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United Nations ESCAP Pacific Office,

Level 5, Kadavu House, 414 Victoria Parade, PMB, Suva, Fiji

Tel: +679 323 7700 Email: registry.epo@un.org

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Current Activities
Upcoming Events & Meetings


Recently concluded Events, Meetings and Advisory Services

Newsletter: Pacific Climate Change and Migration Project, Edition 1, May 2014

This is the first quarterly newsletter of the Pacific Climate Change and Migration (PCCM) Project, a three year project funded by the EU and jointlly implemented by ESCAP, ILO, UNDP with the key goals to strengthen Pacific Island countries' ability to address the impacts of climate change on migration, but also to strengthen their capacity to use labour migration as a way to adapt to climate change impacts. read more

Pacific Perspectives Policy Brief 01-2014, Putting Gender Equality centre stage in the Pacific

With Economic growth and rising household incomes remaining elusive in many Pacific Island Countries, it is long past time to reap the benefits that economic empowement of women can bring to individual women, their families and to the economy as a whole. more

Pacific Perspectives Policy Brief 01-2013, Accounting for the Environment in the Pacific

Pacific island governments face dufficult decisions related to finding the balance between utising the natural environment as a driver of economic growth and preserving the environment for the cultural, social and economic well-being of current and future generations. more

Launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013: Forward-Looking Macroeconomic Policies for Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Suva, Fiji, 18th April 2013

The 2013 ESCAP survey reported a slow economic growth in the developing countries of Asia and the Pacific.

Stakeholders from various organisations attended the launch held in Suva. Mr David Smith, Deputy Head and Senior Economist stated in his speech that "we must take account of the specific development challenges that face each region and country. The Pacific islands region faces several structural challenges which are hard to address. These challenges or constraints are well known: vast distances from major markets, the inability to realize economies of scale, being dependent on external trade, and vulnerability to natural disasters to mention a few".

Photo: Mr David Smith, Deputy Head & Senior Economist

Mr Smith highlighted the Head of ESCAP, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of
ESCAP, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer's, video message that we should keep pursuing the macroeconomic policies, invest in people, health services, welfare safety etc to achieve growth and prosperity.







Photo: Speakers Prof. Biman Prasad & Mr Krishna Prasad (left) and the Team of Panelists (right)

Download Full report; Press Release; Video message by Dr Noeleen Heyzer, Under Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Technical Assistance for Review of Cook Islands National Policy on Disability, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 12-22 March 2013

Ms Helen Tavola, Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning undertook consultations for a review of the national disability policy 2003-2012 and ascertained priorities for a revised national policy on disability-inclusive development.

Ms Tavola facilitated a multi-stakeholder consultation on the policy review and priorities for a new policy. The draft policy will be reviewed and sent to the Cook Islands for national consultations before finalisation by the Government.

Photo: Cook Islands

Follow up mission: Review of Solomon Islands National Policy on Disability, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 24 February - 1 March 2013

During this second phase of the technical assistance to Solomon Islands Government, Ms Helen Tavola, Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning continued with the consultations regarding a revised disability policy and also facilitated public consultation on draft disability policy.

The revised policy would be presented to the Cabinet by mid this year and the disability legislation be put before the Cabinet with a view to ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Photo: Public consultation

Technical Assistance to Solomon Islands Government to review the National Policy on Disability, 3-14 December 2012

ESCAP Pacific Office Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning, Ms Helen Tavola, provided technical assistance to the Solomon Islands Government and consulted with the stakeholders on the implementation of the Solomon Islands National Policy on Disability 2005-2010.

The National policy on disability inclusive development will be revised and consulted with the stakeholders to make the right real for persons with disability in Solomon Islands.

What Can We Learn Symposium, University of the South Pacific, Suva, 6 - 8 November 2012

The What Can We Learn (WCWL) project is funded by a group of donors , including Australia, New Zealand, UNDP ESCAP and ADB. Mr David Smith, Deputy Head of ESCAP Pacific Office participated in this three days symposium.

The participants debated on issues such as security, climate change and oceanic resources and audit and customs services, including the role of the donors and their practices and effectiveness.

The next stage of the WCWL project is to publish the output of the symposium which will be accessible to the advisers, decision-makers, students, researchers, media, civil society and the general public.

High Level Policy Dialogue: The Role of Macroeconomic Policy and Energy Security in supporting Sustainable Development in the Pacific, 8-9 October, 2012, Tanoa Intertnational Hotel, Nadi.

