President of the United Nations General Assembly completes visit to China after meeting with Chinese leaders and participating in the Belt and Road Forum
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 7 May 2017– The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, today completed his visit to China where he addressed the plenary segment of the Belt and Road Forum and held a series of meetings with Chinese leaders including Vice President H.E. Mr. Li Yuanchao.
On 12 and 13 May, the President met with senior Chinese leaders. In meetings with Vice President H.E. Mr. Li Yuanchao, State Councillor H.E. Mr. Yang Jiechi, and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, a range of global issues were discussed including the Belt and Road Initiative, the Sustainable Development Goals, The Ocean Conference and current UN reform issues.
In thanking the Government of China for the Belt and Road Initiative, President Thomson expressed confidence it would prove to be a massive contributor to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The President welcomed China’s support to the United Nations, its commitment to multilateralism and win-win cooperation between nations through the development of mutually beneficial trade and investment. His Chinese counterparts congratulated President Thomson for his leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals and expressed their confidence that the Belt and Road Forum would build on China’s vision of building a sharing global community.
In addressing the plenary of the Belt and Road Forum today, President Thomson’s main message was the necessity of the global community staying true to the course of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He underlined that the two agreements were critical to the sustainability of humanity’s place on this planet.
‘Fidelity to these universal agreements is the central imperative of our time. Meanwhile, the Belt and Road Initiative is a massive driving force towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Initiative’s inclusive, integrated and transformational vision is in complete synergy with the 2030 Agenda, and its “can-do” spirit is an inspiration for us all.’
President Thomson held lengthy talks with China’s Administrator of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), H.E. Mr. Wang Hong, to discuss preparations for The Ocean Conference to take place in New York, 5-9 June. China’s strong support for the conference was underlined, with special emphasis on blue partnerships, the blue economy and assistance to developing countries to sustainably manage their marine resources. The talks agreed that a follow-up mechanism should be developed to ensure the outcomes of The Ocean Conference are faithfully implemented. Discussions covered the control of marine pollution, sustainable management of fishstocks and marine protected areas.
‘It was a great pleasure to meet with Administrator Wang Hong and I look forward to close engagement with SOA at and after The Ocean Conference. We are universally mandated by the full membership of the United Nations to achieve the noble aims of SDG14 by the year 2030. If we are going to reverse the cycle of decline in which the Ocean is currently caught, it will require a great communal effort by humanity. I’m confident we can do this for the sake of the Ocean we love.’
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