As we mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, millions of people across Asia and the Pacific are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after being hit by a relentless barrage of tropical storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Sadly many people died in these disasters.
This year the international community has the opportunity to do something very concrete to tackle the impoverishment associated with climate disasters in the developing world.
Welcome to the cluster meeting of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
At the outset, let me express my thanks to the Royal Government of Thailand for agreeing to host both this meeting here in Pattaya, and the launch of the 2009 Human Development Report on migration which took place in Bangkok on Monday. We are very appreciative of the hospitality of the government and people of Thailand.
I am also very grateful that H.E. Mr. Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao People's Democratic Republic, has made time to be with us.