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Remarks by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu At High-level Side Event Addressing Unbalanced and Inadequate Development to Achieve the SDGs


Under Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin,

Administrator Steiner,


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives us great pleasure to co-host this event with UNDP and DESA during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. To discuss how we can best address unbalanced and inadequate development is highly important for implementing the 2030 Agenda and fostering a global community with a shared future. As H.E. President Xi Jinping highlighted at the 19th Party Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. China pursues innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development to address imbalances and inadequacies of development. We focus on improving development’s quality and effect, pursuing innovation, and preserving the ecological environment. We work hard to raise living standards, alleviate poverty, and narrow income gaps and disparity among regions. We strive to address issues of employment, education, health, housing and old-age care to meet our people’s growing needs in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological fields. With this, we will be able to promote well-rounded human development and social progress in all areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Unbalanced and inadequate development is a common challenge facing countries across the world. To achieve shared prosperity, countries need to work together to pursue fair, open, comprehensive and innovative development.

We must promote fair development to ensure equal opportunities. All countries should be part of global development. We must improve global economic governance and increase representation and voice of developing countries to allow equal participation in rules-making.

We must pursue open development to benefit everyone. Countries should open up to enable factors of production to move more freely worldwide. The multilateral trading system must be upheld to build an open world economy where everyone contributes to and benefits from development.

Now, unilateralism and protectionism is posing a threat to global growth. It has caused widespread concern and met with rejection worldwide. China stands against unilateralism and trade and investment protectionism. We believe that trade disputes and frictions should be resolved in a reasonable manner. We will work with all parties to uphold free trade and the multilateral trading system to maintain the common interests of all countries.

Development must be comprehensive to have a more solid basis. While making effort to reduce poverty and improve lives, we must uphold social fairness and justice to make sure no one is left behind. We should also strike a balance between economic, social and environmental progress.

Development must be driven by innovation to achieve its full potential. Issues arising in development can only be resolved through development. Reform and innovation is crucial for countries to unleash their potential, drive growth and foster new core competitiveness.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to reform and opening up since 1978, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. Over the past four decades, China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth of around 9.5% in comparable prices, and its foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5% in US dollar. According to current UN standards, more than 700 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global total over the same period.

China is committed to contributing our part to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The Belt and Road Initiative is an effort that provides a China solution. In 2015, H.E. President Xi Jinping announced at the UN the establishment of China-UN Peace and Development Fund. Over the past three years, its Sub-Fund has been used to implement 24 projects proposed by UN agencies which involve 49 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America. These projects have been helpful for the countries and their people in advancing sustainable development.

Going forward, China will continue to work with the rest of the world for development. With stronger partnerships, we can create a better environment for balanced and adequate development. Together, we will make the goals of the 2030 Agenda and a community with a shared future for mankind a reality.

Thank you.

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