Business engagement with the primary contours of sustainable development is a win-win proposition. It allows the global deliberations to benefit from private sector management, finance and resource allocation expertise, and ensures maximum alignment of development work with corporate strategies and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
China is no stranger to positive and creative reforms. Known for its ownership of reforms, and their implementation, China has taken the bold step of announcing a broad-ranging set of new reforms which augur well for laying the foundations of a robust, stable and well-diversified financial system.
Properly supported,shared, and targeted science, technology and innovation can make the difference in our global efforts to end poverty, hunger, deprivation and inequality. They can help us to leap-frog outdated approaches, overcome resource scarcity, and reverse generations of environmental degradation.
With the emergence of new economic powers, and a changing development paradigm, our shared challenge today is to use the global financial crisis to strengthen multilateralism and make the fundamental shifts needed to leave no one behind; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all; forge a new global partnership; and to put sustainable development at the core of it all.
As a traditional hub for commerce and innovation, and strategically located on the ancient Silk Road, Kazakhstan has great potential to lead industrial and socio-economic development, not only for its own people, but for Central Asia at large, and to be a role model for other landlocked developing countries. It is paving the way for the success of a modern new Silk Road, already taking impressive strides forward in rethinking its approach to growth, energy, and the environment.
I cannot emphasize enough the need for our development work to operate on the best-available evidence, to ensure the greatest possible relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. Like empirical economics, evaluation helps evidence-based analysis of the problem at hand, and feeds into effective policy-making or project design and implementation. Often we do not know nearly enough about the results our efforts have had, let alone, the impact of our work. Without that crucial information, we cannot we accurately judge and improve our work.
ESCAP has the potential to shape the future of our region. It can give voice to the priorities of Asia and the Pacific – both in the UN system and in the global development agenda. In the years ahead, the secretariat will redouble its efforts to promote regional cooperation and integration, and to mainstream sustainable development to enhance the region’s resilience, and bring prosperity to all people of Asia and the Pacific.
Saving water saves energy – and saving energy saves water. Together they are two of the most critical key resources for building the sustainable future we want in Asia and the Pacific. The growing challenges of the Asia-Pacific water-energy nexus require innovative and pragmatic solutions, application of the right technologies, and supportive economic enablers. These elements need to be integrated into national policies for more efficient and effective energy and water services.
Fourteen years since the Millennium Declaration, it is clearer than ever that “progress for all” requires us to tackle the structural, root causes of inequality between women and men, girls and boys, in Asia-Pacific and across the globe. Rectifying past injustices, closing gender gaps, treating women with dignity and respect and offering them equal opportunities and access is critical for sustainable growth and development everywhere.
No region has more potential than Asia and the Pacific to shape the future we want. I am deeply excited that the Secretary-General has asked me to lead ESCAP at this tipping point for regional and global development. The Commission is the most appropriate platform for the consultations, deliberations, and policy dialogues which will shape sustainable development in the period to 2015 and beyond.