Launch of the UN-ESCAP Economic and Social Survey of the Asia and the Pacific – 2013

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) organized several global launches for the Survey Report on the 18th of April 2013, with the Sri Lankan launch taking place in partnership with the IPS and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).

The report is a compilation of data gathered from surveys done in 37 countries, including 28 countries from the Asia-Pacific region. Giving an overview of the report, Dr. Shvojit Bannerjee, Economic Affairs Officer, UN-ESCAP, stated that growth in the Asia-Pacific region remains subdued, in the wake of continued uncertainty in the Euro-zone and sluggish recovery in the US. He went on to suggest that several targeted macroeconomic policy programmes will help address the challenges observed in the region through this survey. The recommended policies included, job guarantee programmes, a universal non-contributory pension programme, benefits to all persons with disabilities, increasing the share of public health expenditure, and energy access to all.

Chief Guest at the event was Chairman of the IPS, Professor W.D. Lakshman, commended the UNESCAP report for continuing to press for inclusive and sustainable growth. Reiterating these sentiments, Executive Director of the IPS, Dr. Saman Kelegama, went on to make a presentation of the Sri Lankan outlook, as derived from the UN-ESCAP report.