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Statement by H.E. Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, at the 36th Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77



(photo: Xinhua New Agency, by Fang Zhe)

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the 36th annual ministerial meeting of the Group of 77. Over the past year, the G77 and China has worked effectively in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and advancing South-South cooperation. Here, I'd like to pay special tribute to Algeria for its important contribution as the chair of G77, and congratulate Fiji on its assumption of the Chairmanship for 2013.

Mr. Chairman,

In the current multi-polar world with deep going economic globalization, peace, development and cooperation remain the trend of the times. Development in many developing countries is picking up speed. A group of fast-growing developing countries have become important new force on the world stage. Faced by such global challenges as climate change, food and energy security and terrorism, countries have found their interests more closely linked and therefore are showing greater political will to enhance international cooperation to achieve sustainable development.

At the same time, we have also seen growing uncertainties in the international situation. The consequences of the world financial crisis linger on; international and regional hot spots keep propping up; and the unjust and irrational international political and economic order continues to affect and constrain world peace and development. International development efforts are severely under funded; ODA keeps dropping; and there is a lack of coordination among development cooperation mechanisms; the environment for development for many developing countries further deteriorates. Confronted with the urgent and difficult tasks of promoting development, eradicating poverty and improving people's livelihood, the developing countries find it very difficult to obtain the MDGs by 2015.

Against such a backdrop, it is all the more important for the Group of 77 to enhance solidarity and coordination and to advance South-South cooperation in safeguarding and advancing the rights and interests of developing countries. In this connection, I would like to propose the following:

First, we must work together to maintain world peace and security. The developing countries constitute the majority of the world in terms of both the number of countries and the size of population. Regional and global peace and stability will not be possible without peace and stability of the developing world. The international community should strictly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of countries of all regions, support countries and peoples of all regions in exploring their own paths towards development based on their specific conditions, and promote the settlement of differences through inclusive and peaceful political dialogue. All countries should steadfastly pursue multilateralism with the UN at the center, so as to promote the democratization of international relations and create an enabling international environment for peace, stability and prosperity.

Secondly, we must coordinate our efforts to create a favorable international economic environment. We should work more vigorously for the reform of the global economic governance and strengthen the role of the UN, especially the General Assembly, in the global economic governance with a view to building a fairer and more reasonable international economic order. We should continue to push for the reform of the international monetary and financial system towards greater fairness, justice, inclusiveness and order, and increase the representation and voice of the developing countries. We should promote the establishment of a balanced multilateral trade system that works for all and facilitates win-win results, and firmly oppose and resist all forms of protectionism. In this connection, we should strive for a comprehensive and balanced outcome of the Doha Round with a view to achieving the goal of the development round.

Thirdly, we must become a united and powerful force in setting the agenda of international cooperation for development. The international community must not slacken its efforts to help the developing countries achieve the MDGs. Developed countries should effectively honor their commitments in financial assistance, technological transfer and capacity-building and make concerted efforts to help developing countries, LDCs in particular, to achieve development and poverty eradication. At the same time, we must take initiative in setting the post-2015 development agenda. This agenda bears on long-term strategic planning for global development, so the work of setting such an agenda should proceed cautiously on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the current state of affairs of international cooperation for development and a summary of the experience and lessons learned. The agenda should be based on the MDGs with poverty eradication as its core objectives; the discussions should take place within the framework of the UN in an open, transparent and democratic inter-governmental consultative process led and driven by member states; global partnership for development should be strengthened and actors such as civil society and the private sector should be actively involved.

Fourthly, we must steadfastly pursue the course of sustainable development. In June, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development was successfully held in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil. Through full cooperation and coordination aimed at safeguarding the interests of the developing countries, the G77 and China worked energetically for the Conference to adopt a comprehensive, positive and balanced outcome document. The Conference reaffirmed the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and initiated a process for setting Sustainable Development Goals, thus sending out a positive, clear and strong signal for reinvigorating international cooperation and putting new impetus to global sustainable development. Going forward, we should maintain our close cooperation and actively take part in the follow-up processes so as to effectively consolidate, maintain and implement the outcome of the Conference and guide the undertaking of sustainable development in a direction favorable to the developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

China highly values the cooperation mechanism of the G77 and China. We will actively support the work of the incumbent and in-coming Chairs, deepen our traditional friendship and expand mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries and work to safeguard our common interests. We will make every effort to increase the voice of developing countries in international affairs, push for a more just and rational international order, and work tirelessly towards a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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