On November 21st, “Meet SDGs” High-End Forum No.5 – International Collaboration in the Age of the Sustainable Development Goals was held at the School of Public Policy and Management (SPPM) at Tsinghua University. This forum was co-hosted by SPPM and Norwegian Embassy in China, and organized by the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG). The professor of SPPM, Co-Director of TUSDG, and Dean of Schwarzman College of Tsinghua University, Xue Lan moderated the forum. The professor and Dean of SPPM, Standing Committee Member of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), and Vice Chairwoman of NPC Social Development Affairs Committee, Jiang Xiaojuan addressed the welcoming speech at the Opening Ceremony. Minister of International Development of Norway Nikolai Astrup, Co-Director of TUSDG and Former UN Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Danny Alexander, Executive Director of TUSDG Zhu Xufeng, professors and associate deans of SPPM, and more than a hundred audiences attended the forum.
Xue Lan is moderating the forum
Professor Jiang Xiaojuan pointed out that China is the largest developing country in the world, and development is the first priority. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda has been valued highly in the country and incorporated with the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan. As the pioneer and backbone of Chinese public policy and development research, SPPM has been actively responded to the UN 2030 Agenda, and take the lead to establish TUSDG which aims to carry out cross-cutting, cross-department, and multi-disciplinary research around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Professor Jiang also stated that SPPM would continue to work on public policy that promotes sustainable development and collaborate with other departments, research institutes, and international organizations to support the implementation of SDGs.
Jiang Xiaojuan is addressing at the Open Ceremony
Nikolai Astrup pointed out in his keynote speech: Since 1976, Norway has exceeded the 0.7% aid level commitment and has spent at least 1% of its GNI on ODA since 2013. The 2030 Agenda is a platform for transformation - from poverty to prosperity; from inequality to equity; from marginalization to opportunities for all. It is also the overarching framework for Norwegian development policy and cooperation. Notably, Minister Astrup indicated that plastic waste in the ocean is a global challenge; international collaboration is the key to protect the marine biology and ecosystem. Norway government has pledged to increase their development budget to combat ocean pollutants and clean up the world’s oceans. Lastly, he emphasized that every country has a primary responsibility to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, and the agenda can only be achieved through the joint efforts of the whole world.
Nikolai Astrup is delivering the keynote speech
Ambassador Wu Hongbo delivered a keynote speech entitled " SDG Implementation in China & Its Implications beyond ". In retrospect the China’s forty-year of reform and opening up - China has been catching up with the economy from the brink of collapse to the world's second-largest economy and contributing more than 30% to world economic growth for many years. He also pointed out that 2018 is the third anniversary of the UN 2030 Agenda, 1.4 billion Chinese people have made unremitting efforts to implement the SDGs under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government, through six aspects: national development strategy, institutional policy security, mobilizing social power, increasing investment, international cooperation, and monitoring and evaluation. He concluded that the influences and impacts of implementation of SDGs in China to the entire world are strong leadership, effective policy coordination, long-term planning and investment, a comprehensive accountability system, complete data.
Wu Hongbo is delivering the keynote speech
The title of the keynote speech delivered by Sir Danny Alexander is “How can AIIB support the sustainable development of developing countries and countries along the One Belt One Road Initiative?”. Sir Alexander specifically pointed out that the AIIB’s mission “lean, clean and green” aligns with the sustainable development goals, and sustainable infrastructure is inseparable from financial investment. According to Sir Alexander, in the next 20 years, the demand for global infrastructure investment will reach 5-6 trillion US dollars per year on average, and the emerging market and developing country account for 70% of such investment demand, which will be focused on urbanization, energy, and transportation. Given the requirements of the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs, all of these investments must be clean and green. Through investing in SDG related projects - such as clean energy, water and sanitation, and poverty alleviation – and incorporating ESG factors (environmental, social and corporate governance) into its portfolios, AIIB contributes to achieving the 2030 Agenda.
Danny Alexander is delivering the keynote speech
In the Q&A session, four speakers discussed sustainable development, foreign aid and green investment with the audiences. They pointed out that foreign aid is essential for the least developed countries (LDCs) to achieve the SDGs. Although the ODA may only account for 10% of the total investment need by LDCs, donor countries need to use this portion of the investment to mobilize resources and leverage the potentials of these countries, to help them to build a sustainable economy and carry out capacity-building projects, and ultimately be self-sustain and achieve the SDGs.
The Q&A Session
Group picture of the speakers
Dean Jiang Xiaojuan, Co-director Xue Lan, and Executive Director Zhu Xufeng presented gifts to the speakers on behave of SPPM and TUSDG. Minister Astrup presented an SDG football as a gift to Tsinghua University on behalf of the Norwegian Embassy in China. Through sharing the progress of the China-Norway government and AIIB in implementing the SDGs, the forum also emphasized the importance and necessity of cooperation in achieving the agenda.