ESCAP Executive Secretary visits Republic of Korea

13 Feb 2019

Executive Secretary Armida Alisjahbana visited the Republic of Korea from 13 to 15 February for a series of bilateral meetings with senior government representatives and to participate in a high-level panel at the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF).

During her visit, Ms. Alisjahbana met various counterparts supporting ESCAP initiatives on sustainable development, including H.E. Cho Myoung-gyon, Minister of Unification; Mr. Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul City; H.E. You Young-min, Minister of Science and ICT; Mr. Lee Taeho, 2nd Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Kim Bookyum, Minister of Interior and Safety; Ms. Lee Mi-kyung, President of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); and Mr. Park Namchoon, Mayor of Incheon.

On 14 February, Ms. Alisjahbana joined distinguished guests at the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF), which serves as an annual platform convening world leaders, academia, development practitioners and youth to collaborate toward accomplishing the 2030 Agenda.

During a plenary session on women’s empowerment, Ms. Alisjahbana called for greater investment in gender equality in Asia and the Pacific. She said, “Growing disparities in income and wealth disproportionately affect women and vulnerable groups. Addressing such gaps is not only a matter of attaining fundamental rights for women, but also critical to the inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the region.” She further called for gender responsive budgeting for essential public services like education and health. Gender responsive budgeting ensures the different needs of women and men are part of public budgetary decisions and has been shown to enhance women’s opportunities for leadership in the workplace and in political and public life.

Ms. Alisjahbana also signed a Memoranda of Agreement with the Ministry of Interior and Safety as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with KOICA. The agreements fortified partnerships between ESCAP and the Republic of Korea on key sustainable development issues, including disaster resilience, green energy, gender equality and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ms. Alisjahbana concluded her visit by visiting colleagues at the ESCAP subregional office for East and North-East Asia and regional institution the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) in Incheon.