Welcome message from Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the Executive Secretary of UNESCAP and Under Secretary General of the United Nations for SETA 2017

27 February 2017

Adopting sustainable energy is a key priority for the Asia-Pacific region as we confront multiple development challenges, increase energy demand and threats from climate change.  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines 17 goals to guide sustainable development includes a dedicated goal aiming to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.  Success in mainstreaming sustainable energy will support achievement of many of the other goals, including those on poverty reduction, health, education and climate change.

The theme of SETA 2017: “Towards a low carbon society” comes at an opportune time for the region as we move to implement not only the 2030 Agenda but also the ambitious Paris Agreement on Climate Change. I commend the leadership of the government of Thailand in particular the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Science and Technology for organizing this event which brings together diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as from universities and research organizations. Innovative technology is pivotal in enhancing the performance and competitiveness of clean energy. SETA is a good example of a platform to promote new and innovative technologies. Thailand and other ASEAN members have significant capabilities in this area and are deploying innovative energy solutions such as solar PV, biofuels and renewable energy grid integration as well as energy efficiency technologies.

On behalf of ESCAP, the regional arm of the United Nations in the Asia-Pacific, I would like to welcome all participants to SETA 2017. I believe that this annual event will be an important opportunity for government officials, business leaders, researchers and other stakeholders to share knowledge, good practices and develop networks for low carbon energy.  I wish SETA 2017 every success.