• 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.

  • 28 Mar 2008

    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has carried out research which shows that persistent poverty and widening inequality in the region are the result of decades of neglect of agriculture. The analysis - contained in ESCAP's flagship publication, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2008, launched today [27 March] throughout the region - shows that growth strategies and economic policies in the region have systematically overlooked the agricultural sector. And this is despite the fact that agriculture is the main livelihood of the poor and still provides employment for 60 per cent of the working population in Asia and the Pacific.

  • 1 Mar 2008

    The third of May 2008 marked the commencement of a new chapter in the history of the fight for the rights of persons with disabilities. With the entry into force of the first ever comprehensive human rights treaty of persons with disabilities - the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - a new reality has been set in motion, in which the dignity and worth of about 650 million persons throughout the world can finally be affirmed, promoted and ultimately ensured. The world's most disadvantaged minority now has at its disposal an effective legal tool to end the injustice, discrimination and violation of rights that they have been consistently confronted with.

  • 6 Feb 2008

    First top local woman official at UN lets emotions sharpen her focus

  • 14 Nov 2007

    Only six weeks after taking on her new position as Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Ms. Noeleen Heyzer outlined for iSeek her vision for the regional commission that is home to “two thirds of humanity”.