World leaders and decision-makers from more than 100 countries will gather later this month in Sendai, Japan, to finalize a new global framework for disaster risk reduction which will replace the 2005 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). The stakes could not be higher, especially for the countries of Asia and the Pacific - by far the most disaster-prone region in the world.
This century began with the Aids epidemic at its peak. Now, 15 years later, new HIV infections are down significantly worldwide, while access to treatment has cut the number of Aids-related deaths by more than a third. These achievements are no accident.
On 26 December 2004, the world experienced one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded. A 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a massive tsunami that directly affected fourteen countries in Asia and Africa.
Asia-Pacific countries continue to drive the global economy. The region has demonstrated great resilience during the economic and financial crisis, contributing about 70 per cent of world growth from 2008-2011.
The leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will assemble in Kathmandu this week for their 18th Summit. It is an opportunity for game-changing policy decisions to deepen regional cooperation for inclusive and sustainable development.
Change is in the air: today women have better access to education, health services and jobs, as well as a greater voice in parliaments. Progress, however, in women’s empowerment has been slow and uneven.
Advances in regional connectivity have generated substantial economic and social gains in terms of growth, trade and people to people connections.
The landmark Climate Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary-General last week in New York was unprecedented in terms of the participation of leaders, the private sector and a range of other stakeholders.