Information note on the 75th session for delegates

The secretariat of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) welcomes Ministers and Heads of Delegations to the seventy-fifth session of the Commission, which will take place from 27-31 May 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok.


The secretariat also takes this opportunity to provide delegations with additional information about the session in order to assist them with their preparations and to facilitate their participation.

Sources of information

Paperless meetings

  • Please note that, in accordance with ongoing efforts of the United Nations towards a paperless Secretariat, printed official meeting documents are no longer provided for member State and associate member delegations except only upon explicit request. In such cases only one set of printed official meeting documents will be provided.

Languages

  • The session will be conducted in the four official languages of ESCAP – Chinese, English, French and Russian – with simultaneous interpretation available. Delegations wishing to deliver statements or interventions in languages other than these four languages are requested to arrange their interpreters, who should translate into one of the four official languages.

  • Delegations bringing with them their own interpreters are requested to inform the Secretary of the Commission well in advance of the meeting of their interpretation arrangements in order to facilitate logistic preparations. Such communication may be sent via email to [email protected], with cc to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Order of speakers and statements

  • Speaking slots are allocated in the order of registration bearing in mind the seniority of the speaker and usual protocol practices. The order of speakers is as follows: member States; associate members; observer countries; intergovernmental organizations and UN entities, followed by civil society and other stakeholders.

  • Member States, associate members and observer countries are requested to limit their statements to five (5) minutes. Longer versions of statements can be submitted to the secretariat for circulation to the meeting.Intergovernmental organizations and UN entities, civil society and other stakeholders should limit their statements to three (3) minutes.

  • Speakers wishing to make statements should inscribe their names with the conference room officer or request the floor, if appropriate. Speakers are requested to provide a copy of their statement, in advance, to the conference room officer to facilitate interpretation.

Note: This document is prepared purely for the information of delegates attending the seventy-fifth session of the Commission and to facilitate their participation. Nothing contained in this document shall be deemed to be prejudicial to the Rules of Procedure of ESCAP or those of its parent or subsidiary bodies.

Please contact the Secretary of the Commission via email at [email protected], with cc to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] should you have any question or need any clarification.


Agenda item 1: Opening of the session

  • Item 1 of the provisional agenda includes (a) opening addresses; (b) election of officers; and (c) adoption of the agenda.

  • Scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Monday 27 May 2019, the session will be opened by the Chair of the seventy-fourth session of the Commission, who will also deliver a statement in that capacity, highlighting key work of ESCAP since the Commission last met in May 2018.

  • The Chair will also preside over the election of officers of the seventy-fifth session.

  • In line with its rules of procedure and usual practice, the Commission will elect, from among its members, a Chair and Vice-Chairs for the ministerial segment (Monday and Tuesday), as well as a Chair and Vice-Chairs for its senior official segment (Wednesday to Friday) and the Working Group on Draft Resolutions, respectively.

  • Members of the Commission are invited to nominate, second and vote for candidates. As per tradition, the Commission elects its officers by acclamation.

  • For the ministerial segment, it has been the practice of the Commission to waive rule 13 and to elect all ministerial-level attendees as Vice-Chairs. For the senior officials segment and the Working Group, a Chair and two Vice-Chairs will be elected for each.

  • Following the election of officers, the Chair of the seventy-fifth session will present the provisional agenda of the session before the Commission for adoption.

  • After the agenda is adopted, the Chair will invite the Executive Secretary to deliver her welcome and policy address to the Commission.

  • The Chair may also invite distinguished guests to deliver a special address to the Commission, on the theme of the current session “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

  • The opening of the session also includes the ceremonial parade of flags of member States and associate members of the Commission, as well as the group photograph of the Heads of Delegations with the Chair of the Commission, the Executive Secretary and distinguished guests. Details on the group photograph will be made available in due course.

  • The opening of the session will be webcast live and statements delivered will be made available on the Commission website for download.

Supporting documents:

1. Provisional Agenda (ESCAP/75/L.1)

2. Annotated Provisional Agenda (ESCAP/75/L.2)


Agenda item 2: Theme topic of the seventy-fifth session, “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

  • Scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Monday 27 May 2019, consideration of this agenda item includes a presentation on the theme study and its key findings, a high-level panel discussion and the Commission’s general debate, or “country statements” on the theme topic.

