The COVID-19 pandemic represents the largest shock the Asia-Pacific region has endured since World War 2. Its consequences can be seen in widespread job losses, increases in poverty and increased challenges in implementing the SDGs. The economic shock caused by the pandemic has exposed many structural weaknesses and fault-lines – notably in health and social protection systems, in digital connectivity and skills, as well as the extent to which our production and consumption patterns have been destroying the environment. As countries now work to stem the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, they also need to address these weaknesses – to build back better.
As the region continues to confront the impacts of the pandemic, ESCAP has focused its activities to support its members on how to recover better from COVID-19. The Theme Study for ESCAP’s 77th Commission Session titled “Beyond the pandemic: Building back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific” tackled the region’s recovery challenges by outlining a four point recovery agenda: broadening social protection, investing in a sustained recovery, strengthening connectivity and supply chains; and mending a broken relationship with nature.
Against this backdrop, the side event will feature expert views and insights from the region’s leading experts and policymakers. Utilizing the framework presented in the Theme Study, the side event will explore and discuss trajectories for the region’s path to recovery. Experts from member States, the private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs) will offer their perspectives on the challenge of the Asia Pacific region’s recovery.