Home>News Center>China

UN body in Asia-Pacific region opens 60th session
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-23 00:05

With a tough goal of cutting the number of impoverished people in half by 2015 and achieve sustainable development, senior officials from across the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Shanghai Thursday.

Their goal was to explore ways of working together to tackle those challenges.

Though proud of the important position the Asia-Pacific region now occupies in the world's economy, Kim Hak-su, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), did not hesitate to admit that the region is still home to 70 per cent of the world's most poor people. Many earn less than US$1 per day.

"The challenges (to halve the number of people who live in abject poverty by 2015) are to the marginalized developing countries," said Kim during a press conference held before the opening ceremony of the Senior Officials Segment of the UNESCAP 60th Commission Session.

"Their economic growth is not as high (as that in China), the financing they put into development is limited and they are struggling more with social issues."

Citing lack of water and desertification, Kim also focused on the need to reach higher economic growth while protecting the nature.

He was echoed by Shen Guofang, China's assistant foreign minister. Shen said that despite economic development and improvement in the living conditions, the Asia-Pacific region also faces a number of challenges such as terrorism, cross-border crime and HIV/AIDS. It still has a long way to go to realize the UN Millennium Development Goals.

"The United Nations should pay more attention to the issue of development while stressing peace and security," said Shen at the press conference before the opening ceremony.

He said China will aim to achieve sustainable development of the economy and society while participating in regional co-operation in the future.

With the theme of "meeting the challenges in an era of globalization by strengthening regional development co-operation," the UNESCAP 60th Commission Session attracted delegates from all its 62 members and associate members, related international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

The three-day senior officials segment will be followed by a ministerial-level discussion next Monday through Wednesday. Also held on the sidelines of the meeting will be forums on sustainable development, least developed countries, statistics, knowledge economy development and the Asia-Pacific Business Forum.

There are already a number of regional and sub-regional co-operation mechanisms across Asia and the Pacific, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Shanghai Co-operation Organization.

Describing the meeting as "future-oriented," Kim expressed confidence that UNESCAP will become an important platform of co-operation and play a greater role in promoting co-operation in the Asia-Pacific region.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Bush vows to sticks to one-China policy



Suspected SARS case found in Beijing



US urged to stop Taiwan arms sales



Alleged collegiate killer goes on trial



Milk found bad in dead infant case



NPC official solicits HK's views on report


  Seven fatal chemical leak cases in 6 days
  China, US reach deals on a variety of trade issues
  Free AIDS drugs trigger strong side effects
  Fake milk powder wholesale dealers detained
  Kelly: Take Beijing's resolve seriously
  Tranquilizers fed to baby girl by nurse
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  An American apolgy to the family of Chinese pilot