Volume 3, Issue 5 - October/November 1996

In this issue:

World Youth Forum to Convene in Vienna
Forest Panel Draws Wide Attention
COP-2 Move to Bonn Dominate FCCC Summer
New publication at OSCAL
GA Assesses UN-NADAF Implementation
Convention Set to Enter Into Force
HLAB Focuses on Energy, Transport and Water
One Year After Beijing
Efficiency Review Phase I Concluded - Implementation Underway
Information Fair
Rolodates
General Assembly Documents on the UN Gopher/Online Access to Economic and Social Council Resolutions 1996

World Youth Forum to Convene in Vienna

As a follow-up to General Assembly resolutions 44/59 and 50/81, the United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development is convening the second session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System. This is a biennial consultation of non-governmental youth organizations, youth-related agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, and other intergovernmental organizations which represent regional conferences of governmental ministers responsible for youth affairs.

The tripartite meeting will be held at the Vienna International Centre from 25 to 29 November 1996, co-hosted by the Austrian Federal Youth Council (OBJR). The main objectives of the Forum is to promote the implementation of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond through the identification and promotion of joint youth policies and projects.

The Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky and the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna will open the Forum on 25 November 1996. UNFPA, represented by Mr. Hiro Hudo, Deputy Executive Director, will participate in the opening, in view of that Fund's leadership role in support of the Forum. Approximately 500 people are expected to attend the opening, including the diplomatic corps in Vienna; 350 will participate in the subsequent meetings of the five-day Forum.

The meeting is expected to produce a report and networking arrangements based on recommendations adopted by the Forum for joint action regarding youth policy, youth communications, youth training and youth projects proposed by the Forum's working groups. The results will be included in a report to be submitted to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session in 1997 through the Commission for Social Development. Meanwhile, extra-budgetary funds have been granted by Governments to the United Nations Youth Fund to finance selected joint projects adopted by the Forum which promote the implementation of the Programme of Action.

The World Youth Forum of the United Nations System is the principal platform of youth and youth-related organizations meeting under the aegis of the United Nations General Assembly. The following are its objectives:

  • To provide a forum to strengthen youth efforts, enhance youth involvement in the decision-making processes of the United Nations system, and to develop joint youth policies, projects and programmes;

  • To establish more effective and efficient channels of communications and modes of cooperation between and among youth and youth-serving organizations and the youth-related organizations and agencies of the United Nations system and other youth-related intergovernmental organizations;

  • To promote the implementation and monitoring of the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond and other policies and programmes related to youth, based on the objectives and the priority areas of these policies and programmes and the interests of young people.

The agenda covers:

  • youth policy coordination (day 1)

  • youth communications (day 2)

  • youth training (day 3)

  • youth projects (day 4)

  • and youth recommendations (day 5)

The substantive discussions will take place in twelve working groups. (See box) A unique co-management arrangement has been agreed upon for each of these groups, bringing together representatives of youth NGOs and youth-related organizations and agencies of the UN system.

This system of co-management between youth NGOs and the youth- related organizations and agencies of the United Nations system is reflected not only in the working group discussions, but also in the composition of the Bureau, which will consist of 12 youth NGO co-chairs and 12 UN system co-chairs to direct the overall work programme of the Forum and its follow-up.

Other IGOs, such as the Youth Forum of the Inter-American Development Bank (YF/IDB), the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), the Council of Europe's European Youth Centre (CE/EYC), the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Youth Committee, will also play an important role in this Forum, participating in both plenary panels and in working groups.

Senior officials of Member-States will participate in a special plenary panel on the final afternoon to comment on the results of the Forum and on future youth work in their respective regions. So far, Mr. Antonio Jose Seguro (Secretary of State for Youth, Government of Portugal); Ms. Salma Waheed (Secretary of State for Youth, Government of Pakistan); and Mr. Dionisio Siudifonya (Vice- Minister of Youth, Government of Angola) have agreed to participate in the panel.

