Connections E-Newsletter Issue 14, August - September 2014 View this email in your browser
Director's Message 

As the UN marked the final 500 days of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in August, the global conversation on the post-2015 development agenda enormously contributed to shaping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the same month, the Asia-Pacific leaders gathered at ESCAP Headquarters in Bangkok for the annual policy session of the second phase of the 70th Commission.  

The focus of the session was on the role of regional connectivity in supporting economic growth and development, particularly through the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. You will find more information about the outcome of this year’s session here.

On the subregional front, we co-organized the highly successful 23rd Northeast Asia Economic Forum in Seoul with around 100 participants from governments, private sector, academia and civil society in Northeast Asia and beyond including China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Russia and the US.

The discussion at the Forum centered on issues facing our subregion such as regional economic integration and financing cross-border cooperation, energy infrastructure and security.

The country launch of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2014, the flagship annual publication of ESCAP, was held on the sidelines of the Forum and drew a great deal of interest from participants and news coverage from local media. I also urge you to read my op-ed article on Northeast Asia’s role in facing the challenges of global issues. (English and Korean)

We are excited to organize the North-East Asia Development Cooperation Forum later this month, in collaboration with the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC), with the aim of making a critical contribution to the subregional and multilateral process of facilitating joint reviews of policies and practices of development assistance and cooperation.

We hope you will continue engaging with us in this important work of achieving more inclusive, sustainable and resilient development at the national, regional and global level.

- Kilaparti Ramakrishna
ACFN Capacity Building Training Programme for Philippines
14 - 15 August 2014, Manila, the Philippines 

The first Asia Carbon Footprint Network (ACFN) workshop held in the Philippines from 14 to 15 August 2014. 

The first workshop of the Asia Carbon Footprint Network (ACFN) was jointly organized by the ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office, the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines.

The workshop brought together seven resource persons from ACFN member organizations, including the China Qualification Certification Group (CQM), Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) and KEITI along with 65 local participants from central and local governments, private sector, academia and civil society. 

Participants exchanged information on carbon footprint and labelling schemes on products from an international perspective, local legal and policy frameworks on climate change in the Philippines, as well as other national labelling schemes in Asia, including in China, Taiwan, Thailand and the Republic of Korea. Read more

Country Launch of ESCAP Survey 2014 & Northeast Asia Economic Forum
28 - 29 August 2014, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Dr. Ramakrishna, ESCAP-ENEA Head, presented key findings of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2014 on 28 August 2014 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The 23rd Northeast Asia Economic Forum (NEAEF), in partnership with the East and North-East Asia Office of ESCAP, was held from 28 to 29 August in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The annual Forum brought together around 100 participants, including government officials, academics and representatives from the private sector and civil society. NEAEF discussed issues pertaining to the challenges facing the countries in Northeast Asia such as regional economic integration and financing cross-border cooperation, energy infrastructure and security.

The Secretariat also organized a Young Leaders Training and Research Programme in which potential leaders of young professionals, junior faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students are given an opportunity to further explore regional economic cooperation, among other pursuits.

Around 20 participants of the programme visited us for a three-hour interactive session with staff members of the ENEA Office on subjects, including the role of UN, the process of developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and transboundary environmental challenges. Read more

Senior Officials Meeting of NEASPEC 
22 - 23 September 2014, Moscow, Russian Federation

The North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) organized the 19th Senior Officials Meeting, hosted by Russia on 22-23 September 2014.

The 19th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of NEASPEC (North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation) was concluded on 23 September 2014 in Moscow after two full days of discussion.

Organized by ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office serving as the NEASPEC Secretariat and hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the meeting brought together delegates from various ministries and agencies of member States, including Foreign Affairs, Environment, Forestry, Ocean and Fishery and actively negotiated on the future direction of a range of activities.  

The most notable progress made at the meeting were formalizing target protected areas and operational modality of the North-East Asia Marine Protected Areas Network (NEAMPAN) established during the last SOM and launching the Low Carbon City Platform. Read more
Upcoming Events

Consultation Meeting on Legal Instrument for Operationalization of Asian Highway Transport Route
8 - 10 October 2014, Incheon, Republic of Korea
This is the second meeting following the one held in Beijing, China in April this year. ESCAP Transport Division and East and North-East Asia Office will co-organize the meeting to facilitate the negotiation of the legal instrument along a particular route with overall direction of Asian Highway Route Number 4. The meeting aims to better facilitate cross-border and transit transport among the three countries: China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation.


