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SSWA Development Papers 21-04 - Leveraging Regional Cooperation for Achieving the SDGs in South Asia SSWA Development Papers 21-04 - Leveraging Regional Cooperation for Achieving the SDGs in South Asia
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Greater regional development cooperation is critical for South Asia to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of SDG interventions. The subregion has been lagging in terms of its overall progress towards the SDGs. Sharing similar structural constraints and challenges including disproportionate dependency on agriculture, industrial stagnation, huge infrastructural gaps, inadequate access to public services, increasing inequalities and marginalization of the poor and vulnerable sections of the population, South Asian countries collectively reveal characteristics that calls for enhanced regional cooperation. Moreover, bound together by geography, shared natural resources, riverine systems, agro-climatic zones and consequent common environmental vulnerabilities, the subregional countries also exhibits transboundary linkages that make regional cooperation an absolute necessity. The need for greater policy coordination and collaboration is also accentuated by the socio-economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has endangered developmental gains achieved by the subregion over many years. 

This paper examines how regional cooperation could be utilized as a powerful tool to support and complement the national level SDG implementation efforts. It appraises the main areas of sustainable development that can benefit from enhanced regional cooperation and explores various ways and means to achieve it. The paper finds potential beneficial outcomes of cooperation in a wide range of policy areas including elimination of poverty and hunger, improved access to health, education and universal social protection, trade, connectivity, energy, technology, development financing and environmental sustainability. The paper further presents ways and means to strengthen and build on existing institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks for enhanced cooperation for achievement of the SDGs in South Asia.
 

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South Asia SDG Report 2021 South Asia SDG Report 2021
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South Asia’s pace of progress towards the SDGs to date has been less than adequate. The COVID-19 outbreak, which has escalated into a global humanitarian crisis responsible for erasing developmental achievements attained over many years, places more hurdles along the subregion’s sustainable development pathways. The pandemic has exposed critical development gaps and vulnerabilities particular to South Asia, exerting pervasive adverse impacts manifested across almost all the SDG indicators. 

Achieving the SDGs in South Asia calls for adopting an integrated approach to SDG implementation and post-pandemic recovery, given the commonalities between development policy priorities and considering the need to maximize the utility of limited resources to address the twin challenges.

The urgency to accelerate SDG progress necessitates that South Asia follows an implementation pathway that takes advantage of existing synergies between Goals and targets. Building on the sustainable development policy priorities identified for South Asia, the report proposes a five-point SDG action agenda. The framework includes: structural diversification of the economy oriented towards industrialization; investments in the core social sectors of education and health; expansion of social protection and basic infrastructure networks; ensuring food security, sustainable agriculture and rural development; and building capacities for clean energy and environmental sustainability. The cumulative impacts of different components of the proposed framework, with spillover effects on numerous development targets, can potentially double South Asia’s GDP by 2030 in an inclusive way, thereby providing the subregion with greater likelihood of success on the SDGs.
 

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SSWA Development Paper 21-03 SSWA Development Paper 21-03
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The global economic fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic is anticipated to be far worse than anything experienced in recent history. From a range of possible outcomes, developing economies will fare far worse, with greater exposure to contractions in world trade, declines in commodity prices, loss of foreign capital inflows, etc. In fashioning appropriate macroeconomic policy responses, they will also be more thinly stretched to provide adequate resources to safeguard public health, precarious jobs and limited social security cover. Amongst developing countries, those with higher initial public debt levels need to be particularly concerned. Despite a commendable health policy response, Sri Lanka is one such country, facing the COVID-19 economic fallout with a public debt ratio of near 90% of GDP and foreign debt settlements averaging USD 4 billion in the next few years.

However, given the necessity of doing everything possible to avert a sharp economic contraction, the tolerance levels for fiscal laxity and monetary easing are much higher. Sri Lanka has leaned heavily on monetary policy interventions, including direct financing of government spending and yield curve control measures to keep borrowing costs down. Whilst these measures make possible some attractive short-term numbers in the form of a V-shaped recovery, the resilience and sustainability of that recovery process will depend on efforts to ensure that equity concerns are addressed.

