Ministerial Panels, High-level Events and Side Events

Ministerial Panels and High-level Events

Special, Side and Associated Events

Ministerial Panels and High-level Events

High-level exchange with Pacific leaders on the SAMOA Pathway
9:00-11:00, Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The SAMOA Pathway, the outcome of the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, recognized that sea-level rise and other adverse impacts of climate change continue to pose a significant risk to small-island developing States and their efforts to achieve sustainable development. The Pathway calls for a different growth model – one which is more resource-efficient, able to meet the needs of present and future generations within planetary boundaries.

It is against this backdrop that the high-level exchange, moderated by the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, will discuss implementation of the Pathway and the regional response of the United Nations to its priorities. This high-level event will also be an exclusive opportunity for the audience to hear from the Pacific leaders their vision and perspectives on the unique priorities of the Pacific region and nations.

Moderator: Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


  • H.E. Mr. Anote Tong, President, Kiribati
  • H.E. Mr. Christopher Jorebon Loeak, President, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • H.E. Mr. Baron Divavesi Waqa, President, Nauru
  • H.E. Mr. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister, Fiji
  • H.E. Mr. Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister, Tuvalu
  • H.E. Mr. Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands

Ministerial Roundtable on "Balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: from integration to implementation"
10:30-12:00, Thursday, 28 May 2015

The "Future We Want" – the outcome document adopted at Rio+20 - reflects the political consensus that integrated policy and decision-making across economic, social, and environmental dimensions is the pathway to sustainable development. However, despite this shared objective, there remains a lack of clarity on what balanced integration means - and requires in practice. The theme study for the 71st session of the ESCAP Commission serves as an input to the deliberations of this roundtable, which will explore the critical dimensions as well as challenges of integration. Emphasizing the urgent need for a people-centred and planet-sensitive development agenda, the theme study outlines a conceptual framework, suggests strategies and policy options, and offers perspectives on institutional frameworks to support integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. Panellists will discuss key messages of the theme study, including that future prospects of the region to achieve sustainable development outcomes will be defined by its ability to align economic growth with social and environmental objectives. The role for regional action to deliver on balanced, integrated sustainable development will also be considered.

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Anote Tong, President, Kiribati


  • H.E. General Anupong Paojinda, Minister of Interior, Thailand
  • H.E. Mr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of ‪Commerce, Pakistan‬‬‬
  • H.E. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, India
  • H.E. Mr. Gennady Gatilov, Deputy Foreign Minister, Russian Federation
  • Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
  • Ms. Yoke Ling Chee, Director of Programmes, Third World Network

Ministerial panel on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015
09:00-10:30, Friday, 29 May 2015

The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 examines the extent of ”inclusive growth” in the region. By examining growth through the lens of economic, social and environmental dimensions, the Survey found that growth has not been sufficiently inclusive.

Guided by the findings of the Survey, the ministerial panel will deliberate on policy recommendations and explore to emphasise the relevance of the economic and social dimensions of development, such as the impact of climate change, basic health services and poverty reduction, with an aim to make growth more inclusive.

Moderator: H.E. Mr. Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister, Tuvalu


  • H.E. Mr. Abdul Sattar Murad, Minister of Economy, Afghanistan
  • H.E. Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Azerbaijan
  • H.E. Mr. M. A. Mannan, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Bangladesh
  • Ms. Rosemarie Edillon, Assistant Director General, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines
  • Mr. Stephen P. Groff, Vice-President, Asian Development Bank
  • Mr. Nanak Kakwani, former director and chief economist, UNDP International Poverty Centre

Special, Side and Associated Events

Special event: Sixth high-level consultation "G20 Antalya summit: Perspectives from Asia and the Pacific"
12:00-13:30, Wednesday, 27 May 2015

As part of its broader effort to effectively articulate the Asia-Pacific region’s priorities at the global level and to develop a strong and coordinated regional voice in major global forums, ESCAP is organizing a special high-level consultation to discuss Asia-Pacific perspectives on the agenda of this year’s G20 Summit, hosted by Turkey.

The consultation provides a platform for ESCAP members and associate members, including its 36 least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small-island developing states to share perspectives on the issues addressed by the G20, and to identify areas of common interest for ESCAP and the G20, including the G20 priorities set out by Turkey’s presidency under the three pillars of strengthening the global recovery and lifting growth potential, enhancing resilience, and reinforcing sustainability.

Side event: "Prosperity through Regional Trade and Transport Connectivity" hosted by the Government of Pakistan
14:00-15:00, Wednesday, 27 May 2015

South and Central Asian region has been undergoing economic transformation in recent years. Opportunities are immense which offer important pathways for greater regional connectivity and enhanced cooperation for the regional countries in areas of trade and investment. Regional connectivity is indeed a driver of growth and prosperity. Being cognizant of this, Pakistan has taken various initiatives which would facilitate movement of goods, services across this region and would entail regional prosperity.

