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On the seventy-eighth session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister H.E. (Dr.) Tandi Dorji addressed the opening session of the 78th Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today (23 May 2022). This year’s Commission session is being held in a hybrid format from 23-27 May 2022 in Bangkok, under the theme, “A common agenda to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

This Commission session commemorates the 75 years of the establishment of UN-ESCAP in 1947, which also coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of Bhutan joining the regional arm of the UN in 1972.

Over the last 50 years, Bhutan has greatly benefited from our close association with the institution. The ESCAP’s technical assistance and support extended in human resource development have benefited us immensely.

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister mentioned that Bhutan has embraced the sustainable development path and has mainstreamed the SDGs into our national plans and programs. He said that Bhutan has made broad-based progress across most of the SDGs. But given the significant impacts of the pandemic, there is a lot more to be done. So far, Bhutan has presented two Voluntary National Review Reports on SDGs to the UN High Level Political Forum, one in 2018 and the other in 2021.

The Hon’ble Lyonpo also said that despite the adverse impacts of the pandemic on the socioeconomic landscape, Bhutan is blessed to have the enlightened leadership of His Majesty the King, under whose constant guidance, the government introduced various interventions aimed at minimizing the impacts of the pandemic with targeted economic and social measures projected towards a reassuring path of recovery.

Over the next five days, the session, amongst others, will deliberate on how – to advance the 2030 Common Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific; and to collectively address the adverse impacts of the pandemic and climate change that LDC, LLDCS and Pacific Island Developing States (PIDS) are facing today.

 The UN ESCAP was established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. It is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region with 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members with a geographical scope that covers 4.1 billion people or two thirds of the world’s population.

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