Welcome to the 13th session of the Asia-Pacific Business Forum hosted by the Government of Bangladesh and the International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh. The ESCAP Business Advisory Council and its Sustainable Business Network need to be acknowledged for their steadfast support to his Forum along with ADB, CitiBank, IFC and the many other cooperating agencies for their contributions.
On behalf of the Executive Secretary, It gives me much pleasure to bring to a close this inaugural session of the ESCAP Committee on Energy. Having listened to your deliberations and heard your ideas, responses and recommendations on how we as a unified region can address our energy challenges, I have much confidence in the future of regional energy cooperation and look forward to working on the programmes, initiatives and plans of action that we will develop together in support of the energy transition.
Welcome to the inaugural meeting of the ESCAP Energy Committee. I would like personally thank all the member States who have supported ESCAP to institutionalise and operationalise this Energy Committee. This Committee actually sets the stage for member States to promote enhanced regional cooperation that holds promise to enhance prospects for sustainable energy development.
Welcome to ESCAP, the regional home of the United Nations in the Asia-Pacific, for the first public-private sector energy policy dialogue where we will deliberate on how the private sector and policymakers can work together to accelerate the energy transition.
As leaders of the national statistical systems in the ESCAP region, you can certainly attest to the unprecedented level of emphasis placed on data and statistics in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Achieving the 2030 Agenda will require high-quality data which is accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability and geographic location. However, as you are all aware, of the 230 unique indicators in the global SDG framework, we only have data on less than 100 indicators. Even more worrisome, due to limited country coverage and availability of data over time, regional trends can only be estimated for 60 of the 230 SDG indicators. Our work is of course cut out in this context.
I wish to thank the Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons for steering our deliberations towards a successful conclusion and all of the delegates for sharing their experiences, views and expectations on the future shape of transport development in our region. I would also like to thank the Rapporteur for his constructive role in the production of the report.
Moving forward we must ensure transport is accessible, affordable, efficient, financially sustainable, environmentally friendly, and safe. This will require innovative solutions to address these integrated issues. It will also require a strong partnership among countries, providers and development partners.
The signing of this Intergovernmental Agreement on International Road Transport along the Asian Highway Network by the Governments of China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation serves to illustrate the high-level dedication to improving connectivity among these countries.
2016 has been an important and productive year for ESCAP. In line with our work programme and the global drive, we supported the commencement of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with very proactive support and guidance from member States. Our focus has also been on enhancing regional cooperation and supporting countries to integrate transboundary initiatives that aim to revive regional trade and economic growth. This year ESCAP also supported a range of global conferences which laid down the future frameworks for sustainable development. These included among others the Habitat III outcome document as well as the Marrakech declaration. These principal documents will guide our work in the future.