China plays leading role in tackling global development challenges, says UN official

 China has contributed significantly to tackling global development challenges such as poverty and climate change, a senior official of the United Nations (UN) said on Thursday.

Armida Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said during a virtual interview with Xinhua that China had shown its leadership, through successful reduction of absolute poverty.

She said the country’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2060, and the decision to stop funding coal-fired power plants abroad was ideal.

“We are very much looking forward to a stronger leadership, commitment and contribution of China (towards) all global development challenges,’’ she said.

Speaking ahead of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, Alisjahbana highlighted that security and peace were fundamental for global development and that China’s role as a permanent member of the security council is crucial to international cooperation.

International cooperation was in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fighting of climate change.

The Bangkok-based ESCAP, comprising 53 member states and nine associate members, was one of the five regional commissions of the UN, aiming to foster economic connectivity and deal with social development challenges in the Asia-Pacific region.

China has been one of ESCAP’S major partners and member states for decades. “Collaboration in the past few years has been excellent,” Alisjahbana said.

She added that within the framework of the China-ESCAP Cooperation Programme, priority areas like transportation, energy, health and social development have seen closer cooperation between the two parties.

Poverty reduction was one of the major targets of the SDGs and a key focus area of ESCAP.

Alisjahbana said that China’s achievement in eliminating extreme poverty was “definitely commendable”, not only significantly advancing the progress of achieving the SDGs, but also providing experiences for other countries with similar needs.

She further emphasised the efforts China had made for the carbon-neutral target, which she believes was “a major step in the right direction in combating climate change.’’

“We also will like to see more initiatives and certainly China could play a leading role in scaling up solutions,’’ she said.

She added that she believed regional developing countries were looking forward to collaborating with China to find alternative solutions in new technologies to reduce carbon emissions. (Xinhua/NAN)