Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development, Second session

6 Nov 2019 to 8 Nov 2019
Bangkok, Thailand
By invitation only

The Committee on Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development is one of the nine committees that make up the subsidiary structure of the Commission. Its sessions are convened every two years, and attended by senior government officials and experts from the ministries of finance, planning and development, and foreign affairs, and representatives of central banks, think tanks, the private sector, regional financing institutions, development partners and United Nations agencies, as well as eminent experts.

Facilitated by rapid economic growth, the Asia-Pacific region has seen tremendous economic and social progress over the past several decades. Among other indicators, this is reflected in higher average income levels and considerable reduction in extreme poverty. However, preoccupation with economic growth has come at the cost of rising inequalities and environmental degradation. Worryingly, analysis conducted by ESCAP shows that the region is unlikely to reach most Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 in a “business-as-usual” scenario. There is an urgent need to shift the mindset and policy direction and raise ambitions beyond economic growth.

To translate ambitions into feasible policies and tangible outcomes, this session of the Committee will discuss holistic and integrated approaches that can facilitate mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals into policymaking and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic policies. The deliberations will focus on the importance of strong fiscal positions, which are backed by effective domestic tax systems and robust regional tax cooperation, to finance the investments needed to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Latest research by ESCAP reveals that fiscal efforts alone may not be sufficient and that financing requirements are higher for countries that can least afford it, in particular for least developed countries and small island developing States. Therefore, the Committee will also discuss how to leverage financing for such countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

To enrich the discussions and the experience of participants, the secretariat is also planning to showcase various analytical and knowledge products during the Committee session. Special side events and workshops on selected thematic areas will also be organized prior to and as part of Committee deliberations.