DESA News Vol. 12, No. 09 September 2008

Publications and websites

Technical reports

Millennium Development Goals Report 2008

To be released on 11 September

The Millennium Development Goals Report 2008 will be released on 11 September in a press launch by the Secretary-General. This annual title presents the latest available data and analysis on the progress towards the achievement of the MDGs at the global and regional levels. The 2008 report is of particular significance as it describes how the world fared midway towards 2015, the target date for achieving the Goals, and provides a reference point for world leaders meeting on 25 September for a General Assembly high-level event to assess progress. Data can be previewed online.

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Delivering on the Global Partnership for Achieving the Millennium Development GoalsDelivering on the Global Partnership for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

Important gaps remain in delivering on the global commitments in the areas of aid, trade, debt relief, and access to new technologies and to affordable essential medicines. In the countdown to 2015, urgent responses are needed to bridge the existing implementation gaps to make good on the promises made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The UN MDG gap task force will release an report identifying gaps in detail and providing recommendations on how to address them. The Task Force, which brings together more than twenty UN agencies, OECD and the WTO – led by DESA and UNDP – was created by the Secretary-General in 2007 to monitor progress of implementation of the goals, in the specific areas of official development assistance, market access and trade, debt relief, access to essential medicines, and technology.

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Regional Dimensions of the Ageing SituationRegional Dimensions of the Ageing Situation

This title contributes to the series of events, conferences and publications related to the first review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. It highlights priorities, as well as recent trends and policy developments, in the five UN regions of the world. The publication is intended to assist national governments, the international community and the public at large in assessing the situation of older persons five years after the Second World Assembly on Ageing, inform the debate on priorities, policy innovations and technical cooperation to implement the objectives of the Madrid Plan of Action.

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ECOWAS Poverty ProfileECOWAS Poverty Profile

In recent years there has been a growing demand for, and use of, poverty statistics in the ECOWAS region, as well as an increase in national capacity for using such data for country assessments and poverty reduction strategies. However, the scarcity of comparable statistics on poverty in the region has remained a critical area of concern in the ECOWAS Commission's efforts to harmonize statistics in the region.

This report, produced by the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States and DESA’s Statistics Division, is an important step towards building harmonized poverty statistics in the region. The various country practices in data collection and poverty measurement provide a comparative frame within which individual countries can assess their own methodologies. Moreover, understanding how each of the countries in the region defines and measures poverty is a first step toward realizing the goal of more harmonised statistics in the region.

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Guide to the National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on AgeingGuide to the National Implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing

This guide offers advice on actualization of the Madrid Interational Plan of Action on Ageing from two perspectives. First, effective age-specific policies that facilitate the mainstreaming of older persons’ concerns into all aspects of development and policy-making are suggested. Second, steps to implement a holistic intergenerational life-course approach that emphasizes equity and inclusiveness for all ages are recommended.

The guide, prepared by DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development with the assistance of a group of distinguished academics and practitioners, is primarily intended for use by national focal points responsible for developing and implementing national policies on ageing. It will also be of interest to policy-makers in a wide range of related fields, civil society organizations, regional and international agencies, and service providers, and older persons in general.

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Growing Together: Youth and the Work of the United NationsGrowing Together: Youth and the Work of the United Nations

This title presents a comprehensive synthesis of the United Nations system’s work on youth. Produced by DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, the directory includes listings from thirty UN agencies and describes the contribution that each of them is making to the achievement of the 1995 World Programme of Action for Youth.

In recent years there has been remarkable growth in the interest and work of the United Nations in promoting the development of young people. The almost 1.2 billion people aged 15 to 24, the group included in youth statistics by the United Nations, make up nearly 18 percent of the world’s population with 86 percent living in developing countries. Investments in young people are widely recognized for their long-lasting economic and social benefits in addition to the improvements in well-being that result for this large segment of society.

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Statistical compilations

Population and Vital Statistics Report, January 2008Population and Vital Statistics Report, January 2008

This issue of the Population and Vital Statistics Report, published semi-annually, presents data for countries or areas on population size from the latest available census, estimated total population size for 2005 or 2006, and the number and rate of vital events for the latest available year from 1992 to 2006, as reported by national authorities. The January edition also includes data for the world and its major areas and regions on estimated population size for both 2004 and 2005.

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National Accounts Statistics 2006: Analysis of Main AggregatesNational Accounts Statistics 2006: Analysis of Main Aggregates

The publication contains a complete and consistent set of time series of the main national accounts aggregates for 221 countries and areas of the world for the years 1970 to 2006. 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.

The main aggregates in the publication include gross domestic product by type of expenditure and value added by kind of economic activity, both at current and at constant market prices. It also contains analytical indicators and ratios that reflect the economic structure and trends of countries and areas such as annual per capita GDP, annual growth rates of GDP, annual shares in total GDP of its main expenditure and value added components, and price trends as defined by the implicit price deflators of GDP.

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Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS OnlineMonthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or annual and quarterly data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Vol. LXII, no. 7, July 2008

In this issue: Civil aviation traffic; total exports and imports by countries or areas; world exports by provenance and destination. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/427.

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Working paper

Obstacles to Implementing Lessons from the 1997-1998 East Asian Crises

The author of this paper argues that various and sometimes contradictory lessons have been drawn from the 1997-1998 East Asian crisis experiences. The ideological implications and political differences involved have complicated the possibility of drawing shared lessons from them. The seeming calm and increased growth in most developing countries in the period since 2001 have also undermined the possibility of far-reaching developmental reforms following the experience. Perhaps most importantly, the vested interests supporting existing international financial governance arrangements continue to impede the possibility of implementing lessons drawn from the experience. Such interests are generally supported by conventional wisdom and reinforced by the financial media.

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New MDG BlogNew MDG Blog

In preparation for the General Assembly High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals taking place in New York on 25 September, DESA and UNDP have launched a new blog intended to break down barriers of physical distance and hierarchy, accommodating active participation and drawing various insights from all over the world. Topics covered by the blog include poverty and hunger, health and education, environmental sustainability, gender equality and empowerment of women, and global partnership for development. Everyone is invited to participate.

To browse and contribute:

Accessible social developmentAccessible social development

The DESA Division for Social Policy and Development has added an RSS feed and multimedia content to its website along with an accessible version designed for persons with disabilities.

To browse: