UN office in Almaty strengthens inclusive and sustainable growth in North and Central Asia

Deepening our relationships with, and support for, our Member States in the North and Central Asian subregion is vital to building a sustainable and inclusive development path for the future, the top United Nations official for Asia and the Pacific said during her inaugural visit to Almaty today.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Dr. Shamshad Akhtar is in Almaty this week for her first visit to ESCAP’s North and Central Asian Office (SONCA).

The sub-regional office in Almaty was established to enhance the work of the United Nations to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in North and Central Asia. It covers Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

"Strengthening ESCAP’s presence at the sub-regional level helps us to better understand the national priorities, local requirements and accordingly target and deliver programmes that address specific key priorities of Member States,” said Dr. Akhtar.

“By facilitating the sharing of development experiences, promoting regional economic cooperation and contributing to sustainable development, the sub-regional office is helping Member States bring about inclusive and resilient economic growth for current and future generations.”

The Republic of Kazakhstan and ESCAP have been in close and mutual cooperation for more than 20 years. SONCA was opened in Almaty on 5 July 2011 upon the initiative of the Government of Kazakhstan and in line with a UN General Assembly Resolution.
The main aim of the Office is to better address development priorities of Member States, to strengthen regional cooperation and integration for accelerating progress towards attainment of internationally agreed development goals and achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

Key focus areas include up-to-date infrastructure in the region, particularly transport, energy, information and communication technology (ICT) and water resources.
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.