Policy Dialogue on Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development in South Asia
17 November 2021
UNESCAP-SSWA, together with the Sustainable Development Council of Sri Lanka, IPS, and the South Asia Network on the SDGs (SANS) hosted a Policy Dialogue ‘Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development in South Asia’ in Colombo.
The purpose of the dialogue was to deepen the engagement between various stakeholders, focusing on potential areas for further strengthening sub-regional linkages, and how such linkages can be channelled into inclusive growth and sustainable development outcomes. The discussion focused on:
- Deepening intra-regional trade and investment relations in the aftermath of disruptions to global commerce caused by COVID-19.
- Improving transport and energy connectivity as key enablers of sustainable development.
- Promoting regional cooperation mechanisms to address the growing threat of climate change, shared risks and vulnerabilities.
- Framing future agenda for SANS, responding to the call made by UNESCAP Resolution 77/1 on building back better from crises through regional cooperation.
Dr Dushni Weerakoon stated that many countries in the region have limited national resources and capacities, and therefore sharing country-level experiences is important. “Although the SDGs have been temporarily pushed to the back of many countries’ immediate agenda, the pandemic has managed to expose the relevance of the 2030 agenda as a guide that can be used to build back better. It can help develop more inclusive economies that are able to meet shocks such as COVID-19,” Dr Weerakoon noted.