Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific

2412-1045 (online)
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The ESCAP Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific is published every other year. It provides a regional perspective on development issues in Asia and the Pacific. It covers a wide range of topics on population, education, health, poverty and inequalities, gender, economy, environment and connectivity.
Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2015

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01 July 2016
9789210579247 (PDF)

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The Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2015 presents data for the 58 ESCAP member countries, as well as world, regional, sub-regional and economic aggregates for comparison. For the first time the Yearbook is aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It offers current trends and emerging topics in the Asia-Pacific region, grouped around the themes of people, the environment, the economy and connectivity. It provides the international and regional community with key indicators, objective analyses of the current trends and emerging issues, along with data and charts. In order to maximize the comparability, the data is sourced exclusively from international agencies that adhere to the official global statistical standards.
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  • Preface
    I am pleased to present the Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2015 - facts and trends at the outset of the 2030 Development Agenda, which provides a first snapshot overview of development trends aligned with the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This information will help to ensure better, more informed decisionmaking and will directly support the efforts of governments, development partners, and the people of Asia and the Pacific to successfully implement the ambitious goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.
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  • Acknowledgements
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Sustainable development goals

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    • End poverty in all its forms everywhere
      For decades poverty eradication has been a global development goal and for many countries a national policy priority. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015 has further raised the level of ambition and increased the scope for monitoring poverty around the world. As stated in the Preamble to the Agenda, “…eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.”
    • End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
      Rapid economic growth and increased agricultural productivity over the past two decades has resulted in a drop by almost half in the proportion of undernourished people around the world. This is a significant achievement. However, extreme hunger and malnutrition remain a huge barrier to development in many countries: 795 million people were estimated to be chronically undernourished in 2014-2016.
    • Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
      Ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all people at all ages is the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its nine targets address a broad and comprehensive range of priorities for sustainable protection of healthy lives, including the following: reducing maternal mortality; infant and under-5 mortality; communicable and non-communicable diseases; environmental causes of ill-health and death; substance use and abuse; and road traffic accidents; as well as ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health-care services; and achieving universal health coverage.
    • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
      The new education agenda, also known as “Education 2030”, is fully captured in Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) and its corresponding targets. Further, the World Education Forum 2015 (WEF 2015) adopted the Incheon Declaration which calls for “meaningful education and training opportunities for the large population of out-of-school children and adolescents, who require immediate, targeted and sustained action ensuring that all children are in school and are learning”.
    • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
      Sustainable management of water and sanitation, and the availability of clean, accessible water for all are essential components for constructing the kind of world in which people would want to live. Failure to ensure the availability of safe drinking water and basic levels of sanitation would hinder any efforts to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being.
    • Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
      Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services is highlighted as a global development priority in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The adoption of the Plan of Action on Regional Cooperation for Enhanced Energy Security and the Sustainable Use of Energy in Asia and the Pacific 2014-20181 by Ministers attending the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum in May 2013 had earlier confirmed this goal as a priority for the region, underscoring the importance of action by households and Governments and the potential value addition from regional cooperation.
    • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
      Sustainable Development Goal 8 is focused on economic growth, and decent employment and working conditions. As such, the targets in place to monitor the progress made in these areas cover the following: GDP growth with a focus on least developed countries; diversification; creation of decent jobs; resource efficiency; decent work for all with a focus on youth employment; eradication of child and forced labour; safe working environments; sustainable tourism; and access to financial support.
    • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
      Sustainable Development Goal 9 is focused on building resilient infrastructure, sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation. As such, the targets in place to monitor the progress made in these areas cover the following: resilient and upgraded infrastructure; inclusive and sustainable industrialization; financial support for small-scale enterprises; enhanced scientific research; development of domestic technology; and increased access to information and communications technology.
    • Reduce inequality within and among countries
      Sustainable Development Goal 10, which is concerned with the issue of inequality, has a broad array of targets that address such matters as income growth; social, economic and political inclusiveness; equality of outcome; social protection; regulation of global financial markets; the representation and voice of developing countries in global decisionmaking forums; and orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration.
    • Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
      In the set of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, Goal 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) is the one that refers most directly to urban development issues. It is recognized that increasingly cities are becoming essential to national and regional development prospects, but that much needs to be done to harness their potential and address existing gaps.
    • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
      Sustainable consumption and production refers to “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.” Consumption and production patterns that are more sustainable than is currently the case would result in a reduction in adverse environmental impacts and contribute towards poverty eradication without undermining the basis of human development through opportunities such as creation of new markets, green and decent jobs, and more efficient management of natural resources.
    • Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
      While the deadline for achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals is 15 years into the future, Goal 13 calls for “urgent” action to combat climate change and its adverse impacts. Owing to the highly destructive nature of extreme weather events in Asia and the Pacific, recognition of the need for such rapid action is welcomed by the Governments of countries and areas in the region.
    • Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
      Increased recognition of the role of oceans and seas is vital for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 14. Marine ecosystems and the resources they contain provide a broad range of inputs essential for the livelihood of communities across the region. These inputs include various types of ecosystem services that are not easily quantified or measurable in economic terms, such as natural protection against extreme natural events, habitats for marine animals, and natural attractions benefiting tourism and recreational activities.
    • Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
      Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,1 which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, awareness of the importance of biodiversity and protecting the condition of terrestrial ecosystems has greatly improved. Factors for protecting biodiversity and creating more sustainable relationships with terrestrial ecosystems, however, are still not well understood. Moreover, the full extent to which the ongoing permanent loss of biodiversity will affect human welfare in the future cannot be entirely known. What is clear, however, is that diversity of species and biomes, or terrestrial landscapes, has been declining, and this trend has major implications for sustainability.
    • Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
      Stability, peace and inclusive societies are important for sustainable development. Some countries in Asia and the Pacific enjoy sustained levels of peace, security and prosperity, others experience long-term cycles of conflict and violence. Sustainable Development Goal 16 is focused not only on peace and inclusive societies but also on justice, crime and governance aspects, as well as legal identity for all. These aspects will be considered in this chapter.
    • Strengthening data and statistics to support monitoring
      Recognizing the high level of ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governments also commit to comparably ambitious implantation targets under each of Goals 1-16. Goal 17 of the new Agenda further specifies 19 targets on the means of implementation and a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development to ensure the achievement of the economic, social and environmental development. Specifically, the 19 targets under Goal 17 concern development financing; technology; capacity building; trade; policy and institutional coherence; multi-stakeholder partnerships; and data, monitoring and accountability.
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