With a strong focus on gender equality, UN forum wraps up with new Asia-Pacific road map to boost Sustainable Development

31 March 2017


Bangkok -- Asia-Pacific nations have adopted a road map of regional cooperation on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) that concluded in Bangkok today.

The road map lays out priority areas, implementation arrangements and a process  for tracking progress on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs). It will focus on the thematic areas of  social development, disaster risk reduction, climate change, management of natural resources, connectivity and energy.

“The APFSD deliberations and agreements reached this year have cemented the foundation  for  a  concerted  and  effective  regional response to address cross-cutting  issues  under  the  2030 Agenda, with a focus on eradicating poverty  and  promoting  prosperity,”  said  United Nations Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Dr. Shamshad Akhtar.

Gender-equality and women’s empowerment, critical issues that cut across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, have been given a high priority in the new road map and were emphasized throughout the three-day forum.

Across Asia and the Pacific the gender pay gap has reached a shocking 20 per cent. Women are also more likely to find themselves in vulnerable employment with low wages, no formal contracts or labour rights and minimal social protection and in many countries and contexts they also face an increasing backlash against their ability to ensure their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“We must not be complacent about the 2030 deadline to realize gender equality and the SDGs. We cannot afford to regress on the development gains made so far, but we must continue to build momentum in successfully completing the task at hand. Let us not miss this window of opportunity to take bold and transformative steps in this collective journey – a journey to achieve equality between women and men, and a better future for all”, urged Dr. Akhtar, at a high-level panel on gender equality at the APFSD.

Alongside gender equality, the road map also recognizes that  sustainable development must be underpinned by peaceful and inclusive societies, addressing inequalities, and by good governance. The plan puts particular emphasis on supporting the implementation of the 2030  Agenda by developing states, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small-island developing states and other countries with special needs. It also outlines a process for tracking progress on the SDGs.

"The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and SDGs offer Asia-Pacific and the entire world a blueprint for a better world where aspirational vision can become concrete reality," said Yoriko Yasukawa, United Nations Population Fund Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. "If governments and civil society genuinely partner together to address crucial challenges that face our shared planet, we collectively strengthen our ability to fulfill the central pledge of the 2030 Agenda - to leave no one behind."


Media enquries

Katie  Elles,  Public  Information  Officer,  Strategic  Communications and
Advocacy Section, ESCAP, M: (66) 9481 525 36 / E: elles@un.org