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UN Programmes and Funds


UN Programmes and Funds

FUNDS AND PROGRAMMES OF UN
The ‘UN System’, also known unofficially as the ‘UN Family’ is made up of the UN itself and many affiliated programmes, funds and specialized agencies, all with their own membership, leadership and budget. The programmes and funds are financed through voluntary rather than assessed contributions. The Specialized Agencies are independent international organizations funded by both voluntary and assessed contributions.

PROGRAMMES AND FUNDS
United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP):
• Headquartered in New York City, formed in 1965 to help countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable human development.
• On the ground in nearly 170 countries, the UNDP is UN’s global development network, focusing on the challenges of democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment and from HIV/AIDS recovery and prevention.
• The largest UN Development assistance program, the UNDP is headed by an administrator who oversees a 36 member Executive Board representing both developing and developed countries.
• The UNDP administers aid through five year Country Programmes, which fund projects aimed at attracting investment capital, training skilled employees and implementing modern technologies.
• It also assists developing countries through experts for the promotion of Good Governance by building political and legal institutions that are equitable, responsive and open to public participation and to expand the private sector of their economies in order to provide more jobs.
• UNDP Resident Representatives in more than 125 developing countries help to coordinate the local activities of other UN agencies and programs as well as those of non-governmental organizations.
United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
• Formed on December 11, 1946 to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by WW-II, headquartered in New York City, provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
• It is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from governments (about two-thirds of organization’s resources) and private donors (nearly about six million individuals) through national committees.
• It is estimated that about 92% of UNICEF revenue is distributed to program services which emphasizes on developing community level services to promote the health and well being of children.
• UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006.
• Most of UNICEF’s work is in the field, with staff in over 190 countries having about 200 country offices, guided by 7 regional offices that provide technical assistance to country offices as needed.
• The primary point of distribution of essential items such as vaccines, antiretroviral medicines for children and mothers with HIV, nutritional supplements, emergency shelters, family reunification and educational supplies etc. are done through Copenhagen based supply division.
• A 36 member executive board made up of government representatives, elected by UN Economic and Social Council for three year terms, establishes policies, approves programmes and oversees administrative and financial plans.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
• Also known as UN Refugee Agency, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, a UN Program mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
• Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well being of refugees who are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and would fit the legal definition of a refugee under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and 1967 Protocol, the 1969 Organization for African Unity Convention or some other similar treaty.
• Presently, UNHCR has major missions in Lebanon, South Sudan, Chad/Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan as well as Kenya to assist and provide services to IDPs and refugees in camps and in urban settings.
• The UNHCR hosts expert roundtables to discuss issues of concern to the international refugee community.
• The UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981.The UNHCR has been chosen for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development 2015.
• UNHCR relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions from governments, UN and pooled funding mechanisms, intergovernmental institutions and the private sector.
• These funds are being used in providing protection, shelter, water, health, education and other essentials to millions of refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless and internally displaced people around the world.
World Food Program (WFP):
• Initially established in 1961, after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Conference and formally established in 1963 by the FAO and the UNGA on three year experimental basis. In 1965, the program was extended to a continuing basis.
• The WFP is governed by an Executive Board which consists of representatives from 36 member states.
• The European Union is a permanent observer in the WFP and as a major donor participates in the work of its Executive Board.
• Its vision is a world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life.
• The WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations from world governments, corporations and private donors. The organization’s administrative costs are only seven percent—one of the lowest and best among aid agencies.
• WFP food aid is also directed to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS. Food-for-work programmes help promote environmental and economic stability and agricultural production.
• The objectives that the WFP hopes to achieve are to:
– “Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies”
– “Support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings and following emergencies”
– “Reduce risk and enable people, communities and countries to meet their own food and nutrition needs”
– “Reduce under-nutrition and break the intergenerational cycle of hunger”