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UNESCAP South and South-West Asia – COVID-19 Updates No.1 UNESCAP South and South-West Asia – COVID-19 Updates No.1
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Second wave: some facts

The second wave of COVID infections in India started in mid-March 2021 (when the long-term downward trend in daily cases reversed and started rising) and lasted for about 3 months till mid-June 2021.2 At its peak, the daily new infections reached about 400,000 (0.41 million) cases (7-days moving average) in the first week of May 2021, which was more than 4 times higher than the previous peak figure of 0.097 million cases per day observed in mid-September 2020. By 21 June 2021, the latest reported figure, average of daily new infections has fallen to about 60,000 continuing a downward trend and exhibiting waning effects of the second wave. About 62% (about 18.5 million) of the total cumulative infections in India (29.9 million as of 20 June 2021) occurred during the second wave.3 The second Covid-19 wave has also been more deadly, accounting for nearly half of the total cumulative deaths (0.38 million deaths) since January 2020.4

The unexpected surge in new daily COVID-19 infections during the second wave put immense pressure on health systems across the country, overwhelming COVID-19 care facilities and human resources acting as first responders. Critical drugs and medical oxygen were found to be insufficient to meet the sudden surge in their requirement at the peak of the second wave.5 It also exposed initially, to certain extent the lack of preparedness of Government to take actions, in case of a recurrence of second wave, however, later the Government took some quick actions to contain the infections. The mutated Delta variant (The B.1.617.2 variant of COVID-19 virus), the most common in the samples sequenced during the second wave in India, which is observed to have spread faster and therefore potentially more infectious, is deemed to have worsened rate of infection during the second wave in India.6

1 This paper has been prepared with the objective of sharing information on some good examples in controlling the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. The views expressed are purely personal and do not reflect the views of UNESCAP. The authors are also thankful to the officials from the Ministry of Health, and the Department of Commerce, Government of India, as well as researchers for their review and comments.
2 See Second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India: Barriers to effective governmental response, Sujita Kumar Kar et al., The Lancelet, 29 May 2021.
3 See Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104054/india-coronavirus-covid-19-daily-confirmed-recovered-death-cases/
4 Ibid. Also see Indian Express: 3 lakh Covid-19 deaths in India: How far is the second wave peak?

5 See BBC: Covid-19: Has India's deadly second wave peaked?
6 See The Print: Delta variant behind India’s 2nd wave, 7 strains circulating in & around Varanasi, study finds.

 

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Side Event with APDIM: Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific: Potential for Concerted Action at Regional Level to Reduce Risk and Strengthen Resilience

Submitted by ABAHRAMI1 on Mon, 16/08/2021 - 17:12
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BACKGROUND

Sand and dust storms have a large-scale impact and affect a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to human health, productivity, agriculture, and infrastructure (transport). The findings of the Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific of the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) indicate that a high number of people living in South, South-West and Central Asia are exposed from medium to high level of dust which can have short and long-term negative impact on human health. Sand and dust storms also have wide-ranging negative impact on various socio-economic sectors including agriculture, aviation, and energy.

The deposition of dust on glaciers induces a warming effect, increasing the melting rate of ice. Along with the effects of climate change, dust deposition is a vital component of change to these essential sources of water, with direct and indirect impact on society through numerous issues, including food security, energy production, agriculture, water stress and flood regimes.

Reducing the harmful impact of sand and dust storms as part of disaster risk reduction and resilience-building efforts are interrelated and can help advance the progress being made for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.  Given the frequent transboundary impact of sand and dust storms, there is a strong case for the design and implementation of well-coordinated actions at the national, regional, and interregional levels.

The urgency and importance to build regional cooperation to combat slow-onset disasters is clear in a number of the United Nations General Assembly and ESCAP resolutions adopted in recent years. Some of these resolutions requested the ESCAP Secretariat to support and facilitate disaster risk assessment to strengthen regional cooperation mechanisms as well as to combat the negative impact of sand and dust storms.  

In this context and as a member of the United Nations Coalition on Combating Sand and Dust Storms, APDIM is organizing a side-event during the seventh session of the ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction to launch the Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific and discuss how coordinated regional action on sand and dust storms can contribute to combating the negative impact of this transboundary challenge.

Objectives

APDIM side event at the seventh session of the ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction will launch the Report on the Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific and will focus on its outcomes and recommendations to strengthen partnership and promote cooperation and coordination in the region. The side event seeks for a deeper understanding of the socio-economic impact of sand and dust storms; coordinated monitoring and early warning systems, particularly impact-based forecasting; and coordinated actions in most at-risk and exposed geographical areas to mitigate the risks. The side event will bring together senior officials from Member States, international and intergovernmental organizations, and experts.

