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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

2020/07/14

Madam President,

China supports the statement made by the representative of Guyana on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The world is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. Globalization has contributed greatly to the development of the world economy and material prosperity. Scientific and technological progress has been pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and activity. The collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries has changed the international political and economic landscape. Meanwhile, unilateralism, bullying, protectionism and anti-globalization sentiments are eroding the very foundation of multilateralism and worsening the environment of international development cooperation. COVID-19, the most serious outbreak of infectious disease in a century, is having a devastating impact on economic and social development. Sharing one global village, humankind rise and fall together. The only choice before us is to work together to combat this global crisis. Facing the grave and complex situation, it is more important than ever to achieve common development and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The theme of the Forum, “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”, reflects the need and urgency to implement the 2030 Agenda. All parties should take the opportunity of the inaugural year of the Decade of Action, strengthen confidence and resolve, intensify actions, effectively combat COVID-19, promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and growth, and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

First, we should strengthen solidarity and cooperation to jointly tide over the difficulties. As the UN is marking 75 years since the its founding, the international community should firmly uphold multilateralism, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, support the UN in playing a central role in international affairs, and oppose all forms of unilateralism and protectionism. It has been proven that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon for humankind to tackle global challenges. There is no exception for implementing the 2030 Agenda and "leaving no one behind". Countries need to work in solidarity to the benefit of the global community with a shared future. That is the only way to overcome the difficulties and achieve common development.

Second, we should give priority to development and its major areas. Development is the master key to solving all problems. The international community should prioritize development in global macroeconomic policy coordination, and increase investment in development to give sustained impetus to the cause of international development. We must put people at the center of our efforts, and focus on major goals and targets of sustainable development including poverty reduction, hunger eradication, health, education, employment and infrastructure, to ensure and enhance the well-being of the people. Special attention should be given to the difficulties and challenges of developing countries in the midst of COVID-19 to help them recover better and faster.

Third, we must remain committed to openness and inclusiveness to achieve win-win cooperation. The international community should actively pursue an open world economy, uphold free trade and the multilateral trading system, and ensure the stability of the global industrial and supply chains. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, countries should take joint actions to reduce tariffs, remove barriers, and ensure unimpeded trade to strongly boost the confidence in economic recovery. We should follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, strive to improve global governance, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries, to create a favorable external environment for developing countries.

Fourth, we should strengthen partnerships for common development. The international community should continue to strengthen international development cooperation with North-South cooperation as the main channel and complemented by South-South cooperation, and effectively implement the Addis Ababa Plan of Action. Developed countries should honor their ODA commitments, provide technology and capacity-building assistance for developing countries, support them in pursuing development paths right for their own national conditions to achieve self development. The international community, particularly developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, should take strong actions on debt relief, an issue of major concern for developing countries.

Madam President,

Thanks to a people-centered approach, China has been making enormous efforts and progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This year, China will lift all its rural poor below the current standard out of poverty, achieve moderate prosperity, and meet the goals and targets of poverty reduction in the 2030 Agenda 10 years ahead of schedule. Since the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, China has been sparing no efforts in saving lives and protecting people’s health and has achieved good results so far. Having brought the outbreak under control, China is working hard to promote recovery, minimize the impact, and attain its poverty reduction targets as scheduled. The stable recovery of the Chinese economy will continue to inject impetus to the world economy and bring opportunities to the development of other countries.

China is actively engaged in international anti-epidemic cooperation to help countries respond and recover from COVID-19. President Xi Jinping has announced that China will provide $2 billion US dollars in international aid over two years; China's vaccine, once available, will serve as a global public good and benefit Africa first; China will work with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries and call for further extension of debt relief; China will cancel interest-free government loans owed by African countries that will mature by the end of 2020 within the framework of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation. China is playing a responsible and constructive role with concrete actions.

Madam President,

The road may be long, but if we keep going, we will get there. The task may be difficult, but if we keep working, it will be done. In this Decade of Action, let’s come together to uphold multilateralism, translate commitments into action, and enable initiatives to bear fruits. Together, let’s build a better future and a better world shared by all.

Thank you, Madam President.

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