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Ex-UN official: Nation's system committed to improving lives

By LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-13 07:10
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Tourists visit Badachu Park decorated with red lanterns in Beijing, China, October 2, 2019. [Photo /Xinhua]

China 'leading champion' of respecting international laws, rights of all countries

China's success can be traced to a system committed to improving the lives of its people, a recently retired senior United Nations official said.

The country's achievements are also made possible by the setting of clear goals and having the organizational capacity to carry them through, said Jorge Chediek, who held two major UN positions that dealt with South-South cooperation.

China's system has demonstrated the ability to adapt and to reward performance, as well as to punish and root out corruption and incompetence, Chediek said in an interview with China Daily. "As a result, China has achieved the most remarkable development transformation in history, from a poor agrarian society to a moderately prosperous society that eliminated absolute poverty and has become an example to the world," he said.

Chediek's remarks came after China marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1.

Chediek, who is from Argentina, retired in 2020 after a long career with the UN. He was appointed as the UN secretary-general's envoy on South-South cooperation in March 2016. He also headed the UN Office for South-South Cooperation, where he led UN promotion and coordination of South-South cooperation for development.

Previously, Chediek served as the UN resident coordinator and United Nations Development Programme resident representative in Brazil, Peru, Nicaragua and other countries.

During his time at the UN, Chediek enhanced cooperation between the Office for South-South Cooperation and the Chinese government. He worked on projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative and collaborated with the Chinese government and companies to make financial resources available to support developing countries' responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chediek also attended events hosted by China, such as the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services, the Thematic Forum on Trade Connectivity of the Second Belt and Road Forum in 2019 and the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017.

As the world's largest developing country, China has set a powerful example for other developing nations in the Global South, Chediek said. "The country has shown that developing countries can accelerate their progress and produce innovative sectoral policies. In addition, the Communist Party of China, since the beginning, practiced international cooperation and solidarity, even during very difficult times," he said.

South-South cooperation refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries, most of which are located in the southern hemisphere. Through collaboration and the sharing of knowledge, skills and successful initiatives, countries can collectively address challenges such as poverty eradication, climate change, food security, social protection, public health and infrastructure development, according to the UN.

Chediek said that "China has become the leading developing country in terms of cooperation". He pointed to the BRI as an example, which "represents a model of how South-South cooperation can become a win-win proposition for the whole world".

As of January, 140 countries have joined the BRI, according to the Green Belt and Road Initiative Center. They are spread across all continents, including 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 34 in Europe and Central Asia, 24 in East Asia and the Pacific, 17 in the Middle East and North Africa, 19 in Latin America and the Caribbean and six in Southeast Asia.

Chediek stressed the importance of upholding multilateralism as the guiding principle of international relations.

A system centered on the UN, respecting international law and the rights of all nations is the way to build a fair and peaceful world, he said.

"In this context, the contributions of China are extremely important, as it has become a leading champion of these principles in all international fora, and this policy has become a guiding principle of the Communist Party of China, in the spirit of respect and mutual benefit," Chediek said.

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