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ASEAN Workshop Calls for Pro-poor Growth, Inter-sectoral Coordination in MDGs and Post-2015 Agenda

16 August 2012: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened a two-day regional workshop in Yangon, Myanmar, on strategies to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and identification of priorities for the post-2015 development agenda.

The workshop, hosted jointly by the Government of Myanmar, the ASEAN Secretariat and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), was a follow-up to the ASEAN Roadmap for the Attainment of MDGs, adopted in August 2011.

The workshop took place from 30-31 July 2012, and involved 135 policy makers from ASEAN Member States in discussions of good practice, lessons learned and shared challenges in achieving the MDGs. Myanmar Information and Culture Minister U Kyaw Hsan called for a focus on pro-poor growth in the post-2015 development agenda, noting that some ASEAN Member States require assistance in specific areas. Anuradha Rajivan of the UNDP Asia-Pacific Regional Centre (APRC) reported that poverty reduction achievements in ASEAN mask rural-urban and gender inequalities, highlighting the need for disaggregated indicators of progress.

Participants reflected on the ASEAN community-building agenda and the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), calling for closer coordination between sectors including nutrition, water supply and sanitation, and women's empowerment. They concluded the workshop with plans to undertake a regional assessment of progress towards achieving MDGs in ASEAN Member States, updating a 2008 study. [ASEAN Press Release] [UNDP-APRC Website]