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Activities 2006 - 2010

Committee on Statistics, Second Session, 15-17 December 2010, Bangkok
Jessica Gardner, EPO Statistician, was in Bangkok last month for the ESCAP Committee on Statistics, a gathering of Heads of National Statistical Offices and systems from the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting, held in Bangkok from 15-17 December 2010, was attended by 34 countries, including six of the Pacific small island developing States (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), and 18 organizations, including SPC, PFTAC and the UNFPA Pacific Office.

The Committee session is a strategic meeting to discuss and decide on the statistical capacity development priorities for the Asia-Pacific region. This summary for Pacific stakeholders provides a brief overview of the main decisions, from a Pacific perspective.

The Committee session focused on:

(a) establishing strategic goals for the development of statistics
(b) initiatives to improve vital statistics and economic statistics in the Asia-Pacific region
(c) global initiatives on agriculture statistics and international price comparisons
(d) regional mechanisms for coordinating training and capacity building activities

A side event on modernizing statistical information systems emphasized the need for strategic business design, such as adapting organizational structures and business processes, to meet modern information needs. ESCAP is organizing an expert group meeting to explore this topic further in early 2011.

Related papers and further information are available from the Committee on Statistics website.

Samoa becomes a member of the Bureau of the ESCAP Committee on Statistics

(15 December 2010, Bangkok) - The Committee on Statistics elected a new Bureau today, now including a representative of the Pacific small island developing States, with Mr Sefuiva Reupena Maugututia, the Government Statistician of Samoa, joining the group. The six members of the Bureau are: Australia (Chair), China, India, Mongolia, Samoa and Philippines.

The Bureau’s role is to assist the Committee on Statistics in performing its functions during the intercessional period. Working mainly through electronic means, and meeting face-to-face at the UN Statistical Commission meeting in New York each February, the Bureau oversees the work of the ESCAP secretariat in implementing the Committee’s decisions.
Click to read more information on the Bureau of the ESCAP Committee on Statistics.

Consultative meeting on promoting data use for policy and advocacy, 13-14 December 2010, Bangkok

A high-level consultative meeting on promoting data use was held in Bangkok on 13-14 December 2010, attended by twelve countries, including Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The meeting achieved its objective to develop a framework for documenting good practices in data use. A knowledge base of good practices will be developed during 2011.

Jessica Gardner, ESCAP Pacific Office Statistician, who co-facilitated the meeting, explained the value of this knowledge base for the Pacific: "There are many initiatives happening now in the Pacific region to improve the use of statistics in policy and decision-making. This knowledge base will provide an opportunity for us to document and share these examples with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region and to learn about innovative approaches happening elsewhere."

More information about the meeting, including presentations on existing practices in data use, are available from the meeting website <http://www.unescap.org/stat/meet/HLCM/index.asp>. If you are interested in making contributions to the knowledge base, please contact the ESCAP Statistics Division or email: stat.unescap@un.org.

ESCAP promotes Green Growth at USP Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change

(8 December 2010 - Suva, Fiji) Mr David Smith, Deputy Head of ESCAP's Pacific Office, highlighted the economic benefits of Green Growth in a presentation at the University of the South Pacific today. Mr. Smith's address was part of an International Conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change, which included discussion about the economic perspective of environmental sustainability. More information and copies of the conference presentations can be downloaded from the USP website.

Sustainable Development in the Pacific: illusion or reality?

(2 December 2010 - Suva, Fiji) Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Head of ESCAP Pacific Office, tackled this provocative question in his keynote address to the International Conference on Future Challenges, Ancient Solutions today. Reflecting on his personal experiences, Mr. Maiava commented on progress made so far towards sustainable development and the international mandates to support and accelerate further progress.

The conference also provided an opportunity to promote ESCAPs work to support sustainable development in the Pacific. EPO staff set up a display of information and materials on Green Growth and were there to field questions from delegates throughout the conference.

Mr Iosefa Maiava (on the right) talks with a conference delegate at the ESCAP stand

Green Growth: shifting to a new development paradigm in the Pacific

(30 November 2010, Suva, Fiji) - Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Head of the ESCAP Pacific Office, promoted the benefits of Green Growth for the Pacific in a presentation to development partners and delegates attending an international conference on Future Challenges, Ancient Solutions at the University of the South Pacific today. The Honourable Mr. Natuva, Fiji's Acting Minister for Environment provided a keynote address at the event, outlining Fiji's current and planned sustainable development initiatives.


From Left: Mr. Iosefa Maiava and Mr Saverio Baleikanacea

The Green Growth approach acknowledges the need for a paradigm shift in relation to economic growth. "Economic growth, social well-being and protecting the environment are mutually beneficial components of development, not conflicting priorities" Mr. Maiava explained. His presentation highlighted some of the existing examples of Green Growth in the Pacific.

Green Growth can assist governments to achieve complex development goals by providing a toolkit to stimulate growth through activities that benefit fragile environments and provide livelihoods for people in need. For more information visit the ESCAP Green Growth website.

Mr Iosefa Maiava's presentation on Green Growth: Shifting to a new development paradigm in the Pacific.

Media Coverage, Courtesy of: Fiji Television Limited (video)

Increasing the use of MDG statistics, 18– 20 October 2010, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Statistics to measure progress towards achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide vital information for policy and decision-makers, but are they reaching their intended audience?

 

 

 

[Latest data from Statistics Korea on display for Daejeon city residents]

This was the theme of workshop held at Statistics Korea’s impressive Statistical Training Institute in the city of Daejeon last week. The workshop saw participants from both government agencies and civil society organizations come together to discuss new methods for communicating statistics and how developing partnerships with each other could increase the use of statistics.
ESCAP Pacific Office's Statistician, Ms Jessica Gardner, co-facilitated the workshop which was jointly organized by Statistics Korea, the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) and ESCAP’s Statistics Division and new Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia.

Committee on Social Development, Second Session, 19 -21 October 2010, Bangkok

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning, Mr Alastair Wilkinson, attended the Committee on Social Development, Second Session in Bangkok from 19 to 21 october.  The Committee discussed, inter alia, “mainstreaming disability in the regional development agenda in Asia and Pacific,” reviewed the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Dsaibiliteis in Asia and the Pacific,” and “preparations for the high-level intergovernmental meeting on the final review of the implementation of the Asian and Pacific decade for disabled persons 2003-2012.”

