Tegegnework Gettu: Remarks at 2016 High-level Policy Forum on Global Governance

Nov 10, 2016

UN Under-Secretary General, UNDP Associate Administrator

Your Excellency, Mr. Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress

Your Excellency, Mr. Zhang Xiaoqiang, Vice Chairman or the China Centre for International Economic Exchange

Mr. Qian Keming, Vice Minister of Commerce

UN Colleagues, Ladies and Gentleman, Your Excellency’s, Distinguished Guests,

It is my pleasure to participate in this Third High-level Policy Forum of Global Governance on behalf of UNDP. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to our national partners, the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) for collaborating with UNDP on this global governance initiative and for co-ordinating the event. I would also like to thank the representatives from countries that are present here, along the Belt and Road for cooperation on this initiative and their participation, especially given the high relevance of this forum’s topic for future cooperation among countries from Europe to Asia to eastern parts of Africa, a substantive number of countries.

This year, the focus of the forum is on ‘Belt and Road, New Path to Regional Development’. The Forum will explore in depth the modalities of the Belt and Road Initiative and its synergies with the existing global governance system, in particular the potential linkage between the Belt and Road Initiative and sustainable development and 2030 development agenda. By doing so, we hope, the Forum will generate valuable insights and policy recommendations on which further actions can be taken to ultimately advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general.  

Having made significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and also at the national level, China can look back on a strong trajectory of social and economic development in the past decade. China has significantly contributed to the MDG goal on poverty and the world poverty alleviation cause, as it lifted 660 million[1] people out of poverty from 1978 to 2010 according to international poverty criteria.  Stepping into the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, we are impressed at China’s commitment to implement the new agenda.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been integrated into China’s key planning instrument, the 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP), and it is complimented by China’s national implementation plan for the SDGs. Internationally, China was one of the first 22 countries that voluntarily reviewed their progress on implementing of the 2030 Agenda at the UN High-level Political Forum in New York in July.

At UNDP we are very glad to be part of this process and assist to facilitate and integrate the agenda with Chinas efforts.

Furthermore, during China’s G20 Presidency this year, development was placed at the core of the G20 agenda, which was very critical for most of the Belt and Road countries, including through adoption of the Action Plan to ensure that the G20’s work is aligned with the 2030 Agenda. UNDP was pleased to work closely with China and other G20 members to elaborate this Action Plan. Adding to the success of the G20 Summit is China’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, demonstrating again joint effort for global rise as a dedicated and responsible economic and development actor.  

Through the Belt and Road Initiative, China has put forward a far-reaching and innovative, creative economic development framework reaching across various regions globally. The initiative has generated global interest as it could serve as a powerful platform for economic growth and regional cooperation, involving more than four billion people living primarily in emerging and developing countries in Asia, Europe, and eastern part of Africa. Moreover, through building connectivity physically, digitally, financially and socially, it could serve as an accelerator and an effective vehicle for achieving the SDGs.

UNDP strongly believes that the Belt and Road Initiative could maximise its positive development impact by closely aligning its objectives and outcomes with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. This means that the Belt and Road can both propel economic growth, and have a major impact on human lives, large number of human lives. For instance, through infrastructure construction and industrial development, not only could economic growth and productivity will be generated, but development dividends could also be unleashed and shared amongst these nations.

The development dividends refer to benefits in the social realm, such as poverty reduction and expanded access to public services like education and health care, which relate closely to infrastructure development. It also means a Belt and Road Initiative that addresses and mitigates environmental impacts. To align it with the SDGs it is very crucial to help extend and upgrade the Belt and Road initiative beyond economic and market gains, for t advancement of common benefits and global public goods.

In this spirit, we are here today to engage in a fruitful dialogue and exchange of ideas on how to better link the Belt and Road Initiative and also the SDGs for enhanced outcomes and greater impact.

UNDP is the UN’s largest development entity, with vast experience in advancing sustainable development over the last 50 years. UNDP has been a close development partner of China for more than three decades, as well as for other governments in 170 countries and territories around the world. Given our unique position, we look forward today to increasing our joint efforts, linking countries and initiatives along the Belt and Road to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  

In line with this effort, just last month on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the Administrator of UNDP, Ms. Helen Clark signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Xu Shaoshi, Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). This has undoubtedly opened up a brand new chapter of collaboration between UNDP and China. UNDP, building upon its broader mandate for development, its convening power through its vast network, and extensive field experience, will support China and other Belt and Road countries to achieve their development cooperation and aspirations.  

Once again, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you today. We look forward, together with our partner, the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), to working with all of you to advance global sustainable development, through innovative and inclusive initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative.

Thank you very much.



[1]“China National Human Report 2016” http://www.cn.undp.org/content/china/en/home/library/human_development/china-human-development-report-2016.html





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