What's Ahead @ ESCAP: 16-31 May 2014

Inaugural Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), 19 - 21 May, Pattaya, Thailand

The inaugural session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) will be held from 19 to 21 May 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand. Discussions will align with the theme of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) - “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals”. Taking stock of the global discussions at this critical time when the HLPF and its associated processes are in a transitional phase and the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015 is being formulated, the APFSD will focus on: developing strong regional inputs to inform global dialogue and decision-making, as well as national responses; identifying effective and inclusive means of implementation for a transformational development agenda; and defining the regional HLPF processes to 2015 and beyond. The APFSD will be held over three days to ensure wide participation and exchange of views. Keynote presentations, statements by political leaders, civil society and the international community will share regional perspectives and focus attention on the challenges of integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development, including a special session on the rule of law. It will be preceded by a civil society consultation and a regional dialogue on technology facilitation

First Group Training Programme on Production and Statistical Analysis of Monitoring indicators in Support of Inclusive Development Policies (PAMID-1), 19 May- 27 June 2014, Chiba, Japan

The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will conduct the First Group Training Programme on Production and Statistical Analysis of Monitoring indicators in Support of Inclusive Development Policies (PAMID-1) in Chiba, Japan from 19 May to 27 June 2014.

This programme is designed for middle-level government statisticians who are expected to continue to contribute substantively in the design of household surveys, and production and analyses of official statistics and indicators which they provide. Course organizers are expecting 20 participants from 11 countries, namely: Cameroon, Fiji, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao P.D.R., Lesotho, Mongolia, Myanmar, South Sudan, Thailand and Turkey.

The objective of the programme is to strengthen the capacity of government statisticians to produce social and economic statistics and indicators that enable analysis of disparities and monitoring of impacts of inclusive development policies.

In this programme, participants will apply the knowledge and skills acquired to produce an analytical paper on disparities in their respective countries.

The 43rd Session of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Standing Committee, 26-27 May 2014, Vientiane

The ESCAP/TID-APTA Secretariat is organizing the 43rd session of the APTA Standing Committee from 26 to 27 May 2014 in Vientiane, hosted for the first time by the Government of Lao PDR. The Committee will consolidate progress made towards South-South regional trade cooperation and integration by in-depth discussion, consultation and negotiations on pertinent/salient issues such as: the completion of Mongolia’s accession process to the APTA; finalizing the negotiations on the supplementary Rules of Origin under the APTA; confirmation of the wording on draft legal instrument to conclude the 4th Round of tariff concessions for recommendation to the APTA Ministerial Council session at its 4th session; and finalization of the draft Ministerial Declaration and preparations for the 4th session of the APTA Ministerial Council rescheduled for July 2014. The APTA is a unique regional trade agreement whose membership is open to all developing member States of ESCAP.

Third Regional Workshop on Production and Use of Vital Statistics: Applying The Tools and Materials Available to Improve Vital Statistics, 26-30 May 2014, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

The Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), in collaboration with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and Statistics Korea, will conduct the Third Regional Workshop on Production and Use of Vital Statistics from 26 to 30 May 2014 in Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

This regional workshop contributes to initiatives at the global and regional levels to accelerate improvement of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS). With a view to strengthen technical capacity to contribute to the efforts in improving civil registration and vital statistics systems, the workshop aims to increase the knowledge of government statisticians and civil registration officials about the revised international principles and recommendations for compiling, processing and disseminating vital statistics. It also aims to improve their capability in identifying gaps and challenges in applying international standards to improve their vital statistics system.

UN-APCICT strengthens ICTD capacity of African government officials, 27 May 2014, Incheon

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Center for ICT for Development (UN-APCICT) will conduct a one-day workshop on e-Government applications for approximately 15 government officials and experts from Nigeria as part of a 3-week e-Government Capacity Development Programme organized in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Sungkyungkwan University of the Republic of Korea.

The workshop to be held on 27 May 2014, is based on Module 3 “e-Government Applications” of UN-APCICT’s flagship programme Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders (Academy). This will be the third time that officials from the Nigerian government partake in the Centre’s training programme.

Demand for the programme, however, has not been limited to Nigeria. UN-APCICT has collaborated with Sungkyungkwan University in Seoul and the Korea International Cooperation Agency in the past to offer workshops on e-government to officials from other African countries as well, such as Morocco and Algeria. The Centre has also worked with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) to introduce the programme to the African region and collaborated with the Telecommmunications Technology Association of the Republic of Korea and the African Development Bank to invite officials from South Sudan, Somalia, Seychelles, Senegal, the Republic of Benin and Malawi to workshops one-government and information security.

UN-APCICT publishes case studies to promote open and distance learning

Recognizing the potential that open and distance learning has to improve access to education for people facing socio-economic or geographical constraints, the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Center for ICT for Development (UN-APCICT) has published the Open and Distance Learning in Asia and the Pacific Case Study, the third issue of its ICT for Development (ICTD) Case Study Series.

The publication provides a general landscape of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in five countries –Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka– and identifies capacity gaps, challenges and opportunities presented by ODL in different national contexts. Each case study also presents strategies to improve and further promote open and distance learning as an education delivery mode that can help achieve the goal of providing education for all.

This latest publication is a part of APCICT’s efforts to consolidate its strategy on open and distance learning and establish partnerships with institutions to expand access to ICTD courses. The outcome of this research is being shared with a particular view to support distance learning initiatives of APCICT’s partners as well as scale up the Centre’s distance learning platform.