UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Ambassador Samantha K. Jayasuriya, as the Chair of the Seventh Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), called the High Level Political forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, for multi-stakeholder partnership in post COOVID-19 era, to preserve the development gains and build forward.
She made these remarks presenting the ‘outcomes of the regional economic commissions’ to the HLPF, which is being conducted as a virtual meeting at the UN in New York, under the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), focusing on the theme: ‘Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realising the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development,’ according to the Foreign Ministry, yesterday.
Reiterating the commitments expressed by the Member States and major stakeholders at the Seventh APFSD towards achieving SDGs, and building back better after the COVID-19 crisis, she stated, would require a change in mindset and a search for new and transformative ways of working; prioritising sustainability, placing humans at centre, and leaving no one behind.
The Seventh APFSD session held at UNESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand on 20 May, as a virtual session for the first time in its history, also acknowledged the APFSD as a key regional space for member States to share the lessons learnt and to discuss their own Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), identify and exchange good practices, bridge concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the region, as well as to prepare for their reviews at the HLPF.
Ambassador Jayasuriya, also appreciated that the UNESCAP, through the APFSD, facilitated interagency cooperation presenting the system-wide results of the United Nations’ efforts at the regional level, in support of the 2030 Agenda.
She also informed HLPF that during the Seventh APFSD, the UNESCAP launched the ‘SDG Partnership report’, with the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, which showed that the Asia and Pacific Region has made ‘good progress in achieving SDG 4 on education and SDG 7 on clean and sustainable energy’.
The HLPF annual meeting in New York is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Session on ‘Messages from the Regions’, which provides space for the regions to share progress and outcomes, was chaired by ECOSOC Vice President Moroccan Ambassador Omar Hilale, and was moderated by Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary Vera Songwe, as the Coordinator of the Regional Commissions.
Ambassador Jayasuriya was assisted by Katinka Weinberger and Riccardo Mesiano from Environment and Development Policy Section of the UNESCAP, and Second Secretary of the Mission Saritha Ranathunga during the virtual meeting.