Programme and Speakers

- Opening Keynotes

  • Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
  • Ms. Letizia Rossano, Director, Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM)

- Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific

  • Mr. Amin Shamseddini, Programme Officer, APDIM
  • Mr. Yoshiya Touge, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tohoku University
  • Mr. Alexander Baklanov, Science Officer, Science and Innovation Department, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

- Panel Discussion 

  • Mr. John Leys, Honorary Associate Professor, The Australian National University, Visiting Scientist CSIRO, Honorary Scientific Research Fellow, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
  • Mr. Ali Mohammad Tahmasebi Birgani, Chair of National Committee to Combat Sand and Dust Storms, Department of Environment, Islamic Republic of Iran

- Open Discussion/Question and Answer

- Wrap-up and closing of the event by APDIM Director

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APDIM Side Event at the Seventh Session of ESCAP Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction - Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific: Potential for Concerted Action at Regional Level to Reduce Risk and Strengthen Resilience
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The sixth session of the Committee on Transport is scheduled to be held from 12 to 13 November 2020.

The secretariat is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak and is putting into place measures to mitigate public health risks associated with mass gatherings. The secretariat continues to receive guidance from the World Health Organization, the authorities of the host country of ESCAP and the United Nations Secretariat.

Decisions on the schedule and modality of the Committee session to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants will be communicated as soon as practicable.

Credentials

Delegations are kindly requested to submit letters of credentials to Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP, United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand, Fax: (66-2) 288-1067, 288-3050, at their earliest convenience prior to 1 October 2018.. Letters of credential should be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and emailed to [email protected].

Members of delegations are kindly reminded to bring official identification with them, duly signed by the appropriate authorities of their respective Governments/Agencies/Organizations, and provide them to the Secretariat staff at the registration counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC along with a copy of the letter of credentials indicating their appointment to the delegation.

Registration and identification badges

Participants are requested to register and obtain a visitor’s badge with ID picture on the first day of the meeting, i.e. Monday, 19 November 2018 between 08.00 hours and 09.00 hours. This is done at the Registration Counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC. Participants who are not able to register during the time indicated above are requested to do so immediately upon their arrival at UNCC and before going to the conference room. This procedure is important for security reason and will also ensure that all participants’ names appear on the list of participants.

Online registration

In conformity with standard United Nations security procedures, all participants must complete a mandatory online registration at https://meetings.unescap.org/. Participants are encouraged to complete this procedure well in advance of the meeting and no later than 1 October 2018. To facilitate the process, participants are encouraged to submit their photo in advance.

For identification and security reasons, all participants are requested to wear their meeting badges at all times when on the United Nations compound, and also during the meeting and at social functions. The loss of a meeting badge should be communicated to the Conference Management Unit, located on the ground floor of the UNCC behind the registration counter, so that a new one can be issued immediately.

Communications

Mail intended for participants during the session should be addressed as follows:
(Name of delegate)
c/o Mr. Weimin Ren
Director
Transport Division
ESCAP, United Nations Building
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Fax: +66.2.2883022, +66.2.2881000
E-mail address: [email protected]

Meeting documents

The secretariat has adopted a paperless approach to meetings. As a result, participants are expected to get acquainted with all the meeting documents prior to the meeting. Should participants wish hard copies of the documents, they are expected to bring them to the meeting. These documents will be made available prior to the session at www.unescap.org/events/committee-transport-fifth-session

Participants wishing to circulate any papers or literature at the meeting are requested to consult staff from the secretariat servicing the meeting for the necessary arrangements.

Daily subsistence allowance

ESCAP does not provide financial assistance for participation in the 5th session of the Committee on Transport. However, it does cover the travel expenses of officials participating in the workshop on cross-border co-deployment of fibre optic infrastructure along road and rail networks. In that regard, the following shall apply:

Depending on which of the above applies, participants whose travel is sponsored (or partly sponsored) by ESCAP will receive a DSA to cover all costs associated with their participation in the meeting, including accommodation, meals and local transport while in Bangkok. A voucher to be cashed at the bank located on the ESCAP premises will be given to participants. Participants will receive their vouchers against submittal of a copy of their passports, copy of their air-tickets and the original boarding pass(es) for the flight(s) to Bangkok. To facilitate the issuance of vouchers, eligible participants are kindly requested to come with read-made copies of their passports. To date, the DSA for Bangkok is Thai Baht 7,150 (about US$ 216). Please note that this amount is subject to change without prior notice.

