China will boost UN development aid

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chairs a symposium on sustainable development while attending the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US, September 19, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The amount that China will provide to United Nations efforts toward global sustainable development in 2020 will be $100 million more than it gave last year, Premier Li Keqiang said in New York on Monday. In addition, the country's contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will amount to $18 million in the next three years, Li announced at United Nations headquarters.

He made the remarks while addressing the Roundtable on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Global Process and China's Practice, which was hosted by China's UN permanent mission.

The amount donated by China to UN development agencies last year was not immediately available. The total figure given in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to various international development agencies and the global fund for fighting diseases was 1.76 billion yuan ($264 million), Li said.

The premier also said sustainable development is a common cause for the world, and he called for the international community to tackle unbalanced development, promote inclusive economic growth and jointly address global challenges such as public health and climate change.

"China will continue to make unrelenting efforts to promote sustainable development and will actively participate in cooperation with the international community in this area," he told participants of the event, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson and heads of other international organizations.

Li said China lifted 400 million people out of poverty in the past 15 years, and reduced the mortality rate for children younger than 5 by two-thirds and the mortality rate for pregnant women by three-fourths during that time.

He said China has approved a road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a blueprint the UN adopted in September last year for ending poverty and hunger, promoting equality and protecting the environment in the years leading up to 2030.

Helen Clark, administrator of the UN Development Programme, said the agency looked forward to continuing its work with China to support the rapid progress that China seeks to make on its sustainable development goals.

China is showing its determination to lead on implementation by being among the countries that took part in the first national voluntary reviews at this year's high-level political forum for sustainable development, Clark said.

Haibing Ma, senior research associate and China program manager at the Worldwatch Institute, said that, in a year of globalization, China's rapid economic growth has become one of the positive leading forces for the global economy, which is good for sustainable development goals.

Wang Yusheng, a researcher at the China Foundation for International Studies and Academic Exchanges, said China's pledge showed its contribution as a major country to global governance and its aid to disadvantaged groups around the world.

As China's economic strength grows, it can increasingly help other developing countries to alleviate poverty and eliminate hunger, Wang said.

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