Asia-Pacific Leaders at UN Meet on Regional Development Agenda

Government leaders of the Asia-Pacific region are meeting this week in the Republic of Korea, to agree on joint economic and development measures allowing Asia's initial rebound from the global economic crisis to lead to sustained economic growth for all the countries of the region.

The annual session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is bringing together ministers and senior officials in Incheon to discuss the challenges facing Asia and the Pacific and to propose a coordinated response.

"This year's Commission session focus on two challenges: Our ability to harness the economic recovery underway in Asia and the Pacific today, and to seek to sustain this growth through a concerted effort by governments across the region to adopt Green Growth and clean technology development to improve the lives of our region's people," said Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

"Financing an Inclusive and Green Future" is the theme of the five day session, which seeks regional consensus for adoption of Green Growth and stronger, more inclusive and sustainable financial architecture. Policy options include increasing social spending, creating greater financial connectivity within the region and promoting a Green Growth agenda across the region.

"The government of Korea is pleased to host these critical discussions on green growth and creating a sustainable economic recovery for the region," said Mr. Kim Kyung-soo, Director General for International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. "This session is taking place in Korea, where we have embraced the Green Growth approach and we look forward to contributing our ideas to these deliberations."

Government Ministers will meet on Monday, 17 May with opening statements from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Chung Un-chan, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Edward Natapei. A high level round table discussion on Green Growth and financial initiatives, which will include a keynote address by the President of Kiribati, Mr Anote Tong.

"It is time to move from individual country strengths to collective regional strengths; to introduce balance back into our economic and social order; to develop common regional positions and solutions to global problems; to address the disparities in our region; to value the gifts of our earth," Dr Heyzer said.

Republic of Korea is hosting the 66th Commission Session in Incheon, nearly two decades after it hosted the 47th session in Seoul in 1991. The Incheon Metropolitan - a model of Green Growth and development for the region - is host to the session, which brings together 62 member governments.