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Joint SDGs event raises need for urgent action ahead of UN Summit of the Future

Beijing, 26 April, 2024

BANGKOK, 26 April – On Wednesday, the United Nations (UN) in China, the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), co-hosted a dialogue to raise the need for renewed efforts to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inform deliberations for the upcoming Summit of the Future. 

Caption: Attendees at the Dialogue on Renewed Efforts to Deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): working towards the Summit of the Future.

Photo: © ESCAP

The dialogue, a side event of the 80th session of ESCAP held in Bangkok, Thailand, saw the participation of representatives from the Government of China, Member and Associate Members of ESCAP, UN entities, academia, development partners, foundations, research institutes and the private sector.

In highlighting perspectives from the Asia Pacific region on the current state of progress on the SDGs, it is intended for the dialogue in Bangkok to be one of a series of events ahead of the Summit of the Future to be convened by the UN Secretary-General this September, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation, reaffirm existing commitments including to the UN Charter and the SDGs, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system.

During her remarks, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, said, "With a changing donor landscape and new emerging donors, we need to adapt partnerships towards more integrated, effective, and networked development cooperation strategies."

Caption: Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

Photo: © ESCAP

During his remarks, UN Resident Coordinator in China, Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, said, “Our dialogue today serves as part of our concerted efforts to better inform this Summit. The purpose of these engagements, including today’s event with our two co-hosts, is to forge mutual understanding, establish and consolidate partnerships, and mobilize much-needed resources for the SDGs.”

Caption: Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China.

Photo: © ESCAP

With current ESCAP estimates putting the achievement of the SDGs more than three decades behind schedule in Asia and the Pacific, the dialogue was framed around the existing country, regional and global efforts to accelerate the SDGs as well as the potential of new financing, partnerships, and pathways.

During his remarks, Vice Chairman of CIDCA, His Excellency Mr. Zhao Fengtao, said, “China stands ready to work with ESCAP and countries in the Asia-Pacific Region by synergizing our development strategies, allocating more resources, coordinating development and security, and improving global governance to jointly build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and bring the Asia-Pacific cooperation to new heights.”

Caption: His Excellency Mr. Zhao Fengtao, Vice Chairman of CIDCA.

Photo: © ESCAP

The dialogue was also positioned around the “Six Transitions” highlighted by the UN Sustainable Development Group, a set of entry points for further investment that have potential multiplier effects across the SDGs, specifically, food systems, energy access and affordability, digital connectivity, education, jobs and social protection, and climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

During his remarks, the Permanent Representative of China to ESCAP, Mr. Ke Yousheng, said, “Recent years have seen significant shifts in thinking on development cooperation. While official development assistance remains an important component, South-South cooperation has become a critical and rapidly growing modality to achieve the SDGs.”

Adding to remarks from UN and government representatives from China, Malaysia and Thailand, other speakers at the dialogue include those from groups such as China Agricultural University, the Forum for World Education, the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization, Strategy613, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Inputs from the dialogue will form part of summary documents to be shared with UN Headquarters and others ahead of the Summit of the Future.

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