The 7th session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) concluded on 28 November 2012 in Bangkok. The Governing Council, the top decision making body of the Programme, elected Kazakhstan as Chair country for one year. It takes the succession of Turkmenistan, which chaired SPECA for the period 2010-2012.
At the meeting, Jawed Ludin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, expressed his country’s strong support for SPECA and offered to chair the Programme in 2013-2014. A side event of the Governing Council was devoted to assessing progress in the implementation of decisions of the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in the SPECA framework. The Representative of Afghanistan as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, and the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Central Asia, Miroslav Jenca, expressed support to the development and implementation in the SPECA framework of projects facilitating regional economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. This would be particularly important to consolidate Afghanistan’s “transformation decade" starting in 2014. The meeting called upon multilateral and bilateral donors to provide increased funding to such projects.
In his opening remarks at the Governing Council Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and UNECE Executive Secretary Sven Alkalaj underlined the importance of a thorough discussion of regional aspects of the post 2015 development agenda and implementation of the Rio+20 priorities in the SPECA framework, as recommended by the Economic Forum.
The Governing Council also took note with appreciation of the Proposals on strengthening SPECA presented by UNECE and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). It welcomed the offer by their Executive Secretaries, Sven Alkalaj and Noeleen Heyzer, to undertake consultations in the capitals of SPECA member countries on these Proposals in the course of 2013, with a view to present these to the next session of the Governing Council that will be hosted by Kazakhstan in the last quarter of 2013.
The Governing Council was preceded by the 2012 SPECA Economic Forum under the title “Strengthening Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Central Asia by Sharing the Asian Experience” held on 27 and 28 November 2012. The session allowed participants to reflect on the relevance of the experience of various Asian and Eurasian economic cooperation and integration organizations for Central Asia.
For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/speca/welcome.html
Note to editors
The SPECA meetings gathered in Bangkok Government leaders and researchers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, together with intergovernmental organizations and financial institutions working in Central Asia. The events were convened by UNECE and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).