Pakistan’s trade strategy focuses on its neighbors, leveraging its geographical location, and capitalizing on regional initiatives taken by other countries and regions. Cross-border trade is especially important for landlocked countries like Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics. Pakistan and Central Asian countries will benefit substantially from greater integration through energy, commerce and transit trade. The most obvious gains are in transit trade with enhanced connectivity through better border management systems, lowering of barriers, one window customs facilitation, and liberal visa regimes. The facilitation measures streamlines the logistics and reduces costs and transit times, eliminates bottlenecks, improves reliability and sustainability of supply chains. This requires policy reforms, institutional linkages and improved infrastructure.

In this context, Government of Pakistan through the Ministry of Commerce has undertaken following initiatives at regional level:

  1. Effective and smooth implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APPTA)- This will generate revenue through transit trade and also facilitate Pakistan’s exports to Central Asian Republics
  2. Negotiation on Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan
  3. Negotiation on bilateral Preferential Trading Agreement with Afghanistan
  4. Institutional arrangements though establishing Regional Trade Office in Ministry of Commerce- This office will carry out research and coordinate activities for speedy implementation of joint regional projects for Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics
  5. Private to private business interaction through establishment of Joint Business Councils


  • Mr. Taimur Tajamal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce
  • Mr. Shafiq Shehzad, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Commerce

Exhibition on sustainable development
Official opening at 10:15, Thursday, 28 May 2015

The seventy-first session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific is convening under the theme “Balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: from integration to implementation.” The session will feature an exhibition showcasing the work of ESCAP, its members and associate members, the wider United Nations system and its partners in promoting sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.
The exhibition will be held on the first floor of the United Nations Conference Centre.

Launch of ESCAP-ADB-UNDP report Asia-Pacific regional Millennium Development Goals report 2014/2015 "Making it happen: Technology, finance and statistics for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific"
13:30-14:30, Thursday, 28 May 2015

The joint report explores how regional and global cooperation can support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in the Asia-Pacific region. It looks at the means available in the region as well as the regional and global partnerships that will need to be leveraged to address development constraints and successfully implement the new development agenda. In line with the theme of the present session, the joint report will inform the ongoing policy debates on the means of implementation of the sustainable development goals.

Side event: "Blue Economy for Sustainable Use of Marine Resources and Inclusive Growth" hosted by the Government of Bangladesh
17:00-18:15, Thursday, 28 May 2015

The notion of Blue Economy is gaining momentum as there is an increasing realization of the importance of judicious use of oceans and its resources for both the present and future generations, especially after the discussions at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Understanding and addressing the challenges facing, and economic opportunities offered, by oceans is especially relevant for the Asia-Pacific region owing to its long coastlines and rich marine biodiversity.

This event, hosted by the Government of Bangladesh, will provide a platform to ESCAP members and associate members to share best practices and foster greater cooperation among them and United Nations entities and international organizations to integrate the Blue Economy as an essential element of sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Bangladesh worked closely with small-island developing states at the Open Working Group with an aim to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development’’ in the post-2015 development agenda. It also organized the first International Workshop on Blue Economy in Dhaka, in September 2014, under the patronage of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Luncheon event: "Energy for Sustainable Development - From Plan to Action" hosted by the Government of the Russian Federation
12:00-13:00, Friday, 29 May 2015

The Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) held in May 2013 in Vladivostok, Russian Federation and its outcome documents demonstrate the initiative of ESCAP member States to cooperate on a common energy agenda that seeks a cleaner, more efficient, equitable, and secure energy future. In response, the secretariat has mobilized to provide a platform for increased knowledge exchange, meaningful analytical work and continuous dialogue through APEF Implementation Support Mechanism.

The luncheon event – ''Energy for Sustainable Development: From Plan to Action'' will focus on the launching of the Asia Pacific Energy Portal and the first Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific which are two of three pillars of the APEF Implementation Support Mechanism. The first pillar, the annual Policy Dialogue, was launched in December 2013. This Mechanism is part of a technical assistance project financed by the Russian Federation. The luncheon event will also offer an opportunity to share ideas on how to strengthen further the energy agenda of ESCAP and ensure comprehensive preparatory process to the 2nd Asian and Pacific Energy Forum to be held in 2018 in Tonga.

Side event: High-level panel discussion "Sharing experiences on sustainable development" hosted by the Government of Thailand
12:15-13:00, Friday, 29 May 2015: Cocktail reception
13:00-14:00, Friday, 29 May 2015: High-level panel discussion

"The future we want," the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) recognized that each country faces specific challenges to achieve sustainable development. Given different national circumstances and capabilities, the role of national development policies cannot be over emphasized.

This high-level panel discussion, hosted by the Government of Thailand, will offer ESCAP member States an opportunity to learn from one another through exchange of unique national experiences on sustainable development that will be useful in their preparation for the successful implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.

Learn more about the Thailand Sustainable Development Foundation

Moderator: Dr. Sandro Calvani, Senior Advisor on Strategic Planning, Mae Fah Luang Foundation


  • Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  • Mr. Hkam Awng, Director, Mae Fah Luang Foundation Myanmar
  • Mr. Maitri Inthusut, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior of Thailand
  • Mr. Jorge Eduardo Rios, Chief, Sustainable Livelihoods and Chief, Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • M.L. Dispanadda Diskul, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mae Fah Luang Foundation