DESA News Vol. 10, No. 6 November-December 2006

Global dialogue on development

"Keep The Promise: Make It Happen"

General Assembly Second Committee

New York, 2 October-1 December

The Second Committee of the General Assembly will continue discussions in November on a range of critical issues on the UN’s development agenda, among them the overarching goal of poverty eradication, and the convening of an international forum on the eradication of poverty whose motto is “Keep the promise: Make it happen”. The Committee has also been looking into the related issue of micro-credit and, will devote continuing attention to sustainable development issues.

The Committee will also decide on the Government of Qatar’s offer to host a follow-up international conference on financing for development, bearing in mind related events also being scheduled. The Monterrey Consensus has defined a new approach to development cooperation as a partnership between developing and developed countries and accelerated actions in many areas, from the decisions on increasing ODA and debt relief adopted last year to the recent discussions on increasing voice and participation of developing countries in international economic decision making. Operational activities for development, and the Least Developed Countries are also expected to feature prominently in the Committee’s deliberations.

Energy security and its implications

Panel discussion, New York, 1 November

As part of a series of side events in October and November, the Second Committee will hold a panel discussion on energy security and its implications for the future on 1 November. Speakers are: Professor Zhou Dadi, Director-General, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission of China; Dr. Daniel Yergin, Chairman and Co-Founder Cambridge Energy Research Associates and Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, Senior Policy Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Contact: Ms. Madhu Chatterjee, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/ 963 4791

E-Government, a tool for participation and inclusion

Panel discussion, New York, 3 November

In this final panel of the Committee’s 61st session, the Second Committee will address the opportunities and challenges of e-government, including its potential for citizen engagement and inclusive governance. In addition, the meeting will highlight major trends in e-government readiness and e-participation by reviewing existing approaches worldwide and analyzing the structural and process changes associated with the concept, including its technological aspects.

The panel will give General Assembly delegates with an opportunity to expand and deepen the discussions of agenda item 50 of the 61st session on information and communication technologies for development. The event will be chaired by H.E. Ms. Tiina Intelmann, Chair of the Second Committee, and will include presentations by:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Winner (to be confirmed);
  • Professor Ann McIntosh, Director, International Teledemocracy Centre, Napier University, UK;
  • Mr. Nam-Seok Kim, Assistant Minister for the e-Government Headquarters, Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs, Republic of Korea;
  • Dr. Abraham Sotelo Nava, Head of the E-government and Technology Policy Unit, Ministry of Public Function, Mexico; and,
  • Mr. Ivar Tallo, Director, e-Governance Academy, Estonia.

Contact: Ms Haiyan Qian, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, + 1 212/963-3393

International Human Solidarity Day, with Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa

New York, 10 November

Mr. Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement in Poland and Nobel Peace Prize winner will be the keynote speaker at the launch of this remarkable day, which is intended to raise awareness of the importance of solidarity for the advancement of the United Nations development agenda.

The International Human Solidarity Day was proclaimed by the General Assembly resolution 60/209 as an initiative in the fight against poverty. Indeed the Millennium Declaration identified solidarity as one of the fundamental values essential to international relations in the twenty-first century.

The Division for Social Policy and Development is organizing this event in collaboration with the Second Committee.

Contact: Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 212/963-4596

Racism and humanitarian concerns at the Third Committee

General Assembly, New York, 2 October-22 November

In November, the Third Committee of the General Assembly will conclude its deliberations of human rights questions, and take up elimination of racism and racial discrimination, the rights of peoples to self-determination, and refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, and other humanitarian questions.


The United Nations has been taking decisive steps to revitalize its work towards the bold and inclusive vision set out by the 2005 World Summit and the Millennium Declaration. In this process, this Committee bears a crucial responsibility to raise the profile of issues that matter most in the lives of ordinary citizens and their families: opportunities for decent work, the chance to enjoy basic rights and services, and to participate fully in the economic, social, political, and cultural life of their countries.

The orientation of the Third Committee points up one of the UN’s great strengths as an advocate and actor for development.

At United Nations Headquarters, and throughout the UN’s extensive global network, development refers to the progress of developing countries, but also to the development of all societies, rich or poor, through sustainable development in its three dimensions—economic, social, and environmental—and through the realization of economic and social rights. In the UN development agenda, crystallized in the Millennium Development Goals, there is not only a vision, but also a roadmap to a better future for all.

To realize this vision fully requires a fundamental shift to ensure a more far-reaching, sustainable, and effective implementation. The success of this effort depends greatly on forging meaningful links between social and economic policies that are at the heart of the Third Committee’s programme of work.