|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations and Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the Eleventh Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development|
As the first substantive meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), this session of the CSD has special significance for undertaking the implementation of the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit and sustaining the momentum of international cooperation for sustainable development.
Sustainable development is a prerequisite for human existence and prosperity. During the Johannesburg Summit, world leaders have rededicated themselves to the realization of the objectives set forth by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at Rio. The Summit not only formulated more concrete and clearer goals and targets and programmes but also made firmer commitments. The commitment to multilateralism in particular has turned out to be a strong impetus to greater international cooperation. All countries need to grasp this opportunity to fulfill their respective obligations based on the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" to achieve the concrete objectives.
Sustainable development is a broad field with cross-cutting issues and requires comprehensive concrete actions from global, regional, national actors and even individuals, all of whom are indispensable links in this undertaking. As the only body mandated to undertake a comprehensive consideration of economic, social and environmental issues, the CSD is the chain that links up all these actions and the booster that propels the implementation of the various consensuses and commitments. In its first decade, the CSD played a role under the guidance of the UNCED spirit but fell short of the requirements of global sustainable development. To effectively implement Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), the CSD must strive to be innovative, proactive, pragmatic and action-oriented.
The agenda and organization of the work of the CSD will have substantive impact on the efficiency and final outcome of its work. The recommendations in the Secretary-General's report on the future programme and organization of work of the CSD have provided a good basis for discussion. We believe that the CSD should continue to base on GA Resolution 47/191 for its functions and operations and make the implementation of Agenda 21 and JPOI as a centerpiece of its work. For this reason, it should avoid re-negotiation and focus more on practical measures of cooperation. To some specific questions, we have the following views:
1. The programme of work of the CSD needs both predictability and flexibility.
In its day-to-day work, the Commission should avoid duplication with the functions of other bodies of the United Nations