Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Welcome Remarks
Planning for a Sustainable Future: China's 13th Five-Year Plan
High-level Panel Discussion and Luncheon

Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Mr. Vijay Nambiar,
Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General of the China Energy Fund Committee, Dr. Patrick HO,
Professor Sachs,
Professor Robinson,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured and pleased to welcome you to this high-level panel discussion and luncheon.

Since 2014, we have collaborated with the China Energy Fund Committee, or CEFC, an ECOSOC accredited NGO and global think tank, to organise informal discussions on issues relating to sustainable development.

In 2014, we focused on the topic of sustainable urbanisation.

In 2015, we addressed the nexus between culture and sustainable development.

This year, we are featuring the topic of China’s 13th five-year plan.

We believe this is timely, as Member States are embarking on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Many member States are elaborating national sustainable development strategies.

22 countries, including China, are scheduled to make voluntary national reviews at the July High-level Political Forum.

So the question for us is this – “Will China’s five-year plan help deliver on its national goals and targets, which are very much aligned with the SDGs?

What are the implications for the world – if China succeeds or not?

I think an informed, balanced and objective discussion will prove fruitful, as we engage in the General Assembly Thematic Debate and as we prepare for the July High-level Political Forum.

The 13th five-year plan contains many goals and targets.

Let me list a few of them, to illustrate its alignment with the SDGs.

Indeed, these are also provided with more details in the concept note for the panel discussion.

Let us take a look. By 2020:

  1. More than 50 million new jobs will be created in urban areas;
  2. 75 million people will be lifted out of poverty in rural areas;
  3. 20 million housing units will be built;
  4. 30,000 kilometres of high-speed railways will be added;
  5. The economy will achieve the new normal of 6.5% growth annually;
  6. Mobile broadband is to cover 85 percent of the total population;
  7. 80 percent of days are to feature “good” air quality; and
  8. China will achieve 18 % reduction in carbon-intensity from 2015 levels

How will China achieve the objective of a “moderately prosperous society” by 2020, doubling GDP for 2010-2020, while meeting these ambitious targets?

I think the excellent speakers who are here with us will help shed light on these questions.

One thing is clear – there will be challenges – in financing, in means of implementation, in global geopolitics, in climate change, among others.

But in my view, the challenge also starts with our mindset – are we ready for the transformative 2030 Agenda?

Just as is the case with the SDGs, many of the goals and targets in the 13th five-year are inter-linked.

Can we work together, break silos?  Can we coordinate, across ministries, agencies, sectors, disciplines, as well as between local, provincial and central government levels?

Answering these questions is as important as answering the questions on finance, technology, infrastructure, and partnerships.

Excellencies,

Both the 2030 Agenda and the 13th five-year plan point to one imperative – if we want to achieve a sustainable future, we need to think differently, in synergy, not in silo.

We can only be transformative in action when we have the political will and determination. I look forward to a fruitful discussion.

Thank you.

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