Advocacy Training Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (2011)

Date: 
25 Oct 2011 to 28 Oct 2011
Location: 
Siem Reap, Cambodia

The most recent regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report “Paths to 2015: MDG Priorities in Asia and the Pacific” prepared under the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP regional MDG partnership showed that none of the countries of the region will reach all the targets by 2015 and that several countries, particularly amongst countries with special needs (CSN) (i.e., the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states), are off-track in achieving the MDGs. The Regional review of Brussels Programme of Action, among other things, also concluded that the least developed countries have, in general, lagged behind others in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.

In addition, the recent economic and financial crises have created complications by potentially pushing millions of people back into poverty and by disrupting the growth process. Furthermore, the frequent natural disasters – the Japan earthquake and tsunami being the latest – keep creating more disparities and downward risks to an otherwise robust growth outlook as the region emerges as the growth pole of the global economy.

The recently launched Cambodia’s MDGs report drew attention to the needs for greater interventions to address three goals in particular: goal 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; goal 5: improve maternal health, particularly on reducing maternal death; and goal 7: ensure environmental sustainability, particularly on protecting natural resources. It also concluded that Cambodia has made impressive progress in some MDG indicators (goal 4: reduce child mortality and goal 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases). At the same time, some indicators show there have been slow in achieving some important targets. These include achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women. To reach the goals by 2015, Cambodia will need to step up their efforts to replicate good practices and learn lessons from early achievers in the region. In addition, the roadmap of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) from 2011 to the Mid-term review also called for mainstreaming the IPoA into LDCs’ national development plans and strategies.

In view of the above and to assist the developing countries, particularly Cambodia being a LDC, in the region in delivering their MDG commitments, an advocacy training workshop is organized involving various national stakeholders such as policymakers, civil society, private sector, media, academia and practitioners from Cambodia as well as selected experts from early achievers in the region. The key objective of the advocacy training workshop would be to promote policy options and good practices in integrating MDGs in national development strategies, plans and programmes identified at the Sub-regional Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs as Part of the Implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (South-East Asia/East and North-East Asia), which was held on 14-16 September 2011 in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Objectives and purpose of the proposed meeting:

According the regional MDGs Report, there are similar differences between and within sub-regions. Although the South East Asia as whole has made greatest progress in achieving the targets, the LDCs in the sub-region, including Cambodia, have made slow or no progress on most indicators. This workshop will focus on critical issues of relevance to Cambodia, where MDG disparities remain a major challenge and will identify solutions from other countries (early achievers) at the sub-regional level.

The main objectives of the Advocacy Training Workshop are:

- To focus on government, civil society and private sector perspectives on (what are) the challenges and opportunities in integrating MDGs in national development strategies;
- To share experiences drawn from good practices and lessons learned in the sub-region;
- To promote integration of MDGs into national development plans and strategies as part of the implementation of IPoA in Cambodia; and
- To identify concrete action plans to integrate MDGs in national development strategies in Cambodia, particularly in reducing hunger, achieving higher standards of maternal health and protecting natural resources.

Proposed activities:

The advocacy training workshop will be organized in collaboration with the Royal Government of Cambodia, UNCT and relevant members of regional cooperation mechanism (RCM), targeting policymakers, other development partners, and general public through media. The workshop is designed to comprise:

- Plenary session to stock-take the progress towards 2015;
- Roundtable sessions to share views and perspectives of various stakeholders from Cambodia and in the sub-region in developing and implementing MDG-based national development strategies, plans and programmes; and
- Group in-depth discussions to identify concrete action plans for Cambodia on the acceleration framework.

Thus, the Advocacy Training Workshop will be organized into five sessions, namely: 1) Plenary Session: MDGs in Asia and the Pacific – Trends and Prospects; 2) Roundtable Session 1: Challenges and opportunities in achieving the MDGs in Cambodia: Perspectives of Stakeholders; 3) Roundtable Session 2: Lessons learned from early achievers in the sub-region; 4) Roundtable/Group Discussions Session 3: Reducing extreme hunger, Achieving higher standards of maternal health, and Protecting natural resources; and 5) Panel Session: Action plans for moving forward. The Advocacy Training Workshop will include an exhibition for participants (tbc).

Expected outcomes/outputs:

- Improved capacities of policymakers and practitioners of Cambodia to integrate MDG-based strategies in national development frameworks; and
- The synthesis of the proceedings (action plans) – as inputs into the regional publication series jointly produced by ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP.

Target audience:

Mostly senior – mid level policymakers, civil society, private sector, media, academia and practitioners from Cambodia. The officials could be MDG focal points and/or from PMO office, Planning Ministries, officials from other line agencies.

Partners:

ESCAP and the National Committee -ESCAP of Cambodia, Royal Government of Cambodia.