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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

14 November 2022


Dear participants, colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen,

It is indeed my pleasure to welcome you to this “United Nations Regional Course in International Law for Asia-Pacific.”

We are very pleased to support this regional course organized by the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs.

While I am pleased to note that you are participating in-person, unfortunately, I am not able to join you as I am currently travelling on an official mission.

As the world heals slowly from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and adapts to a new way of living, countries continue to confront the effects of climate change and now the ongoing geopolitical tensions and conflicts across the world.

The war in Ukraine has exposed the weaknesses of the international rule of law and created new challenges. These crises are increasingly challenging the peace and stability of our world as well as our regions.

Although Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 provides the framework for peace, justice for all and strong institutions, which are fundamental for accelerating the progress of other SDGs, the Asia-Pacific region has a long way to go towards achieving Goal 16.

Data from the Asia-Pacific SDG Gateway shows an increased perception of public sector corruption and that about 23.8 per cent of businesses in the region have engaged in bribery. Over one-third of the women in the region have faced sexual violence.

Although these figures may highlight domestic data, the importance of these issues goes beyond borders and lead to bigger transboundary international crimes such as illegal trade and illicit financial flows, as well as human trafficking.

Dear participants, colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen,

The rule of law, peace and sustainable development are inextricably linked. The pandemic and crises have underscored the importance of harnessing multilateral partnerships and agreements in maintaining peace and regaining the momentum of achieving the SDGs.

Through collective efforts in Asia and the Pacific, countries can make enormous progress reaping the benefits of durable peace, development and human rights for all.

At this year’s Commission session, the leaders adopted the Bangkok Declaration, which displayed the region’s renewed commitment to further promoting multilateralism and strengthening partnerships.

ESCAP, together with our UN family and development partners, stands ready to support member States in harnessing multilateral efforts to promote international laws and help reach the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

I wish you every success in the regional course.

Thank you very much.

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