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Asia-Pacific nations meet to prepare for UN summit on sustainable development

Asia-Pacific nations meet to prepare for UN summit on sustainable development

Delegates from Asian-Pacific countries met in Cambodia's capital today for the start of a high-level meeting to consolidate the region's position for an upcoming United Nations conference on sustainable development.

The three-day meeting is a prelude to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Phnom Penh conference is organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The meeting will have two major components, including today's roundtable on sustainable development to consider the regional platform paper, which will be presented to the Ministerial segment for endorsement.

The roundtable will also include a session on financing sustainable development, which will look at innovative ways of financing development activities, including private sector partnerships. According to ESCAP, innovative partnership mechanisms are very relevant especially in light of declining official development assistance (ODA) in recent times.

On 28 to 29 November, ministers and government officials will formulate and adopt a “regional platform” that will comprise a regional assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21. It will also include key policy issues and priorities for sustainable development, and goals for the region in the next decade. Specific proposals regarding strengthening or raising the effectiveness of regional and international cooperation, including institutional arrangements and financing will be also considered.