Asia-Pacific countries gather to set path for enhanced energy security
Asia-Pacific countries begin a four-day United Nations conference today on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy in Vladivostok, Russian Federation.
Organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation, the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) is the first Asia-Pacific region-wide intergovernmental ministerial meeting on energy convened by the United Nations. High-level participants attending APEF from 35 countries across the diverse Asia-Pacific region, including heads of government and ministers are expected to adopt the APEF Ministerial Declaration and Plan of Action on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy, with both regional-level and subregional-level activities for implementation.
A heavy reliance on fossil fuels makes the region particularly vulnerable to the fluctuations of international energy market prices. Recurring shocks of oil price volatility, financial and economic crises have not only exacerbated issues in energy, food and water, but have also partially reversed social and economic development gains and made the task of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) even more challenging.
Recognizing this, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2014-2024 as the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All to mobilize action on the global initiative led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Outcomes from APEF will play an important role in defining Asia and the Pacific’s participation and leadership in achieving the goals of the upcoming Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.
To fully capture perspectives on energy security within Asia and the Pacific, and to support consensus-building toward a regional energy strategy, ESCAP initiated five subregional consultation meetings in Bangkok, Delhi, Incheon, Moscow and Nadi, an Expert Group Meeting and Regional Preparatory Meeting which enabled a thorough and engaging intergovernmental process.
To realize enhanced energy security and the future we want in Asia and the Pacific, ESCAP is drawing attention to seven focus areas including access to energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy and environment, energy economics, trade and investment, and connectivity.
In addition to the official segments, there will be a Business Forum on the third day where business leaders will discuss innovation, technology development and partnerships with government officials, along with some civil society representatives.