Vol. 9, no.3 May-June 2005

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

United Nations Secretary-General presents his report "In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all". Mr. Annan's remarks can be heard online.

in this issue

In larger freedom: The Secretary-General calls on world leaders to reach a new global deal to tackle the challenges of development, security and human rights, and to overhaul the United Nations

Water, sanitation and human settlements: The Commission on Sustainable Development concludes a challenging session with a call for improved access to safe drinking water, better water management, investment in sanitation at the local level, tenure security and access to affordable serviced land

Indigenous peoples and the MDGs: Milliennium Development Goals will be the focus of the Permanent Forum for the next three years

 

Feature article

In larger freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All

Secretary-General Kofi Annan encourages Member States to adopt far-reaching reforms, emphasizing that development, security and human rights must go hand in hand if the world is to achieve the aims of the Millennium Declaration.

A historic opportunity in 2005

In September 2005, world leaders will come together at a summit in New York to review progress since the Millennium Declaration, adopted by all Member States in 2000. The Secretary-General’s report proposes an agenda to be taken up, and acted upon, at the summit. These are policy decisions and reforms that are actionable if the necessary political will can be garnered.

Events since the Millennium Declaration demand that consensus be revitalized on key challenges and priorities and converted into collective action. The guiding light in doing so must be the needs and hopes of people everywhere. The world must advance the causes of security, development and human rights together, otherwise none will succeed. Humanity will not enjoy security without development, it will not enjoy development without security, and it will not enjoy either without respect for human rights.

In a world of inter-connected threats and opportunities, it is in each country’s self-interest that all of these challenges are addressed effectively. Hence, the cause of larger freedom can only be advanced by broad, deep and sustained global cooperation among States. The world needs strong and capable States, effective partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and agile and effective regional and global intergovernmental institutions to mobilize and coordinate collective action. The United Nations must be reshaped in ways not previously imagined, and with a boldness and speed not previously shown.

Freedom from want

The last 25 years have seen the most dramatic reduction in extreme poverty the world has ever experienced. Yet dozens of countries have become poorer. More than a billion people still live on less than a dollar a day. Each year, 3 million people die from HIV/AIDS and 11 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday.

Today’s is the first generation with the resources and technology to make the right to development a reality for everyone and to free the entire human race from want. There is a shared vision of development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halving extreme poverty to putting all children into primary school and stemming the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, all by 2015, have become globally accepted benchmarks of broader progress, embraced by donors, developing countries, civil society and major development institutions alike.

The MDGs can be met by 2015 - but only if all involved break with business as usual and dramatically accelerate and scale up action now.

In 2005, a “global partnership for development” -- one of the MDGs reaffirmed in 2002 at the International Conference on Financing for Development at Monterrey, Mexico and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa – needs to be fully implemented. That partnership is grounded in mutual responsibility and accountability - developing countries must strengthen governance, combat corruption, promote private sector-led growth and maximize domestic resources to fund national development strategies, while developed countries must support these efforts through increased development assistance, a new development-oriented trade round and wider and deeper debt relief.

The following are priority areas for action in 2005:

  • National strategies: Each developing country with extreme poverty should by 2006 adopt and begin to implement a national development strategy bold enough to meet the MDG targets for 2015. Each strategy needs to take into account seven broad “clusters” of public investments and policies: gender equality, the environment, rural development, urban development, health systems, education, and science, technology and innovation.


  • Financing for development: Global development assistance must be more than doubled over the next few years. This does not require new pledges from donor countries, but meeting pledges already made. Each developed country that has not already done so should establish a timetable to achieve the 0.7% target of gross national income for official development assistance no later than 2015, starting with significant increases no later than 2006, and reaching 0.5% by 2009. The increase should be front-loaded through an International Finance Facility, and other innovative sources of financing should be considered for the longer term. The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria must be fully funded and the resources provided for an expanded comprehensive strategy of prevention and treatment to fight HIV/AIDS. These steps should be supplemented by immediate action to support a series of “Quick Wins” – relatively inexpensive, high-impact initiatives with the potential to generate major shortterm gains and save millions of lives, such as free distribution of anti-malarial bednets.


  • Trade: The Doha round of trade negotiations should fulfil its development promise and be completed no later than 2006. As a first step, Member States should provide duty-free and quota-free market access for all exports from the Least Developed Countries.


  • Debt relief: Debt sustainability should be redefined as the level of debt that allows a country to achieve the MDGs and to reach 2015 without an increase in debt ratios.

New action is also needed to ensure environmental sustainability. Scientific advances and technological innovation must be mobilized now to develop tools for mitigating climate change, and a more inclusive international framework must be developed for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions beyond the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, with broader participation by all major emitters and both developed and developing countries. Concrete steps are also required on desertification and biodiversity.

Other priorities for global action include stronger mechanisms for infectious disease surveillance and monitoring, a world-wide early warning system on natural disasters, support for science and technology for development, support for regional infrastructure and institutions, reform of international financial institutions, and more effective cooperation to manage migration for the benefit of all.

Freedom from fear

While progress on development is hampered by weak implementation, on the security side, despite a heightened sense of threat among many, the world lacks even a basic consensus - and implementation, where it occurs, is all too often contested.

The Secretary-General fully embraces a broad vision of collective security. The threats to peace and security in the 21st century include not just international war and conflict, but terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, organized crime and civil violence. They also include poverty, deadly infectious disease and environmental degradation, since these can have equally catastrophic consequences. All of these threats can cause death or lessen life chances on a large scale. All of them can undermine States as the basic unit of the international system.

Collective security today depends on accepting that the threats each region of the world perceives as most urgent are in fact equally so for all. These are not theoretical issues, but ones of deadly urgency.

The United Nations must be transformed into the effective instrument for preventing conflict that it was always meant to be, by acting on several key policy and institutional priorities:

  • Preventing catastrophic terrorism: States should commit to a comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy based on five pillars: dissuading people from resorting to terrorism or supporting it; denying terrorists access to funds and materials; deterring States from sponsoring terrorism; developing State capacity to defeat terrorism; and defending human rights. They should conclude a comprehensive convention on terrorism, based on a clear and agreed definition. They should also complete, without delay, the convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism.
  • Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons: Progress on both disarmament and non-proliferation are essential. On disarmament, nuclear-weapon States should further reduce their arsenals of non-strategic nuclear weapons and pursue arms control agreements that entail not just dismantlement but irreversibility, reaffirm their commitment to negative security assurances, and uphold the moratorium on nuclear test explosions. On non-proliferation, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s verification authority must be strengthened through universal adoption of the Model Additional Protocol, and States should commit themselves to complete, sign and implement a fissile material cut-off treaty.
  • Reducing the prevalence and risk of war: Currently, half the countries emerging from violent conflict revert to conflict within five years. Member States should create an inter-governmental Peacebuilding Commission, as well as a Peacebuilding Support Office within the UN Secretariat, so that the UN system can better meet the challenge of helping countries successfully complete the transition from war to peace. They should also take steps to strengthen collective capacity to employ the tools of mediation, sanctions and peacekeeping (including a “zero tolerance” policy on sexual exploitation of minors and other vulnerable people by members of peacekeeping contingents, to match the policy enacted by the Secretary-General).
  • Use of force: The Security Council should adopt a resolution setting out the principles to be applied in decisions relating to the use of force and express its intention to be guided by them when deciding whether to authorize or mandate the use of force.

Other priorities for global action include more effective cooperation to combat organized crime, to prevent illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, and to remove the scourge of landmines which still kill and maim innocent people and hold back development in nearly half the world’s countries.

Freedom to live in dignity

In the Millennium Declaration, Member States said they would spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. And over the last six decades, an impressive treaty-based normative framework has been advanced.

But without implementation, these declarations ring hollow. Without action, promises are meaningless. People who face war crimes find no solace in the unimplemented words of the Geneva Conventions. Treaties prohibiting torture are cold comfort to prisoners abused by their captors, particularly if the international human rights machinery enables those responsible to hide behind friends in high places. War-weary populations despair when, even though a peace agreement has been signed, there is little progress towards government under the rule of law. Solemn commitments to strengthen democracy remain empty words to those who have never voted for their rulers, and who see no sign that things are changing.

Therefore, the normative framework that has been so impressively advanced over the last six decades must be strengthened. Even more important, concrete steps are required to reduce selective application, arbitrary enforcement and breach without consequence. The world must move from an era of legislation to implementation.

Action is called for in the following priority areas:

  • Rule of law: The international community should embrace the “responsibility to protect”, as a basis for collective action against genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. All treaties relating to the protection of civilians should be ratified and implemented. Steps should be taken to strengthen cooperation with the International Criminal Court and other international or mixed war crimes tribunals, and to strengthen the International Court of Justice. The Secretary-General also intends to strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity to assist national efforts to re-establish the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict societies.
  • Human rights: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights should be strengthened with more resources and staff, and should play a more active role in the deliberations of the Security Council and of the proposed Peacebuilding Commission. The human rights treaty bodies of the UN system should also be rendered more effective and responsive.
  • Democracy: A Democracy Fund should be created at the UN to provide assistance to countries seeking to establish or strengthen their democracy.

Strengthening the United Nations

While purposes should be firm and constant, practice and organization need to move with the times. If the UN is to be a useful instrument for its Member States, and for the world’s peoples, in responding to the challenges laid out in the previous three parts, it must be fully adapted to the needs and circumstances of the 21st century.

A great deal has been achieved since 1997 in reforming the internal structures and culture of the United Nations. But many more changes are needed, both in the executive branch - the Secretariat and the wider UN system - and in the UN’s intergovernmental organs:

  • General Assembly: The General Assembly should take bold measures to streamline its agenda and speed up the deliberative process. It should concentrate on the major substantive issues of the day, and establish mechanisms to engage fully and systematically with civil society.
  • Security Council: The Security Council should be broadly representative of the realities of power in today’s world. The Secretary-General supports the principles for reform set out in the report of the High-level Panel, and urges Member States to consider the two options, Models A and B, presented in that report, or any other viable proposals in terms of size and balance that have emerged on the basis of either Model. Member States should agree to take a decision on this important issue before the Summit in September 2005.
  • Economic and Social Council: The Economic and Social Council should be reformed so that it can effectively assess progress in the UN’s development agenda, serve as a high-level development cooperation forum, and provide direction for the efforts of the various intergovernmental bodies in the economic and social area throughout the UN system.
  • Proposed Human Rights Council: The Commission on Human Rights suffers from declining credibility and professionalism, and is in need of major reform. It should be replaced by a smaller standing Human Rights Council, as a principal organ of the United Nations or subsidiary of the General Assembly, whose members would be elected directly by the General Assembly, by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting.
  • The Secretariat: The Secretary-General will take steps to re-align the Secretariat’s structure to match the priorities outlined in the report, and will create a cabinet-style decision-making mechanism. He requests Member States to give him the authority and resources to pursue a one-time staff buy-out to refresh and re-align staff to meet current needs, to cooperate in a comprehensive review of budget and human resources rules, and to commission a comprehensive review of the Office of Internal Oversight Services to strengthen its independence and authority.

Other priorities include creating better system coherence by strengthening the role of Resident coordinators, giving the humanitarian response system more effective stand-by arrangements, and ensuring better protection of internally displaced people. Regional organizations, particularly the African Union, should be given greater support. The Charter itself should also be updated to abolish the “enemy clauses”, the Trusteeship Council and the Military Staff Committee, all of which are outdated.

Opportunity and challenge

It is for the world community to decide whether this moment of uncertainty presages wider conflict, deepening inequality and the erosion of the rule of law, or is used to renew institutions for peace, prosperity and human rights. Now is the time to act. The annex to the report lists specific items for consideration by Heads of State and
Government. Action on them is possible. It is within reach. From pragmatic beginnings could emerge a visionary change of direction for the world.

This article is a reprint of an executive summary of the Secretary-General's proposals for United Nations reform which have been presented for decision by Heads of State and Government in September 2005.

The complete report, A/59/2005, is available online at http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/.

Global dialogue on development

General Assembly
High-level dialogue on financing for development
New York, 27-28 June 2005
http://www.un.org/esa/ffd

The high-level dialogue is a major intergovernmental opportunity to review follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development held in March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Contact: Mr. Oscar de Rojas, Financing for Development Office, +1 212/963-2587.

Economic and Social Council

Special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
New York, 18 April 2005
http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/meetings/2005/bwi2005/


In a continued multilateral effort to further the development agenda, the Economic and Social Council hosted a day-long special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Unprecedented participation by BWI Boards (21World Bank and 8 IMF Executive Directors) and a significant number of Finance and other Ministers, Central Bank Governors, as well as the President of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board was a testimony to the high importance attached to this meeting.

This year’s meeting focused on "Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus: Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration".

In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the coming months offered a unique opportunity to make real changes in the international system. All developing countries should commit themselves to sound, transparent and accountable national strategies. All donor countries should commit themselves to timetable for reaching the 0.7 of GNI as ODA target, with front-loading through an international finance facility or other mechanisms, and an active search for new sources of finance. He also emphasized the need to find new ways to ensure that the developing countries’ debt burden is genuinely sustainable. No less important, there was need for a commitment to complete the Doha Round next year. There was also need for more specific commitments to address the special needs of Africa. “The September Summit”, he said, “will be the ideal moment to take those decisions”.

The meeting was briefed about the meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions that were held in Washington over the previous weekend. Mr. Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance of South Africa and Chair of the Development Committee, 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 Mr. Augustin Carstens who represented the Chair of the Committee. Ms. Mary Whelan, President of the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD made a presentation on the work of the Board.

