Inequality is increasing in Asia and the Pacific. Our region’s remarkable economic success story belies a widening gap between rich and poor. A gap that’s trapping people in poverty and, if not tackled urgently, could thwart our ambition to achieve sustainable development. This is the central challenge heads of state and government will be considering this week at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). A strengthened regional approach to more sustainable, inclusive growth must be this Commission’s outcome.
The end of the oil age
In the early 1970’s the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was an impoverished desert, with little access to food, water and well-paying jobs. Today, this country looks nothing like it was fifty years ago. Thanks to oil, the UAE has completely transformed and now is one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, if not the world: its per capita GDP is equal to those of highly developed European nations ($68,000 - 2017 est.).
Many believe that the food and agricultural sector is different to all other economic sectors, that it is unique, and that it requires special economic models to thrive. After all, we expect the global food and agricultural system to respond to many different goals. It needs to deliver abundant, safe, and nutritious food. It needs to create employment in rural areas while protecting forests and wildlife, improving landscapes, and preventing climate change through lower food production emissions. Well-functioning food systems are also considered essential for social stability and conflict prevention. In fact many politicians today go as far as to argue that food systems need to thrive so as to stem rural-to-urban migration and the cross-border flow of desperate people fleeing food insecure nations.
IPS caught up with Dr. Frank Rijsberman, director-general of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), at the end of the flagship side event of the GGGI during the 51st
Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila on May 4, 2018, which featured the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential to create sustainable infrastructure and promote green growth pathways.
There is growing recognition that regional cooperation is a crucial driver of growth. We should now also recognize if regional trade networks are to yield the intended benefit of inclusive growth, then there needs to be a strategic vehicle for development that can be scaled.
Asia and the Pacific remains the engine of the global economy. It continues to power trade, investment and jobs the world over. Two thirds of the region’s economies grew faster in 2017 than the previous year and the trend is expected to continue in 2018. The region’s challenge is now to ensure this growth is robust, sustainable and mobilised to provide more financing for development. It is certainly an opportunity to accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an overarching policy roadmap through 2030. These goals are predicated on the idea that for a sustainable future, economic growth must go hand-in-hand with social inclusion and protection of the environment.
After largely failing to provide 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income (GNI) in aid to developing countries for almost half a century since making the commitment, donor countries have recently promoted blended finance (BF) as a solution to the financing for development challenge. Blending refers to combining public development funds (in the form of grants, technical assistance or interest indemnification) with loans from private lenders.
While sustainable development may still seem elusive to some, a new initiative wants to pave a path for nations working towards a greener future.Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, is a new partnership initiative that aims to boost countries’ efforts in achieving the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The global economy is strengthening. A broad-based economic upturn has underpinned progress in many areas.But significant weaknesses and medium-term risks in the world economy continue to challenge our efforts. As a result, the development prospects of hundreds of millions of people remain in jeopardy.
Illicit trade in any of its forms—alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, diamonds, timber, ivory and oil—sits at the nexus of two social-economic disorders that challenge global stability.
At a time when funding for UN agencies is on the decline – and also threatened with cuts by the Trump administration—the Indian government has made an additional contribution of $50 million to development funding.
In a bus sits a man wearing a chequered shirt and cap. His age is difficult to determine. He could be 45, 55 or 65 years old; life treats us so differently.
Visionaries imagined it more than 80 years ago, as a way to strengthen the integration between Argentina and Chile. Today it is considered a regional need to boost trade flows between the two oceans. Work on a binational tunnel, a giant engineering project in the Andes, is about to begin.
As global citizens face an array of issues from unemployment to discrimination, affecting their livelihoods and potential, a UN agency called upon businesses to employ a new, sustainable, and inclusive model that benefits all.
Most migrants to Europe, Australia and the United States from Rangpur in northern Bangladesh leave home at a young age and return when they have just passed middle age.
Statements by U.S. President Donald Trump against Mexico have begun to permeate the presidential election campaign in this Latin American country, forcing the candidates to pronounce themselves on the matter.
Khaled left Syria in 2015, when his country was already in its fourth year of war. He is 27 years old and can clearly remember what his life was like then in Damascus: a happy life, with a happy family, in a happy country.
At Davos in January, US President Donald Trump warned that the US “will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices” of others, interpreted by many as declaring world trade war. Before the US mid-term elections in November, Washington is expected to focus on others’ alleged “massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive state-led economic planning” pointing to China without always naming names. With the Republican Party already united behind his tax bill, Trump senses an opportunity to finally unite the party behind him and to continue his campaign for re-election in 2020.
While much of the global discussion for decades has been focused on overpopulation and its consequences, less can be said of the risks of low fertility and an ageing population—risks that are currently threatening the future of Japan.
Over the last few months, the United States’ rhetoric on the Iran nuclear agreement has been ambiguous, creating an uncertain environment for investors. With John Bolton, President Donald Trump has now appointed a national security adviser who is actively seeking to leave the Iran deal.