Tegegnework Gettu:Official launch of the third Global Governance Report, The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

May 14, 2017

Dear Mr. Zhang Xiaoqiang,

Your Excellences,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentleman.

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme, I am delighted to welcome you at this launch of the 2017 Global Governance Report (GGR) entitled The Belt and Road Initiative - A new means to transformative global governance?’ during the International Belt and Road Forum here in Beijing. 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 report.

It is an honor to launch this report during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, an occasion that reflects the increasing role of China today. China has grown in terms of its output and now actively shows voice and leadership in sustainable and inclusive development.

We at UNDP have been assisting China in its global efforts especially since the launch of our global governance initiative in 2012 and today the launch of the third Global Governance Report further showcases our commitment. This Report has been drafted in light of the discussions that took place at the third High-level Policy Forum on Global Governance held in November 2016 and is based on some of the key perspectives raised by participants. The Forum was designed to provide support to China and the other BRI countries in achieving their development aspirations and shaping the BRI into a platform for “shared prosperity”, linked explicitly to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In line with this rationale, this report explores the implications of the Belt and Road Initiative for sustainable development of partner countries, its modalities, and synergies with the existing global governance system, and provided suggestions for further action. China has emerged as a global player and has consolidated its global footprint.  We believe the role of China can serve as a bridge builder and its impact can be potentially game-changing. The China-led BRI is going beyond existing regional frameworks and bringing the potential to transforming lives and livelihoods across regions.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some key messages of the Global Governance Report here:

First, the 2030 Agenda provides the roadmap towards a sustainable future on which the BRI should base its engagement. Only a strong alignment between the BRI and the SDGs can guarantee win-win outcomes. The BRI could serve as an accelerator for the implementation of the SDGs while the 2030 Agenda will upgrade the BRI to a globally recognized agenda supporting China’s role as a responsible global leader.

Second, national engagement on the BRI is key and BRI countries have to be leaders and owners of their development aspirations. This can be possible only if the BRI objectives match and align with national plans and countries’ needs. Again, the SDGs national implementation plans that each country is working on can provide the basis and the right link to support countries’ engagement in the BRI.

Third, markets within which the BRI takes place—whether local, regional or international—play important social and economic roles. For BRI interaction to be most effective, governance is of utmost importance. Policy domains, institutional set-ups and international cooperation have to be strategically used to make inclusiveness the core of the BRI towards a more balanced, multi-polar and multi-lateral international architecture.

Fourth, environmental and social sustainability should be at the core of all efforts. Transforming the BRI into a platform for green trade, finance and investment, enhancing the creation of job opportunities for local communities through systematic support and enabling the participation of the private sector can unleash enormous development potential.

Significant progress to make the BRI a game-changer has been achieved, but there is still a long path ahead. Overall, the report suggests that desired outcomes are linked to the conscious and continuous effort by governments and stakeholders to make the BRI truly a win-win. Looking forward, synergies and complementarities between the objectives of the BRI and the SDGs have to go hand in hand with promoting regional and multilateral policy frameworks featuring sustainable development as a key premise of all efforts. 

Lastly, UNDP looks forward to supporting the Belt and Road countries including China in this endeavor. UNDP was the first international organization to sign a MoU with China on the BRI cooperation in September last year and today we committed to launch a plan of actions to contribute and play our part in bringing about maximized benefits based on the SDGs. It is our hope that the 3rd Global Governance Report will provide inspiration and useful inputs for all policymakers involved in this initiative.

Once again, I would like to extend warm greetings to all of you today. We look forward, together with our partner, the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), to advance global sustainable development across the Belt and Road Initiative. For the BRI to transform livelihoods, let us make sustainability and inclusiveness its core.

Thank you very much.

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