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.
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.
This paper examines the agenda of this year’s G20 Brisbane summit – namely, to promote strong economic growth and employment outcomes and to make the global economy more resilient to future shocks – in the context of key policy debates in the Asia-Pacific region and the discussions of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda. In particular, priority areas related to investment and infrastructure, trade, employment, financial inclusion and remittances, financial regulatory reforms, international tax cooperation and anti-corruption measures, and energy markets are explored.
Coal has been one of the fastest growing fuels since the beginning of the 21st century. Amongst its largest consumers are countries of North-East Asia, a vast and diverse sub-region which includes just six countries: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. Altogether, these countries consume approximately 60% of the coal produced worldwide.
An official statistician reading the proposal of the Open Working Group (OWG) for Sustainable Development Goals might have two simultaneous reactions: doubt and excitement. The proposal that the UN General Assembly’s 30-member OWG forwarded to the Assembly on 19 July 2014 contains 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
This note reviews the emerging imbalances in the Chinese economy and the attendant need for structural reforms, including financial sector and services liberalization. The role that the recently launched Shanghai Free Trade Zone could play in accelerating these reforms is then considered, alongside an assessment of progress to date.
Bridging Transport, ICT and Energy Infrastructure Gaps for Seamless Regional Connectivity, is a contribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) to deliberations at the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in Vienna, Austria, from 3 to 5 November 2014.