Embrace Global Development Initiative for Deeper International Cooperation on Development

Ma Xinmin
Chinese Ambassador to Sudan

Last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly the Global Development Initiative (GDI) which is aimed at promoting international cooperation on development and calling attention to problems concerning the development of developing countries. The Group of Friends of the GDI has recently held a high-level virtual meeting with the participation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, over 150 representatives from more than 60 countries, and principals of relevant UN development entities. In a keynote speech delivered at the meeting, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward four major targets, called for joint efforts in four key areas, and clarified four practical measures China will take. His remarks further enrich the GDI and create a road map for putting the Initiative into action.

1. GDI Proposed at a Most Opportune Time

Development is the master key to addressing all problems. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the globe, making global recovery sluggish and the momentum for development cooperation weakened. Against this backdrop, the GDI is seen as a “golden therapy” provided by China in response to challenges emerging worldwide. It is committed to achieving four goals. First, 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.

The GDI is designed to shore up political will, and help create a momentum that prioritizes development and advances cooperation. Second, the GDI is committed to building a common platform for development cooperation. Global development needs clear visions and goals, and more importantly, practical actions and measures.

The GDI aims to protect and improve livelihood 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. Third, 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 experiences, and support countries in exploring development paths within their national context and based on their strengths, to eventually achieve common development. Fourth, the GDI is committed to enhancing international synergy for coordinated development.

The GDI will coordinate development cooperation at the global, regional, and national levels to generate a multiplier effect. And for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the GDI will encourage international organizations, governments, businesses, academia, and civil societies to play their roles. The result will be a symphony for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

2. GDI Superior to Traditional Outlook of Development

Faced with challenges of a global nature, no country can stay aloof or unaffected. The vast majority of countries around the world share a deep conviction in multilateralism, the unremitting pursuit of the 2030 Agenda, common concerns about the challenges to global development, and the same aspiration for the 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 should continue to be a priority on the international cooperation agenda. All parties must endeavor to 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 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 partnerships. 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. China supports the UN as the main coordinator in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. China also supports the UN Secretary-General in making development a priority, mobilizing UN development agencies, and implementing the GDI.

3. GDI Consistent with the Spirit of the Times

China is a champion for global development, and more important, China is a practitioner of development cooperation. Thus, China will take four practical measures to implement the GDI at an early date, and make a new contribution to the global development cause.

First, 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.

Second, 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.

Third, China will build on the consensus to establish a pool of GDI projects to be participated by all parties, and seek early harvest.

Fourth, 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.

4. GDI Manifesting China’s Responsibilities

China is an important contributor to global development. As the largest developing country in the world, China remains fully committed to following its path and managing its affairs well by pooling resources. This is how we can make our country more prosperous and our people happier, and infuse stability and certainty into the complex and volatile world.

That in itself is our biggest contribution to world peace and development. In 2020, China managed to eliminate extreme poverty, accomplishing ten years ahead of schedule the poverty eradication target set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and accounting for more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction. Now, China is working vigorously to promote green and low-carbon development, in a bid to honor the promise to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. Meanwhile, Chinese people hope for a better life not only for themselves but also for the people of the rest of the world.

China remains steadfast in promoting world peace and development through our 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. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has provided more than 2.1 billion doses of vaccines to over 120 countries and international organizations, the largest amount of outbound vaccines given by a single country. China’s tremendous efforts are integral to the global response to COVID-19.

The GDI is a public good open to the whole world that demonstrates China’s commitment as a major country to making sure that no country is left behind on the journey of development. China tells once again the world that it is resolved to pursue and contribute to global development.

It is of paramount importance to follow the Great Way and deliver benefits for all. China is a member of the developing world and has always been a good friend and good partner of all fellow developing countries. While striving to achieve its development, China is committed to doing its best to help other developing countries achieve common development. China is ready to work with all peace-loving and development-seeking countries including Sudan to practice the GDI and deepen global cooperation on development. Together, we will make a new contribution to the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

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