NGO delegates from worldwide gather in Beijing on November 21-22, 2017 for the first Silk Road NGO Cooperation Network Forum (hereinafter referred to as SIRONET). On the theme of “Advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind: the Mission of NGOs”, in-depth discussions were held and broad consensus was reached on strengthening SIRONET, promoting cultural exchanges, enhancing livelihood cooperation, facilitating people-to-people connectivity and building a community of shared future for mankind.
We highly appreciate the international significance of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The congratulatory letter President Xi sent to SIRONET forum fully recognizes the important role of NGOs in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and building a community of shared future for mankind. It gives us stronger confidence in fulfilling our responsibilities and missions.
We believe that the ancient Silk Road, which connects the East and the West and transcends thousands of years, has contributed to friendly exchanges among nations and human progress. Embodying the Silk Road Spirit of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, it is a precious treasure of human civilization. The Belt and Road Initiative inherits the Silk Road Spirit, gives new dimensions to the ancient Silk Road, adapts to the tide of global economic development, serves the interest of people along the route and reflects their aspirations for a better life.
We have noted the rapid transformation of current global governance system and international order, deeper interdependency and interconnectivity among nations, as well as the irreversible trend of peace and development. Other problems include lackluster economic growth, wider poverty gap and intertwined traditional and non-traditional threats. The Belt and Road Initiative aims to foster new ideas for global governance, build new platforms for international cooperation and create new engines for common development. It will help people along the route jointly cope with challenges and realize their dream for a better life. It is a great exploration and practice to build a community of shared future for mankind. In the last 4 years, the Belt and Road Initiative is gradually turned from idea to action, from vision to reality. Solid steps have been taken and progress has been made to facilitate strategic alignment, inter-connectivity, exchanges of trade, people and culture. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation convened in May 2017 has fruitful results with profound significance.
We believe that people-to-people connectivity is the most important pillar and guarantee for developing the Belt and Road Initiative. As the most solid and enduring form of inter-connectivity, it contributes to a consolidated social basis for economic cooperation, exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and regional peace and stability. The purpose is to let people along the route acquaint, trust and respect each other. People-to-people connectivity cannot be achieved without the joint participation of people of different nationalities.
We feel that NGOs are a crucial bridge to connect government with society, an important channel to reach out to the people and listen to their voices, and a strong force for people-to-people connectivity. The founding of SIRONET presents a good opportunity for NGOs to bring out their unique strength, build social consensus and facilitate people-to-people connectivity.
We wish this Forum a full success. We believe that the SIRONET Constitution adopted at this Forum represents the common voice of member organizations; the principles of openness, inclusiveness, equality, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation advocated by the Constitution reflects the common aspirations of member organizations. Guided by the Constitution, member organizations should uphold the philosophy of joint consultation, joint building and sharing, carry forward the Silk Road Spirit of friendly cooperation, conduct extensive exchanges and cooperation, promote people-to-people connectivity and contribute to a open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity.
We decide to establish SIRONET International Steering Committee and Secretariat to improve SIRONET mechanism and make it an important platform for NGO exchanges and cooperation along the route.
We suggest that member organizations conduct extensive cultural and people-to-people exchanges within SIRONET framework, focus on building a path of civilizations, on which civilizational exchanges transcends separation, mutual learning transcends clashes and coexistence transcends superiority. This will enhance stakeholders’ understanding and consolidate the popular basis of the Belt and Road Initiative.
We suggest that member organizations actively carry out livelihood cooperation within SIRONET framework in key areas of poverty relief, education, health, environmental protection, youth training and job creation based on grassroots’ demands, so that the Belt and Road development truly benefit people along the route.
We suggest that member organizations maintain communication over popular opinion and cooperation demands, work out problems and share experience, discuss major matters of common concern on a regular basis, and pool together people’s wisdom and strength for the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
We hope more countries, organizations, businesses and social sectors could support SIRONET to expand its coverage and influence, facilitate NGO exchanges and cooperation, and increase mutual understanding, respect and trust among people from different countries.
The destiny of the world rests in the hands of the people of all countries; the future of mankind hinges on the choices they make. Let’s join hands in developing the Belt and Road Initiative and a community of shared future for mankind, forge a path of peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization for people along the route, and create a bright future for mankind.