ESCAP Hall, 16:30 – 18:00, 17 May 2017
Modern, clean and efficient infrastructure is an essential driver for fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development outcomes. Despite the clear benefits of infrastructure, the Asia-Pacific countries with special needs face large gaps in the level of their infrastructure development. This year’s edition of the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report finds that closing these gaps will require significant financial resources: to keep up with growing demands for new infrastructure, maintain existing infrastructure and take into account the impacts of climate change, resources equivalent to an estimated 10.5 per cent of GDP will need to be invested in infrastructure development per year in countries with special needs. This far exceeds current levels of infrastructure funding. In view of the limited resource availability, countries with special needs need to identify clear priority sectors for infrastructure development to be able to sequence their infrastructure investment and identify where the impact of additional infrastructure on sustainable development outcomes may be the largest.
The purposes of the High-level Exchange are: (1) to identify challenges and opportunities associated with infrastructure development, such as prioritization, cross-sectoral coordination, and institutional capacity for implementing projects and ensuring sustainable and effective use of infrastructure; (2) to understand challenges and opportunities at the national level for financing infrastructure, including through mobilizing domestic public finance and enhancing private sector participation and public-private partnerships; and (3) to discuss the future role of development assistance and cooperation in developing regional infrastructure such as large transport corridors and information superhighways. The outcome of this panel discussion will contribute to the sharing of experiences on national and regional strategies for development of infrastructure and the implementation of the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific.
ESCAP Hall, 9:00 – 12:00, 18 May 2017
The implementation of 2030 Agenda will require an unprecedented strengthening of implementation capacity and understanding of the policy trade-offs and analytics of the interlinkages across the economic, social and environment sectors, as well enormous mobilization of financial and other resources and global partnerships. Asia and the Pacific has long been recognized as the engine of global growth and trade. Having achieved remarkable development, the region is now poised to play a leading role in shaping the global narrative for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Many of the Sustainable Development Goals are transboundary in nature and rely on regional cooperation and integration to deliver effective solutions.
Regional economic cooperation and integration is a multidimensional process that facilitates shared prosperity by enabling an increased flow of goods, services, capital and people through the development of seamless infrastructure connectivity; strengthening of national institutions through exchanges of information, technical assistance and capacity building; and by helping countries to coordinate policies and institutional arrangements. Regional economic cooperation and integration fostered by dynamic subregional institutional arrangements has assumed new significance in Asia and the Pacific in response to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. Enhancing regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific has strong potential synergies and complementarities with the 2030 Agenda.
Through this High-level Dialogue, Governments of the region will share their perspectives on the intersection of the 2030 Agenda and regional economic cooperation and integration in Asia and the Pacific. The high-level platform aims to enhance a shared Asia-Pacific vision on key regional policy priorities that promote regional economic cooperation and integration as a means to implement the 2030 Agenda.
ESCAP Hall, 14:00 – 15:30, 18 May 2017
The Ministerial round table aims to enhance regional cooperation to promote sustainable energy with universal energy access, increased shares of renewable energy and improved energy efficiency as the top priorities in Asia and the Pacific. The round table will review the current energy scene and emerging trends in Asia and the Pacific. Factors that are driving major transformation of the energy sector will be discussed, in particular: (a) increasing energy demand, (b) changing demographic patterns and social priorities, (c) rebalancing of world energy supply and demand, and (d) building impetus to decarbonize energy sector in order to deliver on commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 7, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Ministers will share different policy options, strategies of sustainable energy and measures to strengthen means of implementation from their respective countries in order to ensure that energy transformation is economically viable, socially acceptable, environmentally sound, and fit with national priorities. Emphasis will be placed on how various national actions and policy recommendations on energy sector transformation can be reinforced through regional cooperation, with further discussion on the role of ESCAP in promoting regional cooperation on sustainable energy.
ESCAP Hall, 10:00-11:30, 19 May 2017
The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 by the General Assembly and of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development raises important issues of efficient use of available resources to achieve the 17 inter-related goals and 169 associated targets; mobilization of additional public and private resources; and the implementation of different set of policies which would affect the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
To address these issues, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2017 identifies governance as an important impetus to support the achievement of 2030 Agenda and aforementioned specific objectives. While governance has been included in the SDG framework under the Goal 16 by calling upon countries to “…build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”, the Survey for 2017 shows that achieving this objective can contribute to the realization of other development goals as well through better fiscal management and financial sector development.
The panel will discuss some of the challenges that countries in the region have faced in improving their institutional frameworks to enhance their fiscal management and stir the development of the financial sector.
Conference Room - 4, 12:00-13:00, 15 May 2017
Luncheon with presentations/demonstrations sponsored by Japan
Space Applications for Environment (SAFE) was established in 2008 as one of the international cooperation initiatives of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) to test and demonstrate the applications and benefits of space applications for environmental purposes in the Asia-Pacific region.
