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Regionalism and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development

At a high-level event on ‘Regionalism and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar underlined that the Asia-Pacific region is leading global efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. The side event on 23 September was opened by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon, who highlighted the important role of the UN Regional Commissions in implementing and assessing progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

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Highlights

Photo source: https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/

UN Summit addresses large movements of refugees and migrants

Migrants play a diverse, dynamic and productive role in the Asia-Pacific region, underscored UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, ahead of the first-ever UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants. At the Summit hosted by the UN General Assembly on 19 September, world leaders adopted the New York Declaration to protect the rights of all refugees and migrants.

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Forging greater Eurasia and Asia-Pacific integration to support SDG implementation

UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar called for greater integration of Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, at the Eastern Economic Forum, in Vladivostok, Russia on 2 September. In her keynote speech, Dr. Akhtar highlighted how extensive natural resources, including the renewable energy potential in Russia’s Far East, can serve the growing requirements of the Asia-Pacific region and offer attractive business and trade opportunities.

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Aligning ASEAN community-building efforts to the 2030 Agenda at UN General Assembly

Crosscutting themes of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be harnessed by enhancing action and implementation to uplift the standards of living for the people. This was the principle message stressed by UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar at a UN General Assembly side event on 24 September, hosted by Thailand’s Foreign Minister.

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Enhancing ICT connectivity for accelerated and inclusive development

The technology bundled around the “’Internet of Things’ (IoT), which enables billions of devices and appliances to connect over the Internet for more accurate, real time data collection and analysis in an unparalleled scale, has been instrumental in shaping and leading socioeconomic transformations across Asia-Pacific. Despite an increasing spotlight on the transformative capabilities of IoT however, a recent ESCAP report shows that the digital divide in the region continues to be one of the largest in the world.

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First milestone of the CRVS decade reviewed by Regional Steering Group

At the second meeting of the Regional Steering Group for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) organized by ESCAP in Bangkok from 6 to 7 September, 22 member States and eight development partners identified priorities to maintain momentum and accelerate progress for CRVS in the Asia- Pacific region. Delegates reviewed key findings of the baseline report under the Regional Action Framework and identified areas for regional support going forward.

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Around the Region

Strengthening multi-hazard risk assessment and early warning systems in the Pacific

The first Pacific workshop on Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment and Early Warning Systems with Applications of Space and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was held by ESCAP in Fiji from 13 to 15 September. Organized in collaboration with Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office, the Geoscience Division of the Pacific Community, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, and the Government of Japan, the workshop shared findings and strategies to strengthen the capacity of early warning systems in the region.

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New Delhi workshop promotes mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction

In order to build resilience to disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP focuses its risk reduction strategies on knowledge sharing and strengthening the capacity of its member States. Together with India’s National Institute of Disaster Management, ESCAP organized a capacity development workshop in New Delhi from 13 to 16 September to promote the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction for sustainable development planning at national, sub-national, and sectoral levels.

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North-East Asia experts review low- carbon city development at subregional meeting

Experts and key agencies working on developing low-carbon cities in North-East Asia attended the North-East Asia Low- Carbon Cities Platform Expert Group Meeting on 2 September. The meeting was organized by ESCAP’s North and East Asia Office and held in Seoul, alongside the Seoul Mayor’s Forum on Climate Change. Participants devised indicators, evaluated methodologies, and exchanged comparative analyses plans of national approaches towards low-carbon cities.

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UN Photo/Mark Garten

Local community workshops support participatory rural appraisal in Myanmar

The Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA), together with the Network Activities Group and Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development, held three workshops in September to enable local stakeholders to use Participatory Rural Appraisal to support local planning for climate resilient agriculture. The workshops underlined the importance of agricultural sustainability and farmer welfare for developing Myanmar’s Dry Zone.

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National launch of Women and ICT Frontier Initiative in Sri Lanka

The Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) launched its Women and ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) programme in Sri Lanka on 26 September, in partnership with Sri Lanka’s ICT Agency and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs. The Initial rollout of the WIFI Suhuruliya project, seeks to empower war widows and women entrepreneurs to utilize ICT in support of their businesses.

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ESCAP highlights need for fundamental transformations to achieve SDGs at joint congress in China

ESCAP highlighted that fundamental societal transformations are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the joint congress of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration in Chengdu, China on 23 September. During the panel discussion on implementing SDGs in Asia-Pacific, ESCAP presented key findings from its report on the impact of regional megatrends, such as urbanization, economic and trade integration, rising incomes and changing consumption patterns.

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Coming up at ESCAP

Expert Group Meeting on Asian Highway
3-4 October 2016
Bangkok, Thailand
Eleventh Session of UN-APCICT’s Governing Council
5-6 October 2016
Bangkok, Thailand
SPECA Thematic Working Group on Energy and Water
20 October 2016
Baku, Azerbaijan
North-East Asia Development Cooperation Forum
28-29 October 2016
Suzhou, China