  • Introduction and panel discussion

  • The Executive Secretary of ESCAP will introduce the theme study and present its key findings. The introduction will be followed by a high-level panel discussion on “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. The moderator will pose thought provoking questions to the panelists and invite their views on the subject. The moderator may also invite questions from the floor and present them before the panel.

  • Details on the panel discussion can be found on the Commission website at https://www.unescap.org/commission/75/panels

  • Participants at the session are invited to present questions to the moderator and/or panelists on the topic to get their expert view and opinion on the subject. As per usual practice, questions may be invited first from ESCAP member States, followed by associate members and other participants.

  • Participants are requested to refrain from commentary on the discussion in order to facilitate a focused and lively interaction on the theme topic.

  • General debate

  • Following the conclusion of the high-level panel discussion, the Commission will begin its general debate on the theme topic.

  • Scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Monday 27 May 2019, and continue at 9 a.m. on Tuesday 28 May 2019, the Chair of the Commission will invite members of the Commission to deliver their country statements from the podium.

  • Ministers and Heads of Delegations may wish to focus their country statements on the recommendations of the theme study and share good examples on empowerment and inclusion from their national contexts. Country statements may also draw attention to challenges faced and how regional cooperation and multilateralism can help overcome them.

  • Country statements by member and associate member delegations shall be limited to five (5) minutes. Delegates are requested to register their speaking request in advance by submitting the registration form, duly signed by the appropriate authority, via email to [email protected], with cc to [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]. During the session, delegations may register with the conference room officers, using the registration forms available in the meeting room.

  • Discussions under this agenda item will be webcast live and statements delivered will be made available on the Commission website for download.

  • Photographs from the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website following the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Executive summary of the theme study (ESCAP/75/1)

2. Theme study publication “Closing the Gap: Empowerment and inclusion in Asia and the Pacific


Agenda item 3: Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific Island Developing Countries

  • The Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific Island Developing Countries is scheduled to convene at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday 28 May 2019 to discuss the unique development challenges and opportunities to address them in these countries, drawing upon the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019 entitled “Structural transformation and its role in reducing poverty.”

  • The Executive Secretary will brief the Commission on the main findings of the report, which examines the role of structural transformation in reducing poverty in the region’s least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, commonly referred to as countries with special needs. The report also presents relevant policy considerations to align structural transformation and poverty reduction, highlighting the importance of targeted industrial policies and rural development.

  • The consideration of the agenda item will also include a high-level panel discussion with ministers from Asian and Pacific countries with special needs.

  • Given the importance of reducing poverty in the Asia-Pacific region, and of the role of structural transformation in this process, heads of delegations and ministers may wish to share any recent development experiences and challenges that their country has faced in this regard, as well as to share views, experiences and concerns regarding the Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries and/or the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.

  • The meeting will also hear a briefing from the United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and a keynote address from a noted academic on the importance of structural transformation for poverty reduction.

  • The Special Body will also consider the outcome of the Euro-Asian Regional Midterm Review of the Vienna Programme of Action for the Landlocked Developing Countries for the Decade 2014–2024, held in Bangkok, in February 2019. Details on the panel discussion can be found on the Commission website at https://www.unescap.org/commission/75/panels

  • Discussions under this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Executive summary of the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019 (ESCAP/75/2)

2. Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019: Structural transformation and its role in reducing poverty


Agenda item 4: Review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

  • Item 4 of the agenda will focus on reviewing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific region and includes (a) Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development; (b) Social development; (c) Environment and development; (d) Disaster risk reduction; (e) Energy; (f) Transport; (g) Macroeconomic policy, poverty reduction and financing for development; (h) Trade and investment; (i) Information and communications technology, science, technology and innovation; (j) Statistics.

  • Consideration of agenda item 4 will be held in plenary and is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday 29 May 2019.

  • Consideration of the subitems of the agenda will be clustered along the regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific, endorsed by the Commission in resolution 73/9. The two clusters are thematic issues, and means of implementation.

  • Under each cluster, the secretariat will make an overarching presentation on subitems under that cluster, drawing attention to actions requested of the Commission. Following the secretariat presentation, specific subitems concerned will be considered one after another.

  • If applicable, the subitem-by-subitem discussion will include a presentation by the Chairs of subsidiary bodies of the Commission, which met in the intervening period since the last Commission session. The Chair’s presentation will highlight actions requested of the Commission as well as key discussions at the subsidiary body.

