Asia-Pacific Regional Centre: Connecting Countries to Knowledge

UNDP has established the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre as well as a multi-disciplinary Pacific Centre in Suva with focus on the Pacific Islands.

A main priority of the Regional Centre is to provide UNDP Country Offices in the Asia and the Pacific with easy access to knowledge through high quality advisory services based on global applied research and UNDP lessons learnt.

The second priority is to build partnerships and promote regional capacity building initiatives, which allow UNDP, governments and other development partners to identify, create and share knowledge relevant to solving urgent development challenges.

The Asia-Pacific Regional Centre mainly focuses on support to Democratic Governance, Environment & Energy, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Poverty Reduction with an overarching effort on HIV/AIDS and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Regional Centre also provides support to UNDP country offices in a number of cross-cutting areas, including capacity development, gender equality, knowledge service, public-private partnerships and mine action.


What’s New

14 August 2013
Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in the Asia-Pacific

This report investigates the sustainable energy opportunities and challenges in the region in relation to poverty reduction and development. It is produced in line with the United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL), which seeks to reach three goals by 2030: Universal access to modern energy; double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The report covers a sample of 18 countries in Asia and the Pacific, their current energy situation regarding electrification rates and dependency on traditional fuel such as wood and charcoal. It explores the potential for renewable energy in the region, including hydropower, wind, solar and biomass, as well as experiences and opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Finally, the report describes four main barriers to reach the goals of Sustainable Energy for All, and suggests solutions for how these barriers can be overcome, using specific examples from the region.

While the Report emphasizes that all three SE4ALL goals – energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy – are high priorities for Asia-Pacific, achieving universal access represents the most immediate goal, as well as perhaps the largest opportunity for achieving the other goals. The analysis reveals numerous cases throughout Asia-Pacific where access to electricity and modern forms of energy have facilitated the provision of adequate food, shelter, clothing, water, sanitation, medical care, education, and access to information. However. 1.3 billion people worldwide still live completely without access to electricity, and 2.7 billion worldwide are dependent on solid fuels such as wood or charcoal for household energy. What might be more surprising is the fact that more than half of the people living with no electricity at all live in Asia-Pacific, and a staggering 72% of the world’s population dependent on traditional fuels for cooking reside in this region.

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13 August 2013
Haoliang Xu of China appointed as UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Haoliang Xu of China as Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr. Xu has many years of distinguished service within UNDP, holding various leadership positions, most recently as Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in New York since 2010. He served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan where he led the development of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2010-2015, strongly advocated the Millennium Development Goals as an important national policy framework and forged effective new partnerships in a fast-moving economy. More...



31 July 2013
Leveraging Change for Better Lives

'Leveraging Change for Better Lives: UNDP in Asia and the Pacific (2008-2012)’ is a synthesis of results achieved in the region pursuant to UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2008-2012. The publication shows how UNDP has contributed to transformational change in people’s lives in Asia and the Pacific.

The achievements described in this publication illustrate the importance of partnerships and South-South Cooperation for the achievement of sustainable and transformational change. They also show how UNDP uses its downstream experience to inform upstream policy work. Many of the examples in the publication describe how UNDP has worked with governments and other partners to convert successful pilots into larger scale change.

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22 July 2013
Asia-Pacific Gender and Macroeconomic Issues Newsletter - Vol. 4, Issue 2

The 2013 second issue of the newsletter covers events and activities across the region on macroeconomics issues from a gender perspective. Read more about mobility of Thai nurses under ASEAN Economic Community and more from new resources.

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29 May 2013
AIDS laws in Asia and the Pacific are failing to protect those most vulnerable
New UNDP study highlights gaps in human rights protections for people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok–Legal protections are unevenly enforced and human rights violations persist for people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. According to a new report released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), weak anti-discrimination laws affect the daily lives of those living with HIV by creating barriers to access to health care, prevention and treatment, and employment and education opportunities.  Most people who experience rights abuses do not attempt to seek redress through legal means, according to the report.

Increasingly, countries in the region, including Cambodia, China, Fiji, Lao PDR, Micronesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Viet Nam, have put in place HIV laws to provide legal protections for people living with HIV. However, little is known on the protective impact of these laws. Legal Protections against HIV-related Human Rights Violations: Experiences and Lessons Learned from National HIV Laws in Asia and the Pacific systematically examines for the first time how these laws have been used and enforced to address rights violations. More...

