I thank the Thai Government for its initiative in convening today’s meeting.
The partnership between ASEAN and the United Nations continues to grow more solid and substantive, most recently through our productive contacts at the ASEAN Summit in Laos earlier this month.
With ASEAN’s Community Vision 2025, our cooperation has entered a new phase with, including through a new five-year Plan of Action for the period from 2016 to 2020.
I welcome ASEAN’s strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has great potential to transform the sub-region and to show how we can translate global goals into regional and national action. The multidimensional character of ASEAN’s development strategy is consistent with the depth and breadth of the 2030 Agenda.
I am encouraged that many governments across the world are aligning their policies and programmes behind the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. There has also been great progress during the past week towards the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change. ASEAN are making important contributions to this work. I welcome the ratifications of the Paris Agreement by several of your members, and I urge others to show similar leadership so that it can cross the threshold this year.
The United Nations looks forward to working with ASEAN to bring these pacts to life, to address poverty, inequality and environmental challenges across the region, and to meet our core promise to leave no one behind.