By Gail Davvis-Carter (ListenGive Writer)
What would the world be like if we were connected through railways and waterways? China’s “One Belt, One Initiative”, seeks to recreate Marco Polo’s Silk Road. by creating modern trade routes that would connect Asia, Africa, Europe and the world.
Today, China launched the Belt and Road Initiative Photo Exhibition at the United Nations. Looking at the work China has quietly been undertaking to connect the world was impressive. While many countries are cautiously optimistic, it does open us to challenging questions for great opportunities where creativity is explored across all industries; What would one road linking the world through railways and waterways look like?; What would this provide for citizens worldwide? and What would be the social, educational, economic, agricultural, trade and cultural impact worldwide?
Deputy Secretary General, Amina J. Mohammed, welcomed China’s ambitious plan to connect countries across Asia, Africa and Europe thus far. In her opening remarks, she reminded us that anything would be possible and it was nice to see something tangible support the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It would open up genuine collaboration across borders. What was equally important for her is deliberate and important opportunities for Women in this endeavor. Ports along the railways and waterways will open up value chains ranging from Agriculture to Industry. Her final words reminding us, “Trade is Open Again, and we hope this can be done in a fair and just way leaving no one behind.
Looking at it from a perspective of all parties equally, it is possible for everyone to benefit from such an initiative. For this opportunity to connect with all people, it would be important to have both a representative of the government and civilian representative from each country working together to ensure that the Belt and Road Initiative represents the goals of every country and its citizens who are connected with the endeavor. While there is always a focus on the Youth, there is an opportunity to release this trend from existence and adopt a trend that has been in society for centuries, empowering all ages to work together. With the One Belt, One Road Initiative, we can begin to empower creativity and solutions through all ages sharing their knowledge together. People to People connectivity would provide citizens across varying countries to work on projects that would support their respective countries and challenges that Humanity faces. The possibilities are endless.
Imagine in countries where families must pay for their children to receive an education, it would be free because the country’s economy has shifted into a solid infrastructure where all citizens are financially stable. Healthcare is affordable and available for every person. Simply because it is possible to choose your line of work due to trade and open access to global markets. The thought of what is possible is beyond comprehension. The journey is just beginning and if implemented with collaborative, fair and open dialogue, it will provide measurable actions that may in fact solve some of the world’s biggest issues.