18 July 2012 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised China’s efforts to implement initiatives that will lead to sustainable development, as well as its participation at the recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), adding that countries still need to do much more to achieve all their economic, environmental and social goals in the next 20 years.
During his visit to Beijing, Mr. Ban highlighted that the UN and China are working together to improve various development issues, such as forest management, the protection of workers, women’s empowerment, disaster risk reduction, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
“Our engagement already spans the full spectrum of sustainable development,” Mr. Ban said in his remarks at a ‘Future We Want Champions’ event. “China has taken up this challenge as energetically as any other country in the world. It is already a leader in wind power. It is the world’s largest solar manufacturer. China is doing this through far-sighted use of incentives, subsidies, and regulations – through smart policy-making.”
Rio+20 took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last month, attracting more than 40,000 people – including parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, chief executive officers and civil society leaders – to discuss ways to shape new policies to promote global prosperity, reduce poverty and advance social equity and environmental protection.
Mr. Ban emphasized that Rio+20 was successful in renewing political commitment to sustainable development, as well as generating hundreds of specific commitments from governments, the private sector and civil society.
The UN chief stressed that Rio+20 marked a new start, and reiterated the UN’s willingness to work with China to help it build on its sustainable policies over the next 20 years.
“Rio+20 was not an end, but a new beginning – a milestone on an essential journey toward 2032 and beyond. The United Nations is strongly committed to being China’s partner on this path,” Mr. Ban said. “China keeps raising its sights – elevating its ambitions – recognizing the potential of renewable energy to create jobs, protect the environment, improve health and generate profits – these are win, win, win, win propositions.”
Mr. Ban also met today with President Hu Jintao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. During his meetings, he expressed deep appreciation for China’s active UN participation and stressed the importance of China’s role in the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as the promotion of sustainable development.
Mr. Ban particularly welcomed growing cooperation among China, Africa and the UN towards achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and other common objectives. He said the forthcoming Beijing ministerial forum for cooperation between Africa and China was an important initiative in this respect.
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