International Cooperation in Poverty Alleviation for Shared Future

China will deepen international cooperation in poverty reduction, participate more actively in global governance, and provide more “China programs” for global poverty management.  

Pass on the torch of peace from generation to generation, sustain development, and make civilization flourish: this is what people of all countries long for; it is also the responsibility statesmen of our generation ought to shoulder. And China’s proposition is: build a community of shared future for mankind and achieve shared and win-win development.” On January 18, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the important concept of building a community of shared future for mankind in his speech at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva. This global outlook, transcending nation states and ideology, exhibits China’s wisdom and plan for the realization of win-win cooperation, common development, and long-term stability of human society.

Focusing on poverty eradication

Poverty eradication is an important goal of building a community of shared future for mankind. Poverty is a historic and worldwide problem, involving the basic rights of human beings, such as the right to subsistence and development. Since ancient times, poverty eradication has been the dream of human society and the basic right of people all over the world to pursue a happy life. After the end of World War II, eliminating poverty and improving people’s livelihood have continued to be the common historical task facing the international community, especially the developing countries. In particular, with developing countries undergoing the modernization process in the 1970s and 1980s, poverty and poverty reduction have become increasingly prominent issues of international development. In 2000, the United Nations adopted the UN Millennium Declaration which defined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This shows that the international community has regarded poverty reduction as one of the most important global issues. In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, once again making poverty eradication the common goal and mission of human society by 2030.

At present, there are still more than 700 million poverty-stricken people in the world. In 2017, 124 million people in 51 countries and regions around the globe were suffering from a food crisis and urgently in need of humanitarian assistance. In 2016, about 52 million children under the age of five suffered from malnourishment and 17 million children under five suffered from severe malnutrition. Political instability, regional conflicts, natural disasters, diseases, environmental degradation, water shortages, economic uncertainty, and protectionism, as well as climate change and rapid population growth have led to a continual increase of global risks and vulnerabilities. Faced with these serious “human rights deficits,” only through concerted efforts and cooperation can countries jointly meet the challenges. Eradicating poverty, therefore, is an important goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The concept of building a “community with a shared future for mankind” has been written into UN resolutions three times. UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu noted that the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind is highly in line with the UN agenda “securing our common future.” She thinks it is a direction forward for the world currently full of uncertainty, and a commitment that China is making globally to multi-nationalism, which is in the common interest of all countries.

Deepening international cooperation on poverty reduction

Achieving the poverty reduction goal on schedule as set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and deepening international cooperation in poverty reduction have become the common aspiration of the international community. While addressing the 2015 Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for speeding up the global poverty reduction process. He said that “efforts should be made to strengthen cooperation in poverty reduction and development. Promoting the establishment of a new type of international cooperation for poverty reduction, with win-win cooperation at the core, is an important guarantee for poverty eradication.”

In order to deepen international cooperation in poverty reduction, it should first focus on accelerating the process of global poverty reduction. At present, China is promoting, with all its strength, the project of poverty alleviation. By 2020, China will win, as scheduled, the battle about poverty alleviation and eradicate absolute poverty as a whole. In order to promote international development cooperation, China will actively assist other developing countries in implementing the sustainable development agenda by utilizing such mechanisms as the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, the China-UN Peace and Development Fund and the South-South Climate Cooperation Fund.

Second, a new mechanism for win-win international poverty reduction exchanges and cooperation should be promoted. China is actively promoting the international development endeavor with typical Chinese poverty reduction and development programs, and promoting the establishment of a new type of international poverty reduction exchange and cooperation centered on win-win cooperation. A world free of poverty where common prosperity is realized should be a global aspiration. Development is still the first priority, which applies to all countries.

Third, a sound external environment should be created for the development of developing countries. China’s efforts in pushing for the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Silk Road Fund, and the New Development Bank, and initiating and implementing the Belt and Road Initiative has contributed greatly to constantly improving the international poverty alleviation and development environment.

Fourth, people-to-people exchanges should be enhanced. China unswervingly supports developing countries in eradicating poverty, promotes greater, higher-level and deeper regional cooperation, promotes pragmatic cooperation in the fields of industry, agriculture, human resources development, green energy, and environmental protection, to help developing countries transform their resource advantages into development strategies. China advocates a new mechanism for win-win international poverty reduction cooperation, which, with no condition attached, takes into full consideration the needs of the participating grass-roots community people in recipient countries.

Fifth, China’s experience in poverty reduction, talent development, and project implementation could serve as references globally. China should strengthen its exchanges and cooperation with developing countries and international institutions in the field of poverty reduction through foreign aid, project cooperation, technological diffusion, and think tank exchanges.

Promoting global poverty governance

A community with a shared future for mankind cannot be built in a day. In this process, effective poverty reduction cooperation is conducive to promoting peace and development of the international community. It also deepens bilateral relations, catalyzing multi-field cooperation, which in the end is conducive to exchange experiences, promote diversified development, and enhance the driving force of development.

Globally, to deepen international cooperation in poverty reduction, focus should be given to expanding poverty reduction assistance. While devoting itself to poverty eradication, China has always been actively engaged in South-South cooperation, providing assistance to other developing countries, the least developed countries in particular, without any political ties, to eradicate poverty.

Second, focus should be placed on strengthening experience sharing. Poverty reduction experience sharing is one of the important approaches to carry out international cooperation in poverty reduction. Practice has proved that forum discussions, exchange of visits, capacity-building, policy advice, cooperative research, and information exchange among countries with the theme of poverty alleviation play an important role in promoting global poverty reduction.

Third, efforts should be made on participating in global poverty management. Global poverty management is an important part of global governance. Only by strengthening international cooperation in poverty reduction worldwide, and sharing experience in poverty reduction and development can we form a joint force and achieve common development. At present, there are an increasing number of international agendas and conferences centering on the theme of poverty eradication and sustainable development. Many countries are expressing their positions and concerns by participating in agenda-setting, publishing reports or documents, and discussions and meetings, so as to guide international public opinion to meet their own interests and demands. China will deepen international cooperation in poverty reduction, participate more actively in global governance, and provide more “China programs” for global poverty management.

HUANG CHENGWEI is director of the National Poverty Alleviation Publicity and Education Center of the Poverty Alleviation Office of the State Council.