Connections E-Newsletter Issue 16, Dec 2014 - Feb 2015 View this email in your browser
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Director's Message 

2015 is a milestone year for the United Nations and its member countries. It will determine the global course of action in bringing about transformative shifts to the development landscape.
Once the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is adopted in Sendai, Japan in March, global negotiation on financing for development will take place in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Sustainable Development Goals will be formally adopted by the UN General Assembly in September, followed by the Climate Summit to be held in Paris in December – all this in the year when the United Nations will be celebrating its 70th!
On all these issues, the UNESCAP as the regional developmental arm of the United Nations is working with Asia Pacific countries to shape the global outcomes by providing necessary regional inputs. Our Executive Secretary Dr. Shamshad Akhtar had outlined the strategic directions of UNESCAP for the period 2015-2020 to closely align and provide effective support to Asia Pacific member States in implementing the new development framework. 
We, here at ESCAP-ENEA, are excited about these significant meetings in store for the New Year and the overall strategic direction of UNESCAP. With that sentiment in mind, we held our Office Planning session last month to ensure that the goals and activities of the East and North-East Asia Office contribute to effective and efficient fulfillment of ESCAP strategic framework. 
We had very fruitful, extensive and by the end of the day exhausting consultations with our colleagues in Bangkok and amongst ourselves. We took pride in some of the key achievements of our Office, including the establishment of the North-East Asia Marine Protected Areas Network, the launch of the Asia Carbon Footprint Network, development of a knowledge sharing platform on ageing, and completion of two studies – on regional integration and on development cooperation – to be launched soon.  
While we hope to undertake and continue to contribute to regional integration, we devoted significant amount of time to the organization, in close collaboration with colleagues from Bangkok, of the Second Expert Group Meeting on Disaster Statistics during the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in March in Sendai, Japan.
We hope our combined efforts will lead to great things in 2015, and we are grateful for your continued support and partnership. 
Kilaparti Ramakrishna
Director, ESCAP-ENEA
North-East Asia Energy Cooperation Forum
12 December 2014, Seoul, Republic of Korea

The North-East Asia region faces the challenges of securing adequate and clean energy resources to meet rapidly growing energy demand and to ensure environmental sustainability. Thus, energy security has been highly regarded as a core subject of national economic and social policies in the region. 
Read more
Office Planning Session
23 January 2015, Incheon, Republic of Korea 

The East and North-East Asia Office organized a joint planning meeting with substantive divisions in Bangkok with staff members participating via video conference. In line with the Executive Secretary’s Guidance Note on the Relations between ESCAP Substantive Divisions, Subregional Offices and Regional Institutions and the new strategic direction of ESCAP, the planning meeting provided an opportunity for the ENEA Office and Divisions to discuss the planned activities for 2015 in the subregion and to identify further opportunities for collaboration.
In the midst of a day-long session, the Office participated in a Town Hall meeting held in Bangkok, in which Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Under-Secretary-General of the UN shared her plans and vision for the year. 

NEASPEC Nature Conservation Project on Habitats for Key Migratory Birds
30 January - 4 February 2015, Paju, Republic of Korea

ENEA Office as the Secretariat of the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) is implementing a Nature Conservation Project on Key Migratory Bird Habitats supported by the governments of China, Japan, Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. Read more
Upcoming Events
Legal Training Workshop on Facilitating Trade and Investment in DPRK  
4 - 13 March 2015 

Given the globalized nature of trade and investment and the increasingly internationalized standards of financial trade and investment regulatory frameworks, the legal training workshop aims to effectively support practitioners from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in developing and regularizing a governing framework in trade and investment promotion, energy development, environmental protection and transport, and tourism infrastructure development. Read more

Second Expert Group Meeting on Disaster-related Statistics in Asia-Pacific  
17 March 2015

The world’s largest forum on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will hold its third conference in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. The first comprehensive plan for DRR came out with the 10-year Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), held in Kobe in 2005. Read more

Regional Network of Legal and Technical Experts on Transport Facilitation 
25 - 26 March 2015

The second meeting of the Regional Network, to be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, aims to discuss the proposed model subregional agreement based on the comparative studies, to exchange information and share experience in bilateral agreements on international road transport in member countries, and to discuss further activities of the Regional Network. Read more
Other News
ASEAN-Korea Youth Forum
3 December 2014

While holding the 2014 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, the ASEAN-Korea Centre hosted a day-long event with youth from ASEAN countries and Korea on “Building a Shared Future.” The meeting was held at Seoul City Hall and attracted more than 200 youth participants. The Head of the Office was asked to moderate a session on “Youth at the Forefront of Community Development through Volunteerism.” Panelists included Ms. Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, Mr. Park Jongmin, Director at Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOCIA) and Mr. Derrick Hwong, a student leader from Malaysia. A lively and practical discussion followed and included an open exchange of views on how realistic it is to contemplate the ambitious post-2015 development agenda, strategies to participate in volunteer activities without sacrificing one’s future as well as the value and importance of public service and volunteerism. 
First Anniversary of GCF and World Bank Korea 
4 December 2014

ESCAP-ENEA joined the celebration of marking the first anniversary of the Green Climate Fund and the World Bank Korea Office on 4 December 2014. Dr. Ramakrishna made congratulatory remarks on both occasions, and we advanced our emphasis on countries with special needs and how the office stands ready to collaborate with these entities in the fulfilment of our mutual priorities.

Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities  
12 December 2014

ESCAP took part in the award ceremony for the Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities 2014 in celebration of the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, hosted by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. In partnership with Korean Society, ESCAP also hosted the Challenge last year with around 120 youth participants with disabilities from ten Asian countries competing in a wide range of computer-based ICT skills. On behalf of ESCAP, the Head of the East and North-East Asia Office presented a congratulatory statement at this year’s Challenge.  
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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