Chinese agriculture expert Chen Taihua (L) talks to Godfrey Kityo, a fish breeding technician, at the Aquaculture Research and Development Centre in Kajjansi, Wakiso District, Uganda, on December 21, 2022 (XINHUA)
The Global Development Initiative (GDI) has become a beacon of hope and a catalyst for international development cooperation in a world that has faced unprecedented challenges over recent years.
The GDI was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021. It was put forward with the hope that countries would work together to overcome the impact of COVID-19 on global development, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build a global community of development with a shared future.
China has called on all countries to increase their input in development, and advance cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response efforts and vaccines, development financing, climate change, green development, industrialization, the digital economy and connectivity.
Xi hosted the High-level Dialogue on Global Development virtually in June 2022, announcing that China will allocate more resources to global development cooperation.
China's efforts will include upgrading the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, adding $1 billion to the fund in addition to the 3 billion U.S. dollars already committed, and increasing its input in the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund.
The High-level Dialogue on Global Development yielded 32 deliverables, including the launch of the Digital Literacy and Skills Improvement Initiative, the promotion of connectivity among customs authorities and other supply chain stakeholders, and deepened research and development cooperation on vaccines to improve vaccine self-sufficiency in developing countries.
The GDI has received extensive support from the international community, prompting the world to refocus on development issues and recommit to the 2030 Agenda, according to the Progress Report on the Global Development Initiative released by the Center for International Knowledge on Development on Tuesday. The two funds have become major financial platforms through which China can support cooperation under the framework of the GDI, the report said.
Half of the 32 deliverables have been completed or yielded early harvests, it said.
It noted that while supporting food aid programs and post-pandemic recovery in developing countries, China has prioritized enhancing developing countries' capacity to cope with climate change. For example, the China-Pacific Island Countries Climate Action Cooperation Center was unveiled in April 2022. China is also cooperating with relevant international organizations and other developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to combat desertification.
"In these times of turbulence and transformation, the GDI has emerged as a platform for countries to come together, refocus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and strive for a better future," said Awale Ali Kullane, Somali ambassador to China.
The ambassador said that Somalia firmly believes in the importance of international cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating a more equitable and just world. He said the GDI aligns perfectly with Somalia's own national development agenda, and the country is eager to actively contribute to its implementation.
Addressing poverty and food insecurity, mitigating the effects of climate change, and reducing technology and digital gaps require urgent attention, Zimbabwean Ambassador to China Martin Chedondo said. These problems can never be solved by individual countries, thus the proposal for a global partnership under the GDI will surely accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, he added.
Chedondo said that predictable and sustainable financing for development remains a challenge, and it is assuring to note that the GDI offers concrete steps to mobilize multiple stakeholders and pool resources through innovative mechanisms.
With the goal of building a global development community and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the GDI calls for international commitment to adhere to development-first, innovation-driven and people-centered approaches and result-oriented actions, said Stephen Bainous Kargbo, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization representative to China.
The GDI holds great promise to address global challenges and the development needs of developing countries, he said.