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Prof. Lin Yifu: We Should Have Courage to Face Challenges and Find Ways to Overcome

  The 2023 Graduation Ceremony of ISSCAD was held on June 30.

  Here is the full speech of Lin Yifu, dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University, at the ceremony.

  Your excellency, Deputy Director-General of the WTO, Ambassador Zhang,

  Your excellency, Vice President of the Peking University, Mr. Sun,

  Your excellency, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, China International Development Cooperation Agency, Mr. XU,

  Colleagues, students, ladies and gentlemen,

  I would like to take this occasion to congratulate the 38 students who will receive their diploma at this commencement today. The graduation from ISSCAD is a milestone for you to realize your aspiration of making contribution to the modernization of your motherland.

  You complete this challenging program in a very special moment of the world, because during your study period, the world is facing all kinds of unexpected challenges like COVID-19, the rising food prices due to the geopolitical conflicts in Ukraine and Russia, the rising interest rate in the advanced countries, and subsequently out-flow of capital from many of your countries. The result, certainly, is the slowdown of economic growth as well as the rising unemployment in many countries.

  While you are a student of ISSCAD, you're still a member of your government administration and are also responsible for your family. Therefore, during this challenging moment, you were able to complete the high-standard program and receive the diploma is a proof of your ability to overcome challenges, and you should be congratulated for this achievement.

  After the graduation today, you will return home to continue your career and make further contribution to your home country. Certainly, all the challenges will be there. Especially because of the slowing down of economic growth of your country, many of you has derailed from the commitment to achieve the sustainable development goals by the time of 2030. In addition to that, because of the climate changes, the extreme weather will cause more issues in many parts of the world. So you will have to be prepared for the many challenges in the coming years. But, the graduation from ISSCAD, I'm sure, will prepare you to meet those kinds of challenges successfully.

  At this commencement, as a teacher, I would like to repeat some of the messages I gave in my course. Certainly, at any moment, in any country, you are going to face many, many challenges, and certainly, we should have the courage to face those challenges and find a way to overcome them. But at the same time, I would like to highlight that at any moment, every country will also have its opportunities. The key to the success of a country is always to identify the opportunities and realize them so that you are going to generate more resources to help you to overcome the challenges. In this way, you will be able to navigate the path of your country. You also need to have the ability to identify the opportunities. In my class, I always say that the way to find opportunities is to look at what you have now, instead of what you don’t have now. To look at what you can do well based on what you have, instead of what you could not do well based on what you do not have. If you have this approach, and scale up what you can do well based on what you have, I'm sure it will generate dynamic economic growth no matter how many challenges that you have surrounding your countries. In this way, every country can grow dynamically. This is my wish for you and for your countries.

  Today, you're graduating from ISSCAD. I would like to say that ISSCAD is an intellectual home for you forever. Faculty members here will be ready to share with you their intellectual findings at any time. In your future career, certainly, you are going to generate many useful insights and lessons for other countries in the Global South, and ISSCAD will open our hands to welcome you to come to your intellectual home to share your insights and wisdom with other fellow students. This is the spirit of South-South cooperation and development.

  I'm sure by joining hands, we will be able to realize the dynamic economic growth in every country in the global South, and realize our dream of making a contribution for our countries to catch up with the global North.