Cooperation indispensable in ending poverty

By CGTN News

As the United Nations (UN) marks its 75th anniversary, China Media Group (CMG) this week hosted the “Forum on UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals & China’s Experience on Poverty Reduction.” A total of 140 representatives from 39 countries and regions shared their views on the unprecedented success of China’s anti-poverty efforts and explored ways to facilitate the global pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participants agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic is a major crisis facing all humanity. The pandemic is also seen as the most urgent challenge in the global cause of poverty reduction. In the face of global crises, people have become increasingly aware that the international community should adhere to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, stick to multilateralism, intensify international cooperation, safeguard the global healthcare system and jointly protect people’s right to life and health.

In the fight against poverty, the world should also give full play to the government, market and international organizations, boost the inputs in people’s livelihoods, deepen international collaboration in poverty reduction and jointly build a sustainable future for all mankind.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), secretary of the secretariat and minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, shared China’s anti-poverty achievements in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, secretary of the secretariat and minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, speaks at the forum. /CGTN

Over the past 40 years, China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. Upon the anticipated completion of anti-poverty tasks this year, the country will meet the UN’s poverty alleviation goal 10 years ahead of schedule. The number of impoverished people in China fell to 5.51 million at the end of 2019 from 98.99 million at the end of 2012, a reduction of the poverty headcount ratio from 10.2 to 0.6 percent.

These achievements, Huang emphasized, are closely connected with China’s leadership and international collaborations. The UN has played a role in China’s anti-poverty cause that should not be underestimated, but China is always ready to reciprocate with concrete actions. “It has always been an important tradition in Chinese culture to help the poor, and a virtue to return a favor. We cherish the valuable achievements of poverty alleviation led by the Party and will never forget sincere support and help we have received from international society on this endeavor,” Huang said.

Shen Haixiong, president and editor-in-chief of CMG, highlighted the role of the media in disseminating information and sharing anti-poverty experiences. CMG, for instance, has played a crucial role in recording China’s fight against poverty by carrying out extensive interviews with people working on the frontline. To better share China’s stories, it invited foreign experts to conduct field investigations in China’s rural areas.

Shen Haixiong, president and editor-in-chief of China Media Group, speaks at the forum. /CGTN

CMG gives full play to an integrated communication approach in a bid to fulfill its responsibilities as a media group and contribute to global poverty reduction. “We adopt media innovations in the targeted poverty alleviation campaign by providing free advertising services for targeted poverty alleviation programs,” Shen said.

So far, CMG’s free assistance scheme has promoted more than 130 agricultural and sideline products, contributing more than 100,000 minutes of screen time and investing resources with a market value of 6.8 billion yuan (995 million U.S. dollars). More than 3.5 million households and 13 million people living under the poverty line have benefited from the scheme.

Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon also highlighted China’s anti-poverty success. “China’s extraordinary national development and success in implementing the UN’s millennium development goals was integral to these global gains,” Ban said, stressing that amid increasing uncertainties, the world needs to put more effort into meeting the SDGs by 2030. He is confident that the international community will eventually eradicate poverty and forge a world that is more sustainable, prosperous and harmonious for all.

Former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon speaks at the forum. /CGTN

UN Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin believed that the world should give more consideration in the policy-making process to the elderly, children, informal workers and those who have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. He suggested that the international community should deepen multilateral cooperation to ensure that developing countries have the resources they need for their economic growth.

Yves Leterme, former prime minister of Belgium, emphasized that “global challenges need global answers.” He believes the UN system is what is behind the tremendous anti-poverty achievements gained since 1945. “We have to work to strengthen the United Nations, to improve its functioning and to make it possible that in all domains, through international cooperation, we achieve progress,” Leterme said at the forum.

Multilateralism is also what Marcos Troyjo, president of the New Development Bank (NDB), stressed at the gathering. The past three quarters of a century have not seen wars involving major international powers. Poverty has also been alleviated. Multilateral institutes including the NDB, Troyjo said, will continue to make the world more prosperous in a sustainable way.

Lin Yifu, honorary dean of the National School of Development under Peking University and former senior vice president of the World Bank, analyzed China’s anti-poverty experiences, asserting that the competitive market and a facilitating state are key to China’s success. Any country will have to find its comparative advantages before eradicating poverty.

A general view of the forum. /CGTN

Jeffrey Sachs, professor at Columbia University, talked about the huge impact the COVID-19 pandemic has exerted on the world economy. “It [COVID-19 pandemic] is a bad situation right now, but it’s compounded by the failures of leadership, especially the United States,” Sachs said. He stressed that this is not the time for a trade war. Fighting against the COVID-19 should be a priority at the current stage.

Gert Grobler, former South African ambassador to Spain, Japan and Madagascar, spoke highly of China’s anti-poverty achievements, saying China has played a vital role in Africa’s development.

The two-day forum was co-hosted by CGTN Think Tank, Carter Center, Schiller Institute, Bridge Tank, ChinaEU, South African Institute of International Affairs, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, and Russian-Chinese Analytical Center.

With less than 10 years to achieve the ambitious UN SDGs, multiple challenges lie ahead that require united efforts by the international community. The greater the challenges are, the more urgent the need to cooperate. It is high time that the countries across the world set aside prejudices and cooperate for a more sustainable future.

You can view the original article at CGTN.

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