Pre-census communication campaigns and data dissemination strategies, 12– 15 October 2010, Chiba, Japan

A population and housing census is a major undertaking that requires the support and participation of everyone in the country. Communication campaigns leading up to the census play an essential role in informing people of what to expect and encouraging them to willingly participate. Mass media, such as television, radio and newspapers, are used to reach the general public. There are also special communication activities targeted at groups that are hard to reach or often undercounted, such as newborn babies and university students. [Photo: Participants working in groups at SIAP]

A training workshop organized jointly by the Statistical Institute of Asia and the Pacific and with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) brought together 13 countries from across the Asia-Pacific region, including the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Ms Jessica Gardner, ESCAP Pacific Office Statistician, who co-facilitated the workshop, noted the value that countries place on having the opportunity to exchange experiences. “The participation of the group was excellent with people clearly appreciating the chance to discuss the challenges they face in preparing for and conducting a population and housing census” she said.

More information, including the workshop materials, will be made available on the SIAP website at www.unsiap.or.jp.

UN Cares - Life Skills and Leadership Training, 4 September - 9 October 2010, Suva, Fiji

The training was held in Suva Grammar School over a period of 5 weeks in which the children between the ages of 8-12 years learned about leadership training and 12-19 years were taught life skills. Programme facilitators were from UN agencies and ANDRA, Fiji. The Leadership group covered topics on 'What is happiness; Be Temperate; Setting a Good Example and Taking Care of Yourself.

Topics covered by the Life Skills group were: Definition of Life Skills; Risk and Protective Factors; Harm Minimization Resiliency; Self Awareness, Values/Attitudes; Communication, Problem Solving; Goal Setting; Interpersonal Relationships and Empathy Skills; Coping with Emotions and Stress; HIV/AIDS.

Making data meaningful workshop for the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, 28 September – 1 October 2010, Suva, Fiji

Communicating statistics to a growing audience was the focus of four workshop modules run for staff of the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics (FIBOS) last month. 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 communicate statistics and the importance of making data meaningful so more people can understand and use them. The four workshop modules will be repeated for another group of FIBOS staff in November. Workshop materials are available on request. Please contact Jessica Gardner, ESCAP Pacific Office Statistician at gardnerj@un.org. [Photo: FIBOS staff attend statistics workshop at ESCAP Pacific Office]

Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development and Green Growth, 28-29 September, 2010, Astana, Kazakhstan

(28-29 September 2010 - Astana, Kazakhstan) - Pacific Ministers gathered in Astana, Kazakhstan this week for the 6th Ministerial Conference on the Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-6). Capitalizing on the strong Pacific presence at the meeting, the ESCAP Pacific Office organized a Pacific Ministerial meeting to discuss issues particular to the region.

[Photo: Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional priorities]

Pacific Ministers welcomed this opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the high-level mid-term review of the Mauritius Strategy that had just concluded in New York several days before. As outlined in the report of the meeting, Ministers explored regional priorities for sustainable development and requested further work to support the promotion of low-carbon growth in the Pacific. A special Ministerial meeting will be organized in 2011 to review progress in implementing the outcomes of MCED-6 and to prepare for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012

Development of an Implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework for the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning together with other UN agencies has assisted the Forum Secretariat to develop an Implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework for the Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability. Further consultations are planned with regional stakeholders.

Mission to Palau, 26 August-1 September 2010

Mr Alastair Wilkinson, ESCAP Pacific Office's Regional Adviser went on a mission to Palau from 26 August to 1 September to provide technical advice to the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Health, Family Health Unit, on the completion of the first national policy on disability. This mission was conducted jointly with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Developing culture statistics in the Pacific, Nadi, Fiji, 1 September 2010

Ms Jessica Gardner, Statistician, ESCAP Pacific Office, ran a session on culture statistics for a working group of government officials developing a cultural strategy for the Pacific region. The meeting was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and The Council of Pacific Arts to finalise the regional strategy which aims to guide the formulation of national policies to protect and develop the unique cultures of the Pacific region. The session on culture statistics informed the working group of some of the issues surrounding the collection, management and use of data on cultural behaviours and practices, and the existing international standards, such as the UNESCO Framework for Culture Statistics (2009).

Mission to Micronesia (Federated States of), Chuuk State, 23-26 August 2010

ESCAP Pacific Office's Regional Advisor, Mr Alastair Wilkinson went on a mission to Micronesia (Federated States of) from 23-26 August to do presentations and workshops on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, policy implementation and monitoring to the First Federated States of Micronesia Forum for Persons Living with Disabilities. This mission was conducted jointly with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Disability Forum (a Pacific sub-regional NGO).

Mission to Marshall Islands (Republic of), 9-17 August 2010

The Regional Adviser of ESCAP Pacific Office, Mr Alastair Wilkinson went on a mission to the Marshall Islands from 9-11 August to provide a keynote presentation on Human Rights and Disability to the Marshall Islands Council of Non-governmental organisations first National Conference of NGOs. Advised the inaugural meeting of the national disability NGO on policy and human rights issues.

From 16-17 August, the Adviser held discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination on urban planning and management priorities.

Communicating statistics in Fiji, 29 July 2010, Suva, Fiji.

A short information session to staff of the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics (FIBOS) on developments in communicating and presenting statistics was conducted in July. FIBOS, which already disseminates a wide range of statistical products, is aiming to further develop its capacity to present its statistics to a growing and diversifying audience. The session served as an introduction to a series of short courses that will be held for FIBOS staff at the ESCAP Pacific Office later this year.

Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics ponders the question - Who is your audience?

Advocacy needed to build demand for statistics, 8-9 July 2010, Noumea, New Caledonia

Advocacy was one theme of a workshop on National Strategies for the Development of Statistics for the Pacific, organized by PARIS21 and the SPC’s Statistics and Demography Programme. The workshop brought together chief statisticians and national planners from Pacific island countries and territories. Attending on behalf of ESCAP, Ms Jessica Gardner contributed presentations on creating a communication culture within national statistical offices and on statistical literacy.
The workshop provided an opportunity to explore the challenges that national statistical offices in the Pacific face in developing statistics and the important role that advocacy and communication can play in increasing the use of statistics in policy and decision-making.

Technical Assistance to Palau on National Policy on Disability, 14-18 June 2010, Palau.

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning conducted a mission to Palau with the Disability Coordination Officer from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum.  The Palau Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs had requested technical assistance to develop Palau's first national policy on disability.  The mission from 14 to 18 June involved consultations with a wide range of Ministries and disability stakeholders.  A two day workshop from 17 to 18 June was also held to develop the draft policy. The Minister of Health and the Minster of Community and Cultural Affairs opened workshop proceedings.

Sixty-sixth Commission Session, 13-19 May 2010, Incheon, Republic of Korea

The 66th Commission session hosted by the Government of the Republic of Korea was attended by Ministers and Seniors Officials of more than 60 countries across the Asia Pacific region. The session was held into 2 segments, the Senior Offiicials and the Ministerial.

The Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries was held during the Senior Officials segment on the 13th of May 2010. It focused on the

 

review of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, the global agenda for addressing the particular vulnerabilities of small island developing States.

Press Releases: (1) Commission Session closes with adoption of Incheon Declaration; (2) Pacific meets with Korea's fishing industry; (3) Pacific islands move to strengthen ties with Asia; (4) Asia-Pacific Leaders at UN Meet on Regional Development Agenda; (5) ESCAP Press Room

Sustaining recovery from global economic crisis is the focus of ESCAP's 2010 Economc and Social Survey, 7 May 2010, Suva, Fiji

Sustaining the Asia-Pacific region's recovery from the global economic crisis presents governments with a number of immediate policy challenges. The impact of the crisis on Pacific countries and territories has been varied, with a recession hitting Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands and Palau and a visible slowdown in the remaining Pacific island countries. The crisis has been felt through reduced export demand and tourist arrivals, commodity price fluctuation, falling remittances and a loss of value of off-shore funds. This has affected economic growth as well as the everyday lives of individuals and families.

ESCAP's flagship annual publication, the Social and Economic Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2010, was launched in Suva and across the Asia-Pacific region yesterday. It assesses the current socioeconomic situation in the region and proposes a five pronged regional policy agenda for inclusive and sustainable growth. For Pacific island countries, the key economic challenge is expected to be rising commodity prices putting upward pressure on inflation and depleting foreign exchange reserves. Putting the Pacific region back on track towards achieving development goals requires new approaches to stimulating economic growth that are more socially and environmentally inclusive.

Speaking at yesterday's launch, Professor Prasad, Dean of USPs Faculty of Business and Economics, stressed the value of the ESCAP survey for the Pacific region: "This is an important annual survey report since it provides an overall picture of how Pacific Islands countries have done and what are some of the challenges facing these countries... it also provides us with valuable knowledge of how our Asian counterparts are doing."

ESCAP Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2010;
Opening remarks by Professor Biman Prasad (USP) on the Pacific islands and Fiji's response to the global economic crisis;
Presentation of key messages for the Pacific, Mr. Iosefa Maiava, Head of ESCAP Subregional Office for the Pacific;

Media Coverage, courtesy of:

Fiji Television Ltd (video); Fiji Times Ltd; Fiji Live; Islands Business

Technical Assistance to Nauru, 8-12 March 2010, Nauru

The ESCAP Office of the Pacific provided technical assistance in the preparation for the Peer Review as envisaged under the Cairns Compact.

Workshop & Training and Technical Assitance to Kiribati, 3-9 March 2010, Kiribati

The Regional Adviser on Social Development and Planning in collarboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Pacific Disability Forum attended a National workshop and reviewed and finalised the national policy on disability in line with national priorities and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Advisory Mission and Participation in the MSG Sub-committee on Economic and Social Development, 26 January - 20 February 2010, Port Vila, Vanuatu

The Regional Advisor on Development Policy completed the third phase of the mission by assisting the Government to establish policy priorities, sector reviews and delivering further training.

The Advisor was also a Resource person at the two meetings (refer below) which were held in Port Vila and also facilitated and acted as a Resouce person in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Sub-committee.

Pacific Conference on The Human Face of the Global Economic Crisis, 10-12 February, 2010, Port Vila, Vanuatu

More than 200 high level delegates from 16 Pacific island countries met to discuss the issues that the poor and the vulnerable are facing in the Pacific. The meeting discussed ways to mitigate the impact of the crisis on various categories of vulnerable groups including women and children more

Paific High Level Dialogue on Mauritius Strategy , 8-9 February, 2010, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Top officials from 14 small island developing states in the Pacific gathered for a United Nations meeting to review their countries' progress in sustainable development. The Pacific High Level convened by the United Nations ESCAP and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs reviewed the progress made in implementing the Mauritius Strategy - the United Nations Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States covering the decade 2005-2015. Press release; closing press release; MSI + 5 and Link to UNDESA

ESCAP/ILO National Youth Employment Workshop, 16-20 November 2009, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

This was the third mission of EPOC with ILO to develop a National Action Plan. EPOC Regional Adviser for Development Policy conducted a workshop on developing a national action plan on youth employment in collaboration with ILO and jointly with the Labour Department and National Youth Council of Papua New Guinea. The workshop was attended by stakeholders from the government, workers representatives, employers representatives, civil society and youth groups who engaged in sharing their work experiences in developing and implementing various initiatives to overcome the youth employment challenge. Training Material on income and employment generation for youth.

Technical Assistance to Republic of Marshall Islands on Disability, 12 November 2009, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands

EPOC's Regional Adviser on Social Development and Planning conducted a workshop and identified and outlined priority areas for persons with disabilities through small group discussions.

The Adviser also followed up on the Review of the Mauritius Strategy Implemetation which involved interviewing the heads of all key Ministries, NGOs, private sector representatives and other civil society representatives. Journal Article

Pacific Urban Agenda Assessment Mission, 30 October - 11 November 2009, Koror, Palau.

A joint mission was conducted by ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre's Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning and UN-Habitat's, Pacific Habitat Programme Manager in Palau to assess urban management and growth issues on Koror for the Koror Planning Commission (KPC). The workshop reviewed regional planning initiatives and adopted an interactive approach to encourage discussions on KPC and State planning issues as well as national needs and challenges. An overview of policy and a range of planning tools (including UN-Habitat’s rapid urban sector profiling) were outlined. The workshop was concluded with some valuable findings and recommendations. Newspaper Article

Ministerial Meeting for Disability in the Pacific, 21-23 October 2009, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

ESCAP supported the organization of the Ministerial Meeting for Disability in the Pacific, Rarotonga, 21-23 October 2009 by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Ministerial Meeting on Disability (1) reviewed progress on the implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action and Biwako plus Five; (2) reviewed ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; (3) reviewed and discusssed government and civil society organisation partnership arrangements at the regional and national level; and (4) considered the Pacific strategy on disability for endorsement. In this context, ESCAP organized a ministerial panel to discuss the relationships between these regional and global commitments, and national planning. Outcomes Document, Press Release

Post Tsunami Damage and Loss Assessment Mission, 10-25 October 2009, Samoa.

Many lost their lives or sustained serious injuries in the devastating tsunami that hit Samoa on 29 September 2009.  The people of Samoa responded quickly to the disaster providing humanitarian assistance with the support of the international community. In the immediate weeks following the disaster, development partners assisted the Samoan government to plan and implement recovery from the disaster and work out longer term measures to help people reconstruct their lives and livelihoods.

