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UN DESA Newsletter, June 2011


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Global dialogue on development: UNFF Forest Film Festival wins European Film Award, General Assembly highlights MDGs and the development agenda beyond 2015
Trends and analysis: Confronting family poverty and social exclusion, Reviewing responses to global job crisis, Principles and recommendations on Vital Statistics System
Capacity development: Platform for exchange of census data experience, Institutionalizing water accounts and statistics, Analyzing mortality, housing and the situation of the elderly in Ethiopia

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UN DESA Newsletter, June 2011

  1. 1. DESA Home | UN Home June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6 IN THIS ISSUE >>> Leading the way to a sustainable future | Putting spotlight on innovative governance | Call to turn indigenous rights to reality Global dialogue on development: UNFF Forest Film Festival wins European Film Award, General Assembly highlights MDGs and the development agenda beyond 2015 Trends and analysis: Confronting family poverty and social exclusion, Reviewing responses to global job crisis, Principles and recommendations on Vital Statistics System Capacity development: Platform for exchange of census data experience, Institutionalizing water accounts and statistics, Analyzing mortality, housing and the situation of the elderly in Ethiopia Publications and websites | Comings and goings | Calendar As a conference dedicated to sustainable development, I hopeFeature Articles and Rio+20 will re-launch our world on a sustainable trajectory. That, in short, is my vision.”WebcastLeading the way to a sustainablefuture“I believe that Rio+20 is one of the most important events of thisdecade. It is an event for the whole world; it is about tomorrow,about the future. And sustainable development should be ourcommon future. History has given all of us an opportunity to makea difference. Let us do it, together,” says Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of Rio+20, in an exclusive interview.A career diplomat with extensive experience in multilateralorganizations and international conferences, Sha Zukang has beenthe Under-Secretary-General for DESA since 2007. In addition,Mr. Sha serves as Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference What message would you like to convey to governments andon Sustainable Development. Exclusive for DESA News, Mr. Sha organizations around the world, as we prepare for Rio+20?shares his experience, vision and hopes as he leads the workculminating in this milestone event taking place in Rio de Janeiro, “I believe that Rio+20 is one of the most important events of thisBrazil on 4-6 June 2012. decade. It is an event for the whole world; it is about tomorrow, about the future. And sustainable development should be ourWhat is your vision as Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference common future. History has given all of us an opportunity toon Sustainable Development? make a difference. Let us do it, together.“I am a strong advocate of sustainable development and I think, if Rio+20 can be captured in 1, 2, and 3:there is a future for our civilization, it will be through achieving - One focused political document on the outcome;sustainable development across the globe. - Two themes - a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development; and
  2. 2. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6- Three objectives - renew political commitments, assess gaps inimplementation and identify new and emerging challenges. I think Rio+20 will need to address these new challenges. Agreement is needed on measures and commitments that canOverall, I would like to see governments and organizations accelerate implementation in meeting them.”produce two kinds of results -at the political level, renewing theirpolitical commitment to sustainable development; at the action How is your job as Conference Secretary-General?level, launching concrete initiatives in support of implementation.These initiatives could be country-led, supported by multi- “Not easy. It is hard work, but I am not afraid of hard work. I dostakeholders; or led by UN organizations; or by business and civil work hard. However, there are lots of frustrations. Lack ofsociety. funding is an important one.Rio+20 should be a milestone event, with broad participation at the Despite frustrations, I also have a strong team working with megrass root level. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations.” and supporting me, which makes this job more enjoyable.”What are the chances for success in Rio? Are you optimistic? For more information:“A large international conference like Rio+20 is often a difficult The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20:and complicated process, because it is seeking to address broad, challenges. But I am optimistic. I see enthusiasm andpassion for Rio+20 on the rise. Governments are becoming more Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the 2012 UN Conference onengaged. They are setting up national coordination committees or Sustainable Development and Under-Secretary-General oftask forces. Businesses are also engaged. They have set up a DESA:dedicated mechanism for Rio+20. And civil society groups are Many are preparing to launch initiatives in the lead-up toRio or at Rio.Equally important, Rio+20 offers a timely opportunity to take Putting spotlight on innovativesustainable development forward. Rio+20 can, and I hope, will live governancein history as an event that provided the momentum to re-launch theworld on the pathway to sustainable development. Over 600 participants are expected to attend the 2011 UN Public Service Day, Awards Ceremony and Forum on 20-23While gaps remain on how to proceed, Governments agree that the June. With a focus on "Transformative Leadership in Publiccurrent international environmental governance is fragmented and Administration and Innovation in Governance: Creating a Betterthere is need for a better balance between governance for the three Life for All", the event will feature workshops, an exhibition andpillars of sustainable development. While there is concern over celebrate excellence in public service economy, in the area of trade, aid and capacity building,countries agree that a green economy in the context of sustainabledevelopment and poverty eradication can be an important avenueto accelerating sustainable development.”What in your view are the new challenges?“During preparatory discussions, delegates identified a number ofnew, emerging challenges.Though many are long-known challenges, they have taken on newdimensions. One example is the need for enhancing disasterpreparedness, in view of the increased frequency and severity ofnatural disasters.Others include energy (energy access, energy efficiency,renewable energy), water (water stress and shortage), land Taking place in Tanzania’s largest city Dar es Salam, this is thedegradation (soil loss), population dynamics, urbanization, first time the UN Public Service Awards (UNPSA) will besustainable agriculture, ocean and fisheries (the blue economy) and commemorated concurrently with Africa Public Service Day. Toothers. mark this special event and leading up to the Awards CeremonyDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2