Participants who are unable to stay for the entire duration of the meeting are requested to inform the secretariat as soon as possible after their arrival so that the DSA can be adjusted accordingly.

In those cases where the participation costs are borne by ESCAP, the secretariat will provide only travel and DSA as expressed and will not assume responsibility for any other expenditures, including the following:

  1. You are representing your Government only at the 5th session of the Committee on Transport: ESCAP does not provide any financial support and participation is on a self-financing basis.
  2. You are representing your Government only at the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule.
  3. You are representing your Government at both the 5th session of the Committee on Transport and the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and DSA for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule and participants have to cover three nights on a self-financing basis (i.e. 18 to 20 November 2018).
    1. all expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for visa, medical examination, inoculations and other such miscellaneous items and internal travel to and from the airport of arrival and departure in the home country;
    2. salary and related allowances for the participants during the period of the meeting;
    3. cost incurred by participants in respect of travel insurance, accident insurance, medical bills or hospitalization fees in connection with attending the meeting;
    4. compensation in the event of death or disability of participants in connection with attending the meeting;
    5. any loss of or damage to personal property of participants while attending the meeting or losses or damages claimed by third parties as a result of any negligence on the part of the participants;
    6. any other expenses of a personal nature, not directly related to the purpose of the meeting.
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Asia-Pacific Stats Café Series: Statistics that Leave No One Behind: Inclusive Data Charter

Submitted by KBOONPRI on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 10:02
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This Stats Café brought together experts from the Inclusive Data Charter network, including international and regional organizations and national governments, to discuss experiences in producing and using inclusive and disaggregated statistics to progress the Leave No One Behind commitment.

In order to live up to the promise inherent within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to “Leave No One Behind,” we need timely, comprehensive, and disaggregated data to better understand the situation of the poorest and most marginalized. In the Asia-Pacific region, COVID-19 has further heightened the need for accurate data on marginalized communities as the pandemic has exacerbated socio-economic inequities and disrupted data collection efforts.

While there have been some advances in methodologies on data disaggregation since the launch of the SDGs in 2015, critical challenges remain, including the lack of political will and prioritization of inclusive data, limited coordination and cooperation between data producers -especially around the utilization of existing data, and the complexities of collecting data on hard-to-reach populations.

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Stats Cafe no. 26
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Leave No One Behind Priorities in the Asia-Pacific Region
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The Inclusive Data Charter
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Mainstreaming Gender across Statistical Work in Asia and the Pacific to Meet the Promise of Leaving No One Behind
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KNBS’ Work on Inclusive Data Charter and Collaboration with the Ministry of Labour And Social Protection
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The Inclusive Data Charter Data Charter Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
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KNBS’ Work on Inclusive Data Charter and Collaboration with the Ministry of Labour And Social Protection Kenya National Bureau of Statistics
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Event Information Note
General

The sixth session of the Committee on Transport is scheduled to be held from 12 to 13 November 2020.

The secretariat is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak and is putting into place measures to mitigate public health risks associated with mass gatherings. The secretariat continues to receive guidance from the World Health Organization, the authorities of the host country of ESCAP and the United Nations Secretariat.

Decisions on the schedule and modality of the Committee session to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants will be communicated as soon as practicable.

Credentials

Delegations are kindly requested to submit letters of credentials to Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP, United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand, Fax: (66-2) 288-1067, 288-3050, at their earliest convenience prior to 1 October 2018.. Letters of credential should be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and emailed to [email protected].

Members of delegations are kindly reminded to bring official identification with them, duly signed by the appropriate authorities of their respective Governments/Agencies/Organizations, and provide them to the Secretariat staff at the registration counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC along with a copy of the letter of credentials indicating their appointment to the delegation.

Registration and identification badges

Participants are requested to register and obtain a visitor’s badge with ID picture on the first day of the meeting, i.e. Monday, 19 November 2018 between 08.00 hours and 09.00 hours. This is done at the Registration Counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC. Participants who are not able to register during the time indicated above are requested to do so immediately upon their arrival at UNCC and before going to the conference room. This procedure is important for security reason and will also ensure that all participants’ names appear on the list of participants.

