UNESCAP News Services
Date: 13 March 2012
Press Release No: G/13/2012
Subregional office in India to enhance United Nations outreach in South and South-West Asia
Bangkok (UN ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – The opening of a subregional office in India has enhanced United Nations work to promote inclusive and sustainable growth in South and South-West Asia, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Dr. Noeleen Heyzer said here today.
“The subregion, along with China, has led the current world economic recovery, in fact the subcontinent accounted for over a quarter of global GDP until the early 19th Century. I believe that it has the potential to regain this position of economic leadership in the first half of this century. Yet South and South-West Asia also faces massive development challenges,” said Dr. Heyzer at the ceremony, where she initialed the Host Country Agreement for the New Delhi-based ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia (SRO-SSWA) with H.E. Mr. Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of the Republic of India to Thailand.
“Assisting the subregion to harness new development opportunities and to address development challenges, are the primary goals of the new office.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Indian Ambassador recognized the helpful contribution that the SRO will make “in our collective endeavour to overcome these challenges, by contributing focused and in-depth perspectives to regional efforts, and in assisting members in sharing good practices and replicating successful programmes and projects.”
The ESCAP subregional office which opened on 15 December 2011, covers Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Having some of the world’s fastest growing economies, the subregion is also home to one of the largest concentrations of hunger and poverty with wide development gaps within and among countries.
The establishment of the subregional office follows up on the United Nations Secretary-General’s pledge to strengthen the development pillars of the United Nations and will strengthen ESCAP assistance to member States in formulating and implementing inclusive and sustainable development policies for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SRO-SSWA will also focus on building productive capacities in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the subregion, facilitating connectivity and boosting intraregional cooperation.
The SRO-SSWA complements ESCAP subregional offices in North and Central Asia, East and North-East Asia and the Pacific. The South-East Asian subregion is serviced by ESCAP headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Francyne Harrigan
Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1864, M: (66) 81 835 8677, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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