Wang Yi Attends the Sustainable Development Forum 2021
2021/09/26

On September 26, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended and delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Sustainable Development Forum 2021 via video link.

Wang Yi said that development is the eternal pursuit of human society. The world today is under the compounded impacts of the pandemic and profound changes, both unseen in a century. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is confronted with new challenges. President Xi Jinping solemnly proposed the Global Development Initiative at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He called on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development with a shared future. This major Initiative has set out a blueprint for the development of countries and international development cooperation, and pointed the way forward for global development and international development cooperation.

The Global Development Initiative embraces the people-centered core concept. It takes the betterment of people's well-being and realization of their well-rounded development as the starting point and ultimate goal, and endeavors to meet the aspirations of all nations for a better life. It focuses on development as the master key to addressing all problems, and strives to solve difficult issues of development and create more opportunities for development, leaving no countries and no individuals behind.

The Global Development Initiative follows the guidelines of practical cooperation and has identified priority areas including poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy, and connectivity. To this end, it has put forward cooperation proposals and plans to translate development consensus into pragmatic actions so as to inject new impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Global Development Initiative advocates the spirit of open and inclusive partnership. It will form synergy with other initiatives including the Belt and Road Initiative, Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and the New Partnership for Africa's Development. It will build consensus and pool together the strengths of multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the UN, the G20 and BRICS as well as various sub-regional and regional platforms.

Wang Yi stressed that the pandemic has brought about multiple crises and challenges to the international community, particularly the developing countries. Implementing the 2030 Agenda has become more important, not less. Deepening international development cooperation has become more urgent, not less. China calls on all to use the implementation of the Global Development Initiative as an opportunity, make firm political commitment, and take practical actions so as to move forward the cause of international development.

First, we need to deepen cooperation in fighting COVID-19 to prevail together over the challenge. We must put in place multiple lines of defense, and do our best to stem the cross-border spread of the virus. Origins-tracing should be based on science, and we must oppose politicization and stigmatization. We need to guarantee the R&D and production of vaccines, and ensure their fair distribution. We need to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability so as to close the "immunization gap".

Second, we need to strengthen macro-policy coordination to promote economic recovery. All countries, major economies in particular, need to adopt responsible macro-economic policies and enhance policy communication and coordination so as to help achieve stability and growth. We need to stay innovation-driven, and deepen cooperation on digital technologies to help developing countries realize industrialization and modernization in a better, faster way. We need to join hands to build an open world economy, and make globalization more open, more inclusive, and more balanced for the benefits of all.

Third, we need to pursue green and low-carbon development to proactively tackle climate change. We need to seize the opportunities arising from technological progress and economic transition, take the path of green development, and upgrade our economic and industrial structures as well as the energy mix at a faster pace. We need to step up systematic protection of nature, and advance global environmental governance, so as to realize harmony between man and nature and build a clean and beautiful world. We also need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, fully implement the Paris Agreement and strengthen global climate governance, with a view to promoting global ecological civilization.

Fourth, we need to uphold fairness and justice and create an enabling environment for development. We should abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, enhance actions to silence the guns, safeguard world peace and security, and promote human rights, especially people's right to development, so as to create an enabling environment for the development of all countries. We should respect every country's independent choice of its path and system, treat each other as equals, readily learn from each other, and oppose bullying practices such as imposing one's will on others and interfering in others' internal affairs.

Fifth, we need to safeguard true multilateralism and deepen the global development partnership. We should practice global governance guided by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, safeguard the UN-centered international system, give full play to UN's coordinating role in promoting sustainable development, prioritize development in global macro-policy coordination, step up North-South cooperation and deepen South-South cooperation. We should provide more resources to developing countries to shore up their capacity for self-generated development, eliminate the development divide, and jointly foster a global community of development with a shared future.

Wang Yi said, China always takes development as its top governance and rejuvenation agenda, and attaches great importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In his statement at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced that China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. This is one of the many important decisions China voluntarily made to help tackle global climate change. China will strive to make new contributions to green development of the world through its actions.

Wang Yi said, as the largest developing country, China always stands in solidarity with other developing countries, has been actively promoting South-South cooperation, and provided development aid to more than 160 developing countries. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have carried out the largest global humanitarian operation since the founding of the People's Republic of China. We are honoring our solemn pledge to make Chinese vaccines a global public good, and have provided more than 1.25 billion doses of vaccines for the world. We will provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines for the rest of the world by the end of this year, and on top of the US $100 million donation to COVAX, China will donate an additional 100 million doses of vaccines to fellow developing countries within this year. This is China's important contribution to global vaccination. China has released its Progress Report on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2021) and Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals (2021), which we believe will provide useful experience for the international implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Wang Yi stressed that China stands ready to work with all parties to advance the Global Development Initiative, contribute its strength to quickening the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to delivering more benefits to the people of all countries, and make unremitting efforts to open a bright future for international development cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Sustainable Development Forum is co-hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, the People's Government of Beijing Municipality and the Center for International Knowledge on Development. It was held both online and offline with the theme of "People-Centered Sustainable Development" and addressed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in written form.

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