  3. 3. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6on 23 June, a series of capacity-building workshops and a representatives of Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada,ministerial roundtable will also be held at the Mlimani City Egypt, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Iraq,Complex. Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Oman, Panama, Peru, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sudan, TrinidadThis global event is managed by DESAs Division for Public and Tobago and USA. Eight new countries were also nominatedAdministration and Development Management (DPADM), under this year, including Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Dominica,the leadership of its Director, Haiyan Qian. DPADM organized the Somalia, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine.Awards Ceremony and Forum in collaboration with the AfricanUnion Commission (AUC), the President’s Office of the United In addition, two new categories were created this year inRepublic of Tanzania, hosting the event, and in partnership with partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)UN Women and supported by the UN Development Programme in and with UN Women: “Preventing and Combating Corruption inTanzania. the Public Service” and “Promoting Gender-responsive delivery of Public services”. There are five categories in total.Programme grows dramatically A platform for exchange and explorationThe UNPSA team led by the Public Administration CapacityBuilding Branch of DPADM and a devoted group of staff from Drawing together world leaders, policy-makers, innovators inacross the division’s branches and UN Women, which has been governance, representatives of international and regionalinvolved this past year for its first collaboration with DPADM on organizations, members of academia, non-profit organizations,the Awards Ceremony and Forum, are all excited by the growth the private sector, the UN Public Service Forum puts governanceand expansion of the overall programme. UNPSA Coordinator and innovation squarely in the spotlight. Every year it focuses onAdriana Alberti says the programme has grown dramatically over a specific critical area and explores its different dimensions andthe last two years, with 2011 showing the number of nominations components in an organic way. It provides a platform to explore,increasing by 44.4 per cent compared to 2010. discuss and learn about: (i) Emerging challenges, issues and trends in public governance; (ii) Innovative practices to address“Olympics” of public service excellence these challenges; and (iii) Capacity development strategies, approaches and tools - how can we learn from these practicesThe team works all year round, starting with the Call for and what tools are available or can we develop to move forward?Nominations in the third quarter, to raise awareness and encouragecountries to nominate best cases and examples of innovations in Five capacity-building workshops will be arranged including:governance and delivery of public services. By showcasing and Leading with Integrity and Inventiveness in Public Governance;sharing what works with each other, countries can compete in a Engaging Citizens and Civil Society Organizations to Promotekind of “Olympics” of public service excellence, from water Effectiveness, Accountability and Transparency inservices to the administration of elections, and share what they Reconstruction and Recovery Strategies after Natural Disasters;know best for possible replication and adaptation. The four-day African e-Leadership Capacity-Building; Leading Innovations inForum also creates a unique opportunity to explore issues of Gender-Responsive Service Delivery; and Special Meeting ofgovernance in a critical and organic way, presenting trends and Awards Programmes Coordinators.allowing for discussion on best practices and ways forward.The winners of the prestigious United Nations Public Service Public governance app to be launchedAwards, which are selected from the finalists in each category andregion by the Committee of Experts on Public Administration Besides highlighting many first time winners, the awards(CEPA) at its annual session, are recognized for their achievements ceremony will also feature the launch of DESA’s first Appon the last day of the Forum. This also coincides with UN Public developed for mobile devices. It is an interactive publicationService Day and Africa Public Service Day. It was the General “UN Innovations in Public Governance” showcasing all winnersAssembly, which designated 23 June as UN Public Service Day to from the beginning of the programme in 2003 including the"celebrate the value and virtue of service to the community". current ones of 2011. The App will be available as a free download on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPad.Briefing sessions and new categories The UN Public Service Awards is the most prestigiousThis past fall DPADM for the first time held a series of international recognition of excellence in public service. Itinformative sessions, both in English and Spanish, for rewards the creative achievements and contributions of publicrepresentatives of Permanent Missions to the UN, to brief them on service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsivethe programme and encourage them to notify their governments to public administration in countries worldwide. Through an annualincrease nominations and participation. Attendees included competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role,DESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 3
  4. 4. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6professionalism and visibility of public service. It is held every Global UN forum marks decade-long effort to promote rights ofyear on 23 June, United Nations Public Service Day. indigenous peoples: more information: forum-marks-decade-long-effort-to-promote-rights-of- indigenous-people.html For more information: to turn indigenous rights toreality”This forum can play a dynamic role in…helping indigenouspeoples around the world achieve the self-determination theydeserve. Your success can build momentum towards the WorldConference on Indigenous Peoples planned for 2014,” saidSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the 10th Sessionof the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on 16 May.Under-Secretary-General of DESA Sha Zukang also spoke in hiscapacity as the Secretary-General of Rio+20, highlighting theimportant role indigenous peoples play when it comes tosustainable development: “Rio+20 is a tremendous opportunity forindigenous peoples to share their wisdom with all of us.Indigenous peoples have a unique understanding of Mother Earthas a living entity, where all beings are interconnected andinterdependent.”The 10th Session was led by newly elected Chair Ms. MirnaCunningham and continued until 27 May.Video from opening of session: News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 4
