ESCAP Office in Almaty deepens United Nations engagement in North and Central Asia

ESCAP NCA Photo

The opening of a Subregional Office in Almaty, Kazakhstan will enhance the United Nations work to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in North and Central Asia, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said today.

“Sharing a common cultural and historical legacy, relying on each others' strengths, while supplementing each others' vulnerabilities, the countries in Central Asia stand as a crossroads of civilizations, and as a bridge between Europe and Asia,” said Dr. Heyzer in her inauguration remarks, delivered by Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary.

“The establishment of this Office reflects a very important aspiration of ESCAP; to deepen our relationships with, and support for, our member States in the North and Central Asian subregion.”

The ESCAP North and Central Asia (ENCA) Subregional Office covers Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Its’ mandate is to facilitate the sharing of development experiences, promote regional economic cooperation, and contribute to sustainable development, to help member States bring about inclusive and resilient economic growth for current and future generations. The Office will also strengthen ESCAP’s presence at the subregional level, to better target and deliver programmes that address specific key priorities of member States.

The establishment of the Subregional Office follows up on the United Nations Secretary-General’s pledge to strengthen the development pillars of the United Nations. The Office will strengthen ESCAP assistance to member States in formulating and implementing inclusive and sustainable development policies for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), closing the development gaps, fostering inclusive growth and building productive capacities, while facilitating connectivity within the subregion and boosting intra-regional and inter-regional cooperation.

The Office will focus on such areas as transport and trade facilitation, water and energy management, and sustainable development, including green growth. It will also focus on improving connectivity and boosting intraregional cooperation in respect to the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in the subregion.

Additionally, the Office coordinates the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) which is supported by ESCAP and the Economic Commission for Europe. SPECA covers five Central Asian economies, plus Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.

The ENCA Office joins ESCAP’s subregional offices in South and South-West Asia in New Delhi, India, East and North-East Asia in Incheon, Republic of Korea and the Pacific in Suva, Fiji. The South-East Asian subregion is serviced by ESCAP headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.