Belt and Road- New Path to Regional Development

Nov 10, 2016

Tegegnework Gettu, under Secretary-General of the United Nations and UNDP Associate Administrator delivers keynote speech

10 November, Beijing- 2016 High-Level Policy Forum on Global Governance was held today in Beijing to explore the modalities of the Belt and Road Initiative and its synergies with the existing global governance system, in particular the potential linkages between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), the forum brought together Belt and Road countries, United Nations officials, development practitioners, think tanks, and the private sector to generate insights and policy recommendations to strengthen a shared vision for Belt and Road countries. Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman of 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and Tegegnework Gettu, under Secretary-General of the United Nations and UNDP Associate Administrator delivered keynote speeches.

The high-level forum explored how to help promote economic and transport corridors that foster social and environmental sustainability to benefit over 4.5 billion people living in Belt and Road countries, up to now around 70 of them located the Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Africa, with a total of more than US$ 20 trillion aggregate economic volume.

“The implementation of BRI will contribute to the economic growth and social progress for BRI countries and bring tangible benefits for the people of these countries. All parties should enhance cooperation to better realize the 2030 Agenda and promote regional development, thus leading BRI to a higher level, “noted Zhang Xiaoqiang Executive Vice Chairman of the CCIEE. “In particular, we need to promote a green, low-carbon and sustainable BRI that is innovative and helps facilitate discussion, building and sharing” he added.

 “Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China has put forward a far-reaching and innovative economic development framework across various regions globally. BRI is part of a new trend and innovative contribution to global governance,” said Gettu in his keynote speech.

“It represents an opportunity to build a shared vision for common prosperity through regional cooperation. Moreover, through building connectivity physically, digitally, financially and socially, it could serve as an accelerator and an effective vehicle to achieve the SDGs,” he added.

This year’s Global Governance forum built upon the success of the first and second forums and was held against the backdrop of the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UNDP and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), whereby UNDP became the first international organization to sign an agreement with the Government of China on the implementation of the BRI.

“We believe partnering with various institutions and stakeholders at international and regional level will be crucial for the sustainable development of the Belt and Road countries, said Xu Haoliang, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Director for Asia and Pacific. “UNDP cooperating on the initiative can provide the necessary support to formulate actions for its effective implementation.”

Xu points out that the future cooperation will focus on key research and analysis to underpin policy coordination and communication around the Belt and Road, enhancing knowledge and information, and using innovation and technology to strengthen regional cooperation.

“Today’s forum is a good step in this process. We will also support practical pilot projects to realize development dividends of the Belt and Road Initiative and capacity building to institutions, leaders responding to complex challenges,” said Xu.

A high-level business dialogue will be held the following day to facilitate exchanges between business sectors and BRI countries, and explore how to enhance common prosperity and win-win cooperation by looking at the business opportunities that can derive from the Belt and Road Initiative and matching those with local actual needs.

The discussions held during the forum will also contribute to the upcoming BRI Summit in 2017 and set the stage for the implementation of the MOU. In addition, a Policy Report from the Forum will be compiled based on the key outcomes and will be available next year. It will serve as useful policy tool for international and Chinese policy makers on how to better link the BRI and the SDGs for greater global impact.

Contact information

Ms. ZHANG Wei, UNDP China Chief Communications Officer Tel: +8610 8532 0715, Email: wei.zhang@undp.org

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