The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific has been implementing a technical cooperation project entitled “Strengthening National Capacities for Identifying the Furthest Behind in Asia and the Pacific” in five target countries across Asia and the Pacific, namely India, Mongolia, the Philippines, Tonga and Turkmenistan. The project built the ESCAP LNOB Platform, an online interactive platform that allows visualization and quantification of inequality of opportunity, focusing on indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, 30 countries in the region are covered through recent and nationally representative household surveys such as Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Cluster Indicator Surveys.
Since 2021, the project built technical capacity among statisticians, particularly at the National Statistics Offices to run the LNOB algorithm and produce new LNOB evidence based on country-specific surveys and models. The project has also raised awareness about the LNOB platform with a view to mainstreaming LNOB evidence into policy documents, including Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).
As the project is coming to its conclusion, ESCAP is organizing a regional stocktaking meeting to present overall results, enable knowledge-sharing and peer-learning, as well as discuss ways forward for ensuring continued commitment towards the LNOB pledge, especially in the context of Voluntary National Reviews. The regional LNOB meeting is held back-to-back with the 11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), an annual, inclusive intergovernmental forum to support follow-up and review of progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional level. The APFSD is organized under the theme “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions in Asia and the Pacific”. In alignment with the focus of the 2024 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, the 2024 Forum will assess progress on the SDGs under review: Goal 1 (No poverty); Goal 2 (Zero hunger); Goal 13 (Climate action); Goal 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions) and Goal 17 (Partnership for the Goals). LNOB evidence on many of the indicators associated with these goals under review are readily available at ESCAP LNOB Platform.
The primary objective of this meeting was to allow target countries share their overall results, enable knowledge-sharing and peer-learning, and discuss ways forward for ensuring continued commitment towards the LNOB pledge. By leveraging synergies with the 11th APFSD, the meeting also offered a platform for policy dialogue and knowledge sharing on mainstreaming LNOB evidence into VNRs, and hence guide policy commitments by member States. As such, it featured best practices from countries who used LNOB evidence in their VNRs in 2023 and actively supported those who were undertaking their VNR in 2024 and 2025.
III. Organization and Participation
The meeting drew participation from focal points, technical specialists and statisticians from five target countries as well as representatives from non-target countries who had undertaken or would undertake VNRs in 2023 or 2024. It was organized in-person from 19-20 February 2024 in Bangkok back-to-back with the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. The meeting was conducted in English.
The programme is provided on the programme tab.