China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations on Thursday launched the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) who hosted the event, said the GDI proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for greater international synergy to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achieve stronger, greener and healthier global development.

The initiative is undoubtedly highly relevant and has a far-reaching impact, he said, noting that ever since its introduction, the GDI has been warmly received by the international community, and nearly 100 countries and many international organizations, including the UN, have expressed their support.

China looks forward to working with all parties to implement the initiative in order to achieve the four goals of re-prioritizing development, renewing commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), revitalizing global partnerships, and reactivating development cooperation, said Zhang.

He pointed out that the establishment of the Group of Friends aims to seek greater complementarity between the GDI and the 2030 Agenda, support UN work in the field of development, and help developing countries fight the pandemic and implement the 2030 Agenda.

The group will focus its work on strengthening policy dialogue, sharing best practices and promoting practical cooperation, he said.

"China looks forward to working with all parties to continuously improve the group's mechanism and deepen cooperation in key areas, so that we can together build the group into an effective platform for exchanging experience, enhancing cooperation and seeking common development," Zhang said.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in her remarks that the UN welcomes and supports the GDI, expressing confidence that this initiative will help the UN keep its promise of "leaving no one behind."

She said the GDI shows China's continued commitment to supporting the SDGs. She looked forward to working practically with the Group of Friends.

Undersecretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Liu Zhenmin, and heads of the UN Development Programme, UN Women, the UN Children's Fund, among other UN leaders, also expressed their strong wish to be aligned with China on the GDI and advance cooperation in priority areas.

Ambassadors from different countries agreed that the GDI is a clear demonstration of China's firm commitment to multilateralism and the 2030 Agenda, noting that it reflects China's leading role in international development cooperation as well as the general call by developing countries for common development.

The initiative is in line with the prevailing trend of global development and aims to address the pressing challenges facing all countries, especially developing ones, they said, stressing it will surely make significant contributions to supporting countries in accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

They looked forward to strengthening communication and cooperation with China in the priority areas of the GDI, in order to inject fresh political momentum into global efforts on pandemic response, post-pandemic recovery and realization of the SDGs.

Moving forward, China will deepen exchange and cooperation with the members of the Group of Friends, UN agencies and related parties, while strengthening policy dialogue, sharing best practices and undertaking practical projects, said Zhang.

China will strive to achieve concrete outcomes that help countries achieve common, transformative and green development, and to build a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

The event attracted two dozens of leaders of UN agencies and representatives from over 100 countries, including more than 80 ambassadors.