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Economic Analysis and Policy

Global economic growth is projected to slow from an estimated 2.7 per cent in 2023 to 2.4 per cent in 2024, trending below the pre-pandemic growth rate of 3.0 per cent, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2024. This latest forecast comes on the heels of global economic performance exceeding expectations in 2023. However, last year’s stronger-than-expected GDP growth masked short-term risks and structural vulnerabilities. 

The UN’s flagship economic report presents a sombre economic outlook for the near term. Persistently high interest rates, further escalation of conflicts, sluggish international trade, and increasing climate disasters,…

Capacity Development, Economic Analysis and Policy, Financing for Development, Forest, Gender, Intergovernmental Coordination, Population, Public Administration, Social Development, Statistics, Sustainable Development

The UN DESA Annual Highlights report is a tool to communicate the contributions of the Department to the realization of internationally agreed development goals and shared social, economic, and environmental aspirations. It showcases the Department’s role in gauging trends, building capacities, and shaping solutions. UN DESA Highlights 2022-2023 covers activities over the period of the 77th Session of the General Assembly (September 2022 – August 2023) and reflects the Department’s response to the set priorities and expressed needs of Member States. Seven (7) thematic chapters showcase how UN DESA put its expertise to the task of supporting Member State efforts to implement the 2030…

Sustainable Development

Times of Crisis, Times of Change: Science for Accelerating Transformations to Sustainable Development", the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), finds that at this critical juncture, midway to 2030, incremental and fragmented change is insufficient to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the remaining seven years. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires the active mobilization of political leadership and ambition for science-based transformations. This must be achieved globally - leaving no country, society or person behind. The report is an invitation to embrace transformations with the urgency needed to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

The…

Statistics, Sustainable Development

According to The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023: Special Edition, failure to redouble global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – the promise of a better world for all – may fuel greater political instability, upend economies and lead to irreversible damage to the natural environment.

World leaders made a historic promise to secure the rights and well-being of everyone on a healthy, thriving planet when they agreed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs in 2015. However, the combined impacts of the climate crisis, the war in Ukraine, a gloomy global economic outlook and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed…

Financing for Development, Sustainable Development

Sustainable development prospects continue to diverge between developed and developing countries. The 2023 Financing for Sustainable Development Report finds that SDG financing needs are growing, but development financing is not keeping pace. The war in Ukraine, sharp increases in food and energy prices, and rapidly tightening financial conditions have increased hunger and poverty and reversed progress on the SDGs. If left unaddressed, a “great finance divide” will translate into a lasting sustainable development divide.

Stakeholders must maintain a long-term focus on resilient and inclusive development, while addressing near-term crises. Delaying investment in sustainable…

Social Development

Population ageing is a defining global trend of our time. People are living longer, and more are older than ever before. Spectacular improvements in health and survival and reductions in fertility have driven this momentous shift, which has begun or is expected to begin soon in all countries and areas.

This change brings both challenges and opportunities as countries strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2022, the world marked the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. To commemorate this landmark, the World Social Report 2023 explores the economic and social implications of the ageing of the human…

Public Administration

The United Nations E-Government Survey 2022 is the 12th edition of the United Nations’ assessment of the digital government landscape across all 193 Member States. The E-Government Survey is informed by over two decades of longitudinal research, with a ranking of countries based on the United Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies.

This edition of the Survey includes data analysis in global and regional contexts, a study of local e-government development based on the United Nations Local Online Service Index (LOSI),…

Statistics, Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022 provides a global overview of progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, using the latest available data and estimates. It tracks the global and regional progress towards the 17 Goals with in-depth analyses of selected indicators for each Goal.

According to the Report, cascading and interlinked crises are putting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in grave danger, along with humanity’s very own survival. The Report highlights the severity and magnitude of the challenges before us. The confluence of crises, dominated by COVID-19, climate change, and conflicts, are creating spin-off impacts…

Financing for Development

Developing countries still have to regain lost ground from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has put more countries at risk of debt distress, constrained their fiscal space and hampered economic growth. The war in Ukraine is exacerbating all these challenges. In this context, the 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development Report identifies a “great finance divide” – the inability of poorer countries to raise sufficient resources and borrow affordably for investment.

The great finance divide leaves developing countries unable to respond to crises and invest in sustainable development. On average, developed countries use 3.5 per cent of revenue to pay interest on their debt,…

Financing for Development

Environmental taxes are on the agenda of many developing countries, for both revenue purposes and for meeting countries’ commitments on climate change and sustainable development. 

Carbon taxes are a policy option aimed at curbing carbon-based emissions responsible for climate change, in line with the commitments assumed by countries under the Paris Agreement. Carbon taxes put a price on the emission of greenhouse gases, thereby motivating companies to invest in cleaner technology or switch to more efficient practices. Likewise, consumers may be incentivized to invest in energy efficiency, change their lifestyle habits or, where options are available, switch to cleaner forms of…

Financing for Development

Double tax treaties aim to prevent unrelieved double taxation, in order to foster cross-border economic activity and the transfer of technology. Countries generally use models as a starting point when negotiating tax treaties. As the UN Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries generally favours retention of greater host country taxing rights, it tends to be relied upon more by developing countries than the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital.

The UN Model Taxation Convention consists of articles on the treaty’s scope and on definitions to be used in the treaty. For different kinds of income and capital, it allocates taxing rights…

Statistics, Sustainable Development

More countries and communities are recognizing the need to bolster efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in light of the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on people around the world, according to The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021, released by the United Nations.

The decisions and actions taken during the next 18 months would determine whether pandemic recovery plans would put the world on a course to reach the globally-agreed upon goals that aim to boost economic growth and social well-being while protecting the environment.

According to the report, which tracks global efforts to achieve the SDGs, COVID-19 had caused a major disruption…