Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China
18 January 2021
Your Excellency Mr. Hugh Todd, Foreign Minister of Guyana,
Your Excellency Mr. Mamadi Touré, Foreign Minister of Guinea,
Your Excellency President Bozkir of the General Assembly,
Your Excellency Secretary-General Guterres,
At the beginning, I wish to pay tribute to Guyana for the great achievements in leading the Group in overcoming the impact of COVID-19 and strengthening the cooperation of our Group in 2020. I congratulate Guinea for assuming the Chairmanship for 2021. We firmly believe that under Guinea’s leadership, Group members will work more closely together to fight COVID-19 and promote economic recovery. China pledges its strong support for Guinea as the Chair.
The global crisis caused by COVID-19 has dealt a heavy blow on socioeconomic development of countries, especially developing countries. The year 2021 is crucial for our efforts to fight the pandemic and promote economic recovery. China supports the priorities laid out by Foreign Minister of Guinea, Mr. Touré. It’s time that we act together.
First, we should strengthen solidarity and coordination to keep the global anti-epidemic cooperation on the right track. To jointly defeat the pandemic is the world’s primary task. Countries should put people first, take joint actions to combat COVID-19, and build a global health community. The international community should pay more attention to the special difficulties of developing countries, and give more support and assistance to their fight against the pandemic. Vaccines should be equitably distributed as a global public good and be made affordable and accessible for developing countries so as to leave no one behind.
Second, we should uphold multilateralism and firmly defend common interests of developing countries. Multilateralism is a powerful weapon in tackling global challenges and upholding international equity and justice. We must abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and make sure that countries’ sovereignty, legitimate rights, and independent choices of development paths are respected. We should push for reform and improvement of global governance, raise the representation and voices of developing countries, and maintain our rights and interests and development space.
Third, priority should be given to development to accelerate economic recovery and growth. The pandemic has laid bare vulnerabilities of developing countries and aggravated their difficulties. We need to place more importance on development in global macro policy coordination, keep global industrial and supply chains stable and unfettered, and build an open world economy. The international community should put more resources to education, health, and infrastructure to create enabling conditions for trade and technological cooperation, help developing countries transform their economies, build capacity for development, and speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Fourth, we should strengthen cooperation and forge stronger momentum of development. North-South Cooperation should remain the main channel for international development cooperation complemented by South-South Cooperation. Developed countries should honor their ODA commitments, pay more attention to the challenges of development and concerns on climate change of LDCs, LLDCs, SIDs and African countries, and scale up support and assistance in financing and technology transfer. Meanwhile, developing countries could seek self-improvement through unity and unleash cooperation potential to achieve common development.
2020 was an extraordinary year for both the world and China. China has made huge progress in fighting and controlling COVID-19, being the first to achieve positive economic growth marked by 2.3%, which is highest among major economies. China also made tremendous progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda and lifted all its rural poor out of poverty by the current standard, reaching the SDG on poverty reduction 10 years ahead of schedule. China joined hands with other countries in fighting the pandemic and has provided medical supplies and assistance to more than 150 countries and 10 international organizations, sent 36 medical teams to 34 countries, provided over 220 billion masks, 2.25 billion protective suits, and 1.02 billion testing kits to countries across the world. China is committed in making its vaccines a global public good and has taken actions to make developing countries the first beneficiaries. China has been supporting the poorest countries in tackling debt vulnerability, and comprehensively implemented the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) with the deferral amount exceeding 1.3 billion dollars, the highest among G20 members. China is also committed to investment and financing cooperation with a view to enhancing developing countries’ blood-making capacity to achieve independent development.
In the coming year, China will stand firmly with other developing countries. We are ready to continue to promote South-South cooperation, defend our common interests, share development opportunities and to cope with global challenges together so as to achieve common prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.