Skip to main content

Press Release

New initiative among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to harness science, technology and innovation for sustainable development

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Wed, 10/08/2022 - 16:00
News type
News Number
G/18/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is supporting the development of a new collaboration programme on science, technology, and innovation (STI) among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. This initiative will establish a mutually beneficial partnership to tackle common challenges and opportunities for building scientific know-how, technological capabilities and innovation breakthroughs among the four countries.

To fulfil the promise of STI to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, countries need concerted efforts to unlock the potential of scientific knowledge, digital technologies and business innovations.

This collaboration programme will identify specific areas, resources and institutional commitments to support strategic cooperation between the collaborating countries on STI.

“To achieve the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals, countries need to leverage science, technology and innovation. By facilitating south-south and triangular collaboration in this area, we hope to boost national innovation capabilities, tackle high-priority societal challenges and nurture shared prosperity,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

“STI cooperation and collaboration between neighbouring countries is essential, if we wish to address collective challenges in the context of sustainable development,” said Kieth Rethy Chhem, Minister Delegate attached to Prime Minister and Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation of Cambodia.

“The Government of Thailand has launched Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model or BCG as a new economic model aiming to promote inclusive and sustainable development in both national and regional scales. This collaboration programme will support our people and planet by amplifying the use of technological solutions and scientific knowledge for more sustainable economic models,” said Kitipong Promwong, President, Office of National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) of Thailand

This initiative, adding to the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on STI Policy (ARTNETonSTI), will draw on a community of practice of government officials and policy experts to design forward-looking and evidence-based science, technology and innovation policies for inclusive and sustainable development.

News published date
Featured Image
New initiative among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to harness science, technology and innovation for sustainable development

Photo credit: Jastyn Alain Limon

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

APC Colombia and United Nations ESCAP formalize partnership to promote business innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Fri, 05/08/2022 - 16:36
News type
News Number
G/17/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation of Colombia (APC Colombia), have formalized a partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement to promote business innovation in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs have increasingly transformed how the private sector operates to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Corporations are beginning to realign their priorities with this important development agenda, and innovative business models are arising - such as social enterprises, inclusive businesses, and collective benefit models - in which the purpose and the end goal targets social and environmental challenges, rather than profit exclusively.

In addition, financial institutions are shifting from investing for profit to investment decision schemes that take into consideration variables in terms of positive social and sustainable impact in the business model. However, this trend needs more support to move from the margins to the mainstream economy.

“To achieve the ambitions of the SDGs we need businesses that benefit people and planet as well as profit. Through this partnership, we are aiming to scale up the business innovations urgently needed and create a global movement, to unlock the full potential of the private sector for the SDGs, through South-South Cooperation between the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

“This partnership will focus on supporting policymakers in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions to promote business innovation for the SDGs, through South-South Cooperation. This will be achieved through research and analysis of next generation policies to promote sustainable practices within the private sector, knowledge sharing, the development of a policymakers’ network, and hands-on policy advice to governments,” affirmed Viviana Manrique Zuluaga, General Director at APC Colombia.

News published date
Featured Image
APC Colombia and United Nations ESCAP formalize partnership to promote business innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Photo credit: ESCAP/Suwat Chancharoensuk

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Recognize reality of a rapidly ageing Asia-Pacific region and revitalize the role of older persons in society, urges UN forum

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 15:20
News type
News Number
G/16/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

Government officials, civil society representatives and international organizations today called for renewed momentum and swift action to advance the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) in a regional review and appraisal convened on its 20th anniversary by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The Asia-Pacific population is ageing faster than any other region in the world. There are now 630 million people aged 60 years or over, representing 60 per cent of the world’s older persons. By 2050, their number is projected to increase to 1.3 billion. The majority of older persons are women; they comprise of up to 61 per cent in the age group of 80 years or over.

“We must broaden the view of older persons by recognizing them as agents of development. With many parts of the region rapidly ageing, we must take concrete steps to provide environments in which our elders live safely, securely and in dignity and contribute to societies,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

Older persons in the region are also now facing deepened inequalities and heavily disproportionate impacts from emerging issues such as greater geopolitical volatility, the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, climate change and digital transformation.

“The challenges of the 21st century require that everyone young and old work together dispelling ageism. Although some progress has been made through MIPAA, older persons continue to be viewed as welfare recipients and a burden on society instead of vibrant, active persons with knowledge, skills and experiences that significantly contribute to economies, communities, and families,” said Eva Sabdono, Executive Director of Yayasan Emong Lansia, Indonesia.

