Asia-Pacific countries gather to discuss regional cooperation on environment and developmentListen /
Senior government representatives from 16 Asia-Pacific countries wrapped up a three-day meeting in Bangkok this week that focused on regional cooperation related to environment and development.
Convened by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from 29-31 October, the third Session of the Committee on Environment and Development reviewed the outcomes of key regional forums convened by ESCAP related to sustainable development, and provided direction on the UN's support in response to emerging and persistent development challenges.
Rapid urbanization, energy security and sustainable use of energy, depletion of natural capital, climate change impacts and challenges related to water access, scarcity and pollution were among the key issues highlighted by delegates.
ESCAP Deputy Executive Secretary Mr. Shun-ichi Murata told the Committee that "The global and regional agenda on environment and development is progressing at a fast pace," adding, "The United Nations system have mainstreamed these, with ESCAP playing a leading role in Asia and the Pacific".
He said "By shaping Asia and the Pacific's future, we also have the opportunity to shape the world's future. The size and dynamism of the Asia-Pacific region means that not only will our economies continue to be the engine of global economic growth, but also that our regional approach to development will increasingly influence the post-2015 global development agenda."
Government interventions from countries as diverse as the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Nepal highlighted the strong commitment of governments of the region to sustainable development.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.