UN DESA All Change

The first set of reforms of UNDESA have now gone through as I had reported earlier. What we now have is an explanation of the new divisions which readers of this blog may find useful. I have taken this from the UN web site here:

Under Secretary General for UN DESA is Mr. Liu Zhenmin  whassumed office on 26 July 2017. He brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. There are two ASGs for UNDESA but so far only one appointed and that is the Chief Economist Elliott Harris.

Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development

The Office supports the work of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). It works with Member States, other UNDESA divisions, the UN system entities, NGOs and other major groups and other stakeholders of society to support the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda by UN intergovernmental bodies.

Director of the Office is Ms. Marion Barthelemy. The Office also supports the HLPF, notably its review of progress towards the SDGs by including Voluntary National Reviews.
The Office also supports the General Assembly quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) of the United Nations system’s operational activities. As such, it provides extensive substantive monitoring, analysis and policy support to inform Member States’ guidance and oversight of the UN development system, including through the annual ECOSOC operational activities for development segment, and a continuous engagement with the UN development system at both entity and system-wide level, as well as with the system’s coordination mechanisms.
The Office assists ECOSOC by fostering debate and innovative thinking, promoting consensus on ways forward, and coordinating efforts to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). It does so by coordinating the Council’s annual session and related analytical work. The Office supports ECOSOC’s oversight of its subsidiary bodies, as well as promotes their coherent contribution to the work of ECOSOC and the HLPF.  It also assists Council in identifying emerging challenges and major issues requiring the attention of Member States and the UN system, to and build and sustain peace and realize the SDGs.
The Office is the entry point for NGOs seeking consultative status with ECOSOC, through its support to the NGO Committee, it guides those in status on how best to contribute to the work of the Council. It also works to support the engagement of major groups and other stakeholders in the work of the HLPF.
Main Activities are:

  • Promote implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the General Assembly, the HLPF, ECOSOC high-level and other segments, meetings, Youth Forum and other events;
  • Support HLPF’s session and reviews ongoing DESA (notably DSDG) and the UN system reforms;
  • Support ECOSOC to provide overall guidance and coordination to the ECOSOC subsidiary bodies through the ECOSOC Coordination and Management Meetings;
  • Prepare and support the QCPR of the United Nations system’s operational activities;
  • Actively engage UN agencies and other stakeholders in the work of ECOSOC, the Second Committee and in high-level events sponsored by the Office of the President of the General Assembly, and the HLPF;
  • Actively promote and facilitate applications from a growing number of NGOs applying for ECOSOC consultative status to engage in the work of the United Nations at large, including in global conferences, consultations and intergovernmental processes; and
  • Support the engagement of major groups.

 Division on  Sustainable Development Goals
As mandated by GA resolution 70/299, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals will act as the Secretariat for SDGs, focusing on providing substantive support and capacity building to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, ocean, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and SIDS.

Director of the Division is Juwang Zhu. The Division will contribute to the intergovernmental processes on the 2030 Agenda, including those under the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the High-level Political Forum, with its substantive analytical work on thematic issues of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It will coordinate substantive inputs for the deliberations on the review and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The reorganized subprogramme will also serve as the departmental anchor on the 2030 Agenda. It will organize focal teams on the Sustainable Development Goals and their interlinkages, including UN-Ocean, UN-Water, UN-Energy, UN Transport and UN-climate.  It will also play a key role on evaluation of system-wide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to Sustainable Development Goals. Further details on the Division for Sustainable Development Goals will be forthcoming.
Main Activities:

  • Support to UN Intergovernmental Processes and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development;
  • Policy analysis;
  • Capacity development, including supporting national voluntary reviews
  • Inter-Agency coordination;
  • Stakeholder engagement, partnerships, communication and outreach
  • Knowledge management.
Financing for Development Office

