KOICA, UN ESCAP sign MOU for sustainable development in Asia-Pacific region



- KOICA and UN ESCAP seek to strengthen cooperation to respond to climate change, achieve gender equality, and strengthen ICT capabilities, step closer toward SDGs in Asia-Pacific region

- MOU includes efforts to monitor and prevent air pollution to resolve severe related problems in region

KOICA signed an MOU with UN ESCAP to stimulate regional and multilateral cooperation in strengthening the capacity of Asia-Pacific countries for the achievement of the SDGs at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand on June 23.

President of KOICA Sohn, Hyuk-sang and Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana attended the ceremony. The MOU seeks to boost cooperation between the two organizations and support sustainable development and the achievement of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region. 

*United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP): Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, UN ESCAP was established in 1947 and is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It works to review and discuss economic and social issues and to strengthen regional cooperation.

This MOU is a renewal of the MOU signed between the two sides in February 2019, which encompasses areas such as ▲ stimulating development related to low carbon and climate resilience through finance and technology ▲ gender equality, strengthening the capacity and economic rights of girls and women ▲ support for vulnerable groups, promoting inclusive and just societies ▲ and strengthening connectivity among ICT, transportation, and energy. Cooperation related to ▲ monitoring and preventing air pollution has been newly added to the renewed MOU. 

The renewed MOU reflects the will of both sides to cooperate on overcoming air pollution in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries in the region have been experiencing severe air pollution due to slash-and-burn farming, coal-centered development, and lack of policy and regulation, resulting in damages to the regional economy and society.


In response, KOICA and UN ESCAP have been jointly carrying out various environmental projects to respond to climate change and reduce air pollution in the Asia-Pacific region, such as the East Asia Climate Partnership (EACP) established in 2011, the ASEAN climate response program, and Building the Pan-Asia Partnership for Geospatial Air Pollution to reduce air pollution and resulting damages by monitoring the air pollution of 13 countries in Asia.

At the signing ceremony, President of KOICA Sohn, Hyuk-sang said, “Low carbon and climate resilience have emerged as global topics. Through this MOU, I hope we are able to better the public good that is the shared atmosphere of Asia-Pacific countries, whh will provide a safe and clean environment for a wider population.”

Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said, “UN ESCAP and KOICA have cooperated in various areas including ICT, statistics and disaster. I hope for continued cooperation projects that combine Korea’s technology and UN ESCAP’s network to overcome crises including COVID-19 and climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.”

On the occasion of this MOU, KOICA visited the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), the development cooperation agency of Thailand, an emerging donor country. The two sides reviewed the outcomes of the action plan between the two organizations established in 2014, and discussed ways forward for a 4th round of cooperation. In addition, KOICA also exchanged views with Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) regarding the two organizations’ joint environment satellite project and satellite technology.


President of KOICA Sohn, Hyuk-sang (left) and Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana attend an MOU signing ceremony between the two organizations at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand on June 23.