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Asia-Pacific Is Emerging Eminently on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: Deputy UN Chief

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Speaking at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) in Bangkok, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed expressed her admiration for the development progress made within the vast region so far.

“Your governments have taken on the challenge of the 2030 Agenda with decisive leadership…making significant investments to enhance data and statistical coverage, take partnerships to scale and promote people-centred policies, strategies and programmes,” she said in a keynote address.

Such efforts to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), however, are facing “major obstacles” she added, pointing to rising inequalities.

“Inequality of wealth, of access to basic services, and inequality in the ability to withstand setbacks and respond to the ravages wrought by climate change, are all on the rise,” said Ms. Mohammed.

There are abundant examples in [Asia-Pacific] that point the way forward for empowerment and inclusion of everyone – UN deputy chief, Amina Mohammed

According to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) – which organized the Forum – the region’s women and girls have been the worst impacted, more than half of whom remain excluded from critical decision-making, and in some countries, close to a third of all young people lack jobs, education or training.

“It is a matter of urgency to empower our women and girls; to leverage the immense potential of youth for positive change and innovation; to reverse the trend on inequalities; and to put people and planet at the centre,” said Ms. Mohammed, adding that Asia-Pacific does not need to look very far.

“There are abundant examples in this region that point the way forward for empowerment and inclusion of everyone. But the question we must all address is: how can we increase ambition and accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda?” she added.

 

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