Skip to main content

Announcement

Boosting SDG Accelerators through Innovation and Cooperation for North-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region

Submitted by TPARK1 on Thu, 16/05/2024 - 12:55
News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

"Boosting SDG Accelerators through Innovation and Cooperation: Lessons and Opportunities for North-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region" was successfully co-organized by ESCAP, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, and Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, as a side event of the 80th Commission Session. The event served as a dynamic platform for dialogue on accelerating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovative strategies and strengthened cooperation in the region. 

The roundtable session highlighted the essential role of digital innovation in catalysing the progress of SDGs across Asia-Pacific, examining both opportunities and challenges in aligning digital advancements with SDG targets. The discussion emphasized the necessity for cross-sectoral collaboration and regional partnerships as the key drivers in this endeavour. Panellists also addressed the potential challenges posed by the digital divide and data biases in innovative technologies, advocating for more localized and integrated digital strategies across the Asia-Pacific to enhance sustainable development. Furthermore, the need for enhanced cooperation among the member States of North-East Asia subregion was stressed to ensure its sustainable and inclusive development.  

The side event reaffirmed the need to leverage collective action and digital technologies to foster a more inclusive and sustainable future for the Asia-Pacific region. It concluded with a forward-looking invitation to continue vital engagements at the 8th North-East Asia Multistakeholder Forum on Sustainable Development Goals to be held in the Republic of Korea in the second half of 2024.  

 

Further details are available at the event website: https://unescap.org/events/2024/boosting-sdg-accelerators-through-innovation-and-cooperation-lessons-and-opportunities

News published date
Featured Image
Photo_CS80 ENEA Side Event
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Call for expression of interest:

Submitted by NTUNTIWI on Mon, 22/04/2024 - 15:08
Sub Title

Advancing regional trade integration: Impact of RCEP membership expansion

News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a regional trade agreement which currently encompasses Australia, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and ASEAN member countries. It was signed on 15 November 2020 and went into force on 1 January 2022. It is the world’s largest free trade agreement by members’ GDP. Other countries can accede to it after 1 July 2023. Areas covered by RCEP include trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement, e-commerce, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other issues.

In support of advancing regional trade cooperation and integration in the Asia and the Pacific region, ESCAP seeks to hire an economic researcher/team of economic researchers to work with ESCAP to quantitatively evaluate the impact and potential benefits of individual Asia-Pacific developing economies members of UN ESCAP that are currently NOT in RCEP joining it. It is tentatively envisaged that two studies are conducted: a separate study on goods covering tariff and non-tariff measures, and one on services and investment, ideally with empirical analysis for the latter apart from regulatory analysis.  The research methodology should be in line with those utilized by existing RCEP members during their impact assessment studies. The analysis should take into account whether a country is or not already a member of APTA and other relevant trade agreements. To the extent possible, the study should also include an impact analysis of countries joining APTA for those countries that have not yet joined it.

To apply, please email an application letter which outlines your proposed methodology/plan [1 page max], your/your teams CV, list of publications, to Alexey Kravchenko [[email protected]], subject “RCEP study expression of interest” by cob 16 May 2024. Countries to be covered should be clearly specified.

Budget for this work is not expected to exceed USD 20,000 (or USD 10,000 per study), with some flexibility depending on scope and the complexity of the proposed methodology. This may be further split among different researchers depending on the scope and depth of research proposals received. Researchers/teams of researchers working on separate studies should be in communication to make sure results are aligned. Research results would be expected to be delivered within maximum 8 months of signature of contracts, with possibility for the researchers (or their institutions) to co-author working papers (reports) with UN ESCAP staff involved, present their work at relevant intergovernmental events, and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

News published date
Featured Image
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Country Region

ESCAP Request for Expression of Interest (EOI) (Deadline for application: 29 January 2024)

Submitted by NSAROPAL on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 14:32
Sub Title

To conduct a national feasibility study in a selected country in Central Asia on the cross-border electronic exchange of trade-related data and documents with other Asian countries.

