It is well known that the Asia-Pacific suffers the most from disasters due to the growing population and economies becoming more exposed to disaster hazards. For decades, international agreements have advocated building resilience to disasters, including the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies. Many countries have developed policy instruments to address disaster risk reduction.
Modern societies are characterized by high-tech computers, the Internet and huge amounts of data generated by the digital footprint of modern lives. Despite all this data the world learned a very obvious but valuable lesson from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – without data it is not possible to set baselines or monitor progress towards the achievement of the development targets. As a consequence, the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda called for a “new data revolution” for sustainable development.
The United Nations recognizes that productivity capacity building is the key for self-sustained growth and graduation of LDCs in Asia and the Pacific. To achieve this objective, substantial financing must be mobilized to invest in infrastructure, social development and climate changechallenges. Despite the significant progresses made by the Asia-Pacific LDCs in restoring macroeconomic stability, deepening the banking sector and attracting FDI and remittances, for many, fiscal spaces remain narrow and financial markets largely inefficient and undiversified.
As the development agenda beyond 2015 takes shape, it is increasingly being recognized that inequality is an impediment to the integration of economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Despite high and enduring economic growth and significant progress in terms of poverty eradication, inequalities persist in Asia and the Pacific, and in some instances they have intensified, between women and men, girls and boys, urban and rural areas, and different age and ethnic groups.
The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of regional progress in implementing the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Survey data collected in 2013 from ESCAP countries, and publicly available data suggest that there has been progress in the past decade towards achieving the WSIS objectives. However, progress is incomplete, and in some instances the digital divide has actually increased as more advanced countries have surged ahead in implementation of WSIS objectives.
This Staff working paper explores potential synergies in deploying fiber optic cables for data transmission and other infrastructures, chiefly transport and energy. It provides information on the cost of deploying fibre optics, exploring potential win-win strategies in the co-deployment and cohabitation of fibre and transport infrastructure and drawing lessons from good practices in the Asia- Pacific region and beyond. It contains a set of key policy measures to maximize win-win outcomes, which include synergies with the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway.
Transport services are vital for facilitating the implementation of government policies. An organized public transport service system provides a mechanism for delivering social services, particularly health care and education, to the broader population, including those living in rural areas, which often tend to be poor and in most need of those services. Government policies in terms of budget allocation and fare-setting affect the quality of transport services.
The Asian Highway database is a joint effort by the secretariat and member countries to monitor the development of the Asian Highway network. The Asian Highway database includes comprehensive and detailed data and information on Asian Highway routes in member countries and benchmarks their development status against the Asian Highway design standards stipulated in Annex II to the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network.
The Statistical Yearbook 2014 is an electronic file only, it consists of (1) short analytical texts on 32 selected diverse topics, such as population, education, health, poverty and inequalities, gender, economy, environment and connectivity in the region and related key messages as well as relevant data tables, and (2) country profiles of main development indicators for each of the 58 regional member countries/areas of ESCAP.
The Statistical Yearbook is accompanied by the following products:
The November 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting in Beijing has generated momentum behind the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This note reviews the prospects for the FTAAP which are strongly linked to progress in two other large regional trade agreements currently under discussion: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).