ESCAP’s Flagship Report: Three Global Crises Affecting Asia-Pacific Could Provide Opportunity
The 2009 edition of ESCAP’s flagship annual publication – the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific – will be launched this month in capitals across the region. The Survey notes how in 2008, three global crises converged to threaten development in the Asia-Pacific region: a Great Recession in developed countries, food and fuel price volatility and climate change calamities. It analyses these threats and outlines ways in which economies in the region can move forward in unison – it concludes that some countries in the region are in a stronger position to help not only themselves, but also others to smooth the impact of the crises and strengthen regional solidarity. Also, the converging crises could be turned into an opportunity to jumpstart a regional reorientation towards a more inclusive and sustainable development path. The Survey’s launch is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, 26 March, with the primary launch taking place in Bangkok.
|ESCAP's Successful ICT Training Programme to Launch African Version |
In collaboration with the UN Economic Commission of Africa
, the UN Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT
) – a subsidiary body of ESCAP – will launch the African version of its flagship capacity-building programme, the Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders, on 3 March, in Kigali, Rwanda. The launch will be a pre-event for the Workshop of the International Conference on Development of an Equitable Information Society: The Role of Parliaments. Members of Parliament and information and communication technology (ICT) parliamentary staff will be introduced to the first two modules of the Academy, entitled “The Linkage between ICT Applications and Meaningful Development” and “ICT for Development Policy, Process and Governance.” APCICT will also organize the Regional Academy Training of Trainers Workshop on ICT for Government Leaders in the Republic of Korea (9 to 14 March) and National Academy Training Workshops on ICT for Government Leaders in Afghanistan (22 to 26 March) and Indonesia (30 March to 2 April).
|International Transport Corridors in North-East and Central Asia to be Discussed at ESCAP Meeting
|ESCAP’s Transport Division
, in collaboration with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, is holding a policy-level Expert Group Meeting on the Operationalization of International Intermodal Transport Corridors in North-East and Central Asia, from 4 to 5 March, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The meeting will review the current status of identified intermodal transport corridors linking North-East and Central Asia, including routes of the Asian Highway
and Trans-Asian Railway
networks. The meeting also aims to agree on and recommend two to three priority corridors for in-depth study.
ESCAP Meeting to Discuss Emerging Trade Issues for Policymakers
ESCAP’s Trade and Investment Division
is holding the Workshop on Emerging Trade Issues for Policymakers in Developing Countries of Asia and the Pacific: New Era of Trade Governance, from 4 to 6 March in Manila, the Philippines. Organized in collaboration with the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT
), it will be the fourth workshop held under the Regional Knowledge Hub project financed by the Government of Macao, China. The workshop will review and discuss current trends and research on trade issues of relevance to policymakers in the region, focusing on issues of trade governance against the backdrop of world-wide trade collapse. The event will begin with an expert group review of progress of the Non-tariff Barriers Pilot Projects implemented by several international agencies; and the workshop will be followed by a meeting of ARTNeT’s steering committee to review ARTNeT’s activities and establish future research priorities.
|UN to Observe International Women’s Day in Bangkok on 9 March
and other members of the United Nations system in Thailand
will hold a special event on 9 March at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, to mark International Women’s Day
. As economic downturns and volatility hit the world’s poorest most severely and disproportionately impact women, the regional theme of this year’s observance is “Gender Implications of the Economic Crisis.” It aims to bring to light how women are being affected by the current crisis as well as address the ways in which women and girls – and investment in opportunities for them – factor into effective short- and long-term responses. The event will open with statements from ESCAP’s Executive Secretary and the UN Resident Coordinator, and will feature a panel discussion, an exhibition and short film screenings. The panel discussion will reflect the views of experts and leaders in trade, business, academia and labour.
|International Trade Statistics Task Forces to Hold Joint Meeting
|ESCAP’s Statistics Division
is convening the Meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Statistics of International Trade in Services, from 10 to 11 March, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok. The main priority of the Task Force is taking forward the revision of the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services according to the agreed timetable and submitting it for approval to the UN Statistical Commission by the end of 2009, for publication in 2010. The Inter-Agency Task Force on International Merchandise Trade Statistics will also meet in parallel to discuss, among other topics, the revision process of the International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions (Revision 3). A joint meeting of both Task Forces will be held on 12 March to discuss cross-cutting issues affecting goods for processing, services and intra-firm trade. The joint work is aimed at ensuring that, in the revision of the International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, cross-cutting issues affecting goods and services are treated in a clear way and different conceptual frameworks are aligned as much as possible.
|UN Meeting to Focus on Central Asian Transport and Border Crossing
The 14th session of the Project Working Group on Transport and Border Crossing will be held from 17 to 18 March, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The session is jointly organized by ESCAP and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, and is held under the auspices of the United Nations Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia – the UN body tasked with strengthening subregional cooperation in Central Asia and the promotion of its integration with the world economy. Participants will share information on transport issues of common and regional interest and review progress in implementing the Almaty Programme of Action.
ESCAP/ADB/UNDP Organize Pacific MDG Workshop in Fiji
ESCAP, the Asia Development Bank and the UN Development Programme are jointly organizing the Pacific Regional MDG Workshop, from 16 to 20 March, in Nadi, Fiji. The main objective of the workshop is to take stock of the progress made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Pacific. The workshop is designed to disseminate information on the latest trends in reaching the MDG targets and offer an opportunity for policy makers, academia and civil society to discuss issues that are of particular importance to the Pacific sub-region in order to advocate policy options/action points. Participants will also discuss country strategies and a range of policy options for governments to address the food and fuel crisis, climate change and the global economic slowdown. The workshop is expected to bring together around 100 representatives from ministries of planning, finance, women, health, environment and/or energy, as well as representatives from development partners and regional organizations.
|United Nations Promotes Paperless Trade in the Asia and Pacific Region
ESCAP and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe are jointly holding the High-level Symposium on Building Regional Capacity for Paperless Trade, from 24 to 25 March, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok. The main objective of the Symposium is to enable senior-level policy makers and practitioners to make better informed decisions on necessary preconditions for introducing a single window and paperless trade environment. The Symposium will launch the “United Nations Network for Experts for Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific,” which will provide a regional community of knowledge and practice to facilitate implementation of single window and paperless trade. For more information please visit: http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/da6.asp and http://www.unescap.org/tid/projects/da6_symposium.asp.
Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction to Hold First Meeting
The First Session of the ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held from 25 to 27 March, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok. Ministers and high-level officials responsible for disaster management issues in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to attend, and to focus on the Commission’s activities for the promotion of disaster risk reduction in the region. As part of the session, a High-level Round Table on Regional Cooperation for Disaster Risk Reduction will be held on 25 March, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience of disaster risk reduction issues and providing guidance to the secretariat on its role in promoting disaster management for sustainable economic and social development in the region. An Expert Group Meeting, organized in parallel with the Committee Session, will discuss the implementation of the Committee’s deliberations and the promotion of information and communication technology applications for disaster risk reduction.
Special Observances and Meetings
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