UNITED NATIONS — China has committed a real and considered effort to tackle a set of global goals for sustainable development to end poverty, inequality and combat climate change, said David Nabarro, UN special adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The UN-facilitated 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by world leaders one year ago. It outlines 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), aiming to guide the world to pursue economic and social progress while protecting the environment.
Recalling his work with different Chinese authorities, Nabarro said he was impressed by the attention being given to the importance of environmental factors in development by the Chinese government.
Within China’s national development plan, known as the 13th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has prioritized the environment and has decided it will pursue development through a low carbon pathway, he noted.
“China has also recognized the importance of the equality dimension,” he said, adding that he has been working with the Chinese government to address the challenge of how to help the less well-off population to come forward for development.
On implementing the sustainable development goals, Nabarro said it requires action by nations working together. “You can’t just approach the SDGs from a single nation perspective.”
He said global challenges like climate change, public health and ocean protection need to be tackled “with different nations coming together, finding common purpose and working together for the future.”
“It’s all nations, sometimes we call it working for global public goods,” he added.
Mentioning that both China and the United States ratified the Paris Agreement earlier in September, he called it a “real milestone” as the international community is moving ahead strongly in priority areas like climate change through cooperation.
In addition, Nabarro said new technologies are also required to involve people’s participation in earning progress on the sustainable development goals.
He said the use of technology is important for engaging all sections of society, including all levels of governments, businesses and civil society organizations, in promoting sustainable development.
To illustrate, Nabarro noted Tencent, a renowned Chinese internet company, through which he has seen progress through social media to make certain that there can be greater people’s involvement by using cellphones and other techniques.
He also said by working with Alibaba, China’s biggest online commerce company, he has seen how the involvement of small and medium enterprises in sustainable development can be transformative.
In this regard, he called for educating more people about the SDGs through new technologies so that a wider population can play a role in their implementation.