REFUGEE RELIEF PLEDGED
Premier Li Keqiang tells UN that China will contribute $100 million
“China will continue to make unrelenting efforts to promote sustainable development and will actively participate in the cooperation with the international community in this area,” Premier Li Keqiang told the Roundtable on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Global Process and China’s Practice, at the United Nations on Monday.
Li told the participants the world’s second-largest economy has substantially increased its support to the United Nations’ work in attaining sustainable development goals, by pledging an additional $100 million in donations, and redoubled efforts to achieve balanced growth.
Beijing’s annual total donation to UN development agencies in 2020 will be $100 million more compared to the amount in 2015, Li announced at the UN headquarters on Monday.
Li also said the country’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will amount to $18 million in the next three years.
The amount of money donated to the UN agencies on development for last year was not immediately available. The total figure given to various international development agencies and the Global Fund for the three years between 2010 and 2012 was 1.76 billion yuan ($267 million), according to an official release.
The premier said sustainable development is a common cause for the world, and he called for the international community to tackle the issue of unbalanced development, promote inclusive economic growth and jointly address global challenges such as public health and climate change.
The event, hosted by the Chinese permanent UN mission, was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson and heads of various UN agencies.
Li said China has approved a roadmap for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint the UN adopted last September for ending poverty and hunger, promoting equality and protecting the environment for the years leading up to 2030.
Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme, said the UNDP looked forward to continuing to work with China to support the fast progress which China wants to make on its sustainable development goals, or SDGs.
Already, China is showing its determination to lead on implementation by being among those countries which took part in the first national voluntary reviews at this year’s high level political forum for sustainable development, Clark said.
Nicholas Rosellini, deputy regional director for Asia and the Pacific, said, “We’ve seen the very impressive commitment by China to various funds not only for development but also for humanitarian and peace-keeping and very importantly for environmental sustainability.
“It’s very important that the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries of the north, the wealthy countries of the north, continue to invest and also equally important the countries of the south help each other, and China is very much leading the aggregating for that,” Rosellini said.
Haibing Ma, senior research associate and China program manager at the Worldwatch Institute, said he believed China had improved significantly on its first five SDGs, namely no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality.
Premier Li Keqiang speaks during a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants, at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.
Premier Li Keqiang is greeted before acting as chair of the China-initiated Roundtable on Sustainable Development Goals.
UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon (right) shakes hands with Premier Li Keqiang at the secretary’s residence in New York on Monday.