Ambassador affirms ASEAN’s efforts to narrow development gap

Economy, Vietnam, Vietnam Finance News
Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Dinh
Quy noted the efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to
narrow development gaps among its members at a session of the Commission for
Social Development of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The 57th session of the Commission for Social
Development opened on February 11 at UN headquarters in New York city, the US,
under the theme “Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion
through fiscal, wage and social protection policies”

On behalf of ASEAN, Ambassador Quy, head of
Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN, shared the common concern about
inequalities in each country and between different countries. Opportunities to
access health care and employment within a country are not spread evenly due to
gender inequality and inequality between rural and urban areas, along with
other factors.

Meanwhile, challenges like climate change,
epidemics, natural disasters and environmental degradation have been growing
around the world, threatening efforts towards the Sustainable Development

The diplomat noted that ASEAN has made efforts
to narrow the development gap through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration – a
cooperation framework for more developed countries to assist others and create
conditions for all member nations to develop and share the benefits of regional

ASEAN is well aware of the increasing role of
information technology and the importance of capitalising on chances created by
the scientific and technological revolution to benefit people. In particular,
the ASEAN Smart Cities Network was set up to balance economic, social and
environmental aspects, Quy said.

He also affirmed ASEAN’s commitments to
improving living standards for the elderly, the disabled, children, women and
young people through initiatives like the action plan on mainstreaming the
rights of persons with disabilities and the ASEAN Youth in Climate Action and
Disaster Resilience Day. Member countries have also worked to promote
sustainable employment and healthy and safe workplaces for labourers through
occupational safety and green job development programmes.

In his speech, Ambassador Quy also highlighted
cooperation between ASEAN and the UN through inter-sectoral dialogues,
experience sharing, capacity building and technical support, which have
affirmed the necessity of cooperation in realising the goals of the 2030 Agenda
for Sustainable Development.

At the session, ECOSOC Vice President Valentin
Rybakov said: “Inequality is becoming the defining issue of our time”, adding
that “a world in which extreme wealth co-exists with extreme poverty is a world
of strife.”

Income inequality has increased in many
countries, while health and education disparities remain high, showing the
world is moving in the wrong direction, he added.

President of the 73rd UN General Assembly
María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés said multilateralism is the only and
the best means to cope with global challenges that are hampering sustainable


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