  5. 5. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6 Assembly resolution 60/265 which requests that a "specific meeting focused on development, including an assessment ofGlobal Dialogue on progress over the previous year, at each session of the GeneralDevelopment Assembly." DESA is providing technical and logistical support for the event,UNFF Forest Film Festival wins which will take the form of a formal plenary meeting and two high-level panel presentations examining "MDG implementationEuropean Film Award and accountability: womens and childrens health as an engine for progress" and "Advancing the United Nations developmentThe International Forest Film Festival has been awarded the agenda beyond 2015."grand prize by CinemAmbiente, the leading environmental filmfestival in Europe and Ms. Jan McAlpine, Director of the UNFF In particular, the second panel will seek to inform MemberSecretariat has been invited to receive the grand prize in Turin on States of ongoing discussions outside the UN regarding a post-5 June 2015 framework. A number of high-level and prominent personalities have been invited to contribute to the discussions inTo celebrate the International Year of Forests 2011, the UN Forum each panel.on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat launched the International ForestFilm Festival in collaboration with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film For more information: The festival received 167 films from over 30 countriesand winners were selected across six categories. The winning filmswere first screened during the ninth session of the UN Forum onForests and they are now being presented around the world CSD-19 focused on reducing harmsthroughout 2011 as a part of the continuing festival. of pollution and wasteThis year’s CinemAmbiente festival will open in Turin on 31 May The Commission on Sustainable Development held its 19thand run through 5 June, which is also World Environment Day. session on 2-13 May in New York focusing on transport,The program features over 100 films to be shown in the National chemicals, waste management, mining, and a 10-yearCompetition, International Competition, and International Shorts framework of programmes on sustainable consumption andCompetition categories, thematic focuses, retrospectives, Ecokids production (SCP)for younger audiences and Panorama, which will probe issues ondeforestation and land use. The High-level segment on 11-13 May gathered 60 ministers of environment and other relevant ministers, who discussed theThis year’s festival is sponsored by the UN Regional Information themes in four roundtable sessions: SCP; transport; mining; andCenter (UNRIC) in Brussels. The Turin-based organization also waste management and chemicals. The opening session of thecoordinates the worldwide network of similar environmental film High-level Segment featured three keynote speakers highlightingfestivals and the Environmental Film Festival Network (EFFN). the importance of sustainable development and the changing patterns of consumption and production. A number of ministersFor more information:, also presented their views in this area. The roundtable sessions also had experts on the thematic areas to start the discussions and were co-chaired by ministers fromGeneral Assembly highlights MDGs developed and developing countries. The Secretary-General was a keynote speaker on the last day of the Commissions sessionand development agenda beyond where he talked about the importance of the UN Conference on2015 Sustainable Development to take place next year in Rio.Two panel discussions will be held examining "MDG CSD-19s Learning Center offered 14 courses related to theimplementation and accountability: womens and childrens health Commission’s five themes and cross-cutting issues to more thanas an engine for progress" and "Advancing the United Nations 300 participants from national delegations, NGOs, internationaldevelopment agenda beyond 2015” on Tuesday, 14 June at UN organizations and other institutions. The class size averaged 23Headquarters in New York participants and was over 40 participants in some sessions. There were also forty-eight side events and twelve relatedThe President of the General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss, will activities held in connection with the session.arrange this event on development, mandated by the GeneralDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 5
  6. 6. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6For more information: transparency and the inclusion of civil society representatives in all phases of the development process. There was a strong emphasis on the need for “inclusive national ownership” – which engages parliaments, local governments and civil societyKey messages identified to maximize organizations. Strengthening the capacities of these actors was also seen as critical.results of aid In preparation of the Fourth UN Conference on the LeastThe Government of Mali and DESA co-organized the first Developed Countries (LDC-IV), the symposium also focused onsymposium “Gearing development cooperation towards the development cooperation with LDCs. Background documentsMDGs: Results and Effectiveness” to prepare for the 2012 show that LDCs do not only face the greatest structural needs,ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on 5-6 May in but they also receive aid of lesser quality than other developingBamako, Mali countries. This compounds the delays in meeting donors’ commitment to increase aid quantity. It was therefore suggestedThe meeting identified a number of key messages on how to that a framework should be developed to improve accountabilitymaximize the results of aid on poverty and other MDGs and it was between LDCs and their donors on commitments relating to theattended by some 150 participants from over fifty developing and quantity and quality of aid. Such a framework would supportdeveloped countries. Attendees included the President of reviews on the follow-up to the Istanbul programme of Action.ECOSOC, Ministers from Mali, DRC and Liberia, governmentrepresentatives, civil society organizations, parliamentarians and It was felt that the UN DCF has an important role in acceleratinglocal government officials. the achievement of the MDGs and in keeping under review the impact/results of aid. The outcome of the meeting, “BamakoThe continued involvement of such a varied group of stakeholders conclusions”, was read out in summary form by the President ofis frequently highlighted as one of the key strengths of the DCF, as ECOSOC. These will be fleshed out and posted on the ECOSOCwas also expressed during the ongoing review of General website and shared with all participants.Assembly Resolution 61/16 on the “Strengthening of ECOSOC”. The results of the discussion during the symposium will feedOn delivering results from aid, participants agreed that a focus on into the 2012 DCF. It will also contribute to the OECD-DACshort-term outcomes is important to build support for development Fourth High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) incooperation, in particular in conflict affected countries. At the November 2011 in Busan, Republic of Korea. The outcome ofsame time, more attention should be paid to the medium and long- the discussion on LDCs was presented by Mali at a DCF specialterm impact of development cooperation and its sustainability. event at the LDC-IV conference.Planned results need to be developed under the leadership