Publications

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Financing for Development

The proliferation of special tax exemptions, including tax exemptions related to government-to-government aid projects, poses a serious obstacle to developing country efforts to broaden their tax base. Donor countries are increasingly conscious of the difficulties that such exemptions create for the tax authorities, and a number of them have reconsidered their policy in this area. This trend is further encouraged by the call in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development for countries to consider not requesting tax exemptions on goods and services delivered as government-to-government aid, in order to make their development cooperation more effective.

The new…

Financing for Development

The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to an even more sharply unequal world as the development gains for millions in poor countries are reversed, according to a new report released by the United Nations today.

The Financing for Sustainable Development Report 2021 says the global economy has experienced the worst recession in 90 years, with the most vulnerable segments of societies disproportionately affected. An estimated 114 million jobs have been lost, and about 120 million people have been plunged back into extreme poverty.

Only immediate action can prevent a lost decade for development for many countries.

“What this pandemic has proven beyond all doubt is that we…

Social Development

The world’s indigenous peoples call 22 per cent of the global land surface home. They live in areas where you find about 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity and much of the world’s non-commercially exploited land and many of its remaining mineral and forest resources, major rivers, fossil fuels and sources of renewable energy. 

While often described as the custodians of our Earth’s precious resources, they are frequently denied their rights to lands, territories and resources, according to a new UN DESA publication released today. 

The latest volume of the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples entitled “Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources”, examines these…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The United Nations today warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.

In 2020, the world economy shrank by 4.3 per cent, over two and half times more than during the global financial crisis of 2009. The modest recovery of 4.7 per cent expected in 2021 would barely offset the losses of 2020, says the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects.

The report underscores that sustained recovery from the pandemic will depend not only on the size of the stimulus measures, and the quick…

Population

COVID-19 has disrupted all forms of human mobility through the closing of national borders and halting of travel worldwide. Preliminary estimates suggest that the pandemic may have slowed the growth in the stock of international migrants by around two million by mid-2020, 27 per cent less than the growth expected since mid-2019, according to a report by the United Nations released today. 

Growth in the number of international migrants has been robust over the last two decades, reaching 281 million people living outside their country of origin in 2020, up from 173 million in 2000 and 221 million in 2010.  Currently, international migrants represent about 3.6 per cent of the world’…

Financing for Development

This UN/DESA-UNCDF Handbook represents a significant contribution to the Financing for Sustainable Development agenda, advancing both thought leadership and action. Finalized in the crucible of the COVID-19 crisis, the Handbook brings global visibility to infrastructure asset management as a critical, high impact area for investing in local capacities to mobilize and manage financing for sustainable development, including in emergencies.

With trendy focus on the ‘new and shiny’, old assets often go neglected, while new ones are built without putting in place effective asset management frameworks. Underinvestment in infrastructure maintenance has been estimated to cost some…

Capacity Development, Sustainable Development

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts have affected all countries in the world. In 2021, as the effects continue to reverberate across multiple sectors and are compounded by other complex threats, 42 governments recognized that this year was a crucial time to conduct a Voluntary National Review (VNR), in order to align their efforts toward a resilient recovery from the pandemic and to overcome setbacks to sustainable development. This sixth edition of the VNR Synthesis Report delivers an overview of the innovative approaches and actions taken by the 42 VNR countries that presented their progress and findings during the 2021 HLPF, which was held in a hybrid format…

Gender, Statistics

Less than 50% of working-age women are in the labour market, a figure that has barely changed over the last quarter of a century, according to a new UN report launched today. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, restraining their economic potential as the COVID-19 pandemic additionally affects women’s jobs and livelihoods, the report warns.

The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics compiles 100 data stories that provide a snapshot of the state of gender equality worldwide. Presented on an interactive portal, the report analyses gender equality in six critical areas: population and families; health; education; economic empowerment and asset…

Capacity Development, Sustainable Development

Despite the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impacts, 47 countries presented their Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) during the first virtual high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) held under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council from 7 to 16 July 2020. Since 2016, when the first reviews were presented, a total of 168 countries have reported on their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With the launch this year of the Decade of Action and Delivery for sustainable development, some countries reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the 2030 Agenda and…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The new report examines five megatrends: climate change; demographic shifts, particularly population ageing; urbanization; the emergence of digital technologies; and inequalities –that are affecting economic, social and environmental outcomes. Efforts to reverse or redirect these trends must be reinforced to ensure that we achieve the full measure of the 2030 Agenda, and set the stage for an inclusive, sustainable and equitable future during the next 75 years.

All trends are the result of human activity, and as such, they can be shaped by human decisions and policy choices. By making the right choices today, without further delay, it is not too late to shape the major trends of…

Social Development

This guide has been developed as a resource for Member States to provide information about the inclusion of youth in their delegations and offers ideas for those with existing youth delegate programmes on how to potentially strengthen them. It includes sections on establishing a programme, suggestions for possible roles of youth delegates and practicalities to be considered.

Public Administration

The year 2020 witnessed a transformational change in global development as the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on Member States and other stakeholders to “kickstart a decade of delivery and action for people and planet”, given the short time left to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By surveying and studying broad patterns of digital government around the world, the United Nations E-Government Survey assesses the digital government development of the 193 United Nations Member States in identifying their strengths, challenges and opportunities, as well as informing policies and strategies. The Survey supports countries’ efforts to provide…