Asia and the Pacific meet to advance the Sustainable Development Goals

Thematic Area
Governance and Public Institutions
Asia and the Pacific

INCHEON, 22 November 2022 - Government and non-government representatives from countries across Asia and the Pacific and beyond, gathered for three days in Incheon, Republic of Korea, to discuss how to strengthen governance across a region struggling to make up ground lost to COVID-19, climate change, and extreme weather events.

The Regional Symposium on “Effective Governance and Digital Transformation for Accelerating the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Addressing Global Challenges” – was seen as an important opportunity to get back on track to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN Member States in 2015.

Along with eradication of poverty and hunger, the SDGs recognize the importance of strong public institutions and digital transformation in delivering progress on sustainable development.

The gathering was hailed by UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Li Junhua “as an opportunity to explore innovative solutions to rescue the SDGs.”

In a video message to the opening High-Level Session, Mr. Li Junhua said that ”the world needs responsible leadership and a sense of urgency if we are to overcome the existential threats which we have manufactured through neglect of public goods and a narrow focus on short-term gains.”

Mr. Sang-min Lee, Minister for the Interior and Safety, welcomed participants and highlighted that the Government of Korea utilizes new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, based on the world’s best digital government and is transitioning to a Digital Platform Government based on public-private cooperation.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations said that ”countries participating in this Symposium have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share about how they have faced the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are investing in a green and sustainable recovery. Despite inflation and the global economic slowdown, we must stay the course when it comes to investing in strong institutions and building digital capacities across government to meet complex challenges such as the climate emergency and the threat of new pandemics. Strategic planning and foresight have never been more important.”

Mr. Jeongbok Yoo, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City noted that ”Incheon is proud to host this Regional Symposium. Like many other cities represented here, Incheon is committed to making our city resilient and sustainable, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adapting to climate change. I look forward to the peer-to-peer learning opportunities that will arise over these three days as we share experiences between our public institutions and civil society organizations.”

More information is available here.