Top Stories : 74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) news3

Top Stories : 74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

On 14 May 2018, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the opening ceremony of the 74th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on behalf of the Prime Minister of Thailand at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok. Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, together with high-ranking ESCAP officials, welcomed the Foreign Minister upon his arrival.
The Foreign Minister delivered opening remarks under the commission’s theme of “Inequality in the Era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” illustrating Thailand’s vision and noted ineqyality as one of the major obstacles in achieving sustainable development. He then presented Thailand’s best practices in addressing inequality by referring to various policies and measures, emphasizing Thailand’s reform plans, the “Pracharath” initiative, and focus on science, technology, and innovation (STI), in order to promote inclusive and sustainable development, thus leaving no one behind. The Foreign Minister also highlighted rising inequality in the Asia and Pacific regions, the solution for which requires multi-stakeholders’ engagement. 
After delivering his remarks, the Foreign Minister had bilateral meetings with H.E. Mr. Kazuyuki Nakane, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and H.E. Mr. Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu, on the sidelines of the Session to foster cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.
In the afternoon, Mrs. Kanchana Patrarachoke, Director-General, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, delivered a country statement reiterating Thailand’s commitments to reducing inequality as demonstrated by Thailand mainstreaming this issue in the country’s key national development plans and policies, embracing a whole-of-society approach, and strengthening regional cooperation in its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On 15 May 2018, H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, hosted a reception, on behalf of the Royal Thai government for all delegates attending the 74th Session of the Commission at Vithes Samosorn, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A great number of participants attended the event, including those holding ministerial-level positions.
ESCAP organizes annual Commission’s session around May, and this year’s session took place from 11 to 16 May 2018. The session comprised a senior officials segment on 11 – 12 May and ministerial segment on 14 – 16 May. Representatives from 53 member countries and 9 associate members in the Asia and Pacific region were invited to exchange views, knowledge and experiences on key trends and pressing challenges affecting sustainable development in the region as well as approve the program of work for ESCAP. This year, high-level representatives that participated in the Commission’s Session included the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, President of the Republic of Kiribati, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Chief Executive of Hong Kong, who. In addition, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, also attended and delivered his remarks during the opening session.