UN chief hails China-Africa ties, urges sustainable development

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks at the China-Africa Cooperation Summit in Beijing. [Courtesy: UN]
While hailing the economic and development progress made in China and Africa, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the two sides to unite their combined potential for peaceful, sustainable and equitable progress to the benefit of all humankind.

Guterres was speaking at the ongoing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in the Chinese capital, Beijing, where he underscored that it is vital that current and future development cooperation contributes to peace, security and to building a “community of shared future for mankind.”

“China and Africa have strengthened their relationship in recent years, enjoying growing mutual trust and exchanges at all levels,” he said.

“I commend this engagement. Cooperation, based on the principles of the UN Charter, can benefit your peoples and can benefit the international community as a whole.”

The UN chief also noted that the development cooperation between China and Africa is increasing based on the two mutually compatible roadmaps: the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.

He went ahead to highlight five areas, explaining that these will be crucial for the success of the partnership between China and Africa. These included reinforcing the foundations of Africa’s progress given that stronger cooperation can help achieve sustainable and resilient development in the continent that is inclusive, reaching first those people that are furthest behind.

Guterres also called for ensuring national ownership and African-led sustainable development. He noted the frameworks agreed between the UN and the AU on peace and security, as well as supporting Agenda 2063.

“These frameworks are based on our commitment to be a steadfast and trusted partner of Africa, with full respect for Africa’s stewardship of its own future,” Guterres said.

Noting the importance of South-South cooperation as “fundamental for fair globalization,” the Secretary-General also highlighted the need to implement North-South commitments, including those assumed in the context of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.

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