  • In their statements, made from their seats, member States may address the points for action in the reports of the subsidiary bodies and in the notes by the secretariat on the specific subitems, as well as provide further guidance. Member States may also note draft resolutions sponsored by them under the agenda item and invite co-sponsorships. As per usual practice during the Commission sessions, negotiations on draft resolutions shall be held under the purview of the Working Group on Draft Resolutions.

  • Member States and associate members are also invited to review the progress of implementation of ESCAP resolutions, as pertinent to their national context, and provide further guidance.

  • Discussions under this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Summary of progress in the implementation of Commission resolutions (ESCAP/75/3)

2. Summary of the sessions of the subsidiary bodies of the Commission meeting in 2018-2019 (ESCAP/75/4)

3. Declaration on navigating policy with data to leave no one behind Ministerial Declaration (ESCAP/75/4/Add.1)

4. Report of the Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (ESCAP/75/5)

5. Report of the Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Declaration on Population and Development (ESCAP/75/6)

6. Report on the fifth Session of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022 (ESCAP/75/7)

7. Report of the Governing Council of the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization on its fourteenth session (ESCAP/75/8)

8. Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts: how empowerment leads to sustainable outcomes (ESCAP/75/9)

9. Report of the Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific on its third session (ESCAP/75/10)

10. Ministerial Declaration on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/10/Add.1)

11. Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development (2018 – 2030) (ESCAP/75/10/Add.2)

12. Report of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management on its third session (ESCAP/75/11)

13. Addressing Disaster Resilience through Digital and Geospatial Innovations (ESCAP/75/12)

14. Report on universal access to energy in Asia and the Pacific: Evidence-based strategies to achieve empowerment, inclusiveness and equality through Sustainable Development Goal 7 (ESCAP/75/13)

15. Sustainable transport as an engine for a greater empowerment, inclusiveness and equality in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/14)

16. Thinking beyond economic growth to empower people, take care of the planet and pursue Sustainable Development Goals (ESCAP/75/15)

17. Report of the fifth meeting of the Interim Intergovernmental Steering Group on Cross-border Paperless Trade Facilitation (ESCAP/75/16)

18. Growing challenges for trade and investment (ESCAP/75/17)

19. Report of Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development on its thirteenth session (ESCAP/75/18)

20. Report of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology on its fourteenth session (ESCAP/75/19)

21. Report on digital connectivity and digital economy in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/20)

22. Report of the Governing Council of the Statistical Institution for Asia and the Pacific on its fourteenth session (ESCAP/75/21)

23. Report on the work of the Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/22)

24. Statistics for the 2030 Agenda: Challenges and emerging solutions in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/23)

25. Annual reports of international and intergovernmental organizations provided to the Commission (ESCAP/75/INF/1)


Agenda item 5: Subregional perspectives on the theme topic: “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

  • Consideration of agenda item 5 is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday 30 May 2019 and will further explore perspectives on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the theme topic of the session.

  • The meeting will start with the Executive Secretary of ESCAP setting the scene for the discussions, with an introductory statement focusing on the role of subregional organizations in advancing sustainable development, and regional cooperation and integration.

  • The introduction will be followed by two panel discussions with heads and senior officials from organizations from across the Asia-Pacific region on priority issues for interregional collaboration in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals; and the mechanisms to strengthen partnerships among and between subregional organizations, as well as the role of ESCAP and the broader United Nations system to support greater interregional collaboration and support partnerships among them, including through South-South and triangular cooperation.

  • Details can be found on the Commission website at https://www.unescap.org/commission/75/panels

  • The meeting will also be an opportunity for delegations to share their national perspectives on the subject and suggest ways through which the Commission can foster subergional cooperation for sustainable development. Statements will be made from the delegations’ seats.

  • Discussions under this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Report of the Governing Council of the Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia on its thirteenth session (ESCAP/74/24)

2. Subregional perspectives on empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality in Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP/75/25)


Agenda item 6: Management issues

  • Item 6 of the agenda includes (a) proposed programme plan for 2020; (b) programme changes for the biennium 2018-2019; (c) overview of partnerships, extrabudgetary contributions and capacity development and (d) report on the evaluation of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology.

  • The session is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday 30 May 2019, and the Commission will review the work programme of ESCAP for 2020.

  • The Commission will also review the programme changes for the current biennium, 2018-2019, which may be required following the identification of emerging global priorities by the Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and global conference since the endorsement of the draft programme of work by the Commission at its seventy-third session.

  • The agenda also includes the report on the evaluation of the ESCAP regional institution, Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology, which is located in New Delhi.

