A major United Nations regional conference for Asia and the Pacific opened today with a wide-ranging agenda that seeks to energize the global economy, tackle the growing threat of unemployment and underemployment, and enhance cooperation in infrastructure development.
Senior officials from more than 50 of the 62 Member States of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia, for a three-day session to prepare for next week’s ministerial meeting, which will include a special session on strengthening Pacific island developing countries and territories through regional cooperation.
“We are greatly honoured that six Pacific Heads of Government and Heads of State will be joining us in the Ministerial Meeting,” ESCAP Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su said. “They will articulate their views on Pacific concerns and their vision of Pacific-Asia partnership.”
Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP is the largest of the UN’s five Regional Commissions in terms of population served and area covered. The only inter-governmental forum covering the entire Asia-Pacific region, it aims to promote economic activity and social progress in developing countries throughout the area.
The theme of this year’s Commission session, ESCAP’s 62nd, is Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Infrastructure Development, including that related to Disaster Management.
Participants will discuss decentralization and its implications for poverty reduction, the vital role of population and housing censuses in policy making and decision-making at local levels, and actions to strengthen the impact of poverty reduction in rural and urban a areas.
On the management of globalization, the session will provide guidance on such areas as international trade and investment; transport infrastructure and facilitation and tourism; information, communication and space technology; and environment and sustainable development.
Delegates will consider emerging health risks posed by the rising prevalence in the region of non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, as well as public health capacity-building to strengthen primary health care.