SDG Week Spotlights Gender, Trade, Monitoring in Asia-Pacific
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held SDG Week in Bangkok, Thailand, featuring opening remarks from Dessima Williams, on behalf of UNGA President Peter Thomson, expert group meetings and dialogues and presentations.

Discussions addressed eliminating violence against women, trade issues and follow-up to implementation of the SDGs.

2 December 2016: Violence against women, trade issues, and follow-up to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took center stage during SDG Week at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

SDG Week took place from 28 November to 2 December, in Bangkok, Thailand. The five days of discussions featured several expert group meetings, as well as dialogues and presentations by representatives of UN Member States, local government authorities and other organizations.

In her opening remarks to SDG Week, Dessima Williams, on behalf of UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Peter Thomson, emphasized the need for raising awareness of the SDGs, the role of the UN regional commissions in peer learning, and the value of partnerships for SDG implementation. She informed participants that she has requested country leaders around the world to include the SDGs in school curricula, and encouraged all concerned to conduct similar awareness-raising exercises.

A panel discussion on gender-responsive budgeting and innovative financing to end violence against women and girls took place under the framework of the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UniTE to End Violence Against Women, which began in 2008 and was launched in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010. The discussion marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The UN suggests that the impacts of violence against women may be costing countries as much as 6% of GDP, and that addressing such violence will contribute to the SDGs on poverty, health, education, inequality, sustainable cities, and peace and justice.

An expert dialogue on follow-up and review for the 2030 Agenda sought to establish a shared understanding of this process, discussing what it means at the regional level, and identifying good practices for follow-up and review at the national level.

Expert group meetings convened to address: developing partnerships for the SDGs; integrated approaches to implementing SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation); regional implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs); and macroeconomic prospects and policy challenges for the region. An expert dialogue on follow-up and review for the 2030 Agenda sought to establish a shared understanding of this process, discussing what it means at the regional level, and identifying good practices for follow-up and review at the national level.

Other events during the week included the launch of the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016, the launch of the year-end update of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016, a meeting on trade and the digital economy, a workshop on promoting cross-border agricultural trade, and a roundtable event on engaging youth in SDG implementation. [SDG Week Concept Note and Programme] [Opening Remarks by Dessima Williams] [ESCAP Press Release on Violence Against Women Event] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on ESCAP Reports]

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