Following opening statements, various aspects of the main theme were discussed in six round tables addressing the following three issues: (i) Policies and strategies; (ii) Trade, investment, and private flows; and (iii) ODA, innovative sources of financing and debt. Co-chairing those interactive discussions along with Ministers from Sweden, Lebanon, Burundi, Mexico, Pakistan, Mozambique and Albania, were the President of the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board, the Dean of the World Bank Board, a Senior Executive Director of the IMF, an Executive Director of the World Bank and the IMF and an Executive Director of the World Bank. Lead discussants/discussants included 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, which provided background information and raised questions about the issues of policies and strategies; trade, investment, and private flows; and ODA, innovative sources of financing and debt as well as an informal list of recommendations coming out of the Secretary-General’s report “In larger freedom”, the Global Monitoring Report and the Millennium Project report for consideration at the round tables. Reports of the round tables were presented by the co-chairs, followed by statements by civil society and private sector representatives, and further exchange of views among Member States.

In his closing statement, the President of ECOSOC noted that there had been a wide measure of convergence on many issues, but also differences of perception on several others. In the months before the Council’s substantive session in July, some of those specific issues needed to be addressed in greater depth so as to promote a broader consensus and in order to take action by the September Summit. In doing so, three aspects would be essential: (i) continued cooperation and coordination between the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, WTO and UNCTAD, and leadership from capitals; (ii) a sincere commitment to fulfill the agreements; (iii) and a better international macroeconomic environment, where the imbalances, concerns and threats mentioned during the dialogue would be addressed, so as to enable the development agenda to move forward. The President’s summary of the meeting will be made available to the High-Level Dialogue of the GA on Financing for Development in June and ECOSOC substantive session in July.

Contact: Mr. Sarbuland Khan, Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination,.+1 212/963-7478; Mr. Oscar de Rojas, Financing for Development Office, +1 212/963-2587

Meeting on nutrition and poverty
New York, 7 June 2005

In preparation of the September Millennium Summit +5 meeting of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council is organizing a panel discussion on nutrition and poverty. It will be coorganized by the Sub-Committee on Nutrition and Poverty based in Geneva and the Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination. The panel will focus on the importance of food and nutrition interventions for achieving the MDGs, and will draw on the results of the symposium in Brasilia.

Contact: Mr. Joseph Abraham, Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963-4839.

2005 substantive session, high-level segment
New York, 29 June-1 July 2005
http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc

On 29 June, the Economic and Social Council will open its substantive debate with the high-level segment, 29-30 June 2005. The high-level debate will focus on the theme “Achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration as well as implementing the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits: progress made, challenges and opportunities”. The Secretary-General’s background report for the segment will explore the linkages between the outcomes of the major UN conferences and summits, including the Millennium Declaration, and propose specific policy recommendations to promote the idea of a UN development agenda and a comprehensive approach to its implementation. A ministerial declaration, which will be directly relevant to the overall debate on the implementation of the Millennium Declaration taking place at the September Millennium Summit, is the expected outcome of this debate.

The report will incorporate inputs from United Nations organizations and draw upon the outcomes of the special preparatory roundtables of the Council held on 16 and 17 March 2005 and the Economic and Social Council NGO/Civil Society Forum held on 10 March 2005.

Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik, +1 212/963-4201 or Mr. Alberto Padova, +1 212/ 963-4759, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination.

Commission on Sustainable Development
13th session, New York, 11-22 April 2005
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd.htm

The 13th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development concluded in the early hours of 23 April 2005 with the adoption of a policy decision on practical measures to expedite progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and Johannesburg commitments relating to water, sanitation and human settlements. Other outputs of the session include a ‘living document’ of voluntary commitments by implementation actors to mobilize further action, and a summary of policy options and practical measures with case studies illustrating their implementation, both to be continuously updated on the CSD website. Taken together, the outcome of CSD-13, including the negotiated output and the voluntary commitments by Governments, meets the expectations of a reformed CSD.

More than 2000 participants attended the 13th session, including over 100 ministers with portfolio responsibilities for water, health, housing, finance, trade and development cooperation, as well as ministers of the environment. Along with a partnerships fair and learning centre, which were attended by over 500 participants, respectively, CSD-13 featured a regional perspectives session and a panel discussion of finance and development cooperation ministers and experts, which was opened by the Secretary-General and co-moderated by the Minister of Finance of South Africa and Minister for International Development of Norway. Some 600 representatives of major groups contributed to the interactive discussions throughout the two weeks, making over 100 interventions.

The high-level segment, which was held from 20-22 April, was opened by the Deputy-Secretary-General. Ms. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate delivered a video message. A number of invited speakers, including Minister Borge Brende of Norway, Chairman of CSD-12, Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman of Green Cross International, and Ms. Sunita Narain, Centre for Science and Environment, India and 2005 Stockholm Water Prize winner, led off ministerial discussions.

The Commission’s decision sets forth approximately 30 policy recommendations, backed by some 100 concrete, specific practical measures and actions. To emphasize the actionable and deliverable features of its decision, the Commission adopted an unconventional format by placing all practical measures inside boxes, thereby helping to keep the text concise and compact.

The following gives a flavour of the content of the CSD’s decision.

  • To accelerate progress in providing access to safe drinking water, the Commission recommends instituting economic incentives to encourage the participation of small-scale water service providers; implementing affordable water tariffs to contribute to the financial sustainability of water services; and targeting subsidies for the poor, including connection costs. The CSD also calls for better water management, including more efficient irrigation and wider use of rain water harvesting technologies, especially in the agricultural sector; implementing irrigation projects with a focus on the poor, particularly in Africa; and training farmers and water users associations in efficient water use.
  • The Commission calls for establishing an institutional home for work on sanitation, and giving it priority in national development plans and budgets, targeting investments to areas of greatest need and greatest impact, such as schools, work places and health centres and assessing the health impacts of the lack of sanitation at the community level. The CSD also calls for financial and technical assistance to national and local authorities in deploying effective and environmentally-sound sewerage systems and for waste water treatment and reuse.
  • For human settlements, the Commission recommends that governments, with assistance from the international community, design pro-poor policies with a focus on tenure security and access to affordable serviced land in order to improve access of the poor, in particular slum dwellers, to decent and affordable housing and basic services. The CSD also recommends giving particular attention to the equal rights of women to own and inherit land and other property and to access credit markets; incorporating employment and enterprise development policies into national planning and slum prevention and upgrading programmes, and providing education and vocational training to women and youth to improve their access to decent jobs. Governments were also encouraged to promote public-public and public-private partnerships for financing and developing infrastructure and affordable housing.
  • The Commission also recommends specific steps on follow-up on water, sanitation and human settlements, as well as on small island developing States, deciding, among other things, to devote one day of its future review sessions to follow-up on the Mauritius strategy.

With respect to the review of the Millennium Summit at the high-level plenary meeting of the 60th session of the General Assembly in September, the Commission decided to submit its decision to the Economic and Social Council as a significant contribution to this meeting.

Although negotiations on the decision went beyond the envisaged number of days, reflecting both the complexity of the issues and the diversity of views on how best to meet the water, sanitation and human settlements challenges, the final decision, adopted by consensus, was generally welcomed as a balanced, action-oriented decision that will help guide further implementation efforts in the years to come. The introduction into the decision text of the issue of illegal settlements and foreign occupation accentuated the political dimensions of the CSD’s work.

The innovative features introduced during this first implementation cycle have greatly enhanced the interactivity and dynamism of the Commission’s work. Approximately 200 Ministers attended CSD-12 and CSD-13. Some 100 experts, many from UN agencies, contributed to the Commission’s deliberations as panellists. Five regional discussion sessions which built upon five regional implementation meetings, as well as one regional perspective session, took place during the first cycle. Close to 1000 participants attended more than 30 courses in the learning centre, all provided at no cost to the United Nations. The partnerships fair has provided an important venue for networking among partners and for exchanging lessons learned and best practice. The number of partnerships registered with the CSD secretariat has increased from 235 in 2003 to over 300.

CSD-13 marks the completion of the 1st implementation cycle of the Commission’s multi-year work programme. The overall sentiment among participants suggested that, viewed as a continuum, CSD-12 and CSD-13, including the intergovernmental preparatory meeting for CSD-13, which generated a chairman’s summary on policy options and its user-friendly matrix, successfully delivered what was envisaged at CSD-11 – identifying obstacles and constraints and deciding on practical measures to address them, thereby advancing implementation.

The challenge ahead is to ensure effective follow-up to the policy decision on water, sanitation and human settlements and to continue refining the methods of work of the Commission, including a more co-ordinated outreach effort regarding the Commission’s programme of work.

Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman of Green Cross International, shares his views on water and sanitation with members of the press. A complete set of archived webcasts of the session is available online at http://www.un.org/webcast/csd13.htm.

Contact: Mr. Juwang Zhu, Division for Sustainable Development, +1 212/963-0380

World Summit on the Information Society

Pan-Arab Conference on the Tunis phase
Cairo, 8-10 May 2005
http://www.wsis-egypt.gov.eg/main.asp

The Pan-Arab Conference for the World Summit on Information Society will take place in Cairo in preparation for the second phase of the summit to be held in Tunis in November. The conference will be held in cooperation with the League of Arab States, in coordination with the International Telecommunications Union and secretariat of the WSIS. The event is organized and hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt. This conference comes in response to the call for Prep-Com I (Hammamet, June 2003) inviting the international community to organize regional conferences and thematic meetings to prepare for the summit.

The workings of the conference will revolve around activating the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, which were issued in the first phase of the summit. In this context, pan-Arab concerns and issues will be discussed. In addition, the conference will include both an international and an African dimension, allowing the Arab region to hold a constructive debate on issues relevant to the international community before the last round of negotiations is held in September 2005.

Regional Conference for Asia-Pacific
Tehran, 31 May-2 June 2005

The Regional Preparatory Conference for Asia-Pacific will also contribute to the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. The objective of the conference is to discuss how best to work together to contribute to the region's effective transition to an information society that will accelerate and enhance regional economic, social, cultural and technological development.

Regional Preparatory Ministerial Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean
Rio de Janeiro, 8-10 June 2005
http://www.riocmsi.gov.br/english/cmsi

The Brazilian government is convening the Regional Preparatory Ministerial Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean for the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society. Concurrently, seminars will be organized with a wide participation of civil society, academia and private sector on topics of relevance for building up the information society for the regional action plan, "eLAC2007."

Contact: UN ICT Task Force Secretariat, + 1 212/963-5796.

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations
2005 session resumed
New York, 5-20 May 2005

The nineteen-member Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations will hold its 2005 resumed session. During this session, Member States will review some one hundred new requests from non-governmental organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as well as 48 deferred applications from previous sessions and quadrennial reports submitted by organizations in general and special consultative reporting on their UN-related activities . The Committee will also have the opportunity to review its methods of work and hear the report of its informal working group on statistics requested by the Committee at its regular session. Members of the Committee will also hear a full report on the work of the DESA/NGO Section over the year and the latest initiatives and undertakings developed by the UN/NGO Network IRENE. The Committee is chaired by Ms. Paimaneh Hastaie of Iran.

Contact: Ms. Hanifa Mezoui, Office of Economc and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963-8652.

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
4th session: Indigenous peoples and the MDGs
New York, 16-27 May 2005
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/

Preparatory work has included a statement and technical paper of the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues, an expert paper submitted by a Forum member, desk reviews of national Millennium Development Goal reports by the secretariat, selected reviews of poverty reduction strategy papers by ILO and input by individual agencies to the Forum’s documentation. MDGs will be the Forum’s focus for the next three years.

Other expected highlights of the substantive agenda are: discussion of human rights with special emphasis on a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, progress report on developments re data collection and disaggregation for indigenous peoples and the result of the international expert meeting on free, prior and informed consent.

Pre-sessional meeting

Pre-sessional meeting will give the opportunity to members, old and new, to exchange ideas and to organize for the fourth session. This is a closed meeting for the first two days, 11and 12 May. The third day of the pre-sessional meeting, 13 May, will be a meeting between the Forum and the Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues.

Participation of about 1200 people is expected: at least 1000 indigenous representatives and representatives of other NGOs and academia. Some 70 states and 30 inter-governmental entities are also expected.

4th session programme and events

Regarding the session itself, the following high-level officials will participate in the opening of the session, 11:30 am to 1pm of 16 May: The Deputy-Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council and DESA's Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs. At the opening ceremony, the traditional Chief of the Onondaga, Mr. Sid Hill, will also address words of welcome and a ceremonial indigenous musical instrument will be played. As the agenda indicates, at the opening meeting, the Forum will elect its bureau and adopt its programme of work.

In the afternoon of the 16th of May, at the launch of the first sub-item on Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals, the following high-level speakers are confirmed as of now: The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Louise Arbour, the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and the Special Rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty at the Commission on Human Rights, Professor Arjun Sengupta. Other high-level speakers expected during the session include the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, the Chairperson of the UN Forum on Forests, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, the Chairperson of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on Gender, the Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Vice-President and Head of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network of the World Bank and the Deputy Manager for Social Development and Public Governance of the Inter-American Development Bank.

The pre-sessional documentation submitted by agencies, governments, the Secretariat and NGOs is composed of 31 documents, including 4 conference room papers. By the beginning of the session the secretariat will have completed a database of the recommendations of the third session and their status of implementation based on the analysis of reports from agencies. Documents for the fourth session of the Forum are in all official UN languages as soon as they become available.

Forty-eight side events are scheduled during the session as of now. They are organized by governments, agencies, indigenous organizations, NGOs and others. Side events take place mostly at lunch time. The schedule of the side events will be posted on the website shortly.

In response to the Forum’s effort to bring solutions closer to the ground, a novelty, namely three region-specific events organized by the secretariat will be launched on 18 May (Africa), 19 May (Asia), and 23 May (Latin America) from 1:15 to 2:45pm in Conference Room 2. The purpose of the region-specific events is to encourage dialogue at the regional level on the major challenges and visions for action, especially as regards the MDGs. Under the chairmanship of Forum Members, a dialogue will be held between agencies and indigenous organizations, interested governments and hopefully some Regional Commissions.

