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Friday, May 5, 2017, 07:27

'Globalization irreversible', UN official says of forum

By Wang Linyan

'Globalization irreversible', UN official says of forum
In this file photograph dated Oct 22, 2012, Wu Hongbo, undersecretary-general of economic and social affairs of the UN, attends the opening of the World Energy Forum 2012, at the Exhibition Centre, in Dubai on. (AFP PHOTO/KA RIM SAHIB)

The upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is a major world event that will send a strong message to the international community that "globalization is irreversible", Wu Hongbo, the UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, said on Wednesday.

"Although globalization has some problems and has room for improvement, the trend continues," said Wu, of China, who will attend the forum in Beijing this month as a member of the delegation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The forum also will "set a direction" of cooperation and mutual benefit for the international community, Wu said in an interview with Chinese media. "Cooperation and mutual benefit can make up for and improve the issues brought by globalization."

This means the initiative and the concept have received global recognition, which is a milestone of China's foreign relations

Wu Hongbo, UN undersecretary-general

The forum is scheduled for May 14 and 15.

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 UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Belt and Road 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 land and sea 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.

"This means the initiative and the concept have received global recognition, which is a milestone of China's foreign relations," Wu said.

"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 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 organizations and countries have joined the Belt and Road initiative, and 40 countries have signed partnership agreements with China.

The initiative covers nations holding 60 percent of the world's 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 a consensus was reached at an meeting chaired by the UN secretary-general that "the successful implementation of the 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 wins the echo and support of international community. And it's complementary to the agenda of (those goals)," Wu said.

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