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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In late April 2017, thought-leaders including Ministers, Former Ministers and representatives from government bodies and prominent economists specializing in sustainable development from the ASEAN region and Australia gathered at Sunway University in Sunway City, Malaysia. The gathering at a two-day ASEAN Ministers Workshop 2017 (AMW) was to share and improve their respective national strategies, and to formulate a regional mechanism to implement the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Southeast Asia.

Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia (3rd from left) and Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, Chancellor of Sunway University (2nd from right) with distinguished members from the first Plenary Discussion at the ASEAN Ministers Workshop
Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia (3rd from left) and Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah AO, Chancellor of Sunway University (2nd from right) with distinguished members from the first Plenary Discussion at the ASEAN Ministers Workshop

Among the ASEAN Ministers who attended the first of its kind workshop were: Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman bin Dahlan, Minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, Malaysia; Dr Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning, Indonesia; and Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR.

Tan Sri Dr Ramon V Navaratnam, Pro Chancellor of Sunway University welcomed all the delegates to the workshop. In his welcome speech he emphasized on the important role corporates and SMEs play in supporting sustainable development, citing that it is in their best interest to support sustainable development as it will benefit their businesses in the future.

"This first AMW will be the catalyst of an annual high-level event for the ASEAN Ministers to meet, discuss and work towards achieving the SDGs for the region. The Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) is committed to support the UN's blueprint for ending poverty in the world in the context of sustainable development and building a sustainable future for all," said Professor Woo Wing Thye, Chair, AMW Organizing Committee.

With three plenary discussions focused on the ASEAN Experience, the Australian Experience and the Action Items for Southeast Asia, the workshop also included a public lecture by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Chairman of JSC and a dialogue with the attending ASEAN ministers.

Taking a question from a member of the audience, Professor Jeffrey Sachs shared that universities have an important role to play in helping ASEAN countries attain the SDGs through higher education. From the development of deep excellence in science, technology, engineering and areas essential to supporting sustainable policy development, Professor Jeffrey Sachs urged universities to consider becoming incubators for SDG start-ups.

During the plenary discussion on Implementing SDGs: The ASEAN Experience, keynote speaker Datuk Seri Abdul bin Rahman Dahlan spoke of Malaysia's commitment to adopting the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development via the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016 to 2020). Looking forward to getting everyone to work together to make the world a better place, Abdul Rahman shared the willingness of Malaysia to work with regional and international partners towards making the 17 SDG goals a reality.

Among those who participated in the workshop were Dato' Dr Abdul Rashid Abdul Malik, CEO, Pulau Banding Foundation; Professor John Thwaites, Co-chair SDSN Leadership Council and Chair Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Australia; Professor Gamini Herath, Professor of Economics, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia; Professor Phouphet Kyophilavong, Vice-Dean of Economics, National University of Lao; Professor Sumiani Yusoff, Dean, Sustainability Science Research Cluster, Universiti Malaya; Professor Noraini Tamin, IPBES, Expert of Land Degradation and Restoration; Rosemarie G Edillon, Undersecretary of the National Development Office for Policy and Planning, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines; Dr Somkiat Triratpan, Secretary to the Minister attached to the Prime Minister's Office, Thailand; Philip Green, First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Mainland and Regional Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia; Professor Vu Quoc Huy, Director, Institute of Regional Sustainable Development, Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences; and Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University.

The workshop was sponsored and organized by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF); and co-organized by the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC), Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI), Pulau Banding Foundation, UKM's Lestari and hosted by Sunway University.

About the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development

The Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) was established through a substantial gift from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network to support the global effort to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015. The Center is housed at Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its vision is to embed sustainable development practices in everyday life. JSC will collaborate with government agencies, private sector groups, and civil society to formulate public policies and actions to realize the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. It will serve as the Southeast Asia regional hub of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to promote green development and social progress through research and education.

For further queries, kindly contact the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at

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