In addition, there will be an event on Friday, 20 May, from 1:15 to 2:45, in Room 2, on the presentation of important case studies of IFAD’s work with indigenous communities in Latin America and Asia, with focus on the MDGs and important lessons learnt for the inter-governmental system. Indigenous experts from the countries where the studies were conducted will be among the panelists. A high-level panel with a preliminary review of case studies was conducted during IFAD’s Governing Council in Rome in February. The Forum secretariat cooperates with IFAD and the Tebtebba Foundation on this project for which IFAD provided a grant of $150,000.

Regarding the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, of which the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Ocampo, is the coordinator, an oral report will be presented to the Forum with an overview of responses which will be received by then so that the Forum and all participants can have an informed discussion during the second week and provide advice.

The opening of the annual indigenous exhibit and a cultural event and reception will take place on Tuesday, 17 May at 6:15 pm. All are welcome.

The Indigenous Caucus will meet during the week-end before the session as well as during the session. Communications to indigenous organizations are posted on the web.

Two training seminars for indigenous representatives will be held before the session. A seminar for members of Permanent Missions took place on 27 April.

Contact: Ms. Hui Lu, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 212/963-8378

Trends and analysis

United Nations meeting on software for demographic projections of HIV/AIDS
New York, 10-11 May 2005

The main objective of this technical meeting is to compare modeling approaches and procedures in order to improve existing software solutions for the estimation and projection of the demographic impact of HIV/AIDS. This should ultimately lead to more consistent and comprehensive demographic estimates and projections. Participants will include, among others, experts from the United States Census Bureau and the Futures Group, two main sources of expertise in this highly specialized field.

Meeting on prevention of alcohol abuse and the use of ICT
New York, 12 May 2005

It is widely acknowledged that alcohol and alcohol abuse is a disease that touches more lives than all other diseases combined. The realization and concern of the international community of the escalating problems caused by alcoholism gives great hope that working together, the UN system organizations and the NGOs/civil society can move forward toward conquering this disease. With recognition of the problem, it is important to cooperate or move together through this awareness to education, prevention and treatment.

A roundtable meeting will bring together program leaders throughout the UN system organizations, in particular the UNESCO, WHO, UNODC, UNICEF, DAW/DESA and international program committed to this cause. The roundtable is organized by Observatory for Culture and Audiovisual Communication, Milan, Italy, the University of Oklahoma, the InfoPoverty Institute, and the Smithers Foundation, and is supported by the Office of Economic and Social Counci l Support and Coordination. The emphasis will be on contributions these programmes make and materials available – and how through ICT these resources, materials, and programs can be available to even the remotest of countries and communities.

Contact: Mr. Joseph Abraham, Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4839.

Expert group meeting on the world economy - Project LINK
Mexico City, 16-20 May 2005
http://www.un.org/esa/policy/link/

The expert group meeting on the world economy-Project LINK will be sponsored by Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). Some 100 participants from about 60 countries and several international organizations will be present. The agenda will include three broad items: the global economic outlook, special economic policy issues in the world economy, and econometric modeling issues. At the meeting, DESA will present the LINK global economic outlook, which is made possible by combining inputs from LINK national forecasting/modeling centers and an assessment by DESA staff, via a simulation exercise on the LINK modeling system. Other international organizations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, will also present their views on the prospects of the world economy. Participants will also discuss the global outlook from their country/regional perspectives. A few sessions will be designated to the discussion of some special economic issues in the world economy, such as the implications of the large global imbalances, the impact of high oil prices, international trade and finance issues. A few sessions will be focused on econometric techniques, including invited lectures by specialists in the fields.

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

Expert group meeting on good practices in combating and eliminating violence against women
Vienna, 17-20 May 2005

The Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, will convene an expert group meeting on good practices in combating and eliminating violence against women. The aim of the meeting will be to identify legislation, plans, policies and other strategies that have been effective in combating violence against women and to arrive at a set of recommendations and guidelines to consider when developing initiatives to address such violence. The meeting will provide input for the Secretary-General’s study on all forms of violence against women, mandated by General Assembly resolution 58/185.

Contact: Ms. Monique Widyono, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 917/367-9030.

City informatization in the Asia-Pacific region
Fifth forum
Shanghai, 30-31 May 2005
http://www.apcity.org

The Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region (CIAPR) was initiated by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and DESA in response to the call for bridging the digital divide expressed in the Economic and Social Council Ministerial Declaration and at the United Nations Millennium Summit. CIAPR is co-sponsored by the Government of China, the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Telecommunication Union.

The mission of the CIAPR is to provide a platform for government leaders, decision-makers and policy developers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, and technical professionals and experts worldwide to exchange visions, policies and strategies, technologies and products, practices and experiences in order to stimulate economic and social development through city informatization in the Asia-Pacific region. In particular the forum will focus on the emerging needs and trends worldwide in taking advantage of ICT for development. Special attention will be given to the needs of developing countries and the strategies to bridge the digital divide.

Contact: UN ICT Task Force Secretariat, +1 212/963- 5796

Ad hoc expert group meeting on knowledge management in public administration
Shanghai, 31 May-1 June 2005

DPADM is organizing an ad hoc expert group meeting on knowledge management in public administration. The meeting will be held as a parallel event in the framework of the 5th Annual Forum on City Informatization in the Asia-Pacific Region. It will examine the status and trends in knowledge management in public administration organizations. The experts will also be requested to provide suggestions to UNDESA on future directions of its work in the area of knowledge management.

Contact: Mr. Jerzy Szeremeta, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-3924.

Work session on water statistics
Vienna, 20-22 June 2005
http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/iwg-env

A work session on water statistics, organized by the Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics (UNSD, UNECE, UNEP, OECD and Eurostat) will be hosted by the Austrian Environment Agency.

The specific objectives of the work session are (1) to review information needed for water policy and how this demand is met by international water statistics and integrated environmental-economic accounting for water resources; and (2) to provide a forum for invited countries and international organisations to exchange experiences on best practices in the collection, organization and analysis of water statistics.

Contact: Ms. Rosmary Motgomery, Statistics Division, +1 917/367-6054

Meeting on approaches and methodologies for the assessment and transfer of best practices in governance and public administration
Tunis, 13-14 June 2005

and

Ad hoc expert group meeting on sharing of best practices and innovation in governance and public administration in the Mediterranean region
Tunis, 15-17 June 2005

DPADM is organizing a meeting on approaches and methodologies for the assessment and transfer of best practices in governance and public administration. The overall objective of the meeting is to explore, discuss and agree on the approaches and methodologies that are appropriate for the transfer of successful innovations in governance and public administration within and across countries and regions. The meeting should lead to the preparation of guidelines on how to assess and replicate best practices.

This meeting will be followed by an ad hoc expert group meeting on sharing of best practices and innovation in governance and public administration in the Mediterranean region, which is organized by DPADM, under the auspices of the Government of Tunisia. This event is one of the activities of the programme for innovation in public administration in the Mediterranean region and aims at providing a platform for government officials and experts of the Mediterranean region to present, discuss and share significant innovations in public administration. The tools and methods which will emerge from the ad hoc expert group meeting will be used in the selection for the replication of selected best practices in the region.

