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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

16 March 2021


Opening Remarks


Distinguished delegates,

Dear colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the launch of the fifth Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2021.

The report provides evidence of current progress towards SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region and its five subregions:

This year we are also releasing a new tool to support member States with national level follow-up and review of the SDGs which is “The National SDG Tracker”.

Please allow me to highlight some key results from the report:

The Asia-Pacific region is not on track to meet any of the 17 SDG Goals by 2030 as shown by the 2020 data.

At the regional level, our report shows the following:

  • Most progress for good health and well-being and industry, innovation and infrastructure. 
  • Some progress for no poverty, zero hunger, quality education and reduced inequalities. 
  • Lagging behind and even in reverse direction on climate action and life below water.

At the sub-regional level, there are commonalities and differences across the achievements of the 17 SDGs Goals:   

  • East and North-East Asia is on track to eradicate poverty and on clean water and sanitation;
  • South-East Asia is on track on industry, innovation and infrastructure;
  • All sub-regions, except for South and South-West Asia, are regressing on the material footprint target; 
  • All sub-regions, with the except for the Pacific, are regressing on the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Most sub-regions are showing slow progress or even regressing on environment-related goals.

I am pleased to recognise that the 2021 report also provides analysis to better understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on SDGs.

In particular, these impacts are focused on seven thematic areas:

  • health;
  • social protection and basic services;
  • jobs, SMEs and informal sector workers;
  • fiscal and financial stimulus;
  • social cohesion and community resilience;
  • environment; and
  • statistical operations.

With this brief background, now, it is my pleasure to invite Ms. Gemma Van Halderen, Director of Statistics Division to share findings of the SDG progress at the regional level.

This will be followed by the sub-regional deep-dive sessions to be led by ESCAP’s five sub-regional offices.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to our partners in the UN system who have lent their insights and contributed to the preparation of the report. 

Thank you!  


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