The Office provides coherent and integrated support to Member States in addressing the issues related to financing for development, as well as the means of implementation for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Director of the Office is Navid Hanif. The Office ensures that the intergovernmental processes on financing for development, including the Financing for Development Forum, the Development Cooperation Forum, and the relevant subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC, work in a coherent and mutually reinforcing manner.
The Office also provides support to the Secretary-General in coordinating the participation of United Nations representatives in the G20 processes, as well as other global economic and financial institutions and fora.
The subprogramme plays a critical role in supporting various work streams to mobilize the means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to strengthen the United Nations cooperation with other international organizations in the area of fiscal affairs, and to provide integrated analytical support to the Secretary-General.
Main Activities:
  • Serves as a focal point for coherent, effective, inclusive and fully integrated substantive and organizational support to the financing for development processes;
  • Prepares action-oriented policy analysis and concrete proposals and recommendations on financing for sustainable development and means of implementation, drawing on the strengths of inter-agency expertise and the experience of the United Nations development system;
  • Contributes to the United Nations’ coordinated approaches on global financial issues, including through support to the United Nations engagement with the Group of 20;
  • Serves as the United Nation System’s hub for work on international development cooperation and international cooperation in tax matters;
Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government
The Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) focuses on analyzing and supporting efforts to make institutions inclusive, effective, accountable and well-equipped to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as reflected in SDG 16. By focusing on building strong institutions and governance for the 2030 Agenda, the Division assists UN intergovernmental bodies in reflecting on the role of institutions as an integral part of their examination of the SDGs and supports the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA).
Officer in charge if the Division is Stefan Schweinfest (who is also Director of the Statistical Division).  
The Division nurtures a multi-stakeholder dialogue on transforming institutions and building people’s trust in them at the annual UN Public Service Forum during which the UN Public Service Awards are given. Its analysis and capacity development activities help governments reflect on how to organize, mobilize and equip all parts of national and local government and public servants for implementing the SDGs, placing a special focus on policy integration, coherence and innovation. The Division supports the efforts of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to audit the implementation of the SDGs.
The Division also focuses on information and communication technologies (ICTs) whose transformative role is highlighted in the 2030 Agenda. It supports the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and facilitates the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The biennial UN E-Government Survey examines global trends and their impact on sustainable development and people.
Main Activities:
  • Provide Secretariat substantive support to the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) on issues related to public administration and institutions;
  • Support the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in areas related to the role of various stakeholders, regional and international cooperation and e-government;
  • Conduct research and write analytical reports (World Public Sector and UN E-Government Survey);
  • Provide advisory services and capacity-building based on research and analysis;
  • Help share experiences on institutional support to the SDGs and various public administration issues, through analytical reports and organizing events, including the UN Public Service Forum;
  • Strengthen partnerships and cooperation with other international, regional and professional organizations, including through the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN).
Statistical Division
The Division is a global centre for data on all subject matters, bringing to the world statistical information compiled by the entire UN system. It is committed to the advancement of the global statistical system, by compiling and disseminating global statistical information, developing standards and norms for statistical activities, and supporting countries’ efforts to strengthen their national statistical systems. 
Director of the Division is Stefan Schweinfest.
It also facilitates the coordination of international statistical activities and supports the functioning of the United Nations Statistical Commission.
Main Activities:
  • Collection, processing and dissemination of statistical information;
  • Standardization of statistical methods, classifications and definitions;
  • Technical cooperation programme;
  • Coordination of international statistical programmes and activities;
  • Monitoring the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through a framework of indicators and statistical data.
Economic Analysis and Policy Division
The Economic Analysis and Policy Division (EAPD) provides research and policy analysis on global
macroeconomic trends and prospects, frontier issues, emerging issues, and issues associated with countries in special situations, in the broad context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. EAPD also serves as the Secretariat to the Committee for Development Policy, an independent advisory body to the Economic and Social Council which provides recommendations on cross-cutting development issues and reviews the status of countries in the Least Developed Country category. EAPD manages capacity development projects in developing countries, providing assistance through research, training and workshops. Director of the Division is  Pingfan Hong 
Main Activities
  • Provide analysis and policy research on global macroeconomic issues and trends and their implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Analyse frontier issues, emerging issues, and economic issues associated with countries in conflict and countries in special situations, in the context of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda;
  • Serve as Secretariat of the Committee for Development Policy;
  • Provide capacity development assistance to developing countries.
Capacity Development Office
The Office provides strategic support to the effective translation of the outcomes of intergovernmental processes in the areas of economic, social and environmental development, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, into the Department’s operational programmes and capacity development work. It assists the Department in delivering integrated policy advisory services and other forms of capacity development support drawing on the expertise of UN DESA’s subprogrammes, as a contribution to the formulation of national sustainable development strategies. Chief of the Division is Mario Tuason.
These include the identification of policy options to balance the achievement of social, economic, and environmental goals. The Office promotes programme cooperation within the UN Secretariat and with other UN entities, in line with the call for a more coherent and coordinated system-wide approach in implementing the 2030 Agenda including the SDGs.
The Office also provides management oversight of UN DESA’s capacity development work, including thorough monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the Department’s capacity development deliverables. It provides programme support to UN DESA’s capacity development activities through efficient and effective administration and management of financial and human resources.

