UN-led conference on civil registration kicks off in Bangkok

Bangkok (ESCAP News) — Over 200 ministers, senior officials and experts
from Asia and the Pacific will come together in Bangkok today to launch the
first-ever Ministerial Conference on Civil Registration and Vital
Statistics (CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific.

As many as 135 million children under the age of five in Asia and the
Pacific have not had their births registered and 9 out of 10 people in the
region live in countries with unreliable death statistics, leaving records
incomplete and governments at a loss to plan for the current and future
needs of their populations.

Under the theme ?Get every one in the picture?, the conference is being
convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific (ESCAP) from 24 to 28 November. The conference will focus on
generating commitment and accountability through setting regional goals and
national targets for accelerating efforts to improve CRVS systems. An
expected outcome is that the Conference will proclaim a CRVS Decade of
action on CRVS in Asia and the Pacific.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP
Executive Secretary, Ms. Nobuko Horibe, Regional Director for Asia and the
Pacific, UNFPA and Ms. Lisa Grace Bersales, Chair of the ESCAP Committee on
Statistics and National Statistician/Civil Registrar General of the
Philippines will address the opening of the senior officials segment on 24
November.

Over the next few days, government delegations will review the draft
ministerial declaration to ?Get every one in the picture? in Asia and the
Pacific for possible adoption by the Conference. The draft ministerial
declaration expresses the commitment of governments to achieve the shared
vision that by 2024, all people in Asia and the Pacific will benefit from
universal and responsive CRVS systems that facilitate the realization of
their rights and support good governance, health and development.

Dr. Akhtar, H.E. General Anupong Paojinda, Minister of Interior, Thailand
and Mr. Daniel Toole, Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific,
UNICEF will open the ministerial segment on 27 November. This will be
followed by a ministerial round table on CRVS and the post-2015 development
agenda moderated by Dr. Akhtar. The session will focus on how
well-functioning CRVS systems are central to achieving the new global
development agenda by providing the foundation for good governance and
effective national institutions.

During the ministerial segment, Asia-Pacific government leaders and
policymakers will highlight their policy priorities for the proposed ?Asian
and Pacific CRVS Decade? of 2015-2024, and will share their achievements,
challenges and expectations for regional collaboration on CRVS. As part of
their commitment to implementing the regional action framework, they will
also announce national targets to be achieved by the conclusion of the
Decade in 2024.

Alongside the conference, special sessions organized by development
partners will highlight a range of issues surrounding CRVS. A session on
youth entitled ?Youth voices matter: Get us in the picture!? co-organized
by Plan International and UNICEF will take place on Wednesday, 26 November,
where Asia-Pacific youth will speak up for the millions of young people in
the region who are denied legal identity. Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the United
Nations Secretary General?s Envoy on Youth, will moderate this session.

The Conference is co-organized by ESCAP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, WHO,
ADB and Plan International, in collaboration with the Partnership for
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the World Bank Group, the Asia Pacific
Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the Partnership for Statistics
Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21), the Secretariat of the Pacific
Community and World Vision.

For more information on the Ministerial, please visit:
http://www.unescap.org/events/ministerial-conference-civil-registration-and-vital-statistics-asia-and-pacific

MEDIA RELEASE.