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Teamwork with Latin America can advance UN goals

By Jiang Shixue | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-11-04 09:10

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals can help improve all-around cooperation between countries and promote building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

China and Latin American countries can have fruitful cooperation in the implementation of the 2030 agenda. To launch the agenda, North-South cooperation and South-South cooperation need to be improved.

China proposed its plan for implementation of the 2030 agenda in September 2016. It said the country recognizes the diversity of natural environment, culture and national conditions of different countries, and respects the rights of all countries to follow independent development paths and promote the implementation of the sustainable development goals in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

According to the plan, the country would push ahead with more equality-based and balanced global development partnerships, participate in South-South cooperation and carry out third-party cooperation in a steady manner.

The country's second policy document targeting Latin American countries in November 2016 said: "China is willing to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries to urge the international community to work jointly and achieve win-win cooperation to launch the 2030 agenda. The two sides will ask the international community to improve global partnership, focus more on North-South cooperation, urge developed countries to fulfill their commitments on providing assistance and give full play to the key role of South-South and tripartite cooperation. China is ready to provide support and assistance within its capacity for Latin American and Caribbean countries to launch the agenda."

China's proposals have fully showcased its determination to improve cooperation with Latin American and other countries in the implementation of the agenda.

China and Latin American countries need to improve exchanges of experience in cooperation.

The government sectors of both sides need to exchange policy options accumulated when launching the 2030 agenda through formal or informal dialogue. Chinese and Latin American research institutions and think tanks need to exchange experiences in this regard through various approaches.

First, the two sides need to increase economic and trade cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, since economic and trade relations are the foundation for international relations today. In the past, economic and trade relations between China and Latin American countries developed rapidly, serving as an important part of South-South cooperation and conforming to the principle of achieving shared growth through extensive consultation and collaboration.

Both sides have gained extensive benefits from bilateral trade and investment. The resources exported from Latin America to China have laid the foundation for rapid development of the latter's economy. China has provided Latin American countries with a large market and much-needed funds, helping drive the local economic growth.

The BRI has enriched concepts of international economic cooperation and multilateralism, providing an important approach to promoting global economic growth and achieving common development.

Latin America has been viewed as a natural extension of the initiative. To promote cooperation between China and Latin American countries on the 2030 agenda, it is necessary to make full use of opportunities offered by the initiative to further enhance mutual economic and trade relations.

Second, China and Latin American countries need to improve cooperation with multilateral institutions and integrated organizations. The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Development Bank of Latin America, the Caribbean Development Bank and integrated organizations in Latin America can have a significant impact on the development of Latin America. This can occur in areas including funding sources, decision-making approaches and policy implementation. China and Latin American countries need to build a platform for third-party cooperation based on influences of multilateral institutions and organizations.

Third, the two sides can decide on priority areas for cooperation, such as trade and investment facilitation, infrastructure improvement, use of renewable energy, formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation plans, environmental protection, exploitation and use of marine resources, and improvement of agricultural technologies.

China and Latin American countries need to create a favorable international environment for the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

The author is a professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Shanghai University. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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