With concern growing that the divide between rich and poor is continuing to widen – especially in the Asia-Pacific region – top United Nations officials are calling for greater emphasis on growth that leads to fairer societies and a healthier planet. More.
- UN Environment has selected five young environmental change makers from the Asia/Pacific region as regional finalists of the inaugural Young Champions of the Earth prize.
- The public is invited to rate the finalists’ ideas to save the environment.
- A global jury will award one Young Champion per region with $15,000 in funding and technical support to bring their ideas to life.
15 Aug. 2017 – Today, the United Nations Environment Programme announced a shortlist of regional finalists for the Young Champions of the Earth prize – a global competition aiming to identify, support and celebrate outstanding individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 with big ideas to protect or restore the environment.
From over 600 applicants, 30 regional finalists—all with emphatic track records of environmental commitment—were selected for having the most innovative, scalable and potentially impactful ideas.
Five of the 30 regional finalists hail from the Asia/Pacific regions, with projects submitted from China (Siting Zhuang), Bangladesh (Shougat Nazbin Khan), India (Ankit Agarwal), Indonesia (Awaludin Aryanto), and the Pacific island of Kiribati (Eritai Kateibwi).
17 May 2017
Press Release No: G/21/2017
Bangkok (ESCAP News) –The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) marked its 70th Anniversary at the opening of the annual Commission session in Bangkok today, with its Executive Secretary reflecting on the extraordinary transformation of the region, and underlining the importance of regional solutions to support the global development agenda.
“Seventy years ago, ours was a region devastated by conflict. Political instability was rife, poverty and famine were endemic, and social tensions widespread,” said United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar. “Today our region accounts for over a third of the world’s output, and we are on track to make up half of global GDP by 2050. We are driving global growth, global trade and increasingly, science, technology and innovation. Poverty has fallen to 15 per cent in 2012, down from 50 per cent in 1990.”
Asian and Pacific countries are discussing economic cooperation and integration this week at the United Nations regional office in Bangkok, (UNESCAP) whose annual session focuses on how regional countries can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More on UN News Site.
UNESCAP Press Release which includes how to watch live and contacts for media.
13 January 2017
Press Release: G/01/2017
BANGKOK (ESCAP News) — Ministers from countries party to the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) met during the Fourth APTA Ministerial Council today to conclude negotiations that will more than double the number of products under preferential tariff treatment in order to expand trade and boost growth in the region. The Fourth APTA Ministerial Council was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which acts as secretariat for the Agreement.
Bangkok (ESCAP News) — The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (ESCAP) recently released Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 highlights that the region’s trade flows are wavering amid sluggish global economic and trade growth, downward movement of world commodity prices and an uncertain policy environment. This situation comes at a time when the need for trade growth to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could not be more critical.
Although the volume of exports of goods grew at 3 per cent in 2015, the nominal value of exports and imports by the Asia-Pacific region experienced a major slump in 2015, of 9.7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. Sluggish growth in trade is expected to continue through to the end of 2016. Rebounding somewhat, exports are expected to increase by 4.5 per cent and imports by 6.5 per cent in developing countries of Asia and the Pacific in 2017, but the Report forecasts more modest growth in exports and imports in volume terms, at 2.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.
“Trade is the key driver of economic activity in Asia and the Pacific,” stated Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.
What: Launch of Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Year-end Update
- Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
- Mr. Hamza Ali Malik, Officer-in-charge, Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division, ESCAP
When: Thursday, 1 December 2016, 13:30 – 14:30 hours
Where: Conference Room 4, UN Conference Centre, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok
Watch: YouTube Live Webcast – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnWqwg6N50
Economic conditions have stabilized in the Asia-Pacific region in the second half of 2016, as such stable economic conditions provide an opportunity to make progress on the productivity and inclusiveness fronts. However, despite recent stability, the likely impact of some risks for the near-term economic outlook should not be underestimated. The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016: Year-end Update highlights the possibilities to advance on key development opportunities in the region given the current economic climate.
UNDP, Global Initiatives, 600 business leaders and government officials start work on a new coalition for sustainable development
23 November 2016, Singapore – At the fifth Responsible Business Forum, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today called on business leaders to take a greater role in the new development era in order to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This Forum, opened in Singapore by UNDP and Global Initiatives, aims to address a sea change in the nature of development funding by creating a new partnership for sustainable development. Domestic public and private finance accounts for 89 percent of all financial flows in Asia-Pacific, according to a UNDP report launched last month. While foreign funding (Official Development Assistance) is still essential for the development system, it now accounts for 0.7 percent of totalfinancial flows in Asia-Pacific (down from 13.5 % in 1990).
17-19 October 2016 – Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Asia Pacific region is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Increasing frequency and severity of weather events – floods, droughts, cyclones and tropical storms – as well as sea level rise threaten food, water and energy security and are undermining hard gained progress. While per capita emissions remain low, the region produces nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions due partly to energy systems that remain reliant on fossil fuels and inefficiencies in the transport, buildings, agricultural and other sectors. In short, failure to address the challenge of climate change will have serious economic, social and environmental consequences for the region. Extreme weather events, which have increased in frequency and intensity in the region, account for hundreds of billions of dollars in loss and damages. It is expected that by 2050, the number of people vulnerable to the effects of climate change will reach two billion with countries on the frontline of climate change, particularly coastal and Small Island Developing nations paying a heavy price. Adaptation to climate change is critical for these countries and countries in the region to survive and thrive.
The Asia Pacific Adaptation Forum is a biennial forum of the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network and the largest gathering of adaptation practitioners in the Asia Pacific region. It will bring some 800 participants, including policymakers, experts, scientists, donors, youth, and civil society representatives from over 50 countries to showcase solutions and innovative ideas and practices to adapt to climate change. It will also cover topics such as tools to reduce vulnerability, ways to integrate climate adaptation into national planning and budgeting, innovative financial mechanisms and climate-smart technologies and application. A field trip is also planned.
To raise awareness about adaptation and actions taken in the region, UNEP is sponsoring a limited number of journalists to join this Forum. Selected media will get an opportunity to meet with officials, adaptation experts and practitioners and hear first-hand experiences and solutions from countries and organizations in the region. Travel and daily subsistence allowing according to UN rules will provided by UNEP.
26 August, 2016
Bangkok (ESCAP News) — Asia-Pacific policymakers and statisticians convened at a United Nations conference in Bangkok this week to improve statistics for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires governments to develop statistics that can support integrated planning and analysis across economic, social and environmental development pillars. Meeting this new challenge requires transformative change in national statistical systems – the region’s traditional producers of official statistics.
In response, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in partnership with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) organized a three-day conference from 24 to 26 August, to outline the region’s aspirations in a collective vision and framework for action aimed at advancing official statistics for the 2030 Agenda.