Statistics, Asian Highway, Railway vital issues for discussion
Bangkok, United Nations Information Services (UNIS) - The United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is currently holding its 56th
annual Commission Session June 1st to 7th at the United Nations Conference Centre in
Development and partnership through globalization is the theme but there are other
emerging issues being discussed. As part of a series of ESCAP Snapshots, please find
below a few items of interest taken from ESCAP studies and reports.
Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway networks closer to completion
ESCAP has been pursuing for many decades the formulation of the Asian Highway and
Trans-Asian Railway networks. These are nearing completion. says an ESCAP report. The
emphasis now is shifting towards making the routes operational. Within its Asian land
transport infrastructure development project, the Asian Highway network has been
formulated for the whole of Asia with the exception of Bhutan, the Russian Federation and
the Korean peninsula. The Trans-Asian Railway network reflects all major Intra-Asia and
Asia-Europe land bridges.
The ESCAP Commission will discuss how to develop synergy with the other United
Nations regional commissions, especially the Economic Commissions for Europe,
Western Asia and Africa, in order to look at the development of interregional land and
land-cum-sea routes between member countries of each Commission.
Governments need timely, relevant and high-quality official statistics
Pressure has mounted for effective and transparent dissemination of data to support
informed decision-making and good governance, both domestically and externally, an
ESCAP report states.
The financial and economic crisis that started in 1997 underlined the need for sound
statistical data collection systems; not least to track the social dimensions of the turmoil.
Global conferences held under United Nations auspices have also generated a very
significant demand for data to monitor their outcomes. The fact is inescapable that
statistical capacities must be strengthened, especially in developing countries, if a start is to
be made in meeting these burgeoning data requirements. The last few years of the twentieth
century saw several developments that highlighted the importance of timely, relevant and
high-quality official statistics.
Electronic or e-commerce is one of the important current statistical issues on the
Commission's agenda. It has gained significant interest of policy makers, since in recent
years the value and volume of good and services trade through the Internet have increased
significantly. Experts agree that the measurement of transnational flows of good and
services through e-commerce needs international standards and definitions.