Part of this assistance was to develop a comprehensive view of post disaster needs in the medium to long term.  ESCAP staff (Mr David Smith, Regional Advisor on Development Policy, and Mr Nokeo Ratanavong, an expert on Disaster Risk Reduction) worked with experts from the World Bank and ADB to prepare a Damage and Loss Assessment, or DaLA.  The Assessment has provided a sector by sector estimate of the total damages resulting from the disaster and the losses suffered through reduction of incomes or higher costs. The will allow Government to plan reconstruction taking account of the disaster’s impact on the economy and on Government finances.  Financing a full recovery from the disaster, and ‘building back better’ will put a severe strain on Samoa’s domestic resources. 

The DaLA methodology was first developed by UN-ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) and has been used extensively by the World Bank and the UN system in many countries following a disaster.  It is planned to offer training in the DaLA methodology in the Pacific islands next year.

National Urban Policy Dialogue, 6-8 October 2009, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Honourable Edward Nipake Natapei, Prime Minister of Vanuatu opened the National Urban Policy Dialogue on 6th October 2009. He commented on Vanuatu’s pressing need to address urban development challenges and reiterated the importance that all stakeholders perspectives should be equally heard to provide for balanced policy formulation. He stated, “In Vanuatu the government has come to take the view that perhaps it would be more strategic to think in terms of better management of urban growth …. and the government would welcome any policy direction relating to better urban policy planning and management in Vanuatu.”
The workshop was attended by over 65 persons including heads of Ministries, Provincial Presidents, Secretary Generals, other senior government and municipal managers, chiefs, NGO representatives, development partners and other stakeholders.

The Commonwealth Local Government Forum Pacific Project sponsored the Dialogue with technical support from UNESCAP and UN-HABITAT.

In photo: (L-R) Mr Alastair Wilkinson (Regional Adviser on Social Development & Planning, UNESCAP), Hon. Edward Nipake Natapei (Prime Minister, Vanuatu), Ms Sarah Mecartney (Programme Manager Pacific, UN-Habitat), Ms Karibaiti Taoaba (Pacific Project Manager, CLGF).

Review of Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy, 21 September – 2 October 2009, Nauru.

Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) was launched in 2005. Whilst much progress has been made in implementing the strategy, there is a need to take stock of progress and update the Strategy based on new developments. The Regional Advisor for Development Policy led a team of experts to assist the Government of Nauru prepare a review of progress since 2005 and an updated NSDS. The review and 2009 NSDS Update will be presented to a donor Round Table Meeting in November this year. In addition the review will provide the basis for Nauru to report on progress with its NSDS under the terms of the Cairns Compact on development coordination that was adopted by Pacific Forum Leaders at its 2009 meeting. The team comprised experts from the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Impact assessment of squatter settlements in Honiara City, 14-18 September 2009, Honiara City, Solomon Islands.

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning together with UN-Habitat's Pacific Programme Manager conducted a joint mission to the Solomon Islands in coordination with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum to assess the impact of squatter settlements in Honiara City. The mission involved reviewing research completed in recent years with the view to identifying information gaps and designing a community study to fill information gaps identified.

Advisory Mission on Building Capacity in Policy and Planning Processes, 24 August – 11 September, Port Vila, Vanuatu

EPOC’s Regional Advisor for Development Policy conducted an assessment of the policy and planning framework and processes and the role of the Prime Minister’s Office in policy and planning.  The Regional Advisor worked with Vanuatu Government officials to develop a new Business Plan based on the newly defined role, developed a training and capacity building plan, and conducted training sessions on policy development and coordination, appraisal of policy papers, the conduct of sector reviews, and project appraisal.

ESCAP/PIFS Workshop on Reviewing the Draft Bill on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 17 – 23 August, 2009, Honiara, Solomon Islands

EPOC's Regional Advisor for Social Development and Planning in collaboration with the Disability Policy Officer from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat provided technical assistance to review the draft Bill on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The workshop developed and agreed on amendments to the Draft Bill to strengthen aspects that reflect the Solomon Islands Government’s signing of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and support for the Biwako Millennium Framework. [Meeting Declaration

Conference on Social Policies in Pacific Island Countries: Policy Recommendations and Impact of Current Crises, 22-23 July 2009, Suva

This two-day meeting considered the social impact of the global economic crisis on Pacific island countries and was attended by policy-makers, academics and development partners. Since economic and social issues are intertwined, the meeting called upon all government ministries to consider the social impact of policies under their purview, and to place people at the centre of the development process. The meeting was organized by ESCAP in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and the University of the South Pacific. [Meeting Report, Press Release, Provisional agenda, Abstract, Participants list

Follow-up Advisory Mission to Solomon Islands, 13-17 July 2009, Honiara, Solomon Islands

EPOC's Regional Advisers for Social Development and Planning and the EPOC-based UN-Habitat Programme Manager Pacific conducted a joint mission to the Solomon Islands from 13 to 17 July to have discussions with national and local government officials on urban growth and planning, particularly of informal settlements.  As follow-up to a May mission to assess proposals on the establishment of a new Provincial Centre for the Guadalcanal Province, the EPOC Regional Adviser and UN-Habitat's Programme Manager Pacific, together with a consultant from the University of Queensland recruited by ESCAP, provided further advice on developing planning processes for the establishment of the new centre. 

ESCAP/CYP/SPC/UNICEF Regional workshop on Formulating National Youth Policies and Action Plans,10 -15 June, 2009, Honiara, Solomon Islands

EPOC's Development Policy Regional Adviser facilitated the workshop together with officials from UNICEF Pacific office, the Commonwealth Youth Programme, and the Secretariat for the Pacific Community.  Workshop participants learnt the importance of consultation and involvement of stakeholders in developing national policies as well as how to conduct a workshop in their own countries to develop national youth policy objectives and strategies.  A toolkit will be developed following the workshop to provide the necessary resources for national youth officers to organise the preparation of youth policies and their review.

Advisory Mission on Social Development and Social Impact Assessment, 17-23 May 2009, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

EPOC's Social Development and Planning Regional Adviser conducted an assessment of capacity building and technical assistance needs with respect to social development and social impact assessment of the new town development for Doma, Guadalcanal Province in Solomon Islands. It is expected that lessons learned from the Doma project and other initiatives with the project from Asia and Latin America will be presented to a Pacific sub-regional workshop planned for later in 2009.

ESCAP/ILO National Youth Employment Workshop, 6-8 May 2009, Port Vila, Vanuatu

This was the second mission of EPOC with ILO to develop a National Action Plan. EPOC Regional Advisers for Development Planning and Social Development and Planning conducted a workshop on developing a national action plan on youth employment in collaboration with the ILO and Labour Department, Vanuatu. The workshop was attended by stakeholders from a range of government, private sector, union, employer and civil society organisations. Participants focused on identifying priority policy areas, goal, objectives, strategies as well as indicators and targets. The workshop developed and agreed on a draft National Action Plan and agreed that further consultation with other key stakeholders should take place to finalise the plan.

