What's Ahead @ ESCAP: 1-15 September 2014

27 July 2008-Phnom Penh, Cambodia- A working woman at a local market in Phnom Penh. Photo Credit:Kibae Park

A summary of upcoming events, seminars and other activities throughout ESCAP for 1-15 September 2014.

Training on Trade Defence Measures and Other Trade Related Issues, 1-5 September 2014, Yangon, Myanmar

ESCAP will hold a training session on Trade Defence Measures and Other Trade Related Issues from 1-5 September in Yangon, Myanmar. The aim of the training is to create awareness among private sector representatives from Myanmar of trade defence measures, including their rights as per the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement. This training will also touch upon two important issues for Myanmar, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Geographic Indicators and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in the context of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. The training is being organized by ESCAP in partnership with the Centre for WTO Studies, New Delhi, India and the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Myanmar. It is being held in response to the assessment of the capacity-building needs identified in earlier consultation with the Trade Training Institute in February 2013.

SATNET Asia National Workshop on Bangladesh Agricultural Technology Innovation System – Opportunities and Challenges, 2-3 September 2014, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The Asian and Pacific Center for Transfer of Technology (APCTT), in partnership with the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), is organizing a two -day national workshop from 2 to 3 September in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop will facilitate brainstorming on how agricultural innovation system could be improved to effectively meet the challenges in agricultural productivity and food security in Bangladesh. The aim of the workshop is to identify gaps in the system and to provide recommendations to key stakeholders in Bangladesh on how to strengthen and improve its efficiency. APCTT is based in New Delhi and is one of the five regional institutions of ESCAP. Organized as part of APCTT’s capacity-building programme for South Asian countries under the Network for Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Agricultural Technologies and Improved Market Linkages in South and Southeast Asia (SATNET), participants will consist of a wide range of domestic actors and innovators including representatives from the government, R&D institutions, academia and industries in Bangladesh.

Sixth Workshop on Forging Partnerships in Statistical Training in Asia and the Pacific: Networking and Coordination for Agricultural and Rural Statistics, 2- 4 September 2014, Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) will conduct the Sixth Workshop on Forging Partnerships in Statistical Training in Asia and the Pacific: Networking and Coordination for Agricultural and Rural Statistics from 2 to 4 September, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The aim of the workshop is to organize a network of training partners for agricultural and rural statistics as a sub-group of the Asia-Pacific Network for the Coordination of Statistical Training (the Network). The Network is mandated by the ESCAP Committee on Statistics and was established in April 2014 with 24 members. Network members agreed that a sub-group would help in facilitating coordination of the training component of the Asia-Pacific Regional Action Plan of the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics.

The objectives of the workshop are to: develop and agree on the terms of reference of the sub-group for agricultural and rural statistics, map out a work programme of the sub-group for 2014-2015 and design a training-of-trainers course for applying core skills frameworks and training needs assessment tools at the country level. Target participants for the workshop are members of the Network who have expressed interest in joining the sub-group, heads of national training institutions on statistics and agricultural statistics, and agricultural statisticians and agricultural statistics experts.

Vladivostok Meeting galvanizes high-level collaborative action for quality macroeconomic statistics, 3-4 September 2014, Vladivostok, Russian Federation

From 3 to 4 September, the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok will become a venue for a two day strategic dialogue led by ESCAP between users and producers of macroeconomic statistics. While reflecting on the changing world economy, discussions will focus on coordinated implementation of international standards for macroeconomic statistics that is a prerequisite for ensuring an integrated approach to economic statistics and more coherent economic policies. It is expected that participants will reach a consensus on a Vladivostok Outcome Statement that calls for a scaled-up political and financial support as well as enhanced coordination of economic statistics initiatives at the national and regional levels. Organized by ESCAP in cooperation with Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation (Rosstat), UNSD, IMF and National Research University Higher School of Economics, the meeting will bring together high level officials from ten countries representing National Statistical Offices, Central Banks, the Ministries of Finance and Intergovernmental organizations.

