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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

24 April 2024

ES ESCAP

May I start by recognizing the presence of Mr. Hahm Jeonghan, Permanent Representative to ESCAP, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Thailand,

Mr. Lee Hee-sup, Secretary-General of Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat,

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Governments of Mongolia and the Republic of Korea as well as the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) for co-organizing this side event.

Today, we stand united in our commitment to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a commitment more crucial than ever as we navigate the complexities and challenges of our time.

The collective efforts of the Asia-Pacific community will certainly drive forward a transformative agenda for sustainable development.

The region's dedication to SDG acceleration has been evident: both in renewed national commitments and in our unified call for multilateral actions and innovative solutions.

During the SDG Summit last year, seven Asia-Pacific member States announced their national and global commitments that will help drive SDG transformation. Digital innovation is a predominant accelerator articulated by the member States.

Just a few years ago, commemorating ESCAP’s 75th anniversary in 2022, the region adopted the Bangkok Declaration, articulating a Common Agenda to Advance Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. It included a commitment to improve digital cooperation at all levels.

Excellencies, distinguished guests,

The Asia-Pacific region is leading the way as a hub in global digital transformation, as highlighted in the ESCAP theme study for this year’s session.

This transformation is driven by breakthroughs in digital technologies, enhancing business to public services and sustainability.

The region's demographic dynamics, including youth and extensive and fast-growing digital infrastructure, make it ideal for leveraging such innovations for sustainable development.

However, achieving digital inclusivity, particularly for the vulnerable, requires broad-based efforts and inclusive policies to bridge the digital divide and promote a collaborative approach to digital transformation.

We engage today in these contexts. Our objectives are clear: to exchange insights on digital innovation as a priority in national SDG commitments and to identify opportunities for cooperation at all levels, including leveraging existing subregional partnerships and mechanisms.

East and North-East Asia is well-positioned to engage lessons and opportunities in utilizing digital innovation to boost much needed acceleration to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The trilateral partnership of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea has refined its innovation policies creating an enabling environment for digital innovation to support sustainable development. Other member States, including Mongolia, have identified digital innovation as a priority SDG accelerator.

To this end, I believe the discussions and insights shared today will not only pave the way ahead but will also shape entry points for collaboration on SDG acceleration among member States in close partnership with subregional and regional mechanisms.

Together, let us harness digital innovation to catalyze sustainable development across North-East Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Thank you for your commitment, your presence, and your partnerships.

Let us continue this journey together with the determination to further accelerate cooperation on digital innovation for a sustainable future for all.

Thank you.

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