Asia-Pacific Commission "critical to enhancing multilateralism": UN chief

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Shamshad Akhtar. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is "critical to enhancing multilateralism", said the UN chief on Monday.

António Guterres made the remark in a video message to the Commission, which is meeting for its annual session on economic integration and cooperation, in the Thai capital, Bangkok, this week.

Matthew Wells has more.

ESCAP Executive Secretary, Shamshad Akhtar, told senior officials on the opening day of the session, that together they had made "considerable progress in formulating strategies that seek to eradicate poverty and ensure that development balances the needs of economy, people and planet."

The week-long session will include reviewing a regional plan for implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

The Regional Road Map for implementation, sets out priorities, and calls for enhanced technical cooperation on areas such as disaster risk reduction and climate change.

In his video message, Secretary-General Guterres applauded the work of ESCAP in one of the world's most productive and fast-changing regions.

"This dynamic institution is at the heart of the largest trading hub in the world. At the same time many challenges confront this region which is home to half the world's poor. And I applaud ESCAP's effort to reduce poverty, protect the environment and realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Asia and Pacific Region is the leading South-South provider, sharing knowledge and resources with others. Your spirit of openness and willingness to work beyond borders is critical to enhancing multilateralism".

Among the other topics to be discussed this week is regional cooperation over boosting sustainable energy supplies, which will be presented in the form of a flagship study on Friday.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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