Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jérémy Stenuit
While we may not be able to join hands in person, uniting to fight the COVID-19 pandemic from wherever we may be must continue.
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Robert Collins
The unprecedented public health emergency triggered by the COVID -19 pandemic and its multi-faceted impact on people’s lives around the world is taking a heavy toll on Asia and the Pacific.
Rising economic prosperity and poverty reduction may not tell the whole story of progress in Asia and the Pacific. Telling signs in the natural world recount a narrative that is far from complete. This year has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 global health pandemic, with devastating impacts on our health and the economy. Yet, building on its achievements, the region must continue its drive towards a sustainable conclusion.
Recent economic development in Bangladesh has been remarkable. Over the past decade, GDP per capita has almost tripled, reaching $1,700 in 2018. Annual GDP growth has averaged 6.5 percent and is forecast above 8 percent in 2019. Good progress is being made towards achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly towards crucial goals such as ensuring everyone has access to clean water and sanitation and clean and affordable energy.
Great strides have been taken to empower women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted an ambitious global agenda to achieve gender equality twenty-five years ago. Gender parity has been achieved in primary education.
The past five years have been the hottest on record in Asia and the Pacific. Unprecedented heatwaves have swept across our region, cascading into slow onset disasters such as drought. Yet heat is only part of the picture.
Mongolia’s economic rebound in recent years reveals a country rising up to the challenges borne from adverse economic shocks. The country’s economic resilience comes as no surprise. Mongolia has responded well to near-term economic challenges and chartered its long-term path towards sustainable development despite its inherent constraints as a small and landlocked economy that is also highly dependent on natural resources. Mongolia prides itself as being one of the first countries to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with Mongolia’s Sustainable Development Vision 2030 receiving parliament approval in 2016 just six months after the adoption of the SDGs globally.
Leaders at the G20 summit last month agreed on the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision,” which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific stands ready to support Japan and other countries in the region to ensure healthy and sustainable oceans.
Climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of natural disasters in Asia and the Pacific.
Leading thinkers from the world over gather at the Astana Economic Forum this week. Their focus is on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how it should shape long-term economic growth and social development strategies in Kazakhstan and central Asia.