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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

26 October 2022


Yang kami hormati

Excellency Bapak Laksana Tri Handoko, Chairman of the National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia,

Excellencies, Ministers, Vice Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Ambassadors, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

A very warm welcome to you all, both delegates attending in person as well as attending online. I extend my sincere thanks to the Government of Indonesia for co-organizing with ESCAP the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

At the core of this important Conference is a simple message but one with wide-ranging implications: Space applications provide multiple solutions for socioeconomic development.

In particular, in the post-pandemic era, their positive impacts on people and the planet is endless.

Our region took a major step forward with the adoption in 2018 of the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development.

The adoption of this ambitious Action Plan demonstrated the commitment and solidarity of ESCAP’s members and associate members to undertake large-scale collaboration in space and geospatial information applications.

And in this regard, I am very pleased to inform you that our members and associate members are at various stages of implementing over 600 reported activities that are contributing to 154 out of the 188 actions identified in the Plan of Action.

The areas of cooperation have greatly widened, and while promoting space applications for disaster response continues to drive our cooperation, collaboration has now broadened to all thematic priority areas for achieving the SDGs.

The compendium on Geospatial Practices for Sustainable Development, which we will launch later, shows that in South-East Asia there has been a marked increase in the number and diversity of space applications in the subregion.

Alongside well-established space applications in drought monitoring and early warning, applications that improve the spatial mapping of poverty incidence; increase the availability and accessibility of air pollution data; improve the accuracy and tracking of greenhouse gas emissions; and evidence-based accounting of land, renewable energy, and other natural resources is also emerging. 

We express our appreciation to our members and associate members for the implementation of these strategic policies and programmes that capture the socioeconomic benefits of space science, technology and their applications for sustainable development.  

This Ministerial Conference is an excellent opportunity to renew commitments and agree to new initiatives that accelerate the implementation of the Plan of Action as it enters its second phase.

As we organize ourselves to implement Phase II of the Plan of Action between now and 2026, I wish to highlight three key messages on the importance of regional cooperation:

One, the Plan of Action has been instrumental in mobilizing the expertise, capacities, experiences and resources within the region to make space applications benefit all, especially the countries in special situations, the Least Developed Countries, the landlocked developing countries and the small island developing States.

The independent evaluation of the implementation of the first part of the Plan of Action finds that it has been an effective instrument for aligning the capacity development programmes of ESCAP and its member States with the priority needs of countries.

This has resulted in greater harmonization of regional actions, reduced duplication of efforts, enhanced cooperation among various agencies and stakeholders, and strengthened partnerships at different levels.

Two, regional cooperation is indispensable in meeting many emerging needs and demands.

The demand for knowledge-sharing, technical support and expert training remains consistently high.

During Phase I, member States provided approximately $4 million to the secretariat to increase capacities, enabling us to provide training and other capacity development opportunities to more than 1,000 government officials and technical staff. More is needed, however.

Fortunately, many countries in our region are active providers of data, expertise, capacity development and resources to other members and associate members.

Our conference host, the Government of Indonesia, will soon join the ranks of active practitioners and service providers as it announces its support for three regional cooperation initiatives to accelerate the implementation of the Plan of Action.

Third and finally, a scale-up in regional collaboration is required 

Our efforts are taking place against the backdrop of insufficient progress in the region towards achieving the SDGs.

In tandem with space and geospatial data, innovative digital applications are a critical part of the tools needed for transforming policymaking and practice for the improvement of present and future physical, digital and biological worlds; and anticipatory actions.

The guiding theme for accelerating progress in implementing Phase II of the Plan of Action has converged around the “Space+ for our Earth and future,” which comprises four components.

In this regard, I wish to acknowledge the work and intellectual leadership of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee of the Regional Space Applications Programme in the past three years, which have led us to this consensus.

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, I would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all members and associate members for their hard work that led to the final draft of the Jakarta Ministerial Declaration on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, which is before you today.

In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to Indonesia as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on the preparations for this Conference for bringing us to this point.

I am confident that the same spirit of cooperation and solidarity that we witnessed in 2018 – when you adopted the Plan of Action - will prevail as we kick off Phase II of the implementation of the Plan of Action.

I wish you all success today.

Thank you very much.

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