Dr. Long Guoqiang, Vice President of the Development Research Center of the State Council,
Mr. Chen Jinbiao, Executive Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the 75th UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping in his speech said that China will set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
I was privileged to see this center established in Deqing county. This center will serve as a provider of big data and research to accelerate the SDGs for the world. I want to thank Mr. Chen Jinbiao, Executive Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province for supporting this very important initiative.
Today I share my appreciation to CIKD for organizing this critical forum on Sustainable Development at the start of the “Decade of Action” to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Tackling poverty is not a new commitment—in 2015, all UN member states pledged to reduce inequality within and among countries as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Huge strides in reducing extreme poverty have been achieved in China and worldwide. In 1990, 52.08% of the world’s extremely poor lived in East Asia and the Pacific. By 2015, East Asia and the Pacific had a 27.7% of the world’s population, but only 6.39% of its population in poverty, with China the largest single contributor to this progress by lifting over 750 million people out of extreme poverty over the last four decades, leading the global fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
In particular, the Targeted Poverty Alleviation Program launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 achieves the goal of eradicating extreme poverty through scientific and precise evaluation. The Program had involved more than 900 billion RMB of central government’s special fund in poverty alleviation, a total of 255,000 village-based task forces, and 2.9 million cadres of Party and Government devoting their time to poverty alleviation campaigns. China’s success is a significant milestone toward the end of poverty and a valuable lesson to the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of gains to eliminate global poverty. The World Bank has estimated that 150 million people have been brought back to extreme poverty by 2021. Also, a recent estimation by ADB indicated 80 million people in Asia would plunge into poverty due to the pandemic. The remaining task to realize SDG 1 of eradicating global extreme poverty is daunting.
To expedite the recovery from the pandemic and resume momentum to fight against extreme poverty, we need global coordination and support to leverage financial resources and discover targeted and innovative solutions to alleviate poverty. China has always been a fundamental contributor to support these efforts through its Belt and Road Initiative and partnerships under the South-south cooperation framework.
In Kenya, I witnessed first-hand the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative.It transformed lives and livel If implemented in full it has the potential to lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million from moderate poverty according to the World Bank. Efforts here are a game-changer and should be enhanced.
The UN will provide support to help maximize the potential of China’s international initiatives and engagements to realize the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and promote multilateral development banks such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the private sector’s reach, technology, and resources for the attainment of the SDGs globally, using socially, environmentally, culturally, and economically sustainable approaches.
The vision of Common Prosperity demonstrates China’s vision to transition to a new development paradigm: through a “dual circulation” strategy to achieve green, sustainable, and comprehensive development for all and leave no one behind.
The Common Prosperity vision is in line with Leaving No One Behind, the fundamental principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is the core to the work of the UN, and we appreciate our longstanding collaboration with the Government of China to ensure the development is inclusive and that our joint work reaches the most vulnerable populations.
The clock is ticking for the global solidarity to fight poverty and realize prosperity of all, as President Xi said in the 76th UN General Assembly, “We need to foster global development partnerships that are more equal and balanced, forge greater synergy among multilateral development cooperation processes, and speed up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”
I take this opportunity as the United Nations Resident Coordinator to China to renew my pledge to the Government and people of China that the UN family will work with China to implement with 14th Five-Year plan and share China’s lessons with the rest of the developing world.