UN chief: Protectionism is not answer to today's problems

Updated 2018-04-06 09:44:09 Xinhua

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said here on Thursday that "the answer to today's problems is not protectionism, is not isolationism."

"I am a strong believer in multilateralism to address global problems. There is no way global problems can be addressed on a country by country basis. Global problems need to have global answers and global answers can only be implemented through multilateral frameworks." the UN chief made the remarks when he was asked to comment on the trade conflict between China and the United States.

In an interviews with Chinese reporters before his trip to China for the annual Boao Forum, Guterres said "the international framework that governs global trade is of extreme important with the World Trade Organization at its center."

"I am a true believer in free trade," he said, adding that free trade is a very important contributor to global prosperity.

Globalization has brought enormous benefits. For example, economic growth and trade have been increased, poverty has been reduced, life expectancy of people has been increased and there are much broader middle-class families. However, there are also losers in globalisation.

Inequalities have increased, and many people are left behind. So we need to make efforts to improve things, not to reject globalization but to improve it, the UN chief said.

Improve things, not to reject globalization is the objective of Agenda 2030, and the objective of the WTO, Guterres said.

"So the answer to today's problems is not protectionism, is not isolationism," he said, and the answer to today's problems is international cooperation and the Agenda 2030 can be a very important instrument for that.

"I am very happy that China has been totally committed to the Agenda 2030, not only at the Chinese level but also in cooperation with other countries, especially the developing world," Guterres said.

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