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
• Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Program and the Centre for International Crime Prevention is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime.
• UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices and relies on voluntary contributions, mainly from Governments, for 90 per cent of its budget.
• In the Millennium Declaration, Member States also resolved to intensify efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions, to redouble the efforts to implement the commitment to counter the world drug problem and to take concerted action against international terrorism.
• The three pillars of the UNODC work program are:
– Field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.
– Research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions.
– Normative work to assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies.
• In pursuing its objectives, UNODC makes every effort to integrate and mainstream the gender perspective, particularly in its projects for the provision of alternative livelihoods, as well as those against human trafficking.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):
• Headquartered in New York City, US, initially began operation in 1969 as the UN Fund for Population Activities (the name was changed in 1987) under the administration of the United Nations Development Fund. In 1971 it was placed under the authority of the UNGA.
• An UN Organisation and a leading UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
• Their work involves the improvement of reproductive health; including creation of national strategies and protocols and providing supplies and services.
• The organization has recently been known for its worldwide campaign against obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation.
• Guided by the Program of Action adopted at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the Millennium Development Goals, the organisation is working on ground in about 150 countries in association with governments, other UN Agencies, Civil societies and the private sector to make a real difference to millions of people, especially the most vulnerable.
• It operates in all regions of the world with its specialized agencies and is entirely dependent on voluntary contributions.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
• A permanent intergovernmental body established by the UNGA in 1964, headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland and the other offices are in New York and Addis Ababa.
• In the era of globalization where phenomenal expansion of trade has helped lift millions out of poverty but, not nearly enough people have benefited.
• UNCTAD supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively by helping them to deal with the potential drawbacks of greater economic integration.
• The primary objective of UNCTAD is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. The conference ordinarily meets once in four years; the permanent secretariat is in Geneva.
• UNCTAD technical cooperation activities are financed from: bilateral funding — including individual governments, UN system and other international organizations, the European Commission and private and public sectors donors — the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); the United Nations program budget; and Delivering as one funding mechanisms and other Multi donor Trust Funds (MDTFs).
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP):
• Headquartered in Gigiri, neighbourhood of Nairobi, Kenya, established in 1972 as a result of the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference).
• UNEP coordinates in environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.
• Its activities cover a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental governance and green economy.
• Governments are the core of UNEP’s funding because UNEP is an intergovernmental organization owned by the 193 UN Member States. Each and every country is a donor, and each and every country is a recipient.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA):
• Created in Dec 1949, a relief and human development agency, has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees.
• Its services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.
• Headquarters are divided between the Gaza Strip and Amman. Its operations are organized into five fields: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza and it directly reports to UNGA.
• In addition to its regular budget which is contributed by member countries, UNRWA receives funding for emergency activities and special projects.
• The major donors are the US, European Commission, Sweden, The UK, Norway and the Netherlands.
United Nations Women (UN Women):
• Headquartered in New York City, US, created in July 2010, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
• It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system, which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment:
– Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW).
– International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).
– Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI).
– United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
United Nations Habitat (UN Habitat):
• An UN program working towards a better urban future, its mission involves twin agenda: to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements developments and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.
• It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976.
• The agency has three main divisions which each oversee a set of programmes: (i) the Shelter and Sustainable Human Settlements Development Division; (ii) the Monitoring and Research Division; and (iii) the Regional and Technical Cooperation Division.
• Most of the agency’s budget comes in the form of voluntary contributions from governments and inter-governmental donors.
• Other partners, like local authorities, the Private sector, multi-lateral organization and other UN bodies provide funding for specific programmes.

