Publications

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Economic Analysis and Policy

New strategies are needed to address the impacts of rapid urbanization around the world, including increasing demands for energy, water, sanitation, public services, education and health, according to the World Economic and Social Survey 2013.

The 2013 Survey examines the many challenges that must be addressed to achieve sustainable development. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development—Rio+20--set out a framework for action and follow-up across a wide range of issues and the Survey zooms in on three critical challenges – food security, energy transformation and sustainable cities.

According to the Survey produced by the UN Department for Economic…

Statistics With some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) already met, more targets are within reach by the 2015 target date, while challenges to achieving others must be urgently addressed, according to a new report launched on 1 July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Based on comprehensive official statistics, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013 shows that the combined actionsof national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector are making the achievement of the MDGs a reality.

“The Millennium Development Goals have been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” Mr. Ban said. “The MDGs have proven that focused global…
Population

The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to a United Nations report launched today, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa.

“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.

The report, World Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision, notes that the population of developed…

Economic Analysis and Policy

Global economic activity is projected to slowly gain momentum, but growth will continue to be below potential and employment gains will remain weak, says the UN report. It notes that since late 2012, new policy initiatives in major developed economies have reduced systemic risks and helped stabilize consumer, business and investor confidence, but with very limited improvement on economic growth.

“The main priority for policy makers worldwide should be to support a robust and balanced global recovery, with a focus on promoting job creation,” said Shamshad Akhtar, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development.

Global growth has been revised slightly…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The global partnership for development, as crystallized in Millennium Development Goal 8, has played a crucial role in galvanizing international support for development. Given the global challenges at hand, there is an urgent need for true collective action from all countries to create an enabling environment for development at all levels. The latest report of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda provides a set of recommendations on the global partnership for development in the post-2015 era.

A renewed global partnership for development, which is broader in scope and deeper than the current one, is needed to underpin any post-2015 development agenda…

Social Development

UNDESA-DSPD, from 8 August to 5 September 2012, conducted a global online survey to gather inputs for consideration by the 51st session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), which took place from 6 to 15 February 2013.

The survey enabled the public worldwide to respond to a set of questions that were related to the priority theme of CSocD on “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”.

The responses collected and selected from the first question “Empowerment: What does it mean to you?” was published in a separate booklet.

Social Development

The “Definitions of Empowerment” represents a collaborative effort, made possible by the answers received from people all over the world on the Empowerment theme. Their invaluable contributions were essential for the preparation of the Empowerment Publication.

In order to collect people’s ideas and experiences, the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of UNDESA launched an on-line survey on “Promoting Empowerment of People”.

We were glad to receive tens and tens of responses from young individuals, persons with disabilities, older persons, and people working for various institutions and organizations committed to social development issues. Their keen interest…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013 presents a post-crisis world economy still struggling with continued weakening growth of 2.2 per cent in 2012. It projects disappointing global growth of 2.4 per cent in 2013 and 3.2 per cent in 2014 in the face of major uncertainties and downside risks. A much slower pace of poverty reduction is predicted in many developing countries and narrowing fiscal space for investments in the many critical areas needed for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013 calls for more forceful and concerted policy action at the global level, identifying fiscal and employment policies, financial market…

Economic Analysis and Policy

In its 2012 Report, the MDG Gap Task Force has had difficulty identifying areas of significant new progress towards delivering on commitments to the Global Partnership for Development, and for the first time there are signs of backsliding. The volume of official development assistance (ODA) fell for the first time in many years, obstacles to exports from developing countries are on the rise, and numerous developing countries are facing debt difficulties. With less than three years until 2015, there is no apparent commitment by donor Governments to reverse the trend in time, and it is likely that fewer MDGs will be reached in fewer countries as a result.

The Report finds that…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The financial needs of developing countries have long outstripped the willingness and ability of donors to provide aid. Addressing this challenge, the survey proposes an international tax, combined with other innovative financing mechanisms, to raise more than $400 billion annually for development and global challenges such as fighting climate change.

Launched on 5 July, the survey reveals that in the midst of difficult financial times, many donor countries have cut back on development assistance. In 2011, for the first time in many years, aid flows declined in real terms.

“We are suggesting various ways to tap resources through international mechanisms, such as…

Statistics

The report presents the yearly assessment of global progress towards the MDGs, highlighting several milestones – three important MDG targets have been met well ahead of the target date of 2015. The report says that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, remain possible – but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago.

Based on a master set of data compiled by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG indicators led by DESA’s Statistics Division, the 2012 report outlines gains in poverty reduction and access to safe drinking water, and an improvement in the lives of slums dwellers in urban areas. The report also highlights…

Economic Analysis and Policy

Despite scattered signs of improvement, the world economic situation and prospects continue to present challenges. After a marked slowdown in 2011, global economic growth will likely remain tepid in 2012, with most regions expanding at a pace that is below potential. In the face of subdued growth, the jobs crisis continues, with global unemployment still above its pre-crisis level and unemployment in the euro area rising rapidly. The risks to the global outlook are tilted to the downside. The euro area debt crisis remains the biggest threat to the world economy. An escalation of the crisis would likely be associated with severe turmoil on financial markets and a sharp rise in global risk…