By Mr. Zhou Ningyu
Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the
Chinese Embassy in The Gambia
Development is a timeless theme for humanity. At present, the world is undergoing instability and transformation, with the combined impacts of changes and the COVID-19 pandemic both unseen in a century. The world economy still faces strong headwinds on its path toward recovery, security challenges are becoming more acute, and global development faces challenges and countercurrents. The international community is anxiously seeking answers and solutions on how to overcome global development challenges, accelerate economic recovery and foster a better future.
As a respond to the question of our time, on 23 and 24 June 2022, H.E. President Xi Jinping respectively chaired the 14th BRICS Summit and the High-level Dialogue on Global Development via video link and delivered important remarks. The BRICS Summit issued the Beijing Declaration, expressing the common position on supporting multilateralism, improving the global governance system, working in solidarity to combat COVID-19, promoting economic recovery, and expediting implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and sent a strong message of safeguarding international peace, fairness and justice.
The High-level Dialogue on Global Development was attended by leaders of 18 countries, which have wide representation and international influence. Focusing on the theme “Foster a Global Development Partnership for the New Era to Jointly Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the leaders had in-depth exchange of views on such major issues as accelerating world economic recovery, deepening practical cooperation, implementing the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and fostering a global development partnership for the new era, to work for common development and prosperity.
President Xi Jinping stressed that, we must get a good grasp of the overarching development trend in the world, firm up confidence, and act in unison and with great motivation to promote global development and foster a development paradigm featuring benefits for all, balance, coordination, inclusiveness, win-win cooperation and common prosperity. For these purposes, President Xi Jinping made four key proposals.
— First, we need to jointly build international consensus on promoting development. It is important that we put development front and center on the international agenda, and deliver on the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
— Second, we need to jointly create an enabling international environment for development. It is important that we build an open world economy, and shape a global governance system and institutional environment that are more just and equitable. Protectionist moves will boomerang; anyone attempting to form exclusive blocs will end up isolating himself; maximum sanctions serve nobody’s interest, and practices of decoupling and supply disruption are neither feasible nor sustainable.
— Third, we need to jointly foster new drivers for global development. It is important that we promote scientific, technological and?institutional innovation, speed up technology transfer and knowledge sharing,?boost the development of modern industries, close the digital divide and accelerate low-carbon transition, with a view to?achieving?stronger, greener and healthier global development.
— Fourth, we need to jointly forge a global development partnership. The North and the South need to work in the same direction to forge a united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership. In this process, no country or individual should be left behind.
China is the largest developing country in the world. Last year, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI) at the UN General Assembly, which aims to enable the international community to re-focus on development, contributing China’s initiatives and wisdom to addressing difficulties holding back development, and providing important public goods. So far, the GDI has been warmly received by more than 100 countries and international organizations, and more than 50 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative. On 9 May, the High-Level Virtual Meeting of the Group of Friends of the GDI was held via video link, yielding wide consensus and pragmatic outcomes. China has take an series of measures to implement the GDI, which have been bearing remarkable fruit, and contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, President Xi Jinping also announced China’s important measures to implement the GDI.
Firstly, China will allocate more resources for global development cooperation. We will upgrade the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, adding USD one billion to the fund on top of the USD three billion already committed. We will also increase input to the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund. Such efforts will further support cooperation under the GDI.
Secondly, China will work with all sides to advance cooperation in priority areas and mobilize resources for development to deepen global cooperation on poverty reduction and eradication, build capacity for food production and supply, and promote clean energy partnerships; step up innovation, research and development and joint production of vaccines; work on the conservation and sustainable use of land and marine ecology; and raise digital literacy and skills of the public, transform and upgrade the path to industrialization at a faster pace, and enhance connectivity in the digital era to inject new impetus into the development of all countries.
Thirdly, China will set up a platform for experience and knowledge sharing on international development, a global development promotion center and a global knowledge network for development, for the purpose of exchanging governance experience. We will host a global forum on youth development and take part in the launch of a global action plan on youth development, in a bid to pool as much strength as possible for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
China and The Gambia both are members of the developing countries family, and are good friends and partners. We have the same aspirations for high-quality development, and great consensus on a variety of topics related to global development. As an active member of the Group of Friends of the GDI, The Gambia actively supports the implementation of the Initiative, and closely engages in GDI activities. Under the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and South–South Cooperation, China and The Gambia jointly implemented pragmatic cooperation projects in the past few years, yielding substantial outcomes in various fields, including infrastructure, food and agriculture, public health, telecommunication, energy, education, and so forth, practically benefiting the people of our two countries and beyond. China is committed to joining hands with The Gambia, to stride forward in pursuit of high-quality partnership, usher in a new era of prosperity and development, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.