North-East Asian Cooperation on Migratory Bird and Habitat Conservation
13 October 2014, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea
As part of the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) Nature Conservation project, the East and North-East Asia Office has been carrying out field surveys and studies for the conservation and rehabilitation of habitat of key migratory birds. This meeting, an official side event of the 12th Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), will showcase the work and discuss opportunities and implications of the project in promoting the wider goals of including Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Find out more information about the Conference here.


First Expert Group Meeting on Disaster-related Statistics in Asia and the Pacific
27 - 29 October 2014, Sendai, Japan
ESCAP will hold the first Expert Group Meeting on Disaster-related Statistics in Asia and the Pacific, co-organized by Tohoku University, Japan and supported by UNDP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Some of the key issues to be discussed include the current state of disaster statistics in the region and existing disaster statistics platforms, and the process towards developing a basic range of disaster statistics. It is expected that the results will build the substantive elements of ESCAP's contribution on resilience monitoring of the post-2015 framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the 3rd World Conference on DRR to be held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015.


North-East Asia Development Cooperation Forum 
31 October - 1 November 2014, Seoul, Republic of Korea
North-East Asia has become a key player in development assistance and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in the world. However, there is no subregional or multilateral process that facilitates joint reviews of policies and practices of such assistance and cooperation. In order to promote dialogue and cooperation among key stakeholders in North-East Asia, the Forum, in partnership with the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC), seeks to explore how development cooperation can be strengthened, focusing on four countries, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.


ACFN Seminar and Annual Meeting
20 - 21 November 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

ESCAP in collaboration with the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Office (TGO) will organize the Asia Carbon Footprint Network (ACFN) seminar to discuss how the business sector makes its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to engage consumers in relevant actions. In particular, the Seminar will serve (a) to learn the best practices for developing a strategic framework for managing carbon emissions and integrating carbon management into the existing business practice and (b) to discuss carbon labelling as an effective tool for business communication and marketing in a broader context of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Other News
Seoul ODA International Conference 
2 September 2014 

The 8th Seoul ODA International Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Korea International Cooperation Agency. (Photo: KOICA)

ESCAP-ENEA joined the 8th Seoul Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) International Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Under the theme of “Good governance and effective institutions”, the conference covered general discourse on governance and institutions as well as success and pitfalls, drawing from experiences of donors and partners including Africa and Latin America. We have participated as a panelist for three consecutive years since 2012. 

Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2014
3 September 2014
Government officials, academics and heads of international organizations attended the Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2014 on 3 September 2014 in Republic of Korea. (Photo: Conference organizer)
The Seoul Climate-Energy Conference 2014 was co-organized by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Green Technology Center-Korea and the Coalition for Our Common Future. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the elements necessary to build a new climate regime and the question, “What needs to be done at the United Nations Climate Summit” on 23 September 2014. All attendees at the Vice Minister level from the Korean Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Science ICT and Future Planning, Strategy and Finance and Environment took active part in the discussions. The Head of the Office spoke about climate change and international cooperation. Prominent scholars and international organizations such as Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and others also attended the Conference. 

Student Visit from Gyeyang High School
24 September 2014

Group photo of visitors from local high school in Incheon, Republic of Korea. 

A group of local high school students paid a visit to our office for a briefing on 24 September 2014. Around forty students and two teachers were given presentations on the UN ESCAP and East and North-East Asia Office as well as population ageing in Northeast Asia, followed by an engaging Q & A session. 

Take Part in 2014 UN4U Photo Contest
ESCAP in collaboration with other UN partners, funds and agencies in Asia and the Pacific is calling for photo submissions, with the theme of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The photo contest is ahead of next year’s historic Beijing+20 conference, which marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women. The winning images will be showcased at ESCAP’s UN Day observance and featured in the UN publications on gender equality. Find out details of the photo contest here.

Established in May 2010, the East and North-East Asia Office of ESCAP supports and promotes inclusive and sustainable development and cooperation among six member States (China, Japan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Republic of Korea and Russian Federation) and two associate members (Hong Kong and Macao) in Northeast Asia.
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Incheon 406-840, Republic of Korea 

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