JAKARTA, 17 November 2017 – ASEAN, together with PR China and UNDP, launched a publication on financing the Sustainable Development Goals in ASEAN at the ASEAN Secretariat today.
Entitled “ASEAN-China-UNDP Report on Financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in ASEAN: Strengthening Integrated National Financing Frameworks to Deliver the 2030 Agenda,” the publication focuses on streamlining development financing and strengthening domestic resource mobilisation in ten ASEAN countries in order to finance national development. It also highlights China’s financing in ASEAN, which is expected to strengthen.
In his remarks, Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, underlined that “ASEAN’s greatest asset is its people and proper financing will enable the people of ASEAN to reach their potential. This publication provides us with an understanding on the scale and mix of financing in the ASEAN region and the opportunities that can be explored to maximise financing for SDGs.”
The publication notes that while extreme poverty has fallen across the region from 17% in 2005 to 7% in 2013, many of the working poor remain vulnerable to falling back in to poverty. An estimated 36 million people in the region still live below the international poverty line, with almost 90 percent of these people live in Indonesia or the Philippines. It remains important for ASEAN as a region, and Member States in their national capacity, to identify how to finance poverty eradication programs in order to realise the SDGs and ASEAN Vision 2025.
While ASEAN has made progress in addressing infectious diseases, challenges still prevail and ASEAN is now facing rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Providing universal health coverage (UHC) is key in improving the lives of the people in ASEAN. Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Thailand are able to provide UHC through a tax-funded system while Singapore provides UHC through a contribution-based system that includes a social assistance component. Indonesia is committed to providing UHC and has set a target for achieving UHC by 2019. The design and configuration of the financing model used affects how successfully the policy reaches the poorest people, expands the range of services on offer and reduces the costs they face.
“Financing the SDGs is everyone’s business. All actors – public, private, domestic and international – have a role to play” said Assistant Secretary-General Haoliang Xu of UNDP. “It is not just about funds it is about partnerships across public and private sectors. We need to move to more integrated approaches of financing the SDGs across these sectors”, he added.
Ambassador Xu Bu, Permanent Representative of the Mission of China to ASEAN noted that “China is ready to work even more closely with ASEAN countries to seek greater synergies between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, enhance infrastructure building and connectivity across the region.”