News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

Background 

 

Trade is recognized as an important means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Trade facilitation and paperless trade can help make trade more inclusive and sustainable. This led United Nations ESCAP members to negotiate and adopt the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (Framework Agreement), a UN treaty to accelerate and support the digitalization of trade procedures.[1] The Framework Agreement encourages implementation of pilot projects on cross-border paperless trade (Article 13), as a basis for capacity building of ESCAP developing member States and to achieve harmonization and interoperability between paperless trade systems. 

 

In this context, the ESCAP Secretariat seeks to hire an individual national consultant to conduct a national feasibility study in a selected Central Asian country on the electronic exchange of trade-related data and documents with other countries in Asia, in particular with those that have been actively engaged in the development and/or implementation of the Framework Agreement or where paperless trade readiness assessments have already been conducted.[2] The consultant will evaluate the feasibility for the selected country to engage in cross-border electronic exchange of trade-related data and documents, including by identifying priority partner countries and documents, assessing the costs and benefits of exchanging specific documents or harmonizing systems, and developing a pilot project plan. 

 

Target countries 

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 

 

Work assignment  

The consultant is required to perform the following tasks (with tentative timeline): 

  1. Prepare for the national feasibility study by: 

  • Participating in an inception briefing session by the overall coordinating consultant. 
  • Drafting a workplan in consultation with, and based on the plan/methodology advised by, the coordinating consultant. 
  • Liaising with relevant stakeholders, taking into account the outputs and activities of this assignment. 

National feasibility studies, when completed, should provide evidence-based guidance to member States on (i) partner countries they may prioritize for electronic exchange of trade data and documents; (ii) specific data/documents for electronic exchange; (iii) what systems and processes need to be harmonized or improved and the government agencies involved; and (iv) the costs and benefits of doing this exchange and harmonizing/improving the systems and processes necessary. 

Delivery date: 29 February 2024 

 

  1. Carry out the national feasibility study. Tasks include: 

  • Conducting secondary research and collecting relevant information. 

  • Consulting/interviewing relevant agencies and stockholders to collect primary data. 

  • Drafting the report and revising it based on feedback from the coordinating consultant. 

Delivery date: 30 April 2024 

 

  1. Organize a national workshop/meeting, in collaboration with the coordinating consultant, with relevant stakeholders for validation of the draft study and to seek feedback, including on possible plans for pilot exchange. 

Delivery date: 15 May 2024 

 

  1. Coordinate and support country stakeholders to participate in a subregional consultation workshop/meeting involving the target countries, in collaboration with the coordinating consultant. This could include presentation of findings of the national feasibility study and national workshop/meeting (including possible plans for pilot exchange), and facilitating discussions on follow-up actions. 

Delivery date: 30 June 2024 

 

  1. Finalize the national feasibility study report and any inputs to follow-up actions, including by incorporating comments/suggestions received on the drafts. 

Delivery date: 31 July 2024 

 

The consultant is expected to carry out the assignment during the period of 1 February 2024 – 31 July 2024. 

 

Consultancy fee is expected to range from USD 8,000 to 10,000, depending on the experience of the consultant and final terms of reference. 

 

Requirements for the consultancy  

A minimum of 5 years of work experience in trade facilitation/e-commerce/paperless trade is required. The consultant should preferably have relevant experience in implementing trade facilitation (including trade regulatory/customs automation projects), and assessing the feasibility of cross-border cooperation activities related to trade facilitation and the electronic exchange of trade-related data and documents, particularly in relation to the target country of study.  

 

Relevant work experience in the country in which the national feasibility study is proposed to be conducted is required. A good network with relevant government agencies and/or association with a national-level think tank or trade facilitation/digitalization-related agency is preferred. 

 

EOI Submission (deadline: 29 January 2024) 

Individuals with relevant expertise are invited to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI), for a selected target country of study, to Mr. Yann Duval, Chief, Trade Policy and Facilitation Section, United Nations ESCAP ([email protected]) with a copy to Mr. Yern Fai Lee ([email protected]). 

 

The EOIs should include: 

(1) An email expressing interest, highlighting previous work experience, other related assignments, training or any useful experience and contacts/networks relevant to the assignment. 

(2) Proposed work plan (1 to 2 pages) on how to carry out the assignment; and 

(3) Curriculum Vitae (CV), and any other evidence of relevant work. 