For more information please see: http://www.unescap.org/events/high-level-meeting-coordinated-implementation-international-standards-macroeconomic

High-level international Conference on the Role of Transport and Transit Corridors in Ensuring International Cooperation, Stability, and Sustainable Development, 3-4 September 2014, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

ESCAP will be co-organizing this international conference with the Government of Turkmenistan, the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) to address the transportation network of Turkmenistan and the main directions of its development; strengthening regional cooperation of states of the Central Asia and the Caspian Region to develop transport links and transit; and coordination of work of international organizations and financial institutions on development of transport links and transit in the Central Asia and the Caspian region. Participants will include representatives from ministries of transport of participating countries and territories, representatives from international organizations, The event is in line with the ESCAP work under the Transport Division's vision of strengthening connectivity, particularly for landlocked developing and least developed countries to link with regional and inter-regional transport and trade networks. ESCAP will also lead the organization of a plenary session on “Role of transport transit corridors in achieving sustainable development” and two break-out sessions on “Financing of transport infrastructure and services developments” and “Challenges and opportunities for international railway and intermodal freight transport”.

Experts Meeting on Skills Framework and Training Needs Assessment Tools, 5 September 2014, Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) will convene the Experts Meeting on Skills Framework and Training Needs Assessment Tools on 5 September in Tsukuba, Japan, following the Sixth Workshop on Forging Partnership in Statistical Training in Asia and the Pacific. The meeting aims to review current practices and tools and provide recommendations on a skills framework for agricultural and rural statisticians and training needs assessment tools and process implementation for assessing training needs for agricultural and rural statistics. Participants of the meeting will include 17 training and agricultural statistics experts from statistical and agricultural statistics training organizations and universities, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Sixth Basic-Level e-Learning Course on the 2008 System of National Accounts, and the Fourth Intermediate-Level e-Learning Course on the 2008 System of National Accounts, 8 September- 7 November 2014, Chiba, Japan

The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) will conduct two e-learning courses on the 2008 System of National Accounts: the first being the Sixth Basic-Level e-Learning Course on the 2008 System of National Accounts, and the second the Fourth Intermediate-Level e-Learning Course on the 2008 System of National Accounts. The courses will be conducted over a period of approximately one month from 8 September to 7 November 2014. The basic-level course aims to introduce the basic tenets of the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA2008) to junior statisticians engaged in some aspect of compiling national accounts statistics or data collection of its source statistics. Statisticians intending to broaden their knowledge of official economic statistics and who are considering working in national accounts statistics will benefit from this introductory course.

The intermediate-level course is intended to increase knowledge on the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA2008) of junior and middle-level government statisticians with experience and basic knowledge in the compilation of national accounts statistics and its source data. It gives special attention to changes in the national accounts framework introduced in the SNA 2008. These online courses will be conducted over a period of nine weeks. Learning materials including assignments will be posted on the course website. The course lecturer will respond to queries and problems that participants encounter in their learning.

Sub-regional Advocacy Workshop on MDGs for Central Asia, 9-11 September 2014, Almaty, Kazakhstan

The ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Partnership will organize the Sub-regional Advocacy consultation workshop on MDGs and post-2015 for Central Asia in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 9 to 11 September. This workshop constitutes the advocacy for work that has been carried out by the three partners in support of accelerated achievement of the MDGs in Asia and the Pacific region. It also aims to draw from multi-stakeholder consultations for readiness to address implementation challenges for a post-2015 development agenda.

In particular, the workshop will disseminate the key findings and messages of the publication, Asia-Pacific Aspirations: Perspectives for a Post-2015 Development Agenda, with a particular focus on the progress achieved by the countries in Central Asia. Participants will also discuss some of the critical implementation issues in realizing the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals and deliberate on how regional and global cooperation could support the implementation of a post 2015 Development Agenda in Asia-Pacific. The issues of financing the post-2015 development agenda, technology, innovations and trade facilitation, and data and information in realizing the vision of a transformative agenda will also be addressed.

