The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today launched a new forum to try to develop energy policies across the region that are more gender and poverty-sensitive across the region.
The Policy Innovation Forum was launched in Bangkok at the end of a two-day policymakers’ meeting on the issue, according to a news release issued by ESCAP.
The regional commission said the forum – which will comprise experts and policymakers – has been created as the result of concerns that progress towards the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been hampered or even reversed because of a lack of energy supply in many rural areas of the Asia-Pacific.
Shigeru Mochida, ESCAP’s Deputy Executive Secretary, said the forum is expected to promote new approaches that lead to pro-poor and pro-women energy policies.
“The aim is to help achieve affordable and equitable access to clean energy services essential to the social and economic integration of the poor and women into the mainstream of development in Asia-Pacific developing countries – and this forum is a major step in that direction,” Mr. Mochida said.