By International Press Syndicate
NEW YORK (IDN) - Asia-Pacific countries have reaffirmed the importance of a regional action-oriented follow-up plan for financing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development at a high-level event organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The event was co-organised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Republic of Korea on the sidelines of the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development from April 18 to 20 in New York.
It provided a platform for discussion on innovative financing source modalities and priorities in Asia and the Pacific for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It also considered key regional issues with special reference to the least developed countries, landlocked developed countries, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Bangkok-based 53-nation ESCAP, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, presented the outcomes of the ESCAP led High-level Follow-up Dialogue on Financing for Development in Asia and the Pacific, held in Incheon from March 30 to 31, 2016. Leaders agreed there on a new regional follow-up framework that provides a foundation for implementing the global Addis Ababa Action Agenda and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“At the inaugural meeting in Incheon, Asia-Pacific countries identified a number of priority areas for action to generate financing for 2030 Agenda, which included setting up an Asia-Pacific tax forum, enhancing regional cooperation initiatives for the development of capital markets, and highlighting the importance of a regional infrastructure financing forum,” said Dr. Akhtar.
“The regional policymakers also asked that ESCAP work with networks to promote financial inclusion and explore the possibility of a regional centre in the Pacific to address climate change issues, especially for Small Island Developing States,” she added.
High level participants at the side event highlighted the importance of “forward-thinking partnership with the private sector” to engage resources and ideas into development cooperation, and reiterated their support for an action orientated framework and effective implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Plan.
The side event was chaired by Oh Joon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC.
Panel members of the special side event included: Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro, Minister of Finance, Indonesia; Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Fiji; Roberto B. Tan, National Treasurer, Bureau of the Treasury, Philippines; and Christiaan Rebergen, Vice-Minister for International Cooperation, Netherlands.
Participants included: Azeema Adam, Governor, Maldives Monetary Authority; Norbert Mumba, Deputy Executive Director, Alliance for Financial Inclusion; Vito Tanzi, Former State Secretary for Economy and Finance, Italy; Katherine Maloney, Director, UN Global Account, KPMG; and Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator, Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.
Dr. Akhtar also delivered the keynote presentation on behalf of the five regional commissions – Economic Commissions for Africa (ECA), Europe (ECE), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Western Asia (ESCWA) – at the inaugural segment of the ECOSOC Financing for Development Forum.
“The global follow-up and review processes should more comprehensively recognise the role of the five regional commissions, which are all contributing to and engaged in deliberations with member States, providing policy advice and offering capacity building in critical areas, in particular including through emerging platforms to strengthen domestic resources,” said Dr. Akhtar. [IDN-InDepthNews – 22 April 2016]
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Photo: ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar addressing World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa Marrakech, Morocco, 28 October 2010 as Regional Vice-President, Middle East and North Africa, World Bank. Copyright World Economic Forum | John Cole/still-images.net