65th Commssion Session, 23-29 April, 2009, Bangkok more

ESCAP/ILO National Youth Employment Workshop, 25-27 March 2009, Tarawa, Kiribati

This was the first mission of EPOC with ILO to develop a National Action Plan. EPOC Regional Advisers for Development Planning and Social Development and Planning facilitated the 3 day workshop which was attended by stakeholder from a range of government, private sector, union, employer and civil society organisations. The workshop developed and agreed on a draft National Action Plan which would be finalised after further consultations with other key stakeholders.

EPOC's Regional Adviser reviews Social Policy Adviser position for Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, March - May 2009, Fiji

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has requested the assistance of EPOC to undertake an evaluation of its Social Policy Adviser position.  The Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat noted that,  "Given the recent restructuring of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat as well as the regional institutional framework review and the changing nature of work associated with this position, it is timely for the position to be reviewed .The purpose of the evaluation is twofold:  to assess the degree to which the Social Policy Adviser has been able to impact on the policy direction and priorities of the Forum Secretariat as well as member countries; and to make recommendations for improvements in the work of the Social Policy Adviser." 

EPOC's Regional Adviser on Social Development and Planning is undertaking the evaluation and will have it completed by mid May, 2009.

ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Pacific MDG Workshop: "Taking Stock, Emerging Issues and Way Forward", 16 - 20 March 2009, Nadi, Fiji.

What are the effects of the current economic crisis on Pacific Island States? How will that impinge on their efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals?....more

Advisory Mission to Palau in collaboration with the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre, 29 January - 6 February 2009, Palau.

The Centre’s Regional Advisor for Development Policy conducted an advisory mission to Palau in collaboration with the Financial Management Advisor from the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre based in Fiji. The mission team met with the Vice President and Minister for Finance for Palau and many of his officials. Possible capacity building activities were identified in the planning and budgeting areas and in the monitoring of policy implementation. The Government of Palau is currently negotiating a successor to its Compact agreement with the United States.

Followup Mission to Samoa on Disability Consultations and Draft Community Sector Plan, 2 - 8 December 2008, Apia, Samoa.

The Centre's Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning provided technical assistance for the final stages of developing a national disability policy for Samoa and also facilitated a final disability policy review workshop with National Disability Taskforce.

Pacific Governance Network, 1 December 2008, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific Operations Centre Economic Affairs officer and two regional advisers attended part of a University of the South Pacific (School of Governance and Development Studies) and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat "Pacific Governance Network" meeting, 1 December 2008. The network was established in 2007 as a "type II umbrella iniative" to link the work of interested agencies in diverse regions of the world across a range of critical sectoral challenges. Strengthening regional cooperation and capacity development around sustainable development and governance is articulated in the "Pacific Plan" as a priority area.

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning and the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre based UN-Habitat Programme Manager made a joint presentation on the Pacific Urban Agenda and the "Global Campaign for Good Urban Governance."

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Meeting for Government Focal Points for Disability in Forum Island Countries, 24- 26 November 2008, Nadi, Fiji.

EPOC's Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning conducted an information session on the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific at the above Pacific Islands Forum meeting and both EPOC Regional Advisers provided a half day capacity development session on policy development and national planning processes. Meeting Report, Disability Policy Making, Draft Pacific Regional Strategy on Disability.

ESCAP/ILO Workshop on Paving the Way for National Action Plans, 17 - 21 November 2008, Nadi, Fiji.

EPOC's two Regional Advisers conducted a capacity building session at the training workshop to improve understanding among the participants about integrating national action plans on youth employment into national policies. The workshop participants were Government offiicials, worker and employer representatives, and youth group representatives from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati. The workshop is a first step in assisting countries to develop national action plans for youth employment. Next steps were identified by countries and assistance will be provided early next year for some countries to map existing youth employment activities and organise a national workshop to develop their national action plans. Meeting Report, Integrating Youth Action Plans into National Policies, Presentation, Agenda

Advisory Mission, 28 October - 11 November, Apia, Samoa.

The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning attended the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Pacific Office's Technical Advisory Panel from 28-31 October and delivered a presentation on the 'Pacific Urban Agenda' and related urban management issues in the sub-region; assisted the Government of Samoa's Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development complete their 'Community Sector Plan'.

"A workshop held on 6 November 2008 convened by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) and facilitated by EPOC's Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning drafted Samoa's first national policy on disability. Workshop participants included representatives of diability NGOs, a suicide preventing NGO, representatives from Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Commerce and Labour, Attorney General's Office, as well as representatives from special schools, and the church.The Policy development process is being coordinated by a Government appointed 'Taskforce' chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women, Communtiy and Social Development and comprising repsentatives of disability NGOs and the heads of kay government Ministries. MWCSD intends to proceed with a national consutlation process over the next few weeks and develop a second draft of the policy by early December."

Regional Workshop on Trends and Progress in Triangular and South-South Cooperation, 21-22 October 2008, Bangkok.

ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre's Regional Adviser Development Policy, Mr David J Smith and Regional Adviser Social Development and Planning, Mr Alastair Wilkinson participated in this workshop. More.

Disability, Disadvantage and Development in the Pacific and Asia, 29 September-1 October 2008, Canberra, Australia

ESCAP's Pacific Operations Centre was represented by its Regional Adviser on Social Development and Planning, Alastair Wilkinson, at the International Conference on “Disability, Disadvantage and Development in the Pacific and Asia”, Canberra, National Museum, September 29-30 and Policy Consultation, October 1, 2008, Canberra, Australian National University.

The Regional Advisers presented a paper on developing "rights-based policy" in the Pacific and outlined the challenges facing Pacific island governments in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.  The Conference noted the wide acceptance and use of the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific as a development tool.  Given the over-representation of persons with disabilities amongst the poor, the conference also noted the need for governments to include the status of persons with disabilities when reporting on achievement of the MDGs.

 The policy dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss and comment on Australia's regional disability policy,  "Development for All: A Disability Strategy for the Australian Aid Program 2009-2014".

Project Planning Workshop, 25-29 August 2009, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

EPOC's Regional Adviser on Development and Policy conducted a three day Project Planning workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands recently. The workshop was opened by the Minister for Development Planning and was attended by 26 participants from sector ministries and the Department of Development Planning and Aid Coordination.

Workshop participants learned logical framework concepts and then applied these, in group work, to project proposals they were developing for the government's 2009 Development Budget.

Advisory Service on Review of the Draft Community Development Sector Plan, 12-22 August, 2008, Apia, Samoa.

