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Asia-Pacific countries meet at ESCAP forum to review merits of closer regional integration amidst global economic uncertainty

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ESCAP
ESCAP

Bangkok   (UN  ESCAP  Strategic  Communications  and  Advocacy  Section)  –
Asia-Pacific  countries  began deliberations here today at an annual United
Nations forum to review policy options for deepening integration within the
region  to maintain its dynamism while making it inclusive and sustainable,
amidst continuing global economic uncertainty.

Representatives  of  60  governments  in  the region are attending the 68th
session  of  the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the  Pacific  (ESCAP)  against  a  backdrop of stalling growth in developed
countries  together  with high and fluctuating commodity prices threatening
Asia-Pacific   economic   dynamism   and   progress  towards  international
development goals.

“If  2011  has  shown us anything, it is that Asia and the Pacific is again
confronted  by a deeply challenging external environment, and that the path
to shared future prosperity can best be travelled together,” United Nations
Under-Secretary-General  and  ESCAP  Executive Secretary Dr. Noeleen Heyzer
said  in  her  address  to  the  Senior Officials Segment of the Commission
session.

“Regional  solutions,  through  regional cooperation, are the way for us to
forge  more  sustainable  economic growth, close development gaps, and lift
tens  of  millions  of  people  out  of poverty. Let’s work together for an
inclusive,  resilient  and  sustainable  future  for Asia and the Pacific –
where we grow together and share collective prosperity.”

The  17  to 23 May ESCAP Session which has as its theme ‘Growing together –
Economic integration for an inclusive and sustainable Asia-Pacific century’
will  focus  on  a  four-track  strategy to promote shared, sustainable and
inclusive  growth  in  the region by promoting market integration, physical
connectivity,  financial  cooperation  and  joint  action to address common
vulnerabilities arising from shrinking resources and climate threats.

The  ESCAP  Session  comprises  the  17  to 19 May Senior Officials Segment
followed by a high-level Ministerial Segment from 21 to 23 May.

The  senior  officials  meeting will finalise recommendations for political
endorsement  by Asia-Pacific countries during the ministerial segment which
will  be  opened  by  the Prime Minister of Thailand. The Prime Minister of
Samoa  and senior government leaders from other Asia-Pacific countries will
attend  the  Commission session next week which will feature two high-level
panel  discussions on regional economic integration and promoting inclusive
development amidst global economic and financial turbulence.

A  high-level  consultation  on 23 May will provide Asia-Pacific developing
countries  an opportunity to help articulate a regional perspective for the
upcoming G20 Mexico Summit.

For more information on the 68th session of the Commission see
http://www.unescap.org/commission/68/

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