Excellency Mr. Karl Kendrick Tiu Chua, Chair of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development,
Distinguished delegates, Dear participants,
Today, we come to the close of the Ninth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all participants for your active contribution and engagement, making the Forum a productive one that provides guidance and policy recommendations for follow-up and review.
The vibrant discussions over the last four days have enriched our thoughts through lessons learned, good practices shared, challenges identified, solutions and policy options being recommended.
Through participation from multi-stakeholders: Governments, Parliamentarians, CSOs, Private Sectors, UN System, this Forum demonstrates the value of a holistic whole-of-society approach. This approach ensures no valuable input from any stakeholder would be missed for the deliberations at the forthcoming High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July.
In this Forum, we heard strong calls for putting cross-cutting emphasis on access to vaccines for all, universal social protection and health care, access to equal education for all, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, and low-carbon, resilient societies.
These priorities have been elevated significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening climate change situation.
At the same time, we have also heard ideas for solutions to our common challenges. They range from leveraging opportunities from digitalization and innovation to promoting gender-responsive policies and budgeting, increasing domestic resource mobilization, carbon pricing, promoting green enterprises, and expanding clean and climate-smart infrastructure, among many others.
We must also be mindful of the capacity and financial resource constraints that prevail in many countries and within marginalized communities.
This calls for more support, financial and non-financial, to those countries and groups so that they are in a better position to address the development challenges and regain momentum for achieving the goals.
Although we are diverse in groups, it is clear that we have a common agenda for sustainable development.
We need to take our commitment to advance the Sustainable Development Goals to the next level with more concrete plan, actions and solutions. These are the responsibility of all of us, all stakeholders to have meaningful and tangible impacts.
In closing, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to our Chair and Vice-chairs for effectively leading the Forum to a successful conclusion.
The in-person participation of the Deputy Secretary-General shows the high-level commitment of the United Nations family to our common goals. We, the UN Family stands ready to work with all stakeholders to move the 2030 Agenda forward in our region.
Thank you very much!