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Opening Remarks by Ambassador Fu Cong at the High-level Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative

2024-04-17 22:15

Your Excellency President Dennis Francis,

Dear Fellow Ambassadors,

Colleagues and friends,

First of all, I wish to express my gratitude to you all for attending the High-level Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative.

At present, we are faced with a changing and turbulent international environment. The global implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is falling far short of expectations. Countries, especially developing countries, are facing mounting challenges and risks of losing their hard-won growth over the years.

The international community must uphold true multilateralism, put development at the core of the UN agenda and the Summit of the Future, continue the positive momentum from last year's SDG Summit, and together map out the way forward for our common development.

Member states, especially developing countries, have high expectations on the Summit of the Future. We advocate unity, mutual trust, and cooperation, and focus our efforts on addressing common challenges, safeguarding common security, realizing common development, and building a common future, so as to ensure that the Summit will bring real hope to the world. 

Ever since President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative in 2021, China has been working hard to forge international consensus on development and foster new drivers for global growth. We have been working closely with other Group members to enhance the synergy between the GDI and the 2030 Agenda, and make sure that countries can truly benefit from the fruitful cooperation of the Initiative.

First, we have further expanded our network of friends. 

More than 100 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, responded positively to the Initiative, and the Group of Friends is now comprising more than 80 countries. 

Our Group has held a number of high-level meetings and made joint statements on major occasions at the UN. All these speak volumes about the commitment and solidarity of our Group members to the cause of global development, and have enhanced the international community's understanding and recognition of the GDI cooperation. 

Second, fruitful outcomes have been achieved from practical cooperation.

The 32 major initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping in 2022 at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development are currently being advanced across the board. The Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund has supported over 200 projects covering more than 60 countries. Chinese financial institutions are setting up a special fund of 10 billion US dollars dedicated specifically to the implementation of the GDI.

In July 2023, China hosted the first High-level Conference of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development, which focuses on the two major bottlenecks to development, namely project and capital. A Global Development Project Pool and a Global Development Capital Pool were launched and have been in smooth operation.

Third, we have made steady progress in the institutional building.

The establishment of the UN Task Force on Leveraging Partnerships towards the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda will significantly enhance the coordination between UN development agencies, and the Task Force will work with the Group of Friends to forge greater synergy between the GDI and the 2030 Agenda. 

The Global Development Promotion Center under the GDI framework and the Secretariat of its Network have been established in Beijing, which will provide strong support for the exchange of ideas, alignment of planning, and coordination of resources for development cooperation.

Excellencies, colleagues,

The GDI comes from China, but its opportunities and outcomes belong to the whole world. China will continue to work closely with other Group members and further advance the work of our Group to lend fresh impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

First, we should make good use of the existing mechanism and work for greater outcomes of the GDI cooperation.

The Group of Friends is the main platform for the GDI cooperation at the UN. We should give full play to the role of the Group and actively promote policy communication, experience-sharing, and practical cooperation, so as to garner greater support for the GDI cooperation. 

We should explore various forms of cooperation with the UN Task Force, and strengthen exchanges and project matchmaking, so as to help other countries realize the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In July this year, China will host the second High-level Conference of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development, with the focus on two key words, development and action. The conference will offer another opportunity for us to have in-depth discussions on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We welcome all parties to send high-level delegations to China to attend the event.

Second, we should mobilize more resources and ensure more developing countries can benefit from the GDI cooperation.

The Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and China-UN Peace and Development Fund will continue to focus on priority areas of the GDI cooperation and provide financial support for project implementation. 

The Global Development Project Pool and Capital Pool are already working with Chinese and foreign financing institutions and foundations, and all parties are welcome to make applications for eligible projects into the pool. 

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that this year we will organize two capacity-building training programs in China, one on decision-making in digital transformation and the other on new industrialization and new quality productive force. We welcome the active participation of Group members and members of the UN Task Force.

Third, we should actively make our voices heard and promote greater international focus on development.

There are many important events ahead of us, such as the Summit of the Future this year, and the 80th anniversary of the UN and the fourth Financing for Development Forum next year. 

Bearing in mind these upcoming milestones, we must strengthen dialogue and coordination and focus on issues concerning the interests of developing countries by means such as holding high-level events and issuing joint statements.

This will help us better lend our voices to the Global South, enhance the influence of the Group of Friends on development issues, and promote more earnest efforts by the international community in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Dear Colleagues,

On the journey of global development, we must ensure that no country and no one is left behind, and we must make it our consistent pursuit to meet people’s aspirations for a better life.

China stands ready to work with other Group members and the wider international community to make our utmost efforts in implementing the Global Development Initiative. 

By joining hands, we can together speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, build a community with a shared future for humanity, and create a brighter future for ourselves and for future generations.

Thank you.

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