will entail an assessment of ongoing reform efforts and practiceswithin the various countries in the region, with a view to analysing bestpractices and innovative approaches and learning from past efforts infurthering their development agenda.

Specific objectives of the Forum are to:

  • Reviewbest practices and innovative approaches in the selected countries dealing withpublic-sector capacity to cope with and benefit from globalization and toachieve the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Examinecritical factors accounting for the success or failure of the programme torevitalize government;
  • Providea venue for a network of training and research institutions and universitiesand representatives of the government to share their respective experiences;and
  • Identifyareas of common concern and a framework for regional and national cooperationin South Asia.

Scholars and academics from seven selectedSouth Asian countries will present case studies of their respective countries.The countries are: Bangladesh , Bhutan , India , Maldives , Nepal , Pakistan and Sri Lanka . These Country Studies will be expected to cover thelarger theme of Revitalizing Government, focusing on enhancing public sectorcapacity.

Participants will include governmentofficials, particularly those from central agencies managing public sectorreforms and modernization, and representatives from international institutions,the academia and regional institutes, and civil society organizations.

Contact: Ms. Nahleen Ahmed, Division forPublic Administration and Development Management, + 1 917/367-5012.


Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States

The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Rural Communities in Europe : The Pyrenean Regional Experience
Pau , France , 16-17 November 2004
http://www.w2i.org

The United Nations ICT Task Force and theWireless Internet Institute (W2i), in cooperation with UNITAR, will organize ameeting on "The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Rural Communities: ThePyrenean Regional Experience" as part of the "Global MunicipalGovernment and Local Authorities" conference series. The objective of themeeting, hosted by the Department of Economic Development of the City of Pau , is to explore avenues to accelerate implementationof broadband wireless Internet in rural Europe .The event will focus on the potential benefits of broadband Internetdistribution in rural areas and the role municipalities and local governmentscan play to deploy wireless networks and to use them to foster economic andsocial development in their communities.

Contact: Mr. Samuel Danofsky, Office ofECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 917/ 367-2424


Latin America and the Caribbean

The Wireless Internet Opportunity for Underserved Communities in Latin America : A Brazilian Perspective
Rio De Janeiro , Brazil , 8-9 November 2004
http://www.w2i.org

The United Nations ICT Task Force and theWireless Internet Institute (W2i) in cooperation with UNITAR and the FederaciónLatinoamericana de Ciudades, Municipios y Asociaciones de Gobiernos Locales(FLACMA) will organize the "Global Municipal Government and LocalAuthorities" conference in Rio de Janeiro on 8-9 November 2004. The eventis co-hosted by the Rio De Janeiro State Government, Rio De Janeiro StatesIndustry Federation (FIRJAN) and W2i. The objective of the meeting is toestablish a thorough understanding and prospective roadmap of emergingstandards and regulatory provisions affecting municipal authorities, toexplore, based on case studies, the potential benefits of broadband wirelessapplied to local communities and to identify and discuss practical solutions towireless access challenges.

Contact: Ms. Enrica Murmura, Office ofECOSOC Support and Coordination, + 1 212/963- 5913.

Designing for the 21 Century
Rio de Janeiro , Brazil , 7-11 December 2004
http://www.designfor21st.org/

The project supports the social inclusion ofpersons with disabilities, with particular reference to the Latin American and Caribbean region through raising awareness on the importance of universal designin community development and civil society, and establishing a sustainablenetwork of non governmental and governmental bodies in the region on the roleof design in social inclusion.

Contact:Mr. Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Division for Social Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-3256.



Publications and websites

Monographs

World Economic and Social Survey 2004
http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess/index.html

The World Economic and Social Survey 2004 will be issued in November.This year's publication will be produced in two parts. The first part (sales no.E.04.II.C.I) discusses the state of the world economy in 2004. It includes anexamination of developments in international trade and finance in 2003-2004 andpresents an overview of recent developments in and immediate prospects for thedeveloped market economies, the economies in transition and the developingcountries. The second part (sales no. E.04.II.C.3) will focus on internationalmigration and will include a review of trends in migration over the pastcentury, national policies and international agreements regarding migration,and will examine the economic and social impacts of migration in both sendingand receiving countries.

Contact: Mr. Ian Kinniburgh, Development Policy andPlanning Office, + 1 212/963-4838.

World Survey on the Role of Women in Development (forthcoming)

The World Survey is a flagship publication of the Department issued every five years.  This edition of the survey focuses on women and international migration, and presents key issues on labour migration, family formation and reunification, rights of migrant women, refugees and displaced persons, as well as trafficking of women and girls.  A summary of the report has been prepared for consideration by the General Assembly at its 59th session (A/59/287 ) .

