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Bangkok - 22 Apr 2021

News Number: N/10/2021

Asia and the Pacific countries convene at UN forum to build back better together from the COVID-19 pandemic

Heads of States and Heads of Governments, senior officials and other stakeholders from across the Asia-Pacific region are set to take stock of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and scale-up regional cooperation in response to the pandemic, as the 77th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) gets underway next week.

Held under the theme “Beyond the pandemic: building back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific,” the session will also review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Pacific island developing States.

Members of the media and the public are invited to participate in the proceedings, which will be held online from 26 to 29 April at:


Opening of the Ministerial Segment

When: 26 April, Monday, 1300 (GMT+7)

Key speakers:

  • H.E. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan  
  • H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • H.E. Mr. Taneti Maamau, President of the Republic of Kiribati  
  • H.E. Mr. Sadyr Japarov, President of the Republic of Kyrgystan  
  • H.E. Mr. David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands
  • H.E. Mr. Battulga Khaltmaa, President of Mongolia
  • H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan
  • H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan
  • H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan  
  • H.E. Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh  
  • H.E. Mr. Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan  
  • H.E. Mr. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia  
  • H.E. Mr. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
  • H.E. Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka  
  • H.E. Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of Thailand
  • H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly
  • H.E. Mr. Munir Akram, President of ECOSOC
  • Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP 

General Debate: Building back better from crises through regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific

When: 27 April, Tuesday, 10:00 (GMT+7)

Keynote addresses

  • Ms. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister, New Zealand; former Administrator, United Nations Development Programme; Patron, Helen Clark Foundation
  • Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General, International Labour Organization (TBC)

27 April, Tuesday, 14:00 (GMT +7)

Keynote addresses

  • Mr. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
  • Ms. Mari Elka Pangestu, Managing Director, World Bank
  • Mr. David Wallerstein, Chief Exploration Officer and Senior Executive Vice President, Tencent

Subregional Perspectives: Building Back Better from Crises through Regional Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific

When: 28 April, Wednesday, 10:00 (GMT+7)

Key speakers:  

  • H.E. Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • H.E Mr. Tenzin Lekphell, Secretary-General, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation 
  • H.E Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, Secretary-General, Economic Cooperation Organization
  • H.E Mr. Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Board, Eurasian Economic Commission
  • H.E. Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
  • H.E Mr. Vladmir Norov, Secretary-General, Shanghai Cooperation Organization
  • H.E Mr. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Secretary-General, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  • Mr. Andrey Smorodin, Director, Greater Tumen Initiative

For more information and a full copy of the programme, visit:

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