Social Development

Fostering sustainable socioeconomic transformation in Asia and the Pacific

Over the past decades, the Asia-Pacific region has made considerable strides in social development, driven by economic growth, which generated new jobs, increased incomes and improved access to basic services and other opportunities. Yet these economic gains mask the widening divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. The ‘have-nots’ comprise a growing number of individuals and groups in vulnerable situations, often living in the margins of our societies.
The Social Development Division (SDD) promotes social protection, fosters gender equality, and strengthens social inclusion of persons with disabilities, older persons, youth and migrants, among others. Our work is informed by data analysis and research.

Driven by the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no-one behind”, SDD provides;

  1. Normative support and regional dialogue

    SDD facilitates regional intergovernmental dialogues of international and regional frameworks for cooperation, including within the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Regional Road Map for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific; the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Incheon Strategy; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development; the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing; and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

  2. Policy advocacy, research and analysis
  3. SDD presents original research and evidence-based policy analysis on inequality of opportunity and on identifying the furthest behind; social protection; gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; ageing societies and older persons; international migration; population and development issues; and the rights of persons with disabilities.

  4. Technical support, advisory services and capacity-building

    SDD builds capacities in the Asia-Pacific region through national level activities that support governments to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and other global and regional frameworks. National level activities are carried out in response to recommendations emanating from the work of SDD to promote normative support and regional dialogue, as well as carry out policy advocacy, research and analysis, as described above.

SDD also co-chairs two Thematic Working Groups of the UN Asia-Pacific Regional Coordination Mechanism: namely on Sustainable Societies , and Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.

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