DESA News Vol. 11, No. 1 January 2007


Partners for action Partners for action

The world, in one voice, committed itself at the dawn of the new millennium to ambitious goals: halving worldwide poverty by 2015, achieving universal education, promoting gender equality, and among others, creating a global partnership for development. Yet as we approach the mid-point of the implementation period, a glance at the state of goal eight – on partnerships – shows that finance and trade are relative weak spots in international development cooperation. The thematic informal debate on partnerships towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals held at the General Assembly in late November made one point clear: Failure to deliver on commitments in the areas of development assistance, debt relief, and, most importantly, access to export markets by developing countries may well compromise attainment of the targets for 2015.

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Human rights in the 21st century Human rights in the 21st century

More than two decades ago, under the auspices of the United Nations, disabled people set out to clear obstructions which have throughout history prevented them from enjoying the full benefit of economic and social development. This decades’ long effort culminated on 13 December 2006 in the adoption by the General Assembly of the Convention of on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention is being hailed as the first human rights instrument of the twenty-first century. Once ratified by individual countries, the treaty will enable the world’s 650 million disabled people to claim internationally-recognized rights as full and equal members of society.

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Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon takes office

Mr. Ban Ki-moon took the oath of office on 14 December, and as newly appointed Secretary-General pledged to strengthen United Nations work on peace, development and human rights while calling for concerted action to reach the Millennium Development Goals.


Publications and websites

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007

After a solid and broad-based growth for three consecutive years, the world economy is expected to decelerate in 2007 mainly dragged by a slowdown of the United States, according to the UN’s annual forecast of global economic trends, which is due out in January. Growth in Europe and Japan meanwhile will not be sufficient for these economies to act as locomotives of global growth.

UN21 Award for excellence in knowledge management Statistics Division wins second UN21 Award for excellence in knowledge management

The Statistics Division has received the prestigious UN21 award in the category of knowledge management for COMTRADE, a comprehensive online trade commodity database with more than a billion trade data series.



Comings and goings


Ms. Marion BarthelemyMs. Marion Barthelemy was appointed Chief of the Development Cooperation Policy Branch of the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination on 1 October.

Mr. Thomas BuettnerMr. Thomas Buettner was named Assistant Director and Chief of the Population Studies Branch of the Population Division effective 1 November.


Mr. Larry HeligmanMr. Larry Heligman, Assistant Director of the Population Division, retired from the United Nations on 31 October after more than twenty years with the organization.



Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

37th session, New York, 15 January-2 February

Economic and Social Council

Organizational session of 2007, election of the Bureau, New York, 17 January

Press launch of the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2007

New York, 18 January

Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations

Regular session of 2007, New York, 22 January-2 February