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Wang Yi Chairs the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative

2022-09-21 22:40

On September 20, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in New York. UN Secretary General António Guterres sent a video message. Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Lao Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Thai Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister  Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, along with foreign ministers of nearly 40 countries, including Mongolia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Nicaragua, permanent representatives of the group members to the United Nations, and responsible officials of international organizations of the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Organization for Migration, and the International Renewable Energy Agency, were present.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping proposed the GDI during the UN General Assembly last year. Aiming at building a global community of development, the GDI gives priority to development, puts people at the center, and seeks to expedite the implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past year, more than 100 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, have supported the GDI, and more than 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative. The Group of Friends has become an important force for solidity, coordination and common development, and an effective platform for discussing plans for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Wang Yi expressed that the global development cause is at a critical juncture now. Global economic recovery is becoming more difficult every moment, and developing countries face severe challenges in the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The more difficult things get, the more we need to work together. In June this year, President Xi Jinping chaired the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, announced China's 32 important measures to implement the GDI, helped to bring development back to the center of the international agenda together with leaders of other countries, and stayed committed to forging a united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership, injecting strong impetus into the accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and marking the transformation of the GDI from "laying a foundation" to "building a framework" and the stride from "painting the broad strokes" to "refining the details".

Wang Yi said that we have built a platform for cooperation and worked together to build networks of cooperation in agriculture, education, pandemic countermeasures and climate change response; we have made the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund implemented and have officially launched Phase III of the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund; we have ensured that cooperation projects focus on people's livelihood areas, such as poverty reduction, food, and health. As the sponsor of the GDI and the largest developing country in the world, China is willing to strengthen strategic synergy with UN development agencies and work with members of the Group of Friends to take seven additional measures to implement the 2030 Agenda:

First, release first batch of 50 projects of GDI project pool in areas of poverty reduction, food security, and industrialization.

Second, advance Food Production Enhancement Action and carry out cooperation in areas of digital and innovative agricultural finance, prevention and treatment of animal and plant diseases, and sustainable soil & water resources management.

Third, promote Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership and promote clean energy transition, to achieve more sustainable energy security.

Fourth, promote "Smart Customs, Smart Borders & Smart Connectivity Cooperation", strengthen the building of smart customs networks, and boost the connectivity of the supply chain in the digital era.

Fifth, initiate the World Digital Education Alliance, strengthen international cooperation in digital education, empower education development with digitalization, and make educational resources more inclusive and accessible.

Sixth, jointly start formulating the Global Action Plan of the Bamboo as a Substitute for Plastic with INBAR to effectively combat plastic pollution so that our future generations will continue to enjoy a clean and beautiful planet.

Seventh, announce that make available globally the data acquired by the Sustainable Development Science Satellite (SDGSAT-1) launched by China in November last year to assist countries in sustainable development research and decision-making.

Wang Yi put forward three suggestions for forming synergy of the international community to advance the GDI:

First, seek synergy and enhance the leading role of the UN development system. We should set up a working mechanism at the UN level as soon as possible to promote the initiative, strengthen alignment, and make good use of the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and the China-UN Peace and Development Fund.

Second, uphold extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and pool wisdom and strength. We should promote the institutionalization of the Group of Friends, confirm a coordinator in key areas and regions, and make joint efforts to achieve positive outcomes in the mid-term evaluation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations and the Sustainable Development Goals Summit next year.

Third, pursue inclusive progress and revitalize the global partnership for development. We expect developed countries to implement obligations of official development assistance, and increase input in developing countries, least developed countries and small island states in particular. We hope that World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other institutions will actively participate in the cooperation of the GDI, and provide more financial support for developing countries.

Wang Yi said that on the path of development, no country nor individual should be left behind, and this is the basic vision of the GDI, and it is the goal that the UN advocates and we are striving for. China stands ready to continue sharing development opportunities with other countries, and to achieve common progress for all mankind. China will firmly stand with the developing countries to make every effort to advance the implementation of the GDI, sound the bugle for common development, create a fast track for development through cooperation, jointly implement the 2030 Agenda, and build a better community with a shared future for mankind.

On behalf of the Chinese government, Wang Yi presented to the UN six sets of data products for global sustainable development, including data products on global arable land and forest, so as to provide data support for all countries to better achieve food security, ecological conservation on land, and other sustainable development goals.

Secretary-General António Guterres and other participants highly praised that since proposing the Belt and Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping has demonstrated his vision again and put forward the GDI. They believed that it is of great importance to boost international development cooperation and help implement the 2030 Agenda, and it will serve as a catalyst for developing countries, small and medium-sized countries in particular, to accelerate development. All parties spoke highly of the exemplary role played by the Chinese side in poverty alleviation and other fields. China is welcome to take the lead in adopting 32 pragmatic measures and launching the first batch of projects from the GDI project pool. They expected to work with China and other global development partners to strengthen solidarity and coordination, adhere to multilateralism, encourage the international community to focus on the central tasks of development, share the best practices, achieve economic recovery and inclusive transformation and development, create a fair environment for development, and better cope with food and energy security, climate change and other common challenges.

After the meeting, all the parties released a press statement, further identifying the way forward for and principles of the GDI.

On the same day, Wang Yi met consecutively with foreign ministers of Malta, the Solomon Islands, Mali, Venezuela, the UK, and Argentina. After his arrival in the United States, Wang Yi also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, and foreign ministers of Pakistan, France, Nicaragua and Cuba, and had a group meeting with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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