We need to invest in women, youth, and people with disabilities, UN Deputy Chief tells Resident Coordinators in Asia-Pacific region
04 April 2022
BANGKOK, Thailand - UN Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed called upon Resident Coordinators in the Asia-Pacific region to fully employ their leadership and convening power to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are kept on track during the challenging environment of a global pandemic.
Ms. Mohammed met with the 21 Resident Coordinators during her visit to Bangkok where she opened the ninth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) with a resounding call for countries to ensure recovery strategies that are just, inclusive and leave leave no one behind.
The APFSD provided a critical opportunity to identify common priorities and challenges — as well as ways to overcome them — to achieve the SDGs in the Decade of Action and the 2030 Agenda.
On the back of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent crises, the region is fast losing ground in its ability to achieve the 17 SDGs.
“We need to invest in women, young people, people with disabilities, people working in the informal sector as well as refugees and migrants. They have been hit the hardest by the pandemic and will continue to pay the highest price if we do not take urgent action,” said Ms. Mohammed in her keynote address, adding: “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals was never going to be easy. But it is still possible.”
The DSG expressed appreciation for the work of the Resident Coordinators in the region, especially during the pandemic which had proved a litmus test for the reforms and demonstrated the value of multilateralism and use of our Common Agenda to rebuild the momentum of the SDGs.
Echoing that sentiment, David Mclachlan-Karr, Development Coordination Office (DCO) Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific region, highlighted how Resident Coordinators in the region had continued to exercise exemplary leadership and momentum to ‘move the needle’ on the critical SDG accelerators while navigating an increasingly complex geo-political space.
He further noted that Resident Coordinators and DCO remain aware of the need to fully leverage partnerships and build coalitions within our UN family and among our partners on the critical SDG accelerators as a collective undertaking.
Localizing the SDGs and advancing the disability agenda
During the meeting, several Resident Coordinators took to the floor to highlight examples of best practices on transboundary work in times of crisis, catalyzing innovative funding for development, working across humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding dimensions, meeting the specific needs of SIDS (Small Island Developing States) and landlocked countries, and applying prevention lenses to development work — as well as making progress on food systems, localizing the SDGs and advancing the disability agenda.
The DSG acknowledged the progress made in key areas of SDG acceleration and thanked the Resident Coordinators for their leadership. She noted the need for the UN to engage with and be guided by young people.
“Young people around the world continue to show us what it means to speak up and take the lead,” the DSG tweeted during a meeting with Thailand SDG Youth Advocates.
She also highlighted the importance of sustaining the conversation on the funding compact and urged Resident Coordinators to use crises not as an excuse but rather as an opportunity to bring the system closer together.