BANGKOK, 31 March 2017 – The High-Level Brainstorming Dialogue on Enhancing Complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was held at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today.

The meeting explored ways and means to enhance complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is more commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also identified priority cross-cutting areas that could serve as “catalysts” in promoting such complementarities. The priority areas include resilience; infrastructure; sustainable consumption and production; poverty eradication; and sustainable management of natural resources.

In his opening remarks, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for Socio-Cultural Community Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment in building synergy and complementarities between the three Community Blueprints of ASEAN and the SDGs. “Our dialogue today provides us with a valuable opportunity to explore in depth how the SDGs can contribute to the building of the ASEAN Community and vice versa, how ASEAN Vision 2025 can help advance sustainable development in the ASEAN region and the world,” he added.

The meeting discussed project ideas and proposals to explore how specific cross-cutting priority issues that contribute to both community-building and sustainable development could be achieved, particularly in the 2017-2019 timeframe. Such proposals include Enhancing links with the Grass-roots to Promote SDGs; Promoting Economic Empowerment of Women; or Reducing Disparities and Narrowing Development Gaps within ASEAN. 

The meeting reflects continued commitment on both sides following the ASEAN-UN Summit that convened in Vientiane in September 2016 and the Special Session of ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Focusing on Sustainable Development in New York in September 2016 where ASEAN reaffirmed that its community building process would complement the efforts of its Member States in attaining SDGs, and vice versa. Its outcome would inform the “Report on the Complementarities Initiative” which would help support the attainment of SDGs in the region and ASEAN community-building.

Co-chaired by Thailand, ASEAN country coordinator on the issue of sustainable development, and UN ESCAP, the dialogue was attended by high level representative from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Secretariat, UNESCAP and partner organisations such as the UNDP, UN Women and the World Bank.