At AMUN Black Lives Matter

Position Papers by Committee

Position paper for Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Country:Afghanistan
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
We acknowledge that according to The World Health Organization, 15% of the world’s population is suffering from some type of physical or mental disability. Member states must acknowledge this ongoing issue by aiding any individual that is impacted by a disability by passing benevolent policies to better aid the people affected; the rationale behind these policies show that the affected individuals are less likely to attend school, read, work, and live functional lives as members of society. This council should continue the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan to further the interest of the Incheon Strategy to help remedy the injustice to people suffering from disabilities. Due to the recent impacts of COVID-19, it is of the utmost priority to narrow this rapidly growing gap between society and people with disabilities. It is in the interest of providing resources meeting all the demands and prevention methods to ensure the safety of the people from this deadly rampant virus. To prevent the furtherance of this growing gap in disparities, we must establish stability by providing efforts to those suffering from any form of disability to promote growth from an international perspective.

Country:Afghanistan
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The ESCAP with the assistance of the international community should strongly consider assisting the countries of the Asian-Pacific from the worst of Nature's catastrophe’s. Over the past 30 years droughts have affected this region and most importantly our country by displacing north of a quarter-million people. Furthermore, due to water scarcity, the armed conflict of our country was only magnified which led to the further degradation of our citizens into poverty. With the guidance of the Sendai Framework, we ask the countries of the Southern-Pacific along with the assistance of the international community to provide forms of aid and funds for prevention to ensure stability of economies crippled by these disasters. These issues arise along the countries of the Pacific in Asia, but the effects won’t just affect the impacted country but also injure the neighboring regions as well. We must identify that smaller countries affected by flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and Climate Change need monetary assistance. Lastly, noting the changes of the climates, Member States must strategically apply funds to prevent the increase of disasters, and focus on aid to provide the stability in crippled economies that result from these disasters.

Country:Armenia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The goals and targets clearly defined in the Incheon Strategy, with the primary ambition of providing for equal opportunities for persons with disabilities, have not effectively been implemented or supported by the United Nations or its member states. Our country stands by the idea of equal access to employment and educational opportunities for all people, especially those with disabilities. As a country with ambitious goals for social reform that revolve around inclusive and equitable projects, we wish to eliminate the problem of disability unemployment both domestically and worldwide. With the support of the United Nations, a disability-inclusive sustainable labor development project can be launched to provide equal labor opportunities for those with disabilities. As mentioned, the country of Armenia has long been in favor of equal opportunity for all. We have found that persons with disabilities are significantly more likely to fall into extreme poverty because of unemployment. We stand by the fact that basic human rights and the preservation of human dignity is essential. We believe it is unacceptable for any human to be subject to extreme poverty, as it infringes upon these rights that we aim to protect. Our country has implemented an Agenda for Sustainable Development to combat the effects of extreme poverty and provide for inclusive labor and educational reform for vulnerable groups of people such as those with disabilities. And while similar international efforts have been made to combat the discrimination of persons with disabilities with the likes of the Incheon Strategy, it is clear that these efforts are insufficient and have yet to be implemented on a massive scale. Since the implementation of our own domestic policy, the UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform has shown that our poverty rate has decreased considerably, from 29.8% to 23.5%. With this being said, we propose and support a UN-backed coalition of states to promote equal opportunity and create labor in areas such as agriculture and manufacturing. We believe that the purpose of this coalition aligns itself with the goals set by the Incheon strategy, and that this is an essential step in “removing barriers and promoting integration.” Specifically, we wish to create programs that provide a simple, streamlined process for persons with disabilities to gain access to the labor market, and provide an equal opportunity for employment. These programs come also with the goal of reducing extreme poverty among persons with disabilities. And, with the support and cooperation of other member states of the United Nations, we can reduce the extreme poverty rate worldwide, provide for equal opportunities for all, and protect basic human rights that should be guaranteed to all people.

Country:Armenia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The Republic of Armenia is strongly committed to building resilience to natural, and man-made, cross-border disasters throughout all Asian regions. Advancing sustainable economic, social, and environmental development is crucial to the long-term benefits of each state. These disasters will have lasting, negative impacts on the development of states throughout the world, especially in emerging and developing economies. Figures from the Emergency Events Database state that starting from the year 2000 and ending in 2018, 84% of the 206 million people that were affected by global disasters were from developing states in Asia. Combating natural disasters is a humanitarian effort that requires the cooperation of all states, and is not the sole responsibility of any individual state. The COVID-19 pandemic tested our resolve and response to such disasters. Furthermore, natural disasters will continue to be exacerbated by the global trend of Climate Change. Developing a fair and equitable response to fight these disasters to preserve the lives and property of each state is a challenge that the country of Armenia will gladly accept. We believe sustainable investments in national infrastructures and strengthening Global institutions can achieve our goals of predicting, financing and building resilience against all kinds of natural disasters. A strong and healthy infrastructure is not only a gateway to economic prosperity, it also saves lives. The Asian Development Bank has said that during the period of 2015-2030 there will be an $8.1 trillion shortfall in infrastructure investment throughout Asia. To fill in this gap, we propose the further integration of the World Bank into the United Nations to provide necessary funding to improve infrastructure so we can all combat against cross-border disasters. We must also promote nongovernmental organizations such as the World Meteorological Organization as a medium of sharing relevant information in a multilateral and cooperative way. We can only achieve these goals together by creating joint commitments that benefit all of us. Regardless of outcome, the Republic of Armenia will continue to follow the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and continue to work towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to show our commitment to this prestigious body.

Country:Australia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Understanding the importance of sustainable development as a guiding force in the economic and social development of the nation, Australia has taken steps to invest in infrastructure, facilitate trade and ensure effective governance that go in line with our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals include a commitment to equality of opportunity and fairness, a goal that cannot be ignored by our states. A community particularly affected by inequality in the workplace are citizens with disabilities thus, recognizing the obstacles that many people living with a disability face when entering the workforce, the nation has implemented programs intended to support citizens with disabilities that go beyond subsidies and pensions, providing tools for career search, workplace solutions for employees and employers, and community support through education and training. Despite these efforts we understand there is more work to be done in order to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace for those with disabilities as we advance towards our goals of sustainable development for all. Another challenge faced by people with disabilities entails discrimination and obstacles in their access to education which can interfere with inclusive development. To better support people with disabilities programs like the National Disability Insurance Scheme are designed to fund support for students, aids and equipment, infrastructure adjustments, transportation, and training for teachers. Additionally the implementation of programs like the Pensioner Education Supplement, intended to support those in higher education, constitute steps towards making Australia an inclusive environment where citizens with disabilities can thrive. Australia confirms its commitment to this cause and the implementation of the goals detailed in the Beijing Declaration, highlighting the need to provide equal opportunities to all our citizens to continue an inclusive development strategy. Other states within the committee may implement similar strategies adjusted to their context to support people with disabilities and provide innovative ideas on how these programs may be adjusted to provide better support to those who need it.

Country:Australia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
In Australia, we recognize that the world around us is changing at unprecedented rates. Furthermore, natural disasters are increasing in rate as well as severity not only across the world but in our backyard as well. We have first-hand knowledge of the increased rates as well as the severity of natural disasters. For instance, according to Australia's Bushfire Royal Commission, the Black Saturday Bush Fires in 2009 killed 173 people, Cyclone Debbie in 2017 which struck parts of Australia as a Cat. 4 eventually making landfall as a Cat. 3, or even more recently the 2019-2020 bush fire season which caused over $135 billion (USD $107 Billion) in damage. We understand the dangers of climate change because we too experience the effects. Recently, we have launched the National Recovery and Resiliency Agency in order to enlarge the efforts to support communities affected by natural disasters from bush fires to major flooding. The other aspect of this agency is to rebuild as well as the foster future growth of resilient infrastructure in order to minimize the shock of the next disaster. I do want to clarify that Australia is used to bushfires and cyclones however the rise in severity has forced us to reinvent how we live with our environment. We are committed to the Kyoto Protocol as well as the Paris Climate Accords and express the utmost importance on international cooperation fighting climate change and protecting vulnerable communities from the effects of climate change. Australia has supported and will continue to support international efforts driven by this committee in order to facilitate the further development of preparedness for future disasters as well as continuing to implement resilient infrastructure especially in vulnerable communities where it is needed most. In the Spring of 2015, We endorsed the UNs Sendai Framework and remain committed to this action to build a resilient world against disasters. According to the National Recovery and Resiliency Agency here in Australia, “Deloitte Access Economics’ estimates disasters cost the Australian economy on average $38 billion per year and are predicted to cost $73 billion by 2060. These increasing costs are driven by a combination of factors including climate change, growth in population in exposed areas, and the real value of property. This only further demonstrates the need to act on disasters now.” We believe our actions are in unity with our past and current initiatives, we believe that continuing to build upon an international network that aids in recovery as well as building resilience within all communities is vital in the overall scope of combating climate change. We are optimistic for the future we can build together, a better future for all.

