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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

06 April 2022


Excellency Mr. Tran Thanh Man, First Vice-President of the National Assembly,

Excellency Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam,

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to speak at this virtual Conference on Sustainable Development Goals and the role of parliament in SDGs implementation.

The Conference provides an excellent occasion for policymakers and experts to share ideas, exchange views and experiences, deliberate on SDGs implementation, and prioritize where joint endeavors can make the most difference.

In this context, I would like to express my appreciation to Viet Nam for organizing this very important event, together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, ESCAP and UNDP.

The harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us today, disrupting people's lives everywhere. This has hindered advancements toward the SDGs, particularly in South-East Asia, where progress is already not on pace.

As reported in the Asia-Pacific SDG Progress Report 2022, South-East Asia is not on track to achieve any of the 17 Goals by 2030. However, some good progress is evidenced in no poverty, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and life on land.

Areas indicating lack of progress include quality education, decent work and economic growth, and partnership for the goals. Showing concerns of regression include clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and life below water. 

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Meanwhile, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the socioeconomic progress achieved by countries throughout the years.

Despite the unprecedented challenges, governments have been taking collective action and reiterated their commitment to implement effective measures to overcome the pandemic.

Aligned with national strategies and regional initiatives, such as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, South-East Asia will continue to make meaningful development gains and progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We shall look at 2022 as a year to renew efforts toward an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery.

In this regard, the role and the engagement of parliaments in achieving the SDGs is very important. The National Assembly has important role to play in every stage of preparing the Voluntary National Review, ranging from establishing the legal framework to the strengthening of partnerships and collaboration with international organizations.

The VNR process provides countries with a better understanding of their SDG progress and the issues that need to be addressed.

This conference therefore, provides a timely opportunity for Viet Nam to highlight the important role of parliaments for socioeconomic development, discuss policy areas, and share lessons and insights on follow-up and preparation for the VNR.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Through policy choices and priorities, countries will be able to implement innovative strategies to recover from this ongoing crisis and ensure that no person or country is left behind.

It is hoped that all relevant stakeholders can engage in a dialogue to enable the VNR to be a catalyst for promoting south-south cooperation and facilitating the sharing of expertise in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs.

ESCAP stands ready to support member States and stakeholders in the accelerated recovery from the pandemic and SDG achievement in South-East Asia and beyond.

We look forward to the outcomes of this Conference to further enhance cooperation with the Viet Nam National Assembly in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thank you very much.

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