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Chinese Foreign Minister calls for efforts to meet development goals



Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Thursday called on rich countries to honor their commitment to increasing development aid for the developing world, while urging developing countries to improve coordination and cooperation.

Addressing the 29th Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77, Li said the year of 2005 is important for developing countries and for international cooperation on development issues.

He urged developing countries to strengthen coordination, safeguard their common interests, and adopt a common strategy on major issues to increase their participation and influence in international affairs.

Li also called for a more active part of developing countries in UN reform and urged the world body to give higher priority to development cooperation.

The minister appealed to member states of the Group of 77 to focus on priorities and press for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), which concerns the lives of many people in the developing world.

For that end, he urged developed countries to meet the target of 0.7 percent of their gross national income for Official Development Assistance and look for new sources of financing.

"An open, fair and transparent multilateral trading system will be a strong boost to developing countries' economic growth," he said, adding that development should be the core issue at the forthcoming 6th World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting, and progress should be made on issues where developing countries have a particular concern.

Noting that debt is a source of worry for developing countries, Li said international promises to cut debts in developing countries should be honored in good faith to lift those countries out of the vicious circle of endless debt repayment and open a possibility for their sustained growth.

The United Nations should set up a fair and rational evaluation framework to review the implementation of MDGs in member states and monitor progress of international cooperation and development assistance, he said.

The minister also urged member states to open new ground and deepen South-South cooperation. "Each of the developing countries has its strength and potentials. Combined, they hold a great prospect for common prosperity," Li said.

He noted that Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a package of initiatives for closer economic ties with other developing countries, and reiterated China's commitment to reinforcing coordination and cooperation with the Group of 77 and work together for lasting peace in the world and comprehensive development in all developing countries.

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