DESA News Vol. 12, No. 10 October 2008

Publications and websites


Resource Kit on Indigenous Peoples’ IssuesResource Kit on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues

The new Resource Kit on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues is intended for UN country teams, and other development agents, providing them with guidance as to how to engage indigenous peoples and include their perspectives in development processes. Published by DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, in cooperation with ILO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and SCBD.

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Meeting record

Participatory Governance and the Millennium Development GoalsParticipatory Governance and the Millennium Development Goals

In evaluating the implementation of development targets, it is increasingly clear that success requires an approach that redefines the relationship between government and civil society. In particular, there is a need for involving all stakeholders in the formulation of public policy and decision-making. This title is a collection of papers presented for discussion at an expert group meeting on citizen participation in the implementation of the development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, held in New York in November 2006. Just released in print format.

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Statistical compilations

Statistical Yearbook, 51st editionStatistical Yearbook, 51st edition

The United Nations Statistical Yearbook is an annual compilation of a wide range of international economic, social and environmental statistics for over 200 countries and areas of the world, compiled from sources including UN agencies and other international, national and specialized organizations. This 51st edition contains data available to the Statistics Division as of March 2007 presented in 69 tables on topics such as: agriculture; balance of payments; communication; development assistance; education; energy; environment; finance; industrial production; international merchandise trade; international tourism; labour force; manufacturing; national accounts; nutrition; population; prices; research and development; transport; and wages.

The number of years of data shown in the tables varies from one to ten, with the ten-year tables covering 1995 to 2004 or 1996 to 2005. Accompanying the tables are technical notes providing brief descriptions of major statistical concepts, definitions and classifications. Sales number E/F.07.XVII.1. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.S/27.

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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. 8, August 2008

In this issue: Indices of world industrial production by branches of industry and by regions; producer price indices; retail price indices relating to living expenditures of UN officials; earnings in manufacturing, by sex; construction of new buildings; total exports and imports by regions. Publication symbol ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/428.

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Industrial Commodity Production Statistics Database 1950-2005 on CD-RomIndustrial Commodity Production Statistics Database 1950-2005 on CD-Rom

This product represents the entire database of industrial commodity statistics covering the period 1950-2004, and contains the statistics available to the Statistics Division up to 12 February 2007. The production data refer to the total industrial production of each commodity during the years indicated and within the national boundaries of each country. The data include: production of industrial establishments for which the commodity is a primary product; production of industrial establishments for which it is a secondary product; production of industrial establishments for which it is an intermediate product. Unless otherwise stated in the footnotes, production by non-industrial establishments, such as farm production of dairy products, is excluded.

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Discussion paper

Should There be a Coordinated Response to the Problem of Global Imbalances? Can There Be One?

This paper analyzes the options for international policy coordination in order to redress the global imbalances. The case for policy coordination rests on a number of assumptions such as the existence of important spillover effects of national policies and a common understanding of the nature of the problem. In reality, important obstacles exist to get to effective policy coordination, including resistance from domestic interest groups and disagreement of the effectiveness of policy instruments. These obstacles can be reduced by developing a multilateral consensus on common goals and by addressing commitment problems via issuing multi-year schedules for policy adjustments.

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Latin America and the Caribbean’s Challenge to Reach the MDGs: Financing Options and Trade-offs

This study analyzes the determinants of improving outcomes in education, health and basic sanitation and the macroeconomic trade-offs caused by scaling up public spending for the Millennium Development Goals, using an integrated modelling approach. At variance with other assessments, the analysis shows that most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are “off track” towards many of the goals. The study shows that while achieving the goals is affordable for most countries in the region, governments will need to put greater emphasis on tax reforms to mobilize resources for increased social spending while avoiding undesirable macroeconomic trade-offs.

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Economic Liberalization and Constraints to Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper critically reviews the impact of globalization on sub-Saharan Africa since the early 1980s. The large gains expected from opening up to international economic forces have, to date, been limited, and there have been significant adverse consequences. Foreign direct investment in the region has been largely confined to resource, especially mineral, extraction, even as continuing capital flight has reduced financial resources available for productive investments. Premature trade liberalization has further undermined prospects for sub-Saharan economic development as productive capacities in many sectors are not sufficiently competitive to take advantage of any improvements in market access.

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Outreach material

DESA Policy Brief No. 6: The Growing Threat of Climate-Related Insecurity

The threat to economic security from natural disasters is increasing: four times as many occurred annually during the period 2000-2006 as during the 1970s, with annual damages increasing sevenfold to $83 billion per year, and a quadrupling of the number of persons affected. What role of global warming in these trends is difficult to say, though the scientific consensus is that climate change will increase the intensity and incidence of such disasters in coming years. This policy brief from DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division sheds light on the growing threat of climate-related insecurity and the need for an integrated approach to the problem.

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Multilingual ECOSOCMultilingual ECOSOC

In the spirit of the 2008 International Year of Languages, DESA’s Office of Economic Council Support and Coordination, in collaboration with DPI, has expanded online coverage of ECOSOC affairs to Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. The multilingual site provides information on the work of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, featuring the Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum and their roles in advancing the UN development agenda. Visitors will also find recent statements, along with the latest UN print and radio news. Information on current and past presidents of the Council, its Bureau and membership, and historical information are included.

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