Technical reports

United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 


The 2012 edition of the United Nations E-Government Survey: E-Government for the People has been launched and is now available. The sixth in the series, it sheds light on the global state of e-government development and provides options on how best to move forward.  It particularly examines the institutional framework for e-government and finds that the presence of a national coordinating authority can help overcome internal barriers and focus minds on integrated responses to citizen concerns.  According to the 2012 survey rankings, the Republic of Korea is the world leader (0.9283) followed by the Netherlands (0.9125), the United Kingdom (0.8960), Denmark (0.8889), and the United States (0.8687). 

In its first edition in 2003, the survey found 18 countries had no web presence.  However, in 2012 survey, only 3 countries were identified to have no web presence.  The 2012 Survey also argues that e-government provides public administrators with powerful tools for grappling with problems of social equity and the digital divide.  The caveat is that governments must find effective channels of communication that fit national circumstances while also taking steps to increase usage of online and mobile services in order to realize their full benefit to citizens. 

For more information:
Click to read the 2012 Survey
Click to view the world e-government rankings

United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries: 2011Update


The United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries: 2011 Update was officially launched on 15 March 2012. The launch featured panel presentations and distribution of the e-publication, as well as promotional materials. The UN Model can be downloaded from the Financing for Development website and its printed version will be available later this year.

It is important for countries that seek assistance in the negotiation and implementation of modern bilateral double tax treaties reflecting their current circumstances and policy priorities. The Model recognizes that to avoid double taxation of investment, the country where the investment takes place and country of the investor often share taxing rights.

To download:

Statistical compilations


Monthly 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 bimonthly, quarterly and annual 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. LXVI – No. 2, February 2012

This month, the following tables, which are featured in the MBS on a quarterly or bimonthly basis, are presented along with the regular recurrent monthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of United Nations officials; Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Total exports and imports by regions: volume and unit value indices and terms of trade.

For more information:

International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010 (IMTS 2010)


The International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010 (IMTS 2010) provides a comprehensive methodological framework for collection and compilation of international merchandise trade statistics in all countries, irrespective of the level of development of their statistical system.

The conceptual framework of IMTS 2010 reflects both the multipurpose nature of these statistics and concern for availability of the adequate data sources and data compilation procedures. IMTS 2010 follows an integrated approach to economic statistics including the use, as applicable, of common concepts, definitions, classifications and data compilation strategies.

It is intended primarily for the producers of international trade statistics; particularly the staff of national statistical offices and/or customs involved in the collection and compilation of merchandise trade statistics, but may be also useful to researchers and other users interested in better understanding the nature of trade statistics.

Meeting records


The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development

Task Group on E-government, comprising twelve agencies, of which DESA through DPADM is a key member, presented its Report to the UN Statistical Commission at its forty-second session held from 28 February to 2 March in New York. The Commission endorsed the set of globally comparative e-government core indicators proposed in the Task Group’s Report and asked for its wide circulation so that countries and other agencies can use this as a reference. The indicators are: (i) proportion of persons employed in central Government organizations routinely using computers; (ii) proportion of persons employed in central Government organizations routinely using the Internet; (iii) proportion of central Government organizations with a local area network (LAN); (iv) proportion of central Government organizations with an Internet; (v) proportion of central Government organizations with Internet access, by type of access; (vi) proportion of central Government organizations with a Web presence; (vii) selected Internet-based online services available to citizens, by level of sophistication of service.

To read the official report:

Outreach material

Rio+20: Making it Happen

12 March 2012 marked one hundred days until world leaders gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to renew political commitment to a sustainable future. This milestone was welcomed in the official newsletter of the Conference, Rio+20: Making It Happen, when it launched a special issue last week devoted to social media and recognizing its in promoting greater connectivity around the values of sustainable development.

In parallel, global stakeholders, Major Groups and UN system partners coordinated an online campaign to share messages of support for Rio+20 and highlight a few of the most important themes and objectives of the Conference.  The special issue of Rio+20: Making It Happen was also the first to be published entirely online and in a fully peer-based format.  Stakeholders can now share articles from the newsletter and post their comments and reactions.

Rio+20 is anticipated to be one of the largest gatherings in UN history – a fact owed in part to the impact of social media in disseminating information and engaging the public. 

To view full issue:

Enable Newsletter

The latest issue is now available. ENABLE Newsletter is prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) within UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and civil society.

View full issue at:

United Nations Youth Flash

The March issue is now available. The newsletter is a service of the UN Programme on Youth to keep the public informed about the work of the UN on youth issues. It is prepared with input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and from youth organisations around the world.

View full issue at:

Financing for Development Newsletter

Newsletter 2012/3 on the outcome of the ECOSOC Special Event on International Tax Cooperation (New York, 14-15 March 2012), covering the launch of 2011 Update of the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention.

View full issue at:

Discussion papers


Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

The March issue covers recent events affecting the world economy such as the rising oil price — which may complicate the global recovery — and the agreement on a second rescue package for Greece. Across the rest of the world, conditions remain mixed. Inflation improved slightly in some East African countries and China lowered its 2012 growth target from 8.0 to 7.5 per cent. India and Brazil both showed slower growth overall in 2011, while the economies of Japan and the EU contracted in the 4th quarter. European financial institutions took another €529 billion in 3-year loans as part of a second round of the Longer-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO).

For more information:

Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects No. 41