UNESCAP News Services
Date: 19 May 2011
Press Release No: G/18/2011
Asia-Pacific governments discuss regional social protection and development priorities
Bangkok (UN ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – Top government officials from 60 Asia-Pacific countries meet today to discuss a social protection and economic growth blueprint for the region where high food and oil prices have pushed millions more into poverty.
“Although the dynamic Asia-Pacific developing economies are helping stabilize global recovery from the financial crisis, new challenges threaten to slow and reverse regional progress towards international development goals,” said Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary at the opening of the 67th Commission Session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
“Across the region, as the people of Asia and the Pacific continue to suffer from the aftershocks of the crisis, ESCAP has promoted an agenda for social equity to ensure that governments invest in their people through social protection as the recovery takes hold,” Dr. Heyzer told the Senior Officials’ Meeting at the start of the annual Commission Session. “Inclusive and sustainable development requires a social foundation.”
In the aftermath of the food, fuel and financial crises, this year’s Session takes aim at social protection as an investment in social and economic development and a means of addressing poverty and inequality.
“Our ability to match the economic recovery underway in Asia and the Pacific must be matched with a renewed emphasis on the social dimension of development as well,” said Dr. Heyzer.
The annual Session comprises two parts: the Senior Officials Segment from 19 to 21 May in preparation for the Ministerial Segment, which will be held from 23 to 25 May. A highlight of the ministerial segment on May 23 will be a panel discussion on the theme of the 67th session: “Beyond the Crises: Long term perspectives on social protection and development in Asia and the Pacific.”
The 67th Commission session of ESCAP is being held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok from 19 to 25 May.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Francyne Harrigan
Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1864
M: (66) 81 835 8677
Ms. Thawadi Pachariyangkun
Public Information Officer, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1861
M: (66) 81 634 3876
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Headquartered in Bangkok, United Nations ESCAP is the largest of the UN's five Regional Commissions in terms of its membership, population served and area covered. The only inter-governmental forum covering the entire Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP works to promote sustainable and inclusive economic and social progress. More information on ESCAP is available at www.unescap.org