Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video, in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 21, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday proposed a Global Development Initiative, calling for bolstering confidence and jointly addressing global threats and challenges to build a better world for all.
Xi made the remarks at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) via video, as the world faces the combined impacts of changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right now, COVID-19 is still raging in the world, with the number of new cases rising every day globally. "We must beat COVID-19 and win this decisive fight crucial to the future of humanity," Xi said, voicing confidence that "we humanity will surely overcome it and prevail" despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may appear overwhelming.
He called for putting people and their lives first, taking a science-based approach in origins tracing, enhancing coordinated global COVID-19 response and minimizing the risk of cross-border virus transmission.
Noting that vaccination is a powerful weapon against COVID-19, Xi said the pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally.
He reiterated the pledge that China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. "In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year."
The role of China is even more critical at a time when some countries have adopted a selfish strategy of vaccine nationalism and even put restrictions on export of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical supplies, said Nadeem Irfan Bukhari, a professor from University of the Punjab, Pakistan.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
"Development holds the key to people's well-being," Xi said, adding that countries need to work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth.
He made a six-pronged Global Development Initiative, including staying committed to development as a priority, staying committed to a people-centered approach, staying committed to benefits for all, staying committed to innovation-driven development, staying committed to harmony between man and nature and staying committed to results-oriented actions.
"We need to increase input in development, advance on a priority basis cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, among other areas, and accelerate implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so as to build a global community of development with a shared future," he said.
To support developing countries in responding to COVID-19 and promoting economic and social recovery, China has pledged an additional three billion US dollars of international assistance in the next three years.
China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, he said, pledging that the country will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy.
"This is another remarkable step taken by China on its own initiative to cope with the global climate change, as Xi earlier announced China's pledge to strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060," said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies.
REJECTING FORMING SMALL CIRCLES
"We need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games," Xi said.
Democracy is not a special right reserved to an individual country, but a right for the people of all countries to enjoy, the Chinese president stressed.
Ruan said that some countries are keen to gang up in the name of democracy, wantonly interfering in other countries' internal affairs and even arbitrarily suppressing normal development of other countries and people's legitimate right to live better lives.
"Recent developments in the global situation show once again that military intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm," Xi said.
He called for building a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and doing the best to "expand the convergence of interests" and "achieve the biggest synergy possible."
"One country's success does not have to mean another country's failure, and the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries,” he said, adding that differences and problems among countries need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
PRACTICING TRUE MULTILATERALISM
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. Xi said China will solemnly commemorate this historic event and advance cooperation with the UN to a new level and make new and greater contributions to promoting the noble cause of the UN.
"The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism and serve as the central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world," Xi stressed.
Ruan said that some countries claimed to safeguard "the rules-based international order" under the banner of multilateralism, yet what they actually did was framing their own rules as international rules and imposing them on other countries.
The Chinese president called on the UN to increase the representation and say of developing countries in international affairs, and take the lead in advancing democracy and rule of law in international relations.
"It should set common agenda (in the areas of security, development and human rights), highlight pressing issues and focus on real actions, and see to it that commitments made by all parties to multilateralism are truly delivered," he added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg joined world leaders in New York on Monday (19 September 2016) to attend the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). During his five-day visit to the United States, Mr. Stoltenberg will meet with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other high-level officials.
Secretary General will participate in the General Debate of the UNGA, focusing on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. NATO and the United Nations have worked together since the early 1990s, in support of peacekeeping and crisis-management operations. Last year, at the 2015 Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, NATO offered enhanced support to UN peace operations. In the margins of the UNGA, Mr. Stoltenberg is expected to hold talks with several world leaders, including Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Later this week, the Secretary General will travel to Boston to deliver a keynote speech at Harvard University on NATO’s adaptation and how European and US security and prosperity are linked.
On 25th of September, 2015 on its 70th anniversary, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development titled as the “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The above mentioned document is composed of 17 goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets. These goals are integrated, indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The Agenda aims to touch all areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.The goals introduced in the document, and the associated targets elaborated for the further implementation of the goals, are in full accordance with the aims of OGP. Moreover, OGP might grow as an effective tool for the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals. Most notably the 16th SDG of the UN document that is comprised with the following activities: supporting development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels, ensure public access to information, promote the rule of law etc., is in full accordance with the principles of OGP.
On 27th of September, two days after UNGA adopted the SDGs, OGP steering committee 11 members adopted the declaration titled “Open Government for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (hereafter “the Joint Declaration”). The Joint Declaration welcomes the Agenda and recognition of the importance of transparency and open government as crucial tools for effective implementation of the SDGs. Moreover, it says that “The experience of its participating governments and civil society organizations can be drawn on to encourage transparent, accountable, participatory, and technology-enabled implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” According to the declaration, OGP plans to stress on five key areas: promotion of rule of law consistent with the international standards at the national, regional and international level through transparency, openness, accountability, access to justice and effective and inclusive institutions, promotion of public access to information, support citizen engagement in 2030 Agenda implementation process, uphold open government principles when measuring the 2030 Agenda implementation progress and use OGP Actions Plans that serve 2030 SDGs. These goals are consistent with the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.
Parliament of Georgia has endorsed the OGP Declaration on “Open Government for Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”Notably, the Parliament of Georgia is a very first legislative branch in the world that has endorsed the above-mentioned OGP declaration. The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is an ambitious document and implementation of it requires dedication and engagement of various stakeholders. In accordance with the OGP declaration, the Permanent Parliamentary Council on Open and Transparent Governance will support fulfillment of UN SDGs and takes responsibility to consider SDGs while elaborating an OGP action plan. Parliament of Georgia is currently working on the implementation of the Open Parliament Georgia Action Plan 2015-2016 which must be implemented by the end of the year.