Presented here are the highlights of what countries said during the Ministerial Segment of ESCAP's 66th Commission Session. They capture both the spirit and range of topics discussed by Member States.
Quotes taken from Country Statements can be searched for by clicking on the letter of the alphabet corresponding with the country's name on the search bar below.
Aid plays a critical role in the development, poverty reduction, and economic growth of Afghanistan. The entire development budget, as well as approximately 35% of its operating expenditures, is currently financed by foreign assistance. In total, aid amounted to 43% of GDP in 2008. However, the critical issue is not resources spent but the sustainable impact aid achieves. Effective aid is critical to improving the capacity and legitimacy of the government, and ultimately in reducing the root cause of instability. Hence, the GoIRA believes that aid can only meet its development objectives and support a move away from aid dependency, when development is clearly Afghan led and owned.
MDGs, Regional Cooperation
The cooperation of the Republic of Armenia with the UN ESCAP as an organization that focuses on issues that are most effectively addressed through regional cooperation is very important. The advisory mechanisms of the UN ESCAP are properly complementing the efforts of the Government of Armenia in pursuing the Millennium Development Goals. Along with other countries that suffered from the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, the Republic of Armenia is facing the challenge on the way to achieving the universally recognized Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Financing Development, Climate Change
With regard to green growth strategies and initiatives, Australia is supporting developing countries' transition to lower carbon economies and building their resilience to climate change. Continuing previous contributions, we are providing around $350 million dollars in the period ahead for multilateral and bilateral mechanisms and initiatives, including support for the Climate Investment Funds, the International Forest Carbon Initiative, and the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative.
I take this opportunity to recall the meaningful partnership between the Government of Bangladesh and the UN ESCAP in organizing the High-Level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on the Brussels Programme of Action in last January, which adopted the Dhaka Outcome Document. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Noeleen Heyzer and her team for giving us the opportunity to host that event in Dhaka. I hope that the distinguished delegates would endorse the Dhaka Outcome document in the current Session of the Commission. I am also thankful to the Executive Secretary for inviting the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to address the inaugural ceremony of the Ministerial segment of this Session o f the UN ESCAP in Incheon. The gracious presence of Sheikh Hasina and her statement this morning reflect Bangladesh's strong support to and active engagement with the Commission.
Climate Change, LDCs
We cannot but reflect on the worrying threat that climate change poses for all of us. As natural calamities are striking at us with greater fury and frequency, it is encouraging to note a rising sense of purpose for seeking solutions to such adverse impacts. I may also flag that people who are living in low lying islands, coastal areas and fragile mountain ecology are the ones most vulnerable to the devastating effect of climate change. Further, it is developing countries which are unfairly faced with the rising cost of adaptation and mitigation measures, even as they least contributed to the causes. We fully endorsed the Dhaka Outcome Document adopted by the High Level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue in January this year, which no doubt will be endorsed by this forum as a regional way forward at the Fourth UN Conference on LDCs in Istanbul next year. International support for adaptation and mitigation measures, and crisis mitigation and resilience-building fund are some worthy suggestions.
Before concluding, I would like to emphasize that in order to achieve the MDG, member countries must develop both effective short-term and long-term solutions. Financial assistance alone may provide immediate relief but we believe it would only be a temporary one. Hence, we need to look for a more sustainable solution. In this regard, we are of the view that member countries must embark on strategies that focus on promoting human resource development or capacity building towards MDGs. In this regard, it is important that national educational policies be strengthened and where necessary, seek technical assistance provided by UNESCAP and other related international and regional institutions.
Although developing countries of our region have been well-prepared to cope with the financial crisis, a decline of foreign investment and an increase in the cost of international capital have severely affected their economies. Some of these countries have found themselves difficult to access to loans from international community despite they are able to pay back. This difficulty reduces the ability to finance their development programs and efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Last but not least, please allow me to avail myself of thanking the UNESCAP under the leadership of Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP for its tireless effort to bring about relevant development ideas that coordinate towards achieving MDGs. Without the work of ESCAP, I am sure that there has not been such a development so far.
