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How can the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while ensuring effective management of urbanization, environmental protection and inclusive growth?
The 5th ASEAN Mayors Forum held on 26-28 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand sought to offer solutions to this key challenge. CDIA, through its Urban Development Specialist Chee Anne Roño served as a panelist in one of the sessions on Digital ASEAN, where she discussed how to build the enabling environment at the city level.
Since 2011, the ASEAN Mayors Forum has been advocating for local government’s indispensable roles and contributions to the ASEAN and global development. While local governments in Southeast Asia are embracing the benefits of urbanization, their leadership and capacity need stronger support, collaboration and engagement at all levels.
This year’s forum was organized by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the UN Economic Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the European Union (EU) and the United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC).
It was aimed at Driving Local Actions for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by framing the discussions along three sub-themes: Sustainable ASEAN (SDGs localization and the way forward), Digital ASEAN (smart technologies for sustainable urban development), and Seamless ASEAN (climate change and promoting resiliency).
Chee Anne Roño, CDIA’s Urban Development Specialist, was a panelist in the Digital ASEAN session that put emphasis on the strong cooperation needed among stakeholders. She also spoke at the plenary session to recap discussions. She offered responses to the financing challenges that often surfaced across the AMF discussions, and shared funding opportunities made available by ADB for cities, namely: CDIA Trust Fund (to help prepare bankable investment projects) and the Australia-ASEAN Smart Cities Trust Fund (to support capacity building activities and pilot projects).
The Forum drew up to 300 local leaders, policy makers, civil society, local and international partners and other stakeholders, allowing them to exchange on ways to strengthen their collaboration to achieve the SDGs and address urbanization challenges in ASEAN member states.
“CDIA is grateful to have strong collaboration with city association partners such as UCLG-ASPAC,” said Chee Anne Roño. “The 5th ASEAN Mayors Forum was a great platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices in sustainable urban development,” she added.
The 5th ASEAN Mayors Forum during the Opening Session.
Chee Anne Roño (2nd from left) as one of the panelists in the Digital ASEAN session.
Chee Anne Roño (right) receiving a plaque of appreciation from Bangkok Metropolitan Administration official.