China is already leading the way on regional economic growth, trade, transport and many other areas. It has also taken ever greater steps to lead on issues such as environmentalstewardship and social welfare systems. As we move into the post-2015 development agenda, and begin to firmly address the shared challenges of our region, we are also looking to China to champion the cause of greater regional connectivity, integration and cooperation for the mutual benefit of all the people of Asia and the Pacific.
The secretariat will spare no effort to implement, in the most efficient and timely manner possible, the decisions that the Commission has made at this first phase of the 70th session. In this regard, we look forward to the holding of the second phase of the Commission session from 4 to 8 August, here at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.
I would like to set the scene for this session by highlighting the key priorities which will underpin ESCAP’s current and future strategic frameworks, and associated programmes of work. Since my assumption of duties at ESCAP, the secretariat has been engaged in a process of deep reflection, particularly in assessing our strengths as well as areas requiring improvement to make ESCAP a more effective organization to serve you, our member States.
The first phase of the seventieth session will focus on the ESCAP’s strategic framework for the biennium 2016-2017. This framework lays out the vision and priorities for ESCAP’s work, and offers a multi-dimensional strategy for assisting countries. The intention is to deepen our engagement on regional integration and cooperation, and to further promote sustainable development within ESCAP’s core mandate.
Presentation by ESCAP Executive Secretary, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, providing delegates to the first APFSD with an overview of the importance of converging MDGs and SDGs in the post-2015 development agenda. Also addressed was a comparative analysis between Asia-Pacific regional sustainable development priorities and the current proposals being discussed in the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly.
The first Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development is a key part of the global processes to solicit the views and the voices of all stakeholders on sustainable development, and to ensure strong ownership of the architecture and goals in the next phase of global development. The process is unprecedented, and all-encompassing relative to how we developed the MDGs, and the perspectives which you offer will be shared with the High level Political Forum to be convened during the ECOSOC session in July this year.
Sustainable development calls for changing the dynamics of technology, and adopting a more aggressive approach to development, transfer and dissemination of these technologies.
Business engagement with the primary contours of sustainable development is a win-win proposition. It allows the global deliberations to benefit from private sector management, finance and resource allocation expertise, and ensures maximum alignment of development work with corporate strategies and multi-stakeholder partnerships.
China is no stranger to positive and creative reforms. Known for its ownership of reforms, and their implementation, China has taken the bold step of announcing a broad-ranging set of new reforms which augur well for laying the foundations of a robust, stable and well-diversified financial system.