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China's Global Development Initiative champions actions for SDG and inclusive world system

By Shakeel Ahmad Ramay | | Updated: 2022-06-26 18:20
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President Xi Jinping delivers an important speech titled "Forging high-quality partnership for a new era of global development" at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development in Beijing via video link on Friday. [LI XUEREN/XINHUA]

While chairing the High-level Dialogue on Global Development on Friday, President Xi Jinping shared his vision on Global Development Initiative and China's will to join the world as partner in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for all peoples.

The Global Development Initiative, or GDI, is a comprehensive and forward- looking proposal Xi made last year. In line with United Nations sustainable development goals, it strives for equal, balanced and inclusive partnerships and includes poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity.

It needs practical actions to implement the GDI. China urges the participating countries and world to keep people at the center for devising and implementing development agenda and render everyone equal opportunity to benefit from it. This is illustrated by Xi's words that "on the road to the wellbeing of all mankind, no country or nation should be left behind".

China is taking lead in results-oriented actions. The South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund will be upgraded into the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, and China will provide $1 billion in addition to already committed amount of $3 billion. The funds for UN Peace and Development Trust Fund will also be increased in coming years. The China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund will launch its Phase III.

President Xi in his speech indicates that China is willing to share its governance model, experience and closely work with all partners. China has started to extend the hand of cooperation to work on multiple initiatives and proposed a list of actions in coming years.

For example, Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development will be launched to promote the agenda of sustainable development. A dedicated NGOs network will be established to foster efforts to tackle poverty and China will also be sharing its experience of poverty alleviation. A sophisticated Global Development Promotion Center will be established.

Moreover, China will train 100,000 people for helping developing countries for smooth recovery from COVID-19. It was announced that efforts will be made to promote clean energy and transition toward clean and green energy.

GDI is a future oriented program. It is envisioned that innovation-led growth and development will be one of the key areas of work. It is hoped that it will help to usher a new era of development.

For that purpose, China is working to launch Digital Literacy and Skills Improvement Initiative. China is also ready to enhance cooperation in the fields of technology, new industrial revolution, digital technology, satellites and big data. It is good news, especially for less developed countries.

President Xi pays special attention to the development and engagement of youth. We have seen many times, at domestic level, he encouraged youth to lead the nation for peace and sustainable development. In the same spirit, youth of the developing world has been put as high priority area of work at GDI.

It was announced that a high-level and inclusive meeting of youth will be held jointly with other partner countries. An Action Plan for Global Youth Development will be brought in focus, providing youth from the South with opportunities they often lack.

Thus two key messages can be deduced. First, China is committed to people centric and inclusive development, a lynch pin of global system. The philosophy behind this commitment is that China strongly believes that without the wellbeing and welfare of people, we cannot achieve sustainable peace and development, which are pre-requisites for a community with shared future.

Xi's emphasis on centering on people's wellbeing is proven in China's progress in the past decade and consistent in his messages to the world in recent years. He once pushed to "strike a balance between economic growth, ensuring people's well-being, and energy conservation and emissions reduction" at an international forum.

Second, China is entering a new era with a pro-active policy for international relations. China has shown his commitment and leadership at multiple occasions including Paris Agreement on Climate Change among others. Now China is moving forward to lead the developing world in the provision of common good and development. Rather, China is striving to make development the core element of global system.

And China is willing to share its governance model. It is a very important step, as the world's most populous country has become fee of absolute poverty and the second biggest economy by implementing a unique model of governance. It is hoped that China will launch specialized capacity building programs on governance, to make it a public good.

The author is CEO of the Asian Institute of Eco-civilization Research and Development in Pakistan. The views do not reflect those of China Daily.

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