“Inequalities get aggravated at an older age. Older persons must be able to exercise their human rights,” underscored Claudia Mahler, United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons.

“People are living longer lives. But we have not yet succeeded in building a society for all ages,” said Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He added that implementing MIPAA will require forward thinking, rights-based and gender-sensitive policies.

Delegates at the regional review explored the following topics: (1) older persons and population development, (2) advancing health and well-being into old age, and (3) ensuring enabling and supportive environments.

They committed to invest in social protection and access to universal healthcare, foster lifelong learning opportunities and enhanced digital literacy for older persons, address age-based discrimination and barriers, apply a life-course perspective to population ageing, as well as invest in quality and affordable long-term care systems to reduce the reliance on unpaid care. 

Aishath Mohamed Didi, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services, Maldives was elected as Chair of the session and shared: “MIPAA as the global guiding framework covers all dimensions of population ageing in a holistic manner. The regional review provided the opportunities to take stock on these emerging issues (since 2002) and find the solutions forward.”

Adopted in 2002, MIPAA provides a comprehensive framework complementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing. Outcomes from the regional review will further inform the Fourth Global Review of MIPAA in 2023.

The organization of the meeting was supported by the Asia-Pacific Informal Regional Network of Focal Points on Ageing.

For more information: https://www.unescap.org/events/2022/asia-pacific-intergovernmental-meeting-fourth-review-and-appraisal-madrid-international

Watch the proceedings: www.youtube.com/unescap

Photos from the proceedings: https://www.flickr.com/photos/unitednationsescap/albums/72177720300178475

News published date
Featured Image
Recognize reality of a rapidly ageing Asia-Pacific region and revitalize the role of older persons in society, urges UN forum

Photo credit: ESCAP/Suwat Chancharoensuk

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Better regional connectivity will help Asia to decarbonise

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Wed, 29/06/2022 - 10:00
Sub Title

Transport Outlooks for three Asian sub-regions show pathways to low-carbon freight and passenger mobility

News type
News Number
G/15/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

Improving transport connectivity in Asia in a strategic and well-planned way will enable the continent's sub-regions to reverse the trend of rising transport emissions while advancing economic development.

This is the core message of a series of three special issues of the ITF Transport Outlook covering Southeast Asia, South and Southwest Asia and North and Central Asia. The reports are a collaboration between the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Modelling potential transport connectivity improvements for Asia's three sub-regions reveals tremendous potential for decarbonising transport. Despite rapidly growing transport demand, transport CO2 emissions could be cut drastically with the right policies:

  • Carbon emissions from non-urban freight could halve in all three sub-regions by 2050 compared to 2015;
  • Passenger travel in the sub-regions could see its CO2 emissions drop by 15% over the same period.

Reaching such a trajectory requires implementing the ambitious decarbonisation policies assumed in the most ambitious scenario. The reports argue that Covid-19 recovery programmes offer significant opportunities for achieving this objective.

Regional initiatives to leverage pandemic recovery for emissions-reducing connectivity improvements exist. For instance, the "Covid-19 Recovery Guidelines for Resilient and Sustainable International Road Freight Transport Connectivity in ASEAN" (developed by the ASEAN Transport Facilitation Working Group with assistance from ESCAP and the ITF) have identified resilience and decarbonisation as one of three priorities of Covid-19 response-and-recovery policies. 

The reports also emphasise that all strategies for better connectivity must recognise, and build upon, the regional and sub-regional specificities:

  • Southeast Asia relies on maritime transport for nearly 90% of freight activity, and without ambitious policies, shipping could see its emissions grow by 76% by 2050. Decarbonising maritime freight will thus be an important priority in this sub-region.  
  • South and Southwest Asia faces rapid population growth combined with massive urbanisation. The sub-region's population will reach 2.5 billion by 2050 (2015: 2 bn), of which almost 1.4 bn will live in cities (2015: 700 mn). This will drive additional demand for transport, already the sub-region's second-largest Greenhous Gas emitter.
  • North and Central Asia has several landlocked countries and heavily relies on inland transport. To decarbonise successfully, the sub-region must prioritise regional connectivity and more efficient access to markets worldwide. Rich in natural resources, including for energy, North and Central Asia can leverage improvements in its energy sectors to gain competitive and strategic advantages.

The reports support the implementation of the "Regional Action Programme on Sustainable Transport Development in Asia and the Pacific (2022-2026)", adopted at ESCAP's Fourth Ministerial Conference on Transport in December 2021. Among the core objectives of the Programme are progress toward efficient and resilient mobility and logistics networks and environmentally sustainable transport systems and services.

The reports also serve as important inputs for the High-level Regional Dialogue on Transport in Asia organised by the International Transport Forum.

The modelling for the three reports was carried out by the International Transport Forum (ITF) with funding from ESCAP as part of its work on transport and trade connectivity in the age of pandemics and promoting a shift towards sustainable freight transport in the Asia-Pacific region.

The reports are available for free download from the ITF website:

Download the ITF Southeast Asia Transport Outlook
Download the ITF South and Southwest Asia Transport Outlook
Download the ITF North and Central Asia Transport Outlook

Media contact:

Michael Kloth
Head of Communications
International Transport Forum
[email protected]

News published date
Featured Image
Better regional connectivity will help Asia to decarbonise

Photo credit: ITF

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Asia-Pacific countries endorse Bangkok Declaration to reinvigorate cooperation and set forth a common development agenda

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Fri, 27/05/2022 - 15:33
News type
News Number
G/14/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

Leaders from around Asia and the Pacific – a region at the forefront of the world’s innovation and economic growth – today pledged to leverage its advantages towards protecting people and the planet.

The Bangkok Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the 78th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), renews the region’s commitment to promoting multilateralism and international cooperation, strengthening partnerships for sustainable development, and upholding the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.

Asia and the Pacific is currently facing its biggest shared test on the back of cascading socio-economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, raging geopolitical conflicts and the climate crisis. Some 85 million people have been pushed back into extreme poverty by the pandemic alone, millions more losing their jobs or livelihoods and a generation of children missing precious time on education.

The Declaration sets forth a common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, drawing upon priority areas identified from country consultations and negotiations. Governments promised to leave no one behind, as well as place women and youth at the heart of development. They further reaffirmed the importance of trade as an engine of inclusive growth, protecting the planet, enhancing regional connectivity and exploiting technological opportunities.

Countries called for a reinvigorated role of ESCAP – observing the 75th anniversary of its establishment – as a regional development platform to respond effectively to the changing and emerging needs of the region. They also underscored the need for governments to create sufficient fiscal space to allow for greater investment in sustainable development.

"This resolution shows an unprecedented commitment and genuine engagement of countries to join forces to overcome current complexities and safeguard the development aspirations of the people - solidarity at its best in Asia and the Pacific,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nation Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

Over 740 delegates from 52 member States and associate members, various stakeholder groups and international organizations attended the 78th session held from 23 – 27 May in Bangkok. Three other resolutions on inclusive civil registration and vital statistics, sustainable transport development and changes to the ESCAP conference structure were also adopted at this regional assembly.

Recognizing the growing frequency and intensity of transboundary disasters in the region, countries underlined the crucial need to strengthen disaster risk information management and multi-hazard early warning systems. The Regional Plan of Action on Sand and Dust Storms in Asia and the Pacific was endorsed to scale-up collaborative efforts and minimize the associated risks on communities.

For more information on the 78th session of the Commission: https://www.unescap.org/events/commission78

Watch the CS78 proceedings: www.youtube.com/unescap

News published date
Featured Image
Asia-Pacific countries endorse Bangkok Declaration to reinvigorate cooperation and set forth a common development agenda

Photo credit: ESCAP/Caio Perim

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Annual UN policy forum opens with call for Asia-Pacific countries to “reclaim its future” in a richer yet riskier world

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Mon, 23/05/2022 - 15:56
News type
News Number
G/13/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) opened its 78th session in Bangkok today with global and regional leaders calling for strengthened regional cooperation and multilateralism as reverberating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and geopolitical conflicts threaten to derail sustainable development.

“To address systemic risks, we should understand, foresee and adapt to future shocks through strategic foresight. No one country can move forward on these development agendas alone,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. “All our resources and energies must be targeted and impactful while promoting rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable principles and approaches.”

Ms. Alisjahbana further called for countries to focus on protecting the most vulnerable and hardest hit groups, creating resilient economic and social foundations, and prioritizing sustainability at the core of all policy initiatives.

Home to two-thirds of the world’s population, the Asia-Pacific region has been the engine of the global economy and home to countless innovations that have bettered the lives of billions. While it has made significant development gains over the past decades, the vast region faces daunting challenges.

In his message, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored that ESCAP and its member States are uniquely placed to drive progress in Asia and the Pacific. “I count on you to help reinvigorate multilateral action built on solidarity, trust and cooperation to create a greener, more sustainable and prosperous future for all.”

At the opening, Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, highlighted the plight of least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states in the region, which have been disproportionately affected by crises. “We must do more to support these countries with finances, technology, capacity development and debt relief in their efforts to recover from the pandemic and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The theme study for the 78th session describes pathways to achieve more inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic recovery and recommends four key action areas: protecting people and the planet, leveraging digital opportunities, trading and investing more together, and raising financial resources and managing debt. It underlines the crucial need to listen to the voices of women and young people, placing them at the centre of development work in the region.

The session coincides with the 75th anniversary of ESCAP. “With its establishment in 1947, the UN regional commission provided governments in Asia and the Pacific - for the first time in history - a platform to meet to discuss common economic problems, establish agreed principles of action and carry out policies determined by mutual agreement,” shared Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the Economic and Social Council. “The region has come a long way since 1947, but the need for multilateralism and regional cooperation is as great today as it was 75 years ago.”

“ESCAP was founded amid efforts by countries in the region to rise from the ashes of war and pursue their development with the hope of lasting peace. Today, the world and the region are once again confronted with various pressing challenges, which are more diverse and complex. The hard-won peace that we have cherished is on the brink of crumbling if we do not engage in dialogue and work hand-in-hand,” said Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret) of Thailand.

“ESCAP has played a critical role in fostering cooperation amidst countries in the region. It also has been instrumental in amplifying the region’s voice in global conversations, especially on sustainable development which should remain the region’s priority,” said Thailand’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vijavat Isarabhakdi, who was elected Chair of the session.

More than 500 participants from 51 member States and associate members as well as other stakeholder groups are attending the session this week. It is expected to culminate on Friday with the endorsement of resolutions on advancing sustainable development and building a more resilient future.

For more information on CS78, visit: https://www.unescap.org/events/commission78

Watch the CS78 proceedings live: www.youtube.com/unescap

News published date
Featured Image
Annual UN policy forum opens with call for Asia-Pacific countries to “reclaim its future” in a richer yet riskier world

Photo credit: ESCAP/Cory J. Wright

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Launch of Tuvalu’s National Trade Development Strategy

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Fri, 13/05/2022 - 13:42
News type
News Number
G/12/2022
Origin Location
Funafuti – Tuvalu
News Source
ESCAP News
Contact Person Office
News Sections

“As indicated in the strategy itself, Tuvalu National Trade Development Strategy is designed to provide a set of strategies and prioritized actions that can guide the development of trade in Tuvalu over a period of five years. I hope the strategy will help government to mainstream trade into national strategies; build a conducive environment for business; build supply-side capacities in priority sectors of Tuvalu, such as Fisheries, Agriculture, Tourism and Labour Mobility; build capacity, engagement and coordination among the key stakeholders – both public and private; and strengthen capacity to access Aid for Trade programs.” This was the remarks given by the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries & Trade, Hon. Minute Taupo, while officially launching the Tuvalu National Trade Development Strategy.

ESCAP Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and Executive Secretary, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, said that “Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, member states in the Asia-Pacific have been focused on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. International trade and its related policies and strategies remain as one of the critical enables.

I am confident that Tuvalu is well positioned to leverage trade in transforming its economies and societies, while advancing the 2030 Agenda and the SIDS Accelerated Modality of Action (SAMOA) Pathway,” Mr Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) underscored that Tuvalu’s National Trade Development Strategy is timely in establishing a clear roadmap in guiding the country in resilience towards the unprecedented climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Launch event was organized by the Government of Tuvalu and supported by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) In the closing remarks, Mr Darryl Ikbal, EIF Project Officer in Tuvalu emphasized the need for a collective effort from national, regional and international partners towards the implementation of the activities set within the action matrix of the Trade Strategy. He reiterated that development of the strategy is just the first step and now the real work begins in the implementation of the strategy.

The Tuvalu National Trade Development Strategy aimed to mainstream trade into national development strategies; set up structures needed to coordinate the delivery of trade-related technical assistance; and build capacity to trade, which also includes addressing critical supply-side constraints.

The Strategy came in the context of efforts being made to integrate the Pacific economies within the region, and beyond. By strengthening multilateral, regional and sub-regional cooperation arrangements, the Pacific economies and communities could reap benefits of sustainable and equitable integration. There was scope to develop and strengthen regional partnerships to enhance the participation of Pacific island countries in international trade. There was need for consideration to the domestic policy settings, regulatory frameworks and private sector participation in developing trade development strategies. The Pacific needed climate-smart trade policies, particularly for carbonintensive sectors and economies, to minimize the cost of climate inaction.

The event was held on Friday 13 May 2022. It was a hybrid event with both physically present and virtual participants. It benefited from video messages and statements from partners including ESCAP and EIF. Also joining in virtually were key regional partners from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and PACER Plus Implementation Unit.

Additional information could be found on our event page at: https://www.unescap.org/events/2022/launch-tuvalus-national-trade-development-strategy

--------------------

Notes:

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission promotes cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. The ESCAP secretariat supports inclusive, resilient and sustainable development in the region by generating action-oriented knowledge, and by providing technical assistance and capacity-building services in support of national development objectives, regional agreements and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) for Trade-Related Assistance for the Least Developed Countries is a global development program with the objective of supporting least developed countries to better integrate into the global trading system and to make trade a driver for development.

For further information related to this event, please send to the Secretariat: <[email protected]with a copy to the Tuvalu Department of Trade: <[email protected]>.

News published date
Featured Image
Launch of Tuvalu’s National Trade Development Strategy
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Reserve Bank of Fiji and United Nations ESCAP solidify partnership to unlock capital for women entrepreneurs

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Mon, 09/05/2022 - 11:18
News type
News Number
G/11/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) today formalized their collaboration through a Memorandum of Agreement to support a number of activities outlined under the Fiji National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2022-2030. The partnership will specifically focus on research, policy dialogue, special projects and advisory services designed to facilitate innovative financial services for women entrepreneurs in Fiji undertaken as part of ESCAP’s Catalyzing Women Entrepreneurship Programme.

For the first time, the new NFIS is harmonized with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with a strengthened focus on vulnerable communities, women, youth, and people with disabilities.  The new strategy has four thematic areas:  inclusive finance, digital financial services, MSME finance, and consumer protection and financial capability.

“Through the work undertaken with this Agreement, our two agendas will unite to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals with the primary focus on innovative finance for the women entrepreneurs of Fiji. Across the various workstreams under the NFIS, there is also a central recognition that women are a driving force in the entrepreneurial space and thus, the pursuit of equal access will only enhance the overall economic picture in Fiji,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP at the signing ceremony held online on 9 May.

Ariff Ali, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, stated, “Collaboration is at the heart of furthering RBF’s development initiatives including advancing the national financial inclusion agenda under the new NFIS.  Our partnership with United Nations ESCAP reaffirms this position as we refocus our efforts on assisting women entrepreneurs through research, dialogue and policy actions.  I wish to thank United Nations ESCAP’s leadership for this opportunity and we look forward to a successful partnership through this Agreement.”

RBF has been at the helm of Fiji’s National Financial Inclusion Taskforce (NFIT) since its inception in 2009.  Over the last decade, RBF and the NFIT have seen a great expansion of financials services of all kinds across Fiji.  Adult citizens with existing formal financial service accounts increased from 64 per cent to 81 per cent since robust measurement started in 2014 under the Demand-Side Survey which was a measurement project started under the first NFIS, and complemented by RBF’s collection of disaggregated supply-side data during the second NFIS. 

The positive outturn is largely attributed to enhanced access to digital financial services, increased financial literacy in the general populate, and other targeted work from the NFIT, its working groups, the public and private sector and development partners.  However, a gender-gap of 13 per cent remains in terms of access to bank accounts and is larger for access to formal credit.  The intent is to narrow these gaps in the coming years under this partnership.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mervin Singh, Manager Corporate Communications
Reserve Bank of Fiji 
E: [email protected] / [email protected]

News published date
Featured Image
Signing of Memorandum of Agreement between ESCAP and RBF

Photo credit: ESCAP/Suwat Chancharoensuk

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Countries kick off implementation of first-ever international agreement on facilitation of cross-border paperless trade

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Wed, 27/04/2022 - 18:40
News type
News Number
G/10/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
News Sections

Countries today started implementing the first United Nations agreement dedicated entirely to accelerating cross-border trade digitalization at the first session of the Paperless Trade Council, convened in Bangkok under ESCAP auspices.

The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific is a UN treaty developed by ESCAP member States to accelerate the implementation of digital trade facilitation measures for trade and development.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously disrupted global supply chains and accentuated the importance of international trade as a key means of implementation of sustainable development,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. “As the pandemic continues and new crises unfold, accelerating the implementation of trade facilitation measures and digitalizing procedures is more crucial than ever to make trade more resilient and inclusive in Asia and the Pacific.”

