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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

29 April 2021


Honourable Chair,

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

Thank you for your active engagement and for making the 77th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific a success.

We have come together – virtually again - to reaffirm our commitment to build back better in a post-COVID-19 era.

I would like to sincerely express my appreciation and thanks for your meaningful engagement and unwavering support in successfully concluding the Commission session.

It is my utmost hope that the resolution on the “Regional cooperation to build back better from crises in Asia and the Pacific” will further mainstream our response to COVID-19.  

We are committed to supporting governments to building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic through inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery strategies.

I am pleased to note that the Commission has decided that the theme for the 78th Commission session will be on “A Common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific”.

ESCAP will be celebrating its own seventy-fifth anniversary in 2022.

As the Commission approaches this landmark milestone, it is poised to take concrete actions on shaping the future of regional cooperation to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable and deliver on the Common Agenda set out by member States at the 75th United Nations General Assembly.

Regional cooperation is as needed today as it was seventy-five years ago.

I recognise the true spirit of multilateralism and friendship.

Our member States can share experiences, including successes, challenges, lessons learned and provide lasting solutions through our Commission platform.

Allow me to sincerely thank all the member States and entities that have pledged additional financial support to help us take our work forward. 

I would like to thank the Commission Bureau, the Chair: His Excellency, Mr. Mr. Mukhtar TLEUBERDI, The Deputy Prime-Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and the four Vice-Chairs:

  • Her Excellency Madam Millicent CRUZ-PAREDES, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ESCAP
  • Her Excellency Madam Suchitra DURAI, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of India to ESCAP
  • His Excellency Mr. Tumur AMARSANAA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Mongolia to ESCAP, and
  • Mr. Paul STEPHENS, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission and Permanent Representative of Australia to ESCAP,

for so skilfully steering proceedings to their successful conclusion.

I would like to extend my gratitude to all Heads of State and Heads of Government who provided such inspiring statements at the opening to help frame our discussions and guide our course of action.

I am grateful also to the keynote speakers who helped us shape the narrative of forging regional alliances and solidarity.   

All of us at ESCAP remain indebted to our gracious host - the Royal Thai Government.

I would like to thank the ESCAP secretariat staff who have worked hard, tirelessly and professionally to make this session a great success.

I look forward to meeting with you in person, hopefully, in 2022 and to committing in shaping the future of Asia and the Pacific together.

Thank you all once again and stay safe.

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