In the Asia-Pacific region, many people still live in poverty, natural disasters happen frequently and economic and social development is imbalanced. All countries should promote social progress across the board in a balanced, comprehensive and coordinated manner in order to constantly improve the living environment and standards. We should promote agricultural and rural development and increase support for agriculture to realize the transition from a labor-intensive model to an environment-friendly one based on science and technology. We should improve the social safety net and stimulate consumption by providing social security to the poor to ensure that everyone benefits from the fruits of economic development.
Hong Kong, China, like economies around the world, faces the challenges of climate change and increasing demands for a better living environment. A "green economy" presents opportunities for investment growth, savings, sustainability and healthy living. Promotion of environmental industry has been high on our policy agenda. Environmental industry is one of the six key economic areas that we have targeted for further development.
The elevation at this 66th Session of the Special Body on the Pacific Island Developing Countries to the level of the Committee of the Whole marked the first time that a segment of the annual session was devoted entirely to the interests of the Pacific Islands subregion. The convening of the Special Body on the Pacific Island as the Committee of the Whole 1 last Thursday allowed representatives of the Pacific Islands at this 66th Session to share with colleagues from other ESCAP regions our unique development challenges and aspirations, rather than talking about it amongst ourselves, as is usually the case in past sessions.
Green Growth, Climate Change
Le rôle du secteur privé comme moteur de cette croissance doit être consolidé, ce qui suppose d'agir dans plusieurs directions complémentaires et, notamment, de structure et adapter les moteurs habituels de la croissance et de l'entreprenariat afin de pendre en compte le changement climatique et les préoccupations environnementales. Pour être durable, la croissance doit être attentive aux équilibres environnementaux. Le modèle économique actuel est basé sur l'exploitation d'un capital de ressources naturelles qui s'épuise et qui entraîne souvent de dégradations durables. Trop de pays appauvrissent aujourd'hui leur patrimoine naturel, peut-être de façon irréversible, dans la recherche d'un accroissement de leur richesse apparente. Une prospérité économique généralisée nécessite d'inventer et de mette en ouvre de nouveaux modes de croissance plus respectueux des contraintes physiques et environnementales.
Mr Chairperson, we have all come to realise the importance of the role of green growth in our economies. We, however, feel that developing countries need technology and supporting instruments to address these issues and the measures have to be voluntary. The issue of green economy is wide in nature and is not limited to climate change alone, although in recent discussions, climate change and its relationship with economic policy making has acquired centre-stage. There are concerns on the manner in which climate change policies are sought to be introduced and this could compromise not only economic growth but also MDGs such as eradication of poverty. Another key economic goal for the developing countries in the context of climate change is energy security. Stable and secure energy availability is indispensable for social and economic development; it is essential to ensure global energy security and energy access in developing countries. The interlinked challenges of climate change, energy security and the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources are amongst the most important issues to be tackled in the strategic perspective of ensuring global sustainability. A shift towards green growth is the only way to sustain development. We have to build on synergies between actions to combat climate change and economic growth and sustainable development. While equity remains the fundamental basis of responsibility for actions, it is also clear that developing countries can move along the path of low carbon sustainable development path only through access to and better use of cleaner technologies. Although many low-carbon technologies are already available, most of these continue to be more expensive than the current energy sources.
I am happy to inform that India has enhanced its contribution to the institutions of ESCAP to US$ 250,00, from the financial year 2010-11. I wish to thank ESCAP for locating the Sub-Regional Office for South and South-West Asia at New Delhi. I look forward to the opening of the SRO during 2010. I am also happy to inform that my government has agreed to provide space and financial support for the smooth functioning of this Office.
