The 2022 ECOSOC High-level Segment was held from 13 to 18 July 2022 on the theme “Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Before the meeting, United Nations Association of China submitted a written statement entitled “Promoting Global Development Initiative (GDI) to Accelerate the Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, analyzing challenges and opportunities faced by the international community in implementing the 2030 Agenda, the role of the GDI in promoting the 2030 Agenda, and putting forward recommendations to realize all 17 SDGs through the GDI as scheduled.
Recently, the ECOSOC has published the written statement on its official website. The full text is as follows:
Promoting Global Development Initiative to Accelerate the Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
At present, the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development faces great challenges. At the 76th UN General Assembly, China put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI), aiming to accelerate the implementation of SDGs. 2022 ECOSOC High-level Segment will be held in July to urge countries to further implement it. Recently, the United Nations Association of China held a meeting and discussed with former foreign leaders, officials of the UN and other international organizations, as well as international experts and scholars on the challenges facing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the opportunities brought by the GDI for global common development and the achievement of SDGs. We hereby share the outcome of the meeting and hope that our views will be taken into account when the subject is discussed at the 2022 ECOSOC High-level Segment.
I. Challenges and Opportunities for 2030 Agenda
COVID-19 has wiped off the achievement in global poverty reduction of the past years. International efforts to implement 2030 Agenda have been greatly undermined.
· Impacted by COVID-19, the global extreme poverty rate rose for the first time in more than 20 years. 119 million to 124 million people in the world has been returning to extreme poverty. If the current trend remains unchanged, the global poverty rate is expected to be 7% in 2030, which will not meet the goal of poverty eradication in 2030. The economic recession and slowdown caused by COVID-19 did not alleviate the climate crisis, the biodiversity loss and the ecological environment continued to deteriorate.
· COVID-19 has also exacerbated the existing inequalities among and within some countries. Digital divide is growing, and the the North-South development divide continues to deepen. There have also been setbacks in basic medical service and gender equality, a surge in domestic violence faced by women and girls. Fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world would be a long and arduous task, and developing countries are confronted with mounting challenges as they seek recovery from the pandemic.
· The current crisis in Ukraine has added uncertainty to global development, making it more difficult to implement the 2030 Agenda.
· Meanwhile, international development cooperation also face rare opportunities. The tide of the new industrial revolution is gaining momentum. New business forms and models generated from digital economy and green development provide new opportunities for developing countries’ leapfrog development.
II. The Role of Global Development Initiatives in Promoting the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda
At a time when global development has suffered severe setbacks, China raised the GDI, and called for the international community to pool efforts to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and build a global community for development.
· The GDI conforms to the trend of historical development. It adheres to development priority, focuses on new challenges and opportunities facing global development, pays attention to the special needs of developing countries, and deepens practical cooperation in such eight areas as poverty reduction, food security, anti-pandemic and vaccine, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity. The eight key areas fully covers all 17 goals in 2030 Agenda. Through specific cooperation programs in those areas, the GDI will promote the realization of the SDGs as scheduled.
· The GDI practices true multilateralism. The GDI closely follows the UN agenda and supports the UN in playing a leading role in global governance, which has received strong supports from the UN and its member states. The GDI upholds the principle of achieving shared benefits through consultation and collaboration, practices true multilateralism, formulates a road map to narrow the North-South gap and overcome development imbalance, and promotes global development to a new stage of balance, coordination and inclusiveness, which will bring tangible benefits to all countries. The GDI emphasizes the thoughts of people-centered development and leaving no one behind, greatly promoting the people’s rights to life and development. The GDI is a new contribution to peace, development and human rights.
· The GDI contains new development concepts. It accurately grasped the current situation and problems in world economy, and guided development practice with advanced concepts. It insists on inclusiveness and benefit for all, solving the problem of unbalanced and insufficient development among and within countries. It stresses development driven by innovation, seizing the historical opportunities brought about by the new round of scientific and technological revolution, and helping developing countries achieve leapfrog development. It takes the harmonious coexistence between man and nature as the development direction, accelerating green development, low-carbon transformation. The new development concepts are good remedies for world economic recovery and global common development.
· The GDI has received enormous positive response from the international community. Since its inception, more than 100 countries and international organizations such as the UN have expressed their strong support, indicating the core concept of the GDI has broad international consensus. The GDI demonstrates China’s responsibility, and is in line with the common vision of the international community to achieve the SDGs. The international community should work together to promote the implementation of the GDI, so that no country and individual should be left behind, and no appeal should be ignored.
III. Recommendations to Timely Realize all 17 SDGs through the GDI
The GDI is a public good for the world, and a further boost to the global partnership for development. The international community should promote synergy between the GDI and global relevant parties.
· The UN is the main channel for the international development cooperation and plays an important role in promoting the global implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The GDI brings new important opportunities for the UN and its development agencies to call on all parties to focus on the development agenda, invest more resources, and respond to the development of developing countries. They should actively advocate the GDI in UN platform, incorporate it into the UN development agenda, and propose specific cooperation programs in accordance with their respective mandates and strategic plans, so as to give stronger support for the 2030 Agenda.
· Regional and sub-regional organizations are important parts of the international development cooperation and can also make positive contributions to the implementation of the GDI. Regional and sub-regional initiatives and processes such as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the African Union Agenda 2063, the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, the SAMOA pathway for small islands developing countries, the Vienna Program of Action for landlocked developing countries and the Doha Program of Action for the least developed countries, can strengthen the alignment of their development strategies on the GDI, so that the GDI cooperation can be more in line with the development priorities of the region or sub-region, and better respond to the people’s aspiration for a better life across the region or sub-region.
· The GDI fully recognizes that different countries face different challenges, needs and concerns at different stages of development, and each country has the best knowledge of its most pressing development demands. So countries could participate in the GDI in a gradual and flexible way, either in part or across all eight key areas, based on their practical needs or comparative advantages. Countries should strengthen coordination and communication, and build mutual trust, so that developed and developing countries could better carry out transnational cooperation, and pool financial resources to achieve common development by exploring new financing methods and channels, green technology, and artificial intelligence. Adaptive development could be taken into account to reduce climate change risks and promote 2030 Agenda.
· More attention should be paid to the important role played by the private sector, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and universities and colleges. All parties are welcomed to carry out dialogue in an open, inclusive, flexible and gradual manner, and make suggestions from different perspectives on enriching and deepening the GDI and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The media is encouraged to give more coverage to development issues. Through the concerted efforts of all parties, the GDI will bring together great forces at the global, regional and national levels for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the building of a global community for development.
· Peace is the prerequisite and condition for development. All countries should engage in healthy competition for a better future, rather than pursuing hegemony. All countries should firmly safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, settle disputes by?peaceful means through dialogue and negotiation, and create better conditions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.