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Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) (1955-present) Série organique
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Economic and Social Council Secretariat

Series consists of the records of the Secretary of the Economic and Social Council, including Session working files (from the Second to the Thirteenth Sessions), the supporting documents relating to associated commissions, conferences, international organizations, specialized agencies, and administrative records relating to Council matters. Arranged in the order cited.

Office of the Assistant Secretary-General - Registry and Non-Registry

Series is comprised of the filing system numbered files of the Assistant Secretary-General relating to Culture-Education-Science matters, to the Economic and Social Council, to matters of development in health, to human rights and the Human Rights Commission, to narcotics (and the work of the Division of Narcotic Drugs), to non-governmental organizations, to the work of the Population Division, to refugee issues, to the work of the Temporary Social Commission (including the protection of youth), and includes studies on related matters. The predominant dates are 1946-1947 (with records dated in the 1930s related to health work within the League of Nations). Arranged in classification system order.

Related records: This series is followed by S-0917.

Technical Assistance Projects Files - Development Planning Advisory Branch

The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title.Accession numbers - 76/181; 77/121; 78/120; 78/122; 78/157; 86/40; 86/76; 86/165; 86/245; 86/247; 87/169; 88/102; 88/260; 89/48; 89/115; 89/159; 89/167; 90/179; 90/180; 90/181; 90/182; 90/187; 91/0122; 92/0013; 92/0014; 92/0045;

Technical Assistance Projects Files - Asia and Pacific Branch

The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title.

Technical Assistance Projects Files - Energy Branch

The series consists of records which deal with the origination, formulation, execution and evaluation of the relevant projects. The types of records include any of the following: proposals, preparatory documentation, agreements, plans of operation and various reports such as progress, technical, mission, evaluation, etc. There are also departmental supporting documents which comprise background data, guidelines, studies, terms of reference and other relevant papers that bear elements further elucidating project activities. The department which is responsible for providing the necessary advisory services and assistance to the governments of developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their national capacities has been re-organized several times under the following names:
Dept. of Economic Affairs, ca 1946-1954
Dept. of Economic and Social Council, ca 1955
Technical Assistance Administration, ca 1955-1958
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1955-1978
Office of Technical Co-operation, ca 1967-1977
Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1979-1993
Dept. of Technical Co-operation for Development, ca 1979-1993
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, ca 1985-1993
Dept. for Policy Co-ordination and Sustainable Development, ca1994-1997
Dept. for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis, ca 1994-1997
Dept. for Development Support and Management Services, ca 1994-1997
Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, ca 1998 up to present.
To preserve their identity, the records of the various technical assistance projects are maintained according to their provenance, i.e. the actual name of the organizational element which originated the records forms a part of the series title.

Accession numbers - 80/0026; 84/0082; 84/0123; 84/0124; 84/0125; 84/0126; 84/0130; 84/0203; 84/0204; 84/0205; 84/0231; 86/0249; 87/0206; 91/0121; 91/0140; 2001/0187-0001; 2001/0187-0002; 2001/0187-0003; 2001/0187-0004; 2001/0187-0005; 2001/0187-0006; 2001/0187-0007

Coordination, partnership: Partnered project planning, Member States

The records in S-1905 document regional project coordination and partnerships between the Technical Assistance Administration and United Nations Member States. The function of S-1905 is derived from DESA.DEV.018 of the retention schedule of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), dated 21 January 2013.

Included in S-1905 are records of the Office for Latin America (OLA) from the Programme Division of the Technical Assistance Administration (TAA). The OLA was located in Santiago, Chile and coordinated its activities with a branch office in Mexico City that was established in 1956. The TAA’s Programme Division was headquartered in New York.