Several Member-States have made financial contributions for this effort: Austria (US$125,000), Sweden (US$200,000) and the Netherlands (US$60,000). The Austrian grant was earmarked for the participation of representatives of youth NGOs in the least developed countries to attend the Forum; the Swedish grant for the appointment of an associate expert on youth to work in the Youth Unit (DPCSD/DSPD) to help prepare for and follow-up the Forum; and the Netherlands' grant for operational projects to be designed by youth NGOs at the Forum and carried out in a joint way with the UN system partners especially in the developing countries. Among the youth-related programmes of the UN, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has taken a leading role by allocating US$60,000 for an "International Youth Essay Contest on Promoting Responsible Reproductive Health Behaviour: The Youth Perspective" in support of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System.

Working Group Themes
Youth, Education and Leisure
Co-chairs: UNESCO Youth and Sports Activities Division and the National Union of Students in Europe (ESIB)

Youth and Employment
Co-chairs: ILO and the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY)

Youth, Health and Population
Co-chairs: UNFPA, WHO and UNICEF and the World Assembly of Youth (WAY)

Youth, Hunger and Poverty
Co-chairs: Secretariat for the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, DPCSD/DSPD, FAO, WFP and UNDP, and Youth for Development Cooperation (YDC)

Youth, Environment and Sustainable Development
Co-chairs: DPCSD/DSD, UNEP and Rescue Mission Planet Earth (RMPE)

Youth and Human Settlements
Co-chairs: UNCHS/HABITAT and Youth for HABITAT

Youth and Drug Abuse
Co-chairs: UNDCP and the Caribbean Federation of Youth (CFY)

Youth and Crime: Juvenile Delinquency
Co-chairs: United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)

Youth, Tolerance, Racism and Xenophobia
Co-chairs: UNESCO Unit on Tolerance, United Nations Centre for Human Rights/Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations/Youth Unit, DPCSD/DSPD, European Youth Forum (YFEU) and the Council of European Youth Committees (CENYC)

Girls and Young Women
Co-chairs: UNIFEM and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)

Youth Participation and Youth Rights
Co-chairs: United Nations/Youth Unit, DPCSD/DSPD, United Nations Volunteers (UNV), United Nations Centre for Human Rights/Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)

Youth and Communications
Co-chairs: UNESCO Communications Sector, United Nations Youth Unit, DPCSD/DSPD, DPI/UNIS and the International Youth Commission (IUFO/IYC).

Bill Angel, DSPD

For further information, please contact: DPCSD/DSPD Youth Unit Room DC2-1314
Tel: 1-212-963 1380 / Fax: 1-212-963 3062
The Web page of the youth programme is at: http://www.un.org/dpcsd/dpcsd/unyin.htm


Forests Panel Draws Wide Attention

The CSD Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) held its third session in Geneva from 9 to 20 September. The attendance as well as the publicity surrounding the meeting (BBC, CNN, The Financial Times, Internet and the World Wide Web, etc.) show that forests continue to be among the most important and, at the same time, sensitive issues on the international sustainable development agenda. This reflects the widespread concern for the worldþs forests, and the increasing public and political awareness about the many important goods and services - not only economic, but also social, cultural and environmental - that they provide.

The first question in relation to the IPF: "are we moving towards an international convention on forests?" does not as yet have a clear answer although some groups, such as the European Union, are beginning to have a position (i.e. in favour of a convention), and to make this known. Several countries who were either dead against or very much in favour, have either modified or softened their position. The Panel is now ready to discuss the pros and cons of a convention in a meaningful manner at IPF IV, when the Panel will conclude its work.

The second question: "what will happen after IPF IV?" is also beginning to surface. There is "talk" of some kind of a "second phase," a "son/daughter of IPF" for two or three to five years. So far, there is general agreement that an international policy forum on forests is needed and that the excitement that IPF has caused among countries in this respect will not disappear by the middle of 1997 when the Earth Summit Review is over.