  • Item 6 will also be an opportunity for members States and associate members to announce their intended contributions for 2019. Click here for more information on pledging contributions to ESCAP Programme of Work and Regional Institutions.

  • The Executive Secretary will make introductory remarks for the agenda following which member States and associate member delegations may make statements and interventions from their seats, on items under consideration.

  • Statements will be made from the delegations’ seats.

  • In addition, member States and associate members announcing their intended contributions are requested to fill the pledging form , which will be made available on the Commission website. Paper copies of the form will also be available with conference room officers.

  • Discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Proposed programme plan for 2020 (ESCAP/75/26)

2. Supplementary information on the programme plan and performance information (ESCAP/75/INF/2)

3. Programme changes for the biennium 2018-2019 (ESCAP/75/27)

4. Overview of partnerships, extrabudgetary contributions and capacity development (ESCAP/75/28)

5. Report on the evaluation of the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (ESCAP/75/29)


Agenda item 7: Midterm review of the conference structure of the Commission

  • The Commission decided in resolution 73/1 to review its conference structure at its seventy-eighth session in 2022, with a midpoint review at its seventy-fifth session, in 2019, and requested the Executive Secretary to submit a report in both cases, with a focus on the programme areas of the Commission, to serve as a basis for the review.

  • Consideration of agenda item 7 will follow immediately after agenda item 6 on Thursday 30 May 2019 and is based on the report of the Executive Secretary covering the content of the Commission session, the organization of the Commission session, and the subsidiary bodies of the Commission.

  • Statements and interventions by member States and associate member delegations can be made from their seats.

  • Plenary discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Midpoint review of the conference structure of the Commission in implementation of resolution 73/1 (ESCAP/75/30)


Agenda item 8: Activities of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and Other Representatives Designated by Members of the Commission

  • Agenda item 8 will review the activities of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and Other Representatives Designated by Members of the Commission as presented by the Rapporteur of the Advisory Committee.

  • Statements and interventions by member States and associate member delegations can be made from their seats.

  • Discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Report of the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and Other Representatives Designated by Members of the Commission (ESCAP/75/31)


Agenda item 9: Dates and venue of and theme topic for the seventy-sixth session of the Commission (2020)

  • Under agenda item 9 the Commission will decide on the dates and venue of the seventy-sixth session of the Commission, to be held in 2020, as well as the theme topic to be considered by the Commission at that session.

  • As per usual practice, unless the Commission decides otherwise, the seventy-sixth session of the Commission will be held in Bangkok in April or May 2020.

  • Statements and interventions under this agenda will be made from the delegations’ seats.

  • Discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

1. Dates, venue and theme topic for the seventy-sixth session of the Commission (2020) (ESCAP/75/32)


Agenda item 10: Other matters

  • Agenda item 10 provides the opportunity to member States and associate members to raise other matters for consideration before the Commission.

  • Member State or associate member delegations wishing to raise other matters may do so from their seats upon requesting the floor.

  • The outcome of the elections to the Governing Councils of the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) and the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) will be announced under this agenda item.

  • Discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.


Agenda item 11: Adoption of the report of the Commission

  • Under agenda item 11, the Commission will consider for adoption the report of its seventy-fifth session.

  • Pursuant to paragraph 7 of annex II, entitled “Conference structure of the Commission”, to the annual report of ESCAP, 20 May 2016–19 May 2017 (E/2017/39–E/ESCAP/73/40), the report of the Commission will be composed of its decisions and resolutions.

  • The draft record of proceedings of the Commission session, prepared by the secretariat, will be circulated among members and associate members for comments within 15 days of the conclusion of the session.

  • Following the adoption of the report, the Executive Secretary will deliver a closing statement, highlighting key outcomes and decisions of the session.

  • The Chair may also deliver a closing statement before formally closing the session.

  • Discussions on this agenda item will be webcast live.

  • Photographs of the meeting will be available for download from the ESCAP website after the conclusion of the day’s meeting.

Supporting documents:

Draft report to be adopted by the Commission: Organization of the seventy-fifth session of the Commission (ESCAP/75/L.3)

Draft report to be adopted by the Commission: Statement of programme budget implication of actions and proposals of the Commission (ESCAP/75/L.3/Add.1)

Draft resolutions to be adopted by the Commission (ESCAP/75/L.3/Add.2 to ESCAP/75/L.3/Add.xx)

Draft decisions to be adopted by the Commission (ESCAP/75/L.3/Add.xx)


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