by Ronald Njoroge
NAIROBI Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will assist partner countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a United Nations official said on Sunday.
Jamil Ahmad, head of intergovernmental affairs at the UN Environment Program (UNEP), told Xinhua in Nairobi that the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road initiative and the SDGs are complimentary.
"The Belt and Road Initiative provides a good example on how to begin implementation work for the SDGs whose aim is to improve the lives of all citizens of the world," Ahmad said.
"The SDGs are exactly talking about the types of development that have been identified in the projects of the Belt and Road Initiative," he said during a forum on greening China's Belt and Road Initiative, which is part of the UN Science Policy Business Forum on the Environment.
The initiative, comprising the overland Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
Ahmad noted that both the Belt and Road Initiative and the SDGs focus on five pillars which will improve the quality of lives of global citizens.
He noted that the Belt and Road Initiative is an enormous project and so various UN agencies are working toward greater and broader partnerships with the Chinese government and partner countries to ensure successful implementation of the project.
The UN Environment Program's role will be to ensure that environmental sustainability is incorporated into all aspects of the projects and programs, he said.
Ahmad said that the very basis of the Silk Road Economic Belt is to promote partnerships among governments and the private sector.
UNEP has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government to provide expertise on green economy and financing for sustainable development for projects on the Belt and Road Initiative.