Contact: Ms. Adriana Alberti, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-2299

Meeting of the expert group on international economic and social classifications
New York, 20-23 June 2005

The expert group, bringing together custodians and users of major international economic and social classifications, will review progress on the development of international classifications and provide guidance for future work to improve the relevance of the classifications and improve harmonization between the members of the Family of International Classifications. The expert group will in particular review the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities, the Central Product Classification and the International Standard Classification of Occupations and is expected to approve the draft classifications that have been prepared.

Contact: Mr. Ralf Becker, Statistics Division, + 1 212/ 963-4600

United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas
New York, 27 June-1 July 2005
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/

The eighth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas will be organized by the Statistics Division. This conference, convened every four years, provides a regional forum where approximately 150 participants meet to address the common needs, problems and experiences in the field of surveying and mapping, cartography, remote sensing, land and geographical information systems, including spatial data infrastructure institutional, economic and capacity building issues. Participants are mostly heads of mapping agencies and land surveys and experts from the Americas and other regions, as well as representatives from international and specialized organizations.

Contact: Mr. Amor Laaribi, Statistics Division, + 1 212/ 963-3042

Expert group meeting on poverty statistics
New York, 28-30 June 2005
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/poverty/default.htm

The purpose of the expert group meeting on the forthcoming handbook on poverty statistics is to review the draft manuscript of the handbook, covering issues such as, current poverty measurement practices, statistical tools and estimation methods for poverty measures based on household surveys, statistical issues in measuring poverty from non-survey sources, etc. Authors and reviewers of the chapters will participate in the meeting, as well as national poverty experts from a number of developing countries.

Contact: Ms. Gisele Kamanou, Statistics Division, +1 212/ 963-4328

Technical cooperation

Global initiatives

Validation workshop on manual for implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Utrecht, 12-14 May 2005

The Division for the Advancement of Women, with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights at the University of Utrecht, is in the process of preparing a manual on implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and its Optional Protocol. The manual is intended to increase the capacity of States parties for effective and ongoing implementation of the convention and for preparation of initial and periodic reports.

The Division for the Advancement of Women is planning to hold a validation workshop to assess draft chapters of the manual with various stakeholders. The workshop will be attended by approximately 20 participants who are experts on the convention, including from academia, Government, non-governmental organizations and United Nations and regional entities.

Contact: Ms. Saras Jagwanth, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/963-6052

Sixth global forum on reinventing government
Seoul, 24-27 May 2005

The 6th global forum on reinventing government: towards participatory and transparent governance is a partnership initiative between DPADM and the Government of the Republic of Korea. The global forum has emerged as a significant global event focusing on reinventing government since the Government of the United States organized the first one in 1999. Subsequent forums have been organized on different themes by the Governments of Brazil, Italy, Morocco, and Mexico.

In view of the significance of the event for ministers, senior government officials, civil society organizations, and the private sector, the UN Secretary-General endorsed continuing support, upon request, to any Member State organizing the Forum. DPADM provides support for organizing the Global Forum in cooperation with a group of institutional partners.

During the plenary sessions, experts from the main sectors of governance (government, business, and civil society) will deliver speeches and introduce practical cases of reinvention. In addition, nine parallel capacity development workshops, to be held on 26-27 May 2005, are included in the programme of the 6th global forum. Organized by UN entities in cooperation with global and regional institutions, with the financial support of the Government of Italy, the workshops will focus on nine different aspects of participatory and transparent governance:

  • Public service ethics and trust in government
  • Governance-oriented innovations to enhance State capacity
  • Access to services for all through participation and accountability
  • E-government as a tool for participation and transparency
  • Auditing for social change
  • Representative democracy, participatory methods and capacity
  • Development for responsible politics
  • Corporate governance, market economy, and accountability
  • Decentralization and local autonomy for participatory democracy
  • The role of civil society in decentralizing the Millennium Development Goals

Contact: Mr. Shabbir Cheema, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-4533

4th global forum on combating corruption and safeguarding integrity
Brasilia, 7-10 June 2005
http://www.IVforumglobal.org.br

The global forum on combating corruption and safeguarding integrity is a biennial international meeting of ministers of justice and other ministers in charge of anti-corruption portfolios. Launched by the Government of the United States in 1999, the Governments of the Netherlands and the Republic of Korea have also hosted previous global forums under different themes. The theme of the 4th global forum, "From Words to Deeds", reflects and responds to the growing awareness that in order to fight corruption, decisive action is needed, particularly with the successful negotiation of the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003. Since the 3rd global forum held in Seoul, Korea in 2003, DPADM has represented DESA as a member of the International Organizing Committee, providing advice on the overall programme to reflect the latest international trends in preventing corruption in the public sector. For the 4th global forum in Brasilia, DPADM will also provide resource people for various workshops on the themes: (1) international conventions; (2) money laundering; (3) public procurement; (4) e-government; (5) measuring corruption; (6) conflicts of interest; and (7) civil society.

Contact: Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-2926

Advisory group on information technology
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cio.htm

In response to feedback from national statistical offices the United Nations Statistics Division is in the process of establishing an Advisory Group on the Application of Information Technology in National Statistical Offices. The Advisory Group will comprise of chief information officers of selected national statistical offices. Its role is to examine current practices, advise national statistical offices in choosing, designing, and implementing information systems for statistical activities, and to address strategic IT issues that would impact on the global statistical system.

Africa south of the Sahara

Third international open access workshop
Maputo, 10-11 May 2005
http://www.openaccess.uem.mz/

The United Nations ICT Task Force Working Group on Low Cost Access and Connectivity in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Kista IT-University, the Edoardo Mondlane University and the International Development Research Centre will organize its third workshop on the topic of Open Access. This year the main theme of the workshop will be on open access solutions, a pan-African fibre backbone, financing models, and regulatory environment for open access technologies. The scope is how to provide open access which includes identifying the users, the relevant technologies, and the regulatory framework and how to support the entrepreneurship that is necessary to build sustainable networks. This conference will address the open access technologies in the context of developing regions, in particular sub-Saharan Africa.

Contact: Mr. Samuel Danofsky, UN ICT Task Force Secretariat,+1 917/367-2424

Workshop on strengthening the capacity of national machineries through the effective use of information and communication technologies
Addis Ababa, 23-27 May 2005

The Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa is organizing a workshop for representatives from fourteen national machineries for the advancement of women in Africa. The workshop is the fourth in the series of five sub-regional workshops the Division for the Advancement of Women is organizing for national machineries in Africa and West Asia. The following countries will be invited to participate: Algeria, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, and Tunisia.

The workshop will identify common strategies for institutional capacity-building for promoting gender equality through the effective use of information and communications technologies, and develop an e-based network of national machineries in Africa. The five-day meeting for senior representatives of national machineries will include hands-on training for expert representatives and information managers/specialists from national machineries on the use of ICTs for knowledge management, information sharing and development of web sites. Through the involvement of national ICT policy makers and resource persons, the workshops will enhance the capacity of national machineries to influence national ICT policies and provide input to the World Summit on the Information Society.

