Bangkok [Thailand], June 3 (ANI): Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana on Wednesday discussed enhancing cooperation to help the region as it addresses the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
"ESCAP played a key role in the establishment of ADB and our two organisations have a long history of close partnership," said Asakawa.
"Our continued cooperation is now more important than ever. We must seek further synergies by combining our knowledge, networks and finance to help developing Asia address health, social and economic crises caused by COVID-19," he said in a statement.
Alisjahbana said: "Supporting our member countries build back better after COVID-19 lies at the heart of both our agendas. I am looking forward to deepening our cooperation to get our region's economies and societies back on their feet in a way that protects our region's precious environmental resources -- very much including our oceans."
ADB and ESCAP launched with the United Nations Development Programme a joint report on Fast-tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Asia Pacific at the 7th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in May.
The forum concluded that the future of the region will be dictated by how countries respond to the pandemic and how well these responses are aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The two organisations also organise the Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum and collaborate across many other areas like the Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and on the Asia Pacific Climate Week.
ADB is looking to expand cooperation with ESCAP on areas including gender inequality, climate change, ocean pollution and boosting quality infrastructure.
ESCAP serves as the United Nations' regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
The largest regional inter-governmental platform with 53 member states and 9 associate members, ESCAP offers countries sound analytical products, policy advisory services, capacity building and technical assistance to support countries' sustainable and inclusive development ambitions. (ANI)