What's Ahead @ ESCAP: 1-15 October 2014

Transport-BTS at Ratchathewi station in Bangkok
Transport-BTS at Ratchathewi station in Bangkok

A summary of upcoming events, seminars and other activities throughout ESCAP for 1-15 October 2014.

Expert Consultation on the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway and Regional Connectivity, 1 October 2014, Paro, Bhutan

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Information & Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan, are co-organizing a South Asian Expert Consultation on the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway and Regional Connectivity.

The purpose of the consultation is twofold: a) identify choke points and dark spots in sub-regional, regional and international connectivity, assess related investment opportunities, including for cross-sector infrastructure development, and financing options; b) agree on a way forward for the Asian information superhighway initiative, including terms of reference for a working group that will be tasked with drafting an intergovernmental cooperation framework, as contained in ESCAP Resolution 69/10.

Participants of the Consultation consist of representatives from ICT ministries and agencies, telecom regulators, policy think tanks such as LitneAsia, the private sector and International organizations.

UN-APCICT participates in conference on the use of innovative internet for research and education, 1-2 October 2014, Almaty, Kazakhstan

From 1 to 2 October, the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT) will participate in the First CAREN Regional Networking Conference on ‘Innovative Internet for Researchers and Higher Education’ at Turan University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Organized by the Central Asian Research and Education Network Portal (CAREN), the conference will bring together participants from the Central Asian research and higher education community, as well as policy makers and connectivity providers to discuss how information and communication technologies like the Internet can facilitate networks for research and education.

To raise awareness on the role of capacity development, UN-APCICT will deliver a keynote speech on ICT, education and engaged learning. It will also introduce its flagship programme ‘Turning Today’s Youth into Tomorrow’s Leaders’ and its subcomponent, the ‘Primer Series on ICTD for Youth’ to promote the coverage of ICTD in undergraduate and graduate courses to prepare youth in the use of ICT for sustainable socio-economic development.

Observance of International Day of Non-Violence Pays Tribute to Gandhi, 2 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

ESCAP, in cooperation with the Embassy of India, will observe the International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October at the UN Conference Centre (UNCC), Bangkok. The ceremony will include messages of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations on International Day of Non-Violence and Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, remarks by H.E. Mr. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India to Thailand, and a keynote address on 'Mahatma Gandhi- Non-violence resistance is as relevant as ever' by Mrs. Shobhana Radhakrishna, Gandhi Forum for Ethical Corporate Governance, New Delhi. There will also be a short film on the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi and the laying of a garland on the statue of Gandhi that resides in the UNCC.

National Seminar on Road Safety, 2-3 October 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka

A national seminar on good practices for increasing road safety will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 2 to 3 October. ESCAP, in collaboration with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority (KoTSA) and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Transport, is organizing the seminar that aims to provide participants with theoretical knowledge and practical experience. A Sri Lankan Senior Minister and the Minister of Transport will be attending the seminar. The two-day programme enables participants to learn about road safety’s best practices and evaluate actual situations. There will be a facilitated discussion session to identify corrective measures for improvements and future actions. This national seminar will contain a site visit to observe safety improvement works. It is part of ESCAP's efforts in promoting safer road travel in Asia and the Pacific region in line with the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

Second Consultation Meeting on the Legal Instrument on Transit Transport along Asian Highway Route No. 4, 8-10 October 2014, Incheon, Republic of Korea

ESCAP has been working with member States in formulating and implementing transport facilitation measures and promoting cross-border and transit transport in the region. The Second Consultation Meeting between China, Mongolia and Russian Federation on Asian Highway Route No. 4 will be held from 8 to 10 October 2014 in Incheon, Republic of Korea. Participants will discuss the text of the draft legal instrument prepared by ESCAP following the first meeting, where countries agreed on the main content of the proposed trilateral legal instrument.

