Asia-Pacific Expert Consultation Outlines Roadmap to Implementing the 2030 Agenda
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The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held an expert consultation that proposed elements of a roadmap to guide implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the regional level, at a two-day meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 9-10 November 2015.

UNESCAP10 November 2015: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held an expert consultation that proposed elements of a roadmap to guide implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the regional level, at a two-day meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 9-10 November 2015.

ESCAP invited researchers and programme managers from regional and sub-regional organizations, research institutes and UN partnerships to the expert consultation, including representatives from the Asia-Europe Environment Forum, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

Participants discussed: sub-regional cooperation frameworks as a basis for implementing the 2030 agenda; implementing an integrated and transformative agenda at the regional and national levels; regional dialogues and partnerships; engaging stakeholders in implementing a regional roadmap; and development finance. Working groups developed elements of a proposal for a strategic framework for a roadmap, and formulated recommendations for inclusion and reporting to the fourth session of the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development, which took place from 11-13 November in Bangkok, immediately after the expert consultation.

In parallel with the expert consultation, the UN-Water Regional Expert Consultation On Water Security in Asia-Pacific took place. The meeting sought to leverage action on water security for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Lawrence Surendra, Chair of The Sustainability Platform, India, reported to the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development on the conclusions of the Expert Consultation on Implementing the 2030 Agenda. He highlighted regional action on tax regimes, the importance of financing the implementation of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need to work with local businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises, engagement with academia, and strengthening the science-policy interface. He stressed the value of leadership from the Asia-Pacific region in leading implementation of the agenda.

The ESCAP Committee also heard a report from the UN-Water Regional Expert Consultation on Water Security in Asia-Pacific. Amb. Askar Tazhiyev, Kazakhstan, said the meeting had highlighted the need for ESCAP to act as a facilitator of: tracking the interlinkages between the water- and sanitation-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals and re-enforcing feedback mechanisms; regional and sub-regional high-level dialogue; earth observation tools for water resources and pollution monitoring; research on persistent pollutants; and knowledge- and data-sharing, capacity-building and technology transfer, in particular with a view to building water-resilient and sustainable cities.

The Committee on Environment and Development discussed actions needed to support implementation, highlighting the importance of ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources in the ASEAN Economic Community. The Committee called for addressing knowledge gaps, strengthening financing for sustainable development through South-South solidarity, providing grants rather than loans, tackling illicit financial flows, and promoting progressive tax policies.

Member States will be invited to review drafts of the roadmap at the third session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in 2016. [Expert Consultation Web Page] [Agenda] [ESCAP Draft Report of the Fourth Session of the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development]

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