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UN & ADB tackling inequalities in East, South-East Asia

Mar '07
A two-day United Nations/ADB-sponsored development forum opened in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, with a call for East and South-East Asian governments to tackle inequalities both within and across borders in region.

While many East and South-East Asian countries have made tremendous progress in reducing income poverty, the region's less developed countries and economies in transition still face difficult challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Inequalities within some countries have also widened.

The East and South-East Asian MDG Forum brings together a mix of high level government officials, representatives of civil society, and the media to assess progress towards MDGs in the region, and to identify key remaining challenges.

Participants are expected to produce a 30-point action plan for East and South-East Asia to meet the MDGs by 2015. Delegates will have in-depth discussions on some of the more challenging issues. Participants are also expected to forge more effective partnerships and networks across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

In a speech delivered on his behalf, Bindu Lohani, Director General of ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department told participants that one of the Forum's objectives was for countries to develop practical and do-able Action Plans to ensure that they achieve the MDGs.

“If these plans are well developed and useful,” Mr. Lohani said. “We would have taken important steps towards our goal.”

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