Your Excellency

State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to participate in this meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) launched by President Xi Jinping last September.

  1. China and Pakistan are old and trusted friends. We enjoy an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. Pakistan’s relationship with its iron brother will grow from strength to strength, including through the rapid implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  2. The people of Pakistan, greatly admire China’s unprecedented achievements in economic, social, technological, and industrial development.


  1. Pakistan has joined China’s GDI initiative. We believe it can make a significant contribution to the accelerated implementation of the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals. This Group of Friends provides a useful platform to coordinate that work.
  2. The people of the developing world presently confront multiple challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and geo-political developments. Their impact on the Global South is disproportionate and devastating .Over a 150 million people have been pushed back into extreme poverty; 400 million jobs have been lost; prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed; the majority of the developing countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, face financial stress as well as food and energy insecurity. Progress in implementation of the SDGs has been reversed.
  3. The GDI and this Group of Friends must address these imposing challenges and support emergency actions to:

One, ensure vaccine equity and universal coverage, and related health measures, to end the global Covid-19 pandemic;

Two, encourage expanded food production, revival of food supply chains, and mechanisms to moderate food prices especially for the poorest people;

Three, enhance energy production, remove supply constraints, and mitigate the impact of high energy prices for developing countries;

Four, promote larger public and private investment in sustainable infrastructure – energy, transport, housing, and agriculture – to stimulate growth and move towards a global “green” economy;

Five, promote and implement connectivity projects – such as CPEC and other BRI projects – to stimulate regional integration, trade and industrialization; and

Six, eliminate the “digital divide” and enable the developing countries to integrate into the emerging global digital economy.

  1. The Group has already identified the key drivers of SDG implementation: finance, technology, and capacity-building.
  2. Finance is critical. The multiple crises have enlarged the gap in financing for development. This Group must generate the political will to mobilize adequate global financing for the Sustainable Development Goals. Larger ODA and concessional finance must be provided by the advanced countries. At least half of the unutilized SDRs created recently should be re-allocated to the developing countries. The promise to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate financing must be fulfilled.
  3. Access to technology is also vital. All discriminatory restraints on the transfer of technology for peaceful uses must be removed. The centers of learning, research, and development must remain open to all. Research, development, and innovation, and the global IP regime, should be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
  4. Development priorities should also focus on capacity-building in the developing countries, through universal and quality health and education, especially for women and girls to bridge the gender gap. Developing countries should be assisted to acquire the ability to prepare, finance, and execute viable sustainable development projects.


  1. I would suggest that the Group of Friends establish “work streams” in all the 8 priority areas under GDI. These work streams could identify the practical and specific actions required to implement the SDG in each of the priority areas.
  2. Those could then be promoted through the numerous existing mechanisms available at the global, regional, and bilateral levels, including coherent and concentrated actions by the several UN development agencies and organizations.
  1. For its part, Pakistan, apart from participating actively in the work of this GDI Group of Friends, will continue to enhance its cooperation with China through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to advance our national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  1. Pakistan looks forward to working hand-in-hand with China and other members of the GDI Group of Friends to promote our common aspiration for a peaceful, prosperous and shared future for all of humankind.

I thank you.

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