EPOC's Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning conducted a mission to Samoa to advise the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development on reviewing their draft Community Development Sector Plan; the development of policies in the areas of disability and the elderly and to discuss the development of initiatives and policies on combating gender based violence.

Disability Policy and International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities workshop, 14-18 July 2008, Palikir, Federated States of Micronesia.

EPOC's Advisor on Social Development and Planning conducted a joint mission with the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum to the Federated States of Micronesia to review disability policy developments in Micronesia. Press release.

Pacific Urban Agenda workshop, 8-9 July 2008, Majuro, the Marshall Islands.

EPOC's Advisor on Social Development and Planning conducted a national workshop on urban management issues and the Pacific Urban Agenda for local government and national government officials in Majuro, the Marshall Islands.  While visiting the Marshall Islands the Regional Advisor also met with people with disabilities to discuss disability policy and the new International Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities. Marshall Islands strategic urban management and planning priorities.

MDG Initiative Scoping Missions, 16 – 27 June 2008, Port Vila, Vanuatu & 21 July - 1 August 2008, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The United Nations Multi-Country Team is rolling out the MDG Initiative in two Least Developed Countries, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, as part of the joint programming of activities under the Pacific subregional UNDAF. The MDG Initiative is aimed at supporting MDG-based National Development Strategies and their implementation. The scoping mission gauged areas that need assistance, undertook initial activities to launch the MDGI, and programmes subsequent activities. It also made contacts with line ministries that will use the MDG costing tools which were introduced to these countries through a series of workshops. ESCAP and UNDP co-funded the second such workshop and EPOC’s regional advisor was a resource person in all three.

UNDP Pacific Centre, sub-regional MDG workshop on planning, costing and budgeting for Polynesian countries, 26-29 May 2008, Rarotonga, the Cook Islands.

UNDP Pacific Centre organized a subregional workshop on MDG based planning, costing and budgeting for countries in Polynesia in the Cook Islands from 26 to 29 May 2008. The workshop, which introduced MDG costing tools to, was the third in a series of three workshops in the Pacific. The first workshop for countries in Micronesia was held in Pohnpei in June this year, and a second workshop for countries in Melanesia was held in November 2007 in the Solomon Islands. At the workshop, ESCAP’s regional advisor highlighted good practices in preparing, implementing and monitoring National Sustainable Development Strtategies (NSDSs) to achieve the MDG’s. More

Pacific Disability Forum, Seminar on the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, 16 May 2008, Suva, Fiji.

EPOC's Advisor on Social Development and Planning contributed to a Fiji national workshop on 'rights based disability policy and the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities organised by the Pacific Disability Forum for people with disabilities in Fiji.  Presentations were also made by representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Fiji Office, the UNDP's Regional Rights Resource Team and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.  The purpose of the workshop was to create greater awareness of human rights concerns for persons with disabilities and the new International Convention. 

Headquarters agreement signed between ESCAP and Government of the Republic of Fiji, 12 May 2008, Bangkok, Thailand.

An important headquarters agreement between the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of the Fiji Islands on the establishment of the Pacific Operations Centre of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Fiji, was signed on 12 May 2008 by H.E. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Fiji, and Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. The signing ceremony was held at the ESCAP headquarters in Bangkok.In her statement delivered on the occasion, Ms. Heyzer reiterated that ESCAP would continue to strengthen the Pacific dimension of its work, and focus its activities on key challenges faced by the Pacific Island countries and potential solutions with a focus on South-South cooperation. The signing of the agreement was a significant step towards strengthening the subregional component of ESCAP's work. More

Development of national urban policy, 5-9 May 2008, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

An official from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the EPOC Social Development and Planning Adviser visited Vanuatu to advise the Government of Vanuatu on developing a national policy on urban management and planning. A range of social, economic and environmental issues were discussed in a workshop held at the Port Vila Municipal Chambers in response to the rapid urban expansion of urban and peri-urban areas of Port Vila and Luganville.  Officials from a range of government agencies, the municipality of Port Vila as well as representatives from nongovernmental organizations and the private sector met to discuss the priorities that need to be considered in developing a national policy on urban development for Vanuatu.  The role or purpose of policy was discussed and the importance of taking a broad and integrated approach to developing urban policy given the social, economic and environmental impacts of urban development.  Emphasis was also placed on strengthened inter-departmental coordination and the need to identify key stakeholders, particularly chiefs and land owning families and effective engagement of a wide range of stakeholders in the policy development process to ensure broad commitment to the implementation of the policy.

Pacific Disability Forum, Women with Disabilities Forum and Regional Training Workshop, 21-25 April 2008, Apia, Samoa.

The Regional Advisor on Social Development and Planning facilitated sessions at the above meeting on ' The Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities,' the 'Biwako Millennium Framework for Action Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free, Rights-based Society for All People with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific' and 'developing a national policy on disability in Pacific island countries,' in collaboration with the Disability Officer of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries, tenth session, 22-23 April 2008, Bangkok, Thailand.

The meeting, of the Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries of ESCAP, is held every two years in the run-up to ESCAP's annual high-level Commission session. It provides inputs on how ESCAP can better serve its member States in the Pacific and strengthen links between the Pacific and Asia. Speaking in Bangkok at the meeting on Pacific island developing countries, Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific noted that “there are continuing employment challenges, especially for youth and women, in Pacific communities.” Special Body Pre-session documents - tenth session; Viable Economy and Human Investment Key to Create Jobs in Pacific Islands; Addressing High Unemployment Focus of UN Meeting on the Pacific Islands; Closing statement; Documents from sessions on Special Bodies.

Vanuatu Budget Policies for 2009, 1-15 April 2008, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Regional Adviser on Development Policy recently completed a mission to Vanuatu working with Ministry of Finance and Economic Management officials to develop a “Budget Policy Statement”. The Statement is required to be published well in advance of annual budget preparation under Vanuatu’s Public Finance and Economic Management Act. The Statement, together with other economic and fiscal reports produced during each year, were introduced as part of Vanuatu’s Comprehensive Reform Programme in the late 1990s.  In recent years the value of the Statement had not been fully realized. The Regional Advisor assisted Vanuatu Government officials to prepare a Statement that clearly states the priorities for the 2009 budget and links these to the expected economic and fiscal situation.

Launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2008, Sustaining Growth and Sharing Prosperity, 28 March 2008, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2008 was held in Suva, Fiji on 28 March 2008. The launch was attended by some 50 participants, including representatives of media, academia, government, diplomatic community, regional and international organisations, NGOs and the private sector. Mr. David Smith, regional advisor of ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre presented the key findings of the report. Professor Biman Prasad of the University of the South Pacific discussed employment opportunities in the Pacific. Download the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific; Pacific Press Release; Pacific Launch Presentation.

