Your Excellency Secretary-General Guterres,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me start by welcoming you to the High-Level Virtual Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI).
We meet at a time when the world is beset by global changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century. World economic recovery is facing headwinds. North-South gap keeps widening. Development cooperation is losing steam. And the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is facing unprecedented challenges. As Secretary-General Guterres rightly noted, now is the critical moment to “rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and get them back on track”.
China is a member of the developing world, and always a good friend and good partner of all fellow developing countries. While striving to achieve its own development, China is committed to doing its best to help other developing countries achieve common development. Last September, President Xi Jinping proposed the GDI at the UN General Assembly. The purpose is to galvanize worldwide attention to development, strengthen global development partnership, promote international development cooperation, and lend fresh impetus to the realization of the 2030 SDGs.
Since the very beginning, the GDI has been warmly received by the international community. More than 100 countries expressed support, and as many as 53 countries have joined the Group of Friends. This fully shows that the GDI responds to the call of the times, meets the needs of various countries, and reflects the trend of the world as well as the aspiration of the people.
The GDI is committed to building political consensus on accelerating development. However the world may change, what remains unchanged is the yearning of the people of all countries for a better life and their desire and pursuit for development. This has added to the imperativeness and urgency of development. The GDI is designed to focus on development agenda, shore up political will, and help create a momentum that prioritizes development and advances cooperation.
The GDI is committed to building a common platform for development cooperation. Global development needs clear visions and goals, and more important, practical actions and measures. Being action-oriented, the GDI aims to protect and improve livelihood, tackle the most urgent challenges in global development, and focus on key cooperation areas such as poverty reduction, COVID-19 response, human resource training, food and energy security, industrialization, digital economy and green development. This will provide useful avenues for parties to match their development needs and conduct project-based cooperation.
The GDI is committed to promoting exchanges and mutual learning of development experience. In the course of their development, both developed and developing countries have accumulated rich experience. The GDI will facilitate the sharing and exchanges of different development experience, and support countries in exploring development paths within their national context and based on their strengths, with a view to eventually achieving common development.
The GDI is committed to enhancing international synergy for coordinated development. To realize the SDGs, the UN has launched multiple processes that involve regional and sub-regional mechanisms and UN development agencies. The GDI will coordinate development cooperation at the global, regional and national levels to generate multiplier effect. And for all the 17 SDGs, the GDI will encourage international organizations, governments, businesses, the academia and civil societies to play their roles. The result will be a symphony for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
We all share deep conviction in multilateralism, unremitting pursuit of the 2030 Agenda, common concerns about the challenges to global development, and the same aspiration for progress of humanity. China proposes that all parties work together in four key areas for the GDI to deliver concrete results.
First, re-energizing global cooperation on the 2030 Agenda. Implementation of the Agenda is the biggest consensus on global development, which offers the necessary pathway to addressing energy, food and other challenges of today. It should therefore continue to be a priority on the international cooperation agenda. All parties must honor their pledges and realize the 17 SDGs on schedule. We must oppose the politicization and marginalization of the development issue, continue to focus on the key areas most important to developing countries, and redouble our efforts to raise living standards across the world.
Second, creating a favorable environment to accelerate global development. We need to improve the global governance system at a faster pace, increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries, and build an open world economy. It is important to uphold the right of people of all countries to choose their own development paths, and oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs and unilateral sanctions without basis in international law.
Third, fostering equal and balanced global development partnership. Developed countries should fulfill their development assistance pledges and scale up support in financing and technology. Developing countries need to deepen South-South cooperation and realize leapfrog development. In the process, multilateral development institutions should provide more effective help to maximize synergy for development.
Fourth, enabling the UN system to play the central and guiding role. We support the United Nations as the main coordinator in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We support the UN Secretary-General in making development a priority, mobilizing UN development agencies, and implementing the GDI to help achieve the SDGs. It is therefore necessary for the United Nations to advance institution-building for enhanced coordination. China is ready to support this through the China-UN Peace and Development Fund.
China is a champion for global development, and more important, China is a practitioner of development cooperation. As the largest developing country, we always stand with other developing countries. We always commit ourselves to turning China’s growth into opportunities for the world. And we always take real actions to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China has given all-round support to other developing countries in reducing and alleviating poverty, improving livelihoods and building capacity for home-grown development. Over the past five decades, China has implemented several thousand complete projects and in-kind assistance programs, over 10,000 capacity building projects, and provided more than 400,000 training opportunities, benefiting over 160 fellow developing countries. This has strongly contributed to the global development cause.
Going forward, China will take a host of practical measures to implement the GDI put forward by President Xi Jinping at an early date, and make new contribution to the global development cause.
— China will enhance consultation with other emerging markets and developing countries, and hold a high-level meeting on global development at a proper time to discuss ways to promote development.
— China will increase input in development, and further ramp up support for the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund and the China-UN Peace and Development Fund.
— China will build on the consensus to establish a pool of GDI projects to be participated by all parties, and seek early harvest. UN agencies and members of the Group of Friends are welcome to put forward project proposals and contribute more wisdom and strength to GDI implementation.
— China will release a Global Development Report in due time to promote international exchanges and sharing of development knowledge, support countries in exploring development paths suited to their national realities, and jointly enrich human knowledge on development.
The GDI has demonstrated its strong vitality and broad prospects. We are ready to work with all parties to steadily advance the GDI, and make fresh contribution to implementing the 2030 Agenda, deepening cooperation on global development and building a community with a shared future for mankind!