What's Ahead @ ESCAP: 3-12 March 2014

21 June 2010-Kolkata, India -A bus fare collector holds the bills from passangers between his fingers to exchange. Photo Credit: Kibae Park/Sipa Press

A summary of upcoming events, seminars and other activities throughout ESCAP for 3-12 March 2014.

Road safety and traffic management, 10 February-6 March 2014, Bangkok and Chiangmai

With the support of the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, ESCAP’s Transport Division is conducting a four-week training programme to develop the knowledge and skills of 10 officials and experts from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s ministries, departments and agencies concerned with road safety and traffic management. The programme will develop a clear understanding of designing and planning for safer roads and traffic management measures. It will cover road safety audits, treatment of hazardous locations, road safety design, intersection design, and traffic signs, signals, and road markings

WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones, 2-6 March 2014, Dhaka

The Forty-first Annual Session of the World Meteorological Organization/Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (WMO/ESCAP) Panel on Tropical Cyclones will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 2 to 6 March 2014. Asia-Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world, which means we need to make warning information more timely and accurate, so that the communities at risk are warned as early and as precisely as possible of potential disasters. The Session will consider the meteorological and hydrological aspects of the tropical cyclone warning system and the very important measures needed for disaster prevention and preparedness.

Capacity Building on Sustainable Agricultural Technologies, 3 March–4 April 2014, South and Southeast Asia

The Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA) in collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) and AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center is organizing a series of workshops in South and Southeast Asia in March 2014 as part of the European Union funded ‘Network for Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Agricultural Technologies and Improved Market Linkages in South and Southeast Asia’ (SATNET) project.

In South Asia, APCTT and CAPSA are organizing two back-to-back workshops for key stakeholders in Agriculture in Nepal on Cost Benefit Analysis of Agricultural Technologies (3-4 March) and Biological Control of Agricultural Pests and Diseases (5-7 March), in partnership with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council. Two workshops on the same topics are being organized for stakeholders in Pakistan in partnership with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and FAO on 17-18 March and 19-21 March respectively.

In Southeast Asia, AVRDC and CAPSA are organizing workshops on Postharvest Technologies and Linking Farmers to Markets in Lao PDR (3-7 March) and Cambodia (10-14 March), a workshop on Home Gardens in Indonesia (17-21 March) and another workshop on Seed Production Technology in Cambodia (31 March – 4 April). These events are being supported by various national-level partners, and will strengthen the capacities of government and civil society representatives in the use of sustainable agricultural technologies for promoting food security.

Expert Group Meeting on the Implementation of National Reviews and Consultations on Legal and Policy Barriers to Universal Access to HIV Services, 4-5 March 2014, Pattaya, Thailand

An Expert Group Meeting on the Implementation of National Reviews and Consultations on Legal and Policy Barriers to Universal Access to HIV Services will be held from 4 to 5 March 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand. The meeting is organized by ESCAP in cooperation with UNAIDS and UNDP, supported by other interested members of the United Nations Regional Interagency Team on AIDS (UN RITA). The objectives of the Expert Group Meeting are to share experiences and lessons learnt, during national reviews and/or consultations, on legal and policy barriers to universal access to HIV services and discuss the different models for implementing the recommendations arising from this process.

Seminar on Sustaining Employment Growth: The Role of Manufacturing and Structural Change, 7 March 2014, New Delhi, India

ESCAP South and South-West Asia Office has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Confederation of Indian Industry to convene a seminar on Sustaining Employment Growth: The Role of Manufacturing and Structural Change on 7 March 2014 in New Delhi, India. The seminar will feature a presentation by UNIDO’s Director of Development Policy, Statistics and Strategic Research Dr. Ludovico Alcorta, and will be chaired by a senior government official from the Government of India. The goal is to shed light on how sustaining job creation implies structural change and the ability of an economy to continually generate new activities, characterized as far as possible by higher value added and productivity, in particular in the manufacturing sector.

ESCAP-ADB National Workshop on Secure and Efficient Cross Border/Transit Transport, 7 March 2014, New Delhi

The workshop run by the Transport Division and the Subregional Office for South and Southwest Asia, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will discuss and finalize key arrangements with India for the pilot application of the ESCAP Secure Cross-border Transport Model (SCBTM) for transit between Bhutan and India. SCBTM is one of the four ESCAP mutually complementary models for transport facilitation. Its application to cross-border/transit transport can help improve efficiency of transport and also address security and social concerns associated with cross-border/transit transport.

Training on Evidence-Based Trade Policy and WTO Trade Defence Measures, 10 to 14 March 2014, Yangon, Myanmar

ESCAP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Myanmar, Trade Training Institute, Yangon and the Centre for WTO Studies, India is organizing a training course on Evidence Based Trade Policy and WTO Trade Defence Measures in Yangon, Myanmar, from 10 to 14 March 2014. The course is designed for policymakers, private sector representatives and researchers with the aim of building in-house capacity for analysing, formulating and implementing evidence-based trade policy and trade defence measures.

ADB-ESCAP Workshop on National Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanisms (TTFMM), 10-14 March 2014, Phuentsholing, Bhutan

As an important step to establish National Sustainable Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanism (TTFMM), a national training workshop will be held in Bhutan from 10 to 14 March 2014, with support of ESCAP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The workshop aims to equip relevant government officials, industry and private sector with skills and knowledge on the key components of TTFMM; so that the study teams can conduct relevant studies and implement TTFMM, subsequent to the workshop. Experts nominated by the World Customs Organization (WCO) will share their expertise on time release study at the workshop. A detailed plan for implementation of TTFMM will also be developed.

Fourth Technical Capacity-building Workshop on Afghanistan’s Accession to the WTO: Compatible Institutional Framework and Trade Facilitation Agreement, 11-13 March 2014, New Delhi, India

The Fourth Technical Capacity-building Workshop on Afghanistan’s Accession to the WTO will be held in New Delhi from 11 to 13 March 2014. The workshop, organised by ESCAP South and South-West Asia Office and the International Trade Centre, aims to facilitate an in-depth discussion on specific issues raised during recent working party meetings, including the elements of WTO compatible institutional infrastructure and the recently concluded WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, in particular from the view point of SMEs. A key component of the three day-programme is to carry out institutional visits to provide first-hand exposure to regulatory bodies and other operational requirements stipulated in the WTO Agreements.

ESCAP to publish new report on social protection drawing lessons from across the region

A new report on social protection will be launched by ESCAP in March. Despite high and long-lasting economic growth, most countries in Asia and the Pacific continue to face rising inequality, persistent labour market informality and rapid urbanization. Coverage of social protection is fundamental to address these challenges, and robust social protection systems do not only fulfil basic human rights, they also contribute to the promise of building more sustainable and inclusive societies in Asia and the Pacific. The publication explores measures for social protection through six national case studies: Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) in Indonesia and the Philippines; expansion of social protection to informal workers in India and Thailand; and accessibility and portability of benefits and services for internal migrants in China and Viet Nam.

APCICT launches four new online modules of its flagship training programmes on ICT for Development

In early March, the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) will launch four new courses on its distance learning platform, the APCICT Virtual Academy. The courses will cover three issues of the Primer Series on ICTD for Youth and the newest module of the Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders. Combining video lectures with interactive presentations, the new courses provide content in a format that is more appealing to today’s youth and enable anyone interested to take the courses anytime, anywhere. The Virtual Academy is the online distance learning platform for APCICT’s ICTD capacity building flagship programmes and was launched in June 2009 to diversify delivery channels in order to maximize access to the course materials and to encourage continuous learning. As of February 2014, 7,479 users from 149 countries have enrolled in the Virtual Academy.

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