Economic Survey Chapter – 12


India on the Move and Churning: New Evidence

India on the Move and Churning: New Evidence-Economic Survey Chapter – 12

Context
New estimates of labour migration in India have revealed that inter-state labor mobility is significantly higher than previous estimates.
The study based on the analyses of new data sources and new methodologies also shows that the migration is accelerating and was particularly pronounced for females. The data sources used for the study are the 2011 Census and railway passenger traffic flows of the Ministry of Railways and new methodologies including the Cohort-based Migration Metric (CMM).
Based on two new datasets and methodologies, this chapter finds high levels of internal work related migration in India. Analysing the changes in same-age cohorts using Census data yields an annual inter-state migration of about 5-6.5 million between 2001 and 2011. Railway passenger data analysis suggests an annual inter-state migration flow of close to 9 million since 2011. Clearly, rising growth after the 1980s has led to an acceleration of labour migration flows as the rewards of better economic opportunities have overcome the costs of moving.
Technical Terms
A. Migrant: The Census definition of a migrant is as follows: “When a person is enumerated in census at a different place than his/her place of birth, she/he is considered a migrant”. This chapter focuses on inter-state migration.
B. Gravity model is an empirical observation which finds that the migrant/passenger flows between two geographies is directly proportional to the level of economic activity/population of these two geographies and inversely proportional to some measure of physical distance between the two geographies. Geographers were pioneers in using the gravity models for studying the migration and mobility patterns.
C. Cohort A group of people sharing a common temporal demographic experience who are observed through time. For example, the birth cohort of 1900 is the people born in that year. There are also marriage cohorts, school class cohorts, and so forth.
D. Cohort Analysis Observation of a cohort’s demographic behavior through life or through many periods; for example, examining the fertility behavior of the cohort of people born between 1940 and 1945 through their entire childbearing years. Rates derived from such cohort analyses are cohort measures. Compare with period analysis.
Gist of Economic Survey Chapter
Historically, migration of people for work and education has been a phenomenon that accompanies the structural transformation of economies, and has paved the way for the release of “surplus labour” from relatively low-productive agricultural activities to sectors enjoying higher productivity. The resulting remittance flows increase household spending in the receiving regions and further the economic development of less-developed regions.
Analysis of migration pattern in India:
Based on the census data it emerge that number of migrants in India is very low and not increasing. According to census -2001 data India has 33 million economic migrants, constituting around 8.1% of workforce. In China nearly 25% of workforce is migrant labour.
Some characteristics of migration in India according to census 2001 data are:
• People move from less affluent states to more affluent states
• 33 million or 8.1% of Indian workforce were migrants for economic reasons.
• Over 80% of these migrants were male.
• Labour mobility also appears to be low because urbanization rates have not picked up sharply over the years,
However new studies have contradicted census data and shown that stock of migrants in India is far more, because:
• Migration trends in India tends to be circular in nature both in short term and long term and are not captured properly by Census.
• Female migration for work is concealed in ‘reason-for-migration’ statistics because the principal reason given to the enumerator is ‘marriage’ or ‘moved with household.
• Commuter migration for work across the rural-urban divide is also substantial in India, exceeding 10 million people in 2009-10.
• The slow pace of Indian urbanization is rooted in the demographic divergence between rural and urban natural growth rates and not necessarily in low or stagnant rates of migration
Alternative estimates noted above place the share of migrants in the workforce to lie between 17% and 29%. Much greater than 8.1% indicated by census 2001.
Magnitude and Pattern of migration according new estimates:
• The first-ever estimates of internal work-related migration using railways data for the period 2011-2016 indicate an annual average flow of close to 9 million people between the states.
• A new Cohort based Migration Metric (CMM)—shows that annually inter-state labour mobility averaged 5-6 million people between 2001 and 2011, yielding an inter-state migrant population of about 60 million and an inter-district migration as high as 80 million.
• The sum of all the out-of-state net migrants in the 20-29 age cohorts for the period 2001-11 exceeded 11 million people, up from around 6 million people in the 19912001 period. Nearly 80% of these migrants were male in both periods.
• More number of districts are witnessing net out migration.
• Another important development is the growing role of female migrants. Until the 2000s, migration was largely a male dominated phenomenon. But in the 2000s there was a marked shift in the distribution for females (indicating more outflows), indeed much more than the shift for males,
• Migration is accelerating. In the period 2001-11, according to Census estimates, the annual rate of growth of labour migrants nearly doubled relative to the previous decade, rising to 4.5 per cent per annum in 2001-11 from 2.4 per cent in 1991- 2001.
• This acceleration has been accompanied by the surge of the economy. As growth increased in the 2000s relative to the 1990s, the returns to migration might have increased sufficiently to offset the costs of moving, resulting in much greater levels of migration.
• Migrant flows between states are lower than flows within states. Estimates suggest that on average flows within states are around four times the flows across states.
• Within India, in both trade and labour flows, language doesn’t seem to matter for migrants.which vindicate the founding fathers’ permissive approach to India’s linguistic cleavage.
• Distance has a strong negative effect on labor flows.
• The adjoining state border effect (contiguity) is positive suggesting that migration is higher in the adjacent states even after controlling for distance.
• The largest recipient was the Delhi region, which accounted for more than half of migration in 2015-16, while Uttar Pradesh and Bihar taken together account for half of total out-migrants. Maharashtra, Goa and Tamil Nadu had major net in-migration, while Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh had major net out-migration. Southern states have witnessed increased in-migration trends.

