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Sixth SSWA SDG Forum Report Sixth SSWA SDG Forum Report
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This primer is designed to support policymakers and government officials in their efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment of women in their countries. It lays out the basic concepts relating to what is called the “care economy” —the sum total of all paid and unpaid care work. It highlights the implications of a lopsided and gendered division of labour in unpaid care and domestic work. This strengthens the case for governments to invest in the care economy by addressing four care policy categories — care infrastructure, care-related social protection, care services and employment-related care. The primer includes the normative principles and levers of change that will help policymakers and practitioners to create a policy ecosystem that values care work and promotes women’s empowerment.

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Products Policy Approaches to Direct Digital Frontier Technologies towards Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Studies in Tra Products Policy Approaches to Direct Digital Frontier Technologies towards Inclusive and Sustainable Development, Studies in Tra
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics, amongst others, were mobilized to fight against the pandemic. To build back better from the pandemic and meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is imperative to ensure that these technologies are also directed towards inclusive and sustainable development objectives.

This report reviews the status of digital frontier technologies in the Asia-Pacific region. The report stresses that the impacts of a technologically driven future are far from pre-ordained. Therefore, digital frontier technological breakthroughs require us to think differently about how we have traditionally formulated policies in the use of technology. The policy framework for the next generation of technologies should focus on creating an enabling environment for digital frontier technologies to positively impact the economy, the society, and the environment, and to reduce inequalities. A few pre-requisites for the development and application of digital frontier technologies are:

  1. Inclusive ICT infrastructure;
  2. Developing a workforce fit for a Fourth Industrial Revolution future;
  3. Developing innovative regulatory frameworks;
  4. Incentivizing responsible frontier technology development in the private sector;
  5. Catalysing the role of the government in the evolution of frontier technologies;
  6. Creating a platform for multi-stakeholder and regional cooperation; and
  7. Making digital frontier technologies serve the poor people and the least developed countries.

Cross-government cooperation, inter-governmental knowledge sharing and consensus building, and honest, open and regular discussions with the civil society and the private sector, specifically technology developers, will be critical to ensure that digital frontier technologies have a positive impact for inclusive and sustainable development.

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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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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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