Chinese representative urges global support for small island developing states’ sustainable development


hina called for pooling strengths for the development and common prosperity of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at a United Nations (UN) conference on Tuesday.

Representative of the Chinese government and Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu made the remarks at the fourth International Conference on SIDS, held in Antigua and Barbuda.

In his speech, Ma noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative to urge the international community to refocus on development, renew commitment to the 2030 Agenda, and strongly boost the sustainable development of all countries, including SIDS.

Ma said the common development of the globe is only possible with the development of SIDS, adding that the international community should focus on the following four key areas.

The first is to stay committed to multilateralism and support SIDS in participating in global governance on an equal footing.

The second is to prioritize development and support SIDS in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

The third is to support SIDS in tackling climate change through solidarity and cooperation.

The fourth is to encourage innovation and support SIDS in enhancing their capacity for independent development.

As a member of the Global South, China has always stood with developing countries, including SIDS, through thick and thin, said Ma. China will fully support SIDS in charting the course toward more resilient and lasting prosperity and building a community with a shared future for humankind, Ma said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the inauguration ceremony that the international community has a duty to support vulnerable states — led by the countries with the greatest responsibility and capacity to deal with the challenges they face.

UN is committed to supporting islands in their quest for a more resilient and sustainable future, said Li Junhua, the secretary-general of the Conference and UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs.

Themed “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity,” the conference was attended by over 20 world leaders and representatives from the private sector, civil society, academia and youth. Nearly 4,000 participants gathered at the verdant conference to tackle critical issues impacting the future of SIDS. 

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