Collaboration Urged at UN Forum for Sustainable Development

United Nations

The 11th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) began in Bangkok, with a strong call for nations to take immediate action and work together through effective multilateral cooperation.

The warning was a reminder that countries risk falling behind in achieving sustainable development goals due to recent global crises.

In her address to the forum, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stressed the importance of international cooperation, noting that current multilateral arrangements are insufficient for the task at hand.

Mohammed emphasized that no country or region can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals alone, and that significant changes are necessary, as recognized by world leaders in September.

The event, organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), brings together key development stakeholders, including government officials, UN representatives, the private sector, and youth and civil society. The forum aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences, mobilize regional action, and develop solutions.

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, outlined six key areas for transformative actions: food systems, energy access and affordability, digital connectivity, education, jobs and social protection, and climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

In a video message, President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Paula Narvaéz, shared concerning data showing that the Asia-Pacific region is not on track to meet 90% of the 118 measurable SDG targets by 2030.

Over the next four days, forum participants will review the region’s progress on specific SDGs, including ending poverty, zero hunger, climate action, peace, justice, and strong institutions, and partnerships for the goals.

The outcomes of the forum will contribute to the global High-Level Political Forum in July and the Summit of the Future in September in New York.

On the sidelines, ESCAP, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership Report 2024, titled “People and Planet: Addressing the Interlinked Challenges of Climate Change, Poverty, and Hunger in Asia and the Pacific.”

The report highlights the interconnected challenges and potential solutions, emphasizing the urgent need for coordinated efforts to address climate change, poverty, and hunger in the region.

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