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

Trends and analysis

The state of the world economy

Expert group meeting, Geneva, 30 October-1 November

Some 100 experts from approximately 60 countries, several international organizations - including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the regional commissions and UNCTAD - will participate in the expert group meeting on the world economy, also known as Project LINK, sponsored by DESA.

The agenda of the meeting covers three broad topics: the global economic outlook; international economic policy issues; and issues relating to global modelling. The Development Policy and Analysis Division will present the LINK Global Economic Outlook; the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will also present their outlooks. These will be discussed by the country experts and the experts from international agencies.

Employment, inflation, macroeconomic policy and oil prices will be among the issues to be considered at three panel discussions. The global modelling session will include presentations of several different modelling frameworks currently used in various institutions for studying the world the economy. The session will focus on the modelling of global linkages and the study of global imbalances. The results of the meeting will contribute directly to the preparation of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007, which is a joint publication of DESA, UNCTAD and the regional commissions to be released in January of 2007. The results of the meeting will also provide guidance to the ongoing reform of the LINK modelling system at DPAD.

Contact: Mr. Rob Vos, Director, Development Policy and Analysis Division, +1 212/ 963-4838

International cooperation in tax matters

Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, 2nd session, Geneva, 30 October - 3 November

Since 2005, a Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters meets every year. On this occasion, following agenda items will be discussed at the second session of the Committee: (a) treaty abuses and treaty shopping; (b) mutual assistance in collection of tax debts; (c) definition of permanent establishment; (d) taxation of development projects; (e) exchange of information; (f) revision of the United Nations Manual for the Negotiation of Bilateral Tax Treaties between Developed and Developing Countries; and (f) dispute resolution and definition of interest.

Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 2004/69 of 11 November 2004, the Committee comprises 25 members nominated by Governments and appointed by the Secretary-General, with due regard to equitable geographical distribution and representation of different tax systems.

Contact: Mr. Masa Ohyama, Financing for Development Office, +1 212/963-4695

Citizen participation in the implementation of the UN development agenda, including the MDGs

Expert group meeting, New York, 1-2 November

The Division for Public Administration and Development Management is organizing an expert group meeting on engaged governance to be held in the DC2 23rd floor conference room. Experts will discuss the concepts of participation and engaged governance and their impact on the implementation of development goals, which include the Millennium Development Goals.

Contact: Mr. Jacinto De Vera, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, +1 212/963-0525

Enhancing CEDAW implementation in Asia-Pacific

Workshop, Bangkok, 6-9 November

The Division for the Advancement of Women will hold a workshop in Bangkok on implementation and follow-up to concluding comments of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The workshop aims at enhancing implementation of the Convention through more effective follow-up to the concluding comments of the Committee; enhancing the effectiveness of the Optional Protocol to the Convention; and encouraging the development of coordinated, comprehensive and multi-sectoral approaches to achieve gender equality.

The workshop will bring together 35 participants from 7 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Government officials, Parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations and members of the United Nations country teams.

Contact: Division for the Advancement of Women

Engaging civil society in public accountability

Dialogue with audit institutions, Manila, 7-8 November

This dialogue will discuss training and advocacy for effective partnerships and collaboration between audit institutions and civil society organizations. The main purpose is to foster better understanding and improved collegiality in public accountability systems.

The meeting is organized by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management, along with the International Budget Project of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based in Washington D .C., and the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration.

Contact: Mr. Jacinto De Vera, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, + 1-212/963-0525

African youth as partners for peace in post-conflict countries

Expert group meeting, Windhoek, 14-16 November

The Division for Social Policy and Development is collaborating with the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa in the organization of an expert group meeting participation of African youth as partners in peace and development in post-conflict countries. The meeting will take place in Windhoek, Namibia from 14 to 16 November.

The expert group meeting aims to critically analyze the complexity and gravity of the challenges youth face in post-conflict situations in Africa, with the core objective of devising specific strategies and mechanisms to include youth as central stakeholders in rehabilitation, reconciliation, and rebuilding of war-torn communities, and contributing to sustainable development in their countries. The meeting will be focusing on three main themes: (i) integration of youth, in particular the reintegration of ex-combatants into societies; (ii) creation of job/work opportunities and income generating activities for youth; and (iii) inclusion of youth in the rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts initiated by local governments and/or other stakeholders in their communities, with a focus on securing access to basic services.

Contact: Ms. Makiko Tagashira, Division for Social Policy and Development, + 1 212/963-4836

How to fight poverty in the next 10 years

International forum, New York, 15-16 November

To mark the end of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), the Division of Social Policy and Development, in collaboration with United Nations agencies and civil society, is organizing an international forum on the eradication of poverty. The forum aims to achieve two major objectives. First, it is intended to send a strong message on the importance of a continued and enhanced commitment to poverty eradication in the run-up to 2015. Second, the forum will provide a valuable opportunity for forward-looking dialogue among stakeholders in order to identify the main challenges ahead and concrete and sustainable strategies to combat poverty in its various dimensions over the next ten years.

