11 Jun 2020
Foreign Minister co-chaired
the 4th High- Level Brainstorming Dialogue on Enhancing Complementarities between
the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
via video conference
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On 4 June 2020, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, together with Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, co-chaired the 4th High-Level Brainstorming Dialogue on Enhancing Complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLBD) via video conference. This forum aims to promote regional cooperation in enhancing synergies between ASEAN Community-building and the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda, or also known as the “Complementarities Initiative”. Participants at the 4th HLBD included Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN as well as high-level representatives from ASEAN Member States, UN agencies, and other external partners, including China, the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Asia Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In his opening remarks, the Foreign Minister underlined that ASEAN needs to turn the challenges of COVID-19 into opportunities to chart the course for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by focusing on (1) enhancing people’s well-being (2) promoting human capital development and (3) finding a balance between economic and social development and environmental impact. Moreover, a clear game plan is needed to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, which can be started by compiling best practices in the region and putting in place robust monitoring and evaluation systems.
During the discussion, the Meeting reviewed progress made and discussed ways to advance the Complementarities Initiative based on the six areas of cooperation under the Complementarities Roadmap (2020 – 2025), namely, poverty eradication, infrastructure and connectivity, sustainable management of natural resources, sustainable consumption and production, resilience, and capacity-building. The Meeting also highlighted that sustainable development and the Complementarities Initiative can help mitigate the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 and strengthen regional resilience to future crises and disruptions. Emphasis was placed on enhancing high quality education and STI, promoting health security, advancing green growth, restoring and building sustainable supply chains, promoting inclusiveness, international, multi-stakeholder, and cross-sectoral participation for development.
The HLBD, which is an annual meeting co-hosted by Thailand, as the ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation, and UN ESCAP since 2017, plays a significant role in fostering partnerships for sustainable development cooperation between ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s external partners. Among concrete initiatives pushed forward by the HLBD are the Complementarities Roadmap and the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD), which was launched at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand last year.
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