DESA News Vol. 13, No. 09 September 2009

Trends and analysis

Virtual discussions on energy statistics

Oslo Group will focus on draft chapters of the International Recommendations on Energy Statistics (IRES) from 31 August – 18 September

Environmental indicators are a key tool for environmental assessment, reporting and policymaking. The Sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (Belgrade, 2007) endorsed the UNECE Recommendations on environmental indicators and indicator-based assessments and invited the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, South-Eastern Europe and other interested countries to implement the Guidelines for the Application of Environmental Indicators prepared by the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment in close cooperation with the European Environment Agency and other international organizations.

To promote the implementation of these recommendations, a joint meeting will be organized by DESA’s Statistics Division and UNECE for interested UNECE countries from 31 August – 18 September. The meeting will comprise of virtual discussions on the draft chapters of the IRES, including consultations on key issues to be incorporated into the chapters. The first draft of IRES is expected to be ready before the Fifth Oslo Group Meeting, to be held in February 2010 in Cork, Ireland, and this virtual meeting aims at speeding up the writing and revising process.

The joint meeting will discuss priorities and modalities of cooperation between environmental experts and statisticians in 2009-2010, review in detail selected indicators covered by the Guidelines for the Application of Environmental Indicators, exchange information on international developments related to environmental indicators and Initiate discussions on modern presentation formats and tools for effective dissemination of environmental indicators.

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Harmonizing economic and social classifications

Experts to meet in New York from 1-4 September to discuss a variety of classification topics

The Expert Group was established to ensure harmonization and convergence among the classifications in the International Family of Economic and Social Classifications. It examines the status of the work on international classifications, make recommendations concerning future directions to the U.N. Statistical Commission, and serves as the central coordinating body in the work on international classifications.

The group agrees on strategies for updating and revising classifications and reviews the underlying principles as well as practical proposals to bring about convergence of existing classifications. It is composed of members from international organizations - custodians and major users of international and economic classifications, as well as representatives from developed and developing countries and regional agencies.

The next meeting of the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications will take place from 1-4 September in New York. The Expert group will discuss a variety of topics including the implementation of the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC), the Central Product Classification (CPC), including documents for the implementation and application of these classifications, the implementation of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), the development of environment- and energy-related classifications, the review of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) and the revisions of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the International Classification for Health Accounts (ICHA).

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Focusing on ICT and education

Annual Meetings of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) and the Global Forum on ICT and Innovation for Education will be held from 2-4 September in Monterrey, Mexico

The annual meetings will be jointly organized by GAID, the Government of Mexico, Indigo Brainmedia and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The event in Monterrey will bring together the ICT and development communities for a focused dialogue on emerging issues and challenges with an emphasis on innovation in education. The meetings are also intended to foster cooperation among governments, private sector and civil society. 500 to 600 policymakers, business leaders, and innovators in the field of information and communication technologies for development from around the world are expected to attend.

GAID has launched online discussions on themes that the Alliance may address in the coming year: financial and economic crisis and poverty eradication; health and education; climate change; gender; network development and outreach. The results of these discussions will be presented at the Strategy Council meeting on 2 September in Monterrey, Mexico. GAID aims at developing an agenda for action in each of the themes listed above, in order to align its work with the broader UN Development Agenda and address emerging issues.

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Governing the global statistical system

14th session of the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA) will be held in Bangkok from 9-11 September

The Committee was established in 2002, taking over its key objectives from the former Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), Subcommittee on Statistical Activities, namely to promote coordination, integration and complementarity among the statistical programmes of the international organizations.

Members of the Committee comprise of international and supranational organizations, whose mandate includes the provision of international official statistics in the context of the Principles Governing International Statistical Activities, which have a permanent embedded statistical service in their organization and regular contacts with countries.

The Committee focuses its work on six main activities: efficient functioning of the statistical system; common standards and platforms; development of methodologies; inter-institutional support; outreach; and advocacy for statistics. It meets twice a year and an annual report on its ongoing activities is made available to the United Nations Statistical Commission. If necessary or desirable, the report is referred to the High Level Committee on Programmes of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). This is the first time when the CCSA Session will be held in Asia, hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The agenda of the 14th CCSA meeting includes a special session on the Governance of the Global Statistical System and the role of CCSA, and discussions on various topics, such as population estimates, use of non-official data in estimations made by the international organizations, reporting mechanisms on Statistical Capacity Building activities, modalities of data sharing among the international organizations, quality assurance frameworks, and celebration of the World Statistics Day.

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Examining strategies for poverty reduction

International Conference on Global and National Strategy for Poverty Reduction on 28-29 September in Seoul will focus on the state, development and poverty reduction

United Nations Project on Governance (UNPOG) will assist the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the Graduate School of Public Administration of Seoul National University in organizing an international conference to examine different countries’ experiences of poverty reduction, paying particular attention to the policy regime in Korea that led to successful economic development and poverty reduction.

Participation and discussion by academics, development practitioners, government officials, and staff from the United Nations and NGOs will be expected to shed light on whether social policy provides the vital link between the economic development and poverty reduction.

During the conference, UNPOG will make a presentation entitled, “Korea’s International Cooperation Policy” in line with the UN Development Agendas, and from the perspective of the Millennium Developments Goals.

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Forming the world e-Governments Organization

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from cities around the world will come to Seoul from 28-30 September to participate in the World Cities CIO Forum 2009

Organized by the Government of Seoul Metropolitan City with the participation of DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) through the United Nations Project on Governance (UNPOG), this forum will discuss preliminary issues and map out a detailed timeline for the establishment of “World e-Governments Organization” to be scheduled in 2010.

Specifically, UNPOG will organize a special session focusing on e-government issues and activities of the United Nations including the electronic/mobile-Government Knowledge Repository project (emGKR), a flagship project of DPADM underway in every region of the world.

70 CIOs from as many as 40 cities will be expected to attend, which will provide a unique platform to discuss a world-wide collaboration on e-government.

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