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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

25 October 2021


Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my honour and pleasure to warmly welcome all of you to the commemoration of the 76th Anniversary of the United Nations.

Over the past seven decades, the founding of the United Nations brought freedom, possibilities and hope for humanity.

By investing in the principles of mutual cooperation and commitment to international development, the United Nations have remained a force for good to advance social development, inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability for everyone, everywhere.

In Asia and the Pacific, through collective efforts, our member States have made enormous progress to reap benefits of durable peace, development, and human rights for all.

The development success story of the region is a living example of how the United Nations could remain a trusted partner in their great transformative achievements to usher a set of new opportunities and dignity for all.  

Until today, there are no revisions to the charter of the United Nations.

However, the global, regional, subregional and national development situation has undergone a sea change.  

New and emerging development risks and challenges have taken unforeseen shapes and shifts.

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the hopes of billions of people, while unleashed an unprecedented socio-economic disruption in all part of our communities.

To this growing suffering of people, we are also witnessing a deep divide in the equitable access to lifesaving vaccination, diagnostics and therapeutics, which are further exacerbating fault lines of our societies.

We are yet to come to terms with nature.

Climate emergencies are forcing people out from  their homes in the Pacific and displacing communities in the Bay of Bengal.

Science is clear. We need to act now to limit warming to 1.5ºC.

At the same time, the region’s aspirations towards a higher standard of living, full employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development can not be over emphasized.

We are now at an inflection point in history, and humanity faces a stark and urgent choice of breakdown or breakthrough.

To move forward together, the Secretary-General’s report, “Our Common Agenda,” underlines four broad areas: (i) strengthening global governance, (ii) focusing on the future, (iii) renewing the social contract, and (iv) and ensuring a United Nations fit for a new era.

Let us invest in our regional public goods by bringing together the spirit of mutual respect, innovation and cooperation.  

The multilateral solution is the only pathway to create an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development for all.

As we mark this UN anniversary, we also celebrate the membership anniversaries of several member States, including Thailand.

I take this auspicious occasion to applaud the role of the Governments and stakeholders in steering sustainable development agenda in the region.

At the regional level, ESCAP, together with the entire UN family, stands ready to strengthen our cooperation and coordination to “Building Back Together for Peace and Prosperity.

 Thank you very much for your attention.

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