This side event aims to showcase the benefits of space applications for supporting the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals to non-technical policy makers and end users. Areas in which space applications can be utilised include support for natural resource management; planning for environmental protection; and mapping risk to critical energy infrastructure and potential renewable energy.
The event also aims to generate interest and dialogue among technical and non-technical delegates and support further discussions and input to a new Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Space Applications, 2018-2030, expect to be adopted at the ESCAP Ministerial Conference on Space Applications in 2018.
Public Foyer, Ground Floor, 12:00-13:00, 16 May 2017
Luncheon with presentation sponsored by Mongolia (for the representatives of LLDCs only)
This side event provides a platform for constructive dialogue on the utilization of the International Think Tank (ITT) for Landlocked Developing Countries for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014-2024.
Conference Room - 4, 12:00-13:00, 18 May 2017
Luncheon with presentation and panel discussion sponsored by Bangladesh (open to all delegates)
This side event, complementing the theme topic of the 73rd session of the Commission, provides an opportunity for ESCAP member states to share some of their best practices and nationally or regionally acclaimed projects on renewable energy, specially for those marginalized populations who are left outside national power grids and to mobilize regional support in Asia and the Pacific for the core objectives of Goal 7 of the 2030 Agenda, namely Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The event will also provide a platform for private sector and philanthropic foundations to share their experiences regarding opportunities and challenges with investing in clean and affordable energy.
Conference Room - 3, 13:00-14:00, 18 May 2017
Panel discussion jointly organized by Government of Japan and ESCAP secretariat
The side event aims to exchange diverse experiences and knowledge on building resilience to floods, tropical cyclones, and other water-related disasters in Asia-Pacific region. It will feature a high-level panel comprising key policy decision-makers from selected countries in the region as well as experts from technical institutions dealing with reducing risks from water-related hazards. Lessons from Japan’s experience in managing water-related disasters will be highlighted.
Conference Room - 4, 09:00-10:00, 19 May 2017
Breakfast with presentation sponsored by Fiji (open to all delegates)
This side event serves as a high-level preparatory consultation amongst leaders from Asia and the Pacific, and related organizations and civil society for the UN Oceans Conference to be held in New York from 5-9 June 2017.
13:00-14:00, 19 May 2017
Presentation and Panel Discussion with Luncheon sponsored by Sri Lanka (open to all delegates)
The Asia-Pacific’s impressive economic growth and noticeable poverty reduction have not succeeded in closing gaps between the rich and poor, nor the unequal access to, for example, health care and education. These gaps disproportionately affect women and the most vulnerable segments of society. They also hamper inclusive growth; undermine social cohesion, solidarity and integration and contribute to unsustainable production and consumption patterns. In short, social development gaps undermine efforts to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Low social protection coverage in combination with insufficient creation of decent jobs and weak tax regimes are part of the problem. To advance achieved socioeconomic gains and address existing and emerging challenges a people-centred development approach is needed. Social protection is a critical instrument for such a broad-based policy framework.
The event will take the form of an interactive panel discussion, wherein the panellists will have the opportunity to share recent experiences and priorities for strengthening social development, in particular investments in social protection.
The United Nations Building
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Telephone: (66-2) 288-1234
Fax: (66-2) 288-1000
Deputy Minister Perera commenced his political career as a member of the Provincial Council of the Western Provincial Council in 2009. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in 2010 and then he was re-elected to the Parliament in 2015. He functioned as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from January to August 2015. He is a lawyer by profession and alumnus of University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Law College and Ananda College, Colombo. He has a keen interest in sustainable energy development, and is immensely contributing towards renewable energy and energy management programmes implemented in the country. He has been playing a pivotal role in representing Sri Lanka at important international and regional conferences held in different parts of the world.
In January 2017, he was selected as the Chair of the Energy Committee of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
He heads the Presidential Task Force for Demand side Management in Sri Lanka. He is an active participant in political discourses in the country. He is a regular panelist in political debates in local media where he has earned popularity for his ability to articulate complex political issues.
Ajith P. Perera was born in Bandaragama on 02nd December 1967. He is the eldest in a family of three children. His parents were public servants. He is married to Ms. Nadeeka Perera, a school teacher by profession. They have two sons and a daughter currently engaged in their secondary and higher education.
Mr. Zhang joined Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the Vice-President (Operations 1) in December 2013. He is responsible for operations in the South Asia Department and the Central and West Asia Department. Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Zhang was the Director General of the Department of External Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
He served as the Deputy Director General for the International Department of MOF from July 2004 to July 2012, where he worked with various multilateral initiatives, including the Group of 20 (G20), Association of Southeast Asian Nations+3 (ASEAN+3), and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
From April 2007 to September 2009, Mr. Zhang was the Executive Director for the PRC at ADB, where he was the Chairman of the Budget Review Committee and a member of the Development Effectiveness Committee and the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors. From December 1993 to May 1996, he was the Advisor to the Executive Director of China at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Zhang holds a PhD in Finance from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He earned his Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics from Nan Kai University in Tianjin, PRC.