In the meantime the Panel's mandate includes complex and difficult technical, policy and political issues including approaches to the formulation of national forest programmes, technical and financial cooperation, the productive functions of forests, trade in forest products and the environment, the conservation of biological diversity, the role of forest in mitigating global climate change, and respect for the rights of indigenous people and forest dwellers. All of this is now contained in about 80 pages of bracketed text, which will be the main body of the report of IPF III.

An unprecedented number of Government-sponsored initiatives were carried out in support of the Panel's work in the short six months period between IPF II (March 1996) and IPF III, involving in many cases North-South co-sponsors and creating new partnerships such as between the Governments of Switzerland and Peru; Cape Verde, Portugal and Senegal; Denmark and South Africa; Germany and Indonesia; and others. IPF Secretariat staff was involved in many of these as members of organizing committees, keynote speakers, and providing general support to a successful outcome. Very interestingly, a study sponsored by the Government of Norway points out that the world's forests, if properly managed, can provide for the needs of mankind in the foreseeable future. The challenge facing the world today is to further develop and apply the concept of sustainable forest management to all types of forests on the planet.

As was expected, an intensive discussion took place on institutional arrangements. The work of the Panel has already greatly enhanced the cooperation among all actors involved, especially in the informal, high-level Interagency Task Force on Forests, and active NGO participation. How this institutional cooperation should be further enhanced and how the intergovernmental work on forests would continue after completion of the Panel's two year mandate will be among topics for discussion and negotiations at the fourth and last session of the Panel in February 1997. Among the options suggested are:

at the intergovernmental level:

  • continue with the IPF

  • establish a mechanism similar to the IPF with a redefined mandate

  • strengthen the Committee on Forests (COFO) of FAO; and

at the interagency level:

  • continue with the informal, high level Interagency Task Force on Forests

  • transform the IPF Secretariat into a more formal arrangement

  • merge forest functions of existing institutions, such as FAO, UNEP and UNDP, into a new institution

Further information about the third and earlier sessions of the IPF is available on the DSD and IISD home pages on the World Wide Web http://www.un.org/dpcsd/dsd/ipf.htm and http://www.ca/linkages/forestry/ipf3.html respectively. The IISD home page includes interesting photos of some of our colleagues þin actionþ during the event.

Tage Michaelsen IPF Secretariat, DSD


COP-2, Move to Bonn Dominate FCCC Summer

At the Climate Change Secretariat the summer of 1996 was dominated by two major events. The first was the Second Conference of the State Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-2) in July. The political content of this meeting exceeded all expectations.

The aim was to take stock of progress, review the implementation of the Convention, and adopt organizational decisions.

It went far beyond this agenda, however, by producing a major political statement: the Geneva Ministerial Declaration. The large participation by officials further underscored the importance that governments attached to this event. While the Berlin COP last year welcomed more observers and journalists, COP-2 boasted more delegates -- over 900 of them, including some 80 ministers.

Also present were some 600 observers from environmental groups, businesses, local governments, and other organizations. Forty special events were held on such issues as the potential health effects of climate change, the insurance industry's concerns about climate change damages, and the development of new energy technologies. These observers and events greatly enriched the broader debate.

The second event was the secretariat's long-anticipated move to Bonn. Staff members started packing their boxes for Bonn shortly after the close of COP-2. The majority of staff members reported to work in Germany on 1 August, with a small number remaining in Geneva through the end of the year.

The Secretariat's new offices are located in Haus Carstanjen, a building officially handed over by the German government to the UN Secretary-General in June 1996. Formerly home to the Ministry of Finance, the Haus is situated along the Rhine in the city's so-called "government quarter". Other tenants include the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), which arrived from Geneva in June, and the Bonn office of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).

