State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated on Tuesday China's willingness to firmly stand with developing countries to implement the Global Development Initiative with all-out efforts, saying that no country can be left behind on the path toward development.
Wang made the remark as he chaired the ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the GDI in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. The GDI was first put forward by President Xi Jinping in a speech at the UN General Assembly on Sept 21 last year.
In the year since it was unveiled, the initiative has received support from more than 100 countries and multiple international organizations, including the UN, and the Group of Friends has grown to 60 member states, Wang said.
At a critical time when developing countries face severe challenges in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, Wang called for greater efforts to push forward the initiative that aims to support developing countries in poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response, climate change and other issues.
Wang said that China has worked with international partners to implement the GDI by setting up platforms for cooperation, increasing the gathering of resources and addressing pressing challenges facing developing countries.
A cooperation center has been established between China and Pacific Island countries to deal with climate change, and China has engaged in joint production of COVID-19 vaccines with 13 countries, including nine from the Group of Friends of the GDI, he said.
The Group of Friends also recently made a collective appeal at the UN General Assembly for the international community to jointly respond to the global food crisis.
Wang said that China, the country that first proposed the GDI and the world's largest developing country, will further strengthen its strategic synergy with the UN's development institutions and take a series of new measures to help implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
These measures include launching 50 projects focusing pragmatic cooperation in fields such as poverty alleviation and industrialization, a special campaign to promote food production and the proposal to establish a world league focused on digital education, he said.
Concerted global efforts are required for promoting the GDI, Wang said, and it is expected that developed countries will participate in GDI projects and expand their assistance to developing countries, especially to least-developed and small island countries.
Wang also expressed his hope that international and regional organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will be actively involved in GDI cooperation and provide greater financial support for developing countries.
In a video message sent to the meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the importance of solidarity and a renewed multilateralism amid multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, growing numbers of the poor and hungry, and rising social unrest.
"The holistic Global Development Initiative is a valued contribution to addressing common challenges and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive future," he said.
The meeting was attended by foreign ministers from nearly 40 countries, the group's member states' permanent representatives to the UN and heads of several UN institutions.