Online registration

In conformity with standard United Nations security procedures, all participants must complete a mandatory online registration at https://meetings.unescap.org/. Participants are encouraged to complete this procedure well in advance of the meeting and no later than 1 October 2018. To facilitate the process, participants are encouraged to submit their photo in advance.

For identification and security reasons, all participants are requested to wear their meeting badges at all times when on the United Nations compound, and also during the meeting and at social functions. The loss of a meeting badge should be communicated to the Conference Management Unit, located on the ground floor of the UNCC behind the registration counter, so that a new one can be issued immediately.

Communications

Mail intended for participants during the session should be addressed as follows:
(Name of delegate)
c/o Mr. Weimin Ren
Director
Transport Division
ESCAP, United Nations Building
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Fax: +66.2.2883022, +66.2.2881000
E-mail address: [email protected]

Meeting documents

The secretariat has adopted a paperless approach to meetings. As a result, participants are expected to get acquainted with all the meeting documents prior to the meeting. Should participants wish hard copies of the documents, they are expected to bring them to the meeting. These documents will be made available prior to the session at www.unescap.org/events/committee-transport-fifth-session

Participants wishing to circulate any papers or literature at the meeting are requested to consult staff from the secretariat servicing the meeting for the necessary arrangements.

Daily subsistence allowance

ESCAP does not provide financial assistance for participation in the 5th session of the Committee on Transport. However, it does cover the travel expenses of officials participating in the workshop on cross-border co-deployment of fibre optic infrastructure along road and rail networks. In that regard, the following shall apply:

Depending on which of the above applies, participants whose travel is sponsored (or partly sponsored) by ESCAP will receive a DSA to cover all costs associated with their participation in the meeting, including accommodation, meals and local transport while in Bangkok. A voucher to be cashed at the bank located on the ESCAP premises will be given to participants. Participants will receive their vouchers against submittal of a copy of their passports, copy of their air-tickets and the original boarding pass(es) for the flight(s) to Bangkok. To facilitate the issuance of vouchers, eligible participants are kindly requested to come with read-made copies of their passports. To date, the DSA for Bangkok is Thai Baht 7,150 (about US$ 216). Please note that this amount is subject to change without prior notice.

Participants who are unable to stay for the entire duration of the meeting are requested to inform the secretariat as soon as possible after their arrival so that the DSA can be adjusted accordingly.

In those cases where the participation costs are borne by ESCAP, the secretariat will provide only travel and DSA as expressed and will not assume responsibility for any other expenditures, including the following:

  1. You are representing your Government only at the 5th session of the Committee on Transport: ESCAP does not provide any financial support and participation is on a self-financing basis.
  2. You are representing your Government only at the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule.
  3. You are representing your Government at both the 5th session of the Committee on Transport and the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and DSA for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule and participants have to cover three nights on a self-financing basis (i.e. 18 to 20 November 2018).
    1. all expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for visa, medical examination, inoculations and other such miscellaneous items and internal travel to and from the airport of arrival and departure in the home country;
    2. salary and related allowances for the participants during the period of the meeting;
    3. cost incurred by participants in respect of travel insurance, accident insurance, medical bills or hospitalization fees in connection with attending the meeting;
    4. compensation in the event of death or disability of participants in connection with attending the meeting;
    5. any loss of or damage to personal property of participants while attending the meeting or losses or damages claimed by third parties as a result of any negligence on the part of the participants;
    6. any other expenses of a personal nature, not directly related to the purpose of the meeting.
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The Asia-Pacific Stats Café on "Statistics that Leave No One Behind: Inclusive Data Charter" was held on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 13:00-14:00 p.m. (GMT+7).

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Welcome Remarks

Gemma Van Halderen
Gemma Van Halderen
Chief Data Officer, Data and Evaluation Group, Australian Government Department of Social Services
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Ms Gemma Van Halderen has over thirty years of experience in government statistics and more recently, as Chief Data Officer in the Australian Government Department of Social Services. From 2018-2021, she was Director of the UN ESCAP Statistics Division and worked extensively with governments, multilateral agencies and the statistical community to support developing nations across Asia and the Pacific meet their data obligations under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Van Halderen has been a member of the statistical profession since her undergraduate days, filling executive committee roles with her local branch of the Australian Statistical Society before expanding to the International Association for Official Statistics and becoming an elected member of the International Statistics Institute.  She was the focal point for the Association’s Young Statistician Prize from 2014-2023, and participated in World Statistics Congresses in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey and Australia.

