Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay formally took over as the Chairmanship of the 70th session of UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) succeeding Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste and Chair of the 69th Session of the Commission, in Bangkok on Thursday (7 August).
In opening remarks, Prime Minister Tobgay and Chairman of the 70th Commission session, highlighted the complexity of challenges faced by the region and the timeliness of the subject under consideration. Advocating for a paradigm-shifting integrated approach toward regional connectivity for attaching a future of shared prosperity, he recognised ESCAP’s theme study as a useful basis for agreeing on a road map to strengthen shared linkages.
Similarly, in opening statements, the Prime Ministers of Timor-Leste, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão and Tonga, Lord Tu’ivankano expressed support for ESCAP, while stressing the importance of regional connectivity and shared prosperity.
United Nations Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said: “With little more than 500 days left to the end of the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), no region has done better than Asia and the Pacific. But with 743 million Asia-Pacific people still desperately poor, there is no room for complacency.
More than 30 senior leaders from more than 40 member States in the region are attending this week’s session.
This is the first time Bhutan will hold this important Office at the helm of the 62 member regional body since becoming a member in 1972. As Chairman, Lyonchhen will guide the work of the Commission for a period of one year.