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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

26 April 2024

ES ESCAP

Honourable Chair,

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

As the eightieth session of the Commission draws to a close, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you attending.

Allow me to share a few final thoughts:

During the course of the past few days, we heard how countries have been able to leverage digital innovation for sustainable development and address various sectoral challenges, such as access to finance, resource management and delivery of public services. 

Some of their experiences and solutions, if tailored to meet the specific circumstances, could likewise address similar challenges faced by others. Solutions lie within the diversity in Asia and the Pacific. 

The resolutions adopted at this session provide the foundation for the attainment of sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

Recognizing the potential of digital technologies and solutions to advance sustainable development, foster inclusive growth and reduce poverty, the resolution “Leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” affirmed the different approaches to augment the scale and impact of digital innovations so that development outcomes benefit all. 

The resolution encouraged the strengthening of regional cooperation and the closing of the digital divides by addressing the challenges associated with secure access, affordability and digital literacy.

Through the resolution, “Sustainable development in least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States,” the Commission recognized the need to intensify efforts to follow up on and review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the importance of sharing experiences and working in partnership with these groups of countries

The Commission furthermore endorsed the Ministerial Declaration on Building a Secure, Sustainable and Interconnected Energy Future for Asia and the Pacific, adopted at the Third Asian and Pacific Energy Forum, held in Bangkok in October last year.

ESCAP, together with the United Nations development system and partners, stands ready to support the delivery of these important outcomes.

I would like to thank all member States and partners who have pledged resources to strengthen our support during these very challenging times.

Excellencies and distinguished representatives,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the bureau for its leadership and skillful conduct of the session.  

I would like to recognize the Chair, Her Excellency Ms. Battsetseg Batmunkh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, and the seven Vice-Chairs:

  • Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, M.P., Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Bangladesh;
  • Mr. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister, President of the National Committee for ESCAP and First Vice President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, Cambodia;
  • Ms. Lenora Qereqeretabua, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fiji;
  • Mr. Arman Issetov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP;
  • Mr. Ivan John E. Uy, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications, Technology, Philippines;
  • Ms. Colonne Appuhamillage Chaminda Inoka Colonne, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka to Thailand and Permanent Representative to ESCAP; and
  • Ms. Pinsuda Jayanama, Director-General, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand.

I would finally like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all Heads of State and Government, in particular Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh; His Excellency Mr. Hun Manet, Prime Minister of Cambodia and Mr. Srettha Thavavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand who set the vision for our way forward, as well as other high-level speakers who provided inspiration for action.

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

I would finally like to express our deepest gratitude to our gracious host, the Royal Thai Government, for their usual warm hospitality and active engagement.

Before I close, I would like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this session a truly special occasion.

With these words, I thank you all.

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