Presentation delivered by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), at the launch of the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2014: Year-end Update.
Economic growth and sustainable development are not zero sum games. They are both prerequisites of the future we want, mutually reinforcing, and neither can succeed in the absence of the other.
Post-2015 sustainable development has the potential to break new ground. Its conceptual framework is anchored in an integrated approach, and its processes have involved unprecedented levels of global consultation. This agenda is not just about aspirational goals but it makes a persuasive case for global partnerships in finance; trade; as well as science, technology and innovation. Pathways to sustainable development are complex but attainable.
The Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment is a concrete and forward-looking commitment to the more just and sustainable future we want for women and men, girls and boys, in every country of our region. We stand together today as guarantors of the rights and opportunities which vest in every woman and every girl – as equal, valuable and valued partners in shaping the future prosperity and destiny of Asia and the Pacific.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are both fundamental human rights issues and necessary conditions for development for all people. This Conference is a unique opportunity to recommit Asia and the Pacific to the goal of gender equality and the means of accelerating the realization of human rights and opportunities for all women and men, girls and boys.
Regional partnerships have to be at the core of the unfinished Asia-Pacific connectivity agenda - riding the wave of enhanced connectivity, the time is now right and ripe for innovative and sustainable solutions to lead our region to a more prosperous and resilient future.