The Bhutanese delegation led by Foreign Secretary Sonam Tshong attended the 74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held from 11-16 May 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In his address at the Ministerial Segment of the Session, Foreign Secretary highlighted the lack of access to basic services and amenities for millions of people in the region despite the miraculous socio-economic growth in the region. He said that seven countries from the region, including Bhutan, classified as LDCs are set to graduate in the next few years and stressed the need to address the last mile challenges faced by these countries such as from declining level of development assistance amongst others. He stressed the need for enhanced transition support measures for graduating countries to ensure that graduation to middle income category is smooth and sustainable. He commended ESCAP for taking the leadership role in coming up with an Asia-Pacific regional road map for the implementation of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. Touching on the Session’s theme “Inequality in the era of the 2030 Agenda” he called for scaling up of partnerships and involvement of all stakeholders to achieve the sustainable development goals.
The Bhutanese delegation also attended several parallel events including the event “Breaking the inequality trap towards sustainable graduation” where Foreign Secretary Sonam Tshong shared Bhutan’s development experience and its preparedness for graduation from the Least Developed Countries category (LDC).