Though I am far away and at a distance, I feel very close to the work of the Taihe Civilizations Forum that they are doing annual meetings.
We as international institutions have a special role to play. To heal our fractured world, we must strive for peace. Even where there is division, we must work for dialogue. And even people are violently pushed apart, we must attempt to bring them together. And yes, even when old bridges are being blown up, we at the Taihe Civilizations Forum must try to build bridges together. Therefore, our discussions in this forum will go beyond the concern with global peace and security, to address other topics that also require international collaboration and international partnerships, and they are both significant. For in the end, we are talking of nothing less than reinventing the entire global architecture of mutual coexistence, revised or redesigned peace and security arrangements, and a return to the pursuit of sustainable development for humanity.
We meet at a time when climate change threatens our existence, and where the commitments of the governments do not seem adequate to keep emissions at levels that could contain global warming at the 1.5 and 2 degree level, with resulting impact on everything from food security to extreme weather events threatening the livelihoods of the poor everywhere. That existential issue of climate change with its time horizon and the vast scientific and political literature it has produced will require a separate meeting all unto itself.
We meet at a time when our advance on the sustainable development path that humanity promised to pursue has been set back by the actions we have taken to curb the spread of the virus. The economic impacts of such actions have pushed back millions and millions of the people to become poorer, into extreme poverty and hunger, and the specter of famine has reared its ugly head in many parts of the world. And there’s also a problem in this world - it's famine, which also threatens our world. More than 800 million of our fellow global citizens without enough food to avoid going hungry, 300 million under direct threat of starvation. And all the layers on top of the COVID, a new energy crisis, a new debt crisis, depreciating currencies in crisis, and the droughts, the heat waves, floods, and melting of ice that climate change brings: Multiple crises. Now, almost 100 million people displaced looking for homes they do not have. And 60% of the low-income countries are in debt distress, and for the first time.
Dear friends, we at the Taihe Civilizations Forum today, we have to find other ways how we are going to bring up people-to-people, how we are going to strengthen this initiatives of China. And we have to find lots of ways how to support in every single initiative that's going to be in a favor of humanity, because we don't have a planet B. And our world is on an extension. We have to work together in order to save our future, our current existence, because we do all it to the world and to our generations.
I'm sure that this event is going to be fruitful discussions and I'm looking forward to meeting you soon in China.
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