Belt and Road Initiative “very important opportunity”: UN Chief

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UNITED NATIONS, April
25, (Xinhua/GNA) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that the
China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a “very important
opportunity” to the world.

With such a huge
volume of investment for international cooperation brought about by the BRI, it
is a “very important opportunity for enhancing the capacity to implement
the sustainable development goals and an important opportunity to launch green
perspectives in the years to come,” Guterres told journalists at the UN headquarters
before leaving for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
in Beijing.

“When we look at
the sustainable development goals, when we look at the 2030 agenda, we see that
we are not making enough progress,” the UN chief said.

“Financing for
development is not enough. There is not enough money. There is not enough
support to developing countries in order to be able to reach the sustainable
development goals,” he added.

Meanwhile, “the
climate change is running faster, and we are not able to fulfil the promises
that were made in Paris,” Guterres said, expressing his worries over the
lack of political will around the world to reverse this negative trend.

According to Guterres,
lots of countries could take advantage of the huge volume of investment brought
by the initiative to narrow their development gap with others.

Noting that the BRI
can have a stronger impact on the concerned countries, he said that the UN will
give full support to them and make sure the investment and projects could be
honestly integrated into their economies and societies, so as to produce a best
effect for the development. 

As for the climate
change, Guterres said the BRI can be an extremely important tool to tackle the
global issue and reverse the trend.

“We need a lot of
investments in sustainable development, in renewable energy, and a lot of
investments in infrastructure that respect the future, and truly
sustainable,” he added.

He said he is glad to
host a seminar about green growth during the upcoming Belt and Road forum, in
which he will make a call for more concrete actions, instead of words, to deal
with the common challenge.

Commenting on China’s
development over the past 70 years, from one of the poorest countries in the
world to the second largest economy in the world, the UN chief said that the
extraordinary success of China’s economic growth in the past decades is
“probably a unique example in the world,” if one looks at what has
been in the history of development.

Speaking highly of
China’s strong commitment to multilateralism and closer cooperation with the
world body in such areas as promoting sustainable development and global
security, he said he is “very appreciative of the very meaningful increase
of Chinese support to peace-keeping.”

Anything that
contributes to connecting different countries would make trade easier, Guterres
said.

“That is exactly
the opportunity that I believe the Belt and Road represents,” he said,
adding that it is very important to discuss and maximize the positive impacts
of the BRI at this forum.

Talking about the
cultural differences along the Belt and Road, Guterres said that “one of
the most important things is to respect diversity, if you want to have peace
and harmony.”

“Diversity is
richness, not a threat,” he said.

GNA



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