Voluntary actions by countries, as Indonesia did, are important. However, to fight of climate change needs collective and strategic efforts by global communities based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. Indonesia, like many developing countries, still has to struggle in its development especially in eradicating poverty and increase people's welfare through basic need services, such as education and health. Therefore, developed countries must take the lead in slowing and reversing global warming and in promoting green economy. In this light, I would like to highlight that international cooperation in climate change and green economy is meaningless without concrete delivery on financing. The developed countries have the resources, it is only a question of political will. Hopefully, with a good cooperation we can all be part of the global solution for a better world
Financing Development, ESCAP
This session is expected to design appropriate ways of providing required financial resources for achieving the Millennium Development Goals through technology and financing for environmentally rapid economic growth in Asia and the Pacific. It is important to adopt a specific action plan to provide necessary financial resources for development by the ESCAP secretariat. In this context, the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran is on the belief that Public Private Partnership mechanism and establishing Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as well as Asian Insurance Institution can play a vital role. It is also recommended that the UNESCAP secretariat put emphasis on the enhancement of economic productivity as well as efficiency and capacity utilization in the region in order to save more existing financial resources for sustainable development enhancement. Through working together, can assist.
As the environmental issues rise higher on the global agenda, the role of ESCAP in this area, such as Green Growth, water and energy, also attracts bigger attention. The Sixth Ministerial Conference on the Environment and Development this September will offer a great opportunity to boost our efforts in this area.
Secondly, we should be mindful of effectiveness and efficiency of international and regional organization against development results. In this regard, Japan highly appreciates Executive Secretary Heyzer for her efforts through utilizing the Regional Coordination Mechanism to avoid duplication of work with other UN funds and programmes.
C учетом Кита-Кюсю и Сеула наша инициатива будет отвечать следующим условиям: o Инициатива должна декларировать и реализовать деятельность, способную укрепить процесс регионального сотрудничества и оказать пользу странам АТР в развитии системы управления охраной окружающей среды и развития o Инициатива должна соответствовать главной теме Конференции – продолжение Зеленого Роста, не дублируя предшествующие инициативы, а расширяя спектр поддерживаемых тематик, в том числе последством укрепления организационно – технического и информационного потенциала o Инициатива должна придавать импульс внутренней для Казахстана деятельности. С учетом этого мы запускаем с этого года государственную программу «Жасыл даму» (Зеленое развитие). В настоящее время она внесена на утверждение в правительстве
ESCAP, Green Growth
Last year, ESCAP further strengthened its role in aiding the integration and development of the Asia Pacific region, while the world economy experience the effects of the global economic crisis. Three subregional offices, which have been established under the initiative of the Executive Secretary, are indeed very valuable to the development of the Asia Pacific region. The East and Northeast Asia subregional office, which will open just couple of hours later after here in Incheon, and the other two offices in almaty and New-Delhi, are expected to enhance our development activities focusing on each region's needs. The Korean government will make every effort to see to it that the East and Northeast Asia subregional office will be the center of cooperation for development in the region.
...in order to support other developing countries in East Asia in moving toward the new paradigm of Low Carbon, Green Growth, Korea is promoting the East Asia Climate partnership providing a financial contribution of 200 million USD in total. For the purpose of providing systematical support to other developing countries to promote green growth, the government will establish an independent research institution called the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in the first half of this year.
Financing Development, Regional Cooperation
To reach our goals, we have to change our fiscal priority spending; we need to activate encourage the donor countries to provide more substantial support in the form of ODA, to activate South-South economic assistance, to strengthen regional and sub-regional economic cooperation and also to attract FDI into our region. It is also important to find a new source of finance coming from Non-Governmental Organizations, charitable foundations and social organizations. Moreover, we may attach more importance in the form of regional financial architecture mainly by establishing an infrastructure development fund which could assist cross-border connectivity projects linking poorer parts of our region with the region's growth centers. The fund will be very helpful to Laos in transforming itself from a landlocked into a land-linked country.
In the efforts to build and enhance capacity to reduce poverty and bridge the development gap region-wide, one of the bigger challenges is related to financing for development. Development assistance through global cooperation and integration particularly among UNESCAP members and with other donor countries and institutions is essential in promoting sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Malaysia has been actively promoting south-south cooperation through its modest Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme. It has continuously promoted the sharing of development experience and capacity building programme.