The Second Training Workshop for Fiji Geographical Information System (GIS) specialists on Geo-portal and Geospatial Data Management for Disaster Risk Reduction, 9-11 September 2014, Nadi, Fiji

ESCAP, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of Fiji and the government of Korea, will conduct the Second Training Workshop for Fiji GIS specialists on Geo-portal and Geospatial Data Management for Disaster Risk Reduction in Nadi, Fiji, from 9 to 11 September. 17 Fiji government officials and two offices of the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) will attend the programme. The training programme will use GIS training manuals, developed by ESCAP, as main training materials. The manuals include information on geoportal and GIS system structures, installation and generation of metadata, administrative services, etc. Other materials such as ENVI GIS software and ArcGIS will be used simultaneously during hands-on training and interaction sessions on collecting data, adding layers, analyzing, and operating the portal. This training workshop aims to improve the knowledge of Fiji government officials with regards to geospatial data use and management for operating the geo portal, monitoring disaster risks, processing techniques on satellite imagery for flood mapping, and assessing the impact of disaster hazards.

CSAM/FAO/IAARD, the 2nd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific, 9-11 September 2014, Serpong, Indonesia

The Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) is organizing the 2nd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization from 9 to 11 September in Serpong, Indonesia. The Forum will be held in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP) and the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD). The theme of the forum is ‘Enabling Environment for Custom Hiring of Agricultural Machinery,’ and will it be held in conjunction with the International Forum on Agricultural and Bio-System Engineering 2014 (IFABE 2014) and the 2nd ASEAN Conference on Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering (ACABE 2014). A side event on machinery demonstration/exhibition will also be organized in the wake of the Forum.

The Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization was first launched in 2013 as a regular initiative of CSAM in line with its renewed mandate and revised strategic functions. The Forum aims to provide a regional platform to facilitate high-level policy dialogue, improve knowledge and information exchange, promote good practices and technology extension, and nurture regional cooperation and intraregional trade and investment on sustainable agricultural mechanization.

Study tour/workshop on Pro-Poor Public-Private Partnership (5P) for rural development: Widening access to energy services for the rural poor in Asia and the Pacific through community mobilization, 12-17 September 2014, Indonesia.

ESCAP is organizing a study tour/workshop to Indonesia on Pro-Poor Public Private Partnership (5P) for rural development from 12 to 17 September. The study tour/workshop will support 5P national team members from Lao PDR and Nepal, in particular the community mobilizers, in developing community mobilization strategies within the framework of the pilot projects in their respective country. Atendees from Malaysia and Myanmar will also participate in preparation for the implementation of a similar project in their countries. The study tour will benefit from the successful implementation of the Cinta Mekar Project, which was implemented by IBKEA and ESCAP in 2004. The community maintains the power plant, which provides steady and reliable income to the community trust fund. This fund plays a critical role towards enhancing the livelihood of the community.

The on-going 5P initiative focuses on developing a viable business plan that attracts private sector investment towards widening access to energy services. In developing the pilot projects in Lao PDR and Nepal, it is important to also clearly position the importance of community mobilization that will make energy the foundation for development. For this purpose, the study tour/workshop is expected to enhance understanding of the engagement of communities and the private sector in the design of power systems, operations, and the maintenance and management phases of the project through the Cinta Mekar experience.

National Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Forum, 15-16 September 2014, Vientiane, Lao PDR

To support less developed countries in further involving the private sector in infrastructure development, particularly using the public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism, ESCAP is implementing a United Nations development account project over the period 2014-2015. As part of the project a national workshop will be organized from 15 to 16 September 2014 in Vientiane to support the government of Lao PDR in implementing measures to efficiently involve the private sector in infrastructure development and to define a set of actions that the Lao government can take for further developing PPPs in the country. The workshop will also be an opportunity to improve the understanding and knowledge of senior policy makers and government officials about public-private partnerships and understand what PPPs can and cannot do, what are the risks retained by the Government in PPPs projects and the roles of both the government and the private sector.

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