The Commission, throughout its existence, has continually looked to remain at the forefront of our region’s development needs. It has always taken stock of its effectiveness and relevance, and made the adjustments necessary for it to remain the pre-eminent regional intergovernmental platform.
The proposed programme of work incorporates feedback from the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives and from member States. The Department of Management has further reviewed it to ensure coherence with the work conducted by other offices of the Secretariat and other regional commissions. The General Assembly, through resolution 71/6, also mandated a new expected accomplishment to further realize efficiencies in travel costs for the Organization, and this has been added under executive direction and management.
With this mandate and the encouragement provided by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, our regional commission has significantly enhanced its expertise and support for member States on financing for development related issues. ESCAP’s regional dialogue series, its analytical knowledge products and its capacity development activities are increasingly being recognized and used by member States and partner institutions.
Welcome to the seventy-third session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the establishment of ESCAP and the second year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The secretariat has worked with member States to reform ESCAP and make it “fit-for-purpose” to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
BRI represents a long-term transcontinental plan for enhanced global connectivity and integration. It has potential to further position the Asia-Pacific as an epicenter of growth, trade, innovation and low carbon development. Mainstreaming sustainable development will help BRI promote seamless and integrated connectivity, deepen market integration while enhancing financial cooperation and climate resilience to collectively mitigate vulnerabilities.
Over the past 15 years, there has been considerable global progress to reduce poverty and uplift the living conditions of people. Smooth and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda calls for managing the undercurrents and risks associated with globalization. This includes, among other things promoting multilateralism as an anchor of global governance to regain the momentum of growth and trade, while offering the required international and public finance and directing private finance - both critical to shoulder the bill of the SDGs.
Sustainable development cannot be achieved unless steps are taken to expedite quality infrastructure and get the private sector fully engaged in sustainable and resilient infrastructure development. We need strong political commitment and effective PPP coordination mechanisms backed by contingent financing for managing risks and rewards.
Effective economic governance and fiscal management are essential to support long-term economic growth across the Asia-Pacific region. A multilateral approach to deepening regional economic cooperation and integration is needed to enhance regional demand and intraregional trade and connectivity. Alongside an increased focus on social inclusiveness and environmental sustainability, action in these areas is fundamental to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The financing needs to support implementation of sustainable development are enormous. Asia, home to 4.5 billion people, will need to invest as much as $26 trillion in infrastructure by 2030 and additional investments are needed to improve health care, education, clean drinking water and sanitation; reduce air pollution; and to support job creation in a more inclusive society. For four consecutive years, with your support we have had a strong exchange on the guiding principles for mobilizing the financial resources needed to support the 2030 Agenda as set out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.