Please keep in touch. You will find us at:

Office Location:
Haus Carstanjen,
Martin-Luther-King-Strasse 8
D-53175 Bonn, Germany
Postal address: P.O. Box 260 124
D-53153 Bonn, Germany

Telephone: (49-228) 815-1000 (plus direct dial for all staff members)
Telefax: (49-228) 815-1999
E-mail: secretariat@unfccc.de (plus direct e-mail for all staff, e.g. jmartin@unfccc.de for Jean Martin)
Web site: http://www.unfccc.de

Richard Kinley, FCCC


New Publication at OSCAL

The report The Emerging Role of NGOs in African Sustainable Development conceived and coordinated by OSCAL has recently been released. It was part of the background documents of the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole for the Mid-term Review of the UN-NADAF.

The 100-plus page report includes 25 case studies and an executive summary focussing on lessons learned, and the major concerns of autonomy, performance, and accountability.

For further information, contact Ruth Engo, OSCAL, NGO focal point, Room DC1-1048
Tel: 963-4780 / Fax: 963-3892


GA Body Assesses UN-NADAF Implementation

The Mid-Term Review on the implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa (UN-NADAF) took place from 16 to 20 September 1996 at United Nations Headquarters in New York with a large participation of Member States, intergovernmental organizations, entities of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations. The session was preceded by an NGO Forum (13-14 September 1996) which enabled representatives of more than forty non-governmental organizations to prepare themselves for the review and draft their statements.

The review had been called for by General Assembly resolution 46/151, by which UN-NADAF was adopted and its calendar for follow-up, monitoring and evaluation fixed. It was led by the Ad Hoc Committee of the whole established by General Assembly resolution 50/160.

The task of the Ad Hoc Committee was two-fold:

  • first, to assess and review, but not to renegotiate, the key elements of NADAF as they appear in 1996, and in so doing to highlight the nature and extent of implementation, by each of the main partners, of those areas which fall under their responsibility;

  • second, to consider measures that can be taken, separately or together, by the main parties, namely African governments, their bilateral development partners, the United Nations system, the multilateral financial institutions, the NGOs and other interested parties, to accelerate the implementation of UN-NADAF.

The two working groups established by the Ad-Hoc Committee dealt with priority objectives of UN-NADAF, as they related to:

  • commitments by African countries; and

  • commitments by the international community.

It was clearly recognized that political and economic reforms, both structural and institutional, have been implemented in many African countries, that regional and sub- regional economic cooperation has been strengthened, and that the continent has been achieving, since the adoption of UN-NADAF, increasingly higher GDP growth rates than in the 1980s. But it was noted that Africaþs indebtedness increased from US$300 billion in 1991 to US$322 billion in 1995, and that ODA stands at US$26.4 billion in 1995 whereas US$30 billion in ODA was targeted for 1992, after which it was expected to grow at an average rate of 4% per annum, in real terms.

The final conclusions recognised the rapid globalization and liberalization of the world economy, as a fact that presents opportunities and challenges, as well as uncertainties, especially for the poorest countries. For Africa, with 33 of the 48 LDCs, there is, no doubt, a risk of further marginalization. Hence, a call for urgent action was made to support Africaþs efforts to integrate fully into the global economy, through trade facilitation, market access and economic diversification measures.

Whereas the General Assembly in 1995 only called on Paris Club creditors to implement the Naples terms, "expeditiously and in a flexible manner," the Ad Hoc Committee to review UN-NADAF called on these creditors to go beyond the Naples terms for the poorest and most heavily indebted countries, and looked forward to a favorable outcome of the September 1996 meetings of the Interim Committees of the World Bank and IMF which are to consider the draft Framework of Action on the multilateral debt.

The Mid-term Review also stressed the fact that the UN System- wide Special Initiative should be seen as an operational arm of UN-NADAF. The Special Initiative should also be a means for mobilizing resources for the implementation of the other priority areas of UN-NADAF.

Ambassador Hisashi Owada of Japan, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Whole, placed the Mid-term Review under two important guiding principles:

  • global partnership; and

  • shared responsibility

and stressed the need to make these principles operational. Indeed, these principles have consistently guided the deliberations and made it possible to arrive at a fair assessment of the implementation of UN-NADAF and at practical recommendations.

