High-level Events and Side Events

High-level Events

Panel discussion: Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality

Equality lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the global development agenda adopted by all United Nations Member States in September 2015 – and its ambition to leave no one behind. This ambition is all the more vital in the Asia-Pacific region, where phenomenal economic growth has transformed economies and societies beyond recognition, but where the proceeds of growth have not always been equally shared.

Today, while the entrepreneurship and ingenuity of the region continues to capture the imagination of the world, too many people are exposed to poverty while income inequality has increased in many countries. Women, persons with disabilities, low-skilled workers, rural communities, young and older persons are particularly at risk of being denied an education, full-time employment or an adequate living wage; while transformative changes sweep over Asia and the Pacific, these groups are left increasingly vulnerable.

Against this backdrop and drawing from the findings of the 2019 theme study, this high-level panel discussion will review policy options that have proven to not only promote availability and accessibility of services for all but also to empower disadvantaged populations to use them, as well as explore challenges and opportunities for strengthening inclusion and empowerment of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including women and girls, persons with disabilities, rural residents, older persons and migrants.

Click here for the bio note of the participants.

Panel discussion on Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019

While Asian and Pacific least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, commonly referred to as countries with special needs, have made considerable development gains in recent decades, almost two in five people in these countries still live on incomes less than $3.20 a day.

According to the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019 (executive summary), which examines the role of structural transformation to reduce poverty, the reason behind the persisting poverty is structural economic transformation having often bypassed the higher-productive, employment-generating dynamism of the manufacturing sector. As a means to overcome these development obstacles, the reports presents policy options to align structural transformation and poverty reduction, highlighting the importance of targeted industrial policies and rural development.

Against this backdrop and being held as part of the Commission’s Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific Island Developing Countries, this high-level discussion will offer countries across the region to share recent their development experiences and challenges as well as highlight 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.

Subregional dialogue on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require varied approaches matching the diversity across Asia and the Pacific and its subregions. Multilateral groupings and associated intergovernmental organizations have a key role to play. As part of its role to pave the way for an inclusive and sustainable Asia and the Pacific Century, ESCAP provides a forum for these multilateral groupings and intergovernmental organizations to facilitate cross-learning and experience sharing and to promote broader regional cooperation.

At the recent second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires , member States recognized that South-South and triangular cooperation contribute to interregional collaboration for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, particularly through partnerships and cooperation. Countries also reaffirmed the key role of the United Nations, including the Regional Commissions, in supporting and promoting South-South and triangular cooperation, and invited more discussions in order to enhance subregional, regional and interregional South-South and triangular cooperation in this regard.

The first objective of the dialogue will be to identify the key priorities for interregional collaboration in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The conversation will focus on regional, subregional, multi-country and transboundary development issues such as connectivity, trade and investment, disaster risk reduction and environmental cooperation.

A second goal of the deliberations will be to explore opportunities and mechanisms for facilitating and elevating partnerships among the multilateral groupings in the Asia-Pacific region and the associated intergovernmental organizations. Officials will closely examine what role ESCAP and the broader United Nations system can play in supporting interregional collaboration across Asia and the Pacific, including South-South and triangular cooperation

Side Events

Monday, 27 May 2019

Community empowerment and participatory policy planning to reduce tsunami and water-related disaster risk

Organized jointly by the Government of Japan, the ESCAP secretariat, and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), this ministerial side event will highlight the importance of community empowerment and inclusive planning to address risks associated with tsunamis and other complex water-related disasters.

Being held against the backdrop of widening inequalities and sharply rising disaster risks, as evidenced in the 2017 ESCAP Asia-Pacific Disaster Report, the side event will see ministers and senior officials from the region share knowledge and experiences on successful practices, to enable formulation of local and national disaster risk mitigation policies and strategies which take into account the unique community needs to achieve Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 that calls for a substantial increase in number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020.

Click here for more information on this event and here for a summary of the event.

Advancing gender equality through the economic empowerment of women and girls: Key catalysts for innovative change

Organized jointly by the Government of Canada and the ESCAP secretariat, this special event will underscore the importance of empowerment, inclusion and equality to realize the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event further aligns with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and the country’s efforts to advance gender equality in a sustainable manner and accelerate its progress across all other priorities.

The special event will also raise awareness of measures and innovative solutions that unlock the potential of women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region. Through an interactive panel discussion, participants – including Ministers from the region – will explore factors that hold women back from their effective participation in the economy and highlight strategies that support women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Key enabling factors, including gender-responsive policy, planning and budgeting as well as access to financing and technology, will be addressed.

Click here for more information on this event and here for a summary of the event

Advancing Sustainable Development Goals with the Belt and Road Cooperation

Jointly organized by the Government of China, the Government of Kazakhstan, the King Prajadhipok's Institute of Thailand and the ESCAP secretariat, this side event will inform participants of the Commission Session on the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in April 2019.

The event will explore ways to further strengthen synergies between the BRI and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and identify areas of collaboration for a more active role of the BRI in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for member States of ESCAP. It will serve as a platform to share information, exchange views and explore the cooperation vision on the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as how to take fully its advantage to strengthen the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Asia and the Pacific.

Click here for summary of the event.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Gender equality and women’s empowerment and the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5 in Asia and the Pacific

Organized by the Government of Mongolia, this side event aims to support national efforts and strengthen regional cooperation to accelerate progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 5 on gender equality, understanding that this Goal is not only about ensuring women enjoy their intrinsic human rights, but also that this Goal has demonstrable positive multiplier effects across the spectrum of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other SDGs.

