Asia-Pacific leaders convene in Bangkok for annual UN regional forum

11 – 16 May 2018, UN Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand

Political leaders and high-level government and UN officials from across the region will convene in Bangkok this week for the 74th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The annual gathering shall comprise two parts, including the senior officials segment from 11 to 12 May, in preparation for the ministerial segment, which will be held from 14 to 16 May at the UN Conference Centre.

This year participants will be deliberating on the theme ‘Inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ and are expected to review emerging drivers of rising inequality across the region to inform policy decisions to help build more inclusive, resilient and equitable societies.

The President of Marshall Islands Ms. Hilda Heine and Ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan and Vanuatu are amongst the high-level participants taking part in this year’s session.

The President of Kiribati Taneti Mamau, H.E. Don Pramudwinai Foreign Minister of Thailand, UN General Assembly President H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Mrs. Carrie Lam, are scheduled to address the opening of the ministerial segment on 14 May.

The high-level policy dialogues will focus on approaches in addressing inequality of outcome, opportunity and impact, and harnessing the potential of frontier technology to foster equitable development. Several publications will also be launched at the session including the Theme Study: ‘Inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the ‘Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report.’

Media Highlights

Friday, 11 May 2018

09:00 - 09:30 Opening of the senior officials segment
12:00 – 13:00 Side event – Making it happen: Well-being for all

Saturday, 12 May 2018

12:00 – 13:00 Side event – Rethinking regional integration for landlocked developing countries

Monday, 14 May 2018

09:00 - 11:45 Opening of the ministerial segment
12:00 - 13:00 Side event – Breaking the inequality trap towards sustainable graduation: Perspectives from Bangladesh and the region
13:00 - 14:00 Side event – Disaster information management and sustainable development
14:00 - 17:00 High-level dialogue on inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

09:00 - 12:00 High-level dialogue on inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda
12:00 - 13:00 Side event - Universal access to disaster early warning information: Perspectives from the Pacific
13:00-14:00 Side event - Ageing in our region: Challenges and opportunities
14:00 - 17:00 High-level dialogue on multilateralism in Asia-Pacific to promote inclusive economic and social development in the region and its contribution to global economic governance

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

09:00 - 12:00 High-level dialogue on frontier technological innovation: Policies to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs
15:00 - 17:00 Adoption of the report of the Commission and Closing session

Note to Editors
Please note the above schedule is subject to change. The timetable is available on the ESCAP website at:

Media Accreditation
For media registration, please provide us with the following information (First Name; Last Name; Nationality; ID/Passport Number; Email Address; Mobile No; Organization/New Agency, as well as the latest electronic copy of a passport-sized photo for printing the badge in advance) and please email to [email protected]

Media Facilities
Journalists will have access to a Media Centre at the UN Conference Centre equipped with Internet, Wi-Fi, desktops, and printers

Interview Requests
For individual interview requests with senior UN officials or delegates, please contact the Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section at [email protected]
For more information, visit:

For media enquiries, please contact:

Katie Elles, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 9481 525 36 / E: [email protected]