Warning of Lost Generation in Economic Terms
57th Commission Session Ends with Call to Bridge Poverty Gap
BANGKOK (United Nations Information Services) -- The emerging trends
of the information revolution and economic globalization will reinforce
existing disparities between urban and rural areas, and create new ones.
This was one of the conclusions made at the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's (ESCAP) 57th annual Commission
Session which had as its theme, Reducing Disparities: Balanced development
of urban and rural areas and regions within the countries of the Asia and
ESCAP member countries were encouraged to implement a concerted effort
to sustain development and provide for equitable distribution of wealth
throughout the region.
“We have to accept rural-urban migration and urbanization as inevitable
parts of development. And we have to act and develop the urban areas
accordingly,” said Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of ESCAP.
Young people who are not receiving the right education may turn into
a lost generation in economic terms and, unless proper support systems
are created, they will also be a socially lost generation, Mr. Kim told
a Ministerial Roundtable which was one of the special features of this
Some of the solutions to these problems are education for change, preparing
people for the knowledge society, decentralization and devolution of authority,
capacity building and the creation of social and economic safety nets to
ensure minimum level of security for those can not participate in development.
Under the implementation of Commission resolution 53/1 on restructuring
ESCAP, the Commission supported Executive Secretary Kim Hak-Su's "dynamic
and forward -looking approach" to streamline ESCAP's services.
Mr Kim had outlined his vision for ESCAP which focuses on poverty alleviation
in line with the goal of the United Nations, as articulated by the Secretary-General,
to halve absolute poverty by 2015. "Bearing in mind that out of the world’s
1.3 billion people living in absolute poverty, about two thirds lived in
Asia makes it essential that ESCAP place strong emphasis on poverty alleviation."
The second focus, Mr Kim said, should be toward strengthening the weakening
positions of developing countries in the context of the quickening pace
of globalization, and the third focus on the emerging social issues including
population aging, migration and trafficking of women and children, abuse
and exploitation of children and youth, and disabled people.
Asian and Pacific Governments unanimously adopted the report of the
57th Commission Session which contains resolutions calling for regional
cooperation in information and communication technologies for development;
action to fight HIV/AIDs Asia and the Pacific as well as integration of
Asian and Pacific developing countries and economies in transition
into the internal trading system.
The introduction of information and communications technologies
(ICT) and environmentally sound technologies in rural areas could facilitate
sustainable development significantly. ESCAP members felt that ICT was
central to the creation of a global knowledge-based economy and pledged
to strengthen its activities in this area.
Other resolutions adopted include the Implementation of the Sustainable
Energy Development Action Programme, Strategies and Implementation Modalities
for the Asia and Pacific Region, 2001-2005 in support of the Bali Declaration
on Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Energy and Sustainable Development; Follow-up
to the Fourth World Conference on Women and the outcome of the twenty-third
special session of the General Assembly, and Ministerial Conference on
Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific.
A special feature of this year's Commission Session was the regional
preparation for the special session of the UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDs
Two former heads of governments Khun Anand Panyarachun of Thailand and
Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia made an emotional appeal to Governments to further
south-south collaboration in the fight against HIV/AIDs.
Over 50 per cent of new infections were occurring among young people
below the age of 24 years, they said, and something must be done to cope
with this drain on human resources.
More than 400 delegates, including 21 ministers and deputy ministers
from over 45 members and associate members, including 14 observers countries
as well as representatives of United Nations bodies, specialized agencies,
intergovernmental organizations and NGOs attended the session.