People remain excluded from social security
Bangkok (United Nations Information Services) --- ESCAP's 56th annual Commission meets as
Asia has made remarkable recovery from the financial crisis of 1997-1998. Growth has resumed.
Asia-Pacific economies can look forward to optimistic growth prospects in the immediate future.
The developing economies of the ESCAP region achieved growth of 5.5 per cent in 1999 in sharp
contrast to nearly zero per cent in 1998, according to the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and
the Pacific 2000. Growth of over 6 per cent is projected in 2000.
The Survey 2000 was unveiled in Bangkok and other major cities around the world on 22 May and
serves as the main document for discussion at the Commission meet 1-7 June at the United
Nations Conference Centre.
The crisis in the region in 1997 however exposed the inadequacies of countries in providing
vulnerable sections of society with social protection against contingencies such as unemployment.
Large sections of the population of developing countries in the region, especially in the
unorganized sector, remain virtually excluded from any form of social security. The expansion
of the appropriately designed and financially viable social security and safety net schemes,
involving both the state and the private sector will be analytically reviewed by the delegates at
Commission session. This analysis will lead to the identification of policy options for the
consideration of governments.
The Survey 2000 says that the " contagion phenomenon " which became apparent during the crisis
and the associated economic and social costs have heightened the need for regional and
subregional surveillance mechanisms to provide early warning system for all countries in the