DESA News Vol. 13, No. 08 August 2009

Publications and websites

Technical reports

Millennium Development Goals Report 2009Millennium Development Goals Report 2009

The report was launched in Geneva by the Secretary-General on 6 July and presents the yearly assessment of global progress towards the MDGs. It is prepared by the Statistics Division of DESA on the basis of inputs provided by the members of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators. Less than six years away from the 2015 deadline to achieve the MDGs, the report warns that despite many successes, overall progress has been too slow for most of the targets to be met by 2015. Major advances in the fight against poverty and hunger have begun to slow or even reverse as a result of the global economic and food crises. The Report is also available in French and Spanish and will soon become available in the other UN official languages.

For more information: http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Default.aspx

To download: http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2009/MDG_Report_2009_En.pdf


Statistical compilations

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

The bulletin 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. LXIII – No. 6, June 2009

Quarterly and bimonthly tables included in this issue: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Fuel imports of developed economies (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Indicators on fuel imports of developed economies; Registration of new motor vehicles; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports (unit value indices, volume indices and value); Selected series of world statistics.

For more information: http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mbs/


Discussion papers

Policy Brief No. 18: Climate Change and Technology Transfer: The Need for a Regional Perspective

The international negotiations on climate change actions, including mechanisms for the efficient and equitable transfer of technologies for mitigation and adaptation, are currently being deliberated under the auspices of the UNFCCC Bali Road Map and are at a crucial stage. The discussions stress the need for countries to move effectively from emission and impact assessments to project and programme implementation. This brief suggests that it is essential to incorporate a regional perspective on technology transfers and that regional technology innovation centres be established to tailor technology development and adaptation better to regional and country needs.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/policy/policybriefs/

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/policy/policybriefs/policybrief18.pdf

World Economic Situation and Prospects – Monthly Briefing, July 2009

This 10th issue states that the recent United Nations conference on the global financial and economic crisis proposed a comprehensive set of actions to mitigate the immediate impact of the crisis and to formulate adequate medium- and long-term responses. Unemployment is rising rapidly across the globe, posing a key risk for a sustained recovery of the world economy. The contraction in world trade is slowing but import demand in developed economies remains weak as policymakers focus on domestic issues.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/policy/publications/dpad_wespmbn.html


Working papers

Working Paper on Governance, Growth and Poverty Reduction

Poverty reduction is a function of economic growth, income distribution and distribution changes. Governance can impact both growth and income distribution. The dominant market-enhancing governance paradigm seeks to enhance the efficiency of markets through ‘good governance’ reforms, ostensibly to trigger or sustain growth. ‘Pro-poor’ good governance reforms purport to enhance the scale and efficiency of service delivery to the poor. The good governance approach to enhancing growth is disputed. Neither theory nor evidence strongly support the plausibility of significantly reducing poverty through the good governance agenda. Alternative governance approaches for addressing poverty are contrasted favourably with the currently dominant paradigm.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2009/wp75_2009.pdf

Working Paper on Infrastructure finance in developing countries—the potential of sub-sovereign bonds

This paper sets out to explore the potential of sub-sovereign bonds in financing infrastructure in developing countries. Taking into account the historical experience of the US, it develops a supply and demand side framework for analysis of the market for sub-sovereign bonded debt in developing countries and applies this framework to Mexico, India and South Africa. Finally, it draws lessons for countries seeking to promote markets for sub-sovereign bonds. Evidence suggests that the regulatory environment, a diversified financial sector and increased capacity for debt support and management matter most for the development of the sub-sovereign bond market.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2009/wp76_2009.pdf

Working Paper on “Should Financial Flows Be Regulated? Yes”

As the international financial crisis spreads, some governments are using “unconventional tools” of monetary and financial policy to protect themselves. Should policies to control international capital flows be part of the government “toolkit” in these difficult times? This essay answers: YES. It describes the economic arguments for and against using capital controls, prudential regulations and other “capital management techniques” to manage international financial flows, presents empirical evidence on their impacts, and describes the variety of policies that many countries have successfully applied to enhance macroeconomic and financial stability, create policy space, and achieve other national development goals.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2009/wp77_2009.pdf

Working Paper on the Impact of Remittances on Economic Insecurity

This paper illustrates that cross-country generalizations about the impact of remittances on economic security are useful only up to a certain point; beyond that their effect can be influenced by the interplay of various factors relating to the motivations and characteristics of migrants, economic/social/political conditions in the country of origin, immigration policies and conditions in the host country, and the size and concentrations of the remittances. The policy implications outlined in the paper include the need for caution and retrospection in certain instances as well as action and international collaboration in other areas.

For more information: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/

To download: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2009/wp78_2009.pdf