Net migration across states
One significant anomaly given by data is that Kerala in appears to be a net exporter of migrants between 2011-12 and 2015-16 which runs counter to priors.
Conclusion
An India on the move is an India of churn, as Dr. Ambedkar observed. According to new studies there is higher level of labour mobility in India and acceleration of migration was more pronounced in female labour and increased at nearly twice the rate of male migration in the 2000s.
The numbers show that internal migration has been rising over time, nearly doubling in the 2000s relative to the 1990s. One plausible hypothesis for this acceleration is that the rewards (in the form of prospective income and employment opportunities) have become greater than the costs and risks that migration entails.
This acceleration has taken place in the backdrop of discouraging incentives such as
• Domicile provisions for working in different states,
• Lack of portability of benefits, legal and other entitlements upon relocation.
To sustain this churn, however, these policy hurdles have to be overcome.
• Portability of food security benefits, healthcare, and
• A basic social security framework for the migrant is crucial – potentially through an interstate self registration process.
While there do currently exist multiple schemes that address migrant welfare, they are implemented at the state level, and hence require inter-state coordination of fiscal costs of migration.
The domestic remittances market, estimated to exceed Rs. 1.5 lakh crores, can also be leveraged to enhance financial inclusion formigrant workers and their families in the source region. Such measures would vastly enhance the welfare gains of migration and encourage even greater integration of labour markets in India.
Supplementary Readings
A. Cohort Migration Methodology
Most migration analyses focus on net migration and are concerned with areal redistributions of population. Migration may also be studied as an event in the life-cycle of an individual, and migration rates may be defined as properties of cohorts.
It uses following data:
1. Cohort-based Migration Metric (CMM) CMM (t) = 100 x [Population in 20-29 age cohort in Census(t) – Population in 10-19 age cohort in Census(t-10) – Cohort Mortality]/ Population in 10-19 age cohort in Census(t-10) Cohort Mortality= 10 x Age-specific (10-19) mortality rate per year x Population in 10-19 age cohort in Census(t-10) Data Source: Population data from the Census 1991, 2001 and 2011 and age-specific mortality data (State level) for the 10-19 age group for the years 1996 and 2006 from Sample Registration System statistics. CMM is calculated at the district and state levels. At the State level, population for Kerala is corrected for international migration using data from the Kerala Migration Surveys conducted by CDS, Kerala.
B. The impact of migration on migrants livelihood
Poorer migrant workers, crowded into the lower ends of the labour market, have few entitlements vis a vis their employers or the public authorities in the destination areas. They have meagre personal assets and suffer a range of deprivations in the destination areas. In the source areas, migration has both negative and positive consequences for migrants and their families.
Migration has both positive and negative impacts on the destination country.
Advantages:
• Cheap labour: Migrants often do many unskilled jobs for a very little wage. Skilled migrants are also often happy to give their services for little salary.
• Skilled labour: Some immigrants are highly skilled and talented, and they contribute to knowledge and production for the well-being of all in that country.
• Cultural diversity: Immigrants provide the diversity in many palaces. Diversity helps cultures and traditions to loosen the grip on racism; discrimination etc. diversity helps people learn about other way of life and what goes on in other places of the world. It brings variety to almost every part of our ways of life. Diversity helps people to better appreciate humanity and human right s in general.
Disadvantages:
• Loss of job: Immigrants may also cause pressure on job issues as the locals often lose jobs to incoming workers.
• Discrimination/racism: Immigration can fuel racism and discrimination. Immigrants who cannot speak the local languages r do not behave like the locals often find themselves not accepted in their communities, as people prefer not to have anything to do with them.
 Social/civil pressure: Housing, health, education and many other facilities may suffer from the pressure of excessive use by more people than it was designed to take. This can force prices of such amenities to go high, causing hardship to all.
 Breakdown of culture and traditions: Tradition and cultures are negatively midfields because of diversity. Sometimes healthy ways of life are lapsed as different people are exposing to different ways of doing things. Sometimes new crime incidents emerge or increase as a result of bad people coming in.
 Diseases: A long as people move from place to place, there is a risk of contagious disease outbreak.


