About Summit

UN - The Secretary General Message to Asian Cooperation Dialogue
Kuwait, 16 October 2012


Delivered by Ms. Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary, UN Economic and
Social Commission for Western Asia.

Your Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah,
Your Majesties,

It is a pleasure to convey my best wishes to the first summit meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue. I thank you for coming together to focus on development and prosperity throughout the vibrant and diverse Asian continent.

Asia has produced many different development models from which others can gain practical insight. New regional arrangements such as the ACD are also addressing emerging needs across sub-regions and thematic sectors. These include: conflict prevention, governance, human rights, democracy, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and social protection. You are also addressing broader challenges, including concerns regarding gaps in global governance.

Asia continues to lead the world in growth and its contributing greatly to a global recovery. However, the region still faces daunting development challenges. Asia still suffers from destabilizing conflicts, border disputes, environmental challenges and exposure to natural disasters. Addressing these issues requires closer regional cooperation.

Ample experience shows the regional cooperation is critical to regional stability. Today, the gradual opening of political space and a growing respect for human rights across Asia is creating room for more effective regional mechanisms. The ongoing political changes in the Arab region have further demonstrated the importance of inclusivity in economic, political and social development.

The UN and its regional commissions have long supported regional cooperation. Efforts to meet the UN's Millennium Development goals, for example, have demonstrated the importance of regional mechanism in achieving these global targets. In addition, the outcome document of this year's Rio+20 Summit called on the United Nations regional commissions to play a significant role in promoting a balanced integration of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

As we look ahead, the United Nations stands ready to continue to assist you in meeting the diverse challenges of development.

Let us work together to improve lives, enhance opportunities and advance equality through better national and local governance, decent work, sustainable growth and conflict prevention.

I wish you all the best for a productive meeting.

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