Regional Multi Stakeholders Forum on AEC and Regional Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges for SMEs, 10 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

ESCAP, in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network’s (ARTNeT) institutional member the Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen, Thailand is organizing a multi stakeholders forum on the ‘ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and Regional Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges for SMEs’ on 10 October at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok. The event will bring stakeholders together to provide capacity development for the economies in the Greater Mekong subregion. The forum is being held for the public and private sectors in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) and participants will discuss the key issues confronting SMEs. The aim is to devise strategies for preparing CLMV for seamless integration in the AEC and to promote regional economic cooperation, especially in the context free trade agreements in which they are participating either as a member of ASEAN or as an individual country.

Workshop on time use data analysis, 11-15 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

ESCAP will conduct a workshop on time use data analysis from 11 to 15 October in Bangkok. The workshop is part of a series of activities aimed at supporting developing countries to conduct gender-based analyses of the national data on time use, along with analytical country papers or report on issues including unpaid work, the care economy, income and time poverty and other forms of work not covered by usual labor force statistics. The objective is to demonstrate the value of time use data in understanding issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment, and through this exercise, make relevant contributions to the global discussions on refinement of standards for time use data collection.

Regional Meeting for Cooperation on Facilitation of International Railway Transport, 13-15 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

ESCAP is implementing the project entitled ‘Enhancing the operationalization of the Trans-Asian Railway- costing, marketing and facilitation of railway services’ financed by the Government of the Russian Federation, to develop a Regional Cooperation Framework for Facilitation of International Railway Transport. As part of this project, ESCAP has drafted a study identifying key issues for cooperation among member States to promote railway transport. The captioned meeting is being convened to share the regional experience and good practices in facilitation of international railway transport, identify key areas for cooperation among the member countries for facilitation of international railway transport based on the study undertaken by the secretariat and to discuss and agree upon a Regional Cooperation Framework for facilitation of international railway transport. The delegates attending the Committee on Transport will be briefed on the findings of the Regional Railway Meeting on 15 October 2014.

ESCAP to host Fourth Session of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, 14-16 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

The Fourth Session of the Committee on ICT is scheduled to take place from 14 to 16 October at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Member States will discuss the role of ICT infrastructure in delivering affordable and reliable broadband Internet across the region, as well as progress achieved in the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway initiative since the third session of the Committee. In this regard, the Committee will consider policy actions aimed at building seamless fibre-optic connectivity across the region, including through the co-habitation of ICT and transport infrastructure. For the first time, the Committee on ICT will host a joint plenary session with the Committee on Transport and it is expected that policy-makers from both Committees will agree to support amendments to the Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway agreements that would encourage such infrastructure co-habitation. In addition, the Committee will review the progress made in the Asia-Pacific region towards achieving the targets set by the World Summit on the Information Society. Member states will also discuss the activities of the ESCAP Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) in regard to building human and institutional capacity in using ICT for socioeconomic development.

9th Session of UN-APCICT’s Governing Council, 15 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT) will organize the 9th Session of its Governing Council in Bangkok on 15 October. The 9th Session brings together the Governing Council’s nine members from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Republic of Korea to review the progress and accomplishments of the Centre, as well as its administrative and financial status since the last Council meeting in 2013. The meeting will also provide an opportunity to receive guidance from Council members on strategies towards advancing UN-APCICT’s mission of building human and institutional capacities on using ICT for inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in the region, in alignment with the emerging post-2015 development agenda. The 9th Session of the Governing Council will coincide with the 4th Session of the ESCAP Committee on Information and Communication Technology that will take place in Bangkok from 14 to 16 October.

Committee on Transport, fourth session, 15-17 October 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

The Fourth session of the Committee on Transport will be held by ESCAP from 15-17 October in Bangkok. As an intergovernmental body of the Commission, the Committee is of particular importance for members and associate members to review national, subregional and regional progress in transport and to discuss ways to address common challenges and potential for future direction of ESCAP’s work. The Committee is expected to culminate in significant outcomes for future programme focus to support the post-2015 development agenda, which may lead towards the realization of an international integrated intermodal transport and logistics system in the region. This year will also see a joint session with the Committee on ICT on cross-sectoral infrastructure synergies on 15 October 2014.

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