Philippines’ Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, who was elected as Chair of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (ESCAP) 9th APFSD, delivers his opening statement.


April 4, 2022 — Regional cooperation is vital in sustaining growth to achieve the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Despite the pandemic, [the] Asia-Pacific [region] has made steady progress in reaching the SDGs. While this is laudable, so much more needs to be done in realizing our vision of creating a change that is truly transformative in the lives of all. For the impact of economic growth to be lasting and profound, it must be built on the bedrock of sustainable development with the people, planet, and peace as its core. Critical to this will be our capacity to work together in partnership for the goals,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua.

The Philippines participated in the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) which was held from March 28 to 31, 2022. Being elected as Chair, Secretary Chua was tasked to moderate the proceedings of the forum, which focused on the progress of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development amid COVID-19.

Meanwhile, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon delivered the Philippines’ country statement. She focused on three actions to shape the future of the region: supporting research and development and innovation, addressing the digital divide, and strengthening multi-sectoral partnerships.

The remaining sessions of the forum were organized around stakeholder dialogues and roundtable discussions between member states to cover the regional progress on SDGs. Undersecretary Edillon also served as a panelist and the country’s representative during the discussion on the Voluntary National Reviews, and the overall experience of twinning partners.

In his closing statement, Chua underscored the importance of international cooperation in achieving the SDGs.

“The work ahead of us is immense, but the rewards we reap in the form of a better world are far greater. Your active participation in this forum reaffirms our collective resolve and underscores our desire to achieve a sustainable future and to bring prosperity to all. Our discussions brought to light our collective realization that our goals are within our grasp once we are able to harness the power of technology and partnerships,” he said.

The forum was attended by more than 3,000 participants, including representatives of 46 member and associate member states, intergovernmental organizations, UN bodies, international organizations, and other stakeholders.

The APFSD serves as a regional preparatory meeting for the 78th session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the high-level political forum in May 2022 and July 2022, respectively.

– END –