|DESA News Vol. 12, No. 03||March 2008|
The level of the world’s income has grown impressively since the start of the new Millennium, from $31.8 trillion in 2000 to $48.2 trillion in 2006, at annual rates of above four percent on average, with some of the emerging economies such as China and India attaining growth rates between eight and nine percent. Regrettably, the media focus on these impressive income growth rates masks a tremendous imbalance with LDCs.
Powerful, accountable and active parliaments are the backbone of popular participation in democratic government. Information and communications technologies make it easier and faster for constituents to interact with their elected legislators and influence lawmaking and oversight of public affairs of direct concern to them such as national budgets.
On 29 February, Carolyn Hannan, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women joined Anders Johnsson of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to launch the 2008 map of women in politics. Statistical data is very important but "it is not enough to count women in parliament," noted Hannan. "We also need to monitor the way that women are involved in politics and the effectiveness of their participation."
The Global E-Government Survey 2008: From E-Government to Connected Governance is now available online. The report, prepared by DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management, assesses the e-government readiness of the 192 countries based on a review of websites, telecommunication infrastructure, and human capacity.
The DESA Statistics Division has just launched a new internet-based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point. Users can search and down load a variety of statistical resources of the UN system.
Mr. Thomas Stelzer of Austria will join DESA as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs beginning in March. Since August 2001, Ambassador Stelzer has been serving as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations at Vienna, IAEA, UNIDO and CTBTO Preparatory Commission.