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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan at 2nd Committee of UNGA 59th Session on Agenda Item 89: Eradication of Poverty and other Development Issues
(15 November 2004, New York)

2004/11/15


Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on this agenda item and the Secretariat for its introduction. I also wish to thank Mr. Director General of UNIDO for his detailed remarks on industrial development cooperation. The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by the distinguished representative of the State of Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Poverty and hunger are major and urgent problems facing the world today. As economic globalization has closely linked countries in the world, poverty and hunger are no longer domestic issues at the national level, they have become a challenge facing the entire world. To eradicate poverty and promote development has become an extensive consensus of the international community. At the Millennium Summit, national leaders made solemn pledges to cut the world poverty population by half before the end of 2015. Over the past four years, countries have made active efforts and achieved certain results. Generally speaking, however, world poverty reduction efforts still fall short of people's expectations.

Poverty is caused by a wide spectrum of economic, social and historical factors. The inequitable old international political and economic order and the unbalanced globalization development have made the problem even worse. To reduce global poverty and hunger according to the timetable, it is necessary to focus on the following areas.

1. The international community should strengthen cooperation to create an enabling external environment for developing countries to eradicate poverty. A peaceful and stable political international environment constitutes a fundamental premise for the eradication of poverty and hunger. Countries should abide by the UN Charter and international law and jointly maintain a peaceful international environment. At the same time, while the globalization is developing rapidly, it is essential to manage the process more effectively, and set up fair, equitable, open and transparent international structures and rules in world trade, investment and finance, so as to ensure full participation of all countries and fair distribution of dividends of globalization. The developed countries, historically or realistically speaking, have the obligation and responsibility to help developing countries and fulfill their pledges in financial aid, technology transfer, debt relief and trade.

We welcome the joint initiative by Brazil and other countries on "World Leaders Meeting on Action against Hunger and Poverty". This has reflected the spirit of cooperation in poverty eradication. We believe that after the meeting, the international community should conduct further study on innovative financing mechanisms raised by Brazil and others, and explore new financing means on the basis of implementing the existing ones, so that the financial requirements for poverty eradication goals will be met.

2. Countries should be action-oriented, and fulfill their own responsibilities and obligations in the eradication of poverty and hunger. The developing countries should act in accordance with their own characteristics, embody poverty eradication into national program of economic and social development, formulate poverty reduction strategies suitable to their own national conditions, set realistic phase-by-phase poverty reduction goals, and adopt effective measures to vigorously promote economic development, so as to eradicate poverty step by step.

3. It is important to mobilize all forces and establish all-round partnership. In the process of the eradication of poverty and hunger, in addition to the leading role of the government, other social sectors such as the private sector, civil society, women and youths should be encouraged to show their advantages and make concerted efforts. At the global level, efforts should focus on realizing poverty eradication goals, conducting diversified cooperation, and making full use of various resources and means to add vitality and dynamism to international cooperation for poverty eradication.

Mr. Chairman,

As is indicated by the Director General of UNIDO in his report, to realize MDGs, it is necessary for the developing countries, and especially those with more serious poverty problems, to accelerate their economic growth rate, and the industrial development is one of the main driving forces for faster economic growth. Improved know-how, development technologies and skills will contribute significantly to the realization of MDGs. We are glad to note that over the past two years, UNIDO has done a great deal of useful work in helping developing countries realize MDGs through formulating Integrated Programs and Country Service Frameworks for the recipient countries. It needs to point out however that in formulating Integrated Programs and Country Service Frameworks, full consideration should be given to national conditions and priorities of the recipient countries. We hope that UNIDO, in its cooperation with the recipient countries, will continue to sum up experience and vigorously explore ways of industrial development suitable to the national conditions of the recipient countries.

Mr. Chairman,

To eradicate poverty and achieve common prosperity of all people is the consistent principle and priority of the Chinese Government. Thanks to the efforts over the past two decades and more since the reform and opening up, China has made enormous progress in poverty eradication. Its poverty population has been brought down from 250 million in 1979 to the current number of 29 million. Rural poverty population has reduced from 30.7% of the rural population to 3%. But China is still a developing country with fairly low average per capita income, facing such problems and pressures as unbalanced development, serious poverty in some regions, and reversion of some of the anti-poverty gains.

Over the years, China has enjoyed fruitful cooperation with other countries and the international organizations in poverty eradication. In May this year, the Chinese Government hosted in Shanghai the Global Conference on Scaling-up Poverty Reduction sponsored by the World Bank, and the Shanghai Agenda on Poverty Reduction was adopted at the meeting. As part of the follow-up actions, the Chinese Government is actively preparing with UNDP the establishment of the International Center for Poverty Reduction, which will serve as a forum for summing up, exchanging and publicizing poverty eradication experience of different countries, thus enhancing capacity building in poverty eradication. In future, China is ready to reinforce cooperation with other parties in this area and jointly promote the realization of poverty and hunger eradication at the global level. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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