Intergovernmental Consultation Meeting of the United Nations ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia, 22-23 November 2010, Incheon, Republic of Korea

At the first Intergovernmental Consultation Meeting organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia (SRO-ENEA) at Incheon, Republic of Korea, stakeholders from member states, civil society, academic institutions and multilateral agencies engaged in in-depth discussions on the subregion’s sustainable development challenges and on the on-going agendas of multilateral cooperation in East and North-East Asia. In addition to creating consensus and outlining a plan of action for the SRO-ENEA, the participants of the meeting agreed to strengthen collaboration between countries in addressing economic, social and environmental imbalances of the subregion.

The meeting was attended by 23 government officials from five ESCAP member countries in East and North East Asia (China, Japan, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation), high-level international and national experts, representatives from non- governmental organizations, representatives of UN Bodies in the subregion and staff members from the Substantive Divisions and Regional Institutions of ESCAP.

The Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, Mr. Young-gil Song and the Director-General of the International Economic Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea, Mr. Kyungsoo Kim, delivered welcoming remarks.

H.E. Mr. Han Seungsoo, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and Chairman of the Board of the Global Green Growth Institute, delivered the Meeting key note address. Mr. Seungsoo welcomed the establishment of the new ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia as a strong indicator of the increasingly closer association of the Republic of Korea with the United Nations. He emphasized the need to remain vigilant in pursuing MDG targets, in tackling the challenges of climate change, especially in East and North-East Asia, and in promoting low-carbon green growth. He applauded G20 countries for having placed development on their agenda at the recently held G20 Summit in Seoul, and he specifically welcomed the adoption, by the G20, of the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth and its Multi-Year Action Plan. He suggested that ESCAP continue to contribute to the G20 discussions on development in the future and anticipated that the Subregional Office would become a focal point for cooperation between Korea and ESCAP in further developing and refining the development agenda for the future.

The Head of the Subregional Office, Mr. Peter Van Laere, delivered welcoming remarks on behalf of Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

The programme of the meeting incorporated two round table discussions on: “Towards a People-Centered Development Agenda” and, “Subregional Cooperation for Sustainable Development.” The meeting included four sessions on emerging economic and social development issues in East and North-East Asia, and one side event on the Subregional Office Knowledge Sharing Platform at which the first periodic newsletter of the Office, subtitled “Towards a people centered sustainable development agenda” was launched.

The meeting marked an important step in determining the further development and implementation of the work areas and activities of the ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia, taking into account the already adopted work priorities for the subregion which include promoting inclusive sustainable development, reducing poverty and protecting the most-vulnerable, addressing climate change, promoting low-carbon green growth as well as transport and trade facilitation, and reducing disaster risk through information communication technology.