Azmizam Abdul Rashid
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the home of more than 640 million people. It is the sixth largest economy in the world today and is expected to become the fourth largest by 2050. ASEAN cooperation over the past 50 years has enabled the region to benefit from continued peace, stability and security. ASEAN region has provided for rapid economic growth and social development. Investments in social development have produced tangible results, such as an educated workforce and increased life expectancy. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development marked a paradigm shift in global development at a time when the ASEAN region experienced high economic growth. Today, more than half of ASEAN people live in urban areas and an additional 70 million people are forecast to live in ASEAN cities by 2025, making sustainable and inclusive urbanisation a key priority to achieve the objectives of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and to raise the living standards of local communities. Local leaders will remain fundamental to achieving global progress on sustainable development, and the key tenets of the SDGs will remain relevant, useful, and essential to catalyzing a recovery that can lead to transformation. Leadership on the SDGs is defined relative to the performance of others and the changing overall environment. Urbanization, the development of frontier technologies and connectivity are some of the defining features of our contemporary societies, and although they pose challenges to governance, they are also the key to achieving the SDGs and preserving life for future generations. The 2030 Agenda emphasizes the need for an inclusive and localized approach to the SDGs. Localisation is described as ‘the process of defining, implementing and monitoring strategies at the local level for achieving global, national, and sub-national sustainable development goals and targets.