Launch of the Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan. Post-Nargis and Regional Partnership Conference: Stocktaking, Critical Needs and Lessons Learned

It gives me great pleasure to send this message to you who are attending the launch of the PONREP. I deeply regret that I am not being able to attend this important event as I had to travel to New York on urgent official business. As you know, the post-Nargis recovery of Myanmar and its journey on to a self-sustained medium to long-term development path is very close to me personally and to ESCAP as the regional arm of the United Nations.

I had the privilege of joining the Secretary-General’s visits to Myanmar in May and June 2008 as part of his team as he opened new doors to reach the people affected by Cyclone Nargis. I was happy to support the Tripartite Core Group in the preparation of the Post Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) and the Post Nargis Recovery Plan (PONREP). I undertook a second mission from 24 to 26 June 2008 on the occasion of the ASEAN Roundtable on Post-Nargis Joint Assessment for Response, Recovery and Reconstruction and the Third Meeting of the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force. These visits led to the organization of the first Regional High-level Expert Group Meeting on Post-Nargis Recovery and Livelihood Opportunities in Myanmar on 27-28 October 2008 to support policy dialogue on developing and implementing a recovery/settlement and livelihood opportunities strategy in line with the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment. I am happy to note that the outcome of the expert group meeting has been found useful in the preparation of the PONREP and the on going Tripartite Core Group Periodic Review.

During the regional high-level expert group meeting in October 2008, I had pledged that ESCAP would continue working with its partners in mobilizing regional and international support and to develop a consensus on priorities and strategies for effectively moving from relief efforts to recovery and longer-term economic and social development of Myanmar by harnessing greater international technical and financial support. ESCAP would be ready to convene a donors’ conference if desired by the TCG. I have also began the process of establishing an ESCAP Trust Fund for Myanmar to mobilize resources for initiating development dialogues and establishing a development corridor in support of Myanmar’s longer-term economic and social development.

I wish the TCG and all concerned with Myanmar’s recovery efforts all success.

Thank you.