13 May, Beijing – The South-South and Triangular Cooperation among Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities for Sustainable Development Project (Silk Road Cities Project) of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) concluded a two-hour Steering Committee meeting online on 7 May, during which milestones in 2019 were spotlighted and a work plan aimed at enlarging the Project’s partnership base and supporting cities’ COVID-19-related needs was endorsed.
Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of UNOSSC, and Mr. Yi Zhang, Deputy Director General of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges (CICETE), attended and co-chaired the meeting.
Ms. Dingding Sun, Programme Coordination Specialist of the UNOSSC, opened the floor with a presentation on the progress made since April 2019, followed by presentations from the team highlighting key results of the demand-driven needs assessment, sectoral clusters of cities, advocacy, knowledge management and etc. The team also introduced a work plan formulated for achieving the following goals in 2020: more cities engaged and partnerships developed, sectoral city clusters established and functional, and city partners’ COVID-19-related needs responded and supported.
UNOSSC staff members based in the headquarters in New York and the project office in Beijing shared the enhanced monitoring and evaluation plan and some financial and operational observations.
Notably, Mr. Yi Zhang shared his overall recommendations, offered support to link with CICETE’s existing partners and shared a solution for reactivating the engagement with several inactive partners.
Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang shared her observations and provided strategic views on the Project’s planning in leveraging the opportunities of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and expanding partnerships to support Project’s key targets. Among many things, she concurred with Mr. Zhang’s on the strategic significance of incorporating online capacity development on E-commerce and digital innovation in the Project’s new work plan.
Ms. Wei Zhang, Division Chief, Division II of UN Programmes of CICETE, shared her observations on the financial status and utilization of the Project and suggested the project team in Beijing to have more regular working-level meetings with CICETE.
At the end of the meeting, the Project’s work plan for 2020 was endorsed by the Committee, subject to the incorporation of key recommendations received at the meeting. Moving onwards, the project team will join forces with a wide range of partners in China and from the globe to achieve the newly set goals, despite uncertainties resulted from the pandemic.