The Ad Hoc Committee decided that the final review and appraisal of the UN-NADAF should be conducted in 2002.

Makha D. Sarr, OSCAL

The Web site of OSCAL is at: http://www.un.org/dpcsd/oscal


Convention Set to Enter Into Force

The Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (CCD) is set to enter into force on 26 December next, ninety days after the required number of fifty ratifications or accessions to the Convention has been reached. This occurred on 27 September when Chad deposited its instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General. (See box)

Our colleagues on the Geneva-based Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Convention share the sense of accomplishment thus expressed by the Secretary- General: "The vision of international solidarity for the sustainable development of arid lands is turning into commitment for concrete action. Given the gravity of the problems arising from desertification, I believe that the entry into force of the Convention will be a turning point in our efforts to deal with them".

It is estimated that desertification puts at risk the livelihood of more than 1 billion people, and about 135 million may be in danger of being driven from their land.

Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai, addressing the Committee at its 9th session in early September in New York, noted how the Convention was one of the first to embrace the comprehensive approach to environmental problems envisaged in the 1992 Earth Summit's Agenda 21.

The first Convention of the State Parties will be held in Rome, in the Fall of 1997.

Ninth Session of the Negotiating Committee

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat Desertification, (INCD) meeting for its 9th session in New York from 4 to 13 September, took a number of decisions proposed by its two working groups, as well as by its Chairman Bo Kjellen of Sweden, who said that tremendous progress had been made during the ninth session.

The INCD functions between the conclusion of the Convention and its entry into force. It is preparing the first Conference of the State Parties (COP-1)

With regard to the Global Mechanism to promote the mobilization of financial resources, the Committee decided to submit a text on the function of the Mechanism which included three options for the paragraph on the mobilization and channeling of such resources. Representatives of Ireland, on behalf of the European Union, and Costa Rica, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, regretted that an agreement on the functions of the Mechanism had not been obtained, and urged the participants to make more progress on the next session.

The Committee decided to adopt a series of procedures for the communication of information and review of the implementation of the Convention. It requested the interim secretariat to identify bodies performing work similar to that envisaged to be undertaken by the Conventionþs Committee on Science and Technology and to report on possible areas of cooperation.

The Committee decided as well to consider at the tenth session the identification of the institution to which the Conference of the Parties would institutionally link the Convention's permanent secretariat. Regarding its location, the Committee decided to request the interim secretariat to present a document comparing the offers of Canada, Germany and Spain to host the permanent secretariat.

* indicates deposit of an instrument of accession
Contracting States
Mexico
Cape Verde
Netherlands
Egypt
Senegal
Ecuador
Lesotho
Finland
Togo
Tunisia
Guinea-Bissau
Mali
Uzbekistan
Afghanistan*
Peru
Sudan
Canada
Sweden
Denmark
Switzerland
Niger
Mauritius
Bangladesh
Burkina Faso
Spain
Micronesia
Israel
Portugal
Panama
Lebanon
Algeria
Gambia
Malawi
Germany
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Oman*
Bolivia
Mauritania
Eritrea
Benin
Norway
Mongolia
Central African Republic
Gabon*
Botswana
Turkmenistan
Zambia
Lao (PDR)*
Haiti
Chad


HLAB Focuses on Energy, Transport and Water

The High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development, meeting from 4 to 6 September in New York, considered how it might best contribute to the 1997 review of the implementation of the 1992 Earth Summit commitments. The Secretary-General, at a luncheon for the Board, reaffirmed his previous request to the Board to provide an independent and long-term perspective on sustainable development to the Commission on Sustainable Development and to the Special Session of the General Assembly to be held next June. Under- Secretary-General Nitin Desai also urged the Board to examine issues that were not being adequately addressed in current intergovernmental policy debates.

