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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…

Population

Africa and Asia together will account for 86 per cent of all growth in the world’s urban population over the next four decades, adding that this unprecedented increase will pose new challenges in terms of jobs, housing and infrastructure. Africa’s urban population will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion by 2050 while that of Asia will soar from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion, according to the 2011 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects, produced by the UN Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

The largest increases in urban population are expected in the following countries: India, China, Nigeria, the United States and…

Statistics

The International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions 2010 (IMTS 2010) provides a comprehensive methodological framework for collection and compilation of international merchandise trade statistics in all countries, irrespective of the level of development of their statistical system.

The conceptual framework of IMTS 2010 reflects both the multipurpose nature of these statistics and concern for availability of the adequate data sources and data compilation procedures. IMTS 2010 follows an integrated approach to economic statistics including the use, as applicable, of common concepts, definitions, classifications and data compilation strategies.

Financing for Development

The United Nations has updated a set of guidelines to prevent double taxation between countries, as well as to avoid tax evasion, which costs countries $3.1 trillion every year. The UN Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries (the UN Model) is used by countries as a basis for negotiation of their bilateral tax treaties.

Double tax treaties are agreements to prevent taxing income twice by allocating taxing rights over this income between two countries. These types of treaties play a key role in encouraging investment and technology transfer, while allowing governments to retain taxing rights over the money that comes from those investments.…

Public Administration

“The increasing role of e-government in promoting inclusive and participatory development has gone hand-in-hand with the growing demands for transparency and accountability in all regions of the world,” said Sha Zukang, UN DESA Under-Secretary-General in the newly released United Nations E-government Survey 2012.The survey, prepared by UN DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management, assesses Member States’ government web portals with a focus on the provision of e-information and e-services; these services include interactive, transactional, and e-participation features that connect governments and citizens.

Member States are ranked in accordance with…

Forest On 9 February, DESA’s UN Forum on Forests Secretariat launched the Forests for  People book as part of the special event marking the closing of the International Year of Forests 2011. Including articles from 75 authors from 35 countries, it celebrates the interconnections between people and forests and promotes greater understanding of their economic, environmental and social values. The 300-page fully illustrated publication is a collaborative effort between the UNFF Secretariat and Tudor Rose publishing.
Social Development

The World Youth Report 2007 examines the challenges and opportunities existing for the roughly 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the world. Distinct from the 2003 and 2005 editions, it provides a regional overview summarizing the major youth development trends in the fifteen priority areas of the World Programme of Action for Youth.

The report explores major issues of concern to youth development, including employment, education, health, poverty and violence. At the same time, it highlights youth as a positive force for development and provides recommendations for supporting their essential contributions.

Social Development

“The social, economic and political costs of a prolonged youth unemployment crisis are high. It is therefore obvious that there is an urgency in addressing the youth employment crisis, but youth employment cannot be tackled without the involvement and participation of youth. It is with this in mind that the current World Youth Report is dedicated to the voices of young people themselves,” said Ms. Daniela Bas, Director of UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development at today’s launch.

Economic Analysis and Policy

The world economy is on the brink of another major downturn. Global economic growth started to decelerate on a broad front in mid-2011 and is estimated to have averaged 2.8 per cent over the last year. This economic slowdown is expected to continue into 2012 and 2013. The United Nations baseline forecast for the growth of world gross product (WGP) is 2.6 per cent for 2012 and 3.2 per cent for 2013, which is below the pre-crisis pace of global growth.Persistent high unemployment in the United States and low wage growth are holding back aggregate demand and, together with the prospect of prolonged depressed housing prices, this has heightened risks of a new wave of home foreclosures.…