Kunal Sen to deliver keynote address during the 75th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Kunal Sen, Director of UNU-WIDER, will be the keynote speaker in the panel discussion on Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019 on Tuesday, 28 May in Bangkok. The session is one of the high-level events taking place during the upcoming 75th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

While Asian and Pacific least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states, commonly referred to as countries with special needs, have made considerable development gains in recent decades, almost two in five people in these countries still live on incomes less than US$3.20 a day.

According to the Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report 2019 (executive summary), which examines the role of structural transformation to reduce poverty, the reason behind the persisting poverty is structural economic transformation having often bypassed the higher-productive, employment-generating dynamism of the manufacturing sector. As a means to overcome these development obstacles, the report presents policy options to align structural transformation and poverty reduction, highlighting the importance of targeted industrial policies and rural development.

Against this backdrop and being held as part of the Commission’s Special Body on Least Developed, Landlocked Developing and Pacific Island Developing Countries, this high-level discussion will offer countries across the region the opportunity to share recent their development experiences and challenges as well as highlight views, experiences and concerns regarding the Istanbul Programme of Action for Least Developed Countries, the Vienna Programme of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries and/or the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway.