Press Release

2017 UN Day: Sustainable Development Goals in Action

24 October 2017

24 October, Beijing – United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948.

On the 2017 UN Day, UN Country Team (UNCT) in China and the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation co-hosted a commemorative event themed ‘SDG Action Day’. The theme was selected to inspire and mobilize stakeholders to act on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Two years after the adoption of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals the world stands at a critical juncture of putting ideas into concrete plans and dreams into reality. An interactive exhibition demonstrating the UNCT’s work in China to support the Government in taking action on the 17 SDGs was featured at the event.

To realize the ambitious goals included in the 2030 Agenda, partnerships between Governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector will need to be built and deepened. To illustrate new SDG action partnerships taken place in China, United Nations in China and Qinghai People’s Provincial Government signed the Letter of Intent on Cooperation on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Qinghai province during the event. The Letter of Intent is the first SDG cooperation document signed by the UN and a Provincial Government in China. According to this Letter of Intent, the UN and Qinghai local authorities plan to collaborate on the implementation of the SDGs in areas including, targeted poverty alleviation, environmental protection, social development and facilitation of the Belt and Road initiative.

During the celebration ceremony, Mr. Nicholas Rosellini, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said in his welcoming remarks that noble aspirations will not be enough to reach the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Ideas need to be translated into concrete action. He further called for broader and deeper partnerships between all stakeholders of society to ensure implementation of the SDGs. He highlighted the commitment of the Government of China to the 2030 Agenda as a good example of SDG action. “China has firmly aligned its national development plan – 13th Five Year Plan - with the SDGs”, he said. Moreover, he noted that if China achieves its target of lifting all poor out of poverty by 2020, China will achieve SDG number 1 – No Poverty - ten years ahead of global schedule.

During the celebration ceremony, Mr. Wang Jiarui, Vice-Chairperson of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference & Chairman of the China Soong Ching-Ling Foundation, highlighted the progress made by China in advancing the 2030 Agenda. He furthered noted that the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation would like to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the United Nations System, based on respective strength, to jointly contribute to the promotion of the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce, elaborate the need of targeted poverty reduction strategies, and pointed out that the Ministry of Commerce, together with the United Nations in China, will continue to work on poverty alleviation in poverty-stricken areas and support the nation’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Mr. Tian Jinchen, Vice Governor of Qinghai province spook about the remaining development challenges in Qinghai and emphasized that further efforts are required in order to accelerate the development of Qinghai. 

The speeches were followed by musical performances and including a solo by the Kazakh artist Dimash Kudaibergen; dancing performances by Qinghai Performance & Art Group; a Violin solo by Ms. Dang Huali; and a performance of the SDG song by One Day Choir.

Around 400 participants from Government agencies, the diplomatic corps, international organizations, the private sector, and media joined the event.