|DESA News Vol. 11, No. 6||June 2007|
Greater longevity is an indicator of human progress in general. At the same time, increased life expectancy and lower fertility rates are changing the population structure worldwide: the proportion of older persons is rapidly increasing, a process known as population ageing. The process is inevitable and is already advanced in developed countries and progressing rapidly in developing ones.
The World Economic and Social Survey 2007 analyzes the implications of population ageing for social and economic development around the world, while recognizing that it offers challenges and opportunities. Among the most pressing issues is the prospect of a smaller labour force having to support an increasingly larger older population. Changes in intergenerational relationships may also affect the provision of care and income security for older persons, especially in developing countries where family transfers play a major role.
These are only a few of the many challenges ageing is likely to pose. The Survey argues, however, that these challenges are not insurmountable. Societies everywhere need to put in place the policies required to confront those challenges effectively and to ensure an adequate standard of living for each of their members while respecting the participation and contribution of all. The 2007 Survey will be launched in mid-June.
The mid-year update of the 2007 World Economic Situation and Prospects warns that an abrupt unwinding of the large global imbalances could significantly destabilize the global financial markets and depress world economic growth. It also calls on economic and financial policy makers from around the world to devise a financial system that can address unsustainable current-account imbalances and avoid a hard landing of the US dollar.
The report recommends pushing forward the agenda of reform and voice and representation in the IMF more forcefully, so that seats on the Executive Board and votes in the Fund better reflect 21st century realities and enhance the legitimacy of the Fund’s mediation role.
The World Economic Situation and Prospects is produced at the beginning of each year by DESA, UNCTAD, and the five United Nations regional commissions.
For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/policy/wess/wesp.html
This publication explores how the audit function can be made more open and participatory and how audit can be used as a vital tool for citizen empowerment for promoting transparency. The introductory chapter examines the main challenges of auditing, evaluation and monitoring within the framework of participatory governance and the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The other chapters impart a thorough discussion on the role of legislative oversight authorities, civil society, media and other stakeholders in making audit a tool for social change and impact. Additionally, the publication highlights the importance of complementary forms of oversight and scrutiny, such as results-based monitoring and evaluation.
The 2004 Energy Statistics Yearbook is the forty-eight in an internationally comparable series of commercial energy statistics summarizing world energy trends. Annual data for 215 countries and areas for the period 2001 to 2004 are presented on production, trade and consumption of energy: solids, liquids, gaseous fuels and electricity. Per capita consumption series are also provided for all energy products. Graphs are to introduce major products showing historic trends and/or changes in composition of production and/or consumption of major products. Special tables of interest include international trade tables for coal, crude petroleum and natural gas by partner countries – providing information on direction of trade, selected series of statistics on fuel wood, charcoal and bagasse, refinery distillation capacity and a table on selected energy resources. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.J/48.
For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/energy/yearbook/default.htm
This handy pocketbook provides a compilation of basic international economic, social and environmental indicators for 212 countries and areas worldwide. It covers 57 key indicators in the areas of population, economic activity, agriculture, industry, energy, international trade, transport, communications, gender, education and environment, drawn from over 20 international statistical sources. The layout provides an easy-to-view comprehensive statistical profile of each country or area and the notes on sources and definition provide a valuable guide for further research by the in-depth user of these statistics.
For more information and to order: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?entry=E07WSB
The publication contains detailed national accounts estimates for some 207 countries and areas of the world for the years 1970 to 2004/2005. The national data for each country and area are presented in separate chapters using uniform table headings and classifications recommended in the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 1993). Statistics on national accounts aggregates such as gross domestic product, per capita gross domestic product, shares of gross domestic product by expenditure and by kind of activity, average growth of gross domestic product and components thereof, and implicit price deflators are included. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.X/37.
For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/pubs/gesgrid.asp?id=374
MBS provides monthly statistics on more than 50 indicators 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.
For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs
This manual of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names addresses technical issues of national standardization of geographical names and geo-referenced digital databases. It includes detailed information on romanization, toponymic data coding, and country names.
The first section provides details of romanization systems of different languages and scripts, 28 of which have been recommended by the United Nations and 17 of which are under discussion. The second section covers toponymic data transfer standards and formats, providing tables of Roman characters used in different languages, and a draft toponymic data exchange standard. The third section tabulates short and formal country names in the languages and writing systems used in an official capacity within each country.
The manual is an up-to-date technical reference for those working with digital data and ISO standards, and forms a partner volume to the Manual for the National Standardization of Geographical Names published in 2006. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/87.
For more information and to order: https://unp.un.org/details.aspx?entry=E07018
The first title in DESA’s new series of economic policy notes, entitled Policy Brief, was launched in May. The inaugural issue draws on major findings of the recent World Economic Situation and Prospects, to highlight the risk of a global economic slowdown and stress the urgent need for internationally coordinated macroeconomic policies. The series will feature synopses of key policy analysis intended to frame issues, inform decisions and guide policy action in the economic, social and environmental arena.
The Economic and Social Council will be launching a redesigned website in June that incorporates the Council’s new functions – Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum. The new format is consistent with the design of the General Assembly website, and incorporates accessibility standards. The site was a collaborative effort of the Office for Economic and Social Council Support and Coordination and the Department of Public Information.
For more information: http://www.un.org/docs/ecosoc/
A new United Nations data access system will be launched in summer 2007, replacing the current UN Common Database. It is designed to improve the dissemination of statistics to the widest possible audience and developed to provide an integrated information resource with current, relevant and reliable statistics free of charge to the global community. Subsequent stages of the development of the UN data access system will extend to UN system data as well as to data of national statistical offices – providing the user with a simple single-entry point to global statistics.
For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/UNdata/default.htm