The Ambassadors’ Roundtable at the 8th China and Globalization Forum
20 June 2022
Remarks by Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China
(check against delivery)
H.E. Mr. Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries,
Mr. Henry Wang, President of the Center for China and Globalization,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank CCG President Henry Wang for inviting me to join this important event. It provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the state of the world and our responsibilities toward our planet and the people that inhabit it.
The world today faces a number of persistent and interlinked crises, the most prominent of which I characterize as the “3C’s”: Climate, COVID-19 and Conflicts.
Combined, these threats are reversing global progress made in recent decades, severely undermining our prospects for the future.
According to the latest report by the UN Global Crisis Response Group, 60 percent of workers have lower real incomes than before the pandemic. For the first time in decades, the number of people living below the international poverty line is growing.
This is not acceptable.
I am here today to learn from this distinguished group what needs to be done: to rebuild, recover and resurge.
For my part, I have three points to emphasize.
Firstly, solidarity. The pandemic has demonstrated the need for a more agile, networked and inclusive multilateralism that is capable of tackling the challenges of our time. Solidarity remains the backbone for humanity in tackling the public health crisis.
Through the joint work of scientists, public health specialists, governments, and international organizations, we have seen the development of effective preventive measures, treatments and vaccines at a record pace. Solidarity must also underpin the solutions to other threats, including climate change.
Secondly, action. We have less than eight years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Time is running out, and we must act fast. In 2019, the UN Secretary-General called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a “Decade of Action” and accelerate efforts to deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda.
The time for words alone is over. We now need to focus on the concrete solutions: investments, governance models and action plans to deliver on the commitments made.
Finally, leaving no one behind. As the World Bank has recently raised, the attention of the international community is focusing on the risk of “stagflation,” where economies face slow growth combined with high inflation and unemployment, with potentially harmful consequences, especially for those in vulnerable groups, including women and children. But economics form only part of the picture.
The 2030 Agenda is one cohesive and integrated agenda, encompassing all three pillars of the UN Charter: peace and security, human rights, and development. The power of the 2030 Agenda comes with its recognition that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, for all nations and peoples, and for all segments of society. We must endeavour to reach those furthest behind first.
Let us keep these points in mind as we commence our deliberations today, and as we lead in our roles henceforth.