Urban innovation and sustainable development

The Summit Forum of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo will take place on 18 November

The Summit Forum is of the highest rank among three types of forums. It will be the climax of the Expo forums as it provides a stage for large-scale discussion of global urbanization issues. The “Shanghai Declaration,” which is to be announced at the Summit Forum, will be a significant document of the Expo based on participants’ understanding on global urban development. The “Shanghai Declaration” will be based on common willingness.

Linked to the core Expo theme of “Better City, Better Life,” the topic of the Summit Forum is recommended as “Urban Innovation and Sustainable Development,” which focuses on the key urban challenges confronting countries around the world. It is also based on the themes of past Expos and therefore enhances both the continuing value of the event and its long heritage.

The forum will take the form of conferences and sub-forums, accompanied by keynote speeches, round-table meetings, mini summits, group discussions, cocktail receptions, and visits in the Expo Site.

Up to 2,000 participants are estimated to attend the Summit Forum, including heads of state, ministers, mayors, Chinese government officials, the UN Secretary General, Commissioners General, and representatives of academic, business and media, as well as outstanding members of the younger generation.

For more information: http://esango.un.org/irene/dsd.html?page=viewContent&nr=9728&type=8

Long road to recovery

Expert Group Meeting on the World Economy (Project LINK) was held from 20-22 October in New York

The LINK Global Economic Outlook indicates that the road towards recovery from the Great Recession is proving to be long, sinuous and bumpy. After a year of fragile and uneven recovery, growth of the world economy is now decelerating on a broad front, presaging an even weaker growth in the outlook for 2011.

The report points out the weakness of major developed economies that continues to drag on the global recovery. There seems to be no quick fix to many of the predicaments these economies are facing in the aftermath of the financial crisis. While credit shortage, financial fragility, persistently high unemployment and anaemic domestic demand are found in these economies, the contribution of government spending to GDP growth is expected to become negative in 2011 as a result of the announced fiscal consolidation.

In contrast, developing countries and economies in transition have shown a strong economic recovery. In the outlook, however, as the recovery in major developed economies falters, growth prospects in developing countries are expected to weaken in tandem.

The report identified a number of risks for the world economy. Risks for the world economy are mostly rooted in major developed economies, including those associated with persistently high unemployment, the continued fragility of the financial system and looming sovereign debt stress. For developing countries and economies in transition, major risks are associated with surges in capital inflows, which are causing upward pressures on their currencies. Mitigating these risks poses enormous policy challenges.

In major developed economies, macroeconomic policy options are limited by political factors restraining further fiscal stimulus and market responses to sovereign debt distress. This has led policymakers to rely increasingly on monetary policy, which may not suffice to boost aggregate demand and create new jobs. The surge in capital flows to emerging and other developing economies and the consequent pressures on currencies are complicating the international environment for developing countries.

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

Web-based tools to support MDG advancement

During the High Level Meeting on MDGs, a Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) Side Event was held on 21 September in New York

GAID held a high-level breakfast meeting to launch web-based knowledge tools and information resources, providing tangible and practical benefits to developing countries in their efforts to advance the MDGs.

The meeting was attended by government leaders and officials, CEOs and managers from ICT companies, and representatives of NGOs and international organizations from several countries. ASG Mr. Jomo Kwame Sundaram read a welcoming message on behalf of the Secretary-General.

For more information: http://www.un-gaid.org/

Advancing knowledge management for governments

Workshop on Harnessing Knowledge Management through Web 2.0 Tools took place in Shanghai, China, from 25 to 27 September

Knowledge Management has proven to be essential for government agencies at all levels to efficiently and effectively deliver public services and act as centers for the timely collection, organization and dissemination of information. However, due to the disparity between the haves and the have-nots, all countries are not at the same point in their development of efficient and effective Knowledge Management systems. Over the years, through Knowledge Management capacity building, many governments and institutions have moved toward electronic systems of data management.

Co-organized by DESA’s Division for Public Administration & Development Management (DPADM) in collaboration with the Regional Cooperation Office for City Informatization (RCOCI) of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, the meeting resulted in many actions to be undertaken by DPADM and UNPAN Partners, including updating the existing web user survey, starting an online discussion platform for continuous collaboration with workshop participants, updating the Discover UNPAN page and providing more detailed information for each partner organization and creating yearly progress reports in addition to regular monthly reports.

The meeting also decided to launch 6 more online courses in Spanish, discuss possible collaboration areas in knowledge management and consider translating some of the existing online courses into Arabic. As an outcome DPADM together with UNPAN partners will draft a set of standardized marketing tools on knowledge management products and produce a summary of UNPAN Partner fee based services to be displayed in UNPAN North America home page.

For more information: http://www.unpan.org/km2010

Developing the future of the Internet together

Fifth and last meeting of the Internet Governance Forum under its original mandate was held in Vilnius, Lithuania from 14-17 September

The meeting concluded with a number of calls by participants for continued dialogue and a renewed mandate. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, ASG for Economic Development, opened the conference on behalf of Sha Zukang, USG of DESA, together with President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania. The theme of the meeting was “developing the future together”, a concept embodying what many participants perceive to be a fundamental achievement of the IGF – bridging cultural differences among stakeholders to discuss, in a flexible, open format, critical Internet resources, access, diversity, security, privacy and the many other important matters at hand.

For more information: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/