UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has urged Africa and China at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing to combine their potential for sustainable and equitable progress to the benefit of humans.
Guterres also revealed that it was vital that current and future development cooperation contributed to peace, security and to building a “community of shared future for mankind”.
Guterres said: “China and Africa have strengthened their relationship in recent years, enjoying growing mutual trust and exchanges at all levels.
“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.”
He also noted that development cooperation between Africa and China was increasing, based on the two mutually compatible roadmaps – the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063.
In that context, he highlighted five areas, explaining that they would be crucial for the success of the partnership between both countries.
These included reinforcing the foundations of Africa’s progress given that stronger cooperation could help achieve sustainable and resilient development in the continent.
The Secretary-General also called for national ownership and African-led sustainable development, and recalled 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 globalisation,” he stressed the need to implement North-South commitments, including those assumed in the context of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.
Guterres also called for promotion of sustainable fiscal policies, saying that it was critical that Africa was supported to preserve and create fiscal space for investments.
He also pointed out the existential threat posed by climate change.
“A sustainable future for China, Africa and the world means climate-friendly and climate-resilient development as it is underlined today by President Xi Jinping,” he said.
The UN scribe noted that the world was getting increasingly aware that climate change and environmental degradation were risk multipliers, especially for fragile states and vulnerable regions.
“China is today a global leader in climate solutions,” he added, urging the country to share its advances with Africa to enable the continent to leapfrog traditional polluting development in favour of green growth.
The Secretary-General said that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit “exemplifies the win-win collaboration that is necessary for the future we want.
“The UN will continue to support the China-Africa partnership and more broadly, South-South cooperation, so that all nations in Africa and beyond may enjoy sustainable and inclusive development,” he said.