Excellency, Mr. Rachmat Budiman, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ESCAP,
Excellency, Ms. Millicent Cruz-Paredes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ESCAP,
Excellency, Mrs. C.A. Chaminda I. Colonne, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to ESCAP,
Pak Robertus Heru Triharjanto, Head of Research Organization of Aeronautics and Space, National Research and Innovation Agency/BRIN), Indonesia,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
A very warm welcome to all. At the outset, I would like to extend a special welcome to our “Future Generation.”
In the United Nations Secretary-General’s blueprint for sustainable development called “Our Common Agenda,” the Secretary-General has underlined the need to “work with, and listen, to the youth.”
As highlighted during the deliberations at this Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in the past two days, the region needs to double down its efforts, particularly with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are regressing or lack progress.
Space technology and its applications can accelerate progress on SDGs. It can also greatly augment data availability, which remains insufficient for 51 out of 169 SDG targets.
We expect to hear many excellent examples and ideas from the youth and other stakeholders in this regard. Further, we will also hear insights from the youth and other stakeholders into how these actions can be further supported and scaled up.
The Asia-Pacific region is in a good position to capture the socioeconomic benefits of space science, technology and its applications for achieving the SDGs.
Since 1999, ESCAP has been implementing a dedicated regional space applications programme through technical cooperation and financial support provided by our member States.
In October 2018, our member States adopted the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development, which sets out the pathways for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.
In October 2022, the Ministerial adoption of the Jakarta Ministerial Declaration on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific reaffirms the value of collaborative partnerships and of the engagement of all major groups and other stakeholders.
It further recognizes the importance of leveraging the potential of space to inspire youth and increase the involvement of young people in the space sector.
National and international initiatives that inspire the interest of young generation e in promoting innovative applications of space and digital technologies comprise the future of our region and planet earth.
I highly appreciate that many of you here represent ESCAP’s critical partners in putting this Jakarta Declaration into action at the national and local levels where we need to make a difference.
As governments accelerate their use of geospatial technologies, long-term sustainability will depend on policies that support the development of a workforce with multidisciplinary expertise to develop and use integrated geospatial systems and analysis across the region.
Long-term capacity development that provides employment and educational opportunities for youth, including young women, through scholarships and exchange programmes would be crucial.
Opportunities to connect internationally with peers are also important, such as this event today and the youth forum on the innovative use of geospatial information for resilient and sustainable development initiated by ESCAP and partners, to mention only a few.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its leadership in convening this event, our co-organizers for their continued commitment to putting the Plan of Action and Jakarta Ministerial Declaration into action, and to all participants who have joined us.
I look forward to us all continuing to work in partnership so that everyone in our region captures the benefits of space science, technology and its applications.
Thank you very much.