The ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, participated in the 77th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held virtually on 28 April 2021. The theme for the session was “building back better from crises through regional cooperation in Asia and the Pacific”.
In her opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Dr. Armida Salsiah, highlighted the importance of multilateralism in the aftermath of COVID-19 and articulated that regional and sub-regional approaches could contribute significantly towards success of the multilateralism. She shared some of the latest activities of ESCAP aiming at the economic recovery and social protection in Asia and Pacific.
In his statement delivered during the session, the ECO Secretary General, Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour, underlined the significance of building resilient and sustainable societies through collaborative efforts at regional and sub-regional levels for bringing swift socio-economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing vulnerabilities to future crisis. He stated that the pandemic has reshaped regional and global socio-economic trends and recommend that in order to maintain their meaningful relevance in the present international scenario, the regional organizations should act regionally while engaging globally.
The ECO Secretary General shared some of the key measures being taken by the ECO and its member states for enhanced regional cooperation in alleviating the adverse socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic and transforming the ECO region a resilient region through intra and inter-regional collaboration in order to strengthen the preparedness for a more coordinated response in future. While highlighting the role of ESCAP in promoting intra-regional collaboration to advance common goals, Dr. Soleimanpour emphasized the importance of technical and financial assistance of ESCAP for ECO’s programmes and projects. He also encouraged the ESCAP to explore partnerships to finance joint projects for infrastructural development, trade facilitation, clean energy and combating climate change for ensuring regional sustainable development and resilient regional economies in the aftermath of the COVID-19.
The session was also attended by H.E. Ms. Meg Taylor, Secretary General, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), H.E. Mr. Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), H.E. Mr. Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Secretary General, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), H.E. Mr. Vladimir Norov, Secretary General, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), H.E. Mr. Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Board, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), H.E. Mr. Tenzin Lekphell, Secretary General, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and Mr. Andrey Smorodin, Director, Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI).