United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

About ESCAP

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional intergovernmental platform and development arm of the United Nations and is responsible for assisting its members and associate members in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development. Its mandate derives from the priorities established in relevant resolutions and decisions of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

ESCAP is the most inclusive intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region and facilitates cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. Through its three core functions, namely, research and analysis, facilitation of intergovernmental consensus-building and norm-setting, and capacity development, ESCAP supports the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ESCAP & South-South Cooperation

South-South cooperation (SSC) is a central modality for the work of ESCAP, mainstreamed throughout its nine subprogrammes. ESCAP provides opportunities for member States to discuss more concrete measures in the region for leveraging and enhancing the role of South-South cooperation as a key modality for sustainable recovery from the pandemic and for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This modality underpins a significant proportion of capacity-building activities undertaken by ESCAP at both the regional and subregional levels. Such activities include sharing of experiences, good practices and the cross-fertilization of innovative ideas in a broad range of development sectors capitalizing on existing networks, forums and intergovernmental meetings of ESCAP. For more information on ESCAP’s work on SSTC, click here.

The Asia-Pacific DG Forum

ESCAP and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), have been collaborating to strengthen the role of South-South and triangular cooperation for addressing shared challenges and implementing the 2030 Agenda. To this end, and in collaboration with the Government of Thailand, the Asia-Pacific Directors-General Forum on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (Asia-Pacific DG Forum) was established in 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Forum provides a platform for member States to discuss ideas that respond to the regional demand as well as the means to delivering results-oriented development cooperation and to promote the exchange of experiences and sharing of good practices towards improving coordination and collaboration among South-South cooperation partners in the region.

2022 Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo

The Government of Thailand, ESCAP and UNOSSC will jointly host the eleventh Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo in Bangkok Thailand, from 12 to 14 September 2022, in conjunction with the 2022 UN Day for South-South Cooperation. The fourth meeting of the Asia-Pacific DG Forum will also be convened in conjunction with the GSSD Expo.

These events will provide opportunities for member States to discuss more concrete measures in the region for leveraging and enhancing the role of South-South cooperation as a key modality for sustainable recovery from the pandemic and for accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

For more information and to visit the ESCAP booth, highlighting its achievements in developing the region through cooperation, click here.

Improving Civil Registration in Asia and the Pacific

Recognizing universal civil registration as critical for inclusive and sustainable development ESCAP and its development partners established the Asia-Pacific Civil Registrars to share knowledge, good practices and promote collaboration on cross-border CRVS issues.

Connecting South Asian Women to the Digital Economy

Considering that women’s entrepreneurship is a key pathway to advancing women’s economic empowerment, ESCAP is implementing a project on ‘Empowering South Asian women-led SMEs’, that aims to enhance the capacity of women entrepreneurs in the application of e-commerce tools and platforms to expand their business and participate in local, regional and global supply chains.

Facilitating Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific

The Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific aims at accelerating the implementation of digital trade facilitation measures for trade and development. Designed as an inclusive instrument accessible to countries at all levels of development to develop their capacity to engage in cross-border paperless trade, the final treaty text was adopted by ESCAP in May 2016 and has been ratified by five countries to date.

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