ESCAP held the Fourth Session of the Committee on Social Development from 28 to 30 March 2016 in Bangkok. The Committee on Social Development is one of eight committees that make up the subsidiary structure of the Commission and a session is held every other year.
The thematic focus of the Fourth Session was on: (a) challenges in implementing and integrating the social dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals; (b) institutional and innovative approaches and modalities envisaged to enhance the social dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals; and (c) ways to facilitate school-to-work transitions into decent jobs with a focus on education systems and skills mismatches. Official documents for the Fourth Session of the Committee on Social Development can be accessed here.
With representatives from 23 member States as well as UN agencies, international organizations and civil society, the Committee identified a number of priority issues for action, including confronting rising inequalities, reducing poverty and enhancing social protection. Senior officials also acknowledged the importance of addressing unemployment and underemployment among young people, placing gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of the policy agenda, and continuing implementation of the Incheon Strategy in order to support the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities. In addition, emphasis was placed on promoting and protecting the rights of older persons, along with strengthening the linkages between international migration and development through more effective management of migration flows.
Moreover, the Committee requested ESCAP to continue supporting member States in these areas through capacity development and knowledge sharing, building partnerships with stakeholders, and serving as a key regional platform to enhance the social dimension of sustainable development.
ESCAP also launched two publications during the Session, namely: i) Switched On: Youth at the Heart of Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with ILO and on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Youth; and ii) Time for Equality: The Role of Social Protection in Reducing Inequalities in Asia and the Pacific.
A side event was also organized on 30 March 2016 on the importance of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in identifying and addressing the needs of hard-to-reach populations. More details on the event can be found here.
Official documents for the Fourth Session of the Committee on Social Development can be accessed here.