andinclusive ownership of developing countries. Monitoring and For more information:evaluation would need to be a shared exercise. Clear benchmarks help to measure how aid is contributing to the achievement ofnational development goals and the MDGs. Stronger accountability frameworksThe meeting also discussed ways of ensuring that actors hold eachother accountable on development results and aid management. to enhance aid to LDCsThe growing number of development actors was seen as a keychallenge in coordinating aid. Robust mutual accountability DESA’s Office for ECOSOC Support organized a special eventmechanisms between donors/providers and programme countries, on “Mutual accountability for LDCs: Aid quality and beyond”based on common results frameworks were seen as an effective with UNDP and OECD-DAC in connection with the Fourth UNtool to overcome this challenge. Conference on Least Developed Countries that took place in Istanbul on 9-13 MayMultiple conditionalities on development cooperation continue tohinder national ownership and leadership. This meeting This event took place on 12 May and examined the quality of aidunderscored that where conditionalities cannot be eliminated, they to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and how greater mutualshould be rooted in national strategies; agreed between donor and accountability between LDCs and their donors can improve it.programme countries. The discussions built on the premise that LDCs do not only face the greatest structural needs, but they also receive aid of lesserA strong message was the need to build developing countries’ quality than other developing countries.capacities across the board in order to bolster national ownership.Important areas included policy making, monitoring and This compounds the delays in meeting donors’ commitment toevaluation, statistics, coordinating aid as well as promoting greater increase aid quantity. It was therefore suggested that a mutualDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 6
  7. 7. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6accountability framework should be developed to improve aid of the meeting. This number was later revised as Colombia onquantity and quality that builds on existing mechanisms and 10 May became the 100th country ratifying the Convention,contributes to the follow-up to the Istanbul Programme of Action. which was adopted on 13 December 2006 and opened for signature on 30 March 2007.The special event brought together approximately sixtyparticipants and high-level speakers from Mali, the Republic of “While the increase in number of ratifications… the lack ofKorea and the IBON Foundation for a lively debate. It was chaired expertise in how to plan and execute government policies andby the President of ECOSOC and introduced by the Head of the strategies that address the situation of persons with disabilitiesOECD-DAC’s aid effectiveness team and DESA’s Assistant- remains a major challenge…The international community hasSecretary-General for Economic Development. reiterated that disability is a cross-cutting issue and all the internationally agreed development goals, including theAmong many other suggestions, great emphasis was placed on the Millennium Development Goals, have relevance to disabilityneed for stronger global and independent monitoring mechanisms and persons with disabilities… Mainstreaming disability into assess progress towards better and more aid as well as mutual development agenda is defined as a strategy”, Ms. Itoaccountability, notably in the absence of well developed national emphasized.institutions. The role of the Development Cooperation Forum(DCF) as such a mechanism and as a dialogue platform on Marcia Kran, Director of the Research and Right totechnical aspects of mutual accountability was reaffirmed. Development Division of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, also highlighted the impressive level ofParticipants also highlighted the need to strengthen institutional ratifications that the Convention has reached in a short period ofarrangements for aid management that are conducive to greater time and that this means that the work of the Committee willparliamentary oversight and civil society involvement. Existing significantly accountability frameworks should better take into accountthe concerns and needs of LDCs and be perceived in the context of Ms. Kran also noted that some states used lack of resources as abroad development partnerships, including with the private sector. reason for not ratifying the Convention. However, as the Committee members illustrated that limited resources in manyIn his closing remarks, the President of ECOSOC reiterated that cases should not amount to become an obstacle to thetransparent and truthful consultations and strong institutions are implementation and the realization of rights of persons withkey to ensure that assistance provided and received produces the disabilities.maximum impact for beneficiaries. He stressed the importance of The Committee reviewed the first country report, the initialenhancing mutual accountability and assured that this area of work report of Tunisia and it also established a working group onwill be continued in the context of the DCF in preparation of its accessibility to public transportation and airline transport amongnext forum in 2012. other things.For more information: More information:, disability rightsThe Fifth Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons withDisabilities met in Geneva on 11-15 AprilPersons with disabilities make up an estimated 10 per cent of theworld’s population, eighty per cent of which reside in developingcountries. The 18-member Committee was created to monitor theimplementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons withDisabilities with its aim to promote, protect and ensure the humanrights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, inaddition to promoting respect for their inherent dignity.In a statement, Akiko Ito, Chief of the Secretariat for theConvention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities withinDESA, described the department’s role and work in advancing therights of persons with disabilities in development. She alsoinformed that 99 countries had ratified the Convention at the timeDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 7
