Speeches

The Asia-Pacific region has been developing stronger international transport links – with increasingly coordinated development of both railway and road networks. The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network entered into force on 11 June 2009. This will facilitate coordinated development of the network, which now comprises 114,300 kilometres of rail lines of international importance. To date, 22 member countries have signed the Agreement and 11 have already become Parties. Focus for future investment in the network is now on the construction of the missing links which total 8,200 kilometres for which an estimated $25 billion are required. The flagship investment projects will be the building of the $32.3-billion high-speed passenger line between Shanghai and Beijing, due to open in 2012, and the construction of dedicated freight corridors in India with a 1,760-kilometre Eastern corridor between Ludhiana and Sonnagar, at an estimated cost of $3.9 billion, and a 1,485-kilometre Western corridor between Tughlakabad ICD and JNP/Mumbai, at an estimated cost of $3.7 billion. (UNESCAP 2009) Photo Credit:Kibae Park/Sipa Press
3 Feb 2015

Transport infrastructure and services are the concrete expression of our need to connect - with different countries, new markets, and key resources – but most importantly with other people. The transport sector underpins much of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (ESCAP’s) engagement with our member States and development partners, with an emphasis on promoting “Regional Connectivity and Shared Prosperity.”

Dr. Shamshad Akhta, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) delivering her closing statement at the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok, Thailand.
 Photo Credit: ESCAP/Sasika Ketz
30 Jan 2015

The new regional framework on HIV and AIDS builds on our successes, and refocuses our efforts to where they are now most needed. It also enables our region to strengthen its voice in the critical global negotiations on the sustainable development goals, ensuring that the response to HIV remains a key focus of the post-2015 development agenda.

Dr. Shamshad Akhta, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) delivering her opening remarks at the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS in Bangkok, Thailand.
Photo Credit: ESCAP/Sasika Ketz
28 Jan 2015

Getting to zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths in Asia and the Pacific, is possible only through seamless partnerships across and between counties. Our goal should be not only to halt the spread of HIV in the Asia-Pacific region, but to bring the epidemic to an end.

22 Jan 2015

Remarks by the Executive Secretary at the 358th meeting of the ESCAP Advisory Council for Permanent Representatives.

18 Jan 2015

The transition to a more diverse energy mix in Asia and the Pacific is feasible, with the regions abundant sources of renewable energy. Backed by appropriate strategies and policies, effective exploitation of renewable sources has the potential to substitute for fossil fuels.

13 Jan 2015

Presentation delivered by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), at the launch of the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2014: Year-end Update.

Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), speaking at the 46th Business Talk of the Global Compact Network Pakistan, in Karachi, Pakistan on 19 December 2014.
Photo Credit: Global Compact Network
19 Dec 2014

Economic growth and sustainable development are not zero sum games. They are both prerequisites of the future we want, mutually reinforcing, and neither can succeed in the absence of the other.

Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), speaking at the Seventeenth Sustainable Development Conference of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad, Pakistan on 9 December 2014.
Photo Credit: SDPI
9 Dec 2014

Post-2015 sustainable development has the potential to break new ground. Its conceptual framework is anchored in an integrated approach, and its processes have involved unprecedented levels of global consultation. This agenda is not just about aspirational goals but it makes a persuasive case for global partnerships in finance; trade; as well as science, technology and innovation. Pathways to sustainable development are complex but attainable.

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