Ministerial Panels, High-level Events and Side Events

The 66th Commission Session featured the following ministerial and high-level panels:

Ministerial round table on the theme of the 66th session: Supportive Financial System and Green Growth for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the Asia – Pacific Region

The ministerial round table was chaired by H.E. Mr. Kim Jong-hoon, Minister for Trade of the Republic of Korea, and moderated by Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of ESCAP. H.E. Mr. Anote Tong, the President of Kiribati, made a key note address, followed by a distinguished panel comprising of the following:

H.E. Dr (Ms). Armida S. Alisjahbana, State Minister of National Development Planning, Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Assistant Foreign Minister, China; H.E. Mr. Bakhyat Sultanov, Economic Adviser to the President and former Minister of Economy and Budget Planning, Kazakhstan; H.E. Mr. Abdula Shahid, State Minister of Housing, Transport and Environment, Maldives.

In her introductory remarks, Ms. Heyzer reaffirmed the key messages of the theme study Financing an Inclusive and Green Future. In his keynote speech, H.E. Mr. Tong noted the challenges that Pacific island Countries face in achieving the MDGs. Besides other challenges arising from the food-fuel and financial crisis, many of these countries – especially low-lying island states, whose long-term survival is at stake – are significantly more vulnerable to climate change. Given the importance of articulating a collective response, H.E. Mr. Tong called for the resolution of differences across countries through dialogue and for forging a regional consensus on how to address climate change.

H.E. Ms. Alisjahbana highlighted the importance of infrastructure for development and called for the promotion of innovative financial solutions, such as public-private partnerships and development of regional financial architecture for the mobilization of resources to invest in infrastructure. H.E. Mr. Zhenmin called for improving the functioning of the international financial system in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. H.E. Mr. Sultanov described the implementation of the green growth policy approach in Kazakhstan. H.E. Mr. Shahid observed that progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals is impeded in many countries due to the lack of adequate financial resources, technical know-how and human resources capacity.

High-level panel on “Sustaining the Recovery and Dynamism in Asia-Pacific for inclusive Development”

The High-level Panel on the Economic Crisis focused on the policy challenges the region faced as it leads the world economy in recovery from the global financial crisis. The Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Ms Noeleen Heyzer, provided introductory remarks, highlighting the key areas of concern for economies in the short and medium terms, and served as moderator of the panel. The panelists were: H.E. Mr Nickel Lee Hong, Finance Minister, Samoa; H.E. Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Adviser to the Prime Minister, Pakistan; Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra, the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States; and Mr C. Lawrence Greenwood, Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank.

During the discussions, the Executive Secretary highlighted the need for major policy reforms in the region to sustain the recovery in the medium-term by spurring new engines of growth which could supplement the constrained import demand of developed countries. H.E. Mr Nickel Lee Hong was of the view that a sustained recovery of the current rebound in economic growth being experienced in the Asia-Pacific region would require a rebalancing of relations to a fairer and more equitable process of development. H.E. Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali explained that the South Asian subregion had demonstrated success and breakthroughs with policy approaches in recent years founded on an integrated human development paradigm, placing social capital as the fundamental driver of economic transformation. Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra underlined that, although the region as a whole had recovered well from the crisis, the picture was very different for land-locked developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing states for whom the crisis still persists. Mr. C. Lawrence Greenwood outlined that while the region had demonstrated its resilience during the crisis and the subsequent ongoing recovery, sustainable growth in the region will require rebalancing through a comprehensive set of strategies.