  8. 8. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6 For more information: s.aspxTrends and Analysis Reviewing responses to global jobConfronting family poverty and crisissocial exclusion Expert Group Meeting on “The Challenge of BuildingExpert Group Meeting on family policies will be held in New York Employment for a Sustainable Recovery” will take place inon 1-3 June Geneva on 23-24 JuneThe UN Programme on the Family in DESA’s Division for Social The meeting aims at providing input to the work of thePolicy and Development is organizing this event under the theme Commission and at informing ongoing national and international“Assessing family policies: confronting family poverty and social debates on the challenge of building productive employment. Itexclusion & ensuring work-family balance.” also aims to send a strong message on the importance of promoting job-rich growth to reduce poverty and maintain socialThe meeting is convened as part of the preparations for the 20th cohesion.anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014. TheExpert Group Meeting will focus on the importance of designing, It is organized by DESA’s Division for Social Policy andimplementing and monitoring family-oriented policies especially Development (DSPD) in collaboration with the Internationalin the areas of poverty eradication, full employment and decent Labour Organization (ILO) and will bring together specialists towork and work-family balance. The experts will offer undertake a review of responses to the global jobs crisis inrecommendations on appropriate policies in these areas. different countries and regions of the world. It will also consider concrete policies and strategies to create productive, decentFor more information: employment during the recovery. The meeting has two main objectives: Poverty eradication and decent work To undertake a review of national and international responses to the global jobs crisis, identifying bestfor all practices in preserving existing jobs and in generating new, decent jobs, and discussing lessons learned;High Level Expert Group Meeting will be arranged on 20-22 Junein Geneva  To consider strategies, at the national and international levels, to create productive employment during theDESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), in recovery as a central strategy for poverty eradicationclose collaboration with the International Labour Organization and social integration, so as to assist Member States to(IL0), is organizing this event as part of the preparations for the adopt policies consistent with the Global Jobs Pact.50th session of the Commission for Social Development, which isscheduled to take place in New York in February 2012. For more information, please visit: meeting is convened in the context of ECOSOC resolution s.aspx2010/L.5 in which the Economic and Social Council decided thatthe priority theme for the 2011-2012 review and policy cycle of the Youth briefings on ICT andCommission should be “Poverty Eradication, taking into accountits relationship to social integration and full employment and educationdecent work for all.” Two new youth sessions will take place in New York in June highlighting information and communication technology andThe outcomes of the meeting will provide important inputs to the educationwork of the Commission, in particular contributing to formulationof policies that have been shown to have a major impact on efforts The International Year of Youth briefing events continue toto reduce poverty. bring attention to different youth issues in the lead up to the High Level Conference on Youth to be held on 25-26 July at UN Headquarters in New York.DESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 8
  9. 9. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6DESA’s Programme on Youth has two new sessions in the pipeline Principles and recommendationsfor June, where one will highlight information and communicationtechnology and the other education. on Vital Statistics SystemThe Sessions are aimed at Member States, NGOs (with ECOSOC Expert Group Meeting on International Standards for Civiland/or DPI status), and staff members of the UN system. The Registration and Vital Statistics will take place on 27-30 June inSessions will bring together panelists and audience to discuss the New Yorkmost important issues concerning youth in the context of theInternational Year. DESA’s Statistics Division is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on International Standards for Civil Registration andFor more information on the briefing: Vital Statistics, which will review the Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System, Rev. 2, published in 2001 by the UN (UN publication, Sales No.International Year of Youth Facebook page: E.01.XVII.10). The essential standard which the Principles and Recommendations promulgates - generating accurate, reliableSport as a tool for development and regular vital statistics from civil registration system - remains unchanged and valid. However, over the past 10 yearsThe role of sports in development and its importance for people several issues emerged that might require revisions and updateswith disabilities will be highlighted at a panel discussion on of the principles and recommendations, such as the increasing“Sport as a tool for development: using sport to foster the use of population registers as source of vital statistics, advancesinclusion and well-being of persons with disabilities” at UN in modern technologies that have helped some countries inHeadquarters in New York on 27 June accelerating the improvement of their civil registration and vital statistics systems, and the development of statistical systems inThe unique ability of sports to transcend linguistic, cultural and barriers makes it an excellent platform for strategies ofinclusion and adaptation. Furthermore, the universal popularity of The meeting will review the Principles and Recommendationssport and its physical, social and economic development benefits for updates and elaborations and propose an outline for the nextmake it an ideal tool for fostering the inclusion and well-being of revision of the recommendations.persons with disabilities. For more information: can help reduce the stigma and discrimination associatedwith disability because it can transform community attitudes about Transitioning to low-carbonpersons with disabilities by highlighting their skills and reducingthe tendency to see the disability instead of the person. Through economysport, persons without disabilities interact with persons withdisabilities in a positive context forcing them to reshape DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development and Developmentassumptions about what persons with disabilities can and cannot Policy and Analysis Division organized an Expert Groupdo. Meeting on 19-20 MaySport changes the person with disability in an equally profound The meeting was arranged with the purpose to engageway by empowering persons with disabilities to realize their full international and national experts in a substantive discussion onpotential and advocate for changes in society. Through sport, appropriate modeling techniques to implement a project titledpersons with disabilities acquire vital social skills, develop “Supporting National Government in the Transition to Low-independence, and become empowered to act as agents of change. Carbon Development Pathway”.Sport teaches individuals how to communicate effectively as wellas the significance of teamwork and cooperation and respect for The project aims to assist countries in accelerating the transitionothers. Sport is also well-suited to reducing dependence and to a low-carbon economy through enhancing policymakers’developing greater independence by helping persons with capacity to promote green technologies, including renewabledisabilities to become physically and mentally stronger. energy development, affordable access to clean energy for the poor, and support to industries and other economic sectors inFor more information, please visit: adopting low-carbon technologies. The project proposes to start with the following group of countries in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.DESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 9
