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Statement by the Chinese Delegation on Item 103: First United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006)
(12 October 2001)

Mr. Chairman:

The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive and detailed report on this agenda item as well as for the presentation of the report by the Secretariat. Meanwhile, the Chinese Delegation fully supports the statement by the representative of Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The issue of the eradication of poverty has been on the agenda of the Second Committee of the General Assembly for years, regrettably however, poverty remains very grim worldwide. While the positive factors of globalization have failed to benefit the poor, its negative aspects have led to the increase in the population of the impoverished. Facts prove that prolonged poverty and lack of development constitute the root cause of many serious international problems, threatening world peace and development. Constant armed conflicts, social upheaval, rising waves of refugees, the spread of HIV/AIDS, humanitarian crises and terrorism all bear a close relationship to poverty. Without a doubt, poverty eradication serves as a basis for resolving numerous major international problems confronting us, presenting an urgent task for the international community, and it also constitutes the basic elements for the respect for and protection of human rights.

The Millennium Summit reiterates the goal to halve the proportion of the world's people whose income is less than one dollar a day by the year 2015. The current situation, however, allows for no optimism. The gap between the rich and poor caused by the economic globalization continues to widen. There are still about 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty in the world, with many developing countries continuing to face grim poverty. At present, what merits our increasing attention and concern is the great impact of the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11 on the world economy, including the economy of the developing countries. According to the World Bank's estimate, due to this incident, next year will witness an additional 10 million people living in poverty in the developing countries.  

Mr. Chairman,
Confronting with present grave situation the international community should all the more redouble its efforts and undertake joint actions. We believe poverty eradication ultimately depends on development. The Secretary General explicitly points out in his report, "rapid economic growth is the most powerful means by which countries can achieve higher living standards and reduce poverty". To this end, the international community should formulate corresponding strategies in reducing the widening gap ever intensified by the globalization between the rich and poor, the North and South. In this process, countries should join their efforts and coordinate their actions. In this respect, efforts are required on the part of governments of all countries which should, based on their own specific circumstances, incorporate, as a matter of priority, poverty eradication into national economic and social development strategies, while mobilizing forces of all walks of life to participate in the work of poverty eradication. Meanwhile, the international community needs to provide maximum support to the developing countries, including the increase of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the developing countries to meet the commitment of devoting 0.7% of the gross national product of the developed countries for ODA; the earnest implementation of the agreement of the Uruguay Round in opening markets for developing countries' agricultural, textile and other products of competitive advantages; the overall fulfillment of the HIPC initiative and resolution of the great debt problem of the middle income developing countries. All these are of critical importance to the achievement of poverty eradication by the developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

The United Nations plays an extremely important role on the issue of poverty eradication. We are pleased to see that the issue of poverty eradication is high on the UN development agenda. We hope that relevant bodies within the UN system will further bring into play their respective advantages, strengthen coordination on this issue, mobilize all resources, and in close cooperation with the poverty eradication agencies in the recipient countries to ensure their full participation in the formulation and implementation of the aid projects while soliciting their ideas to truly reflect recipient countries' genuine ownership, thereby enhancing the efficiency in fund utilization for poverty eradication and improving the project performance so as to help the developing countries achieve at an early date the goal of poverty eradication and other development goals established at the Millennium Summit.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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