The Board agreed that they would focus on three sectors - energy, transportation and water resources - and on full-cost pricing and other measures to promote long-term sustainable use of resources for development. There was general agreement that sustainable development of these sectors would only be possible if the prices of energy, transportation and water reflected social and environmental costs as well as the full economic costs involved. This would imply substantial price increases resulting from such measures as subsidy removal, carbon taxes, tradable pollution permits or water rights.

Social development would require that such price increases be accompanied by other measures to ensure that low-income people and rural communities have access to the resources they need for development, including through cross-subsidization of basic social services where necessary. Carbon taxes, for example, could be invested in development and distribution of small renewable energy sources for rural areas where connections to conventional electricity grids are too expensive. The political viability of price increases may require that environmental tax revenues be used to compensate affected industries through measures such as reductions in payroll taxes, which would encourage employment as well as promote sustainable resource use.

In the case of transportation, the Board agreed that raising the cost of private automobile use is often inadequate by itself to change transportation habits. Revenue from taxes on transportation, such as fuel taxes and road usage and parking charges, should therefore be invested in attractive and efficient mass transit systems, complemented by urban traffic management systems that reserve road lanes for buses and other high-occupancy vehicles.

The Board thus recognized the need not only to identify policy instruments that would promote sustainable development, but also to create imaginative policy packages that are socially equitable and provide net benefits to as many groups as possible.

The Board will meet again in Monaco from 14 to 17 January 1997 to adopt its final report. In the meantime, the ideas considered at the September meeting will be elaborated in drafts to be prepared by the Secretariat and the Rapporteur - David Pearce, an environmental economists at University College London - and circulated to other Board members for comments and further revisions. The final report will be submitted to the Commission on Sustainable Development in its role as preparatory committee for the June Special Session of the General Assembly to review progress in implementation of Agenda 21.

Ralph Chipman, DSD


One Year After Beijing

First Anniversary of Beijing Women's Conference

One year ago, women from all over the world met at Beijing for the UN Fourth World Conference on Women. In the words of the UN Secretary-General, "the Beijing Conference was the crowning achievement of decades of struggle, in the women's movement and at the United Nations, for the empowerment of women everywhere. It was an important step on a long road -- the road to equality, development and peace". The Secretary-General made his statement at the event "One Year after Beijing", sponsored by the Department for Public Information, the Division for the Advancement of Women and the International Women's Tribune Center.

Among the women from around the world who gathered at UN Headquarters on Monday, 9 September 1996, to commemorate the first anniversary of the FWCW were some of the pioneers for the advancement of women. In his statement the Secretary General saluted these women and others not present who worked to serve future generations. The Secretary-General pledged himself to work to make the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action a reality, calling on governments and individuals to help the UN in its mission "to support peace efforts for men and women; to integrate an awareness of gender issues in all our work worldwide and to make equality of opportunity a reality worldwide and at the United Nations".

Speakers at the event included the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna E. Shalala, who co-chaired her Government's delegation to the Beijing Conference; Ugandan lawyer and activist Florence Butegwa, who has championed women's rights at the national, regional and international levels; and three of the five women heads of United Nations programmes: Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund; and Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. The moderator was Judy Woodruff, CNN anchor and senior correspondent.

The event also featured an open discussion with hundreds of representatives of non-governmental organizations. Participants discussed the impact of the Women's Conference and ways of uniting, networking and mobilizing for meaningful change. The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues, Rosario Green was present. The directors of the International Women's Tribune Center, Anne Walker; UNIFEM, Noeleen Heyzer and INSTRAW, Marta Due¤as-Loza intervened during the discussion and Angela King, Director of DAW made the concluding statement.

Oliva Acosta, DAW


Efficiency Review Phase I Concluded - Implementation Underway

Thanks to the many hours of hard and productive work put in by staff members of all divisions (see below), on top of their many hours of hard and productive work devoted to their normal assignments, in late June the Department submitted to DAM the findings and recommendations of its nine efficiency reviews.

