The UN Building in Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand, was the venue of the 77th session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in a hybrid format. The event's theme was "Building back better from crises through regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific.
The participants exchanged views regarding the challenges to regional cooperation and interdependence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ways of boosting crisis resistance and expediting post-pandemic recovery.
Attendees included heads of state and government from Asia Pacific countries, such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan, to name just a few, as well as the heads of international organisations and other high-ranking officials. They also delivered reports on the matters discussed.
In his remarks, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov noted the high level of solidarity, unity and cohesion between the SCO countries during the COVID-19 response efforts. In order to facilitate the fastest possible economic recovery and also to overcome the current difficulties, the concerned parties approved an action plan to implement the SCO Development Strategy until 2025 and the programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation between SCO Member States. The Moscow Declaration of the 2020 SCO Summit reflects the need for further strengthening international collaboration to eliminate the pandemic's global political and socio-economic consequences. Business and public circles, as well as inter-regional co-production and cooperation mechanisms, are becoming involved in efforts to resume socioeconomic cooperation.
At the same time, what is happening at the moment has created new opportunities for expanding railway traffic volumes and speeding up digital transformation, and the SCO member states are in the process of stepping up cooperation in these spheres, the SCO Secretary-General pointed out.
Summing up, Mr Norov noted that the countries involved in the SCO undertaking were determined to take all necessary action so as to be able to cope with the new challenges and threats in line with the principles of the Shanghai Spirit.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) which has its headquarters in Bangkok was established in March 1947. The Commission is called on to facilitate the socioeconomic development of Asia Pacific countries through expanded regional and sub-regional cooperation.
The Commission includes 53 countries and nine territories with the status of associated members. UNESCAP is the most universal Asia Pacific organisation and the largest UN regional commission in terms of geographic coverage and the size of the population (approximately 60 percent of the planet's population).