Policy Dialogue on Inclusive Subregional Cooperation in East and North-East Asia for Sustainable Development

22 Oct 2020
Incheon, Republic of Korea

Celebrating UN75 and 10th Anniversary of ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office

22 October 2020, 14:30 to 17:00 (GMT+9)

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The Policy Dialogue on Inclusive Cooperation in East and North-East Asia for Sustainable Development is organized to discuss the current state of subregional cooperation and key agenda that will help accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in East and North-East Asia. The subregion, despite its economic dynamism and presence, has been lagging behind on many of the SDGs and related targets. Particularly on climate change action, environmental sustainability, as well as health and well-being.

In addressing these common challenges, regional cooperation has an important role to play as a catalyst for developing joint strategies and actions. Unlike other subregions in Asia and the Pacific, the East and North-East Asia subregion has not been able to capitalize on institutionalized regional cooperation mechanisms for multiple reasons. As such, functional and mainly bilateral cooperation in specific areas have been established in place of a multilateral entity covering multi-sectoral issues. While sectoral cooperation mechanisms have been effective in solving technical issues in a particular field, the growing interdependence and spill-over effects among different sectors call for a new approach to address subregional challenges.

At this time, when countries in the subregion are experiencing unprecedented socio-economic challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern that countries will retreat to inward-looking strategies and protectionism in line with border closures and disruptions in regional supply chains. The Policy Dialogue aims to explore the unique opportunity presented by the pandemic to realign the subregion’s recovery in a more sustainable path by exploiting inclusive multisectoral and multilateral subregional cooperation.

ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office has prepared a publication entitled “Inclusive Cooperation in East and North-East Asia for Sustainable Development”, as a background to this Policy Dialogue in order to identify new and old challenges that the subregion is facing that would be most effectively addressed through enhanced subregional cooperation.

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