 

Selection process 

The criteria used to evaluate the applicants will be:  

(1) previous work and other experience in the areas related to the assignment, and  

(2) quality and scope of the proposed work plan 

 

*Please note that only selected candidate(s) will be contacted.  

 

For further information: 

Please email Mr. Yern Fai Lee ([email protected]) should you have any questions. 

 

 

[1] Details on the Framework Agreement can be found at: https://www.unescap.org/resources/framework-agreement-facilitation-cross-border-paperless-trade-asia-and-pacific

[2] See countries for which readiness assessments for cross-border paperless trade have been conducted.

News published date
Featured Image
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Country Region

Call for Papers | Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Journal (APSDJ) Vol. 31, No 2, November 2024

Submitted by ABHATCHA on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 14:04
Sub Title

Special Issue on LDCs November 2024, Structural Transformation of the LDCs – Recent Developments and New Challenges

News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

Papers are called for the November 2024 issue of the Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Journal (APSDJ, Vol. 31, No. 2) under the theme “Structural Transformation of the LDCs – Recent Developments and New Challenges”.

The issue will be guest-edited by Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka and Member, United Nations Committee for Development Policy (UN CDP).

Authors interested in contributing are encouraged to express their interest with an abstract by 16th February 2024 and submit their papers by 31 May 2024 to the Guest Editor via email ([email protected]; [email protected]) with a copy to the Managing Editor, Professor Anis Chowdhury ([email protected]).

Submissions from authors in the Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are encouraged.

 

In preparing their papers, authors should follow APSDJ submission guidelines for authors, available at: https://www.unescap.org/knowledge-products-series/asia-pacific-sustainable-development-journal. Please note:

  • Papers should not exceed 8,000 words, including the footnotes, references, etc.
  • Abstract should not exceed 100 words
  • Paper should include 4 to 5 keywords and JEL classification codes

All papers will be peer-reviewed, following APSDJ’s editorial policy.

Background

Changing Landscape of LDCs. There are currently 45 least-developed countries (LDCs) worldwide. Since the creation of this category in 1971, only seven countries have successfully graduated out of the group.  Notably, the period following the Istanbul Programme of Action (2011-2020) has witnessed an increasing number of LDCs becoming eligible for graduation. The Global Programme of Action (2021-30) also expresses high hopes for LDC graduation.

Nevertheless, a discernible slowdown has recently emerged, attributed to the persistent global polycrisis. This trend is underpinned by the structural weaknesses of this group of countries, prompting the need for a closer examination to formulate effective policy responses in the respective countries.

Visible Changes in the Asia Pacific. Presently, the Asia-Pacific region encompasses 11 LDCs, including three small island developing states (SIDS) and four landlocked LDCs (LLDCs).

Significant strides have been made in this Asia Pacific (AP) region, as demonstrated by Bhutan's successful graduation in December 2023. Looking forward, three additional LDCs within the region—Bangladesh, Lao PDR, and Nepal—are set to graduate in 2026.

However, the region faces challenges, with several LDCs, including Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands, deferring or postponing their graduation. A profound understanding of the dynamics behind these changes is pivotal in order to formulate sustainable development strategies.

Emerging Trends – Structural Vulnerabilities and Lack of Domestic Reforms. The post-pandemic global polycrisis has laid bare the structural vulnerabilities of the LDCs. Particularly, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the Asia Pacific LDCs face disproportionate economic stress due to their heavy reliance on tourism, remote locations, high merchandise export concentration, a large population in low elevated coastal zones, and a low share of agriculture in GDP. These factors contribute to their failure to meet the Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) criteria, emphasising the need for targeted interventions.

Indeed, leaving the LDC group does not mean that these countries have ---- a process of structural transformation of their economies. Accordingly, smooth and sustainable graduation should entail inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral economic diversification driven by productivity enhancement leading to higher competitiveness of the economies.

Need for Fresh Empirical and Analytical Perspectives. Given the evolving dynamics of the LDCs and the current global challenges, there is a critical need for new empirical and analytical perspectives. This entails a comprehensive examination of the shifting economic, social, and political landscapes of the countries to inform more effective policy responses and development strategies.

