|Statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at the 30th Annual Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Group of 77|
Let me first extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government, our congratulations on the opening of the 30th Annual Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Group of 77, and to Pakistan on his election as Chairman of Group of 77 for 2007. I would also like to express my thanks to Ambassador Dumisani S. Kumalo from South Africa for the wonderful job he has done during his chairmanship.
The world today is undergoing complex and profound changes. International and regional hotspot issues have kept emerging, challenging our ability to uphold global peace and stability. On the other hand, global economy as a whole is growing steadily. The economy of developing countries, especially the Least Developed Countries and African Countries, maintains sound momentum of growth. This has created favorable conditions for them to participate in international development cooperation and deepen South-South cooperation.
However, there is no fundamental improvement in the external environment for their development. Imbalance in global development is growing. Energy prices remain high. The Doha Round of negotiations has come to a halt. The North-South gap remains wide. And there is no cause for optimism about the prospect of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The Group of 77 is an important force with considerable influence in the international arena. As the representative of the interests of developing countries, G77 has contributed significantly to promoting democracy in international relations, advancing international development cooperation and upholding solidarity and interests of developing countries. During the past year, G77 has hosted the Special Ministerial Meeting in Malaysia and the Meeting of Ministers of Science and Technology in Brazil, making new progress in South-South cooperation.
Looking ahead, we are keenly aware of the important responsibility that we shoulder. The next few years will be a crucial period for delivering international development commitments and promoting international development cooperation. In this respect, China proposes that both G77 and China focus our efforts on the following areas:
1. Strengthening coordination and ensuring common interests. We should give full play to the traditional strength of G77 and adopt common position on major international issues to enhance our role and voice and increase our influence. We need to tap potential for cooperation by complementing each other with our own strength and promote mutual benefits and common progress. We should consolidate progress made in South-South cooperation and explore new ideas and ways for enhancing cooperation. We also need to bear in mind the overall and long-term interests, properly address differences between us and achieve common development.
2. Urging the international community to deliver commitments and implement Millennium Development Goals. We should urge the international community to earnestly implement the decisions of the UN 60th Anniversary Summit and other global conferences on development. Developed countries should honor their commitments to meet the mandatory criterion that their ODA should take up 0.7% of their national income by further increasing assistance, reducing and canceling debts and opening market while respecting developing countries' primary role in promoting their own development. The just-concluded High Level Meeting of Least Developed Countries has made good progress. The task now is to build on such progress.
3. Maintaining the momentum of UN reform in the area of development. Reform in the area of development exerts an important impact on both the future of the United Nations and international development cooperation. We must adhere to the common position adopted at the Malaysia Meeting of G77 and urge the United Nations to play a greater role in the area of development, particularly in protecting development resources and strengthening development institutions. It should foster an international environment conducive to developing countries in which economic globalization will develop in a balanced way and bring benefits to all.
4. Pursuing a pragmatic and flexible approach to promote the multilateral trade system. The negative impact of the indefinite suspension of the Doha Round on global trade should not be underestimated. It does not serve the interests of any party, certainly not the interests of developing countries. We must work for an early resumption of the Doha Round. We should urge the developed countries to live up to their responsibility and show flexibility, substantially cut agricultural subsidies, reduce tariffs on agricultural products, and eliminate peak tariff on industrial products and tariff escalation. The Doha Round, if resumed, should focus on the theme of development. The concerns of developing countries should be fully addressed, so that they can become full members of the multilateral trade system and gain real benefit from it.
To strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries is the cornerstone of China's foreign policy. China is an ardent supporter and participant of South-South cooperation, and a trustworthy partner of G77. At the UN 60th Anniversary Summit last year, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced five major steps to assist other developing countries in speeding up their development. These steps are being implemented. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit and the Third Ministerial Conference will be held in Beijing in November. We will propose new measures to support Africa's development, including debt relief, tariff exemption, increase in assistance and greater medical and human resources cooperation, with the goal of forging a new type of strategic partnership with Africa. China will work with other developing countries to expand avenues of cooperation, create new models of cooperation within the framework of South-South cooperation and explore a path of sustainable development. As China's economy continues to grow, China will, guided by the principles of "sincerity, friendship, equality, mutual benefit, solidarity, cooperation and common development", do more to help other developing countries to speed up development.
China will firmly pursue peaceful development. It will both promote domestic development and open itself to the outside world and promote both China's development and global development. And it is committed to upholding both the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of people of the world, especially the people of developing countries. We will continue to strengthen coordination and collaboration with G77 and endeavor to build a world of harmony, lasting peace and common prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.