The fourth session of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 2017), organised by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, was held from 29-31 March 2017, at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. APFSD 2017 focused on ‘eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing Asia-Pacific’. The Forum also discussed means to strengthen implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the Asia-Pacific region. At the Mayors’ Panel, organised to showcase experiences and lessons on localizing SDGs, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability released a statement. “ICLEI would also like to take this opportunity to emphasise the point that the SDGs, should be considered as a foundation, and not the ceiling, for our ambitions and endeavours of today so that these maybe mainstreamed into the norms of tomorrow,” said the association of local governments in the statement.
The Forum was attended by more than 500 participants, including representatives of Governments, civil society organizations, United Nations bodies and other international organisations. The meeting was attended by representatives of ESCAP members- Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Solomon States of America, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United States of America, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The meeting began with a welcome address by the Executive Secretary. Statements on the outcome of the third session of the Asia- Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development were given by its chair, Mr. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Sri Lanka.
The opening session also marked statements being delivered by two youth representatives on the need for sustainable development and the significance of sustainable development goals.
The fourth session of the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development saw the launch of the Asia-Pacific SDG Partnership between ESCAP, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. The data portal and knowledge products: Asia- Pacific Sustainable Development Goals Outlook and the thematic report “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing Asia-Pacific” were released. Other knowledge products that were launched at the Forum included the United Nations World Water Development Report 2017- Wastewater: The Untapped Resource.
During the three day-long meeting, APFSD 2017 witnessed engagement of member States, United Nations and other institutions, and major groups and other stakeholders in dialogue on (1) Regional perspectives on the implementation, follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including in depth review of the theme and SDGs: 1, 2, 3, 5, 9 and 14 and 17, the cluster of goals to be discussed by the High-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) in 2017; and (2) Strengthening implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific.