27 October 2020 –The international high-end dialogue was organized by the College of International Development and Global Agriculture (CIDGA) at China Agricultural University (CAU) both online and offline, as part of CIDGA’s 2020 annual conference. This panel of this annual conference, entitled ‘Does International Development Cooperation Still Matters?’, launched to discuss the `China and International Development’ related emerging paradigm, framework and approach during and post COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective of this dialogue is to bring together the intellectual debates and cut-edge ideas at the point of new development knowledge is being explored in an emerging but incubation awaiting new development world.
The event was moderated by Prof. Xu Xiuli, Dean and Professor of College of International Development and Global Agriculture, China Agricultural University. And featured discussions from all participants compromise senior international consultants and senior experts and scholars from north and south countries globe.
The opening session
Director of International Office, China Agricultural University, Prof. Feng Weizhe gives an address on behalf of CAU. The Chancellor of Tanzania Open University and Former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mizengo P. Pinda brings his video greetings. He assured that the theme of international development cooperation will be a sustainable and continuous drive for global prosperity.
The key takeaways
Historical change of International Development Cooperation and the indeed demand for IDC
The affirmative responses to the theme question are given among all participants from their distinguished perspectives. And the change regarding international development cooperation these years are reminded as much more significant and relevant than in any situation through the historic review of international development and cooperation. Apart from the hit from the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the North-South and South-South Cooperation are deemed as equally significant and much more relevant than before in any challenge or issue. Both Prof. Yifu Lin, Dean of Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University and Prof. Lu, the Vice-Chairperson of China Development Research Foundation build their perspectives on the history of development cooperation. Prof. Lu discusses modernization pursued by developing countries. The development challenges are still with these `Big majority` developing countries.
More concretely, Prof. Fan Shenggen, who is the Chair Professor of China Agricultural University brings the case of the G20 Minister of Agriculture`s online meeting as evidence of which international development cooperation matters. Countries conducted collective call to not using export bans and consensus on it concerning global food security. Maintain international cooperation, trade open, and agriculture research are effective in response to COVID19 risk. Besides, Ms. Victoria Sekitoleko, the Chairperson of the Governing Board of Uganda Agribusiness Alliance tells us the COVID-19 pandemic hit Uganda`s education sector and leaves stagnant there. Seeking for international cooperation with China in food technology know-how, infrastructure and ICT area towards current risk and issue is an opportunity for development as well.
The louder `voices` of developing countries need to be heard
Developing countries including China have their global significance in terms of development cooperation with their own complexity and unique features. The discourse power from southern countries needs to be raised properly. Prof.Lin holds that the idea should come from the southern countries and to generate what works in the South countries and share those experiences among the South countries’. As the largest developing country, the responsibility weighs heavily on China to play an influential role. And it is worth to note from Prof. Lu, to express, display, and communicate ourselves well to others also matters. `All the developing country need to understand that China fight not only for themselves for the rights of the developing countries`.
Take a view from International development cooperation `in action`, International cooperation and South-south cooperation are dispensable tools in fighting against COVID19 pandemic as well as other challenges and issues including climate change, inequality, poverty reduction, vulnerability etc. The participants shared the practical level of international development cooperation from different domains including ‘bottom-up’ approach recognition from local vulnerability, food technology know-how demand by Uganda, and development intelligence provider role.
Multi-lateral cooperation, multi-lateral matters
Prof. Melissa Leach, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of Development Studies points out the ‘bottom-up’ recognition we need which reflecting from COVID19 where we witness the citizens` efforts to fill the gap of government. The engagement between the Institute of Development Studies and with multi-lateral partners in the globe, the learning and practicing outcomes are generated to cope with the pandemic. She suggests the pandemic issue is facing by all globe. Hence ‘transformative approach fundamentally requires learning from all people and all places, a mutual learning paradigm, not just South-South, but actually also South to North, as well.’ Prof.Liu Junqiang, the Deputy Dean of School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University contributes his observant of development challenge and realistic barriers in China`s local government projects helping farmers in Hainan Province. He concludes The successful local development story needs to consider `three dimensions of stakeholders`, saying `government, society, and market`, which also presents the perspective from different angles that need to be covered.
THINGS ARE CHANGING AND NEED TO THINK FURTHER
Prof. Richard Carey, Former OECD Director for Development Cooperation; Chair of International Advisory Committee of China International Development Research Network identified two megatrends by look through the global change. Firstly, the `smart recover` from the 2008 recession of China, India and other developing countries reveals the downside facing by OECD countries. from global governance would experience impact from the fact that the economy size ( measured with PPP) of developing countries in the global economy is rising while developed countries instead of in next 20 years. And global governance would witness change and reshape. Second, the demographic of Africa according to the anticipation will double in the next 30 years. The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 2 billion. He praised China`s approval weight in Africa. However, the new geopolitics would emerge as the US and the United Kingdom are planning with further substantial investment and cooperation in Africa.
More thematic and illuminating topics including environmental sustainable development, climate change, peace, solidarity, global governance of food and agriculture, evidence-based research and policy are also together brought into this dialogue.