While the Asia-Pacific region has weathered the financial crisis better than many other parts of the world, there is an urgent need to adapt macroeconomic policies to address the challenges of sustainable development and assist the poorest and most vulnerable.
That means complementing the emphasis on growth with a focus on equality and rights, social development and environmental sustainability. Specifically, it requires investments to address inequality, shortages in energy and inadequate infrastructure.
At the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals in 2010 and the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, world leaders pledged to adopt forward-looking macroeconomic policies that promote sustainable development and lead to sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth.
Fortunately, many economies in the region are well-placed to implement such policies. The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013 makes it clear that such investments are not only essential but also affordable.
These efforts are especially needed in Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. As well as assisting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, greater progress will fuel confidence in, and mobilize support for, an ambitious post-2015 development agenda. The recommendations in this issue of the Survey seek to assist these countries to advance economically, socially and environmentally.
I hope the policy-makers of Asia and the Pacific, and beyond, find this publication useful for its innovative approach to achieving more resilient, inclusive and sustainable development.
Ban Ki Moon
Secretário Geral da ONU