Asean states must work more closely to meet SDGs


GREATER regional cooperation among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is needed to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

During the recent 2nd Asean Ministerial Dialogue on Accelerating Actions to Achieve the SDGs, Neda Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said this regional cooperation should start with the establishment of robust and resilient ecosystems for research and development as well as innovation.

“It is pivotal to foster resilient communities by supporting R&D and innovation for a healthy, inclusive, sustainable region. Collaborating to rethink and redesign existing systems, institutions, and communities, with health and well-being at their core, is a necessity,” he said.

Balisacan emphasized the importance of persistent implementation of the Asean Vision 2025 on Disaster Management. He further suggested the member states adopt a whole-of-Asean anticipatory approach to enhance disaster resilience and promote regional prosperity.

“We must prioritize efforts to develop a comprehensive disaster communications master plan. Complementary to this must be our continued strengthening and exploring partnerships with the private sector, local communities, civil society organizations, and regional networks,” he emphasizes.

Balisacan underscored the significance of advancing multisectoral collaborations. ASEAN countries, he said, should prioritize the development of partnerships that go beyond individual industries and sectors.

The Neda Secretary said the region can achieve this by engaging diverse stakeholders and implementing mechanisms that enable efficient communication, coordination, and collaboration.

The country’s chief economist also stressed the critical role of monitoring, reporting and evaluating SDG efforts.

The Asean Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue plays an active role in collaborating with its member states’ relevant national statistical agencies to enhance the collection and reporting of data on the progress of SDGs.

Balisacan also emphasized the significance of regional collaboration within Asean and proposed the establishment of multiple intergovernmental entities to strengthen the dedication towards achieving the SDGs.

He also recommended that national development planning agencies, such as Neda, should function as an information and monitoring clearing house or hub for SDGs.

As the country’s socioeconomic planning agency, Neda leads the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028. This plan is a comprehensive guide for the country to attain significant social and economic progress measured through indicators aligned with the SDGs.