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Initiative contributes to development goals

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-07-06 09:09
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Photo taken on Jan 8, 2022 shows a test bullet train running over Anning River in Dechang county, Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Southwest China's Sichuan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Despite global challenges focus remains steadfast on hitting sustainable targets

The Global Development Initiative proposed by China is a promising response to help accelerate the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, a UN official said.

Siddharth Chatterjee, UN resident coordinator in China, made the remark at the Global Development Initiative: Maximizing Synergies for the Implementation of 2030 Agenda forum in Beijing on Tuesday.

President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative when addressing via video link the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in Beijing on Sept 21.

Xi called on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 SDGs for more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development with a shared future.

The president also stressed a people-centered approach, saying, "We should safeguard and improve people's livelihoods and protect and promote human rights through development, and make sure that development is for the people and by the people, and that its fruits are shared among the people."

The forum was hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council and its affiliate the Center for International Knowledge on Development.

Expressing his appreciation to the affiliate's efforts to advance sustainable development and support the work of its mother institution, Chatterjee stressed, "When research contributes to good policies, backed by robust political will, then progress happens."

China is a good example of how far it has progressed in the last 40 years, he said, adding he is pleased that the UN system has been partners with China in this remarkable social economic progress since 1979.

Highlighting a series of challenges the world faces, Chatterjee said he is expecting China to play a role in promoting the realization of the SDGs with its Global Development Initiative.

"The world today is facing unprecedented challenges," he noted. "Over two years into the global pandemic, we have seen millions of lives lost and an unprecedented socioeconomic impact. Recovery efforts today have been uneven, unfair and insufficient for sustainable development."

The current crisis is threatening decades of development gains, further delaying the urgent transition to greener and more inclusive economies, he emphasized. In addition, climate change, conflicts, growing inflation, digital divides, rising poverty and hunger, and structural inequalities between and within countries further exacerbate this dire situation.

He said that amid the challenges, the world has moved off track in meeting the globally agreed upon deadline to achieve the sustainable development goals.

"The Global Development Initiative, announced by President Xi Jinping last September, is a promising response to help the world recover from the recent setbacks and accelerate achievement of the SDGs worldwide," Chatterjee continued.

"We welcome such an effort, especially the proposed alignment of many of the GDI priorities with the SDGs, including the areas of poverty eradication, food security, health, financing for development, climate action, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity," he said.

China, as the world's second largest economy, has a significant role to play in sharing its lessons, experiences and resources with other developing countries. "Having served many years in Africa, I have seen firsthand the difference China has brought there," he said.

He said the UN in China is keen to support the early development of the GDI to have greater impact on the SDGs globally. In addition, it is also committed to leveraging the GDI as an opportunity to advance a series of crossover areas in the 2030 agenda, including gender equality and women's empowerment.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences also hosted the Thematic Forum on Global Development Initiative: A People-Centered Development Agenda.

Zhao Qi, the academy's secretary-general, called for strengthened global collaboration on poverty alleviation and technology innovation to promote GDI implementation.

"The world should further ramp up the exchange of experiences in poverty alleviation and beef up cooperation on the issue, with an emphasis on addressing unbalanced and inadequate development among and within countries to promote inclusive development," he said.

The two forums were held on the sidelines of the Global Development: Common Mission and Contributions Think Tank and Media Forum, which was sponsored by the State Council Information Office.

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