Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Opening Statement at the event: Commitment to Agenda 2030, Partnerships for Innovation and Social Responsibility

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to the United Nations this morning.

In recent years, the United Nations has embraced partnerships with businesses across the world, including businesses from China, to advance sustainable development. 

I therefore wish to recognize and commend your leadership in the pursuit of a better world for all.

Your commitment to sustainable development is much aligned with the work of the United Nations.

Since its inception more than seventy years ago, out of the wreckage of the second World War, the United Nations has worked tirelessly to advance global peace and prosperity.

The world has made tremendous progress in that time.

Today, peace, cooperation, and dialogue serve as the foundations of global trade and economic development. Prosperity and opportunity have come to billions of people.

Nevertheless, despite this great progress, our world still faces many serious challenges.

Climate change, poverty, inequality, and violence are among these challenges that continue to impair and undermine the lives of billions of people.

The world’s nations have recognized these challenges.

Less than a year ago, in this very building, 193 nations adopted Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This agenda sets forth an ambitious vision for the future of the planet and its people.

The agenda’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals present a global action plan based on people, planet, and prosperity. These SDGs will be key to overcoming many of the challenges the world faces.

Realizing this global vision will not be easy. It will require the dedication of nations, organizations, and individuals.

Business participation will be crucial.

The private sector’s talent, drive, and expertise will be essential in realizing progress.

Given this context, your commitment to Agenda 2030 and the SDGs demonstrates remarkable leadership and initiative.

By embracing the SDGs, you are showing the world that business can be a force for good, that socio-economic development and sustainability are not opposites, but dynamic and reciprocal complements. Indeed, we cannot achieve lasting peace, prosperity without healthy ecosystems; likewise, a healthy planet is the foundation for our sustainable livelihoods. I hope that other businesses and society as a whole will be inspired by your enthusiasm and enterprise.

It is, after all, in the interest of every person to see climate change overcome, poverty eradicated, and lives of peace, opportunity, and justice made available for all.

You have the potential to help bring the world closer to this common vision.

I look forward to seeing your contributions to this effort, and, once again, the United Nations applaud and welcome your leadership and initiative.

I also look forward to seeing you again next year, and to hear how you are translating your commitments into action on the ground.


Thank you all.

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