Special Issue of APSDJ – Original Papers. To address the identified gaps and foster a deeper understanding of LDC dynamics, APSDJ's special issue for November 2024 will feature original papers. These contributions will delve into nuanced analyses, providing valuable insights into the complex issues surrounding LDCs, their structural challenges, and potential pathways for sustainable development.

 

Possible Themes

Possible themes for the papers may include, but are not limited to:

  1. State of the LDCs – A Comprehensive Overview (Global Perspective with an Emphasis on Asia-Pacific LDCs)
  2. Footprints of the COVID Pandemic and Resilience of LDCs
  3. Implications of the Global Poly-Crisis for LDCs (Short to Medium-term Prospects, beyond item-i) – Fiscal space, inflation, pressure on foreign exchange reserves, debt distress
  4. Structural transformation of the LDC economies – Competitiveness and export promotion 2.0 (beyond diversification and other traditional market access issues)
  5. Structural transformation of the LDC economies – Agriculture development (with a particular focus on productivity growth) 
  6. Structural transformation of the LDC economies – Technology transfer, innovation and intellectual property inputs
  7. New dimensions of human development challenges of the LDCs (quality issues, gender disparity and digital access)
  8. Debt stress in the LDCs and the initiatives
  9. Profile of graduating LDCs and the prospect of a smooth/sustainable transition
  10. LDCs (the "residual" - SIDS and countries in conflict)    

These thematic issues aim to delve deeper into the multifaceted challenges faced by LDCs, providing a comprehensive understanding and contributing to sustainable development strategies.

The journal is expected to be released by 15 November 2024.

News published date
Featured Image
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Related Projects

Call for Cases: APTFF Trade Facilitation Innovation Awards 2024

Submitted by HZHANG48494853 on Wed, 10/01/2024 - 12:37
Sub Title

Deadline for Submission: 11 March 2024

News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

Organized biennially by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum (APTFF) is the leading regional platform for the exchange of information, experiences and practices on trade facilitation.

The 11th APTFF – to be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 1-5 April 2024 – will focus on how digitalization can be leveraged to enable sustainable supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region.[1] The Forum will feature panel discussions, and interactive and informative sessions allowing participants to share experiences and perspectives on different aspects of trade facilitation and digitalization, including cross-border paperless trade and transport, and greening the trade process.

ESCAP and ADB are inviting the submission of cases of innovative trade facilitation implementation, reflecting the theme of APTFF 2024. National or subregional trade facilitation innovation cases should feature either (1) implementation of innovative trade facilitation measures not specifically featured in the WTO TFA or other major global conventions or agreements, or (2) trade facilitation measures implemented in an innovative manner, such that they have contributed to at least two of the three pillars of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (economic, social and environmental pillars), or are using emerging digital technologies.

The submissions will be evaluated by the APTFF Secretariat as well as invited experts from the International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), World Customs Organization (WCO), and the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade and Transport in Asia and the Pacific (UNNExT). 

Why submit a case?

Submitting a case will help you to highlight the achievements of your country/government/agency/institution/office in trade facilitation, and to share them with experts, practitioners, government officials and other stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

All cases received and deemed relevant will be published on the APTFF website – cases promoting specific commercial products or services will not be considered. Successful submissions could also have opportunities to be published as UNNExT Briefs and shared in the UNNExT network.

In addition, the authors of the “best three” cases on trade facilitation innovations will be invited to participate and present their case study during the APTFF 2024 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The selected “best three” national or subregional innovations will receive an award and certificate.[2]

What to submit?

Has your country/organization implemented innovative solutions that have increased the efficiency of import/export/transit processes, or that have contributed to the greening of trade processes? Has your country/organization implemented unique systems to make it easier for SMEs, Women or those living in rural areas to engage in cross-border trade? Do you think your country/organization’s implementation of a particular WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) provision is outstanding and should be promoted as best practice? These are a few examples of potential trade facilitation innovation submissions.

You are invited to submit a brief case of the trade facilitation innovation, which should include the following details:

  • Description of the measure/project, including:

    • The trade facilitation issue/area it has addressed;
    • Implementation timeline/process;
    • Key beneficiaries and stakeholders;
    • Current status of the project/innovation;
    • Cost-effectiveness of the measure/project.
  • Why it is particularly innovative and effective.
  • Which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it contributes to, and how? (Note: SDG 17 identifies Trade as a Means of Implementation of other SDGs, but the measure or innovation proposed may also be relevant to other SDGs).[3]
  • Which WTO TFA provision it relates to, if relevant.
  • Examples and evidence of recognition and praise for the measure/project (you may provide testimonials from users, links and media clippings if available).  

