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.
Honiara, 3 January 2017 – UNICEF continues to support the current emergency response efforts to affected communities in Makira province with the provision of education, water and hygiene supplies, following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in early December 2016.
These supplies are sufficient to meet the needs of 12,500 people and include 3000 pieces of hand washing soaps, 5000 water containers, two cartons of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials carrying messages on hygiene practices, 12 tents and tarpaulins for affected schools.
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).
Findings from a new joint study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the University of New South Wales indicate an urgent need for reforms in Pacific island countries to adequately address HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among vulnerable populations.
The study, titled Pacific Multi-Country Mapping and Behavioural Study: HIV and STI Risk Vulnerability among Key Populations, examined the behaviour risk factors and social and structural determinants of risk that drive the epidemic among vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and seafarers.
The study, which covers nine Pacific countries, including Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, was released at a regional HIV forum that opened in Suva, Fiji today.
12 October 2016
On 23 September 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Pacific Island Forum leaders and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
President Peter Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia outlined the outcomes of the 47th Summit of the Pacific Islands Forum held in Micronesia from 7 to 11 September. He highlighted the discussion on the sustainable development, management and conservation of the oceans and its resources, human rights, the welfare of Small Island Developing States in combating climate change and the many challenges that the Pacific region faces.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked the leaders for their intention to boost the partnership between the Pacific and the United Nations. He emphasized the role of the Pacific in forging agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.
French Polynesia, 21 September 2016 – The Pacific is increasingly vulnerable to exploitation by transnational organized crime, law enforcement agencies in the region are largely unable to manage territorial borders, and governments and regional organizations are struggling to address the situation, according to a comprehensive report launched today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Titled “Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) in the Pacific: A Threat Assessment”, it is the first UN report to examine major illicit trafficking flows and issues in the region following Security Council calls to address security threats to fragile small island states in 2015.
Developed in close partnership with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the report draws together information and cases from the Pacific, with supplementary information from neighbouring East and South-East Asia and the Americas, to assess illicit flows impacting the region. Four major transnational organized crime types are covered in the report: drug and chemical precursor trafficking, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, environmental crime, and trafficking of small arms.
September 21, 2016 (Honiara, Solomon Islands)
The new United Nations Joint Presence Office (UN JPO) space has been officially launched in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara this morning on Wednesday 21 September.
The Acting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Honourable Manasseh Maelangah was the Chief guest to officially open the UN JPO, located at the ANZ Building in Ranadi, together with Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator responsible for the Pacific nations including Solomon Islands.
21 September 2016
Funafuti, Tuvalu: Seventeen women from a diverse range of backgrounds gathered on this week for the start of Tuvalu’s second “Women’s Practice Parliament”.
Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Maatia Toafa, in his opening remarks spoke on the importance of carving out a space for women in politics. He confirmed the government of Tuvalu’s commitment to gender equality, noting that, while great improvements had been made in sensitizing Tuvalu’s laws and policies, more must be done to get women into decision-making positions.