The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) ended its annual session today in Bangkok with a call to bridge the region's poverty gap.
Adopting its report for the 57th session, ESCAP encouraged its members to make a concerted effort to sustain development and provide for equitable distribution of wealth in their countries. The session was held under an overall theme, "Reducing Disparities: Balanced development of urban and rural areas and regions within the countries of the Asia and Pacific region."
The information revolution and economic globalization would reinforce existing disparities between urban a rural areas, and create new ones, ESCAP noted.
In that context, Kim Hak-Su, ESCAP's Executive Secretary, said, "We have to accept rural-urban migration and urbanization as inevitable parts of development. And we have to act and develop urban areas accordingly."
Mr. Kim also called for increased education opportunities and capacity-building measures to help prevent young people in the region from becoming a "lost generation in economic terms."
During the session, the Commission adopted resolutions on a variety of vital issues, including regional cooperation in information and communications technologies for development, action to fight HIV/AIDS in the region, and economic integration of developing countries.
The 57th session -- held from 19 to 25 April -- was attended by more than 400 delegates, including 21 ministers and deputy ministers. Representatives of UN bodies, specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations also took part.