China acts as main player in sustainable development: UNGA President
United Nations—The global financial system has to support green growth; otherwise “it puts itself in jeopardy,” said UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson in a recent interview with Xinhua. Thomson said the global financial system must be able to survive in a sustainable way just as the UN-facilitated sustainable development agenda does for all aspects of life and business on this planet. The 2030 sustainable development agenda, adopted by UN member states a year ago, outlines 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that basically redefine how the world works together to end poverty, promote prosperity, and combat climate change by the year 2030.
Taking the insurance industry as an example, Thomson said if the world allows the CO2 levels continue the way they are trending, the insurance industry might not be able to insure because the risk from the effects of climate change would become too high. “The world trade system depends on the insurance industry,” he noted. Therefore, “the financial system and the business world have to adapt in the same way the 2030 agenda adapts everything else.” Having a belief that green finance is central to the implementation of the agenda, Thomson said he would work on ideas of aligning the global financial system with the agenda.
“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy … that there must be a green financial system going forward,” he said. “This is now serious business.” Thomson assumed presidency of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. He has promised that his priority would be the sustainable development. “It is development for the future…and the future always keep that sustainability so that we are not stealing from future generations,” he said.
Thomson, who paid a visit to China at the end of August, said it was heartening to hear about the high-level commitments that China has made towards the United Nations, including its financial support to UN peacekeeping as well as its commitment to sustainable development. He said that the Chinese government is well progressed in integrating the sustainable development agenda into its national plan. “China was one of the strongest players in the achievement in the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), particularly in ending poverty,” he said. “We expect China is going to be one of the leading countries in the implementations of the SDGs.”
Thomson also said he was going to attend a symposium held by China on sustainable development during the General Assembly high-level events next week. “I think it will be an opportunity for us to hear what are the main players doing in terms of integrating the sustainable development goals into their national plans,” he added.—Xinhua