Following the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June (Rio+20), the Policy Dialogue synergised and priotised various factors needed to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Pacific region. The Policy Dialogue provides an opportunity to develop a shared vision and strategies among policy makers of macro-economic policies for sustainable development including energy policies. The Policy Dialogue reviewed the findings contained in the Subregional Perspectives on Energy Security and the Sustainable Use of Energy, which will become an input from the Pacific for the planned Asia and Pacific Energy Forum to be held in May 2013 in Vladivostak, Russian Federation.

Launch of Publication "Green Economy in a Blue World: Pacific Perspectives 2012"

Subregional Consultations on MDG and Post 2015 Development Agenda / Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific, 10-12 October 2012, Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi.

This meeting was organized by the UNDP Pacific Centre in partnership with ESCAP and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat to discuss MDGs and the post 2012 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals that have been agreed in the Rio+20 Outcome Document.

Second Forum Disability Ministers Meeting (FDMM2), Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 2-4 October 2012

The Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning, Ms Helen Tavola participated in the Forum Disability Ministers meeting and networked with the senior officials, Ministers and development partners responsible for disability. The discussion involved on the forthcoming ESCAP High Level Meeting in Incheon to launch the Incheon Strategy. The other outcome of the meeting was the recognition of the relevance of the emerging issue of ageing and its close linkage to disability in their national contexts.

Launch of Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific, 10 May 2012, USP, Suva


Asia-Pacific growth rate decelerates further by 6.5% this year with a slackening demand for the regions exports in advanced economices and as a result of higher costs of capital. The Pacific island developing conomies are forecast to experience lower aggregate growth in 2012 of 5.7%. Specifically , the economies of Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands are expected to slow, while those of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu are projected to see imporvements in GDP gowth in 2012.


The Pacific countries need to: (1) maintain macroeconomic stability and improve their fiscal positions; (2) maintain inflation levels at an acceptable level so that the poor are not affected in a significant way; (3) addressing unemployment through deliberate job creation opportunities; and (4) continuing to review and refine social protection policies so that those living below poverty levels are looked after. Read the Policy Brief to find out more...

Despite the slowdown, Asia and the Pacific will remain the fastest growing region globally and an anchor of stability in the world economy. Download the full report

Technical Assistance in Developing National Policy on Ageing, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 10-20 April 2012

The purpose of this technical assistance was to develop a policy on aging for the Cook Islands. Ms Helen Tavola, Regional Adviser on Social Developmnent and Planning held consultations with the stakeholders in the government and civil society, met with the older persons in Cook Islands and drafted a policy framework and action plan.

The finalised policy will be endorsed and launched on the International Day for Older Persons on 1 October 2012.

Photo: Public consultation

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 26-30 March 2012

Ms Helen Tavola, Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning attended and participated in the CRPD as a resource person. Her participation involved in the presention of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, The Biwako Millenium Framework for Action and the draft Incheon Strategy and The inclusion of aging in the disability agenda.

The key outcome of the meeting was that PNG is committed to ratify the CRPD when the new government will be in place.

Pacific Urban Forum 30 November – 2 December, 2011, Nadi, Fiji

The Pacific Urban Forum, organized by UN ESCAP Pacific Office, UN Habitat and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was held between 30 November and 2 December 2011 in Nadi, Fiji. More than 60 people attended, with delegates from Pacific Island countries including Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu along with development partners (Asian Development Bank, AusAID, New

Pacific Urban Forum 2011, Delegates

Zealand Aid Programme, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility, UNDP and UNFPA), NGOs and academia. The Pacific Urban Forum revisited the Pacific Urban Agenda 2 (2007) and moved discussion forward, centring on mobilising action to address the region’s urban challenges. click to read more


Launch of the 2011 Trade and Investment Report, 19 October 2011, Laucala Campus, University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2011 "Post-crisis Trade and Investment Opportunities" is ESCAP's annual report which provides data on trade performance indicators of the regional members of ESCAP. Mr David Smith, Deputy Head & Senior Economist commented that many Pacific Island countries are highly dependent on trade. Tourism for one needs to achieve higher rates of economic growth which in turn will require a lot of effort. Professor Biman Prasad, Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics at USP also presented the findings of the report and highlighted the challenges for investment and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. To read more about the contents in the report, click here.