Main Activities
  • Support to strategic programming;
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on deliverables;
  • Management and administration of financial and human resources;
  • Delivery of extensive capacity development training workshops and seminars;
  • Management of Junior Professional Officer and Fellowship Programmes;
  • Management of the Development Account.
United Nations Forum on Forests
The Secretariat is the UN DESA focal point on all forest policy and forest-based sustainable development issues. It promotes sustainable forest management based on the 2030 Agenda, the Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, Forest Principles, Global Objectives on Forests, and the UN Forest Officer in Charge is Juwang Zhu.
Instrument. It provides substantive support to the annual sessions of the Forum, prepares technical reports and analytical studies, and fosters dialogue to enhance cooperation and coordination on forest issues. It provides a comprehensive and integrated view of forests which encompasses economic, social and environmental aspects.
Main Activities:
  • Provide support to the United Nations Forum on Forests, a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with universal membership;
  • Promote, monitor and assess the implementation of sustainable forest management, in particular the UN Forest Instrument, the Global Objectives on Forests and forest related Sustainable Development Goals and targets;
  • Facilitate access to financing for sustainable forest management through the UNFF Secretariat-managed Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network;
  • Raise awareness of the contributions of forests in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal;
  • Promote coherence, coordination and cooperation on forests, including by serving as a member and secretariat of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and by liaising with the secretariats of the Rio conventions; and
  • Promote high-level political engagement in support of sustainable forest management with the participation of Major Groups and other stakeholders.
Division for Inclusive Social Development
The Division seeks to strengthen international cooperation for achieving social inclusion and the reduction of inequalities, by fostering effective policy impact and intensified global dialogue on social development issues. The Division is the main vehicle for promoting the social dimensions of the 2030 Agenda, particularly in the areas of inequality, poverty eradication, productive employment and decent work, family, cooperatives and the social inclusion of older persons, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and persons marginalized from society.
The Director of the Division is Daniela Bas.
The Division is responsible for coordinating the entire scope of social development progress and implementation including support to follow-up and implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development (the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action on Social Development), the World Programme of Action on Youth, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Outcome document of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Outcome document of the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, the objectives of the International Year of the Family and the International Year of Cooperatives, and the 3rd United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty. The Division further leads preparation of the Report on the World Social Situation, a flagship report of the United Nations, and other major reports such as the World Youth Report, the Disability and Development Report, and the State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples Report.
The Division takes an integrated and multidimensional approach to its work to address and analyze policy issues, working at the interlinkages and overlaps of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, as well as at the intersections of development, rights and peace-building, to provide coherent, evidence-based policy advice
Main Activities
  • Facilitate implementation of the internationally agreed development goals and commitments, including the SDGs;
  • Undertake global comparative studies on policy and programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and identify emerging trends in the areas of social policy and social development;
  • Support to intergovernmental processes through the Commission for Social Development, the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other intergovernmental forums, such as the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD and the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing;
  • Serve as Secretariat to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), and promote the rights of indigenous peoples in the context of development;
  • Provide advisory and capacity development services to Member States, for formulating effective and inclusive development policy;
  • Promote the effective inclusion of older persons in society and development, including through promotion of the three priority directions of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA);
  • Strengthen participation of youth in decision-making processes at all levels;
  • Foster dynamic partnerships with civil society in achieving social development;
  • Promote the objectives of the International Year of the Family (1994) and its follow-up processes;
  • Support the development of cooperatives at the national and international levels.


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