Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana assumes helm of UNESCAP
Deeper regional cooperation to tackle transboundary challenges while accelerating implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
Dr Armida Alisjahbana, the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), officially took office today in Bangkok.
“The Asia-Pacific region has in recent decades seen remarkable social and economic progress,” said Ms. Alisjahbana. “Much of this success has been built on strong foundations – on the richness and diversity of its cultures, and on the energy of the people who have changed the world by transforming their own economies. However, the fruits of this innovation and ingenuity can only be fully realised once we bring meaningful and sustainable change to the lives of ordinary people.”
“Going forward,” Ms. Alisjahbana continued, “deepening regional cooperation will be critical to tackling a range of transboundary issues. Challenges that threaten to undo much of the hard-won gains require collective solutions.”
Ms. Alisjahbana’s leadership at the helm of the UN’s regional development arm comes at a crucial time as the global organization undergoes its own reforms while stepping up its support to countries to implement the ambitious targets set out by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“ESCAP has the opportunity to lead from the front. It is important that we focus our efforts and resources where we can have the most impact.”
Prior to joining ESCAP, Ms. Alisjahbana was Professor of Economics at Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung, Indonesia, a position she assumed in 2005.
From 2009 to 2014, she was Minister of National Development Planning and the Head of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Indonesia. She served as Co-chair of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation from 2012 to 2014. From 2009 to 2014, she was Alternate Governor of the World Bank and Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank representing the government of Indonesia.
In 2016, she was a member of the High Level Independent Team of Advisors to support the ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer-term positioning of the United Nations Development System in the context of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
Ms. Alisjahbana earned her Bachelor degree in Economics and Development Studies from Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia, a Masters degree in Economics from Northwestern University, USA and a Ph.D. in Economics from University of Washington, USA.
She was awarded the Mahaputra Adipradana Order (Bintang Mahaputra Adipradana) from the Republic of Indonesia, honorary brevet from the Indonesian Navy and honorary flight wing from the Indonesian Air Force.
Mr. Ricardo Dunn, Chief, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP
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