Unfortunately, economic growth does not always mean improvement of lives of all, especially in the aftermath of the global economic crisis. We are concern with the gaps and imbalances which pose obstacles to the achievement of the MDGs in the region. Yet, the target set by the United Nations to reach the goals is only five years away. Despite many successes, overall progress has been slow for many targets. Hence, the Government of Mongolia believes that the topic of this Session is highly important for finding a faster route to the achievement of the MDGs in the region with the challenge of reaching the most disadvantaged groups and ensuring environmental sustainability. In this regard I am pleased to inform that Mongolia published in the end of last year the Third National Report of the MDGs implementation.
The Government of Mongolia is concerned about impact of the global economic and financial crisis on landlocked developing countries and emphasizes the need of such countries for full commitment of the international community to support them. Mongolia is committed to promoting interests of the landlocked developing countries within the UN. In this regard, I am pleased to inform you of the progress of the implementation of the ESCAP Resolution 65/6 adopted last year at the initiative of Mongolia. The International Think Tank of Landlocked Developing Countries was established in July 2009 with the launching ceremony attended by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
In the implementation process of MDGs, Myanmar is encouraged by the tripartite initiative by the United Nations Regional Commission (UNESCAP), UNDP and ADB, to ensure a common work in MDG implementation in the region, to build up a consolidated regional platform through a strategic plan of action.
Financing Development, ESCAP
The Asia-Pacific region is now rebounding from the global financial crisis. In light of this, countries in the region must work together to ensure that economic rebound is sustained. Myanmar shares the view that adequate and consistent financial support as well as coherent and predictable policy environment, at both the national and international levels is crucial for timely realization of the MDGs. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, developing countries are facing challenges to find necessary financial services to support efforts to meet the MDG targets. In addition to international financing, the Asia Pacific countries, especially developing member states, needs to find domestic financial sources as well. At the same time, developing countries need to look beyond the traditional ODA to create more innovative financing models that can be supportive of realizing MDGs and sustainable economic growth. In this regard, a regional financial architecture should be developed to cushion against future financial crisis.
I note the opening speech by Madame Executive Secretary at the Special Body on the Pacific Island Developing Countries and thank her for her untiring effort to highlight the Pacific component in UN-ESCAP. It is obvious that Madame Executive Secretary has listened to the voice of the Pacific and more importantly, taken action to incorporate the Special Body of the Pacific Island Developing Countries into the regular Commission session, which is commensurate with the Committees of the Whole. Madame Executive Secretary, you have recognised the role that the Pacific member states play in the Asia-Pacific region and I thank you for this.
Almost all the least developed and landlocked countries in the ESCAP region are facing the problems of poverty, unemployment, inequality and social exclusion. However, the efforts made by these countries to overcome these problems have not been enough. Moreover, climate change has become a global risk and it has made a serious impact on development efforts. As a result of climate change, glaciers in the Himalaya have become prone to melt down posing a serious threat to the livelihood and ecology of entire Himalayas and surrounding region. That has been a major concern to the Government. Therefore, we strongly believe that there is an urgent need for collective action to mitigate the impact of this common risk. I wish to put on record that the recent SAARC Summit has stressed for more collective initiative to adapt climate change and we, the entire ESCAP region must stand together to tackle this common threat before it becomes too late.
We are thankful to all our development partners, friendly countries, international organizations like the United Nations and all regional bodies for their support in building peace in the country and also for their contribution in achieving our MDG targets. We all know that UNESCAP has been playing significant role in improving the socio-economic condition in the region. We are confident that the UNESCAP will play active and effective role in alleviating poverty, achieving MDGs and promoting regional co-operation for the economic prosperity of the people of Asia and the Pacific region.
