UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Releases 1999




(Fifty-fourth session, 3-6 May 1999)

The Fifty-fourth Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) has this year three major parts: the UN Spring Seminar; its opening day discussion and the more traditional part related to econmomic matters.

The UN Spring Seminar will start on Monday, 3 May 1999, at 10:00 a.m. in room XVIII of the Palais des Nations. It will focus on the economic implications of population ageing in the UN/ECE region.

Four themes will be discussed:

The economic consequences of population ageing and the macroeconomics of pension reform;this session will open with the presentation of a paper by John Eatwell (Professor of Economics and President of Queens' College, University of Cambridge). Colin Gillion (Director, Social Security Dept., ILO); Domenico Mario Nuti (Professor, University of Rome "La Sapienza" and London Business School); and Tomas Weiss (Deputy Head of Economics Division, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Bonn) will act as discussants..

Pension reform in market economies; Lawrence Thompson (Senior Fellow, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.) will present a paper. Johann K. Brunner (Professor, University of Linz); Joakim Palme (Swedish Institute for Social Research, University of Stockholm); and Andras Uthoff (Regional Adviser, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) will participate as discussants.

Reforming pension systems in the transition economies: problems and policies within a broader programme of transformation; Maria Augusztinovics (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences) will present a paper. Jerzy Hausner (Professor, Academy of Economic Science, Cracow); Romas Lazutka (Director, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Vilnius); and Paul Wachtel (Professor, Stern School of Business, New York University) will be discussants.

What are the implications for pension reforms of the global financial and economic crisis? Jean-Michel Charpin (Commissaire, Commissariat général du Plan, Paris) will chair the panel. JiÍí Rusnok (Deputy Minister of Labour, responsible for Social Insurance and Income Policy, Czech Republic); Brigitte Granville (Head, International Economics Programme, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, and Centre for Advanced International Studies, Moscow); Tatyana Maleva (Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moscow); and Daniel Wydler (Director, Banque Pictet et Cie., Geneva) will participate in the panel.

On Tuesday, 4 may 1999 the opening day discussion will constitute the major highlight of the Session. It will start at 10:00 in room XVIII of the Palais des Nations. The debate will focus on three major topics:

The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the UN/ECE region, with special emphasis on western and central Europe. This session will be chaired by Miroslav Somol (Czech Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and President of the Commission). Jorge Braga de Macedo (Professor, Nova University, Lisbon, former Minister of Finance, Portugal, and former EC Director General); Christian de Boissieu (Professor, La Sorbonne, Paris); Antonio Costa (Secretary General, EBRD); László Csaba (Budapest University of Economics and KOPINT-DATORG); and Daniel Gottlieb (Senior Adviser to the Governor of the Bank of Israel) will act as discussion leaders.

Overcoming the crisis of the Russian economy. This session will be chaired by Antonio Costa (Secretary General, EBRD). Grzegorz Kolodko, (Professor at Warsaw School of Economics, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance of Poland, 1994-97); Jorge Márquez-Ruarte (Deputy Director, Europe II Department, IMF); Alexsander Shokhin (Deputy of the State Duma of Russia, former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economy); Andrei Swinarenko (Deputy Minister of Economics of the Russian Federation); and Mikhail Zadornov (Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation) will act as discussion leaders.

The threats to the transition process in other economies. Bernhard Molitor (Chairman, OECD Economic Development and Review Committee) will chair this session. Daniel Daianu (former Minister of Finance of Romania and President of the Romanian Institute for Free Enterprise); Lutz Hoffmann (President, DIW, Berlin); Igor Mitiukov (Minister of Finance of Ukraine); Brigita Schmögnerová (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Slovak Republic); and Timo Summa (Director, Directorate-General IA, European Commission) will act as discussion leaders.

The third part of the Commission session on Wednesday 5 May 1999 and Thursday 6 May 1999 will take place in room VII of the Palais des Nations. It will focus on the implementation of the reform; on matters arising from the work of ECE subsidiary bodies, and on the proposed programme budget for 2000 and 2001.

The Bureau of the Commission is currently composed as follows: Mr.Miroslav Somol (Czech Republic), Chairman of the Commission, Mr.Harald Kreid (Austria), Mr.Petros Eftychiou (Cyprus), and Mr. Bolat Utemuratov (Kazakstan) as Vice-Chairpersons.

A new Bureau will be elected at the end of the session.

The Seminar as well as all sessions of the Commission are open to the public.

For further information please contact:

Information Unit
United Nations Economic Commission
for Europe (UN/ECE)
Palais des Nations, Room 356
CH - 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel: +(41 22) 917 44 44
Fax: +(41 22) 917 05 05
E-mail: info.ece@unece.org
Website: http://www.unece.org