  10. 10. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6For more information: makes progress butchallenges remainRegional Ministerial Meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina,on 12-13 May on the theme “Key Education Challenges in LatinAmerica and the Carribean: Teachers, Quality, and Equity”The meeting—hosted by the Government of Argentina, incooperation with UNDESA, UNESCO, UNICEF, and ECLAC—was held in preparation for the 2011 Annual Ministerial Review ofECOSOC. It was attended by a number of education ministers andvice-ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well asparticipants from Governments, regional organizations, the UNsystem, civil society and the private sector. ECOSOC wasrepresented by Vice-President Ambassador Gonzalo Gutiérrez andMr. Thomas Stelzer led DESA’s delegation.Key messages emanating from the discussion include thefollowing: LAC has made significant progress on the educationagenda (primary education, gender equality in education, and adultliteracy rates), but challenges remain. There is a need to developstrategies to address inequality in access to education and toimprove education quality and to include civil society as a keypartner in education policy. Bilateral donors and multilateralorganization need to better harmonize their agendas andprogrammes and efforts are needed to promote the educational useof new technologies, as well mechanisms that facilitate the sharingof lessons learned on the use of ICTs in education.A summary report containing a full list of policy recommendationsfrom the meeting will be presented at the high-level segment ofECOSOC.For more information: News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 10
  11. 11. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6Capacity Development Analyzing mortality, housing and the situation of the elderly inPlatform for exchange of census data Ethiopiaexperience Dissemination of the Analytical Reports of the 2007 EthiopianRegional Seminar on Census Data Dissemination and Spatial Population and Housing Census, June 2011Analysis for Latin American Countries, will be arranged inSantiago, Chile, on 31 May – 3 June As a part of the Regional Project to Strengthen National Capacity to Analyse, Present and Disseminate Census Data, andThe Regional Seminar, which is being organized by DESA’s within the framework of the 2010 World Population andStatistics Division in collaboration with ECLAC and UNFPA, will Housing Census Programme, DESA’s Statistics Division isprovide a forum for sharing national practices and experiences in supporting the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) of Ethiopia inthe dissemination and use of census data. conducting in-depth analyses of its 2007 Population and Housing Census.It will aid in taking stock of national capacities and challenges formeeting the increasing requirements of census data users as well as Four teams comprising the staff of the CSA, national andreview emerging trends, innovative approaches and technological international experts worked from 11 April to 6 May on fourtools employed in the dissemination of census data. Furthermore, topics selected by CSA: fertility, mortality, housing and thethe seminar is expected to help in identifying good practices and situation of the elderly in Ethiopia.lessons learned in the dissemination and analysis of census data. The final drafts of the analytical reports are ready forFor more information: professional editing of the language. A dissemination seminar will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the 3rd week of June, where about 300 persons from line ministries, government agencies, national and international non-governmentalInstitutionalizing water accounts and organizations, UN and other international agencies, the media, academic and research institutes and users in general arestatistics expected to attend.Workshop will be held in Pretoria, South Africa on 6-8 June For more information: objective of the workshop is to provide focalized technicalassistance to some countries in southern Africa for theinstitutionalization of water accounts and statistics. The workshop Using macro-micro modelingwill be based on the System of Environmental-Economic framework in decision-makingAccounting for Water (SEEA-Water) and the InternationalRecommendations for Water Statistics (IRWS), adopted by the UN DPAD’s capacity development project on “StrengtheningStatistics Commission (UNSC). Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling” was launched throughThe workshop will be jointly organized by DESA’s Statistics training workshops in Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia andDivision and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Ecuador with the most recent one taking place in Quito on 10-12(UNECA). The participants include experts from the National MayStatistics Offices and Water Agencies from Botswana, Mauritius,Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.For more information: Recent UN-DESA studies have revealed that progress toward the MDGs is expected to slow down as a consequence of the global economic downturn as well as high energy and food prices. Lower government revenue and income per capita will lead to reduced public and private spending on social services. It is estimated that the cost of achieving the MDGs will rise by 1.5- 2 per cent of GDP, which will require that countries mobilizeDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 11
  12. 12. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6additional resources in order to prevent social and economic framework and to brainstorm on the key policy questions to besetbacks. addressed, data challenges and design a work plan. In addition, the institutional arrangements for project implementation haveGiven the effects of the global economic crisis, the Development been discussed with the Governments, with a view to form anPolicy and Analysis Division (DPAD) has been receiving requests inter-institutional technical team to be trained in the applicationfrom Governments of several developing countries for capacity of the modelling tool.development support, as they see it necessary to strengthen theiranalytical capacity to assess the impacts of the crisis and other Upcoming activitiesexternal shocks. This would further enable them to design policiesand/or request financial support from the international community Inception workshops are scheduled to be conducted in theto help revert the situation and to ensure the timely achievement of second half of 2011 in Costa Rica, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan andthe MDGs and its continued sustainability beyond 2015. Uganda. At the same time, follow-up training workshop will be organized for the other four countries.Capacities had already been built in almost thirty countries fromLatin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa through projects By the end of the project in 2013, it is envisaged that threethat UN-DESA/DPAD has completed, covering a wide range of intensive training workshops and technical backstopping fromissues from financing strategies to achieve the MDGs, to social DPAD for each of the participating countries would have beenprotection policies that may help countries