The elected democratic government of Pakistan is also specifically committed to protecting women's rights and has taken significant steps for social, political, economic and legal empowerment of Pakistani women. Pakistan is actively pursuing the Beijing Platform for Action. We have a national Plan of Action for Women and are in the process of finalizing the National Policy for Development and Empowerment of Women for mainstreaming gender in all development activities. Social legislation has been the hallmark of our government. This includes the singular landmark legislation on protection of women against sexual harassment in the work place. We are also anticipating passage of bills for the prevention of domestic violence against women and ensuring economic rights of the home based workers in the informal sector.
We are always grateful for the assistance received from friends in the Pacific region and in the international community, not only in this period of difficulty, but throughout our country's development. Through regional partnerships supported by organizations such as ESCAP, we joined other Pacific island neighbours in Vanuatu to engage in discussions that outlined common constraints and identified avenues from which solutions tailored to the unique needs of the Pacific may be sought. We lend our support to the continued pursuit of assistance to the pacific region as outlined in the outcome statements of the Pacific MSI+5 Mid Term Review and the Pacific UN Conference on the Human Face of the Global Economic crisis in the Pacific. These collaborative efforts to envision beyond the vulnerabilities of circumstance, portrays a spirit of a Pacific people intent on overcoming constraints to sustainable development, We will continue to join our friends in the Pacific in these and other regional efforts
Being small and faced with tremendous challenges, the Pacific SIDS require the invaluable support and assistance from the international community. In this context, I must commend the Executive Secretary for her commitment to deepen the Secretariat's engagement with the Pacific SIDS, including the strengthening of the Pacific sub-regional ESCAP Office and the critical role it can play to support member countries in addressing our development challenges
Regional Connectivity, Transport
Будучи единственным транспортным мостом между Европой и Азией, Россия поддерживает деятельность комиссии, направленную на создание в регионе интегрированной интермодальной транспортной инфраструктуры, фундаментом которой являются сеть Азиатских автомобильных и Трансазиатских железных дорог. Планы развития нашей внутренней транзитной инфраструктуры выстраиваются в привязке к потребностям развития региональной экономики. Это и сотрудничество в области транспорта с нашими ближайшими соседями, и проект соединения Транссибирской магистрали с Транскорейской железнодорожной магистралью, который позволит создать самый протяженный евроазиатский транспортный коридор. Шагом в будущее могла бы стать разработка третьего компонента системы – Межправительственного соглашения по сети сухих портов или логистических терминалов в Азии.
Climate Change, ESCAP
In this regard, Mr. Chairman we commend our development partners such as Japan, Australia and China who have shown a willingness to invest in climate change adaptation in the Pacific as well as the multilateral financial institutions for having supported the Pacific countries through the establishment of the Pacific Environment Community facility as well as the Pacific Climate Change Program (PCCP) which portfolio include activities that support their climate change responses. We would stress the importance of ensuring that there is such an established regional program for the Pacific, that It can serve as a platform for a multi donor technical and financial assistance facility as well as a one stop climate change service. ESCAP can play a role to facilitate the sharing of experiences and good practices between the countries of Asia that have developed capabilities in a range of technologies for renewable energy and waster management and the Pacific
MDGs, Green Growth
The theme of this year's Session "Addressing challenges in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: Promoting a stable and supportive financial system; and Green Growth or environmentally sustainable economic growth, including through technology and financing", is an important and timely one. The global financial crisis has aggravated the challenges faced by developing countries in meeting the MDGs. Despite international efforts to stabilize the global financial system, it remains fragile for instance in Europe. It is against this gloomy backdrop that green growth has emerged as a beacon of hope. In a year marked by natural disasters and water shortages, often resulting in tensions between neighboring countries, the importance of environmentally sustainable economic growth has never been more urgent.
The content of the Copenhagen Accord is disappointing, and as we move towards the sixteenth session of the Parties (COP 16) and the seventh sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Parties to the Kyoto Protocols (CMP7) in Mexico, we must ensure that negotiations are driven by member states within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate and Change (UNFCC) process; our dialogue and consultation should build on the progress of the Bali Action Plan. We remain content with the decision taken to continue the negotiation under the two ad hoc working groups on long term cooperation and the Kyoto Protocol respectively.
