Photo: UN - Photo: 2016

Development Cooperation Critical for Asia-Pacific Countries

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK (IDN) – A high-ranking United Nations official has stressed the need to translate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into national planning and budgetary processes.

This is particularly important in countries with special needs, declared the head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on the sidelines of the fifth biennial high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) in New York on July 21. GERMAN | HINDI | SPANISH

Opening the high-level panel on regional cooperation, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, underlined that least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDs) face a range of structural challenges resulting from lower levels of domestic economic diversification, limited productive capacities and increased vulnerability to external shocks, which has impeded structural transformation.

“In order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, development partners must forge and act on development cooperation frameworks,” said Dr. Akhtar at the side event on ‘Adaptation of the 2030 Agenda and the Role of Development Cooperation in Asia-Pacific’. It was organized by ESCAP in partnership with the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (OHRLLS).

“Given the global economic challenges and slowdown, more supportive global partnerships for finance, trade and investment will be critical, especially in the trade of the countries with special needs, which accounts for barely 0.9 per cent of total regional trade,” she said.

“ESCAP, through its regional connectivity and trade facilitation programs, will focus on supporting these countries to improve their trade prospects, which are critical for growth and trade revival,” Dr. Akhtar added.

Under-Secretary-General Gyan Chandra Acharya of OHRLLS echoed that integration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the national development strategy is “the first step in the right direction.”

“As national multi-stakeholder leadership is undoubtedly the most critical driving force behind the attainment of SDGs, there is need for special focus on LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs to help them devise a coherent national strategy for their effective implementation,” said Acharya.

“Capacity building support for institutional development and implementation mechanism also need a strong and consistent support from the international community,” he added.

The high level panel included senior ministers, and representatives from the private sector and civil society from the Asia-Pacific region. The DCF engages policymakers and practitioners from around the world to review latest international development cooperation trends.

This year, the meeting, held on July 21-22, focuses on the importance and tremendous potential of development cooperation as a lever for effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda. [IDN-InDepthNews – 22 July 2016]

Photo: UN

This article is part of IDN’s media project jointly with Global Cooperation Council and DEVNET Japan.

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