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Address by Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong At the Launch Ceremony of the Report on China's Implementation Of the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015)

2015/07/24

Beijing, 24 July 2015

Ms. Amina Mohamed,
Mr. Alain Noudéhou,
Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first of all welcome you to the launch ceremony of the Report on China's Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). Just now, in their video messages, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Ms. Helen Clark shared their views on international development cooperation and China's development path. This fully demonstrates the importance China and the UN have placed on the launch of the report. I wish to express my appreciation to Foreign Minister Wang and Ms. Clark.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, China presents its scorecard on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). I am sure this report will give you a clear picture of China's achievements and the extraordinary path it has travelled. From 2000 to 2014, China climbed up the global economic ranking from the sixth to the second place. Its per capita GDP increased from US$955 to US$7,595. And the impoverished population dropped from 689 million in 1990 to 250 million in 2011, a reduction of 439 million. This has been no easy job for China, a developing country with a huge population and a wide urban-rural gap. At the same time, we have done our best to offer selfless assistance to other developing countries in their pursuit of the MDGs. Fully recognizing China's efforts and achievements in realizing the MDGs, many people have said that China, with its firm actions and important contributions, has significantly driven forward the global MDG process.

China is still a developing country working toward the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and achieving sustainable development. Ahead of us is a long journey beset with many difficulties. To achieve this goal, the Chinese government is making relentless efforts to deepen reform on all fronts, advance the rule of law and finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. At the same time, China stands ready to fulfill its due international obligations and continue to help other developing countries to the best of its ability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Rather, we need to plan our actions going forward. In September, world leaders will gather in New York to endorse the post-2015 development agenda. Last week, the third International Conference on Financing for Development adopted the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, laying a solid foundation for the means of implementing the post-2015 development agenda. As the UN summit on the adoption of post-2015 development agenda is less than 60 days away, what kind of development agenda do we want? This is a question we must answer.

Last year, the Chinese foreign ministry and the UN System in China co-hosted an international workshop on this topic. At that meeting, I used four words that start with the letter "C", namely consistency, comprehensiveness, capacity and cooperation, to present China's views on the inter-governmental process for the post-2015 development agenda.

Now, the inter-governmental negotiations on the agenda are at a crucial stage. Not long ago, the Chinese government released China's Position Paper on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. I also published an article on People's Daily to explain our position. Today, I would like to share my views on the agenda, using three words starting with the letter "P" this time.

First, "priorities". The post-2015 development agenda should continue to focus on poverty, safe drinking water, sanitation, education and other issues that bear on the subsistence of developing countries, and help these countries overcome the difficulties caused by the international financial crisis. On such basis, countries also need to step up their efforts in protecting the environment, tackling climate change and promoting social equity and justice in a bid to achieve sustainable development with a higher quality.

Second, "principles". As the responsibility of development should be commensurate with a country's capacity and stage of development, the development agenda should follow the principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and diversity of development models. The follow-up implementation must take full account of the different national conditions of countries, leaving enough room for their policy-makers. No uniform standards should be imposed.

Third, "partnerships". The development agenda should be aimed at establishing development partnerships with win-win cooperation at the core. While sticking to North-South cooperation as the main avenue, we need to bolster South-South cooperation, encourage innovative financing and allow the private sector to play a bigger role. The international community should also create an enabling trade, investment and financial environment for developing countries to benefit from global value chains.

During the UN development summit this September, China will co-host a round table on South-South cooperation with the UN. Leaders of relevant countries and international organizations will be invited to discuss South-South cooperation strategies and ways to push forward North-South cooperation with a view to assisting developing countries' implementation of the agenda.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Report on China's Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) was jointly prepared by the Chinese foreign ministry and the UN System in China. Our cooperation for the past six times have borne witness to China's development and the partnership between China and the UN System in China. Let me share with you the following thoughts for our future cooperation.

First, our cooperation should factor in China's status as a developing country. The UN System in China knows better than any country that China remains a developing country, which means domestic development is still the top priority for the Chinese government. Hence, we need your continued support in poverty reduction, education, health and other endeavors, as well as in helping us promote balanced development of the economy, society and the environment.

Second, our cooperation should adapt to the new normal of the Chinese economy. We encourage the UN System in China to be more involved in the course of China's comprehensive reform, provide intellectual support to the restructuring, transformation and upgrading of the Chinese economy, and explore more areas and approaches and create new highlights for our cooperation.

Third, our cooperation should focus on facilitating the development of other developing countries. China stands ready to explore triangular cooperation with the UN to help other developing countries expedite economic growth, improve people's lives and address development concerns. The Chinese government is now working with relevant parties to advance the "Belt and Road" initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, which, with the adoption of relevant measures, will present more development opportunities for developing countries. The UN System in China is more than welcome to join this endeavor.

The conference to be followed will be an important platform for the Chinese and foreign experts to share experience in the implementation of the MDGs and envisage the prospect of the post-2015 development agenda. I do look forward to benefiting from your insights and wisdom.

In closing, I wish the conference a great success!

Thank you.

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