S-1905 records date primarily from 1956 through 1959 when Mr. Bruno Leuschner served as the Director of the OLA. The Mexico City Office was staffed by Carlos S. Vegega during this period and coordinated technical assistance activities in countries throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

The OLA coordinated projects through the employment of technical experts and consultants. The governments of Latin American countries made requests in consultation with their government ministries to the TAA. After a detailed process to gain approval, requests were funded under the Regular or Expanded Programme and a technical expert was recruited and deployed.

Experts undertook a wide variety of projects in social welfare, economic development and public administration and were tasked with conducting studies, making recommendations, and implementing specific advancements and reforms within the parameters of the project. For example, experts carried out community development among Andean Indians in South America; studies of refrigeration for slaughtered cattle and meat products; economic surveys; studies and recommendations for railroad construction and traction; the development of the pharmaceutical industry, including penicillin manufacturing in Chile, the management of natural resources; deep sea diving and shipwreck salvage operations; low-cost housing; rehabilitation of the physically handicapped; and training in hotel management.

Experts also advised Latin American countries on improving the efficiency of government functions in the fields of public administration, budget and tax administration, and fiscal policy. Some projects focused on updating and negotiating outdated government laws and industry regulations.

The records consist of: job descriptions outlining the project aims and the responsibilities of the technical expert; terms of reference letters sent to experts orienting them to the project once they arrived in the country; telegrams sent and received by the Office for Latin America; and draft legal agreements between the United Nations and governments of Latin American countries soliciting experts for country-specific studies and projects. Memoranda and correspondence document: the recruitment of technical experts; relations between experts and the government, industry professionals and professional organizations; comments on the expert’s progress and final reports; and the funding of projects.

The files also contain progress reports authored by technical experts and submitted to the Office for Latin America. The progress reports describe the objectives of the project; the political, social, economic climate of the country; activities undertaken during the phases of the project. They also cover experts’ tours of remote areas, observations of local populations, and the state of local manufacturing facilities, social service facilities, chemical plants, and mines. In addition, the progress reports served as an opportunity for experts to ask for advice on how to handle an unexpected situation, which would be received by a TAA official and passed along the appropriate channels.

The series also includes technical experts’ final reports of projects, as well as preliminary and draft reports. The final reports include discussions of: the state of a particular industry or professional field; the condition of machinery being used; the quality and type of raw materials; and deficiencies in administration. In addition, final reports provide recommendations such as the adoption or improvement of government laws and regulations, and improvements towards efficiency and productivity for industrial development. Final reports contain tables, graphs, statistics and other supporting data and, depending on the technical assistance offered, may include annexes and appendices of large-scale mechanical, engineering, and architectural designs. Maps and sketches of geographical areas under study are also included as annexes.

At the conclusion of a project, the final reports were required to be approved by the concerned substantive departments. For example, the final report on Chemical Industries in Peru, “Aspects of the Development of the Heavy Chemical Industry in Peru,” would need to be approved by the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) and the Bureau of Economic Affairs, Headquarters before it was produced and formally submitted to the Government.

Upon approval final reports were forwarded to United Nations headquarters and presented to the government. Sometimes reports were rejected by the TAA because they did not fall under the experts’ terms of reference in order to be accepted as a final report. Reasons for rejection include: inaccuracies; subjective recommendations; or statements that run against the U.N. policy or would be objectionable to the government.

Comprehensive Programme
S-1905 also contains records of the Office for Latin America’s Comprehensive Programme documenting coordination and management of technical experts’ active or proposed projects for a particular country or region in Latin America. The records primarily consist of project submission forms, correspondence, and job descriptions. These records include correspondence between Mr. Bruno Leuschner, Director of the Office for Latin America, and Mr. Carlos S. Vegega of the Mexico City Office; experts in the field; Resident Representatives; and representatives of governments throughout Latin America.

Correspondence also covers the recruitment of technical experts and the extension of their contracts; the development of project objectives; and the financing of projects. The files also include country requests for technical assistance and annual country-specific evaluations of technical assistance programmes.

Coordination, partnership: Regional economic commissions, funds and programmes, and specialized agencies

The records in S-1915 contain agency files which document the coordination of projects and partnerships between the Office of Technical Co-operation (OTC) and the United Nations regional economic commissions, funds and programmes, and specialized agencies. The bulk of the records date from 1973 to 1978 and detail the planning and execution of technical assistance projects in developing countries. The records are arranged alphabetically and include draft project documents, correspondence, memoranda, progress reports, and mission reports.

Regional Economic Commissions

The records of the UN regional economic commissions contain requests for large-scale technical assistance projects in the regions of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe and include draft project documents, correspondence, memoranda, and reports prepared by regional advisors. Project documents were official proposals that outline project objectives, work plans, budgets, and other information relating to project implementation. The files contain records of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and the Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA).

The regional economic commissions served as the executing agency for regional projects financed by the Regular Programme, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) or the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). Projects executed by regional economic commissions include a 1978 Workshop on Budget Reclassification and Budget-Plan Harmonization in Western Asia (ECWA) and the Regional Population Programme for Latin America (ECLA). While some projects were jointly executed, such as On-the-Job Training in Integrated Rural Development for Countries of the ESCAP Region (ESCAP/OTC) and a Training Workshop on Estimates of National Accounts at Constant Prices (ECWA and the Regional Institute for Training and Research in Statistics for the Near East, Baghdad), all regional projects executed independently by the OTC or the UN specialized agencies were also sent to the regional economic commissions for review.

S-1915 contains draft project documents, job descriptions for regional advisors, memoranda and correspondence between the geographic branches of the OTC and the Technical Assistance Units of the regional economic commissions on project funding, and comments on regional advisors’ reports. These records also include progress reports and mission reports prepared by regional advisors and submitted for review to the OTC and the regional economic commissions. The regional economic commissions were responsible for assigning regional advisors who participated in seminars, gave lectures at regional institutes and provided short-term advice to country governments on technical assistance projects in the field. Progress reports and mission reports identify project objectives and work plans, detail activities undertaken by regional advisors during each phase of the project, offer conclusions and make recommendations for the project’s future.

Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies

The records in S-1915 also provide information on the coordination between the OTC and the UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies to implement country and regional technical assistance projects. The files contain records of: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The OTC reviewed all project proposals for which a UN fund, programme or specialized agency served as an executing agency including: the Development of the Aguán Valley in Honduras (UNDP); an Agricultural Planning and Marketing project in Ecuador (FAO); the establishment of Technical Education, Vocational and Management Training in Indonesia (IBRD); a regional project on the Potential Contribution of Aviation to African Economies (ICAO); and a Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning project in Afghanistan (WHO). Projects were also executed in the fields of agricultural and rural development, population, transport, tourism, education, and health.

The records contain project documents, correspondence and memoranda exchanged between the OTC, UNDP Resident Representatives, the substantive offices of DESA, and the funds, programmes and specialized agencies. Memoranda and correspondence document the implementation of country and regional projects, project financing, and contain comments on project documents and reports. Other files contain progress reports and mission reports which were authored by technical experts and submitted to the OTC for review.

Capacity Development: Project files, training and study activities

The records in S-1913 document the project files and training and study activities of the Department for Technical Co-operation for Development (DTCD) with United Nations member states, in the regions of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The bulk of the records dates from 1979 to 1983 and details the planning and implementation of fellowships and training programmes for developing countries. The function of S-1913 is derived from DESA.DEV.062 and DESA.DEV.063 of the retention schedule of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), dated 21 January 2013. The records largely consist of country files documenting the Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme, in addition to records related to interregional seminars, and regional and interregional training centres.

Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme

The DTCD’s Fellowship Section within the Support Services Branch of the Division of Programme Support oversaw the Technical Assistance Fellowship Programme for developing countries. Nominated by country governments, individuals were awarded fellowships for study in academic institutions, participation in training courses, observation studies, and interregional seminars. Following the completion of the fellowship, fellows were required to submit a final report evaluating the course to the DTCD Fellowship Section.

