LI KEQIANG, Premier of the State Council of China, noted that China had been among the first countries to submit to the United Nations its national plan for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Sustainable development was at the heart of issues ranging from poverty to the current refugee situation. However, development would not be sustainable if it was imbalanced; if it widened the gap between the global North and South; if driven by high consumption and pollution; or if economic and social progress were not well coordinated. Rather, it must be inclusive and interconnected. To be sure, world economic recovery was lukewarm and momentum for sustainable development was weak, with recurrence of major diseases and natural disasters. “Difficult moments called for stronger confidence,” he said, urging the international community to see itself in a shared future of interconnected interests and to make efforts to tackle global challenges.
Urging that the United Nations Charter be upheld, he called for States to support the Organization’s lead role in global affairs, support reformed global governance mechanisms that reflect the changed international landscape, and take part in a global partnership that featured dialogue over confrontation. Elucidating on several matters, he also said the international community should urge parties in Syria to end the fighting. In addition, he advocated denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and seeking solutions to maintain the non-proliferation regime. While economic globalization, including trade and investment, had been a driving force for growth, it had also taken a toll on certain industries and required measures to address such problems while keeping the bigger picture in mind. Globalization was in line with interests of all countries. He cautioned against protectionism and voiced support for the open trade regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO), among other things. Redoubled efforts to support Africa and the least developed countries were needed. Developed countries should make good on their official development assistance (ODA) pledges, while developing countries must pursue self-development and find paths suited to their national conditions.
On his country’s economic growth, he said it had registered 6.7 per cent in the first half of the year, with 9.5 million jobs created in the first eight months. A developing country, with a long way to go before achieving modernization, China would promote development through deepening reforms and opening its doors to the outside world, as closed door policies had only led to stagnation. China would also pursue cooperation with all countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence. Maritime territorial disputes should be resolved through compromise and negotiation. His Government, as well, would provide $300 million in humanitarian assistance to relevant countries and international organizations. With 1.3 billion people, “we need to run our own affairs well”, he said “and take our international responsibilities”. China would boost cooperation with other developing countries, and increase its assistance to others as its economy grew. It would also increase its annual contributions to United Nations agencies by $100 million over its 2015 level by 2020.