Ms. Van Halderen holds an Honour’s degree in mathematical statistics from the Australian National University.

Speakers

Kate Richards
Kate Richards
Outreach Manager –Inclusive Data Charter Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
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Sara Valero
Sara Duerto Valero
Regional Advisor on Gender Statistics, UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
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Sara Duerto Valero is the Regional Advisor on Gender Statistics in UN Women’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, where she manages the Flagship Programme Initiative “Making Every Woman and Girl Count.” Besides planning and implementing interventions to support the quality, availability and use of gender statistics across Asia and the Pacific, she provides technical advice and prepares analytical materials on gender statistics. Before joining the regional office, she worked as a statistics specialist in UN Women’s Headquarters. Previously, Sara was a statistician at the Statistics Division of the United Nations Secretariat (UNSD), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP-SD), and UNESCO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles and a graduate degree on Business from the Universidad de Zaragoza.

Renice Akinyi Bunde
Renice Akinyi Bunde
Statistician, Governance, Peace and Security Statistics, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics
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Moderator

Petra Nahmias
Petra Nahmias
Chief, Population and Social Statistics Section, Statistics Division, ESCAP
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Petra Nahmias is Chief of the Population and Social Statistics Section at UNESCAP, having recently taken up this role. She previously led the statistics team at UNHCR, working on a wide variety of statistical and demographic issues related to forced displacement and statelessness. A sociologist-demographer by training, she has further experience in both the international and national statistical systems including the United Nations Population Division, the UK Department for International Development and the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

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This policy paper seeks to equip ESCAP members and associate members with updated information and insights on promoting productive employment and decent work for persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, through snapshots of the latest figures, trends, policy developments and strategies, including interesting practices.

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Advancing Inclusive Businesses in Thailand: Breakfast with Executives

Submitted by DCINAR on Fri, 05/04/2024 - 12:16
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Background and rationale

In today’s dynamic business environments, inclusive business models are shifting how profitable commercial operations interact with low-income populations. These innovative business models not only deliver indispensable goods, services, and sustainable livelihoods to low-income communities; they are also enabling companies to expand market access, business growth, and brand recognition.  

Exemplary inclusive business practices abound across diverse economic sectors in Thailand. Within the agricultural domain, forward-thinking enterprises are empowering smallholder farmers through a combination of innovative solutions and strategic partnerships. These models provide affordable, highquality inputs, and efficient management tools, and, in some cases, offer premium prices for exceptional products. In the tourism sector, businesses embracing inclusivity are experiencing growth by actively engaging and upskilling marginalized groups, providing them with meaningful skill development and decent work opportunities.

Given their critical role in supporting social impact at scale, governments are adopting critical strategies to promote inclusive business. For instance, ASEAN Economic Ministers adopted the ASEAN Inclusive Business Framework in 2017, the Guidelines for Promoting Inclusive Businesses in ASEAN in 2020, and an Action Plan last year.  This Breakfast with Executives is a strategic opportunity to share and explore inclusive business opportunities in Thailand, and to put forward recommendations on how the government could support businesses to develop and scale up these models. Your insights and contributions will help shape the promotion of inclusive business models in Thailand.  

Objective

To explore inclusive business opportunities in Thailand, and to put forward recommendations on how the government could support businesses to develop and scale up these models.

Participants  

A group of 20 selected executives from pioneering firms, as well as representatives from key government agencies and intermediary organizations, are being invited to participate in this breakfast. 

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Thailand
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Bangkok
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Eastin Grand Phayathai Hotel, Bangkok
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Concept Note: Advancing Inclusive Businesses in Thailand - Breakfast with Executives
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IB 2nd-Breakfast meeting Concept note+Agenda_9May.pdf
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General

The sixth session of the Committee on Transport is scheduled to be held from 12 to 13 November 2020.

The secretariat is monitoring the rapidly evolving situation with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak and is putting into place measures to mitigate public health risks associated with mass gatherings. The secretariat continues to receive guidance from the World Health Organization, the authorities of the host country of ESCAP and the United Nations Secretariat.

Decisions on the schedule and modality of the Committee session to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants will be communicated as soon as practicable.

Credentials

Delegations are kindly requested to submit letters of credentials to Mr. Weimin Ren, Director, Transport Division, ESCAP, United Nations Building, Rajadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200, Thailand, Fax: (66-2) 288-1067, 288-3050, at their earliest convenience prior to 1 October 2018.. Letters of credential should be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and emailed to [email protected].