Country:Bangladesh
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh acknowledges that issues facing people with disabilities must be addressed. Currently, 400 million people with disabilities live in Asia and the Pacific, facing many hardships. In many countries, these individuals are underemployed or kept in low-level careers. People with disabilities are kept out of other social opportunities like schooling, with less than five percent of children with disabilities attending school in Asian Pacific countries. Additionally, due to cultural beliefs in certain societies, disabilities can be perceived as a disgrace to the family unit or as being related to misconduct in a previous life. Bangladesh understands that these issues must be solved with effective policy.
Bangladesh has worked tirelessly to address these issues. Domestically, the Persons with Disabilities’ Rights and Protection Act 2013 is a crucial piece of legislature in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The act recognizes that people with disabilities have equal rights. These include the right to recognition of equal citizenship, proper health service, use sign and own language and communication, accessibility in the community, accessible transportation, education and training, and discrimination-free employment opportunities. The government has also addressed issues specifically facing children with disabilities. Policy modifications and social mobilization include increased access to school and opportunities for skills development and employment. Internationally, Bangladesh is among the first countries to ratify the UN CPRD in 2007 and the Optional Protocol in 2008.
In pursuing necessary positive changes, the government of Bangladesh offers several solutions to these issues. One overarching change is making arrangements for increased accessibility and mobility of people with disabilities. Additionally, governments should ensure the safe and fair participation of people with disabilities in society and government through various means, including the development of inclusive programs. Lastly, governments should introduce special education and vocational training to provide economic futures for people with disabilities.

Country:Bangladesh
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
In order to properly aid in building resilience to cross border disasters, Bangladesh must strengthen ties with its bordering South Asian nations. The rising of sea levels and the effects of climate change will have disastrous effects on the entire region if serious and immediate precautions are not made.
In the coming years Bangladesh will face one of the first large-scale climate change refugee crises and already we are witnessing the disastrous effects of large-scale typhoons and ecological disasters across South Asia. Both the Urban and rural poor will be negatively affected.
Besides the negative effects of climate change there is also the matter of economic cooperation between Bangladesh and India regarding the substantial amounts of Bangladeshi migrants situated in India and the situation of the Muslim Rohingya refugees on Bangladesh’s border. The two nations must cooperate to avoid potential conflicts and to ensure the safety of their respective expatriate populations.
Bangladesh is also dealing with a contemporary refugee crisis, that was precipitated by an ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. This has inflamed tensions between the two nations, both due to the strain on Bangladesh’s economy caused by the influx and also the anti-Burmese sentiment that has been inflamed among the Bangladeshi population. It is possible that with the recent spate of violence between pro-democracy protesters and the government military in Myanmar that relations may change significantly with a change in the Myanmar government.
International cooperation is pivotal to maintaining stability, peace, and economic progress throughout the entirety of the South Asian region. The representatives of Bangladesh hope that disputes can be properly solved between all foreign nations so that we can move forward to a period of peace and amicable relations among all South Asian nations.

Country:Cambodia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Ensuring that the growth of the global economy, especially in Asia and the Pacific, accommodates and protects persons with disabilities is an extremely pressing issue. Through the adoption of the Incheon Strategy in 2012, the United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has collaborated with its member nations to work towards solving this serious problem. The commitment to further producing results in disability-inclusive sustainable development was further expressed through the 2018 document known as the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan. In hopes of accelerating the Incheon Strategy and creating better opportunities for the 400 million people living with disabilities in the Asian and Pacific regions, ESCAP provides a useful framework for dialogue and cooperation among its member states.
Cambodia aims to be at the forefront of this council, as shown through the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Cambodia also sees cooperation among its fellow member states as a way to seek accountability in how plans are developed to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. It is in these affirmations that Cambodia hopes that ESCAP can produce results for the hundreds of millions of people who seek to be included in the exponential growth of Asian and Pacific economies.

Country:Cambodia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
With the growing threat of natural disasters due to the changing climate of the planet, cooperation among ESCAP members is key to protecting the citizens of all states in these regions. Because these disasters affect innocent people without regard for political borders, it is in the best interest of all Asian and Pacific states to collaborate on such an important issue. While the 2015-2030 Sendari Framework has partly addressed crisis prevention, management, and reduction, there must also be a more detailed approach that accounts for the climates of Asia and the Pacific. Cambodia sees these natural disasters as a very serious risk to our economy and most importantly, our people. Not only would further cooperation and information sharing on this issue move us closer to fewer human casualties due to these disasters, but it would strengthen the bonds of the ESCAP member states. While our economies are growing stronger than ever after the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still many millions who are vulnerable and at risk if a natural disaster did occur. One way Cambodia has addressed this is through better response coordination with nations such as the Kingdom of Thailand. This is a clear framework that all of ESCAP can use to prevent further endangerment of the Asian and Pacific peoples. Cambodia remains resolute in its aim to see ESCAP develop a strong framework for disaster response coordination.

Country:China
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Worldwide, women and people with disabilities struggle with inequalities due to factors out of their control. The Asian and Pacific regions that are represented in this commission have all agreed to the Beijing Declaration which displays their commitment to the equality of all peoples. The Democratic People’s Republic of China is fully committed to seeing the enactment of the Beijing Declaration. Even after the twenty five years since agreement upon the declaration, China’s support does not waiver. China holds a strong belief in the equality of all people, everyone deserves the same rights in life regardless of gender or physical ability. We are also in favor of the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy.

Country:China
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The Asian and Pacific regions that are represented in this commission have always been predisposed to natural disasters, and in today’s world, have economies that are deeply intertwined. This means that when any disaster threatens even a single country, the consequences can impact the entire region, while larger disasters have immediate implications for multiple countries. Therefore, China is committed to using our resources to combat natural disasters threatening the Asian and Pacific regions in whatever ways are applicable. As a highly developed nation which has succeeded in lifting millions of people out of poverty, we are also determined to promote development and prosperity throughout the region by lending our strengths and spreading Chinese values.

Country:Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
We firmly stand behind the rights of those with disabilities in the developed and developing world and believe that the United Nations should work with member states to increase access to economic, political, and social services for this underrepresented group. We believe that as the international community takes further steps to ensure sustainable development, it should take these steps with the rights of the disabled in mind. We align fully with the principles expressed by the Incheon Strategy, and feel that the acceleration of such strategy is warranted and needed under the previously passed Beijing Declaration, as we plan to continue to affirm our support of greater political participation, greater employment, and education for those with disabilities. We do, however, recognize that some states in the developing world may not have the resources to ensure the rights of those with disabilities. We believe the best way to remedy this concern is to provide greater financial support to developing countries in order to fulfill the goals outlined in these declarations and strategies. We believe that these goals align with the United Nations’ hopes of encouraging sustainable development as described in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. However, we stand behind the General Assembly’s concern that the Millennium Development Goals do not adequately address the need to properly incorporate those with disabilities into society. We also agree with the General Assembly in regards to that, in order to properly assimilate disabled personnel into sustainable development work, the entire workforce of a state must eliminate discrimination towards those with special needs in order to fulfill those peoples’ right to full and productive employment.

Country:Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
We would support resolutions which have a limited scope of aid, although we cannot support any resolution which would render a sovereign state dependent upon UN aid. We believe that it is necessary to be able to respond to crises as independently as possible, so as to ensure the maximum amount of sovereignty. We would support resolutions which call upon member states to take the initiative and make disaster plans so as to mitigate damage to the economy, just as we have done to prevent COVID from entering our country. From ESCAP/RES/75/5, we agree with clause 3, which calls for states to create their plans. However, this same document also calls upon states to integrate their plans with ESCAP, as well as other UN bodies. Such an outcome would not be favorable to us, and the UN must not make any recommendations which would attempt to take control over policies away from sovereign states. Overall, we are more than willing to cooperate on matters which call for other states to begin planning for disaster, as well as limited assistance, and those which maintain a respect for the sovereignty and autonomy of the state.

Country:Fiji
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Fiji has been an active and dedicated member in the search for protection of persons with disabilities. In section 42 of the Constitution of Fiji, it states that a person with any disability has the right to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information, essentially reasonable access to necessary materials. The Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons with the Ministry of Health, Women and Social Welfare have designed a National Policy on Persons Living with Disabilities. Under this, people with disabilities and women are given special attention in order to better their role in society. From 1998-2008, Fiji wanted to take a step forward and decided to improve the legal status of women through improvements made in legislation (Family Law Reforms), and improvement of women’s employment compensation. As for alleviation efforts after COVID-19, Fiji has been a signatory party to the Incheon Strategy. In this strategy, the key phrase is “making the right real” for Persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific. The basic framework serves to create disability-inclusive development goals. The key goal here being the 7th, it is to ensure disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management. In order to achieve this, agreeing countries have to strengthen disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction planning and make sure they are able to provide timely and appropriate support to persons with disabilities in responding to disasters such as pandemics, or natural disasters.

