• 1 Nov 2008

    Two months have passed since the effects of the global financial crisis were first felt in Asia and the Pacific. Much has been said about them. And yet, one of the effects less spoken of is the impact of the crisis on the availability of public and private finance for development - a key issue for our region, where more than 900 million people are estimated to live in poverty. Such financing has been dramatically curtailed, and the simple fact is that our region cannot afford any cutbacks in this respect. With so many of the world's poorest in our region, any reduction will only compound their plight. To avoid this, we need to safeguard the Asia-Pacific region's hard-fought gains in reducing poverty and promoting development; and we need to continue seeking out new and innovative sources of financing for that development. In tackling both these tasks, we need to think and act in unison.

  • 1 Oct 2008

    What can Asia-Pacific governments do to address these immediate threats to development? I propose a two-track strategy, focused on realizing an inclusive development process through a set of mutually supportive national and regional actions. First, sustaining domestic demand and protecting the livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups must be the bedrock of national policies in the months ahead..

  • 23 Sep 2008

    The 2007 regional survey produced by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific estimated that persistent gender inequality costs our region $58 billion to $77 billion annually - reflecting the daunting numbers of people deprived of opportunity. And yet, there is a hopeful side to this abhorrent reality: it also indicates the potential gains that Asia and the Pacific, and the world, could make through intensifying efforts to promote gender-equitable progress in achievement of the MDGs.

  • 8 Jul 2008

    Now, more than two months after Cyclone Nargis left a trail of death and destruction in Myanmar, events and developments elsewhere around the globe have captured many of the region's news headlines. But not being the centre of the media's attention does not mean that the plight of Myanmar is over. Unfortunately, that is far from being the case.

  • 1 Apr 2008

    If we look away from the booming cities and the burgeoning ranks of the middle class, we see that across the region, 1.7 billion people still rely on traditional biomass fuels, such as wood and animal dung, to cook and to keep warm; nearly one billion people, the "bottom billion", have no access to electricity. Most of them are the rural poor. Asia has the highest death tolls resulting from indoor air pollution caused by burning biomass and solid fuels: nearly 1.3 million a year in India, China and South-East Asia alone. Meeting the most basic needs for modern energy supply is a pre-requisite for our efforts to lift more people out of poverty, and to achieve the other Millennium Development Goals such as reducing child mortality, providing basic education to all and promoting gender equality.