President Xi Jinping addresses the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video on Sept 21, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)
At a high-end forum on Sunday, world leaders and senior officials of international organizations hailed President Xi Jinping's recently proposed Global Development Initiative as well as China's remarkable contribution to the world's sustained growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Xi proposed the initiative while addressing the general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday via video link.
He called on the international community to accelerate implementation of the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for more robust, greener and balanced global development, and fostering a global community of development with a shared future.
The initiative embraces a people-centered concept, follows practical cooperation and advocates the spirit of open and inclusive partnership, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a video speech to the Sustainable Development Forum 2021 in Beijing on Sunday. "This major initiative has set out a blueprint for the development of countries and international development cooperation, and pointed the way forward for global development and international development cooperation," he said.
Wang announced at the forum that China has provided more than 1.25 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the world in honoring its solemn pledge to make Chinese vaccines a global public good.
As the largest developing country, China has always been helping other developing nations and providing development assistance to more than 160 developing countries, he noted.
To advance international development, Wang called on countries to deepen cooperation in fighting COVID-19 to jointly prevail over the challenge, strengthen macro-policy coordination to promote economic recovery and pursue green and low-carbon development.
He also stressed the need to uphold fairness and justice, create an enabling environment for development, safeguard true multilateralism and deepen the global development partnership.
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, expressed her "appreciation" for Xi's statement at the UN General Assembly general debate on Tuesday.
Via video link on Sunday, she quoted Xi's remark that countries must "work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth".
Hailing China's commitment to implementing the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, she said the "best practices of China on SDG implementation will be very valuable to be shared with other countries as well".
"And what we learn from the endless efforts of China is that a key enabling factor is cooperation and partnership among countries," she added.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg praised China's contribution to global vaccination by providing vaccines through COVAX, an international initiative that distributes vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
She said in a video address that while some countries have vaccinated their populations and are on the path to recovery, others lack vaccines and have weak health systems, which pose serious problems. "We need to ensure vaccines for all, because no one is safe until everyone is safe," she said.
Solberg also welcomed China's climate commitments on peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality before 2060. Xi announced on Tuesday that China will not build any new coal-fired power projects abroad.
"It is crucial that China reaches its goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. It's important for China and for the world as a whole," Solberg said.
At the forum, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin also commended China for its strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Technology is transforming the world, he said, but over 4 billion people are disconnected from the digital world. He added the world is faced with "a triple planetary emergency: a climate crisis, a nature crisis and a pollution crisis".
"These crises can only be overcome through solidarity, innovation and transformative change," he said, noting that countries "must deliver a greener and a more inclusive people-centered future".