The Efficiency Board issued a progress report to the Secretary- General on the Secretariat-wide efficiency reviews on 16 September. With close to 400 review exercises completed, the widely publicized report strongly suggested the UN has taken significant strides to achieve both substantial cost savings and "better value".

Our department's recommendations, in the areas of documentation, NGOs and publications, will be carried out within the coming year and thereafter. Recommendations which have been or are being implemented include:

  • documentation planning form introduced on pilot basis

  • conventions for electronic mark-up of manuscripts developed and to be tested and phased in

  • consolidated report on poverty delivered to and well received by ECOSOC

  • Commission on the Status of Women consolidating its reports to its next session from 14 to 5

  • subgroup established, consultant hired and systems development underway for common database on NGOs

  • departmental board to be set up in the area of publications

At the 30 September Directors' meeting, Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai indicated that now that the reviews have been completed, recommendations should be carried out as scheduled. End of year achievements will be compiled by the Efficiency Board for another progress report to the Secretary-General in December.

Along with the welcome improvements the efficiency exercise is ushering in, the department has also benefitted from the impetus this exercise has given to a problem-solving dynamic within DPCSD. All efforts will be made to preserve this dynamic throughout the implementation period.

In addition to the departmental efficiency reviews, DPCSD has participated in cross-cutting, Secretariat-wide reviews of documentation and travel. With regard to the latter, the department has already taken steps to notify Member States about meeting schedules in time for their representatives serving on functional commissions to utilize APEX tickets.

Other cross-cutting reviews in the works, according to the Efficiency Board report, are on information technology, revenue- generating activities, publications, printing, procurement, implementation of the Secretary-General's human resources strategy, simplification of financial and personnel rules, performance management and measurement, internal management reporting, setting priorities and cost-effective approaches to carrying out programmes and mandates.

The DPCSD efficiency review teams were comprised of the following staff members:

DOCUMENTATION

Issue No. 1: - Document Preparation Form

Issue No. 2: - Electronic processing of documents within DPCSD

Issue No. 3: - Integrated or consolidated reports

Issue No. 4: - External peer review mechanism.

Leader: Miles Stoby. Members: William. Bunch, Mieko Ikegame, Robert Kehlhofer, Sarbuland Khan, Luciana Marulli-Koenig, John Mathiason, Kenneth Ruffing, Patrick Spearing.

PUBLICATIONS

Issue No. 5: - Publications content and dissemination

Issue No 6: - Publications production.

Leader: Luciana Marulli-Koenig. Members: Tarcisio Alvarez- Rivero, Zehra Aydin, Robert Huber, Patricia Kenny, Sarbuland Khan, Micheline Sevan, Kristen Timothy, Mary Pat Williams Silveira.

NGOs

Issue No. 7: - Common Database on NGOs

Issue No. 8: - Information dissemination to and from NGOs

Issue No. 9: - Accreditation of NGOs.

Leader: Joke Waller-Hunter. Members: Barbara Adams (NGLS), Zehra Aydin, Farida Ayoub, Ruth Engo, Leona Forman (DPI), Gloria Kan, Sarbuland Khan, Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Yao N'Goran, Kristen Timothy, Xiaokun Xu.

DPCSD members of cross-cutting review teams:

Travel: Patricia Kenny

Documentation: Miles Stoby, William Bunch, Luciana Marulli-Koenig, Judith Brister, Patrick Spearing.

Action Manager: Under-Secretary-General Nitin Desai

Review Coordinator: Jean-Claude Faby

Assistant to the Review Coordinator: Judith Brister

Office of the Under-Secretary-General

The findings of the efficiency reviews are posted on the DPCSD bulletin boards accessible via cc:mail.

Better Service - Better Value - Better Management
Under the title above, the first progress report of the Efficiency Board focuses on the way in which the UN Secretariat fulfils the mandates entrusted to it by Member States. In November of 1995, the Secretary-General launched an efficiency effort to accelerate change in the management of the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Secretary-General set up a seven-member Efficiency Board as part of his efforts.