Entries can be submitted under (but not limited to) the following categories:

  • Digital trade facilitation - Frontier technology applications / Cross-Border Paperless Trade initiatives /…
  • Sustainable and inclusive trade facilitation: SMEs / Women / Transit …
  • Green / Climate-smart trade facilitation;
  • Trade finance and payment facilitation;
  • Innovative trade facilitation measures for agricultural trade and traceability;
  • Cost-effective trade facilitation measures;
  • Institutional innovations for trade facilitation;
  • Innovations in trade facilitation monitoring and data collection;
  • WTO TFA implementation best practice;
  • Trade facilitation measures in times of crisis.

Entries must be submitted electronically in Microsoft PowerPoint as well as PDF formats.

  • Annotated PowerPoint presentation with details, as described above, of the case (no more than 20 slides); Video-recorded PowerPoint presentation is also acceptable (no more than 14 minutes).
  • Please provide links and references for more information about the innovation.

Videos and other multimedia formats may be submitted as alternative and/or as supporting material.

Deadline for Submission: 11 March 2024

Kindly send your submissions to: [email protected] with copy to [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

Selection Criteria:

The trade facilitation innovation will be evaluated according the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the measure/project to the simplification and streamlining of international trade processes (broadly defined here as covering commercial, transport, regulatory and payment procedures);
  • Use of digital means and channels for effective and efficient trade facilitation measures;
  • Relevance and applicability to other countries;
  • Potential in reducing trade costs;
  • Potential in increasing SME engagement in trade;
  • The creativity and effectiveness in how the innovation serves the key beneficiaries;
  • Involvement of the key stakeholders in the design and the implementation of the innovation;
  • Possibilities to scale and expand the innovation to serve more stakeholders;
  • Linkage with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (social and environmental pillars in particular).

Eligibility:

  • The trade facilitation innovation must have originated from/ be implemented in one of the ESCAP and ADB members (see list)[4].
  • At least one of the co-author(s) submitting the case study must be from the national organization(s) responsible for implementing the trade facilitation innovation and/or involved in the implementation of the related measure/project described. The candidate should seek adequate clearance to submit and present this innovation.
  • The submitted innovation must be already launched and functional. Projects in the testing/pilot phase may also be submitted. However, projects and innovations in the design phase are not eligible for submission.

General Rules and Regulations

  • By submitting the case study, the candidate grants the APTFF Secretariat permission to publish and disseminate the case study;
  • The APTFF Secretariat is not responsible for any loss of intellectual property rights that may result from submitting the case study;
  • The APTFF Secretariat will verify the case studies and is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information contained in the submitted case studies;
  • The APTFF Secretariat does not provide any remuneration or compensation for submission of the case studies;
  • The selected case study/innovation must be submitted to the APTFF Secretariat by the deadline.
 

[4] List of eligible members and associate members: Afghanistan; Armenia; American Samoa;  Australia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Fiji; French Polynesia; Georgia; Guam; Hong Kong, China; India; Indonesia; Iran(Islamic Republic of); Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati; Republic of Korea; Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the Kyrgyz Republic; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; Nepal; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Sri Lanka; Taipei,China; Tajikistan; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Türkiye; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu; Viet Nam.

Winners of APTFF Innovation Awards 2022
News published date
Featured Image
APTFF Innovation Awards
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Country Region

Call for Expressions of Interest - Civil Society Members of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032

Submitted by WLAOSUKS on Fri, 22/12/2023 - 10:18
News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

 

Deadline to submit expression of interest (EOI): 31 January 2024, 17:00 Thailand Standard Time

EOI information detail and application guidelines: available here

Application submission requirements: 1) A completed Nomination Form, 2) Supporting documents A and B as instructed in the Nomination Form. Please note that EOI is only accepted if it follows guidance and instructions and use the templates provided.

