Sub-Regional Workshop for LDCs in Achieving MDGs
as Part of the Implementation of the
Istanbul Programme of Action
(South-East Asia/East and North-East Asia) 14-16 September 2011
Incheon, Republic of Korea
Organized by ESCAP
Background The most recent regional Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report “Paths to 2015: MDG Priorities in Asia and the Pacific” prepared under the ESCAP/ADB/UNDP regional MDG partnership showed that none of the countries of the region will reach all the targets by 2015 and that several countries, particularly amongst countries with special needs (CSN) (i.e., the least developed countries, the landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states), are off-track in achieving the MDGs. The Regional review of Brussels Programme of Action, among other things, also concluded that the least developed countries have, in general, lagged behind others in achieving the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.
In addition, the recent crises have created complications by potentially pushing millions of people back into poverty and by disrupting the growth process. Furthermore, the frequent natural disasters – the Japan earthquake and tsunami being the latest – keep creating more disparities and downward risks to an otherwise robust growth outlook as the region emerges as the growth pole of the global economy.
The countries in the East and North East Asia and South East Asia sub-regions have made impressive gains in many MDG indicators, particularly in those countries with strong economic growth such as China and the Republic of Korea. At the same time, some countries, particularly the least developed countries (LDCs), in South East Asia are lagging behind in achieving some important targets. These include reducing hunger and achieving higher standards of health. To reach the goals by 2015, the LDCs in the South East Asian sub-region will need to step up their efforts to replicate good practices and learn lessons from early achievers in the region. In addition, the roadmap of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs from 2011 to the Mid-term review also called for mainstreaming the IPoA into LDCs’ national development plans and strategies.
In view of the above and to assist the developing countries, particularly the countries with special needs (CSNs), in the region in delivering their MDG commitments, a sub-regional workshop is organized involving policymakers and practitioners from two sub-regions. The key objective of the Sub-regional Workshop would be to assist senior policy makers, planners, and practitioners in CSNs to develop and implement MDG-based national development strategies through sharing of good practices and lessons learnt identified at the Partnership Dialogue on Developing and Implementing MDG-based National Development Strategies in Asia-Pacific Countries, which was held on 13-15 December 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Objectives and Purpose of the proposed meeting According the regional MDGs Report, there are similar differences between and within sub-regions. Although the South East Asia as whole has made greatest progress in achieving the targets, the LDCs in the sub-region have made slow or no progress on most indicators. This workshop will focus on critical issues of relevance to East and North East and South East Asia, where MDG disparities among countries in two sub-regions remain a major challenge and will identify solutions at the sub-regional levels.
The main objectives of the Sub-Regional Workshop are:
To focus on LDCs’ perspectives on (what are) the challenges and opportunities in integrating MDGs in national development strategies;
To share experiences drawn from lessons learned in the sub-region and beyond;
To promote integration of MDGs into national development plans and strategies as part of the implementation of IPoA; and
To identify concrete guidelines to integrate MDGs in national development strategies, particularly in reducing hunger and achieving higher standards of health.
Proposed Activities The sub-regional workshop will be organized in collaboration with the Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia (SRO-ENEA), located in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
Thus, the Sub-Regional Workshop will be organized into five sessions, namely: 1) Plenary Session: MDGs in Asia and the Pacific – Trends and Prospects; 2) Roundtable Session 1: Challenges and opportunities in achieving the MDGs in LDCs; 3) Roundtable Session 2: Lessons learned from early achievers in the sub-region; 4) Roundtable/Group Discussions Session 3: Achieving higher standards of health in LDCs; and 5) Panel Session: Guidelines for moving forward. The Sub-Regional Workshop will include a study tour.
Improved capacities of policymakers and practitioners of the participating countries (sub-region groups) to integrate MDG-based strategies in national development frameworks;
Study visit involving policymakers and practitioners of the participating countries to the projects/programme sites of good practices; and
The synthesis of the proceedings (guidelines) – as inputs into the regional publication series jointly produced by ESCAP, ADB, and UNDP.
Target audience Mostly senior – mid level policymakers from the following countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Partners ESCAP, including SRO-ENEA, ADB, and UNDP.