Country:Fiji
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forests, minerals, and fish resources. Therefore, the sustainable management of the country's resources is critical to national economic development and food security. The Republic of Fiji joined the United Nations Environment Assembly in December 2013 and was welcomed in 2014 into the United Nations Environment Program’s Committee of Permanent Representatives meeting in Nairobi. Because of climate change, the capacity of Fiji to guarantee a strong economy and food security is particularly affected, despite the fact that the country is an insignificant contributor. Regarding natural disasters, Fiji has been hard hit in recent years. There have been over 153,000 displacements in our nation since 2008, and an average of 5,800 people during any given year are expected to be displaced by any sort of combination of natural disasters. As of 2017, 56% of our population resides in urban areas, and 77% of the total population lives on our main island Viti Levu. Therefore, any uptick in natural disasters due to the onset of climate change will have a devastating human, social, and economic impact on Fiji. Fiji has been a strong advocate for the continued cooperation in preventing severe consequences from cross-border natural disasters and has worked tirelessly to aid the UN in its goals. The nation of Fiji has a strong desire to ensure that all Member States in the Asia- Pacific region are well-prepared for the future of disaster prevention as climate change continues to severely affect our globe, and we hope that this meeting of ESCAP can allow for further moves to ensure that our region is well prepared for whatever issues may arise in the future.

Country:France
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is a plan adopted in 1995 which lays out a roadmap for working towards the goal of gender equality. The fifth disability-inclusive sustainable development goal of the UN is to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” We recognize that gender inequality is still a substantial problem and achieving gender equality has been made a priority for the French government and French foreign policy. The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) works to represent gender equality on international forums and is working to approach all issues through a lens of gender inequality. Currently, gender equality and in the Asia and Pacific region is lacking. There are structural inequalities and stereotypes that prevent women from being fully participating in these states. Some states have made progress, but France wants to see more progress. The MEAE thinks leading by example is essential in advocating for gender equality, so they focus on increasing women in management positions, training employees on gender issues, and including efforts to gender equality in all strategies of the Ministry. The Incheon Strategy is an agreed-upon set of goals for the Asia and Pacific region that focuses on disability-inclusive development goals. The Action Plan includes policy recommendations to accelerate the strategy which are in line with France’s position.

Country:France
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Due to the geography of the Asia and Pacific Region, they are especially susceptible to transboundary natural disasters. These natural disasters are detrimental to the sustainable development of the region. The ESCAP hopes to provide resources for those states affected by these natural disasters and increase cooperation between affected states. France has an economic interest in this region due to the growing trade and investment. France benefits from the development and success of the Asia and Pacific region. This has also influenced France’s diplomatic relations with the region. Maintaining trading routes is a strategic interest of ours. France also supports increased involvement from the European Union in the Asia and Pacific Region in relation to our support of sustainable development and stability goals.

Country:Hong Kong, China (China)
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
As Hong Kong, we are no stranger to natural disasters. With many of our crises becoming transboundary, our region has the world’s two most seismically active fault lines and experiences cyclones that form in one of three major ocean basins within our borders. Across our geographical area, 772 million people earn a wage of less than $1.25 a day and are particularly prone to the effects of disasters. For addressing tropical disasters, our region has two intergovernmental platforms, ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee and WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones, which are backed up by research centers in New Delhi and Tokyo. In 2009, we supported the creation of the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), which is now a cost-effective strategy for getting warning systems in areas of poverty. To resolve most of these issues, however, we must incorporate more long-term methods of prevention. One way is to introduce more environmental resilience through the maintenance of ecosystems. Over the past 50 years, the region’s forests, grasslands, deserts, tundra, mountains, agricultural areas, and freshwater and coastal ecosystems have been degraded by the continual urbanization and are unable to fully regulate environmental catastrophes. As costly as it may be, a green campaign would do wonders for the environment and its natural ability to bounce back after such disasters. Another way this problem can be remedied is through the incorporation of hydrometeorological early warning systems, which can have returns between 4 and 36 times the initial investment. If we are able to warn the citizens of an impending crisis and have evacuation plans in place, then fewer human casualties will be experienced overall. Lastly, it is important to add external assistance to high-risk low-capacity countries, so that the regions do not experience extreme effects that are disproportionate to the rest of the country.

Country:Hong Kong, China (China)
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
In Hong Kong, a sizeable number of our population is disabled (8.1%). As a member state of ESCAP, with 650 million disabled people in our region, we can make sure that population is catered to accessibility wise by continuing to follow the Incheon strategy, which provides a guide on goals to achieve throughout a set period of years in Asia and the Pacific so these member states will possess full and equal disability rights by the end in 2022. These goals are things such as helping disabled girls and women, improving and spreading education of disabled children, and designing things such as buildings and transportation with the idea of “Universal Design '' in place, where disabled accessible things are not just merely designed to be accessible, but comfortable and convenient. To ensure that all member states make this development happen in accordance with the strategy, the ESCAP should check in at least once every year with their governments and see how they are following along with these goals and targets. If they are not doing so, then the respective government will converse with ESCAP and listen to ESCAP’s advice on how to accelerate their plan of action. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Asia and the Pacific, including Hong Kong, quite severely, especially in the case of disability inclusivity. Depending on the disability the person may have, the disabled person can be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and can be obliged to stay inside so as to not risk their lives. This means that many events they would normally take place in their neighborhood must be reformatted to be online, which unfortunately some disabled people do not have ready access to or find difficulty using. Some solutions to this could be setting up a readily available and inexpensive testing system to test people such as care workers and doctors regularly so that they can still come to the disabled person’s home and invest more in protective gear and COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.

Country:India
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The Republic of India has made great strides since the World Conference on Women in 1995 and the signing of the Beijing Plan for Action. The declaration focuses on women’s empowerment through equality and our Ministry of Women and Child Development has made significant progress on these goals. The Beijing Plan for Action focuses on empowering women in poverty, education, health, violence against women, economy, political leadership and other areas. With the adoption of the Political Declaration last year, we and the international community have taken actions to accelerate the implementation of the BPfA. With the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic, women have faced significant back tracking in women’s rights. India has made efforts to counter this throughout the crisis with One Stop Crisis Centers’ which provide medical psychological, legal, police, and shelter facilities to women. We have also made progress with the National Nutritional Mission, which was launched in 2018, and seeks to eliminate malnutrition in India by 2022, focusing on children, adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers. We are proud of the efforts we’ve made and are continuing to make towards the equality and safety of women in India.
India has also made progress in the implementation of the Incheon Strategy, by improving poverty reduction, employment generation, political participation, accessibility, social protection, early intervention, education, and disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction. Five years ago, we signed the ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’ which guarantees rights, like equality, community life, protection from violence, etc. Our Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities is currently working to make sure people with disabilities continue to be protected during the pandemic. We recognize there is more we can do as a nation and legislatively, however, we have still made great progress in destigmatizing people with disabilities.

Country:India
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
We have only become more aware of the need for cross-border disaster resilience since the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We have experienced many natural disasters even in 2020, which caused additional strain on the entire region, such as the locust attacks which were devastating to our agricultural industry, cyclones, earthquakes and other natural disasters the region has experienced. Although Covid-19 was not a natural disaster, its destructiveness has been worse than any other natural disaster to our economy and people, only made worse by its whole destructiveness on the world. Yet, we and other countries have been received help from other countries through these trying times in which all the world’s nations are suffering. We have made efforts in our region to assist other nations in humanitarian efforts as well, such as South Asia, which is the most exposed to flooding in the world, and the second most exposed to cyclones. We have consistently been one of the first responders when our neighbors are faced with natural disasters. The Republic of India wants to continue our efforts in helping the region and increase communication to address other issues spanning borders, such as terrorism, pandemics, chemical and biological accidents, and industrial failures. Most of all, we want to continue to be leaders in helping nations to recover after disasters.

Country:Indonesia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
We believe in providing an education for children with disabilities, and a good working environment, jobs, and homes for adults with disabilities. The Incheon Strategy provides the first set of 10 regionally agreed disability-specific development goals. It enables the region to track progress towards improving the quality of life and the fulfilment of the rights of the region’s 690 million persons with disabilities, most of whom live in poverty, in Asia and the Pacific. The goals are for all individuals, regardless of disability or not, are free from fear and want; promoting an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for people with disabilities; implementing the Beijing Declaration on Disability-Inclusive Development. Many of the goals were placed on hold due to COVID-19, but there is hope to continue to forward with our goals of providing better opportunities for those with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific as soon as possible. All ten goals are to “Make the right real” for all people, regardless of gender, disability, poverty, and age. It encourages not only gender equality, but a good education for children with disabilities, reducing poverty and enhancing work and employment process, promoting participation in politics, strengthening social protections, ensuring disability inclusive disaster risk reduction and management, improving the reliability and comparability of disability data, and more. The original deadline was between 2013-2022, but COVID was not quite in the plans. Now, there is hope to continue what we started in 2011, when we adopted the Bali Declaration on the Enhancement of the Role and Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the ASEAN Community, which ensures the effective participation of people with disabilities. It also mainstreams disability perspectives in ASEAN policies and programs across the economic, political security and socio-cultural pillars of the ASEAN Community.