H-1B, H-2B, L-2 Visa


H-1B, H-2B, L-2 Visa

H-1B Visa:
The H-1B category is an expedient and lawful method to bring foreign-born professionals temporarily to the United States, and therefore one of the most widely sought after visa classifications for employment in the United States.
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status to another non-immigrant status, find another employer (subject to application for adjustment of status and/or change of visa), or leave the U.S.
An individual may work in H-18 status for a maximum of six years.
H-2B Visa:
The H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.
L-1 Visa:
The L-1 visa facilitates the temporary transfer of foreign worker in the managerial, executive or specialized knowledge category to the U.S. to continue employment with an office of the same employer, its parent branch, subsidiary or affiliate.
L-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that allows L-2 visa for the spouse and minor unmarried children under 21 years of age. L-1 visa holder is known as intra-company transferee.
Even though L-1 visa was initially made for large multinational companies to transfer their employees to the U.S., it provides small or start-up companies abroad to expand their business and services to the U.S.
L-1 visa is not limited to specific countries that the U.S. may have some treaties with. Therefore, as long as all eligibility requirements are met, the aliens from any country are eligible.
L-2 Visa:
An L-2 visa is a visa document used to enter the United States by the dependent spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of qualified L-1 visa holders. It is a non-immigrant visa, and is only valid for the duration of the spouse’s L1 visa.


FATCA


FATCA

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a 2010 United States federal law to enforce the requirement for United States persons including those living outside the U.S. to file yearly reports on their non-U.S. financial accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN).
Its aim is to prevent U.S. taxpayers from using accounts held outside of the U.S. to evade taxes.
It requires U.S. financial institutions to withhold a portion of payments made to foreign financial institutions (FFIs) who do not agree to identify and report information on U.S. account holders.
An Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and USA was signed for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with USA for implementation of FATCA entered into force on 31st August, 2015.
The Government of India has also joined the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) for Automatic Exchange of Information as per Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
FATCA promotes cross border tax compliance by implementing an international standard for the automatic exchange of information related to US taxpayers.
FATCA regulations require tax authorities obtain detailed account information for US taxpayers on an annual basis.


Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project


Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project

• BEPS is a tax avoidance strategy used by multinational companies, wherein profits are shifted from jurisdictions that have high taxes (such as the United States and many Western European countries) to jurisdictions that have low (or no) taxes (so-called tax havens).
• The term is used in a project headed by the OECD.
• The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, a joint initiative between G20 countries and the OECD, works towards the development of a coherent global taxation system which addresses BEPS concerns.
• Project headed by the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration to deal with the tax avoidance strategy used by multinational companies
• The main purpose of such initiative is to address the gaps in the current international tax rules relating to arrangements that achieve no or low taxation by shifting profits away from the jurisdictions where the activities creating profits takes place.
• The UN, IMF, World Bank and OECD are developing toolkits to assist “lowest income countries” in implementing the outcomes of the BEPS Project, so far as they are relevant to those countries or to address related issues
• The BEPS initiative focuses on several areas, including:
a) Reporting and transparency
b) Transfer pricing
c) Deductibility of financing costs
d) Entitlement to tax treaty benefits
e) Tax treatment of companies operating in the digital economy
f) Preferential tax regimes
• The 2016 Union Budget announced an ‘equalization levy’ of 6 per cent on payments exceeding over Rs 1 lakh to online ad services from non-resident entities. Prominent among the companies affected would be new economy multinationals with Indian subsidiaries, like Face book and Google.
• India is the first country to impose such a levy, post the OECD action plan.

Sai Praveen

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