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Xi Jinping Urges BRICS-Plus Summit Let’s Place Development ‘Front and Center on the International Agenda’

June 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—Chairing the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development today, the second day of the 14th BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed an audience 18 heads of state and government, which included the leaders of 14 invited nations in addition to the 4 other BRICS member nations: Algeria, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand, and Uzbekistan. Xi was emphatic that the issue of development must be placed “front and center on the international agenda,” and that “only through continuous development can the people’s dream for a better life and social stability be realized.”

It is crucial, he said, to jointly build an international consensus to promote development, to create an international environment conducive to it and “forge a global development partnership” to “accomplish big and great things with a far-reaching impact.” Here, he said, developed countries have a responsibility to fulfill their obligations and developing countries to deepen their cooperation. The North and the South should work in the same direction “to forge a united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership.” And, he declared, in this process, “no country or individual should be left behind.”

The theme running through Xi’s speech, and the BRICS Summit, was the need to implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which, he said, has faced challenges due to disruptions from the Covid pandemic, leading to a greater gap between North and South, and crises in food and energy security. He pointed out that “this is an age rife with challenges but also one full of hope.” Some countries, he pointed out, are politicizing and marginalizing development, building “small yards with big fences,” imposing harsh sanctions and deliberately creating divisions and confrontation. Maximum sanctions, he warned, “serve nobody’s interests, and practices of decoupling and supply disruption are neither feasible, nor sustainable.” Rather, “we need to jointly foster new drivers for global development.”

These should include scientific, technological and institutional innovation, accelerated technology transfer and knowledge sharing, and encouraging the development of modern industries. The key, the Chinese leader underscored, is to ensure that everyone values development, and that all countries pursue cooperation together. He pointed to the fact that around the world, people are expressing their desire for peace, development and cooperation; emerging markets and developing nations are resolving to stay united and work together. Thus, it is important to create an international environment that enables development, promotes it in concert, builds an open world economy, and shapes a more just and equitable global governance system and institutional environment.

Looking to the future, Xi announced several new initiatives, including hosting a global forum on youth development and taking part in the launch of a global action plan on youth development. China will also upgrade its South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, adding $1 billion to the Fund in addition to the $3 billion already committed. Moreover, Xi said that China is committed to working with all sides to advance cooperation in such priority areas as deepening global cooperation for poverty reduction and eradication, and building capacity for food production and supply. China will set up a platform for experience and knowledge sharing on international development, as well as a global development promotion center, and a global knowledge network for development.

Under the theme “Foster a Global Development Partnership for the New  Era to Jointly Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,”  the 18 leaders discussed global development issues of common interest and  reached extensive consensus. Based on their discussion, as Chair of the Dialogue, China will implement the Global Development Initiative and make joint efforts with attending countries and the broader international community for common development around the world.

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