|Address by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at the 27th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77|
On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to offer my congratulations on the 27th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77. My congratulations also go to Qatar for being elected as Chairman of 2004 of the Group of 77 and to Timor-Leste for becoming a new member of the Group.
The Group of 77 is a resounding name. It is a banner rallying developing countries for greater solidarity and the establishment of a just and reasonable new international economic order. I am much honored to be present at the meeting. Under your leadership, Mr. Chairman, I am sure the meeting will be a success.
At present, the international situation is volatile. Economic globalization continues to develop and science and technology advance rapidly. What merits attention is that globalization has also augmented the risks for world economic operation and widened the gap between the North and the South. As a result, many developing countries face the danger of being marginalized, and multilateralism encounters new challenges. Developing countries, the Group of 77 in particular, need more than ever to strengthen their solidarity and coordination in a joint effort to change the unfavorable external factors, remove obstacles in the course of development and promote the establishment of a just and reasonable new international political and economic order, so as to better safeguard the rights of developing countries to common development and equal participation in international economic decision-making.
Multilateral organizations as represented by the United Nations reflect the common interests of the human society and embody developing countries' aspirations for safeguarding state sovereignty and narrowing the development gap. These organizations are also arena where the Group of 77 grows in strength and exerts its influence. All the member states should maintain multilateralism, observe international law and practice democracy in international relations. Support should be given to the UN in playing a leading role in safeguarding peace and promoting development.
On major international issues, developing countries should do more to coordinate their positions, support each other and seek common ground on major issues while shelving differences on minor ones. Special attention should be given to their participation in the formulation of international economic rules and vigorous protection of their legitimate rights and interests. We need to state our positions and, more importantly, to put them into rules.
The Chinese Government especially appreciates the spirit of unity shown by the Group of 77 plus China at the WTO Cancun meeting. We will continue to work with the vast number of developing countries to push the Doha Round of trade talks to fulfill the development goals. We will also continue to support the proposals and new experiments made by some developing countries for closer cooperation.
South-South cooperation is an important means for developing countries to enhance their aggregate strength and improve their international standing. Developing countries are different in terms of natural resources, economic structure and development level. Such diversities promise broad prospects for us to learn from and complement each other. We will do our best to create new channels and methods to substantiate cooperation, give full play to our respective advantages, tap our potentials and help each other forward.
China is a member of the developing countries. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the role of the Group of 77. Over the years, the two sides have maintained good cooperation, supporting and helping each other in the form of "Group of 77 plus China" in the UN and other international organizations and have effectively safeguarded the common interests of developing countries. I wish to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the valuable support China has received from the Group of 77 in many areas.
I am glad to learn that the Group of 77 will hold a high-level meeting on South-South cooperation in Morocco at the end of this year to discuss important matters of development and cooperation. The Chinese Government will send a high-level delegation to it. China is ready to work with the Group of 77 in making preparations for the meeting.
Finally, I have the pleasure to announce that the Chinese Government will increase its donations to the Group of 77 in the year 2004.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.