UN chief highlights "immense potential" of China's One Belt, One Road plan

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UN Secretary-General speaking at the Thematic Session on Connectivity of Development Policies and Strategies on the margins the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. UN/Zhao Yun

Praising the "immense potential" of China's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" economic plan, the UN Secretary-General said it can also promote access to markets for countries yearning to integrate the global economy.

António Guteress made these observations in a speech delivered on Sunday at the "Belt and Road Forum" in the capital Beijing.

According to media reports, 28 Heads of State and representatives from 60 countries were in attendance.

Jocelyne Sambira has more.

The Belt and Road Initiative was introduced by China in 2013 to stimulate trade and economic growth along the ancient Silk Road and beyond.

While the ancient Silk Road connects Asia to Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative includes nearly $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investments in Africa, Asia and Europe.

In a speech delivered during the Forum in Beijing on Sunday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres drew comparisons between China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

The two are different in scope and nature, Mr Guterres acknowledged, but had sustainable development as an "overarching objective."

Both strive to create opportunities and deepen "connectivity" in infrastructure, trade, finance, policies and people across countries and regions, he said.

The participating countries will benefit from the potential of enhanced connectivity if the links between the Belt and Road initiative and the SDGs were strengthened, the Secretary-General urged.

Mr. Guterres also called on Governments to settle peacefully any tensions related to the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’10”

 

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