Fiji Suicide Prevention Policy and Implementation Action, 19 March 2008, Suva, Fiji.

The Regional Adviser on Social Development and Planning recently completed working with the Fiji Ministry of Health, Women and Social Welfare's National Committee On the Prevention of Suicide (NCOPS) to develop a national policy statement on suicide prevention.  NCOPS includes civil society and government representatives.  Extensive consultations were held throughout Fiji over October and November 2007 and final national consultations and the draft policy and action plan were completed on 19 March 2008.  Fiji has a high suicide rate, particularly amongst young Indo-Fijian men and women.  The Ministry approached EPOC because they wished to model the suicide prevention policy on the approach that was taken by EPOC in Fiji for the development of a national policy on disability in 2006.
Choiseul Provincial Development Plan, 4-24 March 2008, Choiseul, Solomon Islands.

EPOC's two Regional Advisers, Economic Planning and Social Development, have completed working with the Choiseul Provincial Government of the Solomon Islands to develop a draft three year rolling Provincial Development Plan.  The work started in June 2007 with initial consultations in Choiseul followed by more extensive community consultations completed in late 2007 with the assistance of a local consultant.  the final draft of the Plan was presented to the Provincial Government in March. The April 2007 tsunami affected nearly 50% of the approximately 30,000 people living on Choiseul destroying many homes, damaging infrastructure, schools and medical facilities.

High-Level Consultative Meeting with Pacific island countries, 12-13 March 2008, Noumea, New Caledonia.

The heads of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and leaders and senior ministers from selected Pacific island states met with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Noumea, New Caledonia, on 12 and 13 March, 2008. Press release; More

ESCAP/UNDP Millenium Development Goals workshop, 12-15 November 2007, Honiara, Solomon Islands.

In collaboration with UNDP Pacific Centre and UNFPA, ESCAP organized a subregional workshop on MDG based planning, costing and budgeting for countries in Melanesia in Honiara from 12 to 15 November 2007. The workshop, which introduced MDG costing tools to smaller countries where full implementation of the Millennium Development Goals Initiative will not be feasible, was the second in a series of three workshops in the Pacific. The first workshop for countries in Micronesia was held in Pohnpei in June this year, and a third workshop for countries in Polynesia will be held in collaboration with our partners in early 2008. More
Working Group of the Advisory Council, Third Session, 01 November 2007, Suva, Fiji.

The working Group discussed the Implementation of the subprogramme on development of Pacific island developing countries and territories: activities of the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre during the biennium 2006-2007; Special Body on Least Developed and Landlocked Developing Countries, eighth session and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Sixty-third session, Almaty, 15-23 May 2007; and Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries, Tenth session, Bangkok, April 2008.

Report; Agenda; Implementation Status
Workshop on Expanding the Role of Tourism in Poverty Reduction 24 October 2007, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

Pacific countries expands tourism to reduce hardship faced by its people. Development of the tourism sector leads to expansion of the economic base, increase in foreign exchange earnings and greater opportunities for employment in countries of the Pacific. To ensure that this sector contributes towards poverty reduction, ESCAP organized the Workshop on Expanding the Role of Tourism in Poverty Reduction, in Nuku'alofa on 24 October 2007 in collaboration with the South Pacific Tourism Organization, Pro-Invest and the Government of Tonga. More

Expert Group Meeting: Mauritius Strategy Implementation and the joint ILO/UNESCAP Expert Group meeting on Labour Markets, 4-7 June 07, Suva, Fiji.

The Joint ILO and United Nations ESCAP Expert Group Meeting on Labour Markets and the United Nations ESCAP Expert Group Meeting on Mauritius Strategy Implementation in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were held from 4 to 7 June 2007 in Suva, Fiji. The meetings were attended by government and non-governmental representatives from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Experts from the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat, the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre(IMF), the University of the South Pacific , ILO, UN Development Programme, UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and from other bilateral and multilateral development agencies participated in the meeting.

Reports:
- Mauritius Strategy Implementation in Pacific Small Island Developing States
- Mauritius Strategy Information Kit
- Small Islands Developing States Series No.1: Improving Employment Opportunities in Pacific Islands Developing Countries

Participants in Workshop  on Urban ManagementThe Second Regional Workshop on Urban Management 23-25 April 07, Nadi, Fiji.

A review was conducted by ESCAP in collarboration with Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The meeting identifies priority areas for action, strengthen planning capacity and develop a regional cooperation programme to address urbanisation issues with partner agencies.

Report; Agenda; Press Release
Working Group of the Advisory Council, Second Session Working Group of the Advisory Council, Second Session Working Group of the Advisory Council, Second Session, 19 April 2007, Suva, Fiji.

The working group in its second session discussed about the upcoming commission meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan and process of resolutions development for the Pacific island developing states. Also it reviewed other relevant inter-governmental bodies around the commission.

Report of Meeting; Agenda; Opening Statement; Implementation Status
the 2007 Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific the 2007 Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacifi Launch of the 2007 Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific, 19 April 2007, Suva, Fiji.

The Pacific launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2007 was held in Suva, Fiji on 19 April 2007. The launch was atteneded by some 50 participants, including representatives of media, academia, government, diplomatic community, regional and international organisations, NGOs and the private sector. The launch was opened by a video message from the Mr. Kim Hak-Su, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretarty of UNESCAP followed by Mr. Hervé Berger's, Head of ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre, presentation on the key findings of the report.

Pacific Press Release; Download the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific
Expert Group Meeting on Disability in the Pacific; Strengthening implementation of the Millenium Framework 28-30 March 2007, Nadi, Fiji.

The meeting considered initiatives taken in Pacific countries to implement the Biwako Millenium Framework, addressed issues related to disability and considered ways to improve regional coordination. In addition to experts from countries in the Pacific, representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Disability Forum lead discussions during selected sessions of the meeting. Participants provided a summary of the implementation of the Biwako Millennium Framework in their respective countries and to discussed its implementation. More
Eua Strategic Developopment Plan, Phase I & Phase II May 2006, March 2007 Eua, Tonga

Economic and social policy Advisors from UN-EPOC have helped the people of 'Eua island in Tonga develop their own 'Eua Strategic Development Plan. In partnership with NZAID, the 'Eua Strategic Development Plan was developed following extensive consultations with the people and communities of 'Eua. 'Eua's Plan complements the national Strategic Development Plan 8 which Government approved last year. 'Eua island is close to the main island and supplies much of the agricultural produce found in Tongatapu's markets. 'Eua's natural beauty gives it great potential as an eco-tourism destination with the unique opportunity to watch whales from the foreshore during the season. Both the community of 'Eua and the Government of Tonga are responsible for the implementation of the 'Eua Strategic Development Plan. 'Eua's Plan emphasizes both economic and social development and the importance of preserving the environment to sustain the livelihoods of future generations.

