With the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda set to kick off in January 2016, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has called upon the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be more supportive of the agenda if the human right violation and climate change issues in Asia are to be eradicated.
Speaking at the seventh ASEAN-UN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the UN chief commended the heads of state in attendance for signing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 earlier in the day, but insisted that focus should never be withdrawn from the global agenda even as smaller regional goals set in. “The Vision 2025 should be carried out in tandem with the SDGs. Action should be complementary to transform the lives of millions of people living in poverty. The United Nations expects each and every Member State to implement the SDGs through all possible domestic measures legislative, administrative or economic development plans,” said Ban.
He further stressed on the role of climate action to attainment of both the Vision 2025 and the SDGs. “In just eight days, the Climate Change Conference will open in Paris to adopt a meaningful new agreement,” said Ban, “The Conference has already generated enormous momentum, with more than 166 countries, including a majority of those in South East Asia, having submitted their national climate plans. Our countries are facing significant environmental stress but they can potentially realise massive benefits of a low-carbon economy”
Touching on human rights, Ban expressed concern over the millions of people across the globe who are on the run in search of peace. He spoke of the UN plans to try and at least reduce the number from 60 million to something lower, saying that he personally plans to set aside the day before the General Debates opening in September 2016 for a “high-level” summit to discuss the management of large-scale refugee and migrant movements.
Asia, together with the Sub-Saharan region of Africa and some parts of the Middle East are known to be the biggest targets of the Global Goals, especially those looking to address security, poverty, food security and infrastructure.
Ten Southeast Asian Nations on Sunday signed a declaration to cut further boundaries existing between them, with the hope that this will ward off any setbacks that may be facing the implementation, in the region, of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Vision 2025. If the declaration lives up to the expectations, the UN will have a more conducive environment to work its plans in the region.