The IFSW-AP UN Representatives, including Dr. Wilaiporn Kotbungkair (Thailand), Dr. Sebastian Cordoba (Australia), and Mr. Kim Sug Pyo (South Korea), attended the 78th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held at UNCC Bangkok and online during 23–27 May 2022. This event is an auspicious occasion as ESCAP is celebrating its 75th anniversary on 28 March 2022 to commemorate the achievements of ESCAP since 1947 and its role in promoting mutual understanding and collaboration among the Member States and stakeholders, coordinating, and shaping the future of regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific. Regional and subregional frameworks can effectively translate sustainable development policies into concrete action at the national level.
The agenda comprised the general debates, high-level discussions, country statements, and different side events. The Member States reported on their progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The coronavirus pandemic has had huge impacts on every sector and posed challenges to the member states and Asia and the Pacific to achieve the 2030 agenda. The Member states reported on measures implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure equal social welfare and services access by their citizens.
Several critical issues were addressed, including government finances for a sustainable recovery from Covid-19; subregional collaboration; the measurement of sustainable development beyond economic growth, including social and environment; disaster statistics; and challenges faced by the least developed and landlocked countries and island developing States.
Subregional cooperation was highly focused on as a mechanism to narrow the adaptation gaps.
Theme topic, “A common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” call for attention to the pathways to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable recovery and post-pandemic development through subregional cooperation to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia and the Pacific SDGs progress systematically reviewed and analyzed available data to inform gaps that must be closed to achieve the goals by 2030. Importantly, this helps ensure the region’s actions remain on target and that shortcomings are addressed for better development and resilience.
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) UN Asia Pacific Representatives also submitted the position statement to the 78th session of ESCAP, calling consideration on roles of social workers in addressing global challenges. Moreover, statement offered perspectives on urgent actions needed on the SDGs, conflict and human rights in the region, and climate emergency/Co-building a new Ecosocial world. The IFSW’s Asia Pacific UN Representatives also recommend key considerations and actions to the UN and the Member States.
The IFSW UN AP Commission has been advocating for urgent collaborative climate action in the region with the UN ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development highlighting our call for “urgent collaborative and whole-of society climate action, as climate change was a social justice issue, and the role of social workers in climate action” in their last report.
Dr. Wilaiporn Kotbungkair (Thailand) and Mr. Kim Sug Pyo (South Korea), not on the picuture: Dr. Sebastian Cordoba (Australia).