ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations and serves as the main economic and social development centre for the United Nation in Asia and the Pacific. It is also the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region. Its mandate is to foster regional cooperation between its 53 members and 9 associate members to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
The ESCAP secretariat provides the strategic link between global and country-level programmes and issues. It supports the governments of the region in consolidating regional positions and advocates regional approaches to meeting the region’s unique socio-economic challenges. The ESCAP office is located in Bangkok, Thailand.
ESCAP works on issues related to environment and development through its subprogramme on environment and sustainable Development. ESCAP is also head of the Regional Coordination Mecanism and will engage members in the preparatory process.
As a regional commission of the UN, ESCAP is mandated to support the preparatory process of the UNCSD RIO+20 Conference. The General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/64/236 decided that in preparation to RIO+20 Conference, there will be regional preparatory meetings (which will replace the Regional implementation meeting, traditionally being held prior to the Policy year of the CSD).
The General Assembly also stressed the importance of having efficient and effective preparations at the local, national, regional and international levels by Governments in collaboration with the United Nations system so as to ensure high-quality inputs without placing undue strain on Member States.
The Regional Commissions have developed calendars of regional preparatory activities, have made plans to commission special studies, have held or plan to organize Intercessional regional meetings on the themes of the Conference in preparation to the Regional Preparatory Meetings.
In Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP will head the Regional Coordination Mechanism and will engage members in the preparatory process. Furthermore, regional and sub-regional inter-agency collaboration has been launched through regular consultations in all regions.