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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, in the General Debate at the Second Committee of the 56th Session of the General Assembly
(1 October 2001)


Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the Second Committee of this session of the General Assembly. I am confident that under the leadership of you and other members of the Bureau, this Committee will be able to do all its work successfully.

The Chinese Delegation fully endorses the statement made by the Ambassador of Iran on behalf of G77 +China. Here, I would like to add a few points.

I. In our view, in order to realize the development goals set by the Millennium Declaration, the international community must adopt a right approach. Past experiences have demonstrated that for development and poverty eradication, efforts by countries themselves are indispensable, including the establishment of a political and economic system suitable to their national conditions, the adoption of healthy macroeconomic policies and so on. As several previous speakers have already mentioned these questions, I would talk about them, however, from another perspective. Nowadays, with the globalization going on, efforts by countries themselves won't work without favourable external conditions. Most important, an equitable international economic governance system must be established. The current international economic system is basically something designed for a world more than five decades ago, with a few countries holding its decision-making power, an undemocratic system that has grown out of today's situation featuring challenges of globalization and growing interdependence among countries and has to be reformed. The international community should demonstrate the political sincerity to do so, increase developing countries' decision-making power in international economic affairs, so as to enable them to participate equally in the formulation of the rules of the games at global level. Only by doing so can an equitable and democratic international economic system be truly demonstrated and the realization of development in developing countries be guaranteed.

II. Financial resources. Sufficient financial resources are the key to fulfilling the development goals. According to estimates in the report by the High-level Panel on Financing for Development, the international community needs to spend an extra sum of 50 billion US dollars annually in order to fulfill international development goals by the year 2015, including halving the proportion of the world's people who live in extreme poverty, who suffer from hunger and who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water, ensuring the children everywhere to complete a full course of primary schooling, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and improving the lives of 100 million people in slum dwellers. At present, the annual ODA is in the neighborhood of 53 billion US dollars. If member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee can fulfill the objective of 0.7% of their GNP as ODA, then the total sum of aids will be able to satisfy the need of funds for achieving the development goals. For the sake of financing, the Millennium Declaration reiterates that the international community should mobilize financial resources it needs. For this end, we believe, the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development should work out a comprehensive strategy concerning the mobilization of international financial resources, make substantive commitments and formulate concrete measures, to realize the ODA objectives and solve the issue of external debts of developing countries and alleviate the burdens on developing countries caused by harsh conditionalities tied to the aids.

III. Trade. Trade has an important role to play in economic development and poverty eradication. The eight rounds of multilateral trade talks in the past half century have achieved a lot in eliminating trade barriers. However, it is developed countries that have benefited most from trade liberalization. Textiles and agricultural products, on which developing countries have competitive advantages, have been obstructed as always by trade protectionism in developed countries. Developed countries have failed for so long a time to implement the final outcome of the Uruguay round of negotiations and continued to set quotas on products of developing countries. And more and more frequently, new restrictions have been created by making use of anti-dumping measures and environmental protection and technological regulations. At the same time when they are protecting their own markets, developed countries are pressing developing countries to open markets where the former have advantages. This unfair situation must be reversed. According to the estimates in the report by the High-level Panel on Financing for Development, the eradication of the existing trade barriers would give developing countries a benefit of 130 billion US dollars annually. We appeal to developed countries to fully implement as soon as possible the agreements reached at the Uruguay round, open markets and eliminate trade barriers against products from developing countries in accordance with the principles of free trade. In formulating the new trade rules, special difficulties facing developing countries should be taken into full consideration and trade liberalization should be carried out on gradual and orderly basis and in conformity with national conditions. In our view, the WTO should make the concerns of developing countries the core contents of its upcoming ministerial meeting in Doha.

IV. Sustainable development. The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development is another important conference in the field of international environmental protection and development. The Summit should have a comprehensive review of and identify problems in the implementation of Agenda 21 on the basis of adhering to the various principles of sustainable development set by the UNCED. Special efforts should be made to help developing countries solve their difficulties. As to the means of implementation, there needs to be concrete suggestions and measures to solve issues of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building, so as to promote the full implementation of Agenda 21 and the realization of global sustainable development and at the same time fulfill the various sustainable development goals set by the Millennium Declaration.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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