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.