Country:Indonesia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The Asia-Pacific region has been a leading proponent for regional collaboration in disaster risk reduction and resilience, which is an issue of great importance to our county. Regarding the building of resilience to cross-border disasters, Indonesia supports the secretariats promotion of regional cooperation in early warning and disaster monitoring. Furthermore, we wish to maintain progress by following the Typhoon Committee model, and the data collection analysis of Regional Space Applications Program for Sustainable Development (RESAP). Currently, climate change is driving more intense and frequent disasters threatening impoverish and vulnerable nations. Investments in pre-disaster mitigation provides social and economic benefits to all communities, significantly to populations most at risk. The focus on the use of technology to improve forecasting and mitigate damage presented in the Typhoon Committee, and the robust data collection and risk analysis of RESAP are both in line with the current Sendai Framework also supported by Indonesia. In particular, RESAP’s work in capacity building and technical support has been identified by countries as the priority in implementing a plan of action. Likewise, using the Typhoon committee model as an example to improve regional collaboration on forecasting with RESAP and the Sendai Framework minimizes the loss of life and material damage by focusing on disasters that impact certain regions. Natural disasters can devastate wide areas with no regard for the political boundaries of states, by involving RESAP and modeling past committees with the Sendai Framework, the United Nations can further lead efforts to alleviate risk and fortify resilience.

Country:Iran, Islamic Republic of
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The 10 interrelated goals and 27 targets of the Incheon Strategy Launched in 2012 by the Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) tried to increase political participation, social participation, work prospects, and early education for the people with disabilities. Despite efforts in all national, subregional and regional levels, people with disabilities in Iran still face 1) failures and abuses from State Welfare Organization (SWO), 2) discriminatory laws and policies, 3) inaccessible public transportation, 4) inaccessible public buildings, and 5) lack of accessibility and discrimination in healthcare. Furthermore, lack of professional individual assistance and lack of information about treatments and available options hinder and exclude people with disabilities across Iran from participating in daily life activities that most people take for granted, such as working, studying at school, interacting with acquaintances, participating in cultural events, shopping groceries, or visiting the doctor. The fact that Iran children with disabilities are excluded from education is even more concerning, as schools are, for children, often a place for socialization, a source of nutrition, a tool for social mobility, and a caregiver that inspects hygiene and safety. Furthermore, Iran is, in the first place, facing a lack of census on its population with disabilities; contrast to World Health Organization(WHO)’s estimation that 15 percent of the world population have disabilities, governmental agencies in Iran report that only 4.2 percent of the population have disabilities. Considering this context, we, the delegation of Iran, suggest three goals. First, there should be a global, national, and regional attack on stigma and discrimination in disabilities to ease the reluctance in its citizens to register as a person with disabilities. Second, governments should have precise up-to-date statistics on the population with disabilities so that no people with disabilities are neglected. Lastly, member states should be responsible to report their progress on disability-inclusive legislations on a regular basis so that each of the member states could be advised, supported, and inspected by other member states.

Country:Iran, Islamic Republic of
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
In the past few decades, the International Community has clearly witnessed the widespread effects of climate change. Specific to the Asia-Pacific region, several states are at a high risk of flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, and sand and dust storms, and climate change is increasing both the frequency and severity of these disasters. Because natural disasters pay no heed to sovereign borders, it is imperative that regions collaborate in their efforts to bolster resilience to these cross-border disasters. The Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction created the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework, which is a comprehensive set of standards with attainable targets and institutional measures for disaster risk reduction. This initiative unequivocally supports the concept of resilience; by recognizing that the risk of disasters cannot be eliminated completely, it takes quantifiable steps to minimize the risk to the greatest extent possible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is highly-prone to disasters, including droughts, floods, earthquakes, landslides, fires, and sand and dust storms. The National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) was established in 2008 to coordinate activities regarding the four phases of disaster management: prevention and risk reduction, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery. The NDMO is able to organize these endeavors by using command and control centers, which collect, process, and disseminate environmental information between branches of the NDMO and the government as a whole. We, the delegation of Iran, believe that an economic-social issue like this one requires a two-pronged approach: preparation and adaptation. By employing innovative technologies that allow for storm surveillance, natural disasters can be predicted, and appropriate countermeasures such as evacuations can be taken to ensure the safety of our citizens. We also aim to institute an educational program that will train and equip households with proper precautions and mitigation measures. Since these disasters are caused by environmental factors, we believe that an international consensus on climate change is also needed. The delegation of Iran wishes to pursue both internal and external actions to build resilience to cross-border disasters, and in doing so, hope to foster national and regional collaboration on this pressing issue.

Country:Japan
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The ever-growing population of humans continues to grow as the years go by; with that, there is also an increase in the population affected by disabilities. The WHO has identified over 1 billion disabled people, 20% of whom live with great functional difficulties in their day- to-day lives. It is unfeasible for member states to continue neglecting people with disabilities as if they do not exist. The Incheon Strategy laid out goals to achieve in preventing the negligence at a regional level for Asia and the Pacific, outlining specific goals to accomplish throughout the development of inclusion for those with disabilities. Many member states have begun implementing and reaching said goals, but many others continue to avoid and disregard those with disabilities. Japan has been a regional leader in building a platform for people with disabilities to be included in the development for the future of the world through inclusion in the workforce by implementing a 2.2% quota on businesses to provide opportunities to those with disabilities, electing politicians with disabilities at a national level to administer strategies and ideas, and establishing non-handicapping environments for learning to be inclusive for everyone, as well as maintain its commitment to “Make the Right Real.” Japan remains committed to the progression of inclusion of persons with disabilities and encourages the entire Asia-Pacific region to follow in the footsteps of change to make certain every human as a role in the future of the world. Japan calls for every member state in Asia and the Pacific to contribute to the dialogue on disability inclusion and strive to promote and build a platform for those with disabilities that lack a voice in the world.

Country:Japan
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Natural and man-made disasters continue to ravage and destroy homes in the Asia-Pacific region and have no plans to stop. With this comes loss of lives, livelihoods, and futures for many of the world’s population. Through advancements in technology, the world has reduced the impact on the lives affected, but many member states are still without critical technology and systems to reduce the risk of disasters. On average, natural disasters kill 60,000 people annually, but many of the world’s deadliest disasters have occurred in developing states. In 2015, the UNDRR adopted the Sendai Framework to provide member states with the concrete actions to protect development from the risk of disasters. The framework acknowledges future challenges, but as we progress, we cannot accurately predict the future and what’s to come. Japan remains an ally to the international community with the Japan Disaster Relief team that has historically been dispatched to states in recovery after a natural disaster primarily in members states whom are still developing economically. In 2020 alone, Japan invested over $5 billion USD towards disaster prevention measures with focuses on scientific and technical advancements, facility improvements, proactive projects to prevent disasters, emergency systems and improvements in communications systems across the country. Japan recommends an inclusive approach to building resilience to cross- border disasters that creates an international disaster prevention model focusing on the 4 C’s: Capability, Competency, Community and Collaboration. Ensuring every member state is capable of handling a natural disaster as well as preventing future risks. Guaranteeing the competency of the prevention system at a domestic level to maintain operations. Building communities that are informed on disaster risk and prevention methods that are useful for each other. Trading technological advancements in prevention measures and monitoring functions to establish a collaborative effort to ensure the future of everyone.

Country:Malaysia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
For much of human history, women and people with disabilities have been obstructed from the full human rights they need and deserve. While many strides have been made in ensuring equal treatment among all people, there is still much progress to be made. To keep progress moving forward, the United Nations convened first in Beijing, China in 1995, and then again in Incheon, South Korea in 2012 to draft the Beijing Declaration and the Incheon Strategy respectively. The Beijing Declaration put forth a commitment from the United Nations to guarantee the full implementation of human rights for girls and women globally, and actively fight against discrimination and unequal distribution of resources that hinder female development. The Incheon Strategy, coupled along with the Beijing Declaration, targets poverty-stricken areas to record and subsequently help people with disabilities and offer them the resources and opportunities to develop to their full potential. To ensure that these targets are met in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, we must actively penetrate lesser-developed regions and provide our populations with the protection and education they deserve. To achieve this mission, the Malaysian delegation calls for a United Nations task force to project an in-person presence into these less-developed regions to ensure human rights of all are respected, and to oversee the development of said regions into educated, organized populations.

Country:Malaysia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Out of all the regions in the world, natural disasters strike the Asian Pacific region the most annually. Whether it is volcanoes, monsoons, or landslides, these disasters are costly. The result of these disasters that often span cross-border are lives lost, infrastructure lost as well as on average $10 billion dollars in economic losses. These economic losses span from short-term to long-term and greatly affect the border countries where these conflicts take place. These effects range from the displacement of citizens, loss of natural resources/crops, as well as other effects. These natural disasters while being detrimental for the nation they occur in, also create problems for other nation such as an increase in refugees or an interruption of trade. Countries will often have to facilitate communication about how to solve or prevent further disasters. While it will be hard to prevent these natural disasters from occurring, there is ways to build resilience to these cross-border disasters. Solutions to these disasters is better communication between ESCAP members using weather tracking devices such as sonar or other advanced technologies. The benefits of these technologies would be to provide better insight to when a cross-border disaster may take place allowing for the redistribution of population or resources to minimize distraction. The number of cross-border disasters occurring are increasing due to climate change. These effects need to be documented to limit the damage of these disasters. The response to these disasters needs to be planned by ESCAP to lower the $10 billion a year in economic losses. Educating the public on these disasters and what to do when they occur should be a high priority to increase GDP of the Asian Pacific and minimize losses.

