Global Development Initiative Provides Accelerator for the Realization of the 2030 SDGs

ABOVE: Aerial photo shows an electric multiple unit (EMU) train of the China-Laos Railway crossing a bridge over the Yuanjiang River in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Dec. 3, 2021. Photo: Xinhua/Wang Guansen

By H.E. Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada

At present, the world economy is struggling to recover, the geopolitical environment is complex, and the deficit in peace, development, trust and governance remains prominent. The world is once again at a crossroads. According to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2023 Report: Special Edition released by the United Nations, the impacts of climate change, the Ukraine crisis, and the gloomy world economy all hinder the realization of the SDGs. In light of this new reality, the international community needs to build consensus on boosting development through global cooperation and bring the implementation of the SDGs back on track.

In September 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed at the general debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly “Building on 2030 SDGs for Stronger, Greener and Healthier Global Development” Initiative (Global Development Initiative). The Global Development Initiative (GDI) aims to pool efforts to tackle challenges, promote post-COVID recovery and seize opportunities so as to open up a bright future for achieving common sustainable development and building a global development community. Over the past two years, the GDI has forged international consensus on jointly promoting development by prompting the international community to refocus on development issues and to recommit to the 2030 Agenda. It effectively responded to global challenges and the development needs of developing countries, gave full play to its role as an accelerator for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and has achieved a series of positive progress.

First, the GDI has built an international consensus on promoting development. Since its initiation, the GDI has been widely and actively echoed by the international community. More than 100 countries and multiple international organizations have expressed their support. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the GDI helps revive global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The holistic Global Development Initiative is a valued contribution to addressing the common challenges and accelerating the transition to our sustainable and inclusive future. 

Second, the GDI has pooled more resources for global development. President Xi Jinping announced in June 2022 at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development that the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund would be upgraded to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, with an additional input of US$1 billion. China backed the IMF in the new allocation of SDRs equivalent to US$650 billion, called on countries with excess resources to reallocate SDRs to countries in need, and pushed for international consensus on the options of reallocation. Recently, President Xi Jinping announced in South Africa that China has established a 10-billion-U.S.-dollar special fund for the purpose of implementing the GDI.

Third, the GDI has helped build cooperation platforms centering on the eight key areas. During the past two years, the GDI has carried out practical cooperation with countries on its eight key areas, namely poverty alleviation, food security, pandemic response and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity in the digital era, covering all 17 SDGs and making a positive contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Up to now, half of the 32 Deliverables of the High-level Dialogue on Global Development released in June 2022 have been accomplished or have reaped early harvests. The first batch of the 50 projects in the GDI project pool released at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends in September 2022 covered various areas such as poverty reduction, food security and industrialization. Among them, more than 10 projects have been completed, and the rest are seeing positive progress. At present, nearly 200 cooperation projects have been included in the GDI project pool, benefiting more than 60  developing countries. Over the past year, the Chinese government has set up 1,000 capacity-building projects and provided 20,000 training opportunities, covering almost all members of the Group of Friends.

Fourth, the GDI has promoted knowledge sharing and capacity building for development. Sharing knowledge for development, strengthening technical exchanges and enhancing capacity-building are important elements and means of international development cooperation, as well as major aspects of cooperation under the GDI. Under the GDI framework, China moves ahead with the establishment of the Global Knowledge Network for Development and, at the same time, builds platforms for dialogue and exchanges to strengthen knowledge sharing on global sustainable transport development. In June 2022, China released the first edition of the Global Development Report, which gave a comprehensive review of the progress and challenges of global implementation of the 2030 Agenda, offered policy recommendations for building a global community of development, and attracted wide attention from the international community. On September 19,  2023, China released a report titled “The Practical Achievements and Global Contributions of the Global Development Initiative,” which reviews cases of international cooperation projects to share experiences and broaden minds for future cooperation.

On July 10, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed in his congratulatory letter to the First High-Level Conference of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development, “China will further increase its resource input for global development cooperation, work with the international community to continuously deepen and substantiate the Global Development Initiative, and make new contributions to realizing the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as scheduled and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.” China is willing to work with Canada and other members of the international community to jointly meet challenges, pursue development through cooperation, and contribute to the realization of the 2030 Agenda and global development.