The report states that the Secretariat has identified the $154 million savings required to allow the Organization to live within its General Assembly mandated $2.608 billion budget cap. It has achieved a zero budget growth and reduced staff by nearly 10 per cent. Regarding actions taken, those under way, and challenges ahead, the Efficiency Board's report is broken into eight chapters: Better service, Better value, Better management, Managing programmes, Managing people, Managing money, Managing information, and, Still more to do. The Chairman of the Efficiency Board, Under-Secretary-General for Administration and Management, Joseph Connor, noted that the report was aimed at keeping the UN budget down.

The Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN, Ambassador Madeleine Albright said the Board's report provides workable answers to complex problems. The United States representative said the ideas contained in the report not only simplify existing procedures but provide a blueprint for re-engineering UN operations and programmes with one objective of making the UN work better for less.

The report sells for $4.95 and has the Sales No.: 96.I.28


Information Fair

DPCSD, as in previous years, will participate in the Information Fair coordinated by the Department for Public Information. It will provide an opportunity for DPCSD and other Departments and Agencies to inform directly official and general visitors of their programmes and activities, respond to queries and disseminate information and reference materials.

The Fair will take place from 22 to 25 October 1996, in the General Assembly Public Lobby and will be open from 9a.m. to 5p.m.

The DPCSD booth will be staffed at all times and we are looking forward to your visit.


Ro-lo-Dates

23 September - 11 October 1996, Geneva
Committee on the Rights of the Child,
Thirteenth Session

10 October 1996, New York
Economic and Social Council, Resumed Substantive Session,
Part I

14-18 October 1996, Geneva
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice,
Fourth Session

14-18 October 1996, Geneva
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Subsidiary Body for Implementation,
Fourth Session

14-18 October 1996, Geneva
Human Rights Committee - Working Group on Communications

14-18 October 1996, Geneva
Committee on the Rights of the Child, Pre-sessional Working Group

21-23 October 1996, Geneva
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Ad Hoc Group on Article 13, Third Session

21-25 October 1996, Geneva
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate, Fifth Session

21 October-8 November 1996, Geneva
Human Rights Committee, Fifty-eighth Session

October 1996, New York
Joint Meeting of the Committee for Programme and Coordination
and the Administrative Committee on Coordination

25-26 October 1996, New York
Administrative Committee on Coordination,
Second Regular Session

4-5 November 1996, New York
United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities

11-22 November 1996, Geneva
Committee against Torture, Seventeenth Session,

13-14 November 1996, New York
Economic and Social Council, Resumed Substantive Session,
Part II

18 November-6 December 1996, Geneva
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Fifteenth Session

20-21 November 1996, Brussels
IFAD Conference on Hunger and Poverty

20-22 November 1996, New York
Committee for Development Planning,
Working Group II (Economic Reform)

25-29 November 1996, Vienna
World Youth Forum, Second Session


General Assembly Documents on the UN Gopher

Reports and major documents submitted to the fifty-first General Assembly under agenda items dealing with economic and social matters taken up in Plenary, the Second or the Third Committee are being posted on the United Nations Gopher by the Information Support Unit.

The online document collection can be accessed from the DPCSD home page (http://www.un.org/dpcsd) - press the Document Delivery button; or, press the Gopher icon from your Windows Programme Manager, and select the appropriate directory.

Online Access to Economic and Social Council Resolutions 1996

The resolutions and decisions of the 1996 Economic and Social Council are being published in the report of the Council to the fifty-first General Assembly, document A/51/3, Part I-IV. Part I and II of the report, containing fifty resolutions and one hundred and six decisions, have been released. The texts of the resolutions and decisions are being posted on the Gopher in numerical sequence. To access them, see directions above.

This is done as a service to delegations and staff, pending the development by the Office of Conference and Support Services of mechanisms for the systematic electronic dissemination of parliamentary documentation, including an interface between the Optical Disk System (the electronic archive of United Nations documents) and the UN Web server.