Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson addresses the General Assembly after being elected as president of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), at the UN headquarters in New York, June 13, 2016. Thomson will replace the current president, Mogens Lykketoft of Denmark, when the next assembly session convenes in September this year. (Xinhua/Un Photo/Manuel Elias)
by Xinhua writer Shi Xiaomeng
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Green finance is critical for transforming the world into sustainable development, said Peter Thomson, president-elect of the UN General Assembly (GA), in an interview.
As the president of the upcoming GA 71st session, Thomson told Xinhua that his priority, after he takes on the presidency in September, is the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development agenda. "This is my burning issue."
The agenda was adopted by UN member states last year in September. By outlining 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), it has asked the world to work together to end poverty by 2030 and meanwhile achieve social progress and combat climate change.
Thomson said green finance is central to the implementation of the 2030 agenda; therefore he is going to work on ideas of aligning the global financial system with the agenda during his tenure.
Besides, Thomson said he will also work with heads of government on how to get the message of SDGs to ordinary people, since the average citizen does not know yet about the goals.
"I want people everywhere to see them as rights and responsibilities that every human being should be working towards in order to get that sustainability and survival for generations to come," he said.
To that end, Thomson noted "education system has a huge role to play," and he believes that SDGs should be taught in every school so that young people can understand these are responsibilities for everyone to be enrolled with.
CHINA PLAYS LEADING ROLE ON GREEN FINANCE
"China is playing a leading role in green finance," said Thomson, and "China's efforts are going to be very important to transforming our world which is the overall aim of the 2030 agenda."
Thomson is paying a visit to China from Aug. 25-27 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Thomson noted he is scheduled to meet with senior Chinese officials and discuss issues including development for green economy.
On the upcoming G20 summit to be held in east China's Hangzhou city, Thomson said he is very encouraged by its theme of "Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Inter-connected and Inclusive World Economy," since an inclusive economy can benefit people in an equitable way.
He also congratulated the G20 organizers on bringing in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development into the mainstream of the work of G20, while saying he looks forward to the summit's outcome.
"We will certainly do our part here at the United Nations in terms of the G20 outcome to make sure it's built into the international implementation plans," he added.