Mission report May 2006; Mission report March 2007
Launch of Solomon Islands Project Planning Guide March 2007 Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Selecting sound projects for inclusion in development budgets is a continuing challenge for Governments. UN-EPOC has provided assistance to the Solomon Islands Government to review project processes and to prepare a simple and easily understandable guide. The UN-EPOC Regional Advisor Development Policy conducted a three day workshop in Honiara in March 2007 to launch the Project Planning Guide.

Download Project Planning Guide
Working Group at its first meeting Working group of the Advisory Council, First Session, 23 November 2006, Suva, Fiji.

"In its inaugural meeting held in Suva, Fiji, the Working Group on Pacific Island Developing Countries urged UNESCAP to broker closer links between Asia-Pacific countries, so that Pacific island developing countries could benefit from the economic dynamism of Asia."
Report of Meeting; Agenda; Opening Statement; Background Paper; Press Release
Participants in Workshopon Urban Management UN-EPOC assists Pacific ACP states to quantify EPA trade adjustment costs, June - November 2006, Suva, Fiji.

"Pacific states that are a party to the Cotonou Agreement with the EU are due to finalise a wide-ranging Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU by the end of 2007. The UN-EPOC Regional Advisor Development Policy has assisted in this process by preparing broad Pacific wide estimates of the adjustment costs which may arise out of the implementation of free trade with the EU states under this Economic Partnership Agreement. The adjustment cost estimates are based on information gathered in a series of country visits. The study was undertaken for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The report on the quantum of likely adjustments costs was presented to the Pacific Forum Trade Minister's meeting in Vanuatu in November 2006."

Report: Potential Costs of Adjusting to a Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement
Presentation: Potential Costs of Adjusting to a Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement
Subregional Workshop on the Trade and Environment Dimensions in the Food and Food Processing Industries in the Pacific, 7-8 June 2006, Suva, Fiji.

"The workshop provided and opportunity to exchange national experiences and compare various government policies and private sector strategies currently in place in Pacific countries with regard to: (a) improving market access of food and food processing industries on environmental and health grounds (i.e. improving standards and testing to conform to environmental and health standards in export markets); and (b) improving environmental sustainability of food and processed food production." More
Foreign Investment and Exports critical for Fiji's future growth 3 October - 8 November 2006, Suva, Fiji.

A Corporate Plan for the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Board is being developed with assistance from the UN-EPOC Regional Advisor Development Policy. The Plan focuses on the key strategies necessary for the Board to strengthen its role in facilitating foreign investment projects and boosting exports. The Plan was developed using a participatory strategic planning approach to ensure that all staff were involved and committed to the key priorities. The major elements of the Plan were finalized during a one day workshop of FITIB staff.

Mission Report
Pacific leaders in Jakarta Pacific Leaders "United Nations ESCAP Special Session ( PLUS), 10 April 2006, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The 62nd Commission session was historic in the sense that for the first time it included a special session (PLUS) for Pacific island leaders. The PLUS session was held on 10 April 2006 in Jakarta, Indonesia. At the session Pacific leaders called for greater support to the subregion's development efforts and regional cooperation in the Pacific. Areas highlighted in the PLUS session for Asia-Pacific cooperation included economic growth, employment and sustainable development; economic infrastructure, including ICT and renewable energy; and trade, investment and tourism.

Press Release; Welcome Statement; Document: Strengthening Pacific island developing countries and territories through regional cooperation
Disability workshop Developing national policies on disability based on the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for All in Asia and the Pacific, July 2006, Federated States of Micronesia.

"The Regional Adviser for Social Development and Planning of UN-EPOC worked with the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia and Fiji to develop national policies on disability based on the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action Towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for All in Asia and the Pacific. In the Federated States of Micronesia, consultations were held in the States of Yap, at the National Summit for Youth (see photo left - 13 July 2006), Chuuk and Pohnpei."
Vanuatu PM Hon Ham Lini (right) and Mr C Sethness, MCC Vice President, sign the Compact. The Vanuatu Government signed Compact with US Millennium Challenge Corporation officials, 2 March 2006, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The Compact provides a grant of nearly US$66 million to the Vanuatu Government for key transport infrastructure projects. The lack of a reliable and affordable transport system in the scattered islands of Vanuatu has often been cited as a major constraint to faster economic growth. A UN-EPOC technical advisory mission in 2005 assisted the Vanuatu Government prepare the grant proposal to the Millennium Challenge Corporation. (Photo courtesy of Vanuatu Daily Post)
David Smith, Regional Advisorand Fred Hosea, Acting Director of Dept of Economic & Sector Planning Vanuatu’s “Priorities and Action Agenda”, 16 February - 9 March 2006, Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Vanuatu’s “Priorities and Action Agenda” is the Government of Vanuatu’s statement of development priorities. A UN-EPOC technical advisory mission (16 February to 9 March) assisted the Government to prepare a new Priorities and Action Agenda to replace the Agenda prepared in 2003. The mission helped Government officials to provide a clear statement of Vanuatu’s key development strategies and the inclusion of sound performance indicators, including MDG indicators, to provide the basis for future monitoring of development progress.
David Smith, Regional Advisorand Fred Hosea, Acting Director of Dept of Economic & Sector Planning Launch of report "Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children in Fiji: A Situational Analysis"

The report "Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children in Fiji: A Situational Analysis" was launched in Suva, Fiji, on 1 March 2006. The launch was attended by over 50 persons including the Speaker of the Fiji House of Representatives and the Minister of Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation

Report: "Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children in Fiji: A Situational Analysis"
Capacity Strenghtening of the PNG National Fisheries Association 6-17 February 2006, Papua New Guinea

"At the request of the PNG National Fisheries Association (NFA), UN-EPOC engaged a consultancy that aimed to strengthen the capacity of NFA Authorised Officers at the audit level through evaluation, training and registration with an internationally-recognized food safety registration body.

An in-country program was conducted from February 6 to 17 February 2006 by a UN-EPOC consultant (Tony Chamberlain). A five-day certified food safety auditing certification workshop was followed by on-site assessment activities during 2nd part audits on fish processing companies.

The interactive workshop covered the generic knowledge and skills required for both ISO 19011:2002 ?Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing? and for Food Safety Auditor registration with RABQSA.

Four PNG NFA Authorised Officers have successfully completed the certified training and assessment program and have applied for registration with RABQSA as internationally-recognised Food Safety Auditors."
 
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