Remarks by CIDCA Chairman
Luo Zhaohui at UN Country Team Annual Retreat 2023
(May 23, 2023, United Nations Building in Beijing)
H.E. Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It's my great honor to be invited to speak here. I want to thank you for your hospitality and gracious welcome.
UN Country Team in China has done a great job to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation with China over the years. CIDCA, with its young age of 5 years, is delighted to interact with all the UN agencies, including UNDP, UNICEF, to carry out a lot of projects together. In Yanqing district of Beijing, CIDCA and UNDP have jointly launched a training project for the disabled. Under the leadership of Mr. Chatterjee, Sid, you have actively coordinated and communicated with relevant Chinese departments, to advance interaction with China, and have made important contributions to deepen all cooperation. Last month, you accepted my invitation and co-hosted a high-level Global Development Initiative (GDI) promotion event in UN Headquarters, which was very successful. All of these events are excellent examples of friendship between China and the UN Team. We appreciate all of your efforts. We are working on same page. We are not only close partners, but also friends.
I used to be a career diplomat focusing on bilateral matters. Before joining foreign service, I was an academic doing research in Indian history of fine arts and knew how important one civilization interacts with the others. As Chairman of CIDCA, I am now more focusing on promoting global development cooperation. And I know, how important one economic entity interacts with the others. In this regard, I shared similarities with all of you here, serving the global community and human-being together with you.
As we know, the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals' (SDGs) Summit will be held this September in New York. The SDGs is the most important global development agenda and broadest consensus. CIDCA and UN Team must be united to work on it.
As a state member of UN, China attaches great importance to reaching SDGs, and fulfills its obligations.
We have integrated the SDGs into our national development strategies, the 14th Five-Year Plan, established an inter-agency coordination mechanism, keeping close interaction with the UN. We issued position papers and progress reports on SDGs, actively participated in the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and related conferences.
I am proud to say, China has made the fastest progress among developing countries on SDGs. For example, we achieved the poverty reduction goal of the SDGs 10 years earlier. Last year, China’s GDP totalled around 18 trillion US dollars, with per capita GDP over 12 thousand US dollars.
China's development progress accumulated valuable experiences in implementing SDGs, providing world a feasible and replicated practice.
Today's international environment has become more complicated. What we are facing, are increasing geopolitical conflicts, intensified major power competition, slowdown in North-South cooperation, and expanding development gap. According to the UN statistics, more than 800 million people still go hungry, 350 million people need humanitarian assistance. Development agenda is drifting away, and the momentum of SDGs is fading away.
We must cherish the global consensus on SDGs, take the SDGs back into the center of international agenda, act jointly for common development.
For this purpose, President Xi Jinping proposed the GDI two years ago. It's the latest action plan for consolidating global consensus and accelerating global implementation on SDGs. To feature SDGs' pertinence, stage-specific way and urgency, the GDI identifies 8 priority areas from SDGs' 17 major areas, including poverty reduction, food security, pandemic response, financing for development, climate change and green development, digital economy. So far, over 100 countries and the UN as well as international and regional organizations support GDI.
Last year, President Xi Jinping announced 32 follow-up measures on GDI. We promote the implementation of GDI and SDGs in a coordinated way.
CIDCA is in charge of China's foreign aid and international development cooperation, including coordinating GDI in all aspects. We have achieved more than 200 early harvest projects benefiting over 60 developing countries through bilateral and multilateral channels with grants, concessional loans and the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund.
We have developed GDI project and fund pools. On GDI and SDGs, we lack no good project, but fund. Project-selecting and fund-supporting are crucial concerned by all parties.
Recently, we are focusing on developing relevant documents, answering concerns, such as project selection standards, applicants and application paths, as well as financing participants, participation methods.
We established the Global Development Promotion Center and the Global Development Promotion Center Network, as well as the "Group of Friends of the GDI" in New York, signed bilateral GDI cooperation documents with many countries including Pakistan, Tanzania and Mongolia. We established cooperative relationships with some international and regional organizations, financial institutions, NGOs.
China's actions on GDI and SDGs are under the guidance of President Xi Jinping's great visions, such as the Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We do believe that mankind lives in the global village. All countries' development is the only real development.
By now, we have signed BRI cooperation documents with more than 170 countries and international organizations. More than 3,000 cooperation projects have been adopted.
We have deepen international cooperation in fighting the pandemic. In the past three years, China has carried out the largest-scale and longest emergency humanitarian relief since the founding of the PRC in 1949. In the early days of the pandemic, we provided a large volume of COVID-19 response supplies to 153 countries and fifteen international organizations. Later on, we provided more than 2.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to over 110 countries and four international organizations.
In face of natural disasters, China has never been absent in providing emergency humanitarian assistance. Recently, China has provided emergency assistance to Pakistan's flood, Türkiye's earthquake.
We initiated the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS New Development Bank. We established the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and the China-UN Peace and Development Fund. We will continue to provide grants, interest-free and concessional loans.
China is implementing the G20's Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) in all aspects, with the largest amount of suspended debt among all G20 members. Through bilateral channels, China is helping developing countries easing their debt burden. No country is beset with a debt trap because of China.
For SDGs and GDI, China is acting, but not enough. The globe must act together.
First, consolidating consensus on SDGs and GDI, concentrating development efforts. This year features mid-term evaluation of SDGs. We must uphold true multilateralism. Making good use of the SDGs' Summit, Third South Summit, First Forum on Global Action for Shared Development in China this year, we should reset the development topic to the center of international agenda. Particular attention should be paid to resolving insecurity issues, creating a favourable environment for SDGs and GDI.
Second, emphasizing UN's leadership, strengthening comprehensive coordination. The UN should play a crucial and leading role in reaching SDGs and GDI. We should push forward global development governance, strengthen policies coordination, commit to development as a priority, comprehensively link SDGs with countries' own development strategies, focus on consistent and joint action, refuse empty talk.
Third, promoting North-South cooperation, working on same page. We should consolidate the international development cooperation setup, with North-South cooperation as the main channel and South-South cooperation as a beneficial supplement. We shall perform "common but differentiated responsibilities", expand trilateral and multilateral cooperation, seek common ground while setting aside differences in development concepts, rules, standards and other aspects, for fostering a new North-South relationship.
Fourth, China is making consistent efforts to promote common development. The 20th National Congress of the CPC has announced that China is prepared to invest more resources in global development cooperation. It is committed to narrowing the North-South gap, supporting and assisting other developing countries to accelerate development. A) We attach great importance to multilateral cooperation without being overshadowed by certain bilateral relations. SDGs is a global consensus. No matter the developed or developing countries should ignore. B) Global development and South-South cooperation Fund is open to all the UN agencies and countries, including NGOs. Of course, we are thinking about how to simplify the application. In this regard, I would like to know your ideas. C) We will continue our traditional assistance such as infrastructure construction, materials and technical assistance, human resources development cooperation and emergency humanitarian assistance. D) We will input more efforts in areas of people's well-being through "small yet smart" landmark projects cooperation, which make the people benefit from. E) CIDCA always and will be happy to exchange experience of global development promotion, and cherish your valuable suggestion and recommendation.
Let's be good and do good, and take more actions, with no country or individual being left behind.