Contact: Ms. Sharon Taylor, Division forthe Advancement of Women, + 1 212/963-5226.


Technicalreports

Review and Appraisal of theProgress Made in Achieving the Goals and Objectives of the Programme of Actionof the International Conference on Population and Development : The 2004 Report
ST/ESA/SER.A/235

The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population andDevelopment recommended that the General Assembly organize a regular review andappraisal of the implemementation of the Programme of Action. This report,prepared by the Population Division, is the second such review and appraisal,marking ten years since the adoption of the Programme of Action. (The firstreview and appraisal, also prepared by the Population Division, was in 1999.)This second review and appraisal was submitted to the thirty-sevents session ofthe Commission on Population and Development in 2004. Based on the commentsreceived from the Commission, the second review and appraisal was revised andupdated. This publication is the revised and updated report. The majorconclusion of the report is that the past decade has been one of substantialprogress. However, there have been shortfalls and gaps; progress has not beenuniversal and many countries may fall short of the agreed goals of theProgramme of Action. The report concludes that continued efforts and commitmentar needed to mobilize sufficient human and financial resources, to strenghteninstitutional capabilities, and to nurture partnerships among Governments, theinternational community, non-governmental organizations and civil society.

Contact person: Mr. LarryHeligman, Population Division, + 1 212/963-3208.

World Population to 2300
ST/ESA/SER.A/236

Every two years, the Population Division prepares and issues the officialUnited Nations estimates and projections of world, regional and nationalpopulation size and growth and demographic indicators. These estimates andprojections cover the period 1950-2050. As necesary, the Population Divisonalso prepares supplementary world population projections covering a much longerperiod, referred to as "long-range projections". This report presentsthe newest such long-range projections and provide national, regional and worldprojections to 2300. The report also includes a set of essays reflecting on theresults which greatly enrich the debate on this important topic. In theseprojections, world population peaks at 9.2 billion in 2075. However, afterreaching its maximum, world population declines slightly and then resumesincreasing, slowly, to reach a level of just under 9 billion by 2300.

Contact: Mr. Thomas Buettner, Population Division, +1 212/963-3209.

Economic, Social and Population Impacts of the HIV/AIDSEpidemic

The report documents the wide-ranging negative impacts of HIV/AIDS: onpopulation size and growth and national mortality levels; on families andhouseholds; agriculture sustainability; business; the health sector; education,and economy growth. A second part presents summaries the large number of researchstudies on the impact of HIV/AIDS, with particular attention to the methodologyand scope of each study. The study suggests that immediate and concertedactions to prevent new infections and to treat and care for people living withHIV/AIDS will mitigate the destructive consequences of an unchecked epidemic.The report concludes: The course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is by no meanspre-determined. The eventual course of the disease depends on how individuals,communities, nations and the world respond to the HIV/AIDS threat today andtomorrow.”

Contact: Mr. Larry Heligman, Population Division, + 1 212/963-3208.


Statisticalcompilations

Demographic and Social Statistics
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/

The Demographic and Social Statistics Branch is introducing itsre-designed web site. The web site features multiple categories related to:sources of data, standards and methods, statistical products and databases andmeetings organized by the Branch. Under the category "Source ofdata", for example, the web site offers an overview of all planned andconducted censuses in the world, enabling users to download the information forfurther processing. As for "Standards and methods", the web site provideslinks to all methodological publications issued by the Branch in all officialUnited Nations languages, enabling users to download them. For the first timethe Demographic Yearbook and its accompanying Population and Vital StatisticsReport are placed on the web and made available for downloads in PDF and Excelformats, thus providing users with direct access to data. In addition to dataand meta-data the web site also provides link to Demographic Yearbook technicalreports, thus significantly enhancing user's overview of the whole DemographicYearbook system. The web site also provides complete coverage of all themeetings organized by the Branch.

UNSD statistical databases and data of internationalworking partners
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/workpartners_dbase.htm

Check the updated site of UNSD statistical databases and the new links toonline databases of the working members of the Committee for the Coordinationof Statistical Activities.

Monthly bulletin of statisticsand MBS online
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/380, vol. LVIII, no. 8, August2004
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs

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 includedregularly.

Special features in this issue: indices of world industrial production bybranches of industry and by regions; producers' or wholesale price indices; earningsin manufacturing, by sex; construction of new buildings; total exports andimports by regions: volume and unit value indices and terms of trade.

Contact: Ms. Mary Jane Holupka, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-1606.

2001 Demographic Yearbook
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.R/32, sales no. E/F.03.XIII.1

The United Nations Demographic Yearbook is a unique source of nationalpopulation and vital statistics, published annually, for over 230 countries orareas in the world. It provides statistics on population size and composition,fertility, mortality, infant and foetal mortality, marriages and divorces. TheYearbook also includes a detailed set of technical notes and footnotesexplaining the sources, availability, timeliness, quality, reliability andcoverage of the data presented. The new Yearbook 2001 presents the most recentnational data on population counts from countries or areas.