Contact: Ms. Anna Modersitzki Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 917/367-3124

Leadership capacity-building for decentralized governance and poverty reduction for sub-Saharan Africa
Kigali, 6–8 June 2005

The principal objective of this ministerial conference is to exchange knowledge, information and experiences which will contribute to the enhancement of the leadership capacity of the participants to initiate, promote, and manage local governance systems.

Jointly organized by the Government of Rwanda, DPADM, UNCDF and UNDP, the conference will be attended by ministers in charge of decentralization and local government from 23 sub-Saharan countries from central, eastern, and southern Africa. Each minister is expected to be accompanied by a permanent secretary, mayor, chairperson and/or secretary-general of a national association of local authorities.

Participants will include representatives from UNDP, ECA, the World Bank, and other UN agencies, the Africa Union, NEPAD, the East African Community, the Southern Africa Development Cooperation, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, the United Cities and Local Governments, and the European Union.

Contact: Mr. Alphonse Mekolo, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 917-367-2413

Workshop on evaluating public policies for poverty reduction: tools, techniques and processes
Nairobi, 28-30 June 2005

DPADM is organizing the above workshop with the support of the Government of Kenya, the UN Coordinator, and Africa office of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development in Nairobi. The workshop is being held within the framework of the Millennium Declaration, and to support the implementation of Millennium Development Goal number 1 and of associated resolutions of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration. It also supports the UNDP/DESA project on economic policies in support of the MDGs and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. The overall objective of the workshop is to draw lessons from East African countries on the impact of public policies on poverty reduction and provide the means to the participants to carry out such impact studies at the country level. In addition, the workshop will support the sustainable development strategies and will disseminate methodologies for pro-poor economic policies in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, its aim is to help formulate an action plan, including on training and capacity-building, that would contribute to a systematic evaluation of the impact of public policies on poverty reduction within the framework of the MDGs. Participating countries include Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Contact: Mr. Olympios Katsiaouni, +1 212/963-6417, or Mr. Jean Le Nay, +1 212/963-5552, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Asia and the Pacific

High-level consultation mission on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Kabul, 23-26 May 2005

A high-level consultation mission on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women to Afghanistan is is being organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women. Five experts on the Convention will meet with a number of ministries, non-governmental organizations and UN entities during the four-day mission. The purpose of the mission is to increase visibility and support for implementation of the Convention in Afghanistan, and to identify gaps and challenges faced by the Government in its efforts to implement the Convention and develop appropriate recommendations for enhanced implementation.

Contact: Ms. Yasmeen Hassan, Division for the Advancment of Women, +1 212/ 963-3162

Europe and Commonweath of Independent States

Regional meeting of experts, senior civil servants and civil society organizations
Kozani, 20-23 June 2005

A regional meeting of experts and senior government officials is being organized by DPADM to discuss the programme of work of the United Nations Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism. The meeting will also analyse a draft of a regional public service charter that will be fundamental for the future activities of the Centre. This meeting will produce the inputs to be presented and endorsed by the Ministers of public administration of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and CIS countries to be held during a ministerial consultation in Thessaloniki in November 2005.

Contact: Mr. José Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-0701

Latin America and the Caribbean

Ministerial meeting on the implementation of the Ibero-American Charter of Public Service
Mexico City, 5-6 May 2005

DPADM is organizing a meeting with the Ministers of Public Administration and Reform of the State of all Latin American countries, Spain and Portugal to analyse the ways of implementing the principles contained in the Ibero-American Charter of Public Service. Obstacles and strategies for this implementation will be identified and analysed in order for DPADM to plan its technical cooperation in this area for the region. The Ibero-American Charter was an initiative of DPADM and was endorsed by the Heads of State and Government during the Ibero-American Summit in 2004.

Contact: Mr. José Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-0701

Judicial Colloquium on the Application of International Human Rights Law
Santiago, 25-27 May 2005

and

Training workshop on implementation and reporting under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Santiago, 30 May-1 June 2005

The Division for the Advancement of Women, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, is holding a judicial colloquium and a training workshop for government officials on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Judicial officers and Government officials from twelve countries in the Latin American region have been invited to attend the two events. 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.

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 more effectively implement the Convention at the national level and to prepare States parties’ reports. Both events will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

Contact: Ms. Saras Jagwanth, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 212/ 963-6052

Publications and websites

Monographs

World Public Sector Report 2005
Forthcoming

The World Public Sector Report 2005: Unlocking the Human Potential for Public Sector Performance, issued by DPADM, will be launched by Mr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic Affairs on 25 May at the 6th global forum on reinventing government in Seoul. The Report discusses the critical role of people and human resources management in effective public administration and provides analytical support to the ongoing debate of how to manage and motivate people in the public sector, with a particular focus on developing countries and transition economies.

Contact: Mr. Kristinn Helgason, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-8418

Technical reports

World Population Monitoring 2003
Population, Education and Development ST/ESA/SER.A/228
http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2003monitoring/WorldPopMonitoring_2003.pdf

World Fertility Report 2003
ESA/P/WP/189
http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldfertility/World_Fertility_Report.htm

Governance in the Mediterranean Region: Challenges and Opportunities
Forthcoming

DPADM will issue a publication on Governance in the Mediterranean Region: Challenges and Opportunities in June 2005. The publication provides an account of the main characteristics of governance and public administration in fifteen countries of the Mediterranean region (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Federation of Serbia and Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey). It also analyses key reforms and challenges in the area of public administration and highlights the priorities for reform at the national, subregional and regional levels. Finally, the report provides a comparative analysis of challenges and opportunities in reinventing government. The findings of this report are based on the contributions from national experts of the Mediterranean region and on the main conclusions from the Consultative Meeting on Priorities in Innovating Governance in the Mediterranean Region which was organized by DPADM in May 2004.

Contact: Ms. Adriana Alberti, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-2299

Innovation and Quality in the Government of the 21st Century
Forthcoming

DPADM will issue in May the above publication, which is based on the findings of the Capacity Development Workshops held in Mexico City, Mexico from 5-6 November 2003. The Workshops followed the Fifth Global Forum on Reinventing Government which focused on the title theme. Contributions to the publication were made by DPADM and other UN entities, international institutions and academia.

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

Meeting records

Proceedings of the Seminar on the Relevance of Population Aspects for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
New York, 17-19 November 2004 ESA/P/WP/192
http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/PopAspectsMDG/PopAspects.htm

Handbooks

Household Sample Surveys in Developing and Transition Countries
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/hhsurveys

Latest publication by leading experts in survey methodology from around the world.

Statistical compilations

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

Provides monthly statistics on 50 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/385
Vol. LIX – No. 11
January 2005

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/385
Vol. LVIII – No. 2
February 2005

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

Contact: Mr. Keith Tong, Statistics Division, +1 212/ 963-4568

National Accounts Statistics: Analysis of Main Aggregates, 2002-2003

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.X/32
Sales Number E.04.XVII.12

This publication presents, in the form of analytical tables, a summary of the principal national accounting aggregates based on official detailed national accounts data for more than 200 countries and areas of the world. The analytical tables include detailed economic analysis of data on gross domestic product by type of expenditure, kind of economic activity and other principal income aggregates, based on current prices and constant prices are transformed into structural shares, growth rates and implicit price deflators for more detailed economic analysis.

