MANILA, PHILIPPINES (29 November 2018) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana met at ADB headquarters together with senior staff of both institutions to discuss deepening their collaboration. Ms. Alisjahbana was appointed Executive Secretary of ESCAP on 13 September 2018. Prior to taking the position, she served in various important positions, including as Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), Indonesia from 2009 to 2014.
“ADB’s new long-term strategic framework Strategy 2030 and its aspirations for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific are fully aligned with the SDGs and other major global commitments,” said Mr. Nakao. “We have a longstanding relationship with ESCAP dating back to ADB’s establishment more than 50 years ago. We look forward to our continued collaboration in promoting regional cooperation and sustainable development in Asia.”
ADB and ESCAP have a long history of productive collaboration on knowledge, capacity building, and supporting policy dialogue at the regional and subregional levels. ESCAP’s predecessor institution, the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE), played a major role in enabling ADB’s creation 50 years ago.
“ESCAP reaffirms its ongoing strategic partnership with ADB in implementing the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promoting regional cooperation to close the inequality gap in Asia and the Pacific. Our comparative advantages complement each other’s work. ESCAP’s normative and analytical work and capacity development initiatives complement ADB’s operational and financing work. Our partnership is particularly relevant in assisting countries to implement and monitor the progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across our region,” said Ms. Alisjahbana.
The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in April 2015 effective until the end of 2020, aimed at supporting progress towards the SDGs through improved cooperation and connectivity at the regional and subregional levels. Achievements under the MOU include joint work to improve economic statistics, civil registration, and other vital statistics in the region.
In 2017, ESCAP and ADB jointly convened a ministerial conference on regional cooperation and integration for the SDGs. In 2014, the two organizations, together with the United Nations Development Programme, launched the Asia regional hub on Sustainable Energy For All, which aims to promote access to affordable and clean energy by providing a platform for cooperation for stakeholders in the energy sector.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.
ESCAP serves as the United Nations’ regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. The largest regional intergovernmental platform with 53 member states and 9 associate members, the Commission’s strategic focus is to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which it does by reinforcing and deepening regional cooperation and integration to advance connectivity, financial cooperation, and market integration.