For any questions regarding the EOI and for submission of EOIs, please contact the Social Development Division, ESCAP by email to [email protected] with copy to [email protected].

 

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) by civil society organizations (CSOs) that wish to become a member of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032. Applications are open to all CSOs, including organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), operating at the regional and subregional levels in the Asia-Pacific region.  

Background

The Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities was established during the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022, to inform the implementation of the Decade with its expertise and knowledge. The Working Group consisted of an equal number of government and civil society members. The nature of membership enabled a multi-stakeholder approach to guiding the implementation of the Decade of 2013-2022.

In 2022, members States of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) adopted the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032, promulgating the fourth regional disability Decade. The Jakarta Declaration was then endorsed by the Commission through its Resolution 79/5 in May 2023 entitled “Implementation of the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023–2032”. Through the declaration, member States requested to continue to utilize the guidance of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, as appropriate, to support the effective implementation of the Jakarta Declaration. In this context, the ESCAP secretariat is facilitating the formation of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032.

Objective

The objective of the Working Group is to provide technical advice and support to members and associate members of the Commission in the full and effective implementation of the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023–2032.

Membership

The Working Group shall be composed of representatives of ESCAP members and associate members and CSOs, including OPDs operating at the regional and subregional levels in the Asia-Pacific region. As a general principle, the Working Group should be composed of an equal number of governments and CSOs.

For CSO members, preference will be accorded to organizations of and for persons with disabilities, including organizations of, and for, women with disabilities. Among the CSOs represented in the Working Group, at least half of the seats shall be allocated for organizations of and for persons with disabilities. Representation of diverse groups of persons with disabilities and ensuring a balance across subregions will be given due attention in the constitution of the Working Group.

For more information about the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023-2032, the Working Group functions and expectations for its members, as well as selection criteria for CSO members, please refer to the following documents:

EOI information detail and application guidelines: Here 

Resolution 79/5: Implementation of the Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023–2032: Here  

Jakarta Declaration on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023–2032: Here 

Terms of Reference of the Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2023–2032: Here 

Application deadline: No later than 17:00 Thailand Standard Time on 31 January 2024, by email to [email protected] with copy to [email protected].

Applications must follow the provided guidance and submission format as outlined in the Nomination Form (here).

 

News published date
Featured Image
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Capacity building workshop on public investment planning and management for Pacific Small Island Developing States

Submitted by SSUPHUTT on Thu, 14/12/2023 - 11:25
News type
Origin Location
Suva
News Source
ESCAP News
Contact Person Office
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

A regional capacity building workshop was convened in Samoa from 27 November to 1 December 2023, aimed to strengthen public investment planning and management in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  The need for efficient and effective public investment policies and legislation has been long recognized, and most recently at the 2023 Pacific Forum Leaders meeting through the endorsement of the Implementation Plan for the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

However, as most Pacific SIDS lack institutional and technical capacities required for improved infrastructure outcomes, the workshop focused on project identification and planning, appraisal and selection, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The workshop offered a platform for participants to share country experiences and lessons, and to identify actions at national level which could strengthen public investment outcomes. Workshop participants also utilized a guidance note on public investment and project planning in Pacific SIDS developed by ESCAP using country-level work and practical recommendations for capacity building purposes.

Around 50 participants attended the workshop, including representatives from Ministries of Finance and Planning from Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The regional capacity building workshop was convened by ESCAP in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Government of Samoa, the International Monetary Fund and the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre.

News published date
Featured Image
Image of the workshop participants

Photo credit: Ministry of Finance, Samoa

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

NEASPEC Celebrates 30 Years of Environmental Cooperation in North-East Asia

Submitted by TPARK1 on Thu, 30/11/2023 - 07:53
News type
Origin Location
Seoul
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

The North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) commemorated its 30th anniversary today. Established in 1993, NEASPEC has been a vital force in promoting environmental cooperation and sustainable development in North-East Asia.

The commemorative event in Seoul, Republic of Korea, brought together government officials, representatives from partner organizations, environmental experts, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations including the United Nations, and stakeholders from member countries to reflect on three decades of achievements and discuss the future of environmental cooperation in the subregion.

“We are delighted to commemorate this significant milestone in the history of NEASPEC,” said Ganbold Baasanjav, Head of the ESCAP Subregional Office for East and North-East Asia . “Over the past three decades, NEASPEC has emerged as a beacon of regional collaboration, fostering environmental sustainability and promoting shared responsibility. With renewed dedication, we can achieve even greater milestones, further solidifying our role in shaping a brighter, greener future for our region and beyond.” 

NEASPEC, a unique intergovernmental platform comprising China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation, has played a pivotal role in addressing common environmental challenges. Over the past 30 years, NEASPEC has gradually evolved by developing programmatic work covering air pollution, biodiversity and nature conservation, marine protected areas, low carbon cities, and desertification and land degradation, expanding partnerships from governments to civil society organizations, and strengthening the interlinkages between global, subregional, regional, national and local agendas.  

The commemorative event featured congratulatory remarks from member governments and roundtable discussions focusing on the accomplishments of NEASPEC and the way forward. This engagement provided a valuable opportunity for reflections not only on past achievements but also on the evolving dynamics faced by NEASPEC, shaping its future direction and continued commitment to environmental cooperation in the region.

News published date
Featured Image
Group photo_NEASPEC 30th Anniversary
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

UN forum opens with a resounding call to accelerate SDG action and multilateralism in East and North-East Asia

Submitted by TPARK1 on Thu, 30/11/2023 - 07:29
News type
Origin Location
Beijing
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

The East and North-East Asia Multistakeholder Forum on Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals convened high-level officials and representatives from various stakeholder groups in the subregion, reaffirming their continued resolve and shared commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Amidst the backdrop of slow progress in SDG implementation across the Asia-Pacific region, the subregional forum serves as a collaborative platform involving various stakeholders to assess progress and challenges within the 2030 Agenda and to collaboratively seek solutions.

In a call to action on the climate emergency, “East and north-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region continue to struggle with taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Countries continue to regress on Goal 13, and this must be given priority to reverse the persistent negative trend. China, Japan and the Republic of Korea account for more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Stepping up multilateral action to achieve the shared goal of carbon neutrality could offer a pathway towards much needed acceleration of climate action in the subregion.” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

East and North-East Asia is currently not on track to achieve any of the 17 SDGs by 2030. There is good progress on several goals. The subregion gained ground on Goal 3 (Good health and well-being), by now ahead in achieving mortality-related indicators. Countries in the subregion have also advanced on Goal 10 (Reducing inequalities), with its population living below 50 percent of median income. The subregion’s progress on Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) is supported by the adoption and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies, both at the national and local levels. However, the subregion continues to face acute challenges on environment-related goals. The persisting challenge of resource use inefficiency is reflected on the subregion’s relapse in achieving Goal 12 (Sustainable consumption and production) across all available indicators, except, for renewable energy capacity where there is welcome progress. Most severe is the subregion’s poor performance on Goal 13 (Climate action), with the subregion accounting for over 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

More than 70 delegates from six countries are taking part in the subregional forum to share their views and provide recommendations on how to accelerate the progress towards Goal 1 (No poverty), Goal 2 (Zero hunger), Goal 13 (Climate action), Goal 16 (Peace, justice, and strong Institutions) and Goal 17 (Partnership for the goals).

Discussions from five subregional forums in the Asia-Pacific region will also feed into regional and global conversations on the 2030 Agenda in 2024: at the 11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) in February and the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in July.

News published date
Featured Image
SDGF 2023 photos
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Call for Research Proposals – ESCAP Project: Regional integration and cooperation to promote affordable and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics in the Asia-Pacific region

Submitted by NTUNTIWI on Thu, 26/10/2023 - 16:06
News type
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the inequalities between and within countries in Asia and the Pacific in providing access to universal health care, including access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. The pandemic has also accentuated existing weaknesses and deficiencies in health systems within countries, in terms of financing, human resources and technologies. There is thus an urgent need to diversify production capacity for essential medical products (vaccines, diagnostics and/or therapeutics) and to facilitate their access in Asia and the Pacific, including through securing essential technologies for manufacturing and utilizing regional integration and trade mechanisms.

