On the evening of 9 May 2022, Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, virtually attended and addressed the Heads of State Summit of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP15), in his capacity as the special representative of President Xi Jinping. The Summit, as part of the high-level segment of UNCCD COP15 in Côte d’Ivoire, was chaired by President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, attended and addressed by dozens of Heads of State, and concluded with the adoption of Abidjan Call.


In his address, State Councilor Wang Yi systemically set forth China’s view on global drought and desertification governance and promoted Xi Jinping thought on ecological conservation, the Global Development Initiative and China’s achievement in desertification control. He proposed that solid efforts be made to strengthen international cooperation, firm actions be taken to promote green development, and effective steps be followed to improve international rules. Wang Yi called on all parties to provide stronger support to Africa and join hands in combating drought and desertification to jointly contribute to sustainable development. The speech was warmly welcomed by parties to the Summit, especially African countries, as they commended China for its vigorous cooperation with Africa, active participation in global environmental governance and early realization of Land Degradation Neutrality.


Wang Yi made a special mention to the International Training Center on Combating Desertification, which is based at ICBR. The capacity building symposium it organized in April this year on supporting the Great Green Wall for African forestry experts was also recognized.


The International Training Center on Combating Desertification was jointly established by the Secretariat of UNCCD and China in 2004 and has since been based at ICBR. Over the years, multiple international training seminars on desertification control have been organized, having trained over 110 senior officials and technical professionals from 32 countries. The Center has unreservedly shared its experience and good practices on combating desertification with the international community and achieved remarkable results. Its work is fully acknowledged by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and UNCCD and widely welcomed and commended by the international community, relevant countries, and African countries in particular.


With the support and guidance of NFGA and UNCCD and committed to working for a green Belt and Road, the Center will make more efforts on international capacity building on desertification control, through such mechanisms as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and South-South cooperation, with a view to combat global desertification, enhance environmental governance capacities, and promote economic and social development. By sharing Chinese wisdom and Chinese approaches, the Center aims to facilitate the prevention and control of drought and desertification and contribute to sustainable development and the building of a cleaner and more beautiful world.