UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

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Directed by Liz Rosen

Click here for Background Guide

Poverty Alleviation Via Rural Transportation

For the many people who live in rural, remote areas of Asia and the Pacific, transportation is a key concern that determines access to healthcare, education, and employment. The positive correlation between infrastructure access and poverty is well studied, but there are many barriers standing in the way of improved road networks. UNESCAP will have to incentivize long-term planning to improve rural transportation, rather than relying on short-term measures like the gravel roads that prevail throughout much of the developing world. Another issue is security challenges, such as the many unexploded ordinances that litter Southeast Asia. Lastly, the body will have to address the risks posed by increased traffic in previously undeveloped areas and the ensuing dangers to humans and the environment.

Urban Planning in the Age of the Megacity

According to the UN World Urbanization Prospects, in 2030 the world’s top six megacities will all be in Asia. Globalization has pushed ever greater numbers of people into cities at breakneck speed. As a result, infrastructure and governmental services often cannot keep up. Ensuing inequality deteriorates faith in governance, enables criminal and terrorist activities, and limits the ability of the government to provide services in the future. Organic and uncontrolled urbanization also creates vulnerabilities to natural disasters, which are common and intense in Asia. In order to create a foundation for development, policymakers must consider solutions to the rapid, ad hoc urbanization occurring throughout Asia and the Pacific.

This is a double delegation committee.