alleviate the impact of completed. In addition, a methodological toolkit will beunfavourable external shocks. These completed studies have transferred to the Governments with a view to initiate a policyhelped set up the foundations for pursuing more capacity dialogue in support of policy making.development efforts. For more information:In response to Governments’ requests, DPAD initiated in 2011 the development project “Strengthening Macroeconomic andSocial Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-MicroModelling”, funded by the Development Account, and which willbe implemented in close collaboration with other partnersincluding UNDP and the World Bank. It builds on the accumulatedwork of previous capacity development projects and aims atproviding support in strengthening the ability of policy makers tounderstand and use an integrated macro-micro modellingframework in decision-making.Integrated macro-micro modelling frameworkThe integrated macro-micro modelling framework combines aneconomy-wide model and methodologies at the micro and sectorallevels. At the core is a special module which specifies the maindeterminants of MDG achievement and the direct impact ofenhanced public expenditures on MDG-related infrastructure andservices. It also shows how the financing of these may affect theeconomy at large and the feasibility to achieve targets on povertyreduction, primary education, maternal mortality and access to safewater and basic sanitation. As part of one of the project’s pilotstudies, the framework will be extended to incorporate targets forMDG 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases incountries where this is relevant.Inception workshops for institutional capacity buildingThe project was launched through inception training workshops inHonduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador. The most recentworkshop took place in Quito, on 10-12 May. The main objectiveof these workshops has been to present the macro-micro modellingDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 12
  13. 13. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6 fertility took countries’ past experiences more into account in order to chart future fertility paths.Publications and Websites Ms. Zlotnik also said that the world population was projected to increase to 7 billion towards the end of the year and that while the world had not collapsed under the billions of new people, theTechnical reports poorest countries were experiencing the highest rates of population growth. World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2011 update The next revision is due in the first part of 2013. For more information: The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2011 was launched on 25 May and highlights that the recovery of the global economy remains intact but uneven, Statistical compilationswith strong output growth in developing countries and a weakereconomic performance in developed countries. At the same time, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics andnew headwinds have emerged, such as upward pressure on MBS Onlineinflation rates due to higher energy and food prices and continuedappreciation pressure on emerging market currencies. The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presentsIt further analyses a number of risks, including problems regarding current economic and social statistics for morethe sustainability of public finances in developed economies, the than 200 countries and territories of the world. Itremaining vulnerability of the private financial sector, continued contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or annual and quarterlyhigh and volatile commodity prices and the possible collapse of the data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economicUnited States dollar. In the area of policy making, the report trends and developments, including population, prices,highlights numerous challenges such as how to time the unwinding employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport,of fiscal support, the redesign of fiscal policy to promote construction, international merchandise trade and finance.employment and sustainable development, greater synergybetween monetary and fiscal policy, the provision of sufficient Vol. LXV - No. 4, April 2011funding to developing countries and more effective internationalpolicy coordination. This month, the following tables, which are featured in the MBS on a quarterly or bimonthly basis, are presented along with theFor more information: regular recurrent monthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of UN officials, Civil aviation traffic: passenger km and cargo net ton km, Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade andWorld Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision purchasing power of exports, in US dollars. For more information: 2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects is thetwenty-second round of global demographic estimates andprojections undertaken by the Population Division of DESA. Theworld population prospects are used widely throughout the UN and Updated Environmental Indicators on the Webby many international organizations, research centers, academicresearchers and the media. DESA’s Statistics Division (UNSD) publishes globalThis new revision was released on 3 May and key findings and environment statistics through two main web-based products,projections were presented at a press conference in New York by UNSD Environmental Indicators and Country Snapshots. TheHania Zlotnik, Director of DESA’s Population Division. Among environmental indicators in the areas of Air and Climate;other things, projections show that the number of people inhabiting Biodiversity; Energy and Minerals; Forests; Governance; Inlandthe planet is expected to pass the 10 billion mark by 2100. Ms. Water Resources; Land and Agriculture; Marine and CoastalZlotnik also stated that unlike past reports, this one includes Areas; Natural Disasters; and Waste have been recently updated.projections for all countries and regions of the world up to 2100.She said the new and more complex method used to projectDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 13
