Participating in the second forum of the NGO Cooperation Network within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative-SIRONET2
Address at the Opening Ceremony of the
Second SIRONET Forum
(April 28, 2019 Beijing)
Honorable Mr. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department, CPC Central Committee,
Honorable Mr. Wang Yajun, Chairman of SIRONET International Steering Committee,
Honorable Mme. Tham Maya Thapa, Minister of Women, Children, and Senior Citizen and Chairperson of Social Welfare Council, Nepal,
Ladies and Gentlemen, It was a dream and quickly turned into a reality. Five years only have passed since the launch in 2013 of the Belt and Road initiative and yet BRI has succeeded in transforming the world economic order and laid the ground for a different, brighter, more democratic, more vibrant and more energetic world economy based on an enhanced multilateralism. With around 80 nations that signed for the membership, and around 120 nations that signed deals related to BRI with many many mechanisms that have been swiftly created in particular the BRI fund and the Asian Bank with the needed financial tools that allowed the speed implementation of that new world vision, BRI has cemented its place in world affairs. The main initiative mushroomed and turned into many other initiatives as it has succeeded in interconnecting government, business communities, academies, customs, ports, NGOs and others more through several networks covering many fields including energy, in particular new energy and more specifically solar energy, including as well ICT and the transformation of our societies and our world into a digital one, and including also studies and research centers. At the very beginning it was an enigma that raised many questions, once it turned into a comprehension about its different and real aspects certain international media and renowned research and studies centers in their attempt to objectively assess the initiative raised fears and doubts about the real purpose and proceedings behind the launch by China of its initiative. Today as we witness the presence of almost 5000 participants at the Second BRI Summit Forum with almost 40 nations’ leaders and around 100 CEOs, the heads of the United Nations Organization and international financial institutions and world banks and a G7 member becoming a BRI member it became obvious that BRI gained credibility and trust and that it is here to stay and it is going to remain and shape up the world economy for the 21st century bringing a new impetus and new features to a globalization that will better interconnect the world nations, that will enhance the transfer of capitals, will promote world investments, will ensure trade growth, the diffusion of technology, the development of our industrial capacity and the creation of millions of job opportunities.
Listening to yesterday’s speech given by Leader Xi Jinping at the opening of the Second BRI Summit Forum and the additional measures he announced and his genuine, wise and transparent approach he demonstrated not just in his speech but from the very first day he launched his initiative, it made us all more optimistic as well as more ambitious about the benefits each and every of our nations can achieve out of this initiative.
China possesses the intellectual property of the Belt and Road initiative and yet the initiative became our all initiative and it is our role and responsibility to make of it a real and more sound, unshakable and solid future world order. As the honorable Chinese leader has put it in his speech we need all, to work together and cooperate through our inputs and proposals to make of it an even better scheme for our nations and future generations, make connectivity clean, green, sustainable and diversified as Leader Xi said this morning, and strive together to always find solutions to whatever obstacles and problems we do and might encounter while moving forward and while we are progressing, in particular the devastating effects of global warming and climate change.
In Africa we are among the most and the first to have sensed the genuineness of BRI in particular the fact that it is based on the principle of win-win cooperation. China has so far invested a lot in infrastructure projects which constitute the first of priorities in our continent as we need to integrate, to enhance our intra-African trade, to implement the March 2018 Agreement on the establishment of a Free Trade Zone, to establish the African Common Market and to achieve our vision and plan for 2063, a matter that our African Leaders have been raising at different foras and that President Abd El Fattah El Sisi, not only as President of Egypt but in his capacity as the current Chairman of the African Union has as well raised it in his meeting with the Honorable Leader Xi a couple of days ago but again at his speech at the Forum yesterday. We know that we can count on China as one of our main partners in the continent, a strategic partner, and also through a trilateral cooperation that link Africa to China and a third party representing our world partners to achieve this. Africa and China can do it and will together do it.
In November 2017 we held in Beijing our first SIRONET Forum and today, and after a year and a half we are here again to discuss about our future cooperation as NGOs. And I am certain that through our deliberations and exchange of views, tomorrow we will give a momentum to our network activities and together we can work on any challenges we were faced with during the last period and together we can examine the profitability of holding with the assistance of China the NGOs regional meetings as one of the means how to move forward.
Having said so I wish before concluding and on behalf of all of us here to address a sincere congratulations message to the Honorable Leader Xi Jinping for the success of the second BRI Summit Forum, and to the government and people of China for their strive under the wise leadership of Leader Xi Jinping to make of BRI a healthier, sounder, more inclusive and equally profitable world scheme that will make of our world a better place and make of our world economy a more vibrant, just and equally beneficial one. We wish you success in your future endeavors not just related to BRI but also as far as the implementation of your 2 successive national plans for sustainable development and rest assured the you can always count on our support.
I wish as well to thank China NGO Network for International Exchanges and in particular its able President for having offered us that wonderful opportunity to meet again in Beijing and for the warm reception and the gracious hospitality that we received since our arrival, a matter that have always characterized the genuine friendly people of China.
Thank you for your attention.
Ambassador. Aly Al Hefney
Former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Former Ambassador to China