Country:Marshall Islands
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has seen increased exclusion of disabled peoples. This is extremely concerning since people with disabilities make up about 15% of the world's population (World Bank). While the United Nations as a whole has not prioritized disability-inclusion - it is not in the Millineum Sustainability Goals - the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has. In 2015, the Incheon Strategy was created: not just the commitment to disability-inclusive development, but a fully developed action plan.
The Incheon Strategy’s motto is to “make the right real.” It sets out several goals in order to make the right thing, disability-inclusivity, a reality in Asia and the Pacific. Each goal strives to make more opportunities and less boundaries for people with disabilities. The strategy implemented ways to track and measure progress, and had a midpoint and final review of all States that committed to the strategy.
At the midpoint review, experts were worried about the lack of progress. Thus, they created the Beijing Declaration to urge State leaders to “systematically implement and evaluate evidence- based policies on disability rights and disability-inclusive development, supported by adequate budgetary allocation” (ESCAP). While, technically, the Incheon Strategy has come to an end, its recommendations are still relevant. In light of Covid-19, global warming, refugee crises, etc, ESCAP should reevaluate the Incheon Strategy, implement stricter deadlines, and create recommended policies for member states in order to “make the right real.”

Country:Marshall Islands
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
A UN report titled Interconnected Disaster Risks from 2020-2021 points out that on the globe and in our interconnected society, every State is reliant on each other, both positively and negatively. In recent years it has become obvious that few States have the disaster preparedness necessary for life in the 21st century. In order for members of ESCAP to build cross-border resilience during disasters, each must be prepared. All States must work together to find long time solutions, as well, to ongoing disasters like ocean rising, temperature increasings, floods, animal extinctions, etc.

Country:Mongolia
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Mongolia approaches disability inclusiveness with the knowledge that the United Nations is still in the early stages of developing standards for this topic and that there remains much progress to be made. We are particularly concerned with expanding the public’s knowledge on disabilities as they pertain to sustainable development. Mongolia recognizes that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be accomplished without simultaneously accomplishing disability inclusion, because the SDGs emphasize the importance of inclusive infrastructure, education, and stable employment for all. The values reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Incheon Strategy of 2012 seek to both protect the dignity and rights of individuals with disabilities. These principles guide our nation through this issue of concern and therefore we aspire to use them within our commission. In 2015, the Mongolian Country Rapporteur spoke at the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and declared that Mongolia and other states should take women and children with disabilities into account when introducing new domestic policy. He also recommended that future reforms to education and employment systems accommodate for the unique struggles of PWD more thoroughly.
Our government remains committed to promoting regional cooperation when discussing this topic as well as continuing efforts follow the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan. Mongolia will emphasize the importance of providing direction to small, developing states in their efforts to better promote disability-inclusive sustainable development by recommending that working groups for improving policy implementation and stigma reduction respectively be established. We further stress the pertinence of this topic by reaffirming that ESCAP has a responsibility to make recommendations that will not only highlight the unique struggles that persons with disabilities face, but also that will take into account the particular struggles of small states in their implementation of existing disability-inclusive domestic policies and programs.

Country:Mongolia
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
We frame our consideration of this topic around the understanding that resilience-building is dependent on regional cooperation and the refinement of existing disaster risk reduction systems. Mongolia is at the forefront of discussions on this topic because of our condition as a landlocked country susceptible to seismic activity, extreme temperature changes, and our dependency on an agrarian economy. Mongolia was one of the first states to approve the National Medium-Term Strategy for Implementing the Sendai Framework 2015 to 2030 on behalf of our firm commitment to bettering the Asia-Pacific region’s disaster preparedness. Our nation aims to uphold the values established in the Sendai Framework and particularly the goals for better adapting member-states to climate change and improving disaster risk reduction. Mongolia recognizes that climate change is accelerating the rate at which disasters occur within the region and that any progress towards resilient infrastructure must contain adequate climate change adaptation strategies. We reaffirm any steps taken towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals are rendered insufficient when natural disasters occur.
Mongolia stresses the importance of protecting vulnerable communities within the Asia-Pacific region from the disproportionate effects they experience after the occurrence of natural disasters. We plan to address the struggles of these communities by recommending the data collection improvement be one of the committee’s priorities in developing reports. We specifically plan to recommend the establishment of a working group as a way to prioritize improving up-to-date data collection on vulnerable populations. Mongolia hopes to voice the unique struggles that small states face when improving their disaster risk management systems and when working to build resilient infrastructures. We frequently place ourselves as a vocal representative of other small states within the United Nations and we look forward to expanding the ways in which small states can contribute to cross-border resilience building.

Country:Myanmar
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Myanmar has been a proponent of civil rights movements and women’s rights since the founding of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. However, given the rise in carbon emissions in the past decade we must instead focus on environmental disasters and the impacts that it has had on our country. When natural disasters caused by climate change strike, the poor and vulnerable; women, children, the elderly, and the disabled, are hit hardest. If ocean levels continue to rise we would see one of the largest humanitarian crises in Asian history. Cities such as Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Yangon, Dhaka and Karachi could all see major flooding events and therefore the fleeing of refugees from these cities would be a prevalent issue. To avoid such a crisis we should work towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 and create floodwalls along the asian coast. At this very moment, the most pertinent threat to our economy is climate change - and these concerns need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Country:Nepal
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
As a member of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and a frequent destination for international travel, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a firm supporter of the disability rights movement as well as the Beijing Declaration. With our ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we are committed to enhancing the economic and social opportunities of the disabled, as well as ensuring the human rights of the disabled are not lessened or impeded due to their disability. We are committed to working with all levels of government and with our international partners to ensure an equitable outcome for the disabled, while also working within the confines of being a least developed nation. We believe that an approach that incorporates remote working, disability-inclusive transportation, and an emphasis on providing an inclusive educational environment for the disabled will allow all members of ESCAP to achieve the goals and targets of the Beijing Declaration in a timely manner. Along with working towards this approach, we are committed to cooperating and integrating ideas with our partners in ESCAP to ensure a consensus-driven approach to ensuring another decade of disability-inclusive sustainable development during the Asian Century. Additionally, we believe in expanding the ability for disabled tourists to travel and participate in commercial activities throughout the member states of ESCAP, and call for a more inclusive approach that will allow the international disabled greater access to our vibrant cultures and economies. With a focus on inclusive education, economic development, and sustainable construction of disability-inclusive infrastructure, we can ensure all citizens can fully participate in our societies.

Country:Nepal
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
As natural disasters continue to increase in financial cost and human toll, we recognize the need for further collaboration and support between nations. As a result of the high prevalence of natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal encourages further talks on how we as a region can best work to mitigate the lasting effects of these disasters. Nepal has not escaped unscathed in this matter either, as due to the increasing effects of climate change, we as a nation have seen ever-worsening floods and landslides in the foothills of the Himalayas, in recent years. As a result, we are committed to assisting our neighbors in times of crisis, as we would hope that our neighbors would assist us. We support the mission of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015), particularly its work on climate change adaptation. We believe a two-track approach may be warranted as it could be the best process to address the dual challenges of short and long-term ecological disasters. As some member states who may be willing to work together on responses to short-term disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis, may be less willing to coordinate efforts on longer-term problems such as rising temperatures, longer droughts, and rising sea levels.

Country:New Zealand
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
New Zealand being part of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) understands its role toward regional issues. Being a peaceful and economically developed Pacific nation, we are aware of our contribution toward Disability Inclusive Sustainable Development. New Zealand’s people with disabilities (PWDs) and human rights organizations have been actively involved in working toward a UN convention that promotes and protects human rights and fundamental freedom of PWDs. Being a strong disability inclusive advocate, New Zealand is also part of Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” for PWDs in Asia and the Pacific. The Incheon Strategy provides the first set of 10 regionally agreed goals, 27 targets, and 62 indicators enabling the region to track progress toward improving the quality of life, and fulfillment of the rights of the regions’ 690 million PWDs and most of them live in poverty. In terms of developing New Zealand’s contribution to the working group, we have been guided by our own national disability strategy, which was produced after extensive consultation with the disability sector. We believe that the approach we have taken and the experience we have gained in developing and implementing our disability strategy, has application and resonance internationally. With the understanding of disability, measures to ensure the rights of disabled people requires affirmative action to change and develop the social infrastructure. New Zealand as a country believe that their approach toward developing internal policy and procedure for Disability Inclusive Sustainable Development can contribute toward Asia and Pacific and being an ESCAP member we are committed toward accomplishment of regional goals with all our partners.

