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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

21 September 2023


Excellency Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations,

Mr. Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Ladies and gentlemen,  

Halfway into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the COVID-19 pandemic, the worsening impacts of climate change, and geopolitical conflicts have exposed the fragility of our interconnected world.

All these crises threaten our hard-earned progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

These issues, particularly inequality and environmental sustainability, require transformational policy measures at the country, regional and global levels. Development challenges confronting our countries are too large and too complex to be tackled by one country alone.

The emergence of middle-income developing countries willing to share their knowledge, expertise, and resources offers new opportunities for partnerships and points to the changing dynamics in development cooperation.

FEALAC, ESCAP and ECLAC share the objective to support our member countries in achieving their development goals through sound technical assistance and by advancing South-South and triangular cooperation.

Hence, it is critical when member States, like the Government of the Philippines is doing today, reaffirm their commitment to our shared objective. And I thank Your Excellency Ambassador Lagdameo for all your efforts.

For us, UN Regional Commissions, the FEALAC Fund is a shining example of our increased impact when we join hands. And in your presence, I would like to thank ECLAC for our continuing collaboration at all levels.

With this regained momentum and with the support and consideration of member countries, I hope that further capacity development projects will be approved and launched under this Fund.

ESCAP and ECLAC experts have been working together to propose new initiatives in a range of areas, including civil registration, energy transition and climate-smart agricultural technology.

As I close, I would like to reiterate that the development challenges we face today are far too big and too varied for any one of us to address alone.

ESCAP, covering the most populous region in the world, is committed to deepening and diversifying partnerships through its sectoral networks and its engagement with the region’s established and emerging development cooperation agencies.

An important part of this effort is the annual Asia-Pacific Directors General Forum for South-South and Triangular Cooperation, which will convene its fifth session on 27-28 November in Bangkok.

Last year’s forum that took place during the Global South-South Development Expo was chaired by the Philippines.

I invite the Philippines, as well as other FEALAC members from our region, to continue playing an active role in such forums to shape our regional cooperation priorities together.

I thank you all for your attention.

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