Technical reports

World Urbanization Prospects, the 2011 Revision

The report, published by the Population Division of DESA, states that Africa’s urban population will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion by 2050 while that of Asia will soar from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion. According to the report, both regions together will account for 86 per cent of all increases in the world’s urban population. 

According to Sha Zukang, USG of DESA and Secretary-General of Rio+20, “The launch of the World Urbanization Prospects is timely because world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet. We expect world leaders to come up with concrete action plans to realize sustainable cities for the future we want.” he said.

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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. 3, March 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: Earnings in non-agricultural activities, by sex; Fuel imports, developed economies: unit value and volume indices; value; Indicators on fuel imports, developed economies; External trade conversion factors; Manufactured goods exports: unit value indices, volume indices and value; Selected series of world statistics.

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International Recommendations for Water Statistics

The International Recommendations for Water Statistics (IRWS) was developed to assist countries establish and strengthen information systems for water, which in turn support the design and evaluation of better water policies. In particular, these recommendations: (a) support the collection, compilation and dissemination of internationally comparable water statistics in countries; (b) support the implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-Water); and (c) provide the necessary information for deriving coherent and consistent indicators, enabling comparisons over time and between countries from an agreed list of data items.

The IRWS consolidates the experiences and practices of countries and international organizations in the field of water statistics, and was developed in close collaboration and consultations with many countries and international experts. Following this process, the IRWS was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its forty-first session in February 2010.

The UNSC is a functional Commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations that brings together the Chief statisticians from the Member States. As such it is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities, especially the setting of statistical standards, the development of concepts and methods and their implementation at the national and international level.

Outreach material

Rio+20 Newsletter: Making it Happen, Volume 3, Issue 4

“We need to mobilize public support around the world for the vision of finally building a sustainable world that guarantees the well-being of humanity, while preserving the planet for future generations,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Over 130 Heads of State, Vice Presidents, Heads of Government, and deputy Prime Ministers are currently inscribed on the speakers list for the Rio+20 Conference, from 20-22 June. Read more in our latest issue of the Rio+20 Newsletter – Making it Happen.

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Monthly briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

The April issue covers, among other things, the continuation of developed countries’ policies of quantitative easing. The central banks of the United States, the European Union and Japan have taken a number of steps such as lengthening the maturity of their holdings, providing loans at low rates and continuing asset purchase programmes. Industrial output has slowed in a number of countries across the world such as Brazil, Croatia, Japan, Serbia and Viet Nam. China’s trade deficit increased in the first two months of the year. An easing of food prices from their highs in 2011 has helped to slow inflation, particularly in the Commonwealth of Independent States and East Africa. In the developed world, there are some signs pointing to modest recovery in the US, but growth has slowed in Australia and New Zealand and the growth prospects for the EU remain depressed. Another development is that Hungary may be one of the first countries to face EU financial sanctions due to a budget deficit above the agreed threshold.

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Enable Newsletter

March 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.
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United Nations Youth Flash

April 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.

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Social Development Link Newsletter

The April issue is now available online. The newsletter, which is now published monthly by the Civil Society and Outreach Unit of the Division for Social Policy and Development, aims at providing a sharp and synthetic summary of major activities carried out by DSPD.

As its title shows, the newsletter will serve as a link between DSPD and its major partners, from civil society actors to social development practitioners and scholars.

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Working papers

The Imprudence of Labour Market Flexibilization in a Fiscally Austere World

This paper assesses the effects of combining fiscal austerity with flexibilization policies aimed at reducing labour costs and increasing competitiveness. Core to our analysis is a global perspective where the aggregation problem is fully taken into account. We derive a stylized macroeconomic framework of distributive and demand dynamics. We show that even in export-led regimes, after considering global feedbacks, flexibilization policies do not lead to higher income and employment. Rather, the end result is contractionary. Over time, the world economy is essentially wage-led and responds positively to coordinated Keynesian stimuli.

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Mobile applications

UN CountryStats

Statistics Division’s first app – the new UN CountryStats app for iPhones and iPads – became available for download from the App Store on 1 March. Adapted from the print version of Statistics Division’s World Statistics Pocketbook 2010, this data visualisation tool offers free-of-charge portable access to key economic, social and environmental indicators for 216 countries and areas. It’s easy-to-use interface enables users to view country profiles in table format as well as to compare indicators for several countries and years at a time, display them as bar graphs, and save them as favourites. The indicators covered are those which have been compiled by the United Nations Statistics and Population divisions, the statistical services of United Nations specialized agencies and other international organisations and institutions.

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Publications in other languages

Launch of the Chinese Edition of the “United Nations E-Government Survey 2012: E-Government for the People”

More than 200 senior officials from the central and local ministries responsible for e-government and information technology in China, research and academia institutions engaged in e-government, as well as several industry representatives, attended the launch of the Chinese language edition of the “United Nations E-Government Survey 2012: E-Government for the People” in Beijing, China, on 26 March 2012.

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