ESCAP, Kazakhstan strengthen partnership for sustainable development in Central Asia

11/07/2016 11:28
Asia-Plus
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DUSHNBE, July 11, 2016, Asia-Plus -- The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Government Kazakhstan have affirmed their commitment to work in partnership to address the critical social and economic development needs of the people of North and Central Asia through a new Agreement signed in Bangkok today.

ESCAP says that under the Agreement, which supplements the Host Country Agreement, the Government of Kazakhstan has committed to provide the premises for the ESCAP’s Subregional office for North and Central Asia (SONCA), along with a recurring annual grant for operational and program costs of the office.

The office was opened in Almaty on July 5, 2011 upon the initiative of the Government of Kazakhstan and in line with a United Nations General Assembly Resolution, to better address development priorities of Member states, and to strengthen regional cooperation and integration for accelerating progress towards achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

“Today’s signing ceremony marks an important step in our journey towards making a meaningful contribution to the development of the North and Central Asian subregion,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

“The conclusion of this Agreement cements the status of the office and provides assurances for its continued functioning, reinforcing the proposed role of Almaty as the hub for United Nations offices in Central Asia,” said Dr. Akhtar.

Marat Yessenbayev, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP reportedly echoed that today's ceremony is an important step in the expansion and deepening of cooperation between ESCAP and the countries of North and Central Asia.

SONCA works with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan– using its normative and analytical work, policy advocacy and capacity-building activities, as well as promotion of regional cooperation to help speed up regional progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Afghanistan participates in the activities of the NCA as a member of the United Nations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA).

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