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Minister Wang Zhigang Meets with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner

(Photo by Jin Shuai/MOSTIC)

On October 31, 2018, Minister Wang Zhigang of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) met with visiting Administrator Achim Steiner and his United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) delegation.

Minister Wang Zhigang pointed out that this year marks the 40th year of China‘s reform and opening up and also the 40th year of UNDP’s entry into China, over which period China has become an important partner of UNDP. He noted that the Chinese government attaches great importance to green development and Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized that clear waters and green mountains are mountains of gold and silver. Minister Wang Zhigang recognized the high relevance between China’s development philosophy and the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He maintained that STI is now a powerful tool to address the challenges to sustaining the ecological environment and support green development. It is also the key to industrial restructuring and economic transformation and upgrading and the primary driving force of green development. 

Minister Wang Zhigang said that the Ministry of Science and Technology and UNDP have carried out fruitful cooperation and achieved remarkable results in poverty alleviation, fuel cell and South-South cooperation. In the future, the two sides will also need to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation already signed, leverage their respective advantages to undertake specific project cooperation in the fields of innovation demonstration zones for sustainable development, green technology bank and overseas science park construction by focusing on the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and China‘s Belt and Road Initiative, and support the establishment of the UNDP Innovation Laboratory in China. Minister Wang Zhigang noted that the two sides need to systematically review successful practices of China’s STI development, summarize experience, promote the international community to recognize and draw upon such experience through UNDP, and strengthen the STI capabilities of developing countries.

Administrator Steiner actively echoed Minister Wang Zhigang‘s views and suggestions. He looked back at his own experience of cooperation with MOST over the past decade and pointed out that the Ministry of Science and Technology is an important partner of UNDP. He believed that STI is playing an increasingly important role in tackling global challenges and that the Fuel Vehicle Project supported by UNDP and MOST is a good example of how STI can be used to address social, economic and environmental challenges. Administrator Steiner spoke highly of the innovation demonstration areas for the Sustainable Development Agenda currently being promoted by MOST and considered them an important means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Administrator also briefed his Chinese host on UNDP’s work on the Global Innovation Network and noted that UNDP has established more than 60 laboratories worldwide mainly to support innovation and accelerate and spread related activities with a view to providing efficient, quality public services with the help of science and technology.

Present at the meeting were Qin Yong, Director General of the Department of High and New Technology, Huang Jing, Director General of the Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21 and Cai Jianing, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of MOST, as well as Nicholas Rosellini, United Nations’ China Coordinator and UNDP’s Representative in China, and Agi Veres, Country Director of UNDP’s Representative Office in China.