With the advent of a more multipolar world, South-South cooperation has evolved strong and structured institutional mechanisms in Asia, evidenced by the establishment of multilateral platforms such as the New Development Bank (of the BRICS), the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Silk Road Development Fund, and the newly-announced South-South Climate Cooperation Fund. In this context, there is real potential to exploit synergies between Official Development Assistance and South-South cooperation.
International Women’s Day should be marked by a pledge for parity – to ramp up the ambition of our vision and accelerate the urgency of our actions on gender equality and women’s empowerment. ESCAP stands ready to partner with you to these ends. The future we want demands this of us.
ESCAP’s intergovernmental platform is well-placed to leverage the extensive STI expertise of our region. This is why our member States decided, last year, to establish a regional STI platform - for Asia-Pacific countries to agree on a common framework, policies and standards that promote openness, effectiveness and efficiency, examining options for knowledge-sharing, while protecting the rights of countries to compete and grow.
The “story” of growth goes well beyond numbers. Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient for prosperity, happiness and well-being. The concept of GDP, introduced more than 70 years ago, still offers a common metric of economic performance, and combined with agreed methodology for computing Systems of National Accounts (SNA), remains valuable in estimating trends in national production, sources of growth and has the added advantage of comparability. But even the original architects of GDP warned against equating it with well-being.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), updates member States during the 363rd of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representative (ACPR) on recent work by the Secretariat as well as her activities.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, presented on the findings from the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015: Year-End Update during the launch of the report held in Bangkok, Thailand at the United Nations Conference Centre.
2015 was a year which saw ESCAP taking on more responsibilities than ever, many of these in entirely new areas of work. I have been extremely proud of your achievements and how well our team performed – forging new expertise in financing for development; science, technology and innovation (STI); climate change and a number of other subjects as well.
The gravity of rapid growth in energy emissions because of the energy mix and the high energy intensity of economies has brought into focus the need for an urgent energy transition in countries across the board at COP21. Adopting the same old 20th century strategies will put us on an irreversible path of climate calamity. Managing the risks of climate change requires a fundamental realignment and adjustment in our development pathways for the 21st century.
Halting the global temperature rise requires all countries to adopt low carbon development paths, but it is an absolute imperative for those States contributing high greenhouse gas emissions and facing future economic and demographic pressures. China features prominently in this regard with its leading position in population size, economic activity, energy consumption, trade and finance – and hence, rising emissions.