|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations on Agenda Item 56(a) and (b) at the Second Committee of the 64th session of the General Assembly|
New York, 20 October 2009
The Chinese delegation thanks the Secretary-General for his report presented under the agenda items 56(a) and 56(b), and associates itself with the statement made by the representative of the Sudan on behalf of G77 and China.
The past year witnessed a world ravaged by the financial and economic crisis, resulting in a drastic slowdown of the world economy, a sharp contraction of international trade, a protracted inertia in international investment, and bleak prospects for achieving the MDGs. As vulnerable groups in the world economy, the least developed countries (LDCs) and the land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) are major victims of this crisis, with their overall development gains critically rolled back, their domestic development challenges increasingly acute, their external development environment markedly deteriorated, and their future development tasks more formidable. According to the World Bank estimates, this financial and economic crisis will increase the current global impoverished population by 55-90 million, and the LDCs and LLDCs will have a far larger share of that increase than other countries. Therefore, the international community should pay special attention to the plight of the LDCs and LLDCs in their development; give real consideration to their development needs; and provide strong support to them in overcoming their development challenges.
Only one year away from the target date for the completion of the Program of Action for the LDCs for the decade 2001-2010, we are seeing a considerable gap between the development achievements by the LDCs and the objectives set forth in the Program of Action, and the current crisis threatens to further widen this gap. The international community should make concerted efforts for the full and timely implementation of all commitments contained in the Program of Action, in an attempt to prevent the evolution of this crisis into a development crisis for the LDCs. In this connection, China suggests that the international community strengthen efforts in the following aspects:
(1) Increase support to trade. The international community should energetically strengthen its support to the LDCs in the area of trade financing, work to avoid drastic fluctuations in the prices of those commodities of vital importance to the LDCs, continuously improve the market access for the exports from the LDCs, and resolutely combat trade protectionism in all its forms.
(2) Promote sustained growth in investment. The international community should continuously boost investment in the LDCs in the areas of infrastructure, productivity and service to protect them from the shocks of the crisis, and endeavor to help the LDCs to restructure their economy which is overly dependent on commodity production and export.
(3) Truly increase official development assistance. The developed countries should ensure that the effect of the current crisis will not cause a reduction in their ODA, and should honor in real earnest their commitment to allocate 0.15-0.2% of their GNP to ODA for the LDCs. Efforts are also needed to improve the stability and predictability of financial assistance.
(4) Expedite the preparations for the Conference on LDCs. The Fourth UN Conference on LDCs scheduled to be held in 2011 will identify the general guidelines and priority areas for the international community's efforts to the LDCs in the next decade. China hopes to see an early agreement by the parties concerned on the timing and venue of the conference, so that all substantive preparations can go into full swing.
The time for the implementation of the Almaty Program of Action has crossed the half-way point, and the mid-tern review last year further crystallized the priorities for future cooperation. The focus now should be on translating commitments into actions and consensus into results. We believe that the support by the international community to the LLDCs should be more targeted, concentrating on addressing the prohibitive transit transport cost which is the biggest impediment to the development of the LLDCs. In this connection, China suggests that the international community strengthen efforts in the following aspects:
(1) Continuously enhance policy coordination. The international community should strive for substantive progress in the Doha round of negotiations on trade facilitation, actively promote transit transport policy coordination at regional and international levels, and vigorously reinforce regional cooperation in transit transport.
(2) Steadily improve infrastructure. The international community should endeavor to prevent the current crisis from negatively affecting the investment in the infrastructure of the LLDCs, energetically support the involvement by the private sector in the infrastructural development of the LLDCs, and effectively improve the interconnectivity of the intra-regional railroad and highway networks.
(3) Adjust the use of ODA. Currently, the share of ODA allocated to the infrastructural development of LLDCs is less than 10% of total ODA received by LLDCs. It is necessary for the developed countries to drastically increase the share used for infrastructural development in their ODA while ensuring the sustained and steady growth of such assistance.
The Chinese government has always steadfastly supported the development efforts of the LDCs and LLDCS. While experiencing tremendous difficulties itself in the wake of the current financial and economic crisis, China has all the same paid great attention to the predicament confronting the LDCs and LLDCs, and worked hard to contribute to the recovery of the world economy by maintaining its own economic stability and growth. China has fully and timely fulfilled its commitments to the countries concerned in terms of debt relief and trade preferences; taken an active part in the trade financing and emergency relief plans by such international institutions as the IMF; and resolutely resisted trade protectionism which is devastating to the interests of the developing countries. In his statement on 23 September during the general debate, President Hu Jintao of China articulated four initiatives for supporting the developing countries, including the LDCs and LLDCs. China will, as always, continue to uphold the principle of "consultation on equal footing, mutual benefit, and common development", join hands with the LDCs and LLDCs in meeting development challenges and sharing development opportunities.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.