Contact: Mr. Viet Vu, Statistics Division, + 1 212/963-4862

Population and Vital Statistics Report

ST/ESA/STAT/SER.A/230/231
Series A Vol. LVI, No.2
Data available as of 1 October 2004

The latest available population census and estimates are presented quarterly for over 200 countries or areas. National statistics of live births, deaths and infant deaths for the most recent year are also shown.

Contact: Mr. Srdjan Mrkic, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-4940

Websites

UNPAN search engine upgrade
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/

DPADM has released a new comprehensive search engine that replaces a number of individual search pages that had been constructed for different sections of the UNPAN website. UNPAN is a one-window access to worldwide, multilingual resources on public administration and public sector policy, now made even easier thanks to improved search capabilities.

Contact: Ms. Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 917/367-5375

UNPAN learning manager
http://unpan3.un.org/tlm40

DPADM is pleased to announce the launch of the UNPAN learning manager, an online course content management software, which allows for the development and delivery of online courses in an open or managed environment. In cooperation with and financed by DPADM, the Regional Coordination Office for City Informatization (RCOCI), an UNPAN partner, has developed the first online course entitled e-government : what a government leader should know. The first offering of the course is tentatively scheduled for May 2005, and will accommodate approximately 15 students in a managed environment. Student progress will be monitored and managed by the course developers at RCOCI, and a certificate will be awarded to all students upon successful completion of short tests and a final exam. This pilot course is open only to UNPAN members at this time.

Contact: The head of an UNPAN member organization, as well as Ms. Chen Gu, RCOCI, with copy to Mrs. Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Redesigned website of the UN programme on youth in four languages
http://www.un.org/youth/

On 13 April, a new design of the youth website was launched. The site is available in English, French, Spanish and Russian and includes a range of material for youth and youth organizations. Of note is an expert group report entitled Youth and the MDGs: Challenges and Opportunities for Implementation, prepared in connection with the Millennium Project.

Contact: Mr. Fred Doulton, +1 212/963-4466, or for the report on youth and MDGs, Ms. Julie Larsen, +1 917/367-6036, Division for Social Policy and Development

Secretary-General’s study on violence against women
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/index.htm

On 22 December 2003, the General Assembly of the United Nations requested the Secretary-General to conduct an in-depth study on all forms of violence against women (resolution 58/185). The study is expected to provide:

  • A statistical overview on all forms of violence against women;
  • The causes of violence against women;
  • The medium and long-term consequences of violence against women;
  • The health, social and economic costs of violence against women; and
  • Best practice examples for combating and eliminating violence against women.

DAW has launched a new website with information on the study and related preparatory activities.

Contact: Mr. Adrian Curley, Division for the Advancement of Women, +1 917/ 367-3581

Report of the Statistical Commission
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/sc2005.htm

An advanced draft of the report of the 36th session of the Statistical Commission session held in New York from 1-4 March 2005, and a statement on programme issues by Paul Cheung, Director of the Statistics Division presented to the Commission have been posted online.

Contact: Ms. Li Wang, Statistics Division, +1 212/963-9547

Calendar

May

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations 2005 session resumed
New York, 5-20 May 2005

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Pre-sessional meeting
New York, 11-13 May 2005

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
4th session
New York, 16-27 May 2005

United Nations Forum on Forests
5th session
New York, 16-27 May 2005

June

Meeting of persons chairing human rights treaty bodies
Geneva, 20-24 June 2005

General Assembly
High-level dialogue on financing for development
New York, 27-28 June 2005

Eighth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas
New York, 27 June-1 July 2005

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Working Group on Communications under the Optional Protocol to the Convention
NewYork, 27 June-1 July 2005

Economic and Social Council
2005 substantive session
New York, 29 June-27 July 2005

Special events

Lunchtime briefing on the International Year of Microcredit
New York, 10 May 2005
http://www.yearofmicrocredit.org/

Nearly 80 countries around the world are engaged in celebrating 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit. DSPD will host a lunchtime briefing on activities for the Year on Tuesday, 10 May 2005 in conference room 6 from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

Contact: Mr. Broddi Sigurdarson, Division of Social Policy and Development, +1 917/367 2106

Observance of the International Day of Families
New York, 12 May 2005
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/

The 15th of May has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day of Families. Since this year 15 May falls on a Sunday, the Day will be observed on 12 May 2005 from 10:00 am to approximately 12:30 p.m. in the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium. The theme this year is HIV/AIDS and family well-being.

The observance is being organized jointly by the United Nations Department of Public Information and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in consultation with the New York NGO Committee on the Family and will be held during the weekly Department of Public Information NGO briefing.

The main event of the observance will be a panel discussion of expert representatives from government, civil society, and the United Nations. The panelists are H.E. Mr. Alfred M. Dube, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Botswana to the United Nations; Ms. Beatrice Krauss, Ph.D, Executive Director, Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health; and Dr. Mark Belsey, M.D., World Health Organization (retired), author of the forthcoming UN/DESA publication entitled AIDS and the Family: Policy Options for a Crisis in Family Capital.

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

Meeting on sustainable architecture and urban planning, World Environment Day, 6 June

The rapid growth of the world population is one of the most striking demographic trends today. Most of this increase in population will have to be settled in urban areas. The challenge in sustainable urbanization is to combine local capacity-building and urban policy reforms in order to efficiently plan the urban growth process.

The one day conference on the 6th June 2005 will be organized in two parts, the first part on planning sustainable new buildings, and the second part dealing with the planning of sustainable urban growth, and will also mark the Environment Day Celebration in New York. Lessons will be drawn from the experience of key developing countries with recent smart examples in sustainable urban growth management.

This dialogue can make an important contribution in enhancing awareness and mobilizing all stakeholders with regard to planning sustainable urban growth and sustainable architecture, and could feed into discussions in (1) the 14th Commission on Sustainable Development on energy in 2006, (2) the meeting of the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada, that will also coincide with the 10th Anniversary of UN-Habitat in 2006, and (3) the World Environment Day 2005. Celebrations organized by UNEP in San Francisco. The outcome of the conference will be a non-negotiated thematic summary that clearly identifies lessons learned, drawing on recommendations for future action. This is expected to be the first of a series of conferences on this topic.

Contact: Ms. Aliye Celik, Office of Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963-4201

United Nations public service day and public service awards
UN Headquarters, New York, 23 June 2005
http://www.unpan.org/dpepa_psaward.asp

Organized by DPADM, the United Nations Public Service Day will be observed at UN Headquarters on 23 June from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council. In conjunction with this Day, the United Nations Public Service Awards for 2005 will be presented to the selected winners from various countries worldwide. A video conferencing session will also be held with countries selected from all regions of the world.

Contact: Mr. John-Mary Kauzya, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-1973

DESA News is an insider's look at the United Nations in the area of coordination of economic and social development policies. The newsletter is produced by the Communications and Information Management Service of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with DESA Divisions, and is issued every two months.

Contact: Communications and Information Management Service, + 1 212/963-5874