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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the General Debate of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

2023-07-19 17:00

Madam President,

China aligns itself with the statement delivered by Cuba on behalf of G77 and China.

We are now halfway to 2030,unfortunately, the overall progress in sustainable development has fallen short of expectation. Common goals require common actions. This High-Level Political Forum and the SDG Summit to be held this September should not only be a moment for stocktaking, but more importantly, a moment for action taking.

We must earnestly place development at the core of the international agenda. All resources must be mobilized to forge strong synergy to ensure everyone values development and all countries pursue cooperation together. In realizing the SDGs, no country and no one should be left behind.

We must earnestly create an enabling international environment for development. Efforts should be made to build an open world economy, advance the reform of the international financial system, promote the establishment of a more just and fairer international economic order, and ensure that all countries, especially developing ones, can enjoy the opportunities and fruits of development on an equal footing.

We must earnestly build extensive and inclusive global development partnerships. It is important to pool the efforts of the governments, international agencies, enterprises, think tanks, civil society, and other parties to together cultivate new momentum for development. Developed countries should immediately honor their commitments to provide financial, technological, and capacity-building support to developing countries.

Madam President,

Development holds the master key to solving all problems. China has always closely aligned the SDGs with its national development plan, and has been taking concrete actions in building a modern socialist country in a comprehensive manner.

China believes that development is of paramount importance, and has maintained rapid and steady economic growth. Over the past decade, China has achieved an annual growth rate of 6.2%, contributing more than 30% on average to global growth, and ranked first in the world in total trade in goods for six consecutive years, injecting a strong impetus into global growth and recovery.

China puts people front and center. Our eight-year battle against poverty has helped nearly 100 million people out of absolute poverty, contributing more than 70% to global poverty reduction efforts. Our national social security system covers a population of 1.35 billion, more than the combined population of all developed countries. China also boasts nearly 100% enrollment rate of primary and secondary school students and 100% rate of internet access.

China is committed to green, low-carbon development. In the past decade, China supported its annual 6.2% GDP growth with an annual energy consumption growth rate of 3%, and has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 34.4%. China has built the world's largest carbon market, and its installed capacity of photovoltaic, hydropower, and wind power, as well as the production and sales of new energy vehicles, all rank first in the world.

China seeks harmonious co-existence between human and nature. Since the turn of the century, China has contributed one quarter of the world's new green space, and has continued to improve its ecological environment. Thanks to the efforts of generations after generations, China has reduced the area of desertified land and sandy land. We have completed a total of 20.33 million hectares of sand prevention and control, with many successful stories of desert management, such as Kubuqi and Saihanba.

China also shares its development opportunities with the rest of the world, and integrates our own development into the common development of all countries. President Xi Jinping has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative to support related countries in accelerating the implementation of SDGs.

Over the past 10 years, the Belt and Road Initiative has mobilized nearly one trillion US dollars in investment, created more than 3,000 cooperation projects and 420,000 jobs in countries along the route, and helped nearly 40 million people out of poverty.

Under the framework of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, the global development promotion center, and other major measures have been put into practice, and the total number of practical cooperation projects under the GDI has exceeded 100, first and foremost benefiting members of the Group of Friends of the Initiative.

We look forward to more partners joining the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative, and sharing the new opportunities brought about by China's new development.

Despite our great achievements in economic and social development, we are fully aware that China is still a developing country, that the problem of unbalanced and insufficient development is still prominent, and that there is still a long way to go to achieve Chinese modernization.

At the same time, we solemnly promise that, even if China becomes strong in the future, it will never go down the beaten track of seeking hegemony with strength. Instead, China will always stand with the developing world, and always be a reliable friend and sincere partner of developing countries.

Madam President,

Development is only real and sustainable when all countries develop together. No country and no one is destined to live in poverty. And no country can cling to its monopoly by suppressing the development of other countries. We the international community should discuss together, work together, and share together. We should make good use of the upcoming milestones, such as the SDG Summit, the Summit of the Future, and the 80th anniversary of the UN, to turn the vision of the 2030 Agenda in to reality, and achieve common development and a common future for all humanity.

Thank you.

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