As a region, connectivity is crucial to create more economic and social opportunities for our people. Thailand recognized that enhancing connectivity amongst the region would benefit all ESCAP Member States. Connectivity is the development of physical infrastructure, of multimodal transportation, ICT linkages and other necessary "software" as well as the support of legal infrastructure. Regarding people-to-people connectivity, we recognize that regional connectivity requires the connecting of the hearts and minds of peoples across the region, through enhancing closer people-to-people ties. In a joint collaborative effort, Thailand and ESCAP are pleased to launch an initiative on connectivity at this Commission Session.
Regional Cooperation, MDGs
There is no doubt that the South-South and Triangular Cooperation are essential tools for the acceleration of the achievement of the MDGs. They have become crucial elements of the international cooperation for development, offering viable opportunities for the developing countries in their pursuit of sustained economic growth and sustainable development. In order to create an environment in which sustainable development is facilitated, strong partnerships between the developing and the LDCs need to be established. Moreover, developing countries as well as the LDCs should be allowed to take effective ownership and be fully involved when embarking on policies of resource mobilisation and utilization. Turkey endorses the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005). We have been developing complementary policies for the realisation of the commitments made in the Accra Agenda for Action with a view to accelerating the implementation of the Paris Declaration. In our view, promotion of the South-South Cooperation is a milestone for the integration of the LDCs into the global economic structure. This is part of the MDGs as well
And as we recover from the global crisis and continue to adapt to climate change, we must use this as an opportunity to do so in a way that fundamentally shifts the world economy towards low-carbon and green growth strategies. We must also see this as an opportunity for us in the "P" to enhance our sustainable growth potential by strengthening our ties with Asia through South-South cooperation. What we need is some strategic planning through which we can pursue mutual benefits making optimum use of the inter-governmental structure of ESCAP. I seek ESCAP's assistance in facilitating this perhaps in cooperation with the intergovernmental processes within our sub-region.
MDGs, Green Growth
The Secretariat's summary of its 2010 Economic and Social Survey of the region demonstrates impressive vision in identifying five focus areas to help keep the region on the path of inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. Sound social protection systems will bolster the resiliency of households A recommitment to agricultural and rural economic development can get us on track to meet the hunger MDG and contribute to broadening achievement of the poverty Goal and many of the other MDGs. Harnessing new engines of growth, such as environmentally-friendly industries, calls for innovation and policies that foster innovation - including, I would note, intellectual property protections that preserve incentives for innovation. Effectively pursuing these new strategies will require that they be integrated into countries' overall economic policies in was that are consistent with existing international obligations, including trade obligations. Broadening the participation of households in the formal financial sector will offer opportunities to boost incomes and broaden national economic bases.Lastly, strengthening regional cooperation, particularly in areas like transport and trade, and information and communication technology, can promote resilience in national economies in the region and facilitate appropriate and broadly-supported policy reforms. In this regard, we urge the Commission to continue its collaboration with global and regional organizations and processes and focus its efforts on achievable and realistic outcomes.
Contributing to our joint efforts in recovery for the common prosperity of the region, Viet Nam wishes to propose the following : One: Countries have made tremendous recovery efforts. Yet, individual endeavors are not sufficient. We call on developed countries, the UN, international organizations and other multilateral mechanisms to step up their assistance to countries in the region in the process of recovery and macro-economic stabilization, promoting inclusive growth, ensuring social security and implementing the MDGs. Two: The Mekong subregion has many potentials untapped. It also is heavily affected by natural disasters and climate change. We call on other countries, UNESCAP and the international community to further assist countries of the subregion in effectively utilize the East-West Economic Corridor and speed up the development of other corridors, and strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change, cope with disasters, sustainably utilize resources, including Mekong water, develop human resources and reduce poverty.