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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Briefing on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Transport for Global Development

2021-10-22 13:10

Excellencies, 

Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning and welcome to today’s briefing.

Last week, the first part of CBD COP15 and the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference were successfully held in Kunming and Beijing. Today, our Mission is honored to invite Under Secretary-General Mr. Liu Zhenmin, CBD Executive Secretary Ms. Elizabeth Mrema, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Mr. Zhao Yingmin, and Vice Minister of Transport Mr. Dai Dongchang to review these two big events. I hope today’s briefing will help facilitate exchanges and forge consensus for us, to jointly follow up the outcomes of the two conferences, and promote global sustainable development.

The COVID19 pandemic has brought grave challenges to global economic and social development. Gains made over the years in implementing the SDGs are being lost. In particular, the transport industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, and the global supply, industrial and value chains are struggling to function. Climate change and biodiversity loss have sounded the alarm for humankind and force us to think deeply about the relationship between man and nature. 

In this context, the two conferences are highly relevant and important. All parties attached great importance to the two conferences, and actively participated in the discussions, which led to fruitful results of the events. This demonstrates the determination of the international community to jointly combat the pandemic and address global challenges. It has also brought confidence and strength for global development.

In preparing the two events, China worked closely with the UN, the CBD Secretariat and all other member states, and actively played the leading role as the host country. We have made huge efforts to overcome the impacts of the pandemic. President Xi Jinping attended the leaders’ summit of COP15 and the opening ceremony of the Sustainable Transport Conference, and delivered important remarks.

At the leaders’ summit of COP15, President Xi expounded the vision of building a community of all life on Earth. He proposed to build a homeland of harmonious coexistence between man and nature, of coordinated advancement of economy and environment, and of common development of all countries. This has set the grand goal for global biodiversity conservation. As President Xi said, if we humanity do not fail nature, nature will not fail us. His wise words are warmly received. 

At the opening ceremony of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference, President Xi stressed that transport is the artery of the economy and a bond between civilizations. He called on all parties to follow the prevailing trend of world development, advance global transport cooperation, and write a new chapter featuring connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flows of trade and investment, and interactions between civilizations. His remarks has charted the way forward for global sustainable transport.

Thanks to concerted efforts from all parties, the two conferences have yielded fruitful outcomes. The first part of COP15 successfully held the leaders’ summit, the ministerial meeting and the Ecological Civilization Forum. It also adopted the Kunming Declaration, sending a powerful message of realizing the 2050 vision of “living in harmony with nature”. 

At the Sustainable Transport Conference, participants had policy dialogues on topics including people’s livelihood, green development, connectivity, COVID response and economic recovery. There is no doubt the initiatives proposed will inject new strength for the implementation of transport-related SDGs. 

At the two conferences, President Xi announced that China will invest 1.5 billion yuan to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund, set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport. This shows China’s sense of responsibility in promoting global development, and set a good example for international cooperation.

Indeed, the Kunming conference and Beijing conference are new starting points for global biodiversity conservation and sustainable transport. China will work with all parties to build on the outcomes of the conferences, and further deepen global development partnership and implement the 2030 Agenda. 

At the UNGA general debate last month, President Xi proposed a widely welcomed Global Development Initiative. The Initiative is committed to development as a priority, follows a people-centered approach, and seeks harmony between man and nature and innovation-driven development. It identifies poverty alleviation, climate change, green development, connectivity, among others, as key cooperation areas, in order to achieve stronger, greener and healthier global development. President Xi’s important remarks at the Kunming and Beijing Conferences are in line with the Global Development Initiative. We welcome all parties to join the Initiative and together inject stronger political will to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

I am confident that through today’s event, you will have a better understanding of the importance and fruitful outcomes of the two conferences, and gain greater confidence in global cooperation on biodiversity conservation and sustainable transport. We hope next year, the second part of COP15 will conclude the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to guide global environmental governance. We also hope countries will take the Sustainable Transport Conference as an opportunity to deepen global connectivity partnership.

There is no time to lose in implementing the SDGs. Together, let’s take the two conferences as new starting points to promote global development cooperation and environmental governance to a new level. Let’s strive for common development and prosperity for all countries and harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

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