Country:New Zealand
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Bearing in mind the role of ESCAP play toward building resilience against cross-border disasters. New Zealand is committed for concerted action at regional level to reduce risk and strengthen resilience. Asia-Pacific region is the most disaster prone in the world. Many of the disasters are transboundary in nature. Often natural disasters wipe out gains made in sustainable development. Sand and Dust storms in this region have a large-scale impact and effect a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) related to human health, productivity, and infrastructure. It is also a concern regarding climate change. Decomposition of sand particles on glaciers induces a warming effect, increasing melting rate of ice. New Zealand expresses with grave concern that epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases threaten public health security. Recalling WHA56.19, these include diseases such as cholera, meningitis, avian influenza, and viral hemorrhagic fevers for which the region reports considerably high incidences and mortality rates. With Less Developed Counties (LDCs), many of these deaths can be prevented through effective allocation of medical resources contributed to LDCs by WHO and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). New Zealand acknowledges the work of governments, communities, and health workers dedicated to fight against the outbreaks and epidemics in pursuit of fulfilling Goal 3 of SDGs. New Zealand reaffirms its full support of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). New Zealand reiterates strategic plans must be placed by member states to ensure proper communication and prevention to future outbreaks. New Zealand encourages implementation of international measures to “ensure the efficient use of resources, sustainability and affordability of immunization programmes with high impact vaccines,” as mentioned in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP). Furthermore, New Zealand notes many public and private sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. New Zealand recognizes the cause of these outbreaks predominantly are caused by the lack of information and credible data, wide infrastructure gaps, and constrained institutional capacity. The New Zealand Urban Resilience Programme (TURP) employs coordinated and strategic action to improve New Zealand’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and adapt to a changing climate, as well as to withstand and rapidly recover from shock. TURP uses a multi-sectoral approach to respond to these needs and challenges. When developing a national strategic plan, New Zealand encourages the following to be considered: developing programmes of capacity- building and technical assistance, including a government and CSO grant programmes, for innovations, scaling up community-based activities, advocating the distribution of practical tools and providing education opportunities to increase technical knowledge among citizens, and most importantly, adopting multisectoral approaches to strengthen emergency management. New Zealand recognizes that independent monitoring and regular reporting of preparedness is the solution to tackle outbreaks, pandemics, and other emergencies with health consequences.

Country:Pakistan
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The Beijing Declaration, a resolution focusing on principles concerning the equality of men and women, was put into practice during the Fourth World Conference on Women held by the UN in 1995. The document declared for all participating governments in the conference to “advance the goals of equality, development, and peace for all women everywhere in the interest of all humanity,” and for the implementation of previously similar human rights documents such as the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. These documents display clear outlines of the inalienable and undeniable rights of women to be treated without discrimination, and how access to these rights for women would sustain a socially and intellectually richer society. The declaration also emphasizes the necessity of women’s participation in politics and business, with the use of female leaders being linked to attaining local, national, regional, and global peace. The document ensures to mention some emphasis on global protection of women and girls, in particular, realizing the vulnerability of that demographic and the transgressions against women that happen around the world. The last essential piece of this document is the responsibility placed on men to uphold these rights for women, as women’s rights are human rights and thus should be treated as such by all societies globally.
Continuing on the basis of human rights, the Incheon Strategy, a document implementing policies directed towards the rights of persons with disabilities, was discussed at the 2012 ESCAP conference and signed by all participating nations from Asia and the Pacific. These ideas focus on the accessibility of society to people having one or more disabilities. Proposed by Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, the Incheon Strategy to “Make the Right Real” originated from the two previous Asian and Pacific Decades of Disabled Person conferences, 1993–2002 and 2003–2012, and promises a disability-inclusive post-2015 development agenda for countries using this strategy for the almost 650 million people living with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific region. Key proponents of this plan recognize and hope to abolish the stereotyping and discrimination disabled people face and realize the need for accessibility in public places to ensure the participation of the disability community in public affairs. It also encourages the inclusivity of disabled groups in the economy, thus lessening the severe poverty gap those with disabilities face. This plan goes further to specify the ways one can administer these practices and principles on the national, subregional, and regional levels of a nation. The Incheon is especially thought to be effective because of its attention to a certain set of goals during a time-bound period. This plan will be implemented from 2013-2022, until the next Asian and Pacific Decades of Disabled Person conference in 2023.
The topic of implementing the Beijing Declaration and Incheon Strategy is one we support as a nation through our constitution, as discrimination based on sex is prohibited. However, as an Islamic Republic, we encourage that women focus on feminine duties of the house and men prioritize masculine duties outside of the house. In the past, as a nation, we have struggled to unify the varying and severe differences between religious law and constitutional law, since the variance, especially in the rights of women, continues to plague our society with terrorist groups using violence to target groups and advertise for their radical politics. In recent years, our agenda on the development of women has progressed with more educated and literate girls in our communities, as well as women holding positions of power in society. Most recently, we have implemented a new program entitled “Pakistan 2025: One Nation -- One Vision” in 2014 to take advantage of our brief period of stability after the volatile tensions that plagued our government for the last sixty years. We believe that a shared commitment to a common vision will ensure we as a nation can develop and grow to become one of the strongest and fastest- growing nations. The seven main pillars of the vision include Sustained Indigenous Inclusive Growth, Energy Food and Water Security, Democratic Governance Institutional Reform and Modernization of Public Sector, Human, and Social Capital, Private Sector led Growth, Developing a Competitive Knowledge Economy Through Value Addition, and Modernized Infrastructure and Strengthen Regional Connectivity. All of these key elements curate a nation with a higher rule of law, social justice, and peace and security for the people. This ‘vision’ we have for the next coming years exemplifies our want for a unified and secure Pakistan.
One key obstacle we face despite our proposed solutions is the lack of unification within our nation. This disconnectivity, in addition to the volatile tensions of our neighboring regions in the Middle East, continues to plague our nation’s community with ideas of corruption and power. Specifically, we lack the resources to reinforce the themes or constitution and put the rights of our people into practice. Furthermore, we recognize the issues we have had with radical religion and terrorism targeting vulnerable groups such as women, girls, and women with disabilities, and are actively attempting to subdue any further problematic groups within our nation through our powerful military force. Specifically talking on the reintegration and acceleration of the Beijing Declaration and the Incheon Strategy, we would happily work with countries similar to us in development and technology on improved methods of regulation of rights and the enforcement of constitutional law. We also would like to mention the highly unpredictable and unstable government of our neighboring nation Afghanistan, which is a new and prioritized threat to Pakistan’s already fragile infrastructure.

Country:Pakistan
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
We approach cross-border disasters with the knowledge and understanding that they are inherently destructive to the health and safety of our citizens, specifically vulnerable groups such as women, children, and refugees. As a country whose population is the fifth largest in the world, cross-border disasters pose a significant threat to our nation and its population. Pakistan is located in a seismically active area, experiences regular flooding during the July-September monsoon season, is often impacted by cyclones and droughts, and landslides occur frequently. In 2019, Pakistan was ranked 8th out of the 10 worst affected countries by climate change on the Climate Risk Index on the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) report, and is currently one of the most disaster-prone countries in South Asia, having suffered around USD 18 billion in damages in the past decade. The destruction caused by natural disasters often impacts vulnerable groups in the region, especially migrant refugees, as in 2019 there were around 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in our country. Natural disasters also have a profound impact on economic growth, harming infrastructure and assets in a way that negatively impacts the annual GDP of Pakistan. The threat of climate change and its ability to generate an increasing number of intensified natural disasters poses a great threat to the population, economic growth, and long-term infrastructure of our country.
Pakistan has notably worked to develop a vigorous institutional structure for disaster risk management. In 2005, after the Kashmir earthquake, Pakistan created the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) to give responsibility for earthquake recovery and post-earthquake recovery. The National Disaster Management (NDM) Act was enacted in 2010 to increase disaster risk management at the federal, provincial, and district levels. This act also created the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PSMAs), and District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs). The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP), which was implemented in 2012 and will continue until 2022, was created to manage different types of disasters by using risk reduction policies, strategies, measures, and actions while using costs for the 10-year period. Pakistan’s main federal policy-making body related to disasters is the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC), which works to implement and coordinate disaster risk management measures across our country. We are also working to reduce economic disparities by creating safety nets that would reduce financial problems that result from natural disasters. Some of these safety nets include the Workers Welfare Fund, the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution, the Zakat Fund, the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, and the Benazir Income Support Program.
Recognizing the increasing threat of climate change and its ability to create an increased number of catastrophic short and long-term natural disasters, Pakistan is working to create solutions to lessen the impact of said disasters. Investment in a disaster management fund would prove to be beneficial to this committee, as it would reduce the economic impacts on countries affected by natural disasters. Pakistan has set up a national disaster management fund, but our country has been facing an increasing number of natural disasters that often cause a need for a larger amount of financial resources than is previously set aside in the fund. We rely heavily on international agencies to strengthen our financial resources, so an international disaster management fund that would be supported by the members of ESCAP would be a beneficial resource in combating the negative impacts natural disasters have on national economies and infrastructure. Furthermore, Pakistan emphasizes the importance of the 2015-2030 Sendai Framework and its focus on disaster risk reduction. Early warning and disaster monitoring are valuable components in reducing the impacts of natural disasters and threats to infrastructure and individuals. We also stress the importance of addressing socio-economic vulnerabilities, specifically for at-risk individuals, such as refugees and the poor. Financial safety nets significantly decrease the effects that natural disasters have on the ability of vulnerable individuals to financially support themselves.
We reaffirm the importance of creating and funding disaster risk initiatives to combat the destruction caused by natural disasters. Understanding that an increase in natural disasters will occur due to climate change is key to realizing the timely need for disaster risk management and strategies to lessen the negative economic impacts in the future.

