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Statement by Ms. Dong Zhihua, Counselor of Chinese Delegation on the Agenda Item 20: Sustainable Development at the Second Committee of the Sixty-Fifth Session of the General Assembly


Madam Chairperson,

The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his report on this agenda item and associates itself with the statement made by Yemen on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

On item 20(a): Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development

The international financial crisis has dealt a heavy blow to the development of all countries and has posed even more formidable challenges to the endeavor of the developing countries for sustainable development.

The international community should enhance policy coordination to promote the sustained, stable and healthy development of the world economy with a view to laying a solid economic foundation for sustainable development. It should continue to adhere to and further implement the paradigm of comprehensive and balanced development so as to achieve coordinated economic and social development and harmony between man and nature. Efforts must be made to address effectively the issues of means of implementation like financial resources, technology etc. The developed countries should take concrete actions to provide funds and technology to the developing countries and the UN should continue to play a leading role in promoting the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

China attaches great importance to sustainable development and has developed a strategy for people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. Since the Rio Conference, China has formulated and improved a large number of laws and regulations on environmental protection, natural resources management, disaster prevention and reduction and the management of chemicals, wastes and discarded objects. We have also set rigorously targets for greenhouse gas emission control and engaged actively in international cooperation in the fields of environment and sustainable development.

Because of its huge population, fragile ecological environment and uneven development of its different regions, China faces enormous constraints and difficulties in its efforts toward sustainable development. Currently my government is in the process of formulating the Twelfth Five-year Plan with the intention of speeding up efforts to transform our mode of economic development and build a resource-efficient and environment friendly society. China will actively respond to climate change, vigorously develop cycle economy, strengthen environmental protection and ecological conservation, and continuously enhance our capacity for sustainable development, thus contributing to global sustainable development.

China supports the convening of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in 2012. We hope that the conference will take stock of the progress of international cooperation in the field of environment and development in the 20 years since Rio, forge consensus and work out a plan for the work in the next stage with a view to promoting global sustainable development. China will take an active part in the preparations for the conference and fully support the work of the Secretariat of the conference.

On item 20(b):Follow-up to and Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States\

Due to their exceptional vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters, small island developing states (SIDS) face unique difficulties in achieving sustainable development and need special attention and assistance from the international community. This consensus was reaffirmed at the UN High-Level Review Meeting on Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy held in September.

In order to facilitate the sustainable development of the SIDS, members of the international community, particularly the developed countries, should further open their markets and create favorable conditions for the SIDS’ trade-for-development efforts. Effective measures are needed to help the SIDS cope with climate change and natural disasters; technology transfer and personnel training should be scaled up so as to improve their capacity to tackle various challenges.

Over the years, the Chinese government has continuously expanded and deepened its cooperation with the SIDS and provided them with assistance within our capabilities. We are ready to work with the SIDS and other countries to effectively implement the Mauritius Strategy in a joint bid to promote global sustainable development.

On item 20(c): International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

The Chinese delegation commends OCHA and the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction for their efforts to promote the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and international cooperation in disaster reduction.

This year, China suffered extremely heavy losses of life and property as a result of the earthquake in Yushu County, Qinhai Province and the severe landslide in Zhouqu County, Gansu Province. The Chinese delegation wishes to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the countries and international organizations that have provided emergency humanitarian assistance to us.

In response to the increasing risks of natural disasters throughout the world, the Chinese government hopes that efforts can be made in the following three areas to enhance international disaster reduction work. First, nations should enhance cooperation and exchanges in disaster information, early warning and scientific research on disaster reduction; second, active efforts should be made to promote disaster reduction capacity-building at the grassroots level; and third, disaster reduction technology, financial support and personnel training should be provided to the developing countries. Furthermore, it is necessary to continue to improve the mechanism for cooperation in disaster reduction and humanitarian relief with the UN as the center, secure long-term, stable and predictable core resources for disaster reduction, uphold the principle of “humanity, neutrality and impartiality”, respect the ownership of the disaster-stricken countries and make sure that post-disaster reconstruction is integrated with development.

