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The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Made up of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population. This makes ESCAP the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions, and the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff.
Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP works to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges by providing results oriented projects, technical assistance and capacity building to member States in the following areas: Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development;Trade, Investment and Innovation; Transport; Environment and Development; Information and Communications; Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction; Social Development; Statistics; Subregional activities for development; and Energy.
Regional policy makers recognize that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals require transformative changes to policy making and meaningful engagement of multiple stakeholders.
To support these needs of policy makers, from 2015 to 2018, ESCAP has also developed tools and methods for inclusive and coherent policy processes, including systems thinking based approaches and on stakeholder engagement, and organized over 100 peer-learning and capacity development workshops at the national, subregional and regional level, including the annual APFSD (https://www.unescap.org/2030-agenda/regional-processes-and-dialogue), building the capacity of over 1500 policy makers to develop integrated, coherent and inclusive policies for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. ESCAP has made 20 guidelines and methodological tools, 30 e-learning courses, and many other knowledge products available on the SDG Help Desk (http://sdghelpdesk.unescap.org).