UN forum adopts road map to accelerate SDGs in Asia-Pacific
Countries in Asia and the Pacific have adopted a road map for regional cooperation in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The roadmap was approved at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 2017) which ended in Bangkok recently, aiming to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The road map lays out priority areas, implementation arrangements and a process for tracking progress on the SDGs, building on the agreements reached at the last two APFSD meetings.
Men sit on the Nadir Khan hilltop overlooking Kabul, Afghanistan on March 27, 2017. -- Photo AP
According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the roadmap is designed to facilitate regional level cooperation with a focus on the means of implementation of the SDGs and in the thematic areas of social development, disaster risk reduction, climate change, managemen t of natural resources, connectivity, and energy.
“The APFSD deliberations and agreements reached this year have cemented the foundation for a concerted and effective regional response to address cross-cutting issues under the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity,” said United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Dr Shamshad Akhtar.
“While the countries of the Asia-Pacific are forging ahead in this common endeavour, much work remains to bring about the transformations needed. In the years to come, through the APFSD, ESCAP will continue to support crucial dialogue among member States, to share experiences and to strengthen implementation,” she added.
2016 is the first year of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Laos is committed to implement the SDGs as its international obligation, which will not only contribute to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but will also bring development benefits to Laos.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith outlined the government's stance on the SDGs at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York on September 23 last year.
The government must focus on meeting the goals set in its 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, Development Strategy 2025, and Vision 2030. These include green growth and sustainable development, maintaining steady economic growth, achieving constant reduction of poverty and graduating from Least Developed Country status.
In addition to the 17 SDGs, the Lao government has adopted an additional goal (SDG 18): “Lives Safe from UXO”.
The new road map places particular emphasis on supporting implementation of the 2030 Agenda by developing countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small-island developing States and other countries with special needs. It also outlines a process for tracking progress on the SDGs.
Gender equality and women's empowerment are placed at the centre of the regional policy agenda in order to enhance women's leadership and decision-making in all aspects of society.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 3, 2017)