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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

11 December 2022


Excellency Mr. Rashid Meredov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan,

Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, 

A very warm greetings from ESCAP, Bangkok, to all participants attending this International Conference.

I extend my sincere appreciation to the Government of Turkmenistan for hosting this very important conference.

We live on a very fragile planet where people still face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and multiple crises.

The crises negatively affect the peace and stability and slow down the implementation of sustainable development goals and thus need multilateral solutions and cooperation through dialogues.

In this regard, I would like to reiterate important policy issues I highlighted at the Ashgabat Conference a year ago on “Peace and Trust – Basis of International Security, Stability and Development.”

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, 

After passing a year, these points are still very much valid and relevant and have become even more important today.

First and foremost, the social protection system in many Asian-Pacific countries is weak still need to be strengthen and requires substantive modernization and transformation.

Countries need to discuss and implement measures to tear down barriers preventing access to healthy and affordable food, including through targeted social protection systems and refocused social safety programmes.

For the last few years, regional integration through trade and investment, value chains and financial markets have not improved much in terms of sustainable development metrics.

To this end, more dialogues and cooperation are vital to improve openness, reduce trade friction and minimize disruptions to value chains so that much-needed products are available and accessible.

The overlapping challenges facing the region have resulted in multiple shocks to regional connectivity.

These disruptions have magnified challenges and hindered the resiliency and sustainability of connectivity across and within Asia-Pacific region.

Thus, building resilience requires mobilizing much needed financial resources and boosting financing for development is no doubt fundamental for the achievement of sustainable development.

Just a few weeks ago, COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh adopted the long-negotiated decision to establish a loss and damage fund.

It was a milestone, but we must further promote financing for sustainable investment in nature-based solutions to develop greener and bluer economies in our region.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, 

Through dialogues, we can deliver together the vision of an integrated, sustainable, resilient and inclusive future as well as long-lasting peace in our region. ESCAP stands ready to support this endeavour.

Thank you very much.

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