The upcoming Belt and Road Forum of International Cooperation is a major world event that will send a strong message to the international community that “globalization is irreversible”, United Nations Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo said on Wednesday.
“Although globalization has some problems and has room for improvement, the trend continues,” said Wu, who will attend the forum in Beijing in mid-May as a member of the delegation of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The forum also will “set a direction” for the international community of cooperation and mutual benefit, Wu said in an interview with Chinese media. “Cooperation and mutual benefit can make up for and improve the issues brought by globalization.”
Wu said people will realize through the forum that the Belt and Road Initiative and its projects will produce new growth points for the world economy, and the forum will bring a new impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network by linking Asia with Africa and Europe along ancient trade routes.
The initiative and the Chinese concept of building a community with shared destiny was incorporated into a UN Security Council resolution in March.
In a resolution to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for one year, the council urged the promotion of security and stability in Afghanistan and for the region “to create a community of a shared future for mankind”.
It also urged further international efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and implement the initiative.
“This means the initiative and the concept have received global recognition, which is a milestone of China’s foreign relations,” said Wu.
“After resuming its membership in the UN, China has been making contributions to the international community. Providing public products acceptable to the international community is one of them.”
Wu said it shows that China can help guide the world’s development through its own public products, and the international community is gradually recognizing China’s role in it. It also shows the international community has “pinned high hopes” on China, Wu said.
So far, 100 international organizations and countries have joined the initiative, and 40 countries have signed partnership agreements with China.
The initiative covers 60 percent of world population and one third of the world GDP of about $20 trillion. The cooperation priorities are policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds.
Wu said at an earlier meeting chaired by the UNSG that a consensus was reached that the “the successful implementation of initiative will bring a profound influence and changes to world geopolitics and world economic development”.
“The initiative is in line with the UN Charter and the 2030 sustainable development goals, so it won the echo and support of international community. And it’s complementary to the agenda of 2030 SDG,” Wu said.
For example, the first two goals of sustainable development are eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Facilities connectivity and unimpeded trade lay a foundation for poverty alleviation, he said.
“And if we have financial integration during the implementation of the initiative, capital needed for the sustainable development would be guaranteed,” Wu said.