(December 5, 2022, 15h00-17h00, CICG)
Dear colleagues, it is a pleasure to attend the 9th Friends of UNITAR meeting, which offers a unique opportunity for us to exchange views on how we shall better prepare for the current situations which is characterized by multi-challenges, such as COVID-19, geopolitical environment, food, energy crisis, etc. I wish to thank the Executive Director for this update on where we are, where to go and how we should work together to make the work of UNITAR more tailored to cope with various external challenges to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, among others, the early recovery from the Covid-19, especially for the developing countries.
In recent years, UNITAR has achieved positive resultsby aligningits work with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and focusing on the four pillars of peace, people, planet and prosperity. Last year, UNITAR provided training services to 370,000 people worldwide, with nearly 80 percent of the beneficiaries coming from developing countries. UNITAR has also taken practical measures to strengthen capacity building in countries with special situations. I highly appreciate its outstanding achievements. I would like to share the following three points.
First, focus on priority areas. We should continue to focus on the key obstacles of sustainable development, especially the most pressing concerns of developing countriesin such areas as poverty reduction, food security, pandemic response, developmentfinancing, climate change, green development, and digital economy. UNITAR is expected to develop more online and offline training programs to play a better role in bridging the development gap and solving the development deficit.
Second, meet the needs of specific situations. Each countryhas different national conditions and different stages of development. As a result, it’s only natural that they have different priorities for capacity building. So targeted, high quality training programs and projects should be developed while taking into account the development agenda priorities and specific challenges they are facing.
Third, expand cooperation mechanisms. As an important training arm of the United Nations, UNITAR is expected to further synergize the efforts and resources of relevant agencies such as WHO, WIPO and ITU, with a view to make joint move in terms of developing training programs and sharing training courses, in order to help countries strengthen capacity building in areas such as health, IP rights and telecommunications. At the same time, UNITAR is also encouraged to further strengthen cooperation with enterprises, universities, NGOs, think tanks and media, and embrace flexible participation of all parties with their own unique resources, in the spirit of open and inclusive partnership. In the meantime, we wish to see that developed countries could provide more financial support for UNITAR funds and more capacity building assistance to developing countries.
China has maintained sound cooperation with UNITAR, with annual contributions to support capacity building projects for developing countries, and with many Chinese universities and institutions’ cooperation with UNITAR. Chinaproposed the Global Development Initiative last September, with a view to strengthen international cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. This is very much in line with UNITAR’s strategic framework. Over the past year, we have organized more than 1,000 capacity building projects and provided more than 40,000 training opportunities for developing countries. Next year will mark the 60th anniversary of UNITAR, and China is ready to take this opportunity to further deepen substantive cooperation with UNITAR. And my mission remains available in this respect. Thank you all.