|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the 33rd Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77|
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Liu Zhenmin
Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations
At the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77
New York, 25 September 2009
At the outset, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government, our congratulations on the convening of the 33rd Foreign Ministers Annual Meeting of the Group of 77. I thank Sudan for its remarkable work during its chairmanship of the Group of 77 this year. I would also like to congratulate Yemen on assuming the chairmanship for the year 2010.
The world is still in the grip of the financial crisis. Issues such as climate change, energy shortage and food crisis have mingled to affect the world and the gap between the North and the South is widening. Most developing countries are faced with predicaments such as economic downturn; greater difficulty in gaining foreign investment, and deteriorating development environment. It is estimated by a relevant international organization that developing countries will see an increase of 55 to 90 million people in abject poverty this year, and that people suffering from chronic hunger will soar from 850 million to 1 billion, which account for more than 18% of the total population of developing countries. The developing world is confronted with an unprecedented development crisis.
In the face of a host of severe challenges, the United Nations has played an important role. It convened the High-level Event on Millennium Development Goals, the High-level Meeting on African Development, the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, the Conference on Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, and the just-concluded UN Summit on Climate Change. These meetings discussed how the international community could address the challenges and overcome the difficulties together through unity and cooperation. In this process, the Group of 77 has played an effective role and defended the interests of developing countries. Under the complicated and difficult situation now, the Group of 77 and China are faced with greater challenges. In this connection, I would like to put forward the following proposals on the work that the Group of 77 and China can do in the days to come:
First, strengthen coordination to safeguard the common interests of developing countries．Unity and mutual understanding is our fine tradition and virtue. It is proved that, so long as we bear in mind our long-term and overall interests, and properly address our disputes, we will be able to speak in one voice, increase our influence and defend our common interests in major development and environmental issues such as the world economy, trade, finance, environment, and configuration of the development system. Under the current extremely difficult and challenging circumstances, it is all the more important for us to continue our efforts to strengthen coordination and communication, respect each other, seek common ground while shelving differences, and join hands in weathering the crisis．
Second, make focused efforts and give top priority to resolving issues of overall importance that are of concern to developing countries. Developing countries are not to blame for the current development crisis, but they are the biggest victims of the crisis. Our greatest concern now is to promote development, defuse the crisis, achieve the MDGs, and embark on the track of sustainable development. We should keep up our efforts, sustain the good momentum that the United Nations has gathered in addressing the financial crisis, climate change and promotion of sustainable development, and take an active part in and steer the negotiations and dialogue on issues such as the financial crisis, climate change, WTO Doha Round, and the UN reform in the field of development. We must firmly defend the right to development and the growing space of developing countries．
Third, strengthen dialogue with other partners and work together to overcome the difficulties we are facing. No country is immune from the multiple implications and serious challenges brought about by the current financial crisis, food crisis, climate change and other problems. Sincere cooperation, closer contacts and mutual support are the only way to overcome the difficulties. We should build on and give play to the role of the global development partnership, promote North-South dialogue and cooperation, urge developed countries to fulfill their commitments and obligations by increasing the ODA, reducing or exempting debts, opening market and promoting technology transfer. We should make the best use of the positive momentum gathered through the High-level Event on the MDGs, the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, and the UN Conference on Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development. We should continue to mobilize the political will and various resources, and promote the implementation of the international consensus and commitments on development cooperation.
Fourth, deepen South-South cooperation. South-South cooperation embodies the spirit of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit and mutual assistance. It is an important means for developing countries to achieve common development. We should continue our efforts to draw on our respective advantages and strengths, and explore ways to deepen South-South cooperation, including strengthening the coordination and cooperation with the Non-Aligned Movement. We should continuously improve the level and depth of South-South cooperation.
Consolidating and strengthening unity and cooperation with other developing countries is always the basic starting point of China's diplomacy, and an important component of China's all-dimensioned cooperation with other countries. In recent years, China has increased input in and enriched the forms of its cooperation with other developing countries. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have successively put forward important measures for strengthening cooperation and achieving common development with developing countries. China is still under the serious impact of the financial crisis now, but the Chinese leaders have made unequivocal commitments to assisting other developing countries. China will follow through on the measures to help African countries announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, continue to make efforts within its capacity to increase assistance to Africa; reduce or cancel debts for African countries, expand trade and investment, and enhance pragmatic cooperation with Africa. We will also continue to provide assistance as we can to other developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation, including grant, debt relief, and trade-oriented assistance.
As a developing country with a large population, China is faced with the task of speeding up its own development. China will consistently pursue the opening strategy of mutual benefit and win-win progress. We will strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Group of 77, and join hands with other developing countries in contributing to the development of a world of greater harmony and prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.