Technical reports

Launch of the Millennium Development Goals Report 2013

image001At the occasion of the opening of ECOSOC, the Secretary-General will officially launch the Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 in Geneva on 1 July. In addition, launching events are planned in more than 20 cities worldwide on or around 1 July.

With the deadline for the MDGs on the horizon, this year’s report examines where the targets have been met and where redoubled efforts are needed urgently to accelerate the progress. It also reveals that our attention needs to focus on disparities across geographical areas and social groups, which often do not surface in the analysis at the global level.

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Launch of the World Economic and Social Survey 2013

image002The World Economic and Social Survey 2013 (WESS) will be launched in Geneva on 2 July. Shamshad Akhtar, ASG for Economic Development, and Willem Van Der Geest, Chief of Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit in DESA, will launch the report.

The WESS provides objective analysis of pressing long-term social and economic development issues, and discusses the positive and negative impact of corresponding policies.


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World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision 

populationThe report, launched by DESA’s Population division in June, notes that the population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. In contrast, the 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size from around 900 million people in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050. 

“Although population growth has slowed for the world as a whole, this report reminds us that some developing countries, especially in Africa, are still growing rapidly,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Wu Hongbo in a press release on the report in June. 

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Creating Universal Access to Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport

image003The transformative role of transport in realizing sustainable development is well understood and was acknowledged in The Future We Want , the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) as well as the report of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

The report outlines key challenges and opportunities on sustainable transport; reviews the implementation of the Voluntary Commitments in their first year; presents a number of additional Voluntary Commitments with a focus on measuring; and defines transport sector’s role in the post-2015 development framework.

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Statistical compilations


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

image004The 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. LXVII – No. 5, May 2013

In addition to the regular recurrent monthly tables, this issue includes the quarterly tables: Earnings in manufacturing, by sex; Total exports and imports by regions: quantum and unit value indices and terms of trade in US dollars.

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Outreach material


Sustainable Development in Action – Issue 6, Volume 1

The latest issue is now available featuring the Third session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Published by DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development, the newsletter aims to highlight the work carried out by Member States, the UN, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want.

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Enable Newsletter

Prepared by the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) within DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, the May issue is available. The newsletter features input from UN offices, agencies, funds and programmes, and civil society.

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Youth Flash Newsletter

May issue is available featuring an article on the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, hosting the first in a series of Google+ Hangouts. The newsletter is published by DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development Focal Point 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, and from youth organizations around the world.

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Discussion papers


Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects No. 55

Published by DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, the June issue states that despite improved global financial conditions and signs of reduced short-term risks, the world economy continues to expand at a subdued pace. After markedly slower growth over the past two years, global economic activity is expected to slowly gain momentum in the second half of 2013, but growth will still remain below potential.

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Working papers


The distributional effects of fiscal austerity

This paper examines the distributional effects of fiscal austerity. Using episodes of fiscal consolidation measures for a sample of 17 OECD countries over the period 1978-2009, we find that fiscal consolidation episodes have typically led to a significant and long-lasting increase in inequality. Tax-based consolidation episodes tend to have a larger and more persistent effect on inequality than spending-based consolidations. The evidence also shows that while fiscal consolidations have typically led to a fall in wage income, they have not had a significant effect on profit and rent income.

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Enhanced DESA Website & e-Brochure

image005The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched a new website and e-Brochure that extends the current design with interactive multimedia features and accessibility from mobile devices.

The new site comes with an improved navigation structure and better incorporates latest developments on the Internet. Users have access to latest news, publications and events of the Department, and can interact with DESA through video messages and social media.

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