As the Asia Pacific region begins the Decade of Action towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, socioeconomic, environmental and public health challenges such as increasing inequality, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting the poorest and least developed countries the most, underscoring the importance of integrated policymaking to move towards a climate-resilient, green and inclusive future. This requires mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals across national development policies. Fiscal policies should support social protection, creation of decent jobs, sustainable consumption and production. Financial reforms should support climate risk assessment and the development of markets for green financial instruments.
Analytical research on transformative economic policies for sustainable development
The ESCAP annual flagship publication, Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific is the oldest and most comprehensive assessment of prevalent and emerging regional macroeconomic and social trends informing policymaking in Asia Pacific countries. In recent years, the publication’s thematic chapters have devoted increasing attention to economic policies supportive of the Sustainable Development Goals and have advocated a paradigm shift in economic policymaking to prioritize people, planet and long-term economic resilience beyond GDP growth alone.
Regional dialogue on economic policies for sustainable development
The annual expert group meeting on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific brings together leading experts and policymakers from around the region and the world for an examination of economic policies designed to promote sustainable development in the region. Each year, the event invites top experts from government entities, international organizations, regional and national thinktanks and the academia, as well as private practitioners, to deliberate on the selected issues of times aligned with the thematic focus of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific that year.
Policy guidelines and supportive tools
The Division also develops policy guidelines and modeling tools to support forward looking policymaking and evaluation. Recent work includes the Guidebook for Assessing SDG Investment Needs, which provides a detailed methodological note on SDG costing, and an EViews-based macroeconomic model for evaluating the long-term implications of policy options for inclusive and sustainable development.
Beyond the primary focus on economic policy analysis and research, the Division provides demand-driven capacity support to ESCAP member States in selected areas. Recent activities include guidance on country-level SDG costing exercises and facilitating knowledge-sharing on immediate policy responses to COVID-19 and subsequent building-forward-better strategies.