It will also serve as a platform to showcase national efforts to achieve the Goals, in the lead up to the global commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995).

Expanding internet access for inclusive development

Organized jointly by the Government of Thailand, ESCAP secretariat and Google, this side event will bring internet experts, Government officials, private sector and civil society to the same table to discuss the importance of broadband internet in promoting inclusive development and Asian and Pacific region can improve broadband access to the poorest and most vulnerable in a cost-efficient manner.

It will also showcase examples of innovative approaches and emerging best practices to promote regional dialogue and regional cooperation. The event also supports the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway initiative, which aims to expand regional broadband connectivity and accelerate the digital transformation to strengthen the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here for more information on this event.

Bangladesh’s experience in achieving Millennium Development Goals and actions towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Organized by the Government of Bangladesh, this side event will provide an opportunity for ESCAP members and associate members to share best practices and experiences related to inclusive and sustainable development at the national level, given that developing countries often face similar challenges and have similar experiences in implementing sustainable development. The knowledge shared through the event will therefore be relevant to all developing countries to learn and adopt measures to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event will also showcase Bangladesh’s successful efforts in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that has kept the country on track towards attaining many SDG targets and recognize also the need for national and international support measures to achieve the SDGs.

Solar Investment: International Solar Alliance – the trillion-dollar opportunity

Organized jointly by the Government of India, Government of France, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the ESCAP secretariat, this side event focuses on the issues of developing and financing solar energy projects and aligning financial flows in order to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the One Planet Summit, and the Delhi Agenda. The issues are also essential for carrying out credible climate action and scaling-up efforts on the ground to mobilize more than $1,000 billion in investments to finance 1000 gigawatt of global solar capacity in ISA member countries by 2030.

The side event also aims to achieve concrete results and bring together ISA member countries and partners engaged in developing and financing of solar energy projects to strengthen mechanisms and initiatives needed to support quick and efficient solar energy projects and actions on the ground.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

India: Assuming a leadership role in SDGs and developing a unique monitoring framework

Organized jointly by the Government of India and the ESCAP secretariat, this side event aims to focus on the ‘SDG India Index’ a monitoring framework devised by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) to provide the holistic view on the social, economic and environmental status of the country. The framework comprehensively measures India's increasing progress towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The side event will also showcase India’s efforts towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Moving the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development Agenda forward: Filling the gaps identified by the Midterm Review

Organized by the Commission on Population and Development of the Philippines, ESCAP secretariat and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), this side event highlights efforts in the region to strengthen responses to ongoing population and development trends in support of the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will draw on the key findings of the Midterm Review of the Asian and Pacific Declaration on Population and Development held in November 2018, and next steps towards strengthening empowerment, social inclusion and equality.

The event will provide a forum to share the work of member States and the support provided by ESCAP in collaboration with UNPFA to accelerate the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

Civil registration and identity for all: A pathway to the Sustainable Development Goals

Organized by the Government of Pakistan, against the backdrop of increasing implementation of identification systems by Asian and Pacific countries to improve access to important services such as social protection or bank accounts, this side event will inform participants at the Commission session on the status of such identification systems in the region’s countries and importance of strong civil registration systems as the basis for identification systems to ensure inclusiveness and equality.

In addition, this side event will also highlight progress made during the Asian and Pacific Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Decade, 2015-2024, which will be commemorated at its mid-point at a Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics to be organized next year.

More information: Programme Overview; Event Flyer

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Graduation, international support measures and leveraging inclusive and sustainable development

Organized by the Government of Bangladesh, this side event will spur up a conversation among relevant stakeholders on how support from the international community, especially international support measure (ISMs) for least developed countries could be continued beyond graduation to provide incentives to the countries, including as a means to mutually reinforce efforts for inclusive and sustainable development.

It will also initiate a dialogue on how to offer a new and innovative policy support package alongside the current ISMs, depending on the country specific need for sustainable graduation and beyond; while also noting the perils that without adequate support, a graduated nation risks falling back into the least developed country category or, at least, losing significant development momentum, entailing large costs to the international community and significantly hampering efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

Road Safety: Global perspective and local cooperation

Organized by the Government of Belgium, the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Sweden, this side event aims to support national and regional efforts that will strengthen regional cooperation to accelerate progress towards road safety for achieving Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 3 and Goal 11.

It will serve as a platform to showcase national efforts to improve Road Safety, in the lead up to the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Sweden in February 2020, which will be, after the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, the starting point for continued collaboration on road safety up to 2030.

Road safety affects all ESCAP member States and has significant impact on vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, both riders and passengers of two- and three- wheelers. Enhance road safety will benefit all people in the ESCAP region, in particular vulnerable road users.

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Friday, 31 May 2019

The future of agri-food systems: innovative approaches to safety, environment, gender and youth

Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP), this side event will highlight the importance of participation in women and youth in agriculture to provide sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for the community as a route for empowerment.

The event will also showcase several innovative and sustainable approaches to agriculture, focusing on the complex interactions between plants, animals, the environment, and us. The panel discussion with experts will provide policy makers, country delegates, and young professionals insight on the practicality of implementation with these approaches.

Click here for more information on the side event.



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