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Prioritize People And Planet, UN Chief Urges Asian And Pacific Nations

The UN Secretary-General on Monday called on
Asian and Pacific countries not to base their pandemic
recovery strategies on “outdated and unsustainable
economic models”, and to ensure that the world’s most
populous region protects its environment and provides
opportunities for all.

In a message
to the annual session of the Economic and Social Commission
for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Secretary-General António
underlined the 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development
as the blueprint for
a strong recovery, leaving no one behind.

starts with universal health coverage and social protection,
and decent work.”

The UN chief also called for
making “peace with nature” and stronger efforts to
tackle the climate crisis, including investing in renewable
energy, sustainable food systems, and nature-based

“Looking forward, recovery plans cannot
be based on outdated, unsustainable economic models.
Investments to rebuild the economy must be centred around
inclusive, sustainable development that prioritizes people
and planet”, he added.

Theme of the

in a virtual setting from 26 to 29 April, countries at the
77th session of ESCAP will discuss how regional cooperation
can help countries “build
back better
” from the pandemic.

Also on the agenda is
the impact of the pandemic on the region’s least developed
and landlocked developing countries, and small islands,
including equitable distribution of vaccines and financial
support initiatives, debt reliefs and debt service

The Commission will also discuss the status of
implementation of sustainable development
in the region
amid the pandemic and its socio-economic fallout, with
several countries reeling under successive waves of coronavirus

Established in 1947, ESCAP is the largest
of the UN’s five regional commissions – both in terms of
geographic coverage and population served – its membership
spanning from the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the
east, to Turkey in the west, and Russia in the north, to New
Zealand in the south. ESCAP’s membership also includes
France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United

Photo | Opening of the 77th session of the Economic and
Social Commission for Asia and the

Key areas for

Outlining priorities necessary to ensure a
recovery in line with the 2030
, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary
of ESCAP, called
on countries to integrate health risk management into their
socio-economic strategies, and to scale up of social
protection policies to include all segments of the society,
especially those working in informal sectors, persons with
disabilities, and older persons.

She also underlined
the need for sustainable financing, with a focus on
investment in resilient economies, as well as strengthening
regional trade and transport connectivity to better
withstand shocks and disruptions.

In addition,
countries must ensure that the COVID-19 recovery
is strong, clean and green, Ms. Alisjahbana

“It is high time for governments to adopt a
climate and environmentally responsive approach in line with
the Paris
. Let us urgently invest in renewable energy,
energy efficient production system, green infrastructure and
ecosystem restoration”, she

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