Statement by Mr.Ke Yousheng, Permanent Representative of China to ESCAP on the North-East Asia Multistakeholder Forum on Sustainable Development Goals
2021-11-01 18:55

Dear Mr. Ganbold,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is my pleasure to attend this year's North-East Asia Multistakeholder Forum on Sustainable Development Goals. I would like to thank Mr. Ganbold as well as the East and North-East Sub-regional Office of ESCAP for their arrangements for today's meeting. I wish this meeting a success.

The period from 2016 to 2020 is the first five years of the global implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In July, China released China’s VNR Report on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development during the UN High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, which is China’s 2nd VNR report. And in September, China released the latest version of China’s Progress Report on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These two reports provide a comprehensive account of the progress China has made during the past 5 years in implementing the 2030 Agenda, and in promoting international development cooperation withfruitful results.

China coordinates the development of education. We adhere to the basic strategy of “prioritizing education development”. In 2020, the completion rate of nine-year compulsory education reached 95.2%, the gross enrollment rate at the upper secondary level exceeded 90%, with rapidly increasing access to education. Meanwhile, we have strengthened policy preferences and financial support to ensure the right to education of various poor and vulnerable groups. The digital infrastructure of education has been improved. By the end of 2020, the national Internet access rate for elementary and secondary schools had risen to 100%. During the COVID-19 epidemic,we successfully ensured “classes were suspended but learning continued online”. At the same time,China has been continuously promoting international exchange and cooperation in education and have trained many vocational and technical professionals for developing countries along the Belt and Road.

China promotes gender equality. By the end of 2020, 31 provinces have established mechanisms to evaluate gender equality in regulations and policies. The government promotes and protects womens rights, and the screening rate for common diseases among women increased significantly to 86.6% in 2020. Women’s access to employment has been increased, the proportion of females employed in total workforce reached 43.2% in 2019. We conduct international exchanges and cooperation to promote global development of womens empowerment. From 2015 to 2020, China helped to implement 100 maternal and child health projects in developing countries .

China protects the maritime resources. We have launched a Blue Bay environmental improvement initiative and support the efforts to protect and improve coastal zones. We have fully established a red line system for marine ecological protection in coastal areas, strengthening the ongoing regulation of marine nature reserves and ecological protection red lines. We also accelerate the transformation and upgrading of marine fisheries, strictly regulate marine fishing so as to sustainably use marine fishery resources.

China attaches great importance to ecological governance. From 2015 to 2020, about 40,000 km2 of farmland was returned to forest and a total of over 360,000 km2 of land were afforested, raising the forest coverage rate to 23.04% and making the forest reserve exceed 17.5 billion cubic meters. China has topped the world in forest resource increase. We have strengthened the protection of wild fauna and flora, promoting population recovery and growth for more than 300 rare and endangered wild animals and plants. This month, China successfully held the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. President Xi Jinping announced China’s initiative to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (about $233 million) to support biodiversity protection.

Ladies and gentlemen,

What are the secrets behind Chinas progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda? I would like to share the following:

First, political commitment. The Communist Party of China has adopted a people-centered approach, and follows a new vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. China has incorporated the 2030 Agenda into Chinas 13th Five-year Plan and other medium- and long-term national development strategies, and has taken a whole-of-government approach where horizontally all government departments are involved and vertically central and local governments are coordinated, to ensure that no one is left behind.

Second, effective implementation mechanisms. China was among the first to establish an inter-ministerial mechanism to ensure implementation of the 2030 Agenda through coordination among 45 ministries. We have formed an effective structure comprising the central government, local government and community, and has established a policy guarantee system which is governed by the national policy and supported by sectoral and local policies.

Third, extensive public engagement. China has built an effective public-private-civil society partnership. We encourage all types of businesses to fulfill their social responsibilities, and engage social organizations and the public in implementing the 2030 Agenda. By enhancing awareness and responsibility of all stakeholders, we successfully mobilize the strengths of the entire society.

Looking ahead, China will continue to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by integrating the 2030 Agenda with Chinas major national development strategies such as the 14th Five-year Plan and the Vision 2035. We will adhere to new development philosophy for sustainable development with high quality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, the world is facing complex impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical changes, both unseen in a century. Global economic recovery is slow, challenges of climate change is growing. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is confronted with new difficulties. To meet these challenges, unity and solidarity are the most important responses, and mutually beneficial cooperation is the most effective path.

First, we need to prioritize development, building a global community of development with a shared future. Development is the master key to all problems. We need to focus on development, prioritize development cooperation in global macro-policy coordination. Last month, President Xi Jinping solemnly proposed the Global Development Initiative at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. This Initiative chimes with the development needs of the world. China stands steady to work with all parties to advance the Global Development Initiative for building back better from the pandemic.

Second, we need to pursue green development, promoting a sustainable recovery. We need to take the path of green development, upgrade the economic and industrial structures as well as the energy mix at a faster pace, and build a green and low-carbon circular economic system. There is strong need to have deep reverence for nature, respect nature, follow natures laws, protect nature, and advance global environmental governance, so as to realize harmony between man and nature. Saying that, we urge the new Japanese administration to properly handle the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water issue, heed the call of the international community and domestic public, and revoke the former governments wrong decision, and suspend the discharge process before reaching consensus with all stakeholders and relevant international institutions. No one wants to witness the birth of a Godzilla in reality, as we dont have Ultraman protecting human beings.

Third, we need to strengthen unity and cooperation to meet various challenges. As the pandemic keeps mutating and remains rampant, we need to deepen international cooperation in fighting COVID-19, while firmly opposing politicization and stigmatization. Vaccine accessibility and affordability should be ensured so as to close the immunization gap. We need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and implement the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change in solidarity. The world needs to step up North-South cooperation and deepen South-South cooperation, and provide more resources and support to developing countries. 

Fourth, we need to safeguard multilateralism, building a community with a shared future for mankind. The effective development is the development for all. Any attempt to use the pandemic for the purpose of de-coupling or protectionism will undermine the interests of others as well as ones own. We need to improve global governance in the spirit of extensive consultation,joint contribution and shared benefits, practise true multilateralism, and advocate the common values of humanity, including peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, towards building a new type of international relations base on mutual respect, equity and justice and win-win cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of China in the United Nations. On October 25, President Xi Jinping attended the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Lawful Seat of China in the United Nations in Beijing and delivered an important speech. President Xi reviewed the glorious 50-year history of China in the United Nations, comprehensively introduced Chinas significant contributions to promoting international solidarity, upholding justice and promoting world peace and development, and put forward Chinas solutions to address global challenges. China will continue to firmly support the the international system with the United Nations as its core and the international order underpinned by international law. China will continue to act as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods, and support the United Nations to play a greater role in the international affairs.

Northeast Asia is one of the most dynamic and promising regions both in Asia and around the world. This is the home for all of us. The development of Northeast Asia is of great significance to the recovery of global economy from the pandemic. China is willing to work with all parties in Northeast Asia to explore innovative development, enhance solidarity, fight the epidemic, and tackle with climate change. China will devote to experience sharing and mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of connectivity, digital economy and poverty reduction, and work in joint efforts with all parties to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for the sustainable development and prosperity of the Northeast Asia.

Thank you!