Global Development Initiative Injects New Impetus into China-Africa Joint Development

(By H.E. Ren Yisheng, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia)

Today, with major changes and a global pandemic unseen in a century, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is facing a serious impact. In order to meet the challenges of global development, President Xi Jinping solemnly proposed the “Global Development Initiative” (GDI) when attending the General Debate of the 76th United Nations General Assembly in September 2021, calling on the international community to form a joint force to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to achieve a stronger, greener and healthier global development.

The GDI is another important public good that China provides to the international community amidst the historical challenge that Covid-19 has posted to the international development. It gives priority to development, aims at realizing 2030 Agenda and focuses on the most urgent development issues faced by all countries especially developing countries against the backdrop of the pandemic. The Initiative stresses on promoting the cooperation on the 8 priority areas including poverty alleviation, food security, Covid-19 and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy, and connectivity, and contributes to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda.

The GDI is embedded in the spirit of true multilateralism, upholds the spirit of cooperation and partnership featuring openness, and welcomes the participation of all countries. It will synergize with the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and build consensus through multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the United Nations, G20, BRICS, and various regional and sub-regional platforms, so as to form a strong synergy to inject new impetus into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The Initiative has received responses and support from nearly 100 countries as well as United Nations agencies and other international organizations. At the beginning of this year, the Group of Friends of the GDI was officially established in New York, with representatives from United Nations agencies and more than 100 countries, including more than 80 ambassadors. This fully shows that the core concept of the GDI has broad international consensus, the focus of cooperation is in line with the priorities of all parties, and the great potential of the initiative to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda has been recognized by all parties, and it has the basic conditions for stable and long-term development.

This Initiative also has broad support from 53 African countries and the African Union. The recently released Dakar Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Dakar Action Plan of FOCAC both clearly stated that African countries welcome and support the GDI proposed by China, emphasizing that improving the global development partnership is the key to the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the 2063 agenda of the African Union, and are committed to promoting a stronger, greener and healthier global development and building a community with a shared future for global development.

Development is the most important and most concerned issue for African countries. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “efforts to achieve the SDGs can only succeed if Africa succeeds”. Currently, African countries face multiple challenges such as coping with the threat of the Covid-19 epidemic, recovering their own economies, and responding to climate change. The GDI has provided a Chinese solution for developing countries, especially African countries, to break through the predicament. This is also highly consistent with the development demands of African countries and the 2030 Agenda.

At the recently concluded 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, President Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and announced the implementation of the “Nine Programs”. It not only focuses on the practical needs of African countries’ development, but also echoes the eight cooperation areas that are being promoted by the GDI, which fully demonstrates China’s sincere desire to support Africa’s development and revitalization.

The Chinese side is willing to work with the African side to encourage more countries and international organizations to join the GDI and the Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development, so as to create a stronger synergy among the international community to support Africa’s development, and join hands to build a community of shared future for global development.

At present, under the framework of the “Nine Programs” of the FOCAC, all parties in China and Africa are working together to plan the next stage of development goals, formulate action plans, and accelerate the implementation of measures that meet the most urgent needs of Africa’s development. The GDI will dock with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the respective development strategies of African countries, and has established a “China-Africa Private Investment Promotion Platform” and a “green channel” for African agricultural export products to China to help Africa accelerate post-pandemic recovery. China has launched the Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development together with the African side, and jointly formulated the “China-Africa Digital Innovation Partnership Program” to expand the connotation of China-Africa cooperation.

Liberia is a participant and contributor to such cooperation mechanisms as the FOCAC and the “Belt and Road” Initiative (BRI), and participated in the launching meeting of the Group of Friends of the GDI. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China and Liberia have achieved fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation in infrastructure construction, economic and trade investment, human resources development, agriculture, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and anti-epidemic.

Right now, the Covid-19 epidemic is still raging around the world. China-Liberia cooperation has both opportunities and challenges, but the opportunities outweigh the challenges. The slogan of the Beijing Winter Olympics is “Together for a Shared Future”. China will continue to uphold the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith in its cooperation with Africa, and continuously promote friendly and win-win cooperation between China and Liberia. Under the framework of the new blueprint of the FOCAC, the BRI and the GDI, China will strengthen the docking of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) with Liberia, expand cooperation in key areas for future development, promote high-quality and sustainable common development, and create a better future together.

Comments are closed.