Daily Archives: May 14, 2017

At China’s Belt and Road Forum, UN chief Guterres stresses shared development goals

Speaking at a major international conference in Beijing, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today drew comparisons between China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, saying both are rooted in a shared vision for global development.

Both strive to create opportunities, global public goods and win-win cooperation. And both aim to deepen ‘connectivity’ across countries and regions: connectivity in infrastructure, trade, finance, policies and, perhaps most important of all, among peoples, the Secretary-General said addressing Chinese President Xi Jinping and dozens of other state leaders at the Belt and Road Forum.

The attendees represent some of the more than 60 countries included in the Belt and Road plan that China introduced in 2013 to stimulate trade and economic growth along the ancient Silk Road and beyond.

In order for the participating countries along the Belt and Road to fully benefit from the potential of enhanced connectivity, it is crucial to strengthen the links between the Initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. Guterres noted, adding that the 17 Goals can guide the policies and actions under the Belt and Road towards true sustainable development.

The initiative reportedly includes nearly $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investments in Africa, Asia and Europe. As these projects � which include bridges, nuclear plants and railways � unfold, Mr. Guterres highlighted the need to work together to uphold international environmental and social standards, and ensuring that rural areas, not just cities, benefit.

With the initiative expected to generate vast investments in infrastructure, let us seize the moment to help countries make the transition to clean-energy, low-carbon pathways � instead of locking in unsustainable practices for decades to come, he said, praising Chinese leadership on climate change.

He also urged donor countries to continue investing in development projects through official development assistance (ODA), and urged them to fulfil their commitments under the Addis Ababa Plan of Action, which finances projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Guterres also called on Governments to settle peacefully any tensions related to the One Belt, One Road initiative, saying that just as the initiative opens new corridors for goods, let us also keep open the channels for dialogue.

He praised the initiative for its immense potential to promote access to markets, and as far-reaching in geography and ambition.

Since arriving in China on 13 May, Mr. Guterres has met with senior Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He also held a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Source: UN News Centre

President Zuma to open the Tourism Indaba 2017 in Durban

President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, officially open the Tourism INDABA 2017 at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban.

The INDABA is Africa’s top tourism trade show that brings together more than 7 000 delegates that represent the top tourism products in Africa, as well as the world’s leading travel buyers and travel and tourism media.

The South African Government has targeted tourism as one of the key sectors to stimulate inclusive economic growth and job creation, in line with the National Development Plan, which is government’s blueprint for growth and development aimed at eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030.

Government remains committed to creating a fertile environment in which tourism can take root and flourish as well as investing in tourism.

An additional R494 million had been allocated by government over the medium term budget expenditure to promote tourism over the next three years. This includes an injection of R110 million over three years to help attract more business events and delegates to South Africa, in the form of a Bidding Fund. The fund will enable South Africa to bid more aggressively for international association conferences, meetings, incentives and exhibitions.

Whilst Government has committed to supporting tourism, it will continue to enlist the support of the private sector.

Domestic tourism also remains critical for the South African economy, where each South African has a role to play in contributing to the growth the economy.

The INDABA will also boost the efforts to get more South African citizens traveling within the country and will play a major role in bringing about radical economic transformation in South Africa.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa