The UN 2030 Agenda: Shaping a sustainable future
By Ma Li

The "2030 UN Sustainable Development goals and China's experience on poverty eradication" forum took place on Thursday in Beijing. The event, hosted by a CGTN think tank, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action to eradicate global poverty. With less than 10 years to go, how will the UN address the world's uneven development? And how can China help reduce global poverty while achieving its personal goal of lifting the whole country out of extreme poverty this year?

In 2015, 17 sustainable development goals were announced by the United Nations. Poverty eradication was the first and founding of these goals. But it's estimated that 6 percent of the global population will remain below the poverty line, missing the deadline of 2030.

The epidemic has caused even more problems. About 71 million people are expected to be pushed back into extreme poverty this year due to COVID-19.

The ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda said this discussion is crucial to determine how people can re-focus their energy and efforts.

James Kimonyo, Ambassador, the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda, said: "There are policies, there are programs that we are already implementing. Due to the interruption of COVID-19, we need to come up with creative ideas of how we can continue to deal with this problem, because as we understand, COVID-19 has affected people who live in poverty more severely."

The forum comes at a critical time when almost every country is trying to find a sustainable way to push forward in light of a global pandemic. Elinor Greenhouse, a student at Peking University, said: "I think it's really important to address how, in the line of pandemic and work, we can sustainably help at a time where people around the world have faced great economic difficulties."

Despite the coronavirus epidemic, China has made remarkable progress in the fight against poverty. Currently, less than 1 percent of China's population live below the global poverty line, compared with the 84 percent in 1978.

Shen Haixiong, the president and editor-in-chief of China Media Group, explains that the media group has also aided poverty reduction. He said: "For four consecutive years, CGTN has run special live coverage of China's poverty reduction on many media platforms, with the title 'The Last Mile'. The English documentary 'China's War on Poverty' has drawn wide attention from audiences overseas and shared China's achievements and poverty reduction experience. CGTN also presented a micro-video commentary program, inviting foreign experts and scholars to conduct field investigations at the front line of poverty reduction so they can share China's experiences with the world. "

Mo Xiugen, a specialist who has been working in poverty alleviation for 38 years, was also impressed. "In the early stages, China focused on the construction of infrastructure and established basic infrastructure in poor areas, including water, electricity, and roads. Then, it built on capacity. We offered various technical training. Finally, we enabled the poor to start their own businesses through microfinance and other inclusive financial measures, reaching the goal of sustainable poverty alleviation and sustainable development."

Global development is currently slowing down, and the epidemic threatens to reverse decades of progress in poverty reduction. The world now faces the question of how to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda in time.