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17 May 2013
Experts and Young People Call for Increased Respect for the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in Asia

Quezon City—Experts and youth from East and South-East Asia called on the government and other authorities to protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people during a forum marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) at the University of the Philippines(UP)-Diliman.

LGBT activists emphasized the importance of enacting anti-discrimination laws, particularly in education, health, employment, family affairs, media, community and politics in a public discussion convened by the United Nations Development Programme, United States Agency for International Development and its Regional Development Mission for Asia, and UP.

Panelists presented the impacts of discrimination against LGBT people in education and employment, where LGBT people suffer human rights violations. More...

06 May 2013
Promoting Local Election Management as Part of an Electoral Cycle Approach

This paper examines different modalities used by various countries in the Asia-Pacific region to administer local elections and demonstrates the impact of management practices on electoral cycle approaches, the delivery of elections, and the provision of assistance. The paper also makes broad policy recommendations for contexts where assistance providers may choose to target programs and where election management bodies may decide to focus local level capacity strengthening initiatives.

The paper targets countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are planning for local elections. It has relevance for a number of stakeholders including electoral management bodies, political parties, parliament, government ministries, civil society and international organizations.

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29 April 2013
Zero Hunger Challenge Comes to Asia and the Pacific

Bangkok — The United Nations launched the Zero Hunger Challenge in Asia and the Pacific here today in the presence of top national leaders, calling on governments, farmers, scientists, business, civil society and consumers to join hands to end hunger in the region where the majority of the world’s undernourished people live.

“We cannot rest while so many people go hungry in a world where there is enough food for all,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the launch ceremony which was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security of Timor-Leste, Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Mr. Gordon Darcy Lilo, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, Mr. Yukol Limlamthong. More...


09 April 2013
Singer Alexandra Bounxouei appointed UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador for Lao PDR

Vientiane — United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has appointed Ms. Alexandra Bounxouei as its first National Goodwill Ambassador for Lao PDR. The announcement was made today at a press conference held in the UN House.

Alexandra Bounxouei is a 25-year old Lao national who is well known in Lao PDR and Thailand for her successful singing career as well as her acting roles in Thai television.

Speaking at the press conference, UNDP resident Representative Minh Pham said: “National Goodwill Ambassadors can play a meaningful role in articulating and advocating development messages. As a public figure, they can use their status to reach diverse audiences and help influence decision makers, political leaders and donors to remain committed to the goals of UNDP.” More...



05 April 2013
Accelerated action needed with 1,000 days to go on Millennium Development Goals
Asia and Pacific lags behind in infant and maternal mortality, and access to water and sanitation

Bangkok — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its partners across Asia and the Pacific are today observing the milestone of 1,000 days to the end of 2015 – the target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Starting today (5 April) – the actual milestone date – through to Friday 12 April, UN offices around the world are working with governments, civil society and international partners to mark “MDG Momentum: 1,000 Days of Action” in a variety of ways.

“The MDGs are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The Goals have helped set global and national priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results.”

The eight time-bound MDGs address poverty and hunger, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, combatting AIDS, malaria and other diseases, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development. More...

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04 April 2013
Art Exhibit by Sex Workers from ASEAN countries “Yet, still we dance!”

‘Yet, still we dance’ was a unique art exhibit with works created by sex workers from eight ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste. More than 50 sex worker artists were involved in creating this exhibit using a range of mediums including sculpture, painting, fabric, and photography. It ran for 10 days at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. The aim was to create a space in which sex workers could show their art, and through these pieces, another perspective on sex work and sex workers.

Sex work, HIV, stigma and discrimination are inter-related. Over the course of the 30-year HIV history, sex workers have been associated as the main ‘drivers’ of HIV. As they are often portrayed as the main vector through which HIV is transmitted, sex workers face increasing levels of stigma and discrimination. More...





28 March 2013
Stay tuned! New UNDP/Discovery Channel documentary 'One Simple Solution'

For 1.3 billion of the Earth's people, energy production infrastructure is not available for heating, cooking or even lighting one's way. Yet, in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Asia, innovative solutions are powering local communities and changing people's lives. UNDP's 'Inside Out: One Simple Solution' travels to Nepal, India and the Philippines to uncover the amazing and simple solutions that are being found to solve one of the world's toughest problems, energy poverty.  The documentary will be premiered on Discovery Asia on World Environment Day, 5 June 2013. More...





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