The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) current structure and mandate was developed in 1997 as a part of the United Nations reform initiative. It operates as a member of the Secretariat as substantive support unit for the Economic and Social Council. The mission of the entity is to promote development for all, which incorporates equity and equality for all.
Within the United Nations Development Agenda, DESA addresses a wide variety of issues spanning from economic policy to gender equality. The department pays special attention to monitoring the Millennium Development Goals projects conducted by entities such as civil society and intergovernmental organizations.
Within DESA, there are 9 divisions; the tenth, the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), used to addresses gender concerns specifically but is now a part of UN Women. DAW was responsible for the substantive development of the Commission on the Status of Women and Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI) used to also operate under DESA, but is now part of UN Women.
The Statistics Department of DESA has been releasing a World's Women report every 5 years since 1990, in which it analyzes women's situations compared to men's worldwide on a range of issues . To view the latest report from 2010, please click here.
For more information, please visit the official DESA website.