[left: Prof. Biman Prasad, Mr David Smith]

Rio+20 Pacific Preparatory Meeting, 20-22 July 2011, Apia, Samoa

The meeting was hosted by the Government of Samoa and co-organised by ESCAP, DESA and SPREP. Environment Ministers and Economic/Finance Ministers from the Pacific met to consider issues relevant to the Pacific. The meeting's Outcomes Document will facilitate national, sub-regional and regional preparations and engagement in the Rio+20 Process which will be presented in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 4-6 June, 2012. The two themes of UNCSD are: (1) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and (2) institutional framework for sustainable development.

Open Forum 20-21 July 2011 Joint Ministerial Meeting 21-22 July 2011
Programme Annotated Provisional Agenda
Guidance Note Guidance Note
Final Outcomes Document
Rio+20 Pacific Paper - 2-1 Greening the Economy in a Blue World

Rio+20 Pacific Paper - 2-2 Blue Economy - Pacific SIDS Perspective

Rio+20 Pacific Paper - 3-1 National Int'l Framework for Sustainable Development
Rio+20 Pacific Paper - 3-2 Financing Option for Green Growth
Rio+20 Pacific Paper - 3-3 Partnerships

Sixty-seventh session of the Commission, 19-25 May 2011, Bangkok

Launch of the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific, 10 May 2011, Suva.

2011 survey looks on improving the regional connectivity and how the least developed countries can take advantage by increasing their productive capacities. The Asia-Pacific developing economies are projected to grow at 7.3% this year. The fastest-growing economies in 2011 are expected to be China at 9.5% and India at 8.7% respectively, followed by Indonesia at 6.5%. However, in 2011 most economies are likely to see an increase in inflation.

From left: Professor Biman Prasad, USP and Mr David Smith, UNESCAP Pacific Office

The return of the food-fuel crises: ESCAP estimates that up to 42 million addional people across Asia and the Paciic may remain in poverty in 2011 in addition to the 19 million already affected in 2010.

For 2010 the Pacific island developing economies had mixed growth results with Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Palau recording improved GDP growth performance while most of the other Pacific economies virtually stagnated.

Download the full report: Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2011

Speech by Professor Biman Prasad, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of the South Pacific

Presentation by Mr David Smith, Deputy Head, ESCAP Pacific Office.

Tuvalu Peer Review, 26 April - 3 May 2011, Funafuti, Tuvalu

Mr David Smith, Deputy Head of ESCAP Pacific Office participated in the Peer Review Panel for the Tuvalu Peer Review under the Cairns Compact. In collaboration with Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) under the Cairns Compact, the panel undertook the peer review of Tuvalu’s national development planning, budgeting and aid coordination processes.

Mr Smith said that 'Tuvalu, as with many other Forum Island Countries (FICs), has a sound framework for planning, budgeting and aid management. However, there are areas where these processes are not working as intended and this is creating problems in policy implementation. Development partners, through improving coordination among themselves and with the Tuvalu government, can make a significant contribution to improving the rate of policy implementation'.

'The key to success is making sure that the Tuvalu government takes the lead role in identifying problems and implementing solutions. The benefits of hearing about problems and successes from other FICs is enormous' said Mr Smith.

Preparations for the Pacific Rio+20 Roundtable, 16-18 February 2011, Apia, Samoa

Mr Iosefa Maiava, Head of ESCAP Pacific Office met with the Samoan Government, representatives from Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), UN agencies, and South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) officials in Samoa to consider options for convening the Pacific Rio+20 Roundtable in July this year.

Rio+20's two themes are: 'a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication' and 'the institutional framework for sustainable development'.

Making data meaning workshop for the Fiji Island Bureau of Statistics, 7-10 February 2011, Suva, Fiji

Communicating statistics to a growing audience was the focus of four workshop modules run for staff of the Fiji Statistics Office. Participants discussed the difference between dissemination and communication, the varying needs of the audience or stakeholder groups they serve, how the internet is changing the way we communicatie statistics and the importance of making data meaningful so more people can understand and use them.



Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics staff attend statistics workshop at UNESCAP Pacific Office, Suva



Developing skills to communicate statistics for effective data use for Samoa Nationa Statistics Office, 17-21 January 2011, Apia, Samoa

The Samoan statistics office is about to undergo a restructure in its statistical and IT processes most commonly known as 'Institutional Strengthening Project'.

Seizing this opportunity, Ms Jessica Gardner, Statistician, ESCAP Pacific Office, conducted a workshop for the National Statistics Office to develop their skills to communicate statsitics for effective data use. A session also covered the topic of developing gender statistics. Participants learnt different skills and ideas on dissemination and communication of statistics and the emerging methods for presenting data.


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