Country:Philippines
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
As a growing and prominent nation in Asia and the Pacific, the Republic of the Philippines has carefully considered the issue of disability inclusion for all citizens. Our government also recognizes the competing interests of both development and sustainability in regards to disability inclusion. At this time, the Philippines has made substantial strides to make sustainable development inclusive to people with disabilities. The Philippines was the 23rd country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which led to the establishment of more inclusive rights for people with disabilities. Internally, the Philippines has supported special education facilities, employment assistance, and free healthcare. Likewise, local governments involve people—especially people with disabilities—within the Persons of Disabilities office; furthermore, we have created a day celebrating women with disabilities. The Philippines has always outwardly supported the Beijing Declaration and Incheon Strategy, which supports and further implements the rights for people with disabilities. In order to resolve the issue of sustainable development for people with disabilities, the Philippines would like to first, and foremost, emphasize the roles that data collection and analysis play in forming and creating policy. The Philippines encourages its fellow members of ECOSOC to establish a project that focuses on a standardized data collection. In addition to data collection, women with disabilities are equally as important and especially vulnerable in this context of debate. The Philippines has been giving out persons with disabilities (PWD) cards to those that have disabilities. We believe there should be a worldwide effort for this standard. Governments should specifically seek out ways to include women in this process. The Philippines remains open to other ways for disability inclusion, and we look forward to collaboration with other countries.

Country:Philippines
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Currently, Asia has limited resistance to cross-border disasters. The Philippines is especially affected by these natural disasters; we have an annual average of 20 typhoons entering our area. The Philippines commits itself to mitigating the risk of cross-border disasters. Within Asia, the Philippines has served as a leader in terms of domestic policy surrounding natural disasters. Our government supports our Climate Change Commission, which focuses on policy making, coordinating, and monitoring climate change. Likewise, our Risk Reduction and Management Plan for 2020-2030 acknowledges the relation between disaster risk reduction, climate change policy, and human security. The National Resilience Council (NRC) reflects the goals of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, and the United Nations’ Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Making Cities Resilient Campaign.The NRC is a lead partner with the UNDRR’s Alliance for Disaster Resilience Societies Philippines. To resolve the damaging effects of cross-border disasters, the Philippines encourages fellow member states to collaborate on building resilience towards these disasters. One way to do this would be creating a fund and action plan to provide reliable infrastructure in the most vulnerable cities. In addition to providing infrastructure, we have seen increased homelessness, poverty, and refugees to displaced peoples. The Philippines supports an effort to open borders to refugees when these crises arise. We would also like to see emergency U.N. personnel help facilitate trade amongst disaster-prone areas. This would also benefit global trade and the interconnectedness of the global economy. It is in our hopes that the Philippines will see collaboration with other states in an effort to create cross-border disaster resiliency.

Country:Republic of Korea
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The Beijing Declaration put a strong focus on protecting the rights and freedoms of women on an international scale. The Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy prioritized disability-inclusion, both internationally and regionally. The Beijing Declaration was passed in 1995, and the Incheon Strategy was passed only in 2017. This shows the recent focus on the defense of women’s rights as well as the rights of the disabled. Both are crucial for building a more sustainable international community. Many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are only accessible through equity for women and the disabled community. In 1948, the Republic of Korea gave women equal constitutional rights, which pushed women to pursue higher education as well as become more economically involved. The Republic of Korea also passed the Equal Employment Act of 1987, in order to ensure that women have an equal opportunity during the hiring process. A year later, the Presidential Commission on Women’s Affairs was launched and renamed the Ministry of Gender Equality in 2001. The Republic of Korea has also passed the Welfare Law for Persons with Disabilities, which protects people with disabilities from political, economic, social, and cultural discrimination. As a country that believes in complete equality for people of all genders, people with disabilities, as well as a nation that pushes for sustainability, the Republic of Korea thinks that Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) should partner with UN Women in order to more effectively implement the Beijing Declaration and the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy internationally. In Asia and the Pacific Islands specifically, the use of funds from non- governmental organizations (NGOs) as well as the presence of UN Peacekeepers or groups like the Peace Corps could help push legislation that fights for both equality and sustainability.

Country:Republic of Korea
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The Asia-Pacific region is the most disaster-prone in the world through many types of natural disasters that affect millions of people every year. This problem affects Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 (Zero Hunger), and 3 (Good Health and Well Being). These natural disasters prevent people from getting food which leads to negative health effects. Many Member States in the Asia-Pacific region are affected by these natural disasters, which harm the economies of these Member States. In the past, a cross-border disaster system the United Nations set up was the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). As guided by Commission's Resolution 71/12, Member States are encouraged to cooperate in the prevention of disasters like floods and landslides. In 2004 the Republic of Korea established the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and in 2005 the Republic of Korea established the Natural Disasters Act which introduced significant natural disaster prevention policies, and the enactment of the Storm and Flood Insurance Act (SFIA), and the private function of voluntary disaster prevention measures was improved. The Republic of Korea is surrounded by bodies of water on three sides of our land, so the Republic of Korea has a lot of experience when it comes to oceanic cross-border disasters. The Republic of Korea looks forward to sharing its experiential knowledge with fellow Member States. The Republic of Korea looks forward to the upcoming conference to create solutions that will positively impact Member States and their citizens.

Country:Russian Federation
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Actions taken in the name of including persons with disabilities in development plans have made great progress in the past 40 years. Yet, there is still much more work to be done. Over 80 percent of people with disabilities live in the developing world. The disabled population through Asia and the Pacific face severe income and education limitations. Brought forth by social attitudes, design of infrastructure, and access to essential resources. The development goals of the Incheon Strategy have fallen short of relieving the aforementioned inequalities. The efforts put forth by both the Incheon Strategy and the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan. Displayed a renewed vigor to ensure that member states are actively incorporating disability- inclusive mechanisms. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseen phenomenon and as a result, has led to a degradation of disability-inclusivity actions. The gap between disabled and non-disabled personals has continued to widen in recent months since COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination sites lack the accommodations necessary to serve a disabled population.
ESCAP can help alleviate the inequalities faced by disabled populations through a multitude of actions. Firstly, through the immediate lens of the current pandemic distribution of guidance to member states encouraging the elimination of potential obstacles to the access of healthcare facilities. Along with improving healthcare coverage and affordability for those persons with disabilities. Additionally, the UN should form generalized policies on the treatment and inclusion of disabled persons by member states. These policies could ensure many basic protections and rights for disabled people will be instituted by all member states. While still allowing for any additional modifications on a per member state basis.

Country:Russian Federation
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The region finds itself at the convergence of two tectonic plates which makes the region very prone to earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and other natural disasters. Since 2016, the region has endured over 1,000 natural disasters making it the most prone area of the world for natural disasters. 1.4 billion people have been affected with an estimated half a trillion dollars in damages done in the area. One of the most notable issues was the Fukushima disaster in which 18,000 were killed and several countries affected by the contaminants that infected the Pacific Ocean. In order to address the problem, the UN has set up the United Nations Office for Disaster Relief Reduction which would assist any nations in the Middle East with natural disasters. More recently, the United Nations established the Sendai Framework which established a list of priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risks. The UN has also established space technology to use for regional cooperation in the battle against predicting possible circumstances for future disasters. Some things that must be done in order to better prepare the region for a natural disaster would be to promote better relations between neighboring nations.Many nations have uneasy relations with one another and are working together to provide aid to nations who are suffering from natural disasters. The second thing that must be done is that there must be building codes established on a universal scale in order to prepare the buildings for natural disasters. The third thing there is to be done is to establish a regional relief fund in order to ensure that when one nation is under duress, their regions relief fund is established and ready to aid them in any way possible. In order for this to be done there must be better relations between the countries in the region.

Country:Thailand
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
As we continue the drive to further develop our world at a sustainable rate, Thailand believes that those with disabilities should not be left behind. We recognize the difficulties those with disabilities face, and we are deeply disturbed by the lack of education and labor opportunities disabled persons have access to in our region. In agreeance with the Beijing Declaration, Thailand believes that Asian and Pacific countries should continue their progress in providing accessibility to those with disabilities. As other UN committees and organizations have stepped in to help shrink the gap between disabled and abled-bodied peoples, there is no better time to work towards our 2030 goal for inclusivity in education, industry, and the UN and hold countries accountable for not making genuine strides towards that goal. Thailand also recognizes the harsher effect that COVID-19 has had on people with disabilities. Accessibility to those with disabilities should be considered when further creating testing areas and distributing vaccines related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly displayed the gap between those who are disabled and those who are not, giving even more reason for us to recognize the importance of abiding by the Beijing Declaration. People with disabilities should be considered in all development and pandemic-related issues.

Country:Thailand
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Noting that the Asia-Pacific region is vulnerable to many different forms of natural disasters, Thailand is proud of the longstanding collaboration our region has been a part of to track, prepare for, and appropriately respond to natural disasters. As climate change has affected the frequency and severity of natural disasters, the Economic Commission on Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) must continue to develop and strengthen our joint preparations and responses to these disasters. All nations within the ESCAP should be adhering to the goals set by the Sendai Framework in 2015, as Thailand believes this is the best way to combat worsening natural disasters fueled by climate change. Each nation in our region should have an understanding of the progressing tracking technology and the changes in recommended infrastructure. Without the cooperation of the entire region, natural disasters will continue to devastate our countries.