Contact: Ms. Sabine Warschburger, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-9547.


Handbooks

Millennium Development Indicators : World and Regional Groupings
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/mi_worldmillennium_new.asp

View the latest MDG World and regional groupings- the classification usedfor the compilation of Millennium Development Indicators world and regionaltrends.

Updates and Amendments to the System of NationalAccounts 1993
ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/2/Rev.4/Add.1, sales no.E.04.XVII.8

This joint publication of the United Nations, the International MonetaryFund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, theStatistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the World Bankcomplements the recommendations of the System of National Accounts, 1993 (1993SNA), and reflects changes and improvements that have been introduced to thesystem of national accounts since its last revision in 1993. Along with the1993 SNA, Updates and Amendments supports the implementation of internationalstandards of national accounting and provides the methodological basis forimproving the international comparability of national accounts data. Thepublication contains the text of the 1993 SNA that has been updated as a resultof the adoption of new international standards for the statistical measurementof financial derivatives. It also includes four functional classifications thatwere fully elaborated and updated after the 1993 SNA was published. It alsoprovides for the first time a glossary of terms and definitions.

Contact: Ms. Magdolna Csizmadia, Statistics Division, + 1212/963-4819.


Discussionpapers

Internet Governance: A Grand Collaboration
http://www.unicttaskforce.org/

As part of its contribution to the World Summit on the InformationSociety (WSIS), the United Nations ICT Task Force has recently released thelatest publication of the ICT Task Force Book Series, titled "InternetGovernance: A Grand Collaboration". The book presents a compendium of paperssubmitted prior and during the ICT Task Force Global Forum on InternetGovernance, for the consideration of participants. These papers cover a widerange of technical, regulatory, policy and development issues related to thegeneral subject of Internet governance and contain a lot of useful informationon how many different organizations are already governing the Internet and itseffects on society. At the same time the papers suggest that a number ofimportant issues are not being addressed effectively, and that in some areasthere is an urgent need to put in place new arrangements to counter real andpresent threats to the stability and utility of the Internet.

Contact: Ms. Enrica Murmura, Office of ECOSOC Supportand Coordination, + 1 212/963-5913.




Comings and goings

Comings

Rachel N. Mayanja of Uganda has been appointed by the Secretary-General as Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women at the level of Assistant-Secretary-General, and is expected to take up duties in mid-November 2004 .  Ms. Mayanja is currently serving with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as the Director, Human Resources Management Division.

Goings

Luciana Marulli-Koenig , Chief of the Information Support Unit and editor of DESA New s, retired from the Organizationon 30 September 2004 .  Ms.Marulli-Koenig served in a number of professional capacities during her tenureat the United Nations, notably as a senior librarian, information manager,publisher, and more recently as DESA’s chief information and communicationtechnology officer.




Calendar

General Assembly
59th session
New York , 14 September-December 2004

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
33rd session
Geneva , 8-26 November 2004

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
34th session, pre-sessional working group
Geneva , 29 November- 3 December 2004

Events

Keynoteaddress by Professor Jeffrey Sachs on the Millennium Development Goals
New York , 9 November, 2.30-5.30 pm

Launchof the report of the Commission on Private Sector and Development
New York , 10 November, 3.00-6.00 pm , to be confirmed

Lectureby Professor Talat Halman on culture and peace
New York , 17 November, 1.15-2.45 pm

Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik , Office of ECOSOC Supportand Coordination, + 1 212/963-4201.

InternationalYear of Microcredit 2005, launch day celebration
New York , 18 November 2004

Contact: Ms. Sarangerel Erdembileg, Division forSocial Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-4720.

International Day of Disabled Persons
New York , 3 December 2004 , 1.15-2.45 pm , conference room 4

Contact Ms.Maribel Derjani-Bayeh, Division for Social Policy and Development, + 1212/963-3897.

The theme for thisyear's observance is Nothing About UsWithout Us , which is based on the active involvement of persons withdisabilities in the planning of strategies and policies that affect theirlives. An event, including the screening of documentaries, will be organized inconference room 4.

General Assembly observance of the tenth anniversaryof the International Year of the Family
New York , 6 December 2004 , morning

Contact: Mr. Eric Olson, Division for Social Policyand Development, + 1212/963-0013.




DESA News is an insider's look at the UnitedNations in the area of coordination of economic and social developmentpolicies. The newsletter is produced by the Information Support Unit of theUnited Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration withDESA Divisions, and is issued every two months.

Contact: Information Support Unit, +1 212/963-4587.