Inequality is increasing in Asia and the Pacific. Our region’s remarkable economic success story belies a widening gap between rich and poor. A gap that’s trapping people in poverty and, if not tackled urgently, could thwart our ambition to achieve sustainable development.
In 2018, we have an opportunity to accelerate progress towards gender equality. Movements such as #MeToo have shone the spotlight on an unacceptable status quo and demonstrated how too many women the world over continue to be deprived of respect and equal opportunities.
All eyes are on the 23rd Olympic Winter Games and 12th Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang this February. Top athletes will carry their national flags in an opening ceremony which has come to epitomize the international community.
Realizing the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinges on placing women at the centre of our efforts. A growing body of evidence illustrates that advancing women’s economic empowerment has multiplier effects across the spectrum of development. Reducing gender gaps in health, education and labour markets have been shown to contribute to lower poverty, higher economic growth, greater productivity and more resilient communities.
In 2017, Asia and the Pacific will be home to 62 million international migrants. That’s a population larger than the Republic of Korea’s. Even more people from our region - over 100 million – live outside their countries of birth.
As the proportion of the older persons across the Asia-Pacific region increases exponentially, we must seek out new and innovative approaches to turn this demographic trend into an opportunity to be harnessed to help achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The past few weeks have been a grim reminder that natural disasters know no borders. They can strike countries at opposite ends of the globe simultaneously and whether in Asia or North America, the images of people and livelihoods being swept away are disturbing.
Senior government officials from across Asia and the Pacific will meet in Bangkok this week for the first-ever Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) marks its 70th anniversary this year. This is a rare opportunity for the oldest and largest of the United Nations regional commissions to take stock of past achievements, but also to spotlight where efforts need to be concentrated to meet new challenges.