Country:Turkmenistan
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The topic of implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy is of the utmost importance to our country. The Beijing Declaration reflects many of the rights already guaranteed to all citizens of Turkmenistan. We have worked since gaining our independence as a nation to create equality between men and women. The United Nations has worked closely with Turkmenistan to achieve many of the nation’s goals in the past thirty years. Great strides have been made by our country, but much room still exists for the Incheon Strategy to be implemented domestically as well as within the broader international community. We echo the sentiments of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it relates to guaranteed security for disabled persons and guarantees for the rights of all peoples. Persons with disabilities are often some of the least valued and most underrepresented members of society. As our population grows, we will see a greater number of these individuals, meaning we must improve our frameworks and infrastructures to ensure that they are granted the rights guaranteed by Member States and the United Nations. As it stands, there is still much progress to be made. Turkmenistan supports the recodification of both the Beijing Declaration and Incheon Strategy and the implementation of more strategies to aid in the success of previously stated goals of the United Nations. We look forward to continued cooperation with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in establishing pathways to help all Member States make the necessary strides to achieve the goals of the Incheon Strategy.

Country:Turkmenistan
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Located in an active seismic zone, Turkmenistan and other central Asian nations are at a significant risk of experiencing a number of natural disasters, most notably—earthquakes. Each year, these earthquakes affect millions of people in the region and result in billions of dollars of economic loss. In addition to an earthquake’s immediate effects, subsequent hazards such as fires, landslides, and flooding can exacerbate damage to the region and inhibit recovery efforts.
Given that climate experts expect these events to further intensify from climate change, Turkmenistan believes disaster resilience must be made a priority moving forward. As such, Turkmenistan supports cross-border collaboration on this issue, and welcomes cooperation on infrastructure investment and disaster relief efforts with its surrounding nations. In addition, the government of Turkmenistan has made a commitment to continue work on this matter with the United Nations through 2021 joint action plans concerning the coordination of emergency preparedness and response efforts and encourages other nations in the region to develop similar agreements to create their own disaster risk reduction plans. Natural disasters have always had little consideration for established borders, and since the economic effects of these disasters can be felt all across the world, Turkmenistan believes that the international community has a vested interest in collaboration and will support international efforts addressing disaster mitigation and resilience in the region.

Country:United States of America
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
Fifteen percent of the global population has a physical or mental disability, which the World Health Organization defines as a ‘personal impairment which interacts with social or environmental factors in negative ways. While more than 80 percent of people with disabilities live in the developing world, the United States of America is also susceptible to this issue; as of 2010 there was a 46.4% gap between the employment rate of disabled and non-disabled people. Employment rates are a concern, among others such as: access to resources, equal education, and participation in politics and other social processes. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 explains that employers and organizations receiving federal funding cannot discriminate on the basis of disability; Section 504 specifically forbids them from denying individuals with disabilities access to all program benefits and services. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations (such as restaurants, doctors’ offices, libraries, parks, etc.), transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Many of those goals align very closely with goals in the Beijing Declaration and Action Plan published by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 2017. However, the United States of America still has not ratified the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Moving forward, it is unlikely that the United States will ratify the CRPD anytime soon because of controversy about whether or not it infringes on the USA’s sovereignty, and many of the pieces cannot be implemented at the federal level, as education procedures are determined by each state within the United States. The United States of America would like to focus more on things related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which focused on more options for long-term support for individuals with disabilities as well as high quality, affordable healthcare. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and any other future crises, it is important that public health departments ensure individuals with disabilities have access to necessary goods and services.

Country:United States of America
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Tragedies and disasters happen worldwide. Many of these disasters are rapid-onset, such as earthquakes, volcanos, and hurricanes. However, there are also slow-onset crises such as drought or conflict that can affect a nation. The damage dealt by these disasters is insurmisable and often harms not only the nation’s economy, but its citizens as well. In cases of domestic disasters, the United States has put into place the 1988 Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Assessment to coordinate efforts to respond quickly and efficiently when need be. In efforts to lessen the harm done by these disasters abroad, the United States created the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Since the creation of OFDA, the United States has responded to an average of 65 disasters in over 50 countries each year. In addition to OFDA, the United States has also worked with the Council on Foreign Relations and has created the U.S. Agency for International Disasters to send whatever is most needed to those affected by the disaster.
The United States recognizes the need for nation states to come together to help each other in times of need. Pushing for collaboration and cooperation, the United States is working with the United Nations, as well as other countries, to be as helpful as possible when disaster strikes. The United States has partnered with the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination, as well as NGOs such as the American Red Cross and Direct Relief. It is very difficult to watch global neighbors struggling, and the United States is dedicated to helping. Although the United States understands that it is difficult for some nation states to provide help, working together is needed now more than ever. Help can come in many forms, whether it be through sending provisions such as food or clothing, financial assistance, or sending able bodied persons to help, every effort matters. No amount of help is too small, and the United States urges other countries to recognize this and continue helping when and where they are able.

Country:Uzbekistan
Topic: Towards disability-inclusive sustainable development: implementation of the Beijing Declaration, including the Action Plan to Accelerate the Implementation of the Incheon Strategy
Paper text:
The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development needs to be a priority. In order for the new development framework to provide necessary services to persons with disabilities, cooperation between mainstream disability-focused organizations and Disabled People’s organizations.
Uzbekistan observed International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3, 2020 and continues to encourage full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development. This past spring, daily television news broadcasts began including simultaneous sign-language translation for deaf viewers. UzReport TV worked with the government to share information about COVID-19 briefings. Originally created to help reach vulnerable groups, the program has been a great success and will continue.
Citizens with disabilities in Uzbekistan and around the world must endure great challenges in their daily life. More resources are needed to provide easier ways for such individuals to go to school, learn to read and stay informed. To this end, the 2013 Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled is an important step. So far, 76 countries have ratified the treaty, and Uzbekistan is encouraged to join them. Uzbekistan hopes to work with member-states to increase this number.

Country:Uzbekistan
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
The Central Asian regions a vast region includes the countries of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Natural disasters in this region range from floods to drought. Earthquakes, avalanches and landslides are also common. The region has experienced major earthquakes that have almost destroyed some of its largest cities: Almaty in 1911, Ashgabat in 1948, and Tashkent in 1966.
Nearly 2 million people in Central Asia are affected each year by floods and other weather events. The economic loss is over $3.5 billion and climate change is guaranteed to increase the risk and devastation of floods.
Disaster resilience for Central Asian governments is a priority. Coordinated country-specific efforts, will help countries improve disaster management programs. Because natural disasters do not recognize borders, the importance of addressing climate change and mitigating its consequences through regional cooperation is a priority of Central Asian government leaders. Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan's Ferghana Valley is an example of the need for regional cooperation. The valley is densely populated and is spread across eastern Uzbekistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and northern Tajikistan. It also features the Usoi dam on Lake Sarez in Tajikistan, whose waters reach as far as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.
If a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or flood, strikes in the Ferghana Valley, it could impact several countries at a time and affect millions of people. The cross-boundary nature of such a natural disaster clearly calls for stronger cross-border collaboration. Uzbekistan looks forward to working with member states to promote regional cooperation and coordination to address cross-border disasters.

Country:Viet Nam
Topic: Building resilience to cross-border disasters
Paper text:
Natural disasters pose a large threat across the world. They are unavoidable, and leave only destruction and death in their wake. Asia and the Pacific are no strangers to these disasters. From earthquakes to landslides, tsunamis to storms, each country has its own experience with these natural disasters. And despite efforts to rebuild on their own, countries in the Asia and Pacific often find themselves relying on aid from countries outside of this geographic area. While this aid is readily available, many countries in Asia and the Pacific are very independent, and desire to survive and thrive without relying on so much outside help. Vietnam is just one of many countries affected by these natural disasters. In the past few years, the country has experienced destructive storms, flash floods, landslides, and more. Last year alone, over 300 were killed due to these natural disasters. The struggles of the Vietnamese people are at the forefront of this delegation’s mind; Vietnam only wishes to have a stable source of aid for its people when the country itself cannot supply it. However, Vietnam hopes to work towards a solution without so much aid from Western countries. While Vietnam is thankful for their aid, Vietnam hopes that they can become more independent and powerful without relying on the help of others who do not truly understand what the country has gone through. Vietnam hopes that, in collaboration with other countries in ESCAP, an agreement could be found where Asian and Pacific countries could provide aid to other countries in their time of need, while also receiving aid when it is needed for themselves. While any aid from countries outside of Asia and the Pacific is greatly appreciated, Vietnam also hopes that this committee can work together to build a force of Asian and Pacific nations that can stand on their own as an independent and powerful group who offer their support to one another in times of need. Vietnam is open to how this would occur; financial aid, Red Cross support, and more are all within the realm of possibilities. Vietnam also hopes that the countries of this committee work together to become more independent of Western influences, and that others will realize the power they have and how much stronger they will be if these countries all unite together.

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