In this regard, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is implementing the project “Regional integration and cooperation to promote affordable and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics in the Asia-Pacific region”. This initiative is aimed at strengthening the capacity of countries in Asia and the Pacific to develop coherent policies and practical strategies on trade, investment, technology transfer, and regional cooperation to address inequities in supply and capacity, within the broader objective of enabling greater inclusivity and resilience in national health systems.

The ESCAP Secretariat is seeking to commission five trade-focused national studies (one study for each of the below five target countries), and invites interested researchers and practitioners to make proposals based on the following:

Target countries

Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand.

Research output

A research paper on trade-policy and related challenges for a target country, and possible options for addressing them to ensure more affordable and equitable access to essential medical products, within the broader context of strengthening resilience and preparedness for future health emergencies.

Issues to be examined and discussed include, but are not limited to:

  • Review of relevant existing literature, including on (target country’s) experience and policy action taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Identifying, for the target country, important source and destination countries for essential medical products and the inputs or goods required for their manufacture and distribution.
  • Trade policy environment for essential medical products and associated goods, including tariff and non-tariff measures, as well as related regulatory approval processes.
  • Regional trade agreements (RTAs) that the target country is involved in, and scope for leveraging these agreements and collaborating with RTA partners.
  • Wider considerations including industrial policy, value chains, domestic production capabilities, logistical networks, infrastructure, supply and demand dynamics, etc., that could impact (potential) production of or access to essential medical products. The discussion should provide insights into the target country’s (potential) positioning in the value chains of essential medical products.
  • Relevant emerging areas including technologies, new ways of production, and/or business models and opportunities.
  • Recommendations for domestic policy and for regional cooperation, taking into account good practices and existing platforms and mechanisms (including subregional blocs such as ASEAN and SAARC, and initiatives such as the WHO mRNA technology transfer hub) and what could be proposed moving forward, including through collaboration with international organizations, regional organizations, and development partners.

The scope of diseases and medical products to be discussed may take into consideration:

  • The top causes of mortality for the target country, including diseases identified as priorities by public health authorities. 
  • The top medical products prescribed or used in the target country that address diseases or illnesses affecting the largest number of people. 
  • The above, as well as neglected diseases, that are relevant or common across countries in the target country’s (sub)region.

Primary data sources, particularly from relevant stakeholders, should be utilized where appropriate.

The paper is expected to be 8,000-12,000 words, excluding tables, figures, references and appendices.

(Please refer to the Annex for references and associated ESCAP resources.)

Research duration, benefits and activities

  1. Duration:  1 December 2023 – 31 May 2024
  2. Consultancy fee:  Up to USD 13,000, depending on the proposed scope, methodology, and experience of the researcher.
  3. Other benefits and activities for selected proposals:
      • Presentation of findings in ESCAP events on or related to “Regional integration and cooperation to promote affordable and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics in the Asia-Pacific region”, where relevant;
      • Publication of research findings in UN publications or through ESCAP regional networks, including ARTNeT and UNNExT, where relevant and suitable.

Submission

Please apply as soon as possible or no later than 17 November 2023.

Individual(s) with relevant expertise are invited to submit research proposals for a selected target country to Mr. Yern Fai Lee, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, ESCAP [[email protected]] with a copy to Ms. Nucharat Tuntiwigit [[email protected]].

The submission should include:

  1. An email expressing interest.
  2. In 500 words or less, a research proposal, including (1) a summary of the research, including scope, methodology, and detailed tentative outline of the paper, (2) research schedule/timeline, and (3) main expected outcome/finding/recommendation.
  3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) and any other evidence of relevant work.

Selection criteria

The criteria used to evaluate the proposals will be based on the feasibility of the proposed research plan (75%), with heavy bearing on expected outcome/findings; and previous work experience of the applicant(s) in the areas related to the research topic and target country of study (25%).

Notes:

  1. Only selected candidate(s) would be contacted.
  2. Considering the specialized nature of topics, successful proposals are expected to come from researchers who already have work/research experience, particularly in the target country of study.
  3. Where applicable, candidates are welcome to make a proposal jointly with other researchers and practitioners to maximize synergy and complementarity of expertise.

For further information:

Please email Mr. Yern Fai Lee ([email protected]) should you have any questions.

ANNEX: References and resources

 

News published date
Featured Image
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Subscribe to Announcement