Remarks by H.E. Xi
President of the People's Republic of China
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit
New York, 26 September 2015
It gives me great pleasure to attend today's Summit. With the United Nations marking its 70th anniversary, it is highly significant for world leaders to get together in New York to chart the course for future development.
To the people of all countries, development bears on their survival and hope and symbolizes their dignity and rights. It is with such an aspiration that we laid down the Millennium Development Goals 15 years ago in an effort to better the lives for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
In these years, we have witnessed both continued growth worldwide and severe impacts of the international financial crisis, and both the sweeping rise of developing countries and the lingering unbalanced development between the North and the South. While elated at the fact that over 1.1 billion people have since shaken off poverty, we cannot but feel deeply worried that still over 800 million people must go to bed everyday with an empty stomach.
At the global level, peace and development remain the dominating themes of the times. To properly address the global challenges of various sorts, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe, there is no fundamental solution other than through pursuit of peace and development. Faced with the multitude of challenges and difficulties, we must hold on to development as our master key, for only through development can we resolve the root cause of conflicts, safeguard the fundamental rights of the people, and meet the ardent hope of our people for a better future.
The post-2015 development agenda adopted by this Summit draws up a new blueprint for global development and provides international development cooperation with fresh opportunities. We should take it as a new starting point to work out a course of equitable, open, all-round and innovation-driven development in the interest of common development of all countries.
We need to ensure equitable development to make access to development more equal. All countries should be participants, contributors and beneficiaries of global development. Development must not be made available to just one or certain number of countries and not available to a lot more others. Countries may differ in capacity for and achievement in development, but they have common yet differentiated responsibilities with shared objectives. It is important to improve global economic governance, increase the representation and voice of developing countries and give all countries equal right to participating in international rule-making.
We need to ensure open development to deliver its benefits to all parties. With economic globalization growing steadily, all countries should keep their doors wide open in development and allow factors of production to flow more freely and smoothly across the world. It is important for all countries to uphold the multilateral trading system, build an open economy and come to share its benefits through mutual consultation and joint collaboration. We should respect each other's choice for development, draw on each other's experience therein and make our different paths cross at the point of success, thus bringing the rich fruits of development to our peoples.
We need to ensure all-round development to make the groundwork of development more solid. Development will ultimately serve the people. While striving to eliminate poverty and improve people's livelihood, it is important for us to uphold equity and social justice and ensure that everyone has access to opportunities and benefits of development. Efforts must be made to realize a coordinated development of the economy, society and environment and achieve harmonious coexistence between man and society and between man and nature.
We need to ensure innovation-driven development to fully tap the development potential. Innovation has brought with it vibrant drivers for development. Problems arising in the process of development can only be resolved through development. All countries should look to reform and innovation for ways to bring out their development potential, build stronger engines for growth and cultivate core competitive edge that they have not had before.
The post-2015 development agenda is a high-standard list of deliverables that carries with it our solemn commitment. It is often said the worth of any plan is in its implementation. I therefore call on the international community to redouble their collective efforts for the joint implementation of the post-2015 development agenda in the interest of cooperation.
First, build up the development capacities. Development, in the final analysis, is the job of individual countries. We Chinese say, "Eat according to the size of one's stomach and dress according to the size of one's figure." It is therefore necessary for them to formulate their own development strategies that fit their endowment and their national conditions. The international community has a duty to help developing countries with capacity building and provide them with support and assistance tailored to their actual needs.
Second, improve the international environment for development. Peace and development go hand in hand. Countries should work together to maintain international peace, promoting development with peace and securing peace through development. A sound external institutional environment is required to sustain development. International financial institutions therefore need to step up their governance reform, and multilateral development agencies need to increase their supply of development resources.
Third, update the partnership for development. Developed countries should honor their commitments and live up to their obligations in a timely manner. The international community, while maintaining the role of South-North cooperation as the main channel, should work to deepen South-South and tripartite cooperation, and encourage the private sector and other stakeholders to play an even larger role in the partnerships.
Fourth, strengthen the coordination mechanisms for development. Countries need to step up their macroeconomic policy coordination to avoid as much as possible negative spillover effects. Regional organizations should accelerate their integration process and build their overall competitiveness by mutually complementing intra-regional advantages. The United Nations needs to continue playing its leading role.
Over the past 30 years and more since embarking on reform and opening up, China has followed a development path with distinct Chinese characteristics, which was chosen in light of China's national conditions. By lifting 439 million people out of poverty and making remarkable progress in areas of education, health and women's welfare, China has basically realized the MDGs. China's development has not only improved the well-being of the 1.3 billion-plus Chinese people, but also given a strong boost to the global cause of development.
Over the past 60-plus years, China has taken an active part in international development cooperation. We have provided 166 countries and international organizations with nearly RMB400 billion worth of assistance and dispatched over 600,000 aid workers, over 700 of whom have laid down their precious lives in aiding the development of other countries.
Looking to the future, China will continue to take a right approach to justice and interests by putting justice before interests and join the other countries in the concerted efforts to realize the post-2015 development agenda. To this end, I wish to announce the following:
― China will establish an assistance fund for South-South cooperation, with an initial pledge of US$2 billion in support of developing countries' implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
― China will continue to increase investment in the Least Developed Countries, aiming to increase its total to US$12 billion by 2030.
― China will exempt the debt of the outstanding intergovernmental interest-free loans due by the end of 2015 owed by the relevant Least Developed Countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries.
― China will establish an international development knowledge center to facilitate studies and exchanges by countries on theories and practices of development suited to their respective national conditions.
― China will propose discussion on establishing a global energy Internet to facilitate efforts to meet the global power demand with clean and green alternatives.
― China is also ready to work with other relevant parties to move forward the implementation of the "Belt and Road" initiative, achieve an early operation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, and contribute to the economic growth and people's well-being of the developing countries.
Here, I would like to pledge China's solemn commitment to take implementation of the post-2015 development agenda as its bounden duty and work together with other countries for continued progress in global development.