Russia aims to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region by accelerating economic growth in Siberia and the Far East, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday as senior government officials convened in Bangkok for the annual policy session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP).
“The Russian side aims to constructively cooperate with ESCAP member states to overcome the region’s pressing social and economic challenges,” the ministry said. “Particular attention will be paid to increasing the efficiency of the Commision’s potential aimed at strengthening Russian presence in the Asia-Pacific market.”
“The session will spur economic integration and development of the Asia-Pacific internal market,” the ministry said, adding that participants in the forum would focus attention on global challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region beyond 2015.
Government officials and experts from over 40 member countries and associate member countries will meet at the 70th session from 4 to 6 August ahead of the Commission’s high-level ministerial segment from 7 to 8 August to be attended by heads of state and senior ministers.
Agenda items seek to gauge progress made in the implementation of resolutions adopted at the first Asian and Pacific Energy Forum convened by the United Nations in Russia's far eastern Vladivostok from May 27 to 30, 2013, alongside progress in the implementation of an intergovernmental agreement on dry ports, initiated by Russia.
Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya, heading Russia’s delegation at the forum, will hold a number of bilateral meetings with the Commision’s leadership and foreign partners, the ministry said.
“Russia has prepared two resolutions to be adopted at the session: on further development of energy and transport in the Asia-Pacific region,” said the Russian embassy in Thailand, whose diplomats represent Russia’s interests at ESCAP.
“These resolutions include experts’ recommendations and solutions, developed earlier at ministerial conferences in Bangkok and Vladivostok, funded by Russia. Now these solutions should be approved by the general session and enshrined at the highest level,” a spokesman for the embassy said.
“One of these solutions, for example, is to create dry ports in the Asia-Pacific region, which make international transport by sea much easier,” he added.
In a press release kicking off the annual session, ESCAP said that more than 30 ministers from Asia and the Pacific are expected to participate in the ministerial segment. Ministers from Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands and Tonga will be among key speakers at panel discussions during the high-level session this week, focusing on steering the region towards equitable, environment-friendly and resilient growth.
Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. With a membership of 62 Governments, 58 of which are in the region, and a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, ESCAP is the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions. The organisation seeks to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges, encouraging economic cooperation among its member states.