|Statement by President Hu Jintao of China at the High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development at the United Nations Summit|
Statement by President Hu Jintao of China at the High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development at the United Nations Summit
New York, September 14, 2005
It is of particular importance to have this High-level Meeting on Financing for Development on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, where the strategy for international development is deliberated, plans of future cooperation drawn up, and the cause of global development promoted with renewed vigor.
We live in a world of deepening economic globalization, where interests of countries intertwine and their destinies are increasingly interdependent. To promote universal development for common prosperity serves the fundamental interests of the people of all countries. The most immediate and pressing task we face now is to strengthen international cooperation on development, narrow the North-South gap and ensure the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Since the 1990s, the international community has reached much important consensus on issues concerning international cooperation for development. The 2000 UN Millennium Summit adopted the UN Millennium Declaration and laid down the MDGs, thus providing a roadmap and timetable for international cooperation on development. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the UN and its members, some progress has been made since then in realizing the MDGs.
However, we must recognize that the question of development is far from being resolved, and the international cooperation on development remains a long and uphill journey. At this point, there are still one billion people on this planet living in abject poverty. Rising trade barriers, heavy debt burdens and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other deadly communicable diseases have gravely hindered the development of the vast number of developing countries. Traditional as well as non-traditional security issues, such as terrorism, regional conflicts and energy security, are posing a severe challenge to common development around the world.
In order to implement the MDGs, step up international cooperation on development, promote universal development and achieve common prosperity, I would like to put forward some proposals as follows:
-Further deepen reforms to make the global economic system and rules more equitable and rational, so that they will fully reflect, in particular, the concerns of developing countries and help steer economic globalization in a direction of balanced development with universally beneficial and win-win results. To this end, it is necessary to improve the international financial system, create a favorable financial environment for developing countries and give them a greater say within international financial institutions. The multilateral trading system needs to be maintained and improved, with a view to cultivating a sound trading environment for developing countries. All parties should show sincerity and flexibility, effectively address the concerns of various members, and make vigorous efforts for a successful conclusion in 2006 of the Doha Round with comprehensive and balanced results.
-Respect the diversity in the mode of development and promote the sharing of development experience. The key to successful development lies in a country's independent choice of the path and mode of development suited to its national conditions. In recent years, some developing countries have achieved rapid growth by giving full play to their own advantages and effectively seizing the opportunities provided by economic globalization and technological revolution. We should step up the sharing of the useful experience in these areas with a view to enhancing our respective capacities for development.
-Build a fair, rational and effective MDG evaluation framework to conduct timely reviews of the progress made by different countries in this regard and monitor and promote the delivery of promised international cooperation and development assistance. Developing countries should strengthen their competitiveness through hard work and cooperation amongst themselves. Developed countries should do still more to boost global economic growth and take concrete measures on such critical issues as poverty eradication, financial assistance and debt forgiveness to help with faster growth of developing countries, African countries and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in particular. The international community should give top priority to poverty eradication in its overall effort to boost international cooperation on development. It should substantially increase development funding, work to meet the 0.7% target of GNP as Official Development Assistance (ODA) by developed countries, and explore new ways of financing for development. With the combined debts owed by developing countries hovering at US$2.2 trillion, and a heavy debt burden persistently plaguing developing countries, the LDCs in particular, the international community, especially developed countries, should take practical measures to substantially reduce debt, simplify procedures and cut back on conditions so as to free developing countries from the vicious debt cycle and achieve economic growth.
-Strengthen the role of the UN in promoting international cooperation on development. The United Nations should make development a principal task, improve institutional set-up to enhance its functions and give full play to its advantages in guiding consensus-building, rule-making and participation stimulating. It should step up cooperation and coordination with the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF and other international and regional organizations, form a synergy by pooling the resources and provide needed assistance and support to the creation of a sound international environment for the development of all countries, developing countries in particular.
China is the world's largest developing country. The 1.3 billion people of China are pressing ahead along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics and working hard to raise the level of development and their own living standards. We will guide our overall economic and social development with a people-oriented and scientific approach of comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. We will continue to concentrate on economic development and make higher living standards of the people the fundamental objective of development. We will pursue a development path featuring greater productivity, prosperous life and a sound eco-system and build a resources-efficient and environment-friendly society. China will adhere to the basic policy of opening up to the outside world, build a more open market system, and participate in international economic and technological cooperation and competition on a larger scale, in wider areas and at higher levels. China will engage in equal-footed cooperation with the rest of the world to promote a situation where countries can share their successes all as winners. In keeping with its WTO commitments, China will continue to lower tariffs and open still more areas to the outside. With steady economic growth, China will make further important contribution to world economic growth.
As things stand now, China is a medium- and low-income developing country, facing a multitude of difficulties and challenges on the road to development. Nevertheless, we will do our utmost to support and assist other developing countries in speeding up their development. China has extended preferential tariff treatment to over 30 LDCs while reducing or canceling the debts owed by some countries. At China's initiative, such cooperation mechanisms as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the China-Arab Cooperation Forum were established. China has also made donations to the China Regional Cooperation and Poverty Reduction Fund within the Asian Development Bank. Last May, the China International Poverty Reduction Center, an organization devoted to poverty eradication across the world, was formally launched in Beijing. In order to increase assistance to other developing countries, the following new measures will be taken:
1. China has decided to accord zero tariff treatment to certain products from all the 39 LDCs having diplomatic relations with China, covering most of the China-bound exports from these countries.
2. China will further expand its aid programs to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) and LDCs and, working through bilateral channels, write off or forgive in other ways, within the next two years, all the overdue parts as of the end of 2004 of the interest-free and low-interest governmental loans owed by HIPCs having diplomatic relations with China.
3. Within the next three years, China will provide US$10 billion in concessional loans and preferential export buyer's credit to developing countries to improve their infrastructure and promote cooperation between enterprises on both sides.
4. China will, in the next three years, increase its assistance to developing countries, African countries in particular, by providing them with anti-malaria drugs and other medicines, helping them set up and improve medical facilities and training medical staff. Specific programs will be implemented through such mechanism as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as well as bilateral channels.
5. China will help train 30,000 personnel of various professions for developing countries within the next three years so as to help relevant countries to speed up their human resources development.
China's development is closely bound up with the development of the whole world. We are ready to work with all other countries to make the 21st century truly "the century of development for all".