In active response to the targets set by the UN Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Chinese government has incorporated disaster reduction into its national development plan and social policies, strengthened disaster monitoring, early warning, emergency relief and awareness raising activities, and actively carried out international exchanges and cooperation in disaster reduction. We are ready to further international cooperation in disaster reduction and relief in the fields of personnel training, experience sharing and technology applications, especially to help other developing countries improve their capacities for disaster prevention, preparedness and reduction.

On item 20(d): Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Mankind

Climate change bears upon the survival of mankind. China always maintains that climate change should be addressed in the context of sustainable development and in accordance with the principles of equity and “common but differentiated responsibilities”. China believes that we should attach equal importance to mitigation and adaptation, rely on scientific and technological innovation and progress, mobilize all sectors of society and conduct extensive international cooperation.

The coming Cancun Conference should building on the results achieved in Copenhagen, continue to move forward the dual-track negotiation of the “Bali road map”, especially the work of the Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol, so as to achieve progress on all fronts.

First, deeper quantified emission reduction targets should be set for the developed countries for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol; those developed countries that have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol should also commit themselves to “comparable” emission reductions under the Convention.

Second, effective institutional arrangements should be made to ensure that the developed countries genuinely fulfill their commitments of providing technology, financing and capacity-building support to the developing countries. The developed countries must honor their pledge to provide $30 billion fast-track financing within three years as early as possible and make effective arrangements for reaching the long-term financing targets.

Third, in the context of sustainable development, the developing countries need to take appropriate mitigation actions suitable to their national conditions with the support from the developed countries in terms of finance, technology, and capacity-building. The key is the adherence to the principles of equity and “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

Attaching great importance to the issue of climate change, the Chinese government has set its own targets and tasks in responding to climate change and will take active measures for their implementation.

On item 20(e): United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The international community has not given due attention to the problem of desertification. Many developing countries are badly affected by desertification and face severe shortages in terms of finance, technology and capacity. Since its entry into force, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification has played a positive role in raising awareness, promoting cooperation and mobilizing resources, but it is also bedeviled by a serious lack of funds for implementation. The international community should follow the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and have the developed countries provide funding and technical support to the affected countries. New and additional financial resources should be invested in the efforts to combat desertification; and institutional adjustment and reform of Convention bodies that will help improve their efficiency and promote the implementation of the Convention should be supported.

In recent years, the Chinese government has taken a number of significant measures that have succeeded in bringing desertification and expansion of desertified land under a certain degree of control. China is ready to cooperate and share experience with other countries and to learn from each other’s best practices.

On item 20(f): Convention on Biological Diversity

This year is the International Year for Biodiversity. The United Nations High-Level Meeting on Biodiversity held in September solidified political consensus in this area; the recently concluded Tenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity achieved important progress on a number of issues, including access to genetic resources and the regime for benefit sharing. The international community should exert greater efforts to step up the implementation of those outcomes and strive for the realization of the international targets on biodiversity. The developed countries and the Secretariat of the Convention should provide funding and technical support to help with the capacity-building of the developing states parties.

In conscientiously fulfilling its international obligations under the Convention, the Chinese government has taken a large number of policy measures and has achieved remarkable results. China will work together with the international community to actively promote the implementation of the Convention and make greater contributions to global sustainable development.

On item 20(g): Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its Eleventh Special Session

The report of the Governing Council of UNEP on its Eleventh Special Session has put forward constructive ideas on some major issues in the fields of environment and sustainable development, such as international environmental governance, green economy and biodiversity.

China supports improving international environmental governance and realizing sustainable development and commends UNEP for the work it has done in the related areas. China supports the efforts to strengthen the role of UNEP, enhance its efficiency and capacity, promote coordination among multilateral instruments in the area of environment, and provide stable, adequate and predictable funding for international environmental governance as well as advanced and environment friendly technologies to the developing countries on preferential terms. China will actively participate in the relevant discussions and help to achieve operable results in the international environmental governance process.

Green economy is the important interface between environmental protection and development. We encourage UNEP to conduct comprehensive study on the theory, policy, technology and other relevant issues concerning green economy and provide support to the developing countries in the areas of technology transfer and capacity-building. In doing so, UNEP should strengthen coordination with other development agencies of the UN, hear the views of all member states, particularly the developing countries, and address their concerns and make its contribution to global sustainable development.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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