Working Groups


The quarterly Heads of Agency Meeting (HOAM), held in Bangkok on 25 April 2000 and operating under the aegis of the annual Regional Co-ordination Meeting (RCM), decided to abolish the fourteen Sub-Committees set up under the Regional Inter Agency Committee for Asia and the Pacific (RICAP). Instead the meeting decided to form result-based and time bound Thematic Working Groups (TWG) as a Regional Co-ordination mechanism, which should focus on collaborative activities.

The eleven Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) plan and implement substantive activities involving collaboration of UN agencies. Each group spans country, sub-regional and regional collaboration, according to the needs determined by the participating agencies.

The following TWGs exist:


Education for All (EFA), Post-Dakar

The Asia-Pacific Conference on EFA 2000 Assessment (Bangkok, Thailand, 2000) was held to discuss progress made since the World Conference on EFA (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990) and to agree to an intensified regional and sub-regional collaboration in order to accelerate the process of achieving EFA for the twenty-first century. The regional action plan adopted by the Conference fed into the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal, 2000), which adopted a global action plan, namely the Dakar Framework for Action. 

A number of UN Agencies undertake activities to promote EFA and hence there is a need to harmonise different agency efforts at national, sub-regional and regional levels and to enhance possibilities for joint projects as well as for regular exchange of information on EFA activities. It is for these purposes that the TWG on Education for All was set up. It identifies and prioritises programme actions where regional response of the United Nations System would add value to the follow-ups to the Dakar Framework for Action. The TWG promotes joint programmes, projects and activities in those priority areas and, as deemed necessary, raises funds for those joint activities. It also enhances information sharing and the dissemination of best practices among UN agencies in Thailand and the region.

Environment and Development

The TWG on Environment and Development engages in the exchange of information on the environment and development programmes of the different agencies, and the identification of means to promote complementarity of action and avoid duplication of efforts in order to make the best use of available resources. This includes the formulation of joint projects and activities. The TWG further promotes and reviews the implementation of Agenda 21 and of the outcome of regional as well as sub-regional Ministerial Meetings, and assists in the organisation of sub-regional and regional preparatory meetings for the Rio+10 Conference.


Womanís Empowerment and Gender Equality

The TWG on Womanís Empowerment and Gender Equality serves to enable UN and other related agencies and organisations to promote the empowerment of women and gender equality through exchanging information on ongoing and planned activities, aiming to minimise duplication, co-ordinating and complementing activities, and formulating and implementing collaborative activities. This is done specifically as a follow-up on the regional Jakarta Plan of Action (1994) and the Beijing Platform for Action (1995).

Human Rights and Development

The TWG on Human Rights and Development was set up to achieve a better understanding of the issues and activities that are planned or implemented in the areas of human rights and governance among member agencies through enhanced inter-agency sharing of information, knowledge, experiences, and publications. It works to conduct focussed reviews of specific issues identified within the overall area of governance and human rights, contribute to a joint UN perspective on specific issues where appropriate and possible, and report to the Heads of Agency Meeting (HOAM) current issues of interest regarding governance and human rights initiatives in the region.

UN Sub-Regional Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in South-East Asia and the Pacific

The Sub-Regional UNTG on HIV/AIDS builds upon a number of strategic objectives of the United Nations system response to HIV/AIDS. These include fostering an expanded national response to HIV/AIDS particularly in developing countries, strengthening and co-ordinating United Nations system action on HIV/AIDS at the global, regional and national level, and identifying, developing and advocating best practices. The group attempts to achieve these objectives through information sharing, co-ordinated and joint action, and advocacy.

Social Summit Follow Up

The TWG on Social Summit Follow Up works towards the development of a coherent and co-ordinated inter-agency strategic approach, in particular at the regional level, towards the achievement of specific goals and targets for social development, employment expansion, poverty alleviation and social integration including follow-up activities of the Social Summits and other relevant UN conferences. This is done through information sharing, promoting co-operation and co-ordination, advocacy and the identification of inter-agency activities and programmes.

Poverty Reduction and Food Security

The UN agencies engaged in this TWG exchange their programmes of work relating to Poverty Reduction and  Food  Security and  work  towards the drawing down of a unified national or (sub-) regional advocacy- and work agenda with regard to these issues. This includes the undertaking of joint activities by the different agencies involved.

Trafficking in Women and Children

It is estimated that the past decade has seen a huge increase in the trafficking of people worldwide, a trend that has been characterised by the abuse of basic human rights. Numerous governmental agencies, NGOs, and UN agencies have been working to address the trafficking in this region, often independently. However, the complexity of the task at hand requires a truly collaborative and innovative approach. Trafficking is connected to a vast number of developmental issues. The TWG on Trafficking in Women and Children therefore brings together expertise and networks in all of these areas, including both governmental and non-governmental organisations. It thus provides an opportunity for a co-ordinated, effective response to combating the exploitation and abuse of women and children being trafficked.

UN TWG on HIV/AIDS in Thailand

The TWG on HIV/AIDS in Thailand facilitates advocacy on selected issues related to HIV/AIDS, as well as an improved co-ordination of HIV/AIDS related activities of the UN system in Thailand in its support on effective national response to this issue. Next to this, it promotes and facilitates the increased application and dissemination of national and international best practices within Thailand and outside the country. Furthermore, the TWG co-ordinates technical support for Thailandís efforts in the integration of HIV/ AIDS education, prevention and care strategies into existing and future national programming and projects, and works to mobilise technical and financial resources in support of Thailandís country response to HIV/AIDS.

Disability-related concerns

The main objective of the TWG on Disability-related concerns is to promote multi-sectoral collaborative action directed at the inclusion of disability concerns in all mainstream development policies, programmes and projects. The TWG also promotes policies and legislation for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, the group strives towards enhancing inter-country technical co-operation and information sharing in support of building national and local capabilities on disability-related concerns.

Drug Control and Crime Prevention

The TWG on Drug Control and Crime Prevention promotes drug control and crime prevention within the mandates of UN agencies by providing a forum to exchange information and identify opportunities for synergy, taking into account policies and plans of government and non-government agencies. Specifically, the group aims to share information on relevant plans and activities, to identify the scope and options for joint planning and collaborative action, and to identify emerging trends and issues with implications on drug control and crime prevention policies and priorities.

Information and Communication Technology

During their meeting on 27 September 2001, the Heads of Agency decided to establish a Thematic Working Group on Information and Communication Technology. The working group is in the process of being established and will focus on matters relating to ICT which affect Thailandís development.



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