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Speech by Ms. Liu Meng, Head, Asia and Oceania, UN Global Compact, at the 9th IRMCL





Dear Vice-Chairman Zheng Wantong, Vice-Minister LiYizhong, Vice-Minister Ma Xiuhong, Rector Francisco Rojas, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,


Good afternoon!


Today it gives me great pleasure to attend this roundtable on behalf of the UN Global Compact. Just now the distinguished participants shared with us their views on 'the Belt and Road' initiative from different perspectives. So as the representative of the UN Global Compact and as an organization that is responsible for promoting responsive corporate behaving in a world, I wish to share with you my views on how we can contribute to the development of 'the Belt and Road' initiative from a corporate responsibility perspective.


At a gathering which was the Davos Economic Forum in 1999, the former General Secretary of the UN Annan made an important speech. He mentioned that our proposed, that you the business leader, and we the United Nations initiate a global compact of shared values and principles which will give human face to the global market. So back then and also today, we have seen similar trends in the world which is anti-globalization. Therefore the UN Global Compact which advocates sustainable development of responsible corporate behavior has become even more important. The key support are based on tempering support that are recognized by all member of the UN which covers human rights, labor rights, environment, and anti-corruption, all together four categories. So today, the UN Global Compact has become the biggest international organization promoting corporate social responsibility. We have over 10,000 companies and other stake holders as our member working with us to promote the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals of the UN and the welfare of all human beings.


My colleague from the UNDP as well as the Rector Rojas from the University for Peace both mentioned two important developments in the world over the past decade. First, Paris Agreement was adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference and it recently, officially came into effect. This demonstrates the commitment and determination of all countries in the world to reduce emissions and to address climate change. Second, 193 members of the UN formulated and adopted a seventeen STG of the UN General Assembly last year. The director Tian Jinchen from the NDRNC has just offered us some questions to think about in particular for companies. This is how companies can better fulfill our social responsibilities and to make sure that we can build our images as responsible ones and trustworthy ones in the process of contributing to the development of 'the Belt and Road'.


So we have the following two proposals. First we need to protect labor rights, protect the environment, oppose corruption, and to fight all those evil things. We need implement our dear social responsibility. Second as companies while paying attention to our social effective, we need to pursue our economic benefits in a responsible way. These seventeen STGs of the UN have lots of business opportunities behind them. Therefore, we the business leaders need to tap the potential of these business opportunities and to achieve sustainable development. We just released a 2016 global opportunities report, and based on our survey and interviews as well as questionnaires with five thousand global business and government leaders.


We have the following conclusion, that throughout the world these people believe that there are five categories of challenges. One, the loss of biodiversity in the oceans. Second, anti-microbio resistance. Third, the rapid increase of transport related emissions. Fourth, the unemployment of the youth. And fifth, global food crisis which is related to the sustainable development of agriculture. With crisis, we also see massive opportunities. In our global opportunity report 2016, we have found fifteen opportunities which will help us address these challenges and we can refer to this report if you want to see the details. And that include smart transportation, smart cities, and other proposals and we do well computation. In China we have found that people here believe there are two pressing challenges. The first one is air pollution and the second one is food security and food safety and sustainable agriculture development.


Likewise we can see from the investment companies along 'the Belt and Road' and we can also see from the UN platform, that people in different regions and in different countries have found their own priorities and most pressing challenges in their countries. I think these can help Chinese companies as well as companies from other countries to a better plan for their investment overseas. You may see that in China, Indonesia, as well as in Southeast Asia, in Australia, in Sub-Sahara Africa, in North America, in Latin America, they have their different priorities as far as SDG are concerned. I hope that this report will help guide investment by Chinese companies abroad. I very much look forward to the speeches made by the members of the UN Global Compact later on today. They include China Min Metal, as wellas Royal Shell Group, as well as the Thailand’s Chanthai Group. And we also welcome more participants, participations by different companies and different individuals in our effort to promote sustainable development over the world.


Finally, let me cite a remark from Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, ‘because there is no plan B for us because thereis no planet B.’ So let us work together to make contribution to the people in China and to people along 'the Belt and Road' route. Thank you.