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In Asia-Pacific 455 million people without electricity

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Staff writer | Tuesday June 21, 2016 4:35PM ET
APAC without electricity
APAC   UN energy seminar opens with focus on universal energy access

The inaugural United Nations global seminar on supporting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 to ensure universal energy access by 2030, opened in Bangkok.


Experts underlined that despite worldwide efforts, much remains to be achieved for the most isolated and disadvantaged communities, where energy poverty continues exasperating the cycle of extreme poverty.

At the opening session, Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) highlighted that whilst extraordinary development gains have been made over the past few decades, energy access remains a major challenge in Asia-Pacific, where 455 million people are living without access to electricity and 2.06 billion rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating.

The Seminar, from 21 to 23 June 2016 is being jointly organized by ESCAP, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development and (UNOSD), in cooperation with UN-Energy and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL).

In his opening address, Jong-Soo Yoon, Director of UNOSD said: “Although efforts are being made to address the issue of universal energy access and its linkages with other sustainable development factors and sectors, many challenges and barriers remain that need to be assessed and overcome.”

Ivan Vera, UN Energy-Secretary, UNDESA added: “This Seminar represents a first of a series of events being organized by the UN to provide a platform for all stakeholders for discussion and analysis of the most critical issues affecting progress in the core targets of the Sustainable Development Goal on energy of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The Seminar will culminate in an outcome document with recommendations to help address gaps and accelerate implementation of SDG 7.

The outcome document will represent an input to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) to be held in New York from 11 to 20 July 2016.

The HLPF is the United Nation’s central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs.

 

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