These files, arranged alphabetically by country, include memoranda, correspondence, fellowship project documents, and final reports. S-1913 documents fellowships in the fields of: tax administration, customs, statistics, transport, development planning, public administration, computer processing, hydrology and mining.

Interregional Seminars

The Interregional and Regional Projects Section of the Middle East, Mediterranean, Europe and Interregional Projects Branch of DTCD oversaw the planning and implementation of interregional seminars, symposiums, workshops, study tours, and expert group meetings. Participants included fellows and experts intending to gain more experience in their field. The level of knowledge and ability of participants ranged from the novice to junior and senior levels and determined the type of meeting. For example, senior experts would participate in an expert group meeting, such as the Interregional Expert Group Meeting on Curricula Design for Management Development (Arusha, Tanzania, 20-24 July 1981).

The records in S-1913 document interregional seminars in the fields of economic planning, public administration, finance, demographics, community development, natural resources, energy and water resources and include seminars such as: the Interregional Symposium on Development Process and Technological Options in Developing Countries (Lome, Togo, 2-26 May 1979); United Nations Symposium on World Coal Prospects (Katowice, Poland, 15-23 October 1979); and the Interregional Meeting of International River Organizations (Dakar, Senegal, 5-14 May 1981). The files include correspondence and memoranda pertaining to the implementation and planning of interregional seminars; country monographs, technical papers, and reports such as rapporteurs’ reports and final reports of seminars.

Regional and Interregional Training Centres

The files contain documentation related to UN regional and interregional demographic training and research centres including: Institut de Formation et de Recherches Démographiques (IFORD), Yaoundé, Cameroon; Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana; Centre Demographique ONU-Roumanie (CEDOR), Bucharest, Romania; and the Interregional Demographic Research and Training Centre, Cairo, Egypt where training courses and seminars were held.

In addition to documenting the recruitment of fellows, consultants, associate experts, professors and directors to training centres, the records include job descriptions; work programmes; project budget revisions; requests for equipment; cables and memoranda detailing travel arrangements; reports; memoranda and correspondence.

These records contain agreements between the UN and the training centres’ country’s government addressing, for example, the extension of the agreement between the UN and the Government of Cameroon regarding continued support of IFORD; a project document, work plan and institutional framework containing short-term and long-term objectives for continued assistance to the Demographic Research and Training Centre in Cairo, Egypt; a project request for a Computer Facility at RIPS; correspondence and memoranda about the fellowship programme at CEDOR; and reports of RIPS experts and fellows.

S-1913 also contains files related to the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Nagoya Japan which was established in June 1971 under the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Resolution 1086-C (XXXIX) through a Funds-in-Trust arrangement with the Government of Japan. UNCRD provided training in regional development to officials who were engaged in the planning, management and implementation of development activities in developing countries in the Asian region.. Training and staffing of the UNCRD was provided by UN consultants and experts.

The UNCRD records include: budget plans and proposals; reports; job descriptions; correspondence and memoranda related to the planning and implementation of advisory meetings, expert group meetings, and seminars; as well as administrative arrangements for UNCRD experts and consultants. These files also include a variety of reports on specific missions or topics, authored by UNCRD experts such as “Report of the Consultative Meeting of Experts on Training for Regional Development, 29 January - 4 February 1980.”

S-1913 also contains records of the Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD) in San Juan, Costa Rica, which carried out training programmes and seminars for policymakers, planners and administrators; produced guidelines; and provided advisory services to governments in the field of crime prevention and treatment of offenders. The records include: budget revisions; programmes of activities; job descriptions; memoranda and correspondence about workshops; administrative arrangements and travel arrangements for ILANUD personnel.

