Opening remarks at China National Day celebration at ESCAP

Excellency Mr. Lyu Jian, Ambassador of China to the Kingdom of Thailand,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be with you to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. I am delighted the Embassy of China has chosen to host this event at the United Nations.

Over the past seventy years, and especially during the four recent decades of ‘reform and opening up’, China’s development journey has been phenomenal. It has made a major contribution to poverty eradication and to the world achieving the millennium development goals. About 800 million people lifted out of extreme poverty since 1990. Today, China continues to help power regional trade, investment and growth in our region and beyond.

As China’s involvement in international affairs has grown, so too has its contribution to the United Nations. Where sustainable development is concerned, it has a crucial role to play in accelerating the region’s progress towards the 2030 Agenda. Ensuring 2020-2030 is the decade of action for sustainable development to which global leaders have committed will depend on China’s commitment. China has certainly been making a valuable contribution to all areas of our work at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Let me mention just three.

China has been ambitious in its vision for connectivity and infrastructure development. It is one of key member States in promoting deeper regional economic integration supported by transport, trade and energy connectivity - with tangible results. The international road transport agreement between the governments of China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation granting traffic rights on the Asia Highway is a good example. China’s expertise in trade facilitation and logistics has contributed to the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border paperless trade. It is actively engaged in efforts to develop a regional roadmap on sustainable energy connectivity. I would like to emphasize that ESCAP stands ready to support further the exchange of best practice and foster a common approach to regional connectivity and economic integration based on international standards, UN values and norms.

Only last week, China was a key player in showcasing integrated approaches to clean energy and advancing greater energy efficiency in the region during the 10th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Energy. Action in our region will be essential for the world to respond effectively to the existing climate emergency. We need China’s continued leadership to support a decisive transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy and sustainable energy connectivity.

I would also like to recognize the China’s support for ESCAP’s Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization based in Beijing. Agricultural Mechanization has played an important role in the development story of the most populous region of the world. We are pleased to leverage this expertise to help share best practices from across our region to accelerate sustainable agricultural development, improve livelihoods and reduce rural poverty. The Centre continues to provide valuable support to smallholder farmers who remain the backbone of food production in our region.

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am looking forward to strengthening collaboration with China and the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok to build on this longstanding experience and contribute to sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

Enjoy the event!