The start of the Paperless Trade Council demonstrates the Asia-Pacific region’s high-level commitment and leadership in digitalizing trade procedures. The Chair of the meeting, Mr. Mohammed Abdul Hye, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to ESCAP, noted the importance of the Agreement in economic development and encouraged delegations to speak about the benefits of digitalization. As successful implementation of cross-border paperless trade requires sustained collaboration to develop the necessary legal and technical solutions, the neutral and dedicated space provided by the Framework Agreement will facilitate these efforts. Full implementation of the treaty is expected to decrease trade cost by over 13 per cent on average across the region. 

Unlike many other international treaties, the Framework Agreement is action-oriented and includes a provision on institutional arrangements for establishing different levels of bodies for its implementation, including the Council, Standing Committee and working groups, encouraging parties to meet regularly to jointly work on actions and issues for facilitating cross-border paperless trade. 

The Framework Agreement entered into force on 20 February 2021, in accordance with Article 19, as five ESCAP member States (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Islamic Republic of Iran and the Philippines) ratified or acceded to it. Timor-Leste became the sixth Party when it acceded on 5 April 2022. Several other countries in the region are expected to finalize accession in the coming months.

News published date
Featured Image
Countries kick off implementation of first-ever international agreement on facilitation of cross-border paperless trade
Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N

Accelerating digital skills for an inclusive digital economy in Indonesia

Submitted by CBOONTHA on Mon, 18/04/2022 - 09:30
News type
News Number
G/09/2022
Origin Location
Bangkok
News Source
ESCAP News
Programme of Work / Areas of work
News Sections

As the fourth-most populous country globally with a large working-age population, Indonesia has tremendous potential to gain from the development of the digital economy. Enhancing the digital literacy of its citizens and strengthening the digital skills of its labour are two pillars to enable the country to achieve more inclusive digital transformation. This is the key message of a diagnostic report titled ‘Digital Skills Landscape in Indonesia’ and a strategy primer titled ‘Accelerating Digital Skills Development in Indonesia’. These two documents were recently released and jointly prepared by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); the SMERU Research Institute; Indonesia and the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

The diagnostic report aims to assess digital skills situation in Indonesia and discusses the challenges and constraints facing digital skills development. The strategy primer recommends possible cross-sectoral and sector-specific interventions that can be undertaken by the government, the private sector and civil society to increase digital literacy and skills in Indonesia.

“Digital technologies have been a lifeline to many during the pandemic, enabling people access to digital and health services and platforms to continue to run their businesses. However, many  have been left behind and lack the digital skills to engage in the digital economy”, said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP. “I am very honored that ESCAP was invited by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (MCI) of the Republic of Indonesia as a partner in developing the digital skills strategy in  Indonesia. I hope this work will serve as a useful tool to support the MCI in its role as the Chair  of G20 Digital Economy Working Group.”

“Based on the diagnostic result, formal education, vocational training, and on-the-job training are three channels for enhancing digital literacy and digital skills,” noted Widjajanti Isdijoso, Director of The SMERU Research Institute.

“The report and primer aim to act as a guide for the government to support the design of initiatives, which ensure job-specific skills upgrading, lifelong learning, and broad digital literacy development,” added Elizabeth Stuart, Executive Director of Oxford University’s Digital Pathways programme.

As a leading sector of Indonesia’s digital transformation agenda and also Chair of G20 Digital Economy Working Group, the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (MCI) believes that digital transformation must be inclusive and empowering. “We are particularly aware that identifying the development of digital literacy and digital skills in various sectors are necessary for Indonesia to keep-up with the rapid technological advancements. The diagnostic report and strategy primer document would serve as a guide to support us in identifying the society’s level of digital competencies, existing gaps in digital literacy and digital skills, as well as identify suitable strategies to optimize the people’s digital readiness,” highlighted Johnny Gerard Plate, the Minister of Communications and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia.

Read the report: https://smeru.or.id/en/publication/diagnostic-report-digital-skills-landscape-indonesia

Read the primer: https://smeru.or.id/en/publication/strategy-primer-accelerating-digital-skills-development-indonesia

News published date
Featured Image
Accelerating digital skills for an inclusive digital economy in Indonesia

Photo credit: iStock/metamorworks

Social Share
Shorten URL Enable
N
Subscribe to Press Release