From 27-28 March 2019, Chavali Osathanugrah, member of the Zonta UN Committee in Bangkok, attended the Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, which took place at UNESCAP. She also attended and participated at the side events organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, the Mae Fah Luang Foundation (MFLF), Social Enterprise Thailand and Asian Venture Philanthropy Network; Thailand for ECOSOC 2020-2022 by Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development : Putting People First in Health and Disaster Risk Reduction; Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) and Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy (SEP) in Action of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand; including ‘Building Bridges for Sustainable Development Goals’.
There were more than 1,000 participants over the Forum’s three-day period. Emphasis on the progress of the following:
- SDG4 (Quality Education);
- SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth For All);
- SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities within and among countries);
- SDG13 (Urgent Climate Action);
- SDG16 (Peace, Access to Justice and Inclusive Institutions at all Levels);
- SDG17 (Partnerships with like-minded organizations).
Government and civil society representatives as well as academicians and business representatives recognized the importance of immediate action on these Goals for the benefit of those in the region, ensuring a sustainable future:
- Links between the Goals
- Good Governance
It was noted that progress has been made in the following areas:
- Poverty reduction;
Concerns with the following:
- Widening of income and wealth gaps;
- Unequal access to resources, education, employment opportunities, technology and social protection.
Moreover, the key concern is climate change in the region, and the impact it has on the vulnerable populations — particularly marginalized women, children, the elderly, those with health challenges.
Calls for greater inclusivity to accelerate efforts toward sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region.
The closing remarks of the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Ms. Armida Alisjahbana: “Overall, the discussions give cause for optimism. They recognized considerable challenges, but also considered many specific initiatives the region is taking to monitor and accelerate progress. There is a need for integrated and inclusive policy-making, recognized during discussions on this year’s theme , ‘empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’. The concrete examples of how Empowerment has been successfully delivered in many of your countries are inspiring, as are the many innovative approaches which are underway.”