By Ban Ki-moon
The Hangzhou Summit will be the first G20 meeting of heads of state and government following last year’s adoption of four landmark global agreements: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
During the global financial crisis in 2008, decisive action by G20 leaders helped to prevent the collapse of the world economy and put it on the path of recovery. Today, I encourage the G20 to demonstrate the same resolve in addressing our common global challenges.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals offer a universal blueprint for achieving peaceful, prosperous societies on a healthy planet by 2030. The Addis Agenda provides a comprehensive framework for securing the investments that will be needed. The Paris Agreement charts a pathway not only for dramatically reducing dangerous greenhouse emissions, but also for strengthening resilience and seizing the compelling opportunities of renewable energy and environmentally friendly approaches. The Sendai Framework aims to ensure the world responds effectively when disasters strike, and build back better in the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases.
China has made great strides in development. In implementing the Millennium Development Goals, it has reduced poverty on unprecedented scale, and improved education, health and gender equality. I am pleased to note that in its 13th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government is making a strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda. I also commend China for commitment to South-South cooperation and its support of the UN in implementing the new development agenda.
The ongoing cooperation and leadership shown by the US and China on climate change is especially significant. The commitment by the world’s two largest emitters to formally join the Paris Agreement this year is taking the world one step closer to a historic threshold: the entry into force, this year, of an agreement that will bring gains for all humankind and usher in the much-needed transition to a safer, more sustainable future. I encourage all other G20 countries to move as quickly as possible to join the Agreement so that we turn the aspirations of Paris into action on the ground.
Sustained momentum is crucial in the face of serious risks to our common vision. The world economy continues to struggle with weak demand, low investment, high macroeconomic uncertainty, volatility in financial markets and steep asymmetries in the global trading and investment system. Conflicts in many places are reversing hard-won development gains. Humanitarian needs, including those of at least 65 million refugees and displaced persons, have reached heights not seen in decades, placing additional strains on our societies and economies.
I welcome the G20 efforts under the Chinese presidency to manage these global headwinds and promote a new path for growth, trade and investment. Addressing the needs of the poorest and most marginalized will be critical. I commend efforts to align the work of the G20 with the 2030 Agenda, and to move forward with an Action Plan. I am also encouraged by G20 efforts to support industrialization in Africa and the least developed countries, to focus on infrastructure, and to mobilize resources for climate action in the most vulnerable countries.
The 2030 Agenda also recognizes that respect for human rights and strong institutions that reflect the voice of the people are essential to success. As countries large and small continue to strive to meet these goals, I encourage leaders everywhere to create the space needed for civil society to play its invaluable role.
In all these areas, concerted action by the G20 and leadership by the world’s major economies are indispensable in fulfilling our promise to leave no one behind. The UN is committed to continuing the productive collaboration and complementary efforts that we have undertaken throughout my time in office, for the benefit of our common future and shared humanity.
The author is Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Hangzhou G20 highlights global cooperation
By Ban Ki-moon