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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

17 March 2022


Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the launch of the Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2022: Widening disparities amid COVID-19.

The report provides an update on current progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year we worked with our colleagues from ten UN agencies: ILO, IOM, UNEP, UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC and UN Women

We provide an analysis of progress for different population groups that may be in a vulnerable situation due to intersecting development challenges.

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

The progress gap for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals grows wider in Asia and the Pacific, and the prospect of achieving the Goals now extends a few decades beyond 2030.

We, as a region, are not on track to achieve any of the 17 Goals and in fact, vulnerabilities are even increasing for some population groups.

At the regional level, our report shows the following:

•    Although there has been significant progress on industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9) and affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), this progress is insufficient to meet the respective Goals.

•    Progress on quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities and life below water has been very slow or even stagnant.

•    The region is moving in a reverse direction on climate action and responsible consumption and production.

At the subregional level, distinct challenges and priorities have been identified:  

•    East and North-East Asia is the only subregion on track to achieve two Goals: no poverty (Goal 1) and industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9).

•    Every subregion has regressed on climate action (Goal 13) and responsible consumption and production (Goal 12).

I am pleased to recognize that the 2022 report also provides analysis to better understand development outcomes for distinct population groups and intersecting vulnerabilities, which is key to a fairer recovery from the pandemic.

The results clearly show that average progress in the region disproportionately excludes some groups with distinct demographic or socioeconomic characteristics.

In particular,

  • Children;

  • Women;

  • Refugees and migrants

  • Persons with disabilities;

  • Older persons;

  • Those in vulnerable employment situations; and

  • Populations facing multiple deprivations.

With this brief background, we will share more detailed findings of progress at the regional level.

This will be followed by deep-dive sessions at the subregional level to be led by ESCAP’s five subregional offices.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to our partners in the United Nations system who have contributed to the preparation of this report. 

Thank you very much. 

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