  14. 14. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6Statistics on Water and Waste are based on official statistics and the Summit of Heads of State and Government of thesupplied by national statistical offices and/or ministries of Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong Forest Basins in theenvironment (or equivalent institutions) in response to the biennial Republic of Congo on 31 May to 3 June.UNSD/UNEP Questionnaire on Environment Statistics,complemented with comparable statistics from OECD and For more information:Eurostat, and water resources data from FAO Aquastat. Statistics,on the other themes were compiled by UNSD from other %20Issue%209%20_17%20May_Revised%20II.pdfinternational sources.The updated Environmental Indicators, published in the form ofindicator and time series tables, charts, along with maps, are Discussion papersavailable at: Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and ProspectsPublications in other languages The monthly briefing states that the International oil prices increased further amidst continued unrest in the Middle East, the US dollar fell to historic lows and many emerging andThe following publications are now available in other languages: developing countries are tightening monetary policies.  International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Supplement to For more information: the Compilers Manual ST/ESA/STAT/SER. F/87/Add.1 (Spanish, Chinese)  Designing Household Survey Samples: Practical Guidelines ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/98 (Chinese). Working papersFor more information: Adapting the international monetary system to face 21st century challengesMeeting records Recent calls for more intense debate on and reforms to the international monetary system imply that the current system isDSD officially launched “Synergies Success Stories,” a joint unable to respond appropriately and adequately to challengespublication of DESA and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm that have appeared, or become more acute, in recent years.conventions, UNEP and FAO at the High-level Segment of CSD-19. An electronic version of the publication, as well as the websites This paper focuses on four such challenges: ensuring an orderlyof relevant conventions, was posted on the Commissions website. exit from global imbalances, facilitating more complementary adjustments between surplus and deficit countries withoutFor more information: recessionary impacts, better supporting international trade by reducing currency volatility and better providing development and climate finance. After describing them, it proposes reforms to enable the international monetary system to better respond toNewsletters these challenges. For more information:Rio+20: Making it Happen lThe latest issue of the newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 9, features aNordic Council side-event held at CSD-19, which focused on therole of women in the economy and the importance of engagingcivil society and to create a sustainable future. Among other issues,reports and events, it also highlights the upcoming thematic debateof the UN General Assembly on the “green economy” on 2 JuneDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 14
  15. 15. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6Credit to Private Sector, Interest Spread andVolatility in Credit-Flows: Do Bank Ownership andDeposits Matter?With bank-level data from 81 developing countries, this papershows that increased foreign bankpresence is associated with increased reliance on non-deposit basedfunding, which leads to higherinterest rate spreads, less credit to the private sector, and highervolatility in bank loans.Foreign bank entry significantly reduces domestic banks’ share ofdeposits while foreign banks typicallyallocate less of their assets and deposits to lending. As domesticbanks lose their deposit base, theyrely on non-deposit based funding, but its higher costs anduncertainty force domestic banks toreduce their lending activities.For more information: Redesigned website of DESA’s Social Policy and Development Division A new and improved DSPD website is now available. The new website deliversimportant innovations both in terms of content and technologicalenhancements. The site reflects DESA’s work in socialdevelopment and its outreach. Through the new site, both existingusers and new visitors can gain a greater understanding of theDivisions activities and achievements in promoting socialdevelopment for all.To browse: United Nations Enable on Facebook A new Facebook page, United Nations Enable has been launched to help users of this social network find out more aboutthe work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities.To browse: News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 15
  16. 16. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6Comings and GoingsComings Ms. Daniela Bas was appointed Director of DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development on 9 May 2011. A politologist specialized in international politics, human rights and social development, Ms. Bas has most recently served as Senior Consultant designated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as expert on human rights to Institutes that operateinternationally. She has also provided her expertise on anti-discrimination issues at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.Ms. Bas has worked for close to 10 years for the UN as aProfessional Officer in social development and human rights,traveling around the world on behalf of the UN and also as aspeaker at international conventions. She has also held a number ofother significant assignments including as Special Adviser on“Fundamental Rights” for the former Vice President of theEuropean Commission; as the Italian representative designated bythe Presidency of the Council of Ministers on the topic “Tourismfor All” to the European Commission; and as journalist andbroadcaster for Italian Radio and TV.Ms. Bas is a Board Member of the EU Agency for FundamentalRights and of the Committee to Promote non-Armed and non-Violent Civil Defense of the Presidency of the Council ofMinisters. She graduated in Political Science in 1985, with a majorin International Politics and wrote a dissertation on ”Theelimination of architectural barriers and the employment of peoplewith physical disabilities”.The following staff members were promoted in May:Ursula Germann, Programme Officer, Office of the Under-Secretary-GeneralLuis Collantes, Computer Information Systems Assistant, Divisionfor Social Policy and DevelopmentGoingsThe following staff members retired in May:Alexei Tikhomirov, Adviser, Division for Public Administrationand Development ManagementDESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 16
  17. 17. June 2011, Vol. 15, No. 6 The 2011 UN Public Service Day, Awards Ceremony and ForumCalendar Dar es Salam, Tanzania, 20-23 June Panel Discussion on Sport as a tool for development: Using Sport to Foster the Inclusion and Well-Being of Persons withRegional Seminar on Census Data Dissemination and Spatial DisabilitiesAnalysis for Latin American Countries New York, 27 JuneSantiago, Chile, 31 May – 3 June Expert Group Meeting on International Standards for CivilExpert Group Meeting on assessing family policies Registration and Vital StatisticsNew York, 1-3 June New York, 27-30 June Forest Film Festival receives European Film AwardTurin, 5 JulyWorkshop on Institutionalizing water accounts and statistics Substantive Session of the Economic and Social CouncilPretoria, South Africa, 6-8 June Geneva, 4 - 29 July Assembly panel discussions to highlight MDGs and International Day of Cooperativesdevelopment agenda beyond 2015 4 JulyNew York, 14 June mlHigh-Level Expert Group Meeting on poverty eradication High Level Meeting on YouthGeneva, 20-22 June New York, 25-26 July Group Meeting on “The Challenge of BuildingEmployment for a Sustainable Recovery”Geneva, 23-24 June DESA News is an insiders look at the United Nations in the area of economic and social development policy. The newsletter is produced by the Communications and Information Management Service of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with DESA Divisions. DESA News is issued every month. Please click here to send inquiries.DESA News | Newsletter of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs 17