New ESCAP reports highlight regional cooperation and integration as key to achieving sustainable development
Regional cooperation and integration will be key to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in East and North-East Asia, according to two new reports launched by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today, in partnership with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA).
The reports, ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in East and North-East Asia’ and ‘Unlocking the Potential for East and North-East Asian Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration,’ highlight significant challenges facing the subregion, where a large number of people still live in poverty and socio-economic inequalities continue to grow. In addition, there is an urgent need to address issues of climate change and natural disasters, as well as resource and energy inefficiency. With population ageing taking place at an unprecedented speed, these challenges require a transformative shift in policies to support sustainable development.
Speaking at today’s launch in Seoul, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations said, “Continued international cooperation on the Sustainable Development Goals and for economic cooperation and integration will deliver real improvements for people, and support more stable and inclusive societies, which will lead to the ‘future we want.’”
During her opening remarks, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar reiterated the importance of regional cooperation in achieving the 2030 Agenda. “Development of a common vision for East and North-East Asia has been challenging but it has great potential for achieving sustainable development both at subregional and regional levels by bringing synergies between the SDGs and regional economic cooperation and integration.”
The speakers also raised policy actions for moving forward, including the creation of institutional mechanisms to foster collaboration among member States, and the implementation of transformative policies and measures to address climate change.
ESCAP will hold the High-Level Dialogue on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration for Enhancing Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok from 20 to 21 April this year. The forum will provide a platform to discuss regional actions on moving towards the formation of an integrated market, development of seamless connectivity in the region, and enhancing financial cooperation, along with increasing economic cooperation to address shared vulnerabilities and risks.