Mr. Chair, Madam Moderator,
Distinguished delegates, dear participants,
The Eighth Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) recognized the importance of a shared understanding of COVID-19 pandemic recovery strategies and action plans to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The APFSD Chair has clearly illustrated that the countries of Asia and the Pacific are committed to moving forward together to safeguard progress towards achieving the SDGs.
The Forum also concluded that the region needs to a collective effort to avoid the risk of a K-shaped recovery, where some countries are likely to bounce back much faster than others from the pandemic.
In view of this, please allow me to highlight a few additional messages.
First, governments must facilitate an inclusive recovery that improves access to social protection systems, especially for vulnerable groups.
The endorsement of the Action Plan to Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific was an important step forward.
Second, support for sustainable connectivity policies must be scaled up.
For example, model provisions for trade is an important tool to ensure that goods and services safely move across borders during crisis.
Our support of informed and evidence-based transport policies in Asia and the Pacific is gaining momentum.
Third, climate mitigation and adaptation actions need to be integrated into national COVID-19 recovery plans.
Our work on energy supports member States to prepare an SDG 7 roadmap, and to develop a “green power corridor”.
We are also engaging with member States to strengthen early warning systems and disaster risk management analytics.
Finally, we need to continue to work with partners to accelerate digitalization in areas such as e-commerce, online learning and digital payments.
In conclusion, I am pleased to inform you that we have established a robust UN regional coordination and multi-stakeholder collaboration mechanism to lay the groundwork for policy innovations and solutions to recover better.
Thank you very much.