We share a common duty of care – in our official, institutional and personal capacities to ensure that the next global development agenda builds on our past experiences, and delivers on its mandate of building the future we want for all the people.
Like the wider United Nations and its other regional commissions, we have to be “fit for purpose” to help this region build on its successes, and to support it in its implementation of the emerging post-2015 sustainable development agenda, while carrying forward the work on regional priorities and programs.
We must harness the energies, resources and expertise of Rising Asia-Pacific. No other region is better-placed to wipe out extreme poverty, eliminate hunger, eradicate disease, or has shown greater resilience to multiple external shocks. No other generation of leaders has borne greater responsibility for the future of our people and our planet.
Among Asia Pacific developing countries, there is need to promote awareness of resource-efficient, cost-effective and socially inclusive alternative development patterns compared to the conventional “grow first and clean up later” approaches. There is also a need to promote innovative economic instruments, such as carbon taxes. Intervention in resource pricing mechanisms, especially if implemented at the appropriate level, has the potential to create a wide variety of economic, social and environmental co-benefits.
The ethic of service above self and the ethos of upliftment are at the heart of both Nelson Mandela Day and the work of the United Nations in every region of the world - none more so than right here in Asia and the Pacific.
Development requirements have, thus far, been under-served by the Asia-Pacific financial system. Investments in sustainable development could cost as much as $2.5 trillion per year just to close the region’s infrastructure gaps, provide universal access to social protection, health, and education, and implement measures to mitigate climate change. This represents, however, only a fraction of the vast savings held in the region, which should be mobilized to finance sustainable development.
The recent global financial crisis once again drew the international community’s attention to the need for economic and financial stability, to support higher and sustainable economic growth. Financing sustainable development demands of us to look beyond trade-offs and enhance synergies among the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development for the future we want.