- 21 May 2011
It is widely agreed that crises create opportunities of sorts. As the Asia-Pacific region slowly emerges from the recession of 2008 and attempts to cope with the after-effects of a food crisis and natural disasters - including that which took place in highly-prepared Japan - governments are looking anew at ways to mitigate the rising insecurity and heightened social risks experienced by millions of people across the region, especially those living in or close to poverty.
- 9 May 2011
For the people of Asia's least developed countries - the 14 poorest Asian countries and Pacific small island states - the past decade was marked by multiple global economic crises and setbacks that prevented governments in each of the countries from succeeding in bringing their people out of extreme poverty. Despite some progress since 2001, the international development agenda for these neediest states remains unfinished. The 4th United Nations Conference on LDCs (UN LDC-IV) being held in Istanbul this week, brings together government leaders and international donors urgently seeking to establish a new course of action for this decade.
- 11 Nov 2010
The G-20 Summit in Seoul is the first time that the G20 Summit has been held in the Asia Pacific region, now the emerging center of gravity for the world economy, where the dynamic economies of China and India are leading the global recovery. The Seoul Summit is also to be recognised for placing development on the G20 agenda. The Summit's discussion on development will include the opinions of those countries - and the voices of billions of the world's population -- not represented by the G20 leaders at this critical forum. Under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, economists and representatives of 26 Asian countries gathered last week in Bangkok to reflect on the agenda of the Seoul Summit from the perspective of excluded poorer countries.
- 1 Oct 2010
Reports in Asia-Pacific have begun to emerge of very old persons who died in their homes without anyone realizing for a long while. Facing infirmed old age in penury. Dying all alone. These are fears that may be more real than many would care to admit. The Asian and Pacific region is home to over half of the world's population aged 60 years and over. Thus, today's observance of the International Day of Older Persons has a special significance for our region. Asia-Pacific is at the forefront of the global phenomenon of population ageing: its number of older persons is rising at a pace unprecedented and a scale unmatched by that of any other region in the world.
- 8 Aug 2010
The terrible floods this week in northwest Pakistan have already killed more than 1,100 people, and more than a staggering 1.5 million people have been left homeless or in need of immediate assistance by the raging waters. This natural disaster caused by heavier than usual monsoon rains underscores the pressing need for improving the regional response to disasters in Asia, to permit the best-prepared from across the region to assist in responding to the worst emergencies. Many of the developing countries of Asia do not have the capacity or the resources to respond to the challenges of severe and massive natural disasters on their own. They benefit from access to new technologies, skill development and best practices derived from across the Asia region in seeking to improve their own disaster response and minimize the risks of disaster. The ESCAP is helping Asian countries to do this as part of their overall national development strategies.