The forum will consist of a series of high-level panels and dialogues as well as lunch time events on a variety of topics central to poverty eradication, including the root causes of poverty and effective measures to address them. Panelists include Nicholas Negroponte (founder, One Laptop per Child initiative), Iqbal Quadir (founder, Grameen Phone), Pedro Sanchez (Director, Millennium Villages Project), Peter Townsend (Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research), Jan Peterson (Member, High-Level Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor) and Bharat Wakhlu (President, Tata Inc. USA).

Contact: Mr . Donald Lee, Division for Social Policy and Development,+1 212/963-8762

Integration of older persons in development goals

Consultative meeting, Bangkok, 28 November-1 December

This consultative meeting will focus on issues related to the capacity of stakeholders in the sub-regions of West Africa, Central Asia and the Caribbean to integrate ageing issues in national development frameworks through advocacy and competency-based training and training-of-trainers approach.

The Division for Social Policy and Development in collaboration with the Emerging Social Issues Division of ESCAP organizes the event.

Contact: Ms. Rosemary Lane, Division for Social Policy and Development, +1 212/96 3-5090

Measuring international migration: concepts and methods

Expert group meeting, New York, 4-7 December

The Statistics Division seeks through this expert group meeting to assess requirements for international migration statistics in response to policy interest and the challenges faced by national statistical systems in measuring international migration flows and stock.

The meeting will review national practices in the compilation of migration statistics and identify difficulties associated with the recommended concepts and definitions. It will explore ways to foster cooperation between policy machineries of governments and their data collection agencies, and develop a plan for the improvement of migration statistics. The outcome will help determine the scope and content of a handbook on statistics of international migration to be prepared by UNSD.

Contact: Ms. Erlinda Go, Statistics Division, +1 212/963 4507

Enhancing the service delivery capacity of the African public service

Roundtable conference, Arusha, 4-8 December

The African Association for Public Administration and Management will hold its 28th roundtable conference in Arusha from 4-8 December on the topic of enhancing service delivery capacity. The conclusions and recommendations of the Association are to be presented at the Africa Regional Forum taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 11 to 13 December.

Assisting the organization of the event is the Division for Public Administration and Development Management.

Contact: Mr. John-Mary Kauzya,.+1-212/963-1973; Mr. Jide Balogun, 1-917/367-5068

Consideration of the content of a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests

Ad hoc expert group meeting, New York, 11-15 December

Economic and Social Council resolution 2006/49 on the outcome of the sixth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests called for the conclusion and adoption of a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests at the seventh session of the UN Forum on Forests to be held 16-27 April 2007.

To assist the Forum in its deliberations, an open-ended ad hoc expert group on the consideration of the content of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests is being convened to identify and analyze common elements of the non-legally-binding instrument, and to further elaborate the substantive, working and institutional elements of the instrument.

The ad hoc expert group shall be composed of experts designated by Governments of member States of the Forum. The meeting will be attended by members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, representatives of intergovernmental organizations and major groups.

Contact: Mr. Pekka Patosaari, Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, +1 212/963 3160

Developing gender statistics

Inter-agency and expert group meeting, New York, 12-14 December

The Statistics Division, in collaboration with the World Bank and the United Nations Population Fund, is convening an inter-agency and expert group meeting on the development of gender statistics to explore ways of strengthening collaboration and promoting partnerships among stakeholders in the development of gender statistics.

The meeting will review some of the key initiatives and strategies that are considered as being most successful; identify specific programmes and products that have enhanced capacities at national and regional levels in the collection, compilation and dissemination of gender statistics; and plan for launching an initiative to improve the availability, accessibility and use of reliable gender statistics for planning, monitoring and evaluation, at various levels, in particular at the national level.

Contact: Ms.Elisa Munoz-Franco, Statistics Division, +1 212/963 4972

Triennial review of operational activities

Preparatory process including thematic studies, expert group meetings and field missions

To prepare for the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development, the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination is launching system-wide preparation and consultation efforts.

The preparatory process will consist of thematic studies, expert group meetings and field missions along with UNDG and other inter-agency coordination bodies.

Drawing from the findings of these activities, a comprehensive analysis of the system-wide implementation of the General Assembly resolution 59/250 on the review of operational activities for development will be submitted to the General Assembly at its 62nd session. The review will assist Member States in assessing UN efforts in improving effectiveness, efficiency and impact of its support to developing countries.

Contact: Ms. Marion Barthelemy, Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination, +1 212/963-4005