Members of delegations are kindly reminded to bring official identification with them, duly signed by the appropriate authorities of their respective Governments/Agencies/Organizations, and provide them to the Secretariat staff at the registration counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC along with a copy of the letter of credentials indicating their appointment to the delegation.

Registration and identification badges

Participants are requested to register and obtain a visitor’s badge with ID picture on the first day of the meeting, i.e. Monday, 19 November 2018 between 08.00 hours and 09.00 hours. This is done at the Registration Counter located on the ground floor of the UNCC. Participants who are not able to register during the time indicated above are requested to do so immediately upon their arrival at UNCC and before going to the conference room. This procedure is important for security reason and will also ensure that all participants’ names appear on the list of participants.

Online registration

In conformity with standard United Nations security procedures, all participants must complete a mandatory online registration at https://meetings.unescap.org/. Participants are encouraged to complete this procedure well in advance of the meeting and no later than 1 October 2018. To facilitate the process, participants are encouraged to submit their photo in advance.

For identification and security reasons, all participants are requested to wear their meeting badges at all times when on the United Nations compound, and also during the meeting and at social functions. The loss of a meeting badge should be communicated to the Conference Management Unit, located on the ground floor of the UNCC behind the registration counter, so that a new one can be issued immediately.

Communications

Mail intended for participants during the session should be addressed as follows:
(Name of delegate)
c/o Mr. Weimin Ren
Director
Transport Division
ESCAP, United Nations Building
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200
Thailand
Fax: +66.2.2883022, +66.2.2881000
E-mail address: [email protected]

Meeting documents

The secretariat has adopted a paperless approach to meetings. As a result, participants are expected to get acquainted with all the meeting documents prior to the meeting. Should participants wish hard copies of the documents, they are expected to bring them to the meeting. These documents will be made available prior to the session at www.unescap.org/events/committee-transport-fifth-session

Participants wishing to circulate any papers or literature at the meeting are requested to consult staff from the secretariat servicing the meeting for the necessary arrangements.

Daily subsistence allowance

ESCAP does not provide financial assistance for participation in the 5th session of the Committee on Transport. However, it does cover the travel expenses of officials participating in the workshop on cross-border co-deployment of fibre optic infrastructure along road and rail networks. In that regard, the following shall apply:

Depending on which of the above applies, participants whose travel is sponsored (or partly sponsored) by ESCAP will receive a DSA to cover all costs associated with their participation in the meeting, including accommodation, meals and local transport while in Bangkok. A voucher to be cashed at the bank located on the ESCAP premises will be given to participants. Participants will receive their vouchers against submittal of a copy of their passports, copy of their air-tickets and the original boarding pass(es) for the flight(s) to Bangkok. To facilitate the issuance of vouchers, eligible participants are kindly requested to come with read-made copies of their passports. To date, the DSA for Bangkok is Thai Baht 7,150 (about US$ 216). Please note that this amount is subject to change without prior notice.

Participants who are unable to stay for the entire duration of the meeting are requested to inform the secretariat as soon as possible after their arrival so that the DSA can be adjusted accordingly.

In those cases where the participation costs are borne by ESCAP, the secretariat will provide only travel and DSA as expressed and will not assume responsibility for any other expenditures, including the following:

  1. You are representing your Government only at the 5th session of the Committee on Transport: ESCAP does not provide any financial support and participation is on a self-financing basis.
  2. You are representing your Government only at the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule.
  3. You are representing your Government at both the 5th session of the Committee on Transport and the workshop on co-deployment: ESCAP provides air-ticket and DSA for two nights (i.e. 21 and 22 November 2018 depending on flight schedule and participants have to cover three nights on a self-financing basis (i.e. 18 to 20 November 2018).
    1. all expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for visa, medical examination, inoculations and other such miscellaneous items and internal travel to and from the airport of arrival and departure in the home country;
    2. salary and related allowances for the participants during the period of the meeting;
    3. cost incurred by participants in respect of travel insurance, accident insurance, medical bills or hospitalization fees in connection with attending the meeting;
    4. compensation in the event of death or disability of participants in connection with attending the meeting;
    5. any loss of or damage to personal property of participants while attending the meeting or losses or damages claimed by third parties as a result of any negligence on the part of the participants;
    6. any other expenses of a personal nature, not directly related to the purpose of the meeting.
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