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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

26 October 2020

His Excellency, Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

Excellencies, Dear Colleagues and friends, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great honour to welcome you to the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. This milestone is a historic opportunity to shape our future together in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Since the aftermath of the Second World War, the resurgence of countries has lifted billions of people out of extreme poverty, hunger, and injustice. Region’s development success story has been instrumental in transforming societies, while providing hopes and lifelong opportunities to everyone, everywhere. The peoples have remained at the front and centre to inspire this great transformation.

Yet, the remaining development challenges are creating critical barriers to reach the furthest behind. Widening socio-economic inequality, lagging social protection schemes, growing digital divide, rising climate change impacts, and rapidly eroding public trust need decisive actions now. In midst of this regional development landscape, the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated fault line of our societies and polity.  

Today, harnessing regional cooperation to advance the Sustainable Development Goals must remain our compass to build back better. No country can fight this pandemic alone, and no country can be secured when other countries in its neighbourhood are fighting the pandemic.

Investing in multilateralism cannot be over-emphasised for a better, greener, and resilient recovery in this Decade of Action.

The United Nations is collaborating and coordinating with member States and all stakeholders to protect people, ensure economic dynamism, forge sustainable connectivity, and restore environment.

History teaches that we are more effective and relevant if we empower people to support the societal transformation that we aspire together. Accelerating progress towards the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and other internationally agreed development goals, is possible only through an enhanced multilateral cooperation and development partnership.

In Asia and the Pacific, the people-centred policy solutions have been the hallmark of governments in guiding development discourse.

It’s heartening to acknowledge that Thailand has been playing a significant role in promoting harmony between economy and environment to build a unifying vision for our shared future. Thailand’s experiences in the application of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), introduced by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, for sustainable development is inspirational for development practitioners and policymakers across the region.

Throughout this incredible journey, Bangkok has remained home to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) since 1949 and UN Regional Offices thereafter. On behalf of the UN family, let me extend our deepest appreciation to the Royal Thai Government for your gracious hospitality, unmatched generosity, and unwavering support. 

As we mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, compassionate leadership and inclusive multilateralism are as relevant today as they were 75 years ago.

Let us seize this defining moment of our time. We must shape the Asia-Pacific region’s shared prosperity for all, together.  Thank you.

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