Information Note for Participants

Hands taking out foodgrains from a sack

Contents:

  1. Background
  2. Objective of the meeting
  3. Venue and dates
  4. Participation and working language
  5. Travel arrangement and accommodation
  6. Visa, immigration and health requirements
  7. Arrival at the airport
  8. Financial and administrative arrangements
  9. Inquiries

Background

As of the beginning of 2013, less than 1,000 days remained for countries to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from eradicating extreme poverty and hunger to promoting gender equality and empowering women to combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

The MDGs have raised awareness and continue to generate real and important development gains in the Asia-Pacific region. They have played a vital role in shaping a broad development vision and constituted the overarching framework for the development activities of the United Nations.

In looking beyond the target of achieving the MDGs by 2015, Member States agreed at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals that should address and incorporate, in a balanced way, the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development and their inter-linkages.

Subsequently on 22 January 2013, the General Assembly established the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals with the task of preparing a report containing proposals for sustainable development goals. As stated in the Rio+20 outcome document, the sustainable development goals should be coherent with and integrated into the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015.

The United Nations Secretary-General established a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to formulate this new development agenda. After an extensive consultation process, the Panel’s report was released on 30 May 2013, and concluded that “developing a single agenda that connects social, economic and environmental issues is critical.” The Panel went on to define ambitious transformative shifts in five key areas: leaving no one behind (ensuring basic access to all); putting sustainable development at the core; transforming economies for jobs and inclusive growth; building peace and open and effective institutions for all; and forging a new global partnership.

Thailand, as an Open Working Group member from Asia and the Pacific, recognizes that the region has much to contribute to the global discussion. As home to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand also recognizes the significant role of ESCAP in promoting among Member States a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, thereby making ESCAP the most appropriate forum for ensuring that Asian and Pacific assets and priorities are recognized in the post-Rio+20 processes.

The “Asia-Pacific Ministerial Dialogue: From the Millennium Development Goals to the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015” will be the first regional Ministerial-level event to discuss the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 following the release of the High-level Panel’s report in May 2013. With the General Assembly preparing to consider this report at its sixty-eighth session and move towards finalizing a United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015, such a regional dialogue could not be timelier.

The Dialogue will also benefit from the leadership role that regionally-based civil society organizations have played in articulating civil society perspectives on this global effort, as well as the increasing experience of the private sector in seeking triple bottom-line business outcomes.

The Dialogue will be a unique opportunity for the region to articulate its concerns and aspirations: Home to more than half of the world’s population, more than a third of its economic output and more than 40 per cent of its energy demands, the Asia-Pacific region is critical for the well-being of the globe.

The region’s economic growth has anchored the world economy during the current financial crisis, and lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty over the past few decades. But it remains home to roughly two-thirds of the world’s poor. The region is also experiencing unsustainable urbanization, rapid demographic shifts, rising inequality within and among the countries, as well as endemic gender and other forms of disparities. Although resilient, the region has been affected by the global financial crises and the high prices of fuel, food and other commodities, further compounded by devastating natural disasters and climate change. Water, energy and food insecurity still remain quite high in the region.

Objectives of the meeting

This Ministerial Dialogue will be the first meeting in the Asia and the Pacific region at the Ministerial level with a focus on the post-2015 development agenda organized after the launch of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the end of May 2013.

The objectives of the meeting are to collectively explore and identify the key challenges in the region that should be addressed at the policy level in the elaboration of the United Nations Development Agenda beyond 2015 based on the lessons learned from the MDGs framework and in the overall of context of the three pillars of sustainable development, plus resilience.

The meeting is expected to adopt a Ministerial Declaration, and the outcome of the Dialogue will be shared with the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals as an input from the Asia-Pacific region.

Venue and Dates

The meeting will be held from 26 to 28 August 2013 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand.

Participation and Working Language

Participation is by invitation only. Participants are expected to be at the Minister-level and will include senior officials of ESCAP Member and Associate Member States. Selected international/regional experts on sustainable development will also be invited to attend. Invitations will also be extended to representatives of accredited civil society organizations and the private sector, regional and subregional organizations, and United Nations organizations.

Registration: Nominated participants are requested to register online at http://apmd2013.unescap.org as soon as possible and no later than 7 August 2013.

The meeting will be conducted in English. Russian interpretation will be provided during the meeting. Booths for interpreters will be available for Member States that bring their own interpreters. Please contact ESCAP at oes.unescap@un.org for details about interpretation booths.

Travel Arrangements and Accommodation

For sponsored participants

ESCAP Countries with Special Needs (see list of eligible countries) will receive, upon request, sponsorship of one designated delegate to participate in the Ministerial Dialogue. The request for sponsorship must be indicated in the NOMINATION FORM FOR PARTICIPANTS. Sponsored participants will be provided with round-trip economy class airfare, accommodation, meals and local transport for the duration of the meeting, plus partial daily subsistence allowance (DSA) at established United Nations rates to meet miscellaneous expenses.

Sponsored participants will be provided with the most direct and economical roundtrip economy air e-tickets to Bangkok. Tickets will be arranged for sponsored participants by the Royal Thai Government, as indicated in the nomination form for participants.

Accommodation for all sponsored participants will be provided at the Royal Princess Larn Luang Bangkok hotel. Participants are expected to arrive in Bangkok on Sunday 25 August 2013 and leave on 28 or 29 August 2013. For participants planning to take part in the drafting group session on 25 August, they should arrive no later than Saturday 24 August. Please note that should sponsored participants wish to make alternative arrangements for accommodation, the organizer will not be able to provide financial support for those arrangements.

Any subsequent changes in arrival plans of sponsored participants should be communicated immediately to the Development Affairs Division, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand (email: apmd2013@gmail.com). Notifications of cancellation, postponement or any other changes must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Rooms not occupied in accordance with the latest advice will be held for 24 hours at the participant’s expense and then released. All rooms will be assigned according to information provided on the nomination forms.

Other Participants

Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements. They are expected to cover their own cost of travel and accommodation.

A special rate has been arranged at the following hotels. To make room reservations please contact the hotels directly.

1.     Royal Princess Larn Luang Bangkok
269 Larn Luang Road, Pomprab, Bangkok 10100
(Ms. Patcharapaporn Savayo, Tel. 662-281-3088 Ext. 141 / E-mail:rsvn@royalprincesslarnluang.com)
   Superior Single
Superior Twin
Extra Bed

THB 2,600.-nett/room/night with breakfast and internet
THB 2,800.-nett/room/night with breakfast and internet
THB 1,000.-nett/room/night

2.     The Sukosol Bangkok
477 Si Ayuthaya Road, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400
(M.L. Ratchanikrit Khankath, Tel 662-247-0123 Ext.1909 / E-mail: ratchanikrit@sukosolhotels.com)
  Deluxe Single
Deluxe Twin
Club Siam Deluxe Single
Club Siam Deluxe Twin
THB 2,700.-nett/room/night with breakfast and internet
THB 2,900.-nett/room/night with breakfast and internet
THB 4,200.-nett/room/night with Club Siam’s Privileges
THB 4,500.-nett/room/night with Club Siam’s Privileges

3.    Pullman Bangkok King Power
8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon Phayathai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400
(Ms. Darunee Khongbhakdee, 662-680-9999 Ext.2514/E-mail: ssm@pullmanbangkokkingpower.com)
  Superior room
Deluxe room
Executive room
Executive Suite room
THB 3,531.-room/night with breakfast and internet; inclusive of service charge and tax
THB 4,237.-room/night with breakfast and internet; inclusive of service charge and tax
THB 5,355.-room/night with breakfast and internet; inclusive of service charge and tax
THB 6,532.-room/night with breakfast and internet; inclusive of service charge and tax

If participants wish to stay at one of the above mentioned hotels, please complete the form (see forms here) and contact the hotels at the earliest.

Daily Subsistence Allowance (only if applicable)

Sponsored participants will be provided by ESCAP with partial daily subsistence allowance at prevailing United Nations rates in local currency to cover miscellaneous costs. In order to facilitate the payment of the subsistence allowance, eligible participants are requested to submit copies of their passport, boarding pass(es), the arrival/departure form together with their air tickets to the secretariat staff in the conference room on 26 August.

Daily subsistence allowance will only be provided in accordance with the actual duration of stay at the meeting.

Visa, Immigration and health requirements

Please refer to http://www.immigration.go.th/nov2004/en/base.php?page=voa for lists of Countries and Territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival. For those countries which are not entitled to Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival, please contact the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate General responsible for consular affairs for your country. More information is available at http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/123. Particulars for both immigration and health requirements may be obtained from the airlines with which participants will travel.

Arrival at the airport

For sponsored participants:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand will arrange transportation from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the Royal Princess Larn Luang Bangkok.

Other participants:

Several options are available for transportation from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Bangkok city center:

  • AOT (Airports of Thailand) Limousine services are available 24 hours a day. Counters are located near the luggage pick up area and at the Arrival Hall. More information is available at http://www.aot-limousine.com/
  • Commercial metered taxis are available curbside of the Arrival Hall. One-way taxi-fare between the airport and Bangkok city center is approximately 400 THB.

In addition, hotel limousine transfer may be arranged directly with the hotels.

Financial and administrative arrangements

Except for the costs listed in the section entitled, “Travel arrangements and accommodation,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and ESCAP will NOT assume responsibility for additional costs. These include, among other things:

  1. All expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for visa, medical examination, inoculations and other such miscellaneous items and internal travel to and from the airport of arrival and departure in the home country;
  2. Salary and related allowances for the participants during the period of the meeting;
  3. Costs incurred by participants in respect of travel insurance, accident insurance, medical bills or hospitalization fees in connection with attending the meeting;
  4. Compensation in the event of death or disability of participants in connection with attending the meeting;
  5. Any loss of or damage to personal property of participants while attending the meeting or losses or damages claimed by third parties;
  6. Any other expenses of a personal nature.

Inquiries

Any inquiries related to this meeting may be addressed to:

Development Affairs Division
Department of International Organizations
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: (66-2) 203-5000
Fax: (66-2) 643-5080
E-mail: apmd2013@gmail.com

Office of the Executive Secretary
United Nations Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: (66-2) 288-1234
Fax: (66-2) 288-3030
E-mail: oes.unescap@un.org