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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, At the 2nd Committee of the 55th Session of the General Assembly On Agenda Item 100: Globalization and Interdependence(

2000/10/24

Mr. Chairman,

Globalization was an important issue on the agenda of the Millennium Summit of the United Nations.  As stated in the Millennium Declaration, the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world's people.  It is, therefore, our responsibility to continue to study specific policy issues regarding globalization.  We welcome the Secretary-General's report, in which he not only makes an in-depth analysis but also puts forward concrete recommendations in the field of information technology.

At the dawn of a new century, there still exist serious destabilizing factors in the world and a huge gap between the rich North and the poor South and that peace and development are far from being fully realized. While making all economies more interdependent, globalization benefits, at present, in great part developed countries. The majority of the developing countries, especially the small and vulnerable African economies and the least developed countries, have been put at a disadvantage with their economic security or even state sovereignty being subjected to severe challenges. It is a fact that the per capita income ratio between the richest and the poorest population in the world in 1980 was 30:1, whereas the figure has grown to 74:1 nowadays. It is also a fact that the developed countries, whose population accounts for 20% of the world's total, own 80% of the world's wealth. Under this situation, exaggerating the benefits of globalization while totally neglecting all of its demerits including the appalling polarization it has caused will make the real common development of the whole world an impossibility. We hope that the lucky countries in the globalization process will continue to develop, however, the last thing we want to see is that their development is achieved at the price of other countries' interests.

Mr. Chairman,

Globalization without regulation and a clear purpose will bring benefit to a minority of people. Only when well-regulated will globalization benefit all countries and people in the world. The first and foremost task of the international community is to strengthen effective globalization governance. Globalization has brought not only opportunities for development, but also huge risks. In recent years, its negative impact and consequences have become increasingly clear, affecting, in particular, developing countries whose economic basis is weak, and dealing devastating blows to their economic, social and political development. Consequently the gap that already exists between the developed and the developing countries is becoming even wider. The fast and ill-regulated globalization has left the global governance system visibly out-dated, which makes it necessary for the international community to formulate an effective and coordinated governance strategy and to reform the current global economic system. The new system should represent the interests of the majority of the people and have a humane face, thus enabling all countries and especially the developing countries to enjoy equitably the benefits brought by globalization and to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and poverty eradication. The United Nations, as the most universal and representative organization in the world, must play a central role in managing and regulating globalization.

The international community should reform the current international financial and trade system, and thereby achieve the goal of establishing an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial system as provided for in the Millennium Declaration. This should be an important component of the effort to regulate and govern globalization. The multi-lateral trading and financial system should conduce to the development and stability of the world economy and build up its institutional capacity to respond to fluctuations of the world economy. It should work to enhance policy co-ordination and promote co-operation. At the same time, it should ensure that the particular needs of the developing countries will be taken into full consideration, so that they will really integrate into the world economic system and become equal beneficiaries to global economic developments. To guarantee the success of this process, an important pre-condition will have to be found in the developing countries' full and effective participation in the decision-making process concerning the reform of the international financial and trading system. The high-level international inter-governmental event on financing for development should hold comprehensive and in-depth discussions on the issue of the international financial system and produce action-oriented results. The Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization should take an active part in the preparation for the final event and all other related activities so as to strengthen co-operation between agencies and promote co-ordination of policies.

The process of globalization increases the interdependence among countries.  No country alone, however strong it is, can face the formidable challenges brought on by globalization. Facing increasing pressures and difficulties, the developing countries need to strive to promote their domestic sustainable development and poverty eradication by formulating feasible development strategies in light of their internal conditions. With sound domestic policies and a favorable international environment, the great potentials of developing countries can be brought out totally. The international community ought to create a favorable international environment in the areas of financial resources, trade, science and technology, which is not only a support to developing countries but also an investment for the future.

Mr. Chairman,

Information technology represented by the Internet is developing extremely fast, strongly boosting the process of globalization, and bringing about many new opportunities for economic growth and social development. However we are soberly aware that the development of information technology has not resulted in prosperity for all countries in the world. The Secretary-General's report points out that the emerging new economy affects everybody, but it does not include everybody. On the contrary, since the knowledge-based new economy is mainly concentrated in developed countries, the vast number of people of the developing countries has no access to the information technology. Their life remains poor and the gap between the South and the North is getting wider than ever due to the digital divide. This casts a shadow on the prospect of mankind's common development and prosperity. We therefore appeal to all countries to conform to the historical trend of the times by adopting vigorous measures and seizing the opportunities brought about by the development of information technology. Meanwhile the international community should also take specific measures to turn the common understanding of bridging the digital divide into urgent action. Efforts should be made to enhance international cooperation so that a favorable external environment will be created for the developing countries to make use of the information technology to promote development.  Actions at the national, regional and international levels should be coordinated to create the digital opportunities so that the information technology can serve the development of all countries and the interests of all peoples.
The high-level segment of the ECOSOC substantive session of 2000 adopted a ministerial declaration entitled Development and International Co-operation in the Twenty-first Century: the Role of Information Technology in the Context of a Knowledge-based Global Economy, which was endorsed by the Millennium Summit. The Declaration shows clearly that the United Nations, especially the ECOSOC, still has a unique potential in meeting the challenges in the social and economic areas. We hope the United Nations will give top priority to the promotion of information technology in support of development and thereby play a leading role in assisting the developing countries to get access to the information technology and integrate into the world economy. We appreciate the work done by the various bodies of the UN system to promote the development of the information technology and support the series of proposals put forward by the Secretary-General in his report. In our view, to strengthen the construction of the infrastructure and to foster the developing countries' capability of using and developing the information technology stand as the two major fields. We look forward to breakthroughs in these regards.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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