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UN Pledges Support for China-Africa Cooperation

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said Monday that the international body will support China and Africa for their renewed commitment to South-South cooperation.  

"The United Nations will support your renewed commitment to South-South cooperation, and will spare no effort to back any initiative that may contribute decisively to the reduction of poverty," Annan said in a message to the ongoing Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, which opened Monday morning in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.


Annan's message was read on his behalf by UN Under Secretary General Zephirin Diabre.


Annan said China and Africa can help each other by increasing cooperation between the two sides.


He said interactions between China and Africa go back many centuries, when sailing boats crossed the Indian Ocean carrying goods and fostering cultural exchanges between the two sides.


"In the modern era, China was a consistent supporter of the African liberation struggle, and African nations were firm friends of China in the United Nations and other multilateral fora," he said.


China, he said, through its support to infrastructure development, health, education, agriculture, commercial exchanges and many other areas throughout Africa, has remained true to its commitment to South-South cooperation.


"If the same spirit is brought to meeting other challenges, such as ensuring food security and fighting HIV/AIDS, China can help Africa make real steps toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals," he said.


Africa can help China too, he said, explaining that the emerging markets of Africa offer huge investment opportunities to the Chinese private sector.


The vast and rich natural resources of the African soil are in need of the Chinese technology and know-how, to be exploited and transformed in a sustainable way, he added.


(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2003)

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