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New ESCAP study shows alarming disparity in broadband access among Asia-Pacific countries

Despite the widely reported phenomenal growth in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP’s State of ICT in Asia and the Pacific 2016: Uncovering the Widening Broadband Divide study confirms that the gap between advanced and developing countries in fixed broadband access is indeed widening, and unless targeted policy interventions are put in place, the trend will continue to the detriment of future development opportunities.

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Highlights

Inaugural UN stamps featuring ESCAP unveiled in Bangkok

The UN Postal Administration has issued a new special event souvenir stamp sheet featuring ESCAP’s iconic premises in Bangkok. United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar launched the stamp set, which celebrates nearly 70 years of ESCAP’s work in the region, at the 32nd Asian International Stamp Exhibition on 10 August. ESCAP is the first regional commission to be featured on a UN stamp.

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Conference develops action framework for better statistics to monitor SDG progress in Asia-Pacific

The statistical demands arising from the Sustainable Development Goals implementation pose particular challenges which no country can tackle on its own. To address this challenge, senior government statisticians and stakeholders have agreed on a Collective Vision and Framework for Action at the Asia-Pacific Conference on ‘Transforming Official Statistics for Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ to improve the quality and statistical capacity of countries in the region.

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Asia-Pacific resort industry reviews innovative responsible business practices to address water scarcity

With tourism being a significant economic driver in the region, responsible business practices (RBP) in the hospitality sector can serve as a viable instrument to overcome development challenges such as water scarcity. A two-day informal roundtable, organized by ESCAP, provided the opportunity for public and private stakeholders to develop guides on regional cooperation and national actions to improve the implementation of RBP in the resort industry, as well as showcase cost-effective good practices.

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Call for submissions: UN Day 2016 video contest

This year, UN Day will be celebrated on 24 October across Asia and the Pacific with a video contest on how the region is working towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals based on seven key themes. Share your thoughts in a creative 20-second video and upload it to YouTube with the hashtags #UN4U and #AsiaPacific. Prizes are in store for the judges’ favorite and most liked videos!

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Around the Region

Greater effort needed to build climate resilience in agricultural sectors in the Pacific

A sustainable agricultural sector can build a resilient Pacific society, highlighted Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture while opening the capacity-building workshop ‘Building Climate Resilient Agriculture in Pacific Small Island Developing States.’ The workshop, organized by ESCAP and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community from 9 to 11 August in Fiji, served as a south-south cooperation forum for stakeholders to exchange knowledge in mainstreaming climate adaptation and climate-sensitive risk reduction strategies into sustainable and resilient agricultural planning.

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ESCAP training course to improve production official statistics for global SDG progress monitoring

Government statisticians from Asia-Pacific, Africa and South America are participating in the first group training programme on improving capability in producing official statistics for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Organized by the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP), the four-month course aims to strengthen the capacity of national statistical systems to produce data and indicators for monitoring progress in achieving the SDGs.

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National validation workshops review trade and transport facilitation mechanism

Since 2014, ESCAP and the Asian Development Bank and have supported Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal to establish Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring Mechanisms (TTFMM). As part of this initiative, national validation workshops were held in all three countries between 28 July to 4 August to review the preliminary study results of TTFMM and examine how policymakers can use the micro-level data to prioritize implementation of trade and transport facilitation reforms in a sustainable manner.

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Coming up at ESCAP

Forty-ninth Session of the APTA Standing Committee
6-7 September 2016
Bangkok, Thailand
SPECA Thematic Working Group on Knowledge-based Development
20-22 September 2016
Almaty, Kazakhstan
28th UN/CEFACT Forum
26-30 September 2016
Bangkok, Thailand