Asian and Pacific Governments Agree to Step Up Fight Against Social Ills; Approve ESCAP Reforms
BANGKOK (United Nations Information Services) --- The 58th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) concluded yesterday with the adoption of five resolutions, one of which steps up the region's fight against poverty and another which paves the way for widespread changes to the way the Commission carries out its work.
The Commission also called on the United Nations system, international funding organizations, donor Governments, and NGO's to explicitly include an estimated 800,000 Afghan disabled persons as a major target group of their support for the national rebuilding of Afghanistan.
The resolution on Poverty Reduction for Sustainable Development calls on member states to encourage the " implementation of the Monterey Consensus, to formulate appropriate domestic policies for a better economic and social environment, and encourage more sustainable use of fragile resources by returning over-cultivated land to forest and grasslands."
The resolution also called for the fostering and adoption of policies to promote the new economy towards a digital society in Asia and the Pacific and providing universal education to people by new means such as e-learning.
In a resolution on World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Commission recognized the importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation in the pursuit of sustainable development and in the follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
In the light of the forthcoming World Summit to be held in Johannesburg in August this year, the Commission urged all members to participate actively in the implementation of the seven initiatives identified in the Phnom Penh Regional Platform.
The seven initiatives include capacity-building for sustainable development; poverty reduction for sustainable development; cleaner production and sustainable energy; land management and biodiversity conservation; protection and management of and access to freshwater resources; oceans, coastal and marine resources and sustainable development of small island states; and action on atmosphere and climate change.
"I am greatly excited and encouraged by the confidence shown in UN ESCAP and its ability to carry out the mandate given to us", said Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of ESCAP in his closing remarks to the high-level session at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. Added H.E. Mr Narayan Khadka, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission of Nepal and Chairman of the session, "Ultimately, it is the poorest segments of society that are most vulnerable to the risks posed by globalization, and who will need support."
The delegates also adopted three other resolutions. The Commission expressed
its full support for the revitalization efforts of ESCAP aimed to enhance
its capacity to respond more effectively and efficiently to the needs
of its members and associate members in the context of globalization and
the changing regional economic and social environment. Under this resolution
on Restructuring the conference structure of the Commission, ESCAP's work
programme will now be focused on three salient areas: Poverty Reduction;
Managing Globalization and Addressing Emerging Social Issues.
The Commission also approved a resolution on the establishment of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery (APCAEM) at Beijing. The Centre will undertake activities related to post-harvest and processing technologies as well as agricultural engineering.
The Commission decided that "Integrating Economic and Social Concerns especially HIV/AIDS to Meet the Needs of the Region" was the theme of the next Session in Bangkok. In 2004, the 60th Session will be held in Shanghai, China. ESCAP was founded in Shanghai in March of 1947.
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