Established in 2019, the Subregional Office for South-East Asia (SRO SEA) work covers Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.

The eleven countries form a dynamic and fast-growing subregion in the Asia-Pacific. The vast endowments of natural resources, an expanding middle class, a young, vibrant, and increasingly well-educated population, a diversified economy and intensive regional integration initiatives, underpin the sub-region’s prosperity and socio-economic development. These attributes have propelled members of the  Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to achieve high levels of economic growth and substantially reduce level of poverty over the years.

However, progress has come at the expense of the people’s health and livelihoods and to natural capital; has contributed to gender and income inequality; and will ultimately undermine economic development itself. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions are likely to further complicate the trajectory of sustainable development in the countries and sub-region as a whole.

The programme of the SRO SEA supports the South-East Asian nations in their efforts to achieve inclusive and sustainable development, specifically through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Activities aim to contribute to strengthening regional cooperation and integration for sustainable development in line with the priorities of South-East Asia, through:

  • Delivering knowledge products and capacity-building on the South-East Asian perspective of SDG issues;
  • Providing a forum to deliberate and share knowledge on SDG related topics through inter-governmental platforms; and
  • Supporting the implementation of of the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action 2021-2025 and the Complementarities Roadmap 2020-2025, especially in the complementarities issues of Poverty Eradication, Infrastructure and connectivity; sustainable management of natural resources; Sustainable consumption and production; and Resilience.