Beijing efforts in regional development hailed

2024-04-25 09:57:29China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China will maintain the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, further link its goals with the regional development strategies of Southeast Asian countries and make joint efforts to build a better future for the interests of all people, officials said at a United Nations conference.

"Southeast Asia has its unique and great resources. China will strengthen cooperation with the region's governments, research institutes and organizations, building more innovative working modes for greater achievement," said Zhao Fengtao, vice-chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency.

Zhao spoke at the annual session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP, in Bangkok on Wednesday. The session witnessed more than 800 participants from 61 member states.

"As the world is now facing tremendous changes and revolutions led by new technologies that are making their way fast forward, countries should work together closely and promote multilateralism for joint development," Zhao said.

He noted the importance of the Global Development Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2021. So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations have voiced their support for the initiative.

"The initiative is proposed in the interests of the majority of the people in every country. It's also inspiring for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, because it emphasizes green, technology-driven development and innovation. Those are crucial and will also play key roles in the region's efforts toward the SDG goals," Zhao stressed.

According to the Asia and the Pacific SDG Report Progress Report 2024 commissioned by ESCAP, the region will not meet any of the 17 SDGs by the agreed deadline of 2030.

Current estimates show these will not be reached before 2062, at least 32 years behind schedule.

Push needed

Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific will take an extraordinary collective effort, said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.

"Intelligently deployed and properly governed digital solutions, based on a common understanding, shared approaches and collaborative governance, form the foundations for the collective push necessary for the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," Alisjahbana said.

Alisjahbana also stressed the necessity of subregional engagement to accelerate the regional efforts toward the SDG goals.

During the session, Han Zhiqiang, Chinese ambassador to Thailand, highlighted several achievements in recent years between China and Thailand in terms of making a way toward achieving sustainable goals.

For example, China supported Bangkok in building a waste incineration power plant in 2016, which has so far helped to treat 1.1 million tons of waste and generated a total of 500 million kilowatt-hours of power.

As Thailand recently announced its goal of building Southeast Asia's EV hub, Chinese EV brands made great contributions to the plan, not only by introducing the country's advanced technologies in the kingdom but also by building factories, providing a lot of job opportunities to locals.

We should join hands and prioritize development, further creating a more open environment for a win-win result, Han said.

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