China’s Belt and Road Initiative commitment to SDGs: UNGA chief

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United Nations, June 14 (IANS) UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak has said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative represents a commitment to the the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and multilateralism.

Speaking at a high-level symposium on the Belt and Road Initiative and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Lajcak said on Wednesday that by taking this initiative, China is playing its part in urgent action needed to achieve the SDGs “within our timeframe.”

“Many countries are already seeing an increase in trade, economic growth and transfer of technology,” he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“These benefits, coupled with the right national policies, lead to the creation of decent jobs, poverty reduction and better infrastructure.”

The UNGA chief praised the initiative for bringing about partnerships for the SDGs, noting it includes over 100 countries and international organizations, Xinhua reported.

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Particularly, he noted the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a Beijing-headquartered multilateral development bank commenced in January 2016, in just its first year lent 1.73 billion U.S. dollars to support sustainable infrastructure and other projects.

“This will no doubt help to close the 5 to 7 trillion-dollar gap we face in financing the SDGs,” he commented.

Moreover, Lajcak said multilateralism is “the cornerstone of the Belt and Road Initiative,” and that it shows China’s commitment to its neighbors and to the principles of the UN.

“China’s economic growth is not confined within its borders. As a multilateral player, China is sharing its wealth and best practices through the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

Wednesday’s symposium, organized by the Chinese permanent mission to the UN and relevant UN departments and agencies, saw the participation of close to 100 representatives from some 50 countries and organizations.

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