Ministerial Panels, High-level Events and Side Events

Ministerial Panels and High-level Events

High-level Exchange: Infrastructure and Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS

Modern, clean and efficient infrastructure is an essential driver for fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development outcomes. Despite the clear benefits of infrastructure, the Asia-Pacific countries with special needs face large gaps in the level of their infrastructure development. This year’s edition of the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report finds that closing these gaps will require significant financial resources: to keep up with growing demands for new infrastructure, maintain existing infrastructure and take into account the impacts of climate change, resources equivalent to an estimated 10.5 per cent of GDP will need to be invested in infrastructure development per year in countries with special needs. This far exceeds current levels of infrastructure funding. In view of the limited resource availability, countries with special needs need to identify clear priority sectors for infrastructure development to be able to sequence their infrastructure investment and identify where the impact of additional infrastructure on sustainable development outcomes may be the largest.

The purposes of the High-level Exchange are: (1) to identify challenges and opportunities associated with infrastructure development, such as prioritization, cross-sectoral coordination, and institutional capacity for implementing projects and ensuring sustainable and effective use of infrastructure; (2) to understand challenges and opportunities at the national level for financing infrastructure, including through mobilizing domestic public finance and enhancing private sector participation and public-private partnerships; and (3) to discuss the future role of development assistance and cooperation in developing regional infrastructure such as large transport corridors and information superhighways. The outcome of this panel discussion will contribute to the sharing of experiences on national and regional strategies for development of infrastructure and the implementation of the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific.

High-level Dialogue: Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The implementation of 2030 Agenda will require an unprecedented strengthening of implementation capacity and understanding of the policy trade-offs and analytics of the interlinkages across the economic, social and environment sectors, as well enormous mobilization of financial and other resources and global partnerships. Asia and the Pacific has long been recognized as the engine of global growth and trade. Having achieved remarkable development, the region is now poised to play a leading role in shaping the global narrative for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals are transboundary in nature and rely on regional cooperation and integration to deliver effective solutions.

Regional economic cooperation and integration is a multidimensional process that facilitates shared prosperity by enabling an increased flow of goods, services, capital and people through the development of seamless infrastructure connectivity; strengthening of national institutions through exchanges of information, technical assistance and capacity building; and by helping countries to coordinate policies and institutional arrangements. Regional economic cooperation and integration fostered by dynamic subregional institutional arrangements has assumed new significance in Asia and the Pacific in response to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Enhancing regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific has strong potential synergies and complementarities with the 2030 Agenda.

Through this High-level Dialogue, Governments of the region will share their perspectives on the intersection of the 2030 Agenda and regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. The high-level platform aims to enhance a shared Asia-Pacific vision on key regional policy priorities that promote regional economic cooperation and integration as a means to implement the 2030 Agenda.

Ministerial Round Table on Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Energy

The Ministerial round table aims to enhance regional cooperation to promote sustainable energy with universal energy access, increased shares of renewable energy and improved energy efficiency as the top priorities in Asia and the Pacific. The round table will review the current energy scene and emerging trends in Asia and the Pacific. Factors that are driving major transformation of the energy sector will be discussed, in particular: (a) increasing energy demand, (b) changing demographic patterns and social priorities, (c) rebalancing of world energy supply and demand, and (d) building impetus to decarbonize energy sector in order to deliver on commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 7, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Ministers will share different policy options, strategies of sustainable energy and measures to strengthen means of implementation from their respective countries in order to ensure that energy transformation is economically viable, socially acceptable, environmentally sound, and fit with national priorities. Emphasis will be placed on how various national actions and policy recommendations on energy sector transformation can be reinforced through regional cooperation, with further discussion on the role of ESCAP in promoting regional cooperation on sustainable energy.

Ministerial panel on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017

The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 by the General Assembly and of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development raises important issues of efficient use of available resources to achieve the 17 inter-related goals and 169 associated targets; mobilization of additional public and private resources; and the implementation of different set of policies which would affect the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

To address these issues, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017 identifies governance as an important impetus to support the achievement of 2030 Agenda and aforementioned specific objectives. While governance has been included in the SDG framework under the Goal 16 by calling upon countries to “…build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”, the Survey for 2017 shows that achieving this objective can contribute to the realization of other development goals as well through better fiscal management and financial sector development.

The panel will discuss some of the challenges that countries in the region have faced in improving their institutional frameworks to enhance their fiscal management and stir the development of the financial sector.

Special, Side and Associated Events

SIDE EVENT Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum - Space Applications for Environment (SAFE)

Space Applications for Environment (SAFE) was established in 2008 as one of the international cooperation initiatives of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) to test and demonstrate the applications and benefits of space applications for environmental purposes in the Asia-Pacific region.

This side event aims to showcase the benefits of space applications for supporting the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals to non-technical policy makers and end users. Areas in which space applications can be utilised include support for natural resource management; planning for environmental protection; and mapping risk to critical energy infrastructure and potential renewable energy.

The event also aims to generate interest and dialogue among technical and non-technical delegates and support further discussions and input to a new Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Space Applications, 2018-2030, expect to be adopted at the ESCAP Ministerial Conference on Space Applications in 2018.

SIDE EVENT High-Level Luncheon for Representatives of the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)

This side event provides a platform for constructive dialogue on the utilization of the International Think Tank (ITT) for Landlocked Developing Countries for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024.

SIDE EVENT Towards SDG7: Empowering the excluded with affordable and clean energy

This side event, complementing the theme topic of the 73rd session of the Commission, provides an opportunity for ESCAP member states to share some of their best practices and nationally or regionally acclaimed projects on renewable energy, specially for those marginalized populations who are left outside national power grids and to mobilize regional support in Asia and the Pacific for the core objectives of Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda, namely Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The event will also provide a platform for private sector and philanthropic foundations to share their experiences regarding opportunities and challenges with investing in clean and affordable energy.

SIDE EVENT Building Regional Resilience to Water-related Disaster Risks

The side event aims to exchange diverse experiences and knowledge on building resilience to floods, tropical cyclones, and other water-related disasters in Asia-Pacific region. It will feature a high-level panel comprising key policy decision-makers from selected countries in the region as well as experts from technical institutions dealing with reducing risks from water-related hazards. Lessons from Japan’s experience in managing water-related disasters will be highlighted.

SIDE EVENT High-level Consultation on Oceans and Seas in Asia-Pacific

This side event serves as a high-level preparatory consultation amongst leaders from Asia and the Pacific, and related organizations and civil society for the UN Oceans Conference to be held in New York from 5-9 June 2017.

SIDE EVENT Sustainable Social Development in Asia and the Pacific for Achieving the 2030 Agenda

The Asia-Pacific’s impressive economic growth and noticeable poverty reduction have not succeeded in closing gaps between the rich and poor, nor the unequal access to, for example, health care and education. These gaps disproportionately affect women and the most vulnerable segments of society. They also hamper inclusive growth; undermine social cohesion, solidarity and integration and contribute to unsustainable production and consumption patterns. In short, social development gaps undermine efforts to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Low social protection coverage in combination with insufficient creation of decent jobs and weak tax regimes are part of the problem. To advance achieved socioeconomic gains and address existing and emerging challenges a people-centred development approach is needed. Social protection is a critical instrument for such a broad-based policy framework.

The event will take the form of an interactive panel discussion, wherein the panellists will have the opportunity to share recent experiences and priorities for strengthening social development, in particular investments in social protection.



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