Mr. Liu Zhenmin Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

High Level Symposium on the Belt and Road Initiative
and 2030 Agenda


As we are preparing the forthcoming HLPF for the review of SDG17 on the means of implementation, both the Member States and the UN System are struggling in finding the various means. This year marks the third year for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In the words of the Secretary-General, ‘we don’t have a moment to lose’.

Some progress has been made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, but the overall picture is not as promising as we would hope.

Next week, we will launch the United Nations 2018 Sustainable Development Report, which will provide more details about progress and shortfalls in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

In general, while the global picture of peoples’ standard of living is better than a decade ago, progress to ensure that no one is left behind has not been rapid enough to meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda.

Global progress is not keeping pace with the ambitions of the Agenda. We need to redouble our efforts – immediately – to accelerate its implementation.

We need to enlist all stakeholders: Governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors, and mobilize all available resources.

We need to strengthen international development cooperation at all levels.

In this regard, the Belt and Road Initiative has provided a new open and inclusive platform for international development cooperation, which can make a great contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dear colleagues,

While the Belt and Road Initiative and the 2030 Agenda are different in their nature and scope, they share in many respects a similar vision and a set of basic principles.

Both of them serve the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

Both of them aim to promote win-win cooperation, shared development and prosperity, peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, and mutual understanding and trust.

More specifically, the five priority areas as defined in the Belt and Road Initiative, or the “five types of connectivity”, namely, connectivity in policy, facilities, trade, finance and among peoples, are extensively and intrinsically linked with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Together, such connectivity can effectively advance achievement of the Goals.

For example, connectivity, including infrastructure investment, can play a crucial role in promoting productivity and sustainable economic growth. Infrastructure investment is important for eradicating poverty.

Infrastructure investment is also a crucial catalyst to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

Sustainable infrastructure is a cornerstone for achieving sustainable consumption and production patterns, and for combatting climate change.

More importantly, increased connectivity among peoples across countries and regions can promote dialogue and understanding among all civilizations, leading to a sustaining peace worldwide.

Secretary-General António Guterres has encouraged the United Nations system to cooperate with the countries engaged in the Belt and Road in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A broad range of joint activities, including capacity development projects, have been launched to assist the countries along the Belt and Road.

Dear Colleagues,

Chinese President Xi Jinping made it clear that jointly building the Belt and Road is to push forward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Secretary-General Guterres stated that Belt and Road Initiative could become an important part of the global efforts in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Given the ambition of the 2030 Agenda, for a successful implementation, we need concrete cooperation actions as reflected in the Belt and Road initiative and other international development cooperation platforms. DESA is prepared to facilitate the UN System and the Member States in such endeavors.

Thank you.

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