|The Group of Friends of Global Development Initiative officially launched at the UN New York Headquarters
On January 20, the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China held the Launch Meeting of the Group of Friends of Global Development Initiative (GDI), which marked the official establishment of the Group. Permanent Representative Ambassador Zhang Jun hosted the meeting. The UN Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed, Under-Secretary-General Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa to the Secretary-General Ms. Cristina Duarte, Associate Administrator of UNDP Ms. Usha Rao-Monari, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Ms. Anita Bhatia, and more than 20 heads of UN agencies participated in the meeting and delivered remarks. Delegates from over 100 countries joined the meeting, including more than 80 ambassadors. In their active interventions, they spoke highly of the GDI, expressing strong support for the Initiative and willingness to join the Group of Friends.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Zhang said that the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping calls for greater international synergy to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and achieve stronger, greener and healthier global development. It is committed to practicing true multilateralism, putting people front and center, fully implementing the 2030 Agenda, and realizing the aspiration of all people for a better life. The Initiative is undoubtedly highly relevant and has a far-reaching impact.
Ambassador Zhang highlighted that ever since its introduction, the Initiative has been warmly received by the international community. Nearly 100 countries and many international organizations, including the UN, have expressed their support. China looks forward to working with all parties to implement the GDI, together seize opportunities and address challenges, in order to achieve the following four goals.
First, re-prioritizing development. The GDI prioritizes development, and promotes the international community to place development at the core of the global macro policy framework, and will provide stronger and more targeted support to developing countries. The Initiative, with commitment to people-centered development, aims to protect and promote human rights through development, especially the right to subsistence and development of all people, including women, children and other vulnerable groups. It will surely make important contribution to the international human rights cause.
Second, renewing commitments to SDGs. The GDI calls on all parties to strengthen political commitment to SDGs, starting with addressing the most pressing issues facing developing countries. It will lead to the achievement of all 17 SDGs through priority areas, serve as an engine to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and make positive contribution to the overall achievement of the SDGs.
Third, revitalizing global partnership. The GDI upholds the spirit of openness and inclusiveness. It is open to all countries, and welcomes the participation of governments, businesses, academia and civil society. It will promote consensus building and synergy in the UN and other multilateral cooperation processes, and strengthen the global partnership for development. China is ready to strengthen strategic alignment with all parties, heed useful suggestions, and will not create any kind of small circles.
Fourth, reactivating development cooperation. The action-oriented GDI calls for mobilizing more international resources to offer concrete support for global development, especially priority targets of developing countries. It will help boost North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation. The Initiative follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, striving for win-win cooperation and common development.
Ambassador Zhang pointed out that the establishment of the Group of Friends aims to seek greater complementarity between the GDI and the 2030 Agenda, support UN’s work in the field of development, and help developing countries fight the pandemic and implement the 2030 Agenda. The Group will focus its work on strengthening policy dialogue, sharing best practices and promoting practical cooperation. China looks forward to working with all parties to continuously improve the Group’s mechanism and deepen cooperation in key areas, so that we can together build the Group into an effective platform for exchanging experience, enhancing cooperation and seeking common development.
DSG Amina Mohammed said in her remarks that the UN welcomes and supports the GDI, and believes that this Initiative will help ensure the world keep the promise of “leaving no one behind”. She also mentioned that the GDI shows China’s continued commitment to supporting the SDGs, and looked forward to working practically with the Group of Friends. USG Liu Zhenmin and heads of UNDP, UN Women, UNICEF and so on also expressed their strong wish to align with China on the GDI and advance cooperation in priority areas.
Ambassadors from different countries agreed that the GDI proposed by President XI Jinping is a clear demonstration of China’s firm commitment to multilateralism and the 2030 Agenda. It reflects the leading role of China in international development cooperation as well as the general call by developing countries for common development. The Initiative is in line with the prevailing trend of global development, and aims at addressing the pressing challenges facing all countries, especially developing ones. It will surly make significant contributions to supporting countries in accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. At the platform of the Group of Friends, they looked forward to strengthening communication and cooperation with China in the priority areas of the GDI, in order to inject fresh political momentum into global efforts on pandemic response, post-pandemic recovery and realization of the SDGs.
Moving forward, China will deepen exchange and cooperation with the members of the Group of Friends, UN agencies and related parties, while strengthening policy dialogue, sharing best practices and undertaking practical projects. China will strive to achieve concrete outcomes that help countries achieve common, transformative and green development, and to build a community with a shared future for mankind.