Asia-Pacific countries to launch regional development policy forum

Asia-Pacific countries to launch regional development policy forum

Commission Session live webcast

Asia-Pacific countries will launch a week-long, United Nations-convened regional development policy forum here this week, focusing on ways to build resilience to growing threats from economic shocks and natural disasters and accelerate their progress towards inclusive and sustainable prosperity.

Senior government officials from 41 countries will meet at the 69th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from 25 to 27 April ahead of the Commission’s high-level ministerial segment from 29 April to 01 May to be attended by heads of government and senior ministers.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security, Timor-Leste, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand H.E. Plodprasop Suraswadi and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Jan Eliasson will address the opening of the ministerial segment. The President of Myanmar H.E. U Thein Sein is also expected to be present at the opening ceremony on 29 April.

H.E. Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister, Solomon Islands and government leaders from Fiji, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Timor-Leste will be among key speakers at panel discussions during the high-level session next week on steering the region towards equitable, environment-friendly and resilient growth.

The ESCAP Session is being held against the backdrop of persisting economic uncertainty in developed countries which has affected Asia-Pacific growth, widespread poverty, hunger and the lack of decent job opportunities and social protection for the majority of people in the region.

On 29 April, Asia-Pacific government leaders and policymakers will join a panel discussion on the region’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015 as well as critical and emerging development challenges beyond this deadline.

A Ministerial Round Table on the theme of the 68th Session Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Major Economic Crises on the second day of the ministerial segment will review and discuss ways to make resilience central to development strategies at local, national and regional levels.

Another high-level panel on 30 April will assess regional progress towards sustainable development amidst the ongoing global economic crisis and suggest policy options to address existing and emerging vulnerabilities.

A special panel discussion on the final day of the ESCAP Session will bring together the chiefs of the five United Nations regional commissions across the world, including ESCAP, to discuss how South-South cooperation in the areas of trade, investment and finance can contribute to people and planet-friendly economic growth in developing countries.

The ministerial segment will also be webcast in four languages (English, Chinese, French and Russian) at http://www.unescap.org/commission/69/streaming.