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Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2021

23 to 26 March 2021

Bangkok, Thailand

Virtual

Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2021

The Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) is an annual and inclusive intergovernmental forum and a regional platform for supporting countries, in particular those with special needs, in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while serving as a regional preparatory meeting to the high-level political forum.

The Forum provides a regional perspective on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by identifying regional trends and consolidating and sharing best practices and lessons learned. The Forum takes into consideration the contributions of United Nations system bodies (at the regional level), other regional and sub regional organizations, and relevant stakeholders.  The APFSD also supports follow-up and review of progress on the 2030 Agenda at the regional level.

The theme of the 8th APFSD is Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific”. It will be organized from March 23-26, 2021 in a hybrid mode. Some sessions will be organized as hybrid sessions, enabling physical presence in the UNCC, while other sessions (i.e. parallel roundtables on in-depth reviews of SDGs) will be organized entirely as online events

The 8th APFSD will play a unique role as a catalyzer of solutions and peer learning on how to accelerate transformations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda while recovering from COVID-19, by providing a platform to:

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23 Mar 2021
10:30
11:00
AGENDA ITEM 1 | Opening statements, Election of officers, Adoption of the agenda
OPENING OF THE FORUM

FORMAT: Interventions (KUDO and in person)

 

Address by the Outgoing Chair

 

Welcome

 

Interventions

  • H.E. Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council
  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

 

Remarks

  • CSO representative

Election of the Bureau and Adoption of the Agenda

11:00
12:30
AGENDA ITEM 2 | Regional perspectives on accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific

 

FORMAT: Pre-recorded panel & Country and stakeholder statements (KUDO)

11:00-11:30

Youth dialogue on the APFSD/HLPF theme: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia and the Pacific” moderated by Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (30 minutes)

11:30-12:30

Country and stakeholder statements (1 hour)

12:30
14:30
Break and side events
14:30
16:30
Review of regional progress on SDGs

FORMAT: Presentation & Country and stakeholder statements (KUDO)

Presentation from the Secretariat on Progress on implementation of the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific (15 minutes)

Country and stakeholder statements (1 hour 45 minutes)

24 Mar 2021
10:00
16:00
AGENDA ITEM 2 | Regional perspectives on accelerating progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Review of regional progress on SDGs

10:00-12:00

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 1

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 8

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 16

12:00-14:00

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 2

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 10

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 12

14:00-16:00

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 3

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 13

Assessment of progress in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 17

25 Mar 2021
09:00
10:00
AGENDA ITEM 3 | Linking national, regional, and global dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The UN acting as one on supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

 

FORMAT: UN system-wide regional reporting; launch of the Knowledge Management Hub & Country and stakeholder statements (KUDO and in person)

09:00-09:10

Presentation by the United Nations development system Asia-Pacific (10 minutes)

09:10-10:00

Country and stakeholder statements (50 minutes)

10:00
11:00
Review of regional progress on SDGs

 

FORMAT: Reporting from SDG roundtables & country and stakeholder statements (KUDO)

10:00-10:30

Reporting from the Roundtable3 (30 minutes)

10:30-11:00

Country and stakeholder statements (30 minutes)

11:00
14:00
14:00
16:00
Strengthening follow-up and review to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda

 

FORMAT: Interactive panel & Country and stakeholder statements (KUDO)

14:00-15:00

Panel featuring 2021 reporting countries on “National progress and achievements with respect to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”

15:00-15:55

Country and stakeholder statements (55 minutes)

15:55
16:00
AGENDA ITEM 4 | Other Matters
Others
26 Mar 2021
10:30
12:30
High Level Event “Looking forward together to build back better”

FORMAT: High level Panel

12:30
14:30
14:30
15:00
AGENDA ITEM 5 | Review and adoption of the draft report of the Forum
Review and adoption of the report
15:00
15:30
AGENDA ITEM 6 | Closing of the Forum
CLOSING
Mar
23
2021
CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR SIDE EVENTS (CLOSED)

Bangkok, Thailand

Call for Applications - APFSD Youth Forum 2021, 14-16 March

Bangkok, Thailand

Call for major groups and other stakeholders participation – APFSD and the Asia-Pacific People’s Forum

Bangkok, Thailand

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Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General
Amina J. Mohammed
UN Deputy Secretary-General
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Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Prior she was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic in Nigeria and Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She also served as Special Adviser on the Millennium Development Goals, as well as international advisory boards, one of them being the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda. Also, she is an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University.

Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
Know More

Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Formerly, she was Professor of Economics at Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia, where she also served as a Director for the Center for Sustainable Development Goals Studies, as well as Vice Chair of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences. Prior, she was the Minister of National Development Planning and the Head of National Development Planning Agency in Indonesia, alongside being the Alternate Governor of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank representing Indonesia.

His Excellency Munir Akram
His Excellency Munir Akram
ECOSOC president
Know More

His Excellency Munir Akram was elected seventy-sixth President of the Economic and Social Council on 23 July 2020. Ambassador Akram is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York. Ambassador Akram assumed his position as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, on November 1, 2019.

Ambassador Munir Akram previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for six years between 2002 and 2008, after serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva for seven years from 1995 to 2002.

Between 1988 and 1992, Munir Akram was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Council, Belgium and Luxemburg.

During his term at the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram served twice as President of the Security Council in May 2003 and in May 2004; President of the Economic and Social Council in 2005; Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (developing countries) in 2007, and Facilitator on UN Administrative Reform in 2006.

Roundtable 1- SDG 1: No Poverty

Eradicating all forms of poverty so that no one is left behind is the pledge of  SDG 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Asia and the Pacific region has made good progress in two areas: reduction in extreme poverty and access to water and sanitation. Number of people living in extreme poverty (PPP$1.9 a day poverty) has significantly decreased from 1.9 billion to roughly 689 million during 1990 - 2017. Nonetheless, the region still faces the challenges due to  inadequate coverage of social protection, economic suffering from disasters, and insufficient investment aimed to improve human resources and capabilities, among others. This roundtable will focus on the discussions about how to address all forms of poverty through development programmes and investment. The priority actions range from income generating activities to investment in building capabilities and resilience as well as enhancing climate and disaster risks reduction, to protecting human rights, fostering women’s participation and building the capacity of developing countries in the areas of disaggregated data collection and analysis.  With the impact of COVID-19, the session will also further explore how risk reduction, resilience, and recovery can improve the situation of poor and vulnerable communities.

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 10:00-12:00

 

Roundtable 2- SDG 2: Zero Hunger

The Asia Pacific Region still has a long way to go in achieving zero hunger. Nutrition and food security is a multifaceted issue that hinges on safe, resilient, and widespread access to healthy nutritious food.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated risk of hunger, poverty, malnutrition, and a deepened economic divide; however, more importantly, the pandemic highlights gaps and key challenges for the region in achieving SDG 2. The pandemic underscores weak monitoring and reporting mechanisms and lack of adequate data, which are critical for food system modifications and nutrition policy planning.  Because SDG 2 is a multifaceted issue that hinges on several factors including: food/ nutrition systems, healthcare, education, sanitation, infrastructure, marketing, and the economy, an integrated approach is required for SDG 2 progress. This roundtable aims to address how data systems should be readjusted or improved for better monitoring of both individual household food security, and of market fluctuations that strongly influences food systems. Moreover, in light of the pandemic, which has unleashed new advents in technology in order to manage and digitize operations, this roundtable encourages participants to discuss new opportunities in strengthening resilience in data systems, and food value chains through novel technological innovations.

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 12:00-14:00

 

Roundtable 3- SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being

Progress, in terms of reduced child and maternal mortality rates, and communicable diseases, is indicative of good progress towards SDG 3 for the Asia Pacific region. Progress so far, can be mainly attributed to improved access to essential health services, such as access to professional health personnel during child births. Nonetheless, despite the gains made in sexual and reproductive health, there is still a need for increased access to modern family planning methods, counselling services, and contraceptives for women and adolescents. Socio-economic inequality, structural discrimination, and gender norms, remain as barriers in access to health care, highlighting the need for institutional reform to combat such issues. Additionally. non communicable disease (NCDs) have been on the rise and will be expected to grow. In acknowledgement of the upward trend in NCDs, this roundtable encourages participants to discuss the rise of NCDs, especially as many countries in the region are starting to realize the challenges associated with an ageing demographic. Additionally, with an expected increased demand in health care, it is vital to consider opportunities to strengthen health systems that also address issues in inequality, that will sustain and accelerate the progress made so far in the region. 

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 14:00-16:00

 

Roundtable 4- SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, the Asia Pacific region benefited from high rates of economic growth although progress towards promoting the inclusiveness of growth through the accessibility of decent work remained limited. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in 2020, economies, enterprises and workers in the region have been negatively impacted, reversing some of the limited gains made in the pursuit of decent work and inclusive growth over the previous decade. While many countries of Asia and the Pacific have seen success in limiting transmission and deaths from COVID-19, nearly all have paid a price in terms of increased unemployment, insecurity and poverty. The pandemic thus highlights the region’s need to focus its efforts on the design and implementation of durable solutions that will promote and economic recovery that also secures fair, safe, and inclusive work in line with SDG 8 targets. This roundtable will focus on the strategies and measures that can aid in short – long term economic recovery of jobs, and discussions of activities and inclusive policies that abet green economic development that also integrates considerations of youth and women employment.

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 10:00-12:00

 

 

Roundtable 5- SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

Individuals in the bottom 40 percent in more than half of the countries in the Asia Pacific region have income growth rates that are insufficient for income convergence. Women, girls, and migrants are still faced with discrimination in the work place and in access to public services such as health care. Large inequalities of opportunity persist, particularly in educational attainment, ownership of a bank account, access to clean fuels and basic sanitation. Policy interventions are required in order to address and reduce inequality in the region. Acknowledging that the poor and vulnerable are among the people most impacted by natural disasters, and economic crises, social protection is essential for protection and recovery of these groups. As evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic it has become clear that the Asia Pacific region still lacks in its capability to protect marginalized communities. This roundtable focuses on promoting policies that reduce inequality, including the use of data for an evidence-based approach for identifying groups that are left behind. 

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 12:00-14:00

 

Roundtable 6- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Sustainable consumption and production (SCP) is expected to make progress that keeps pace with rising income and lifestyle changes, especially as economic growth in the Asia Pacific region accelerates. Waste recovery and prevention systems in the region still remains insufficient for the rate of domestic production and consumption. It is vital that the region integrates SCP into national development plans, promotes education and awareness for sustained technological and behavioural changes, and circular economy approaches. This roundtable aims to discuss how to accelerate institutional capabilities in waste reduction management, especially in how wastewater and plastic waste are managed in increasingly dense cities. This roundtable also encourages participants to discuss how SCP and environmental challenges can be reframed to encourage business and private sector to pivot their practices towards greater sustainability.  

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 12:00-14:00

 

Roundtable 7- SDG 13: Climate Action

The Asia Pacific region is lagging in its efforts to accelerate climate mitigation and adaptation actions that can keep pace with the changing climate. Moreover, the continuously increasing impact of climate change has only been exacerbated and even more pronounced with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising global temperatures will only increase the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, which disproportionately affects marginalized and vulnerable communities. Therefore, it is important that countries readjust their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to accelerate, disaster risk reduction plans, resilience building, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and education and awareness to improve both human and institutional capacity to adapt to climate change. This roundtable focuses on promising innovations in natural resource and disaster risk management strategies, adaptation and mitigation technologies that are both context specific and considers of ecosystem-based approaches for better resilience. COVID-19 has also magnified climate change related impacts, especially for vulnerable communities, small island states, least developed countries, and areas in low lying coastal zones; therefore this roundtable will also address how to best raise the capacity of such communities and governments to independently plan for and manage climate change effects. 

The Roundtable will provide an opportunity for representatives from governments and local authorities, civil society, academia, and private sector to review the progress of climate action in the Asia-Pacific region and associated challenges and to discuss priorities for action, based on the SDG13 Profile prepared in advance of the APFSD.  The Roundtable will be structured to present the findings and analysis of the SDG13 profile, followed by interventions from several key stakeholder representatives, breakout sessions and plenary discussion, and will conclude with preparation of a brief report to be presented at the APFSD Plenary session on 25 March.  

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 14:00-16:00

 

Roundtable 8- SDG 16: Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

Peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16) lie at the core of progress on all other SDGs, and is considered an enabler of the 2030 Agenda as a whole. The Asia- Pacific region has low levels of intentional homicides and many countries have made good progress in birth registration as well as in legislation to guarantee public access to information. Nonetheless, many countries face significant challenges on most dimensions of SDG 16, including on corruption and bribery; reducing violence and death, including violence against women and children; effective, accountable and transparent institutions; responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making; the protection of fundamental freedoms; and in the implementation of non-discriminatory laws and policies, in particular for vulnerable and marginalized communities. Lack of quality and disaggregated data on SDG 16 is also a key challenge. This roundtable aims to discuss priority actions and good practices to advance progress on SDG 16 in the region, including ways to strengthen the rule of law, access information and the protection of fundamental freedoms, as well as how to eliminate discrimination and strengthen meaningful participation of groups that are left behind, towards responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making and effective, accountable and transparent institutions.

Register here

Date: Wednesday 24 March 2021
Time: 10:00-12:00

 

for more information, please contact

ESCAP APFSD [email protected]