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Intl conference seeks out development consensus

By Zhou Jin | China Daily | Updated: 2023-07-05 09:12

The first high-level conference of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development will be held in Beijing on Monday in a bid to transform the Global Development Initiative from being a Chinese proposal to an international consensus, and from a unilateral initiative to multilateral actions.

Attended by high-ranking officials from 27 countries, diplomats stationed in China and representatives from over 20 United Nations agencies and other international and nongovernmental organizations, the forum has been ticketed as a concrete measure for boosting the GDI.

At a time when the global economy is in recession and the UN development agenda is facing setbacks, there is an urgent need for the international community to build broad consensus on development and bring the development issue back to the center of the international agenda, said Zhao Fengtao, deputy head of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

The purpose of the GDI, he said, is to align and accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Noting that upholding true multilateralism is the primary principle of the GDI, he said that countries should avoid the narrow-minded geopolitical and Cold War mentality when interpreting the GDI as it is an open and inclusive initiative.

According to Zhao, within the framework of the GDI, China has implemented a number of early harvest projects through grant assistance, concessional loans and the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund in areas like climate change and environmental protection, which have benefited more than 60 developing countries.

Tang Ying, director of the Global Development Promotion Center of the CIDCA, said the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund has been integrated and upgraded into the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, with increased funding of up to $4 billion.

"By the end of last year, under this fund, we have collaborated with over 20 international organizations to implement more than 130 projects, benefiting over 20 million people in developing countries," she said.

Xu Wei, a spokesman for the CIDCA, said that China has carried out over 50 sessions of training programs regarding poverty reduction and rural development, and has trained nearly 3,000 professionals.

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