Crisis ‘triple threat’ demands greater cooperation in Asia-Pacific – UN

23 April 2009

As countries in Asia and the Pacific grapple with the “triple threat” of the economic crisis, food and fuel insecurity and climate change, there is a greater need for cooperation in the region, a senior United Nations official said today.

“While no country in the region has been spared from the impacts of the triple crises, we can turn these threats into opportunities,” Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said at the opening of the regional unit’s annual session in Bangkok.

Financial stimulus packages and policy reforms can be use to bring back balance to the development equation, she proposed. “Development needs to be inclusive and environmentally sustainable if our region is to lead recovery from the economic crises and take its place as one of the leaders in the new economic order.

ESCAP is here to facilitate that process by building consensus and leveraging regional resources to improve cooperation as countries respond to the triple threat,” she added.

The Commission’s annual session brings together ministers and senior officials from its 62 member governments to discuss the challenges facing Asia and the Pacific and to propose a coordinated response.

The theme of this year’s weeklong meeting is sustainable agriculture and food security in Asia and the Pacific.

Delegates are also expected to discuss regional actions and initiatives to address food, energy and financial security in the context of climate change, ESCAP said, with a high-level panel on the economic crisis planned for the morning of 28 April.

A meeting focusing on the impacts of the triple crises on the 14 least developed countries and 12 land-locked developing countries in the region will take place on Friday, 24 April, ESCAP said.

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