Interview with Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Before Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, comes to the 66th ESCAP Commission Session held in Incheon, South Korea, she had a following interview with Korea IT Times.

Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan

Executive Secretary Noeleen Heyzer(centre, left) and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan (centre, right) together with the local village children in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis. Photo taken during the Executive Secretary's visit to the Ayeyarwady Delta, post cyclone in June 2008

Q. What is your strategy for Asia to lead the world economy through a restructuring of Asia’s financial infrastructures and the unification of Asia?
A. I believe the challenge before the Asia Pacific region is our ability to harness the enormous economic transformation underway in Asia and the Pacific today, and to seek to sustain, through this transformation, the greatest social and economic advancement ever known in our region.  I will work with the ESCAP Secretariat to assist the member states of ESCAP in bringing about three key initiatives to help spur this advancement:
First, a concerted effort by governments across the region to adopt green growth strategies and sustainable new technology approaches to development that will improve the lives of the people of our region.
Second, adoption of new financing systems and increased access to banking services that will sustain the transformation across the region of people and families once mired in poverty and now given the opportunity through economic growth to achieve higher standards of living.
Third, a renewed regional focus on joining our business and government efforts together, to use our wealth to address a range of economic, social and environmental challenges.  Public private partnerships benefit all, allowing the power of the marketplace to achieve public good.

Q. What could be the main issues for you to discuss with Heads of state and Ministers of 52 countries at UN ESCAP CS66 Incheon Korea?

Dr.Noeleen Heyzer, the ninth Executive Secretary of ESCAP
Dr.Noeleen Heyzer, the ninth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

A. Above all, forging a common journey of sustainable development for the Asia Pacific region.  We cannot take a sustained economic recovery for the Asia Pacific region for granted.  The global financial crisis of the past two years underscores the threat that global economic shifts continue to hold for the region.  We remain vulnerable to the man-made shocks of global capital flows and food and fuel price increases, and we are vulnerable to natural disasters and the increasing threat of climate change to alter our ecological balance.
The main issue: How do we sustain the present economic rebound across the Asia pacific region and turn the multiple challenges into multiple opportunities?  During the 66th ESCAP Commission Session, I will assist the member states in seeking consensus in meeting these shared challenges - and looking for a common path of development forward.

Executive Secretary Noeleen Hezyer consuls two young girls who survived China's earthquake in the province of Sichuan

Executive Secretary Noeleen Hezyer (center) consuls two young girls who survived China's earthquake in the province of Sichuan.

Q. What could be the main issues for you to discuss with Heads of state and Ministers of 52 countries at UN ESCAP CS66 Incheon Korea?
A. Above all, forging a common journey of sustainable development for the Asia Pacific region.  We cannot take a sustained economic recovery for the Asia Pacific region for granted.  The global financial crisis of the past two years underscores the threat that global economic shifts continue to hold for the region.  We remain vulnerable to the man-made shocks of global capital flows and food and fuel price increases, and we are vulnerable to natural disasters and the increasing threat of climate change to alter our ecological balance.
The main issue: How do we sustain the present economic rebound across the Asia pacific region and turn the multiple challenges into multiple opportunities?  During the 66th ESCAP Commission Session, I will assist the member states in seeking consensus in meeting these shared challenges - and looking for a common path of development forward.