Remarks by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the Official Launching Ceremony of the First China-France Consultation on Development
30 October, 2007
Foreign Minister Kouchner,
I wish to begin by offering my congratulations on the official launching of the China-France consultation on development. Thank you, Mr. Minister, for coming, and a warm welcome to the French delegation.
The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation is the trend of the times. An equitable, balanced and sustainable development of the world represents the common aspiration of the international community. The international situation is now stable on the whole. The world economy continues to grow, globalization has gathered momentum and revolution in science and technology is accelerating. All this has brought rare opportunities for development. On the other hand, all countries, particularly the developing countries, are faced with serious challenges of growing imbalance in the global economy, the risk of economic slowdown, rising trade protectionism and energy and resource constraints.
To seize the opportunities and meet the challenges in development requires effective progress in international development cooperation in the spirit of partnership. Thanks to the efforts made over the years, international cooperation on development has broadened and deepened both in scope and dimension. The United Nations and multilateral financial institutions continued to play an important role in the field of development. North-South cooperation has expanded. South-South trade and investment are increasing. Innovative mechanisms of financing for development are operating well. All these represent important progress in international development cooperation.
On the other hand, we note with concern that the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals remains a daunting challenge and takes even greater efforts by the international community. Efforts to promote international development cooperation should aim to meet both short-term and long-term needs and focus on the following aspects.
First, faithfully honor the commitment to developing countries, ensure room for their decision-making and create an enabling environment for their development. Second, increase the voice and participation of developing countries in international finance, trade, environment, energy and other fields to ensure that the benefit of globalization is shared by all, particularly developing countries. Thirdly, push forward the Doha Round to achieve the goals of the development round, actively address and adapt to climate change on the basis of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and faciliate the realization of the MDGs.
China and France are both active advocates and players for international development cooperation. We have common or similar views on promoting multilateralism and enhancing international cooperation on development. Strengthening exchanges and dialogue on major global issues in the field of international development cooperation is conducive to enhancing the level of strategic dialogue, enriching the bilateral strategic partnership, and also contributes to North-South dialogue and cooperation.
China hopes that through such consultation on development, the two sides will enhance coordination and cooperation on major development issues, jointly promote multilateralism, strengthen North-South cooperation and work for a long-term global partnership on development based on equality and mutual benefit. We are also committed to developing practical cooperation with France in the areas of policy dialogue and coordination, information and experience sharing and application of good practices on the basis of equal consultation, seeking common ground while putting aside differences, tackling easier issues first, and gradual progress.
This meeting will discuss three agenda items, namely aid and development policy, official development assistance and Millennium Development Goals. On aid and development policy, the discussion can focus on how to enhance coordination between providers and recipients of assistance, ensure ownership of development strategy and full participation by recipient countries in the formulation of development and assistance policies, and integrate these policies into national development programs of recipient countries. On financing, the meeting should urge developed countries to meet the target of 0.7% ODA for GNI to ensure funding through the main channel of financing for development. China noted the positive measures taken by France in innovative financing mechanisms and is ready to enhance cooperation with France in this respect. On the MDGs, this year and next year will be crucial for the achievement of the MDGs globally. This meeting should call on all relevant parties to honor their commitment and push for the realization of the MDGs on time. China supports convening a high-level UN conference on the MDGs next year and hopes that this will help mobilize the political wills and resources of all sides for the MDGs.
To sum up, China will work with France to turn the consultation on development into yet another important platform for carrying out strategic dialogue, deepening traditional friendship and enhancing friendly cooperation between our two countries.
I wish the meeting full success.