- 3 Aug 2009
For the first time since it was born some 60 years ago, the UN’s Asia-Pacific arm has a woman as its head. Noeleen Heyzer could be infectious. She espouses her causes with almost a passionate commitment be it about finding a voice for Asia’s voiceless millions, about the marginalization of women or the region’s rightful place on the global stage.
- 30 Jun 2009
We know energy is needed to maintain economic growth, reduce poverty and achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. But we also know climate change is intrinsically linked to energy production and consumption, and the more fossil fuels we use, the more damage we cause to our planet. Asia Pacific accounts for 34 percent of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with most of it coming from the consumption of fossil fuels. The region's share of energy-related GHG emissions is expected to increase to 47 percent by 2030 if the present development trend continues. The resulting impact on agriculture, rising sea levels and growing severe weather patterns could hurt the region's economic development severely. Thus, Asia Pacific, and indeed the rest of the world, faces a dilemma. How do we ensure all people, including the poor, have access to safe, reliable supplies of energy without undermining environmental resources essential for our survival?
- 14 May 2009
During the Commission session, ministers and senior officials from across the region recognized that the triple threat of economic crisis, food-fuel price volatility and climate change could roll back development gains. They reconfirmed the development paradigm that economic recovery should be inclusive and sustainable, with consensus on the need to respond to threats with systemic changes and deeper reforms. The various fiscal stimulus packages, pro-poor food security measures and policy reform undertaken by governments in the region provided an excellent opportunity for this. The meeting identified a number of areas for urgent action, including, establishment of more stable and durable exchange rate systems at the regional level, the possible establishment of an Asian Monetary Fund, and development of social security systems to catalyze domestic demand and recovery.
- 11 May 2009
We are living through a global economic crisis of a scale not seen since the Great Depression. The biggest blow to the Asia Pacific region came at the end of 2008, when exports orders plummeted, related financing disappeared, and unemployment skyrocketed. As many as 23 million people, particularly young women employed in the export-oriented manufacturing sector, are projected to lose their jobs while millions more will experience rising income insecurity.