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Remarks by Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee at The Opening Ceremony of Exhibition of Achievements on China International Development Cooperation


(photo credit: China News)


State Councillor Wang Yi,

Chairman Luo Zhaohui,

Distinguished Guests

 

I thank the China International Development Cooperation Agency for the courtesy extended to me to join the State Councillor, HE Wang Yi, Chairman Luo Zhaohui and the Ambassador of Cambodia Her Excellency Khek M. Caimealy.

 

On behalf of the UN family in China, I congratulate CIDCA on todays’ exhibition as we look back on 70 years of China’s foreign assistance as it transitions into an international development cooperation partner to address pressing global challenges.

 

In the past year, China has set a model for the world to adopt in slowing the virus’s spread.

 

And despite the stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on international cooperation, China acts in tenacity and compassion, joining in solidarity with other nations.

 

Whether it’s’ pledge to make COVID-vaccines a global public good, its commitment to spend US$2 billion over the next two years to aid in countries hardest hit by the pandemic, or its donations of PPE and other supplies during the height of global supply chain disruptions.

 

Rather than shirk from international cooperation, China has renewed firm belief in the principles of multilateralism.

 

China has made significant contributions to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supported the COVAX Facility and the WFP Global Humanitarian Hub in Guangzhou.

 

While we must not lose our guard and ensure the equitable rollout of vaccines, we now look ahead towards the SDGs and a green, sustainable recovery in this Decade of Action.

 

In the past four decades, what has taken place in China since its’ opening and reform is extraordinary.

 

China’s successful efforts against extreme poverty are, as the UN Secretary-General António Guterres described, “a significant contribution towards realizing a better and more prosperous world”.

 

The UN stands ready to work with the Government of China to protect the past gains, to support its efforts in rural revitalization, support future ambitions such as China’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and share China’s development miracle with the developing world.

 

China’s credentials towards South-South Cooperation are sound, contributing US$3 billion towards the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, cancelling debts of over RMB4.18 billion, and carrying out diverse forms of cooperation, giving high priority to the least developed countries, as discussed in the recent third white paper published by CIDCA.

 

 


I have seen firsthand in Africa the positive impact of BRI and other infrastructure assistance on local communities. The Chinese-built Tanzania-Zambia Railway or TaZaRa which started operations in 1976 and has become an economic catalyst for eastern and southern African nations. It stands out as a symbol of China’s generosity when China itself was very poor. Efforts such as the Belt and Road Initiative, if implemented in full, can lift 7.6 million people from extreme poverty and 32 million from moderate poverty, a potential game-changer, especially for African nations. A green BRI will be key to sustainability.

 

Gender equality and women’s empowerment have been prioritizing in recent global cooperation priorities, as indicated by the White Paper, an engine for future economic growth.

 

Increasingly China understands that its success is bound up with the world’s success, nowhere is this truth more vital than on climate change.

 

The establishment of CIDCA by the Government of China in 2018 represented a significant turning point in China’s international development cooperation journey and demonstrates the political will required to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

 

Guided by the conviction that “it is more helpful to teach people how to fish than to just give them fish”, we hope that CIDCA continues to act to give all nations the means to achieve the SDGs for everyone, everywhere.

 

I recently presented my credentials to His Excellency President Xi Jinping and took note of his remarks at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate, where he said, “When people pull together, nothing is too heavy to be lifted”.

 

Excellencies, in this spirit, we must renew our efforts and revitalize multilateralism to achieve the 2030 Agenda in full. 

 

The UN family stands ready to deliver as one and support China in this effort by realizing its international development cooperation priorities, to leave no one behind.

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