S-1913 also documents the coordination between DTCD and the Environnement et Développement du Tiers-Monde (ENDA) for the Joint Programme on Exchange of Experience and Training in Grass-Root Community Development and Appropriate Technologies (APTEC), a project to support technical co-operation by facilitating the exchange of experience at the local level. These records include: travel arrangements; reports by participants; job descriptions for consultants; and various publications issued by ENDA.

Regional Commissions Section

Records in S-1937 document the coordination between the Regional Commissions Section of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations regional economic commissions. The Regional Commissions Section served as the liaison between DESA and the United Nations regional economic commissions. The bulk of the records dates from 1963 to 1968 and documents the activities of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), and Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). A small portion of the records also concern the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA).

The records in S-1937 were maintained by the Regional Commissions Section of DESA and are arranged alphabetically and therein chronologically. The records include: correspondence and memoranda concerning administrative arrangements for personnel; budget material; and memoranda and newspaper clippings documenting the change in membership status of member states to the regional economic commissions.

The records of ECA and ECAFE document the co-operation and consultation between International Governmental Organizations (IGOs); Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs); Technical Assistance Board (TAB); United Nations Headquarters; and United Nations specialized agencies. The ECA records include the commission’s co-operation and consultation between IGOs such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Committee of the League of Arab States, the African Malagasy Union for Economic Co-operation (UAMCE) and the Equatorial Customs Union (UDE); through newspaper clippings, memoranda and correspondence, directives, and reports. S-1937 records also contain annual work programmes and meeting schedules of ECA, ECAFE and ECLA.

S-1937 includes records of the annual sessions of ECA, ECAFE, and ECE. These records consist of: correspondence and memoranda related to planning; press releases and press cables; and drafts of annual reports and related correspondence. For example, at the Sixth Session of ECA held in Addis Ababa from 20 February - 2 March, the following matters were addressed: a five-year review of the Commission’s activities; the work programme for 1964-1965; a situation report on the African Development Bank; a progress report on the creation of an African Common Market; and a joint report of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and ECA on the development of air transport in Africa. Records also document the Twentieth Session of the ECAFE held in Tehran from 2 -17 March 1964 adoption of the resolution on international trade also known as the “Teheran Resolution.” In addition, S-1937 contains press releases that summarize the activities of the sessions, including the adoption of resolutions.

Centre for Development Planning, Projections and Policies (CDPPP) - project files

Records in S-1925 document the coordination of projects and partnerships between the Development Planning Advisory Services (DPAS) section of the Centre for Development Planning, Projections and Policies (CDPPP) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the United Nations regional economic commissions. The bulk of records dates from 1973 to 1976 and details the planning and placement of long-term advisers to interdisciplinary United Nations Development Advisory Teams (UNDAT) expert posts in developing countries and regions.

S-1925 consists of records from UNDATs in the regions of: the Caribbean, Central Africa, Central America, South East Africa, South America, the South Pacific, and West Africa. Assigned to a group of countries, the UNDATs advised individual governments in overall development planning and facilitated collaboration for multinational projects. Each UNDAT consisted of a team leader and five to eight technical advisers form various fields, including economic and social development planning, financial management, public administration and agriculture.

DPAS and the regional economic commissions, including the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA), and the Economic Commission for Asia and the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), collaborated to recruit and arrange the placement of experts, conduct periodic reviews of UNDAT activities, and provide comments and recommendations on reports. UNDATs were originally funded from Part V of the regular UN budget and the UN Trust Fund for Development Planning and Projections. In 1976, following a decrease in funding, the responsibilities of the UNDATs were decentralized to the regional economic commissions and the UNDAT programme was dissolved.

Arranged alphabetically by region, the records include job descriptions and terms of reference, meeting minutes, and reports. S-1925 also includes correspondence and memoranda exchanged between DPAS, the regional economic commissions, and UNDAT advisers.
Correspondence and memoranda concern: UNDAT financing, programme development and activities, comments on reports, and the status of UNDAT advisers’ contracts. Reports include monthly activity reports, progress reports and mission reports authored by team leaders and UNDAT advisers.

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