Tehran (PBO) - The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to leave no one behind, placing equality at the center of national policymaking. Equality requires that everyone be included in and benefit from development outcomes.
This is according to Seyed Hamid Pourmohammdi, Deputy for Economic Affairs of the Plan and Budget Organization, who made the remarks at the 75th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), which was held from 27 to 31 May 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.
“Inclusion necessitates people, who are empowered to take advantage of opportunities and reach their full potential,” he added.
Head of the Governing Council of the Asian and Pacific Center for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) underscored the role of knowledge-based economy in sustainable development. “At the moment, the Islamic Republic of Iran as a committed nation to the United Nations is implementing its 6th Five-year National Development Plan. Reinforcement of knowledge-based economy together with the development of advanced technology in a wide variety of subjects is one of the key factors, inter alia, to be taken into account during the implementation of the plan.”
Referring to the recent round of heavy rainfalls in Iran that caused nationwide floods, Mr. Pourmohammadi criticized sanctions on Iran as a barrier to receiving humanitarian aides from around the globe. “Meanwhile, amongst these huge catastrophic natural disasters, even the Iranians living abroad could not send their families the aides they needed. It was merely as the result of inhumane unilateral sanctions against our people,” he said.
“We are here at this important event to echo the values embedded in equality, inclusiveness and empowerment as the core of multilateralism. We believe there is an urgent need to apply UN "leave no one behind” motto in all regional and international cooperation and mechanisms.”
From mid-March to April 2019 widespread flash flooding affected large parts of Iran. 70 people were killed; 170 thousand people needed urgent rescue and relief, while 50 thousands had to evacuate their homes to temporary shelters. Furthermore, many lost their properties, urban and rural infrastructures were damaged, factories had to close down, and a significant amount of agricultural crops were destroyed.
In his country statement, Mr. Pourmohammadi shared how the Islamic Republic of Iran with the cooperation of ESCAP can respond to such challenges and help address natural hazards. “As a step toward finding an answer for natural disasters, the Islamic Republic of Iran, thanks to the support from UNESCAP member states and associate members, has initiated establishing the Asian and Pacific Center for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) in Tehran in line with the implementation of ESCAP Resolution 71/11.”
“Information and knowledge sharing, capacity development, and regional information services for cross-border disasters are APDIM’ three thematic pillars,” he said.
Welcoming "Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum" as a very important initiative by ESCAP, Pourmohammadi said the Islamic Republic of Iran is proud to co-host the forum this year.
Under the theme "Technology Start-ups for Sustainable Development" in recognition of technology as a key means for sustainable development goals, the forum will be held on June 10-12 in Tehran, with the shared hosting of the ESCAP and Iran's Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology Affairs.
Pourmohammadi took the opportunity to congratulate Ms. Armida Alisjahbana on her new position as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, assuring her that Iran is fully ready to promote multilateral cooperation with ESCAP. He also hoped that joint efforts within ESCAP open new horizons for further economic and social development and cooperation in the Asia and Pacific region.
The 75th session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) kicked off in Bangkok with a video message by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.
The annual session was held under the theme “empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” with global and regional leaders calling for greater empowerment and inclusion of marginalized groups, if the region is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.