Haoliang Xu: The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation – Policy Coordination Session

May 14, 2017

Your Excellences,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentleman,

It is my great pleasure to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and address this key session on policy-coordination. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Chinese government for convening such a significant event. This is an excellent opportunity for building a shared vision to make the initiative a path for sustainable and well-balanced growth across countries.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a truly welcome platform for regional and global cooperation, significantly contributing to the effectiveness of global governance and economic cooperation. While it primarily aims to result in economic growth through connectivity, it clearly has a direct impact on human development, and could be a game-changer in the world’s efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

UNDP has been supportive of the initiative early on as the first international organization to sign a MoU with the Government of China. UNDP strongly believes that the BRI can maximize its positive impact by closely aligning its objectives and outcomes with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The BRI can be an accelerator for the SDGs, create global public goods and clear development result.

We believe that if the BRI will succeed in incorporating sustainable principles into a broader range of interventions that go beyond traditional development aid, it can leverage and impact an unprecedented geographic and sectorial scope globally. This is an enormous challenge that can only be addressed through targeted and inclusive investment practices. UNDP has been already working on specific areas in support of the initiative to provide analysis for effective policy decisions and investments, as well as initiating innovative blended investment and development projects to demonstrate the far-reaching development impact the initiative can have.

Today at the Forum we will sign a joint Action Plan with the government of China and will work closely through our global network with participating countries to facilitate information exchange, policy coordination, projects implementation, partnership and capacity building. We also launch our 2017 Global Governance Report that highlights how national SDGs mainstreaming efforts should be the entry points for partner countries engagement with BRI. This will ensure countries’ ownership and leadership throughout the process, building trust and confidence among states.

In conclusion, we have high hopes. We look forward to supporting all countries in achieving their development aspirations and shaping the BRI into a platform for “shared prosperity”, linked explicitly to the SDGs. It is encouraging to have the presence of leaders and representatives from BRI countries and the international community, a clear indication of the confidence of making this initiative to work for all, and leave no one behind.

Thank you.

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