The sixth session of the Committee on Social Development was conducted from 20 to 21 October 2020. Over the two days, the Committee deliberated on policy solutions to extend comprehensive and inclusive social protection and achieve international and regional commitments on population and development.
The Committee endorsed two key tools to move the social development forward in the region. Firstly, it endorsed the Action Plan to Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific. The action plan serves as a shared vision, strategy and platform to promote partnership, peer learning and identify needs for technical assistance. Secondly, to support the full and effective implementation of commitments on population and development, the Committee endorsed the Asia-Pacific Indicator Framework for Voluntary Monitoring of Progress towards the Implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and of the Commitments Contained in the Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development. The framework consists of 85 indicators drawing from the SDGs and other internationally agreed frameworks.
One week prior to the Committee, ESCAP launched its flagship report The Protection We Want: Social Outlook for Asia and the Pacific. Whilst identifying critical gaps in the provision of social protection in the region, the report highlights that achieving universal social protection is achievable and affordable and maps out recommendations towards this.