2021 Sustainable Development Forum “People-Centered Sustainable Development”

Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to join you today and address the 2021 Sustainable Development Forum.
Let me also thank State Councilor Wang Yi for his inspiring keynote speech at this Forum. My Department, UN DESA, is honored to be a co-host of this Forum. And thank you to all who are joining us today.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 
The world is at a critical moment in its pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
Over the last year and-a-half, the already slow progress towards many SDGs has been set back even further, due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and communities the world over. 
The United Nations 2021 SDG progress report notes that, over the last year:

  • around an additional 120 million were pushed into extreme poverty, 
  • around a 100 million children fell below minimum reading proficiency levels, and 
  • inequalities worsened in many countries.

There is a grave danger of a sharply diverging world today, with some countries recovering spurred by broad vaccine rollouts, strong stimulus measures and digital acceleration; and others sinking deeper into a cycle of uncertainty, poverty and hunger, at risk of experiencing a lost decade for sustainable development. 
With just nine years left to 2030, we must act now as a global community to accelerate needed transformations. 
This is why today’s SDG Forum is so important. It will shine a spotlight on the inspiring efforts by all stakeholders to:

  • speed up sustainable recovery from the pandemic, 
  • fight climate change, and 
  • promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Distinguished Delegates,
People, planet and prosperity are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Yet, youth are three times more likely to be jobless.  Women and girls continue to be disadvantaged and to face violence in many forms. Biodiversity loss is rampant.
Technology is transforming our world, but over 4 billion people live disconnected from the digital world. 
All these challenges will be discussed at this Forum. 
It will showcase how technological solutions, partnerships and international collaboration are the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda. 
We need to ensure that our societies rebuild in a sustainable and resilient manner, mindful of both current and future generations – truly as ‘people-centred sustainable development’, that leaves no one behind. 
To this end, our efforts must be grounded in the universal roadmap provided in the 2030 Agenda.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development – for which my Department, UN DESA, serves as Secretariat – provides a dynamic global platform for:

  • regular dialogue, 
  • stocktaking, and 
  • agenda-setting to advance sustainable development.

I highly appreciate the launch of “China’s Progress Report on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2021)” during this Forum. 
I encourage UN Member States to submit their Voluntary National Review reports to the High-level Political Forum regularly. 
In this context, we welcome the Global Development initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly and appreciate  China’s strong support of global sustainable development, and determination to foster global development partnerships, to forge greater synergy among multilateral development cooperation processes, and to speed up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

In closing, I commend China for its remarkable achievements in implementing the 2030 Agenda, including its historical achievement of nation-wide eradication of extreme poverty.
I look forward to this Forum becoming a successful platform for knowledge exchange, and international cooperation around the SDGs, thus also allowing countries to benefit from China’s experience.
UN DESA stands ready to continue its support to this SDG Forum.  
I thank you.

File date: 
Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mr. Liu