|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development, on "Poverty Eradication"|
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your election. I trust that the current session, under your stewardship, is sure to be crowned with success. The Chinese delegation is ready to work closely with you and the bureau for a positive outcome of the session. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The UN Millennium Summit in 2000 set clearly eradication of poverty as a key component of human development goals. Over the years, the international community has been actively engaged in eradicating poverty; notwithstanding considerable progress achieved, the impoverished population still numbers upwards of 1 billion globally and poverty reduction still faces an uphill battle. The international financial crisis has exacerbated the already dire situation of global poverty reduction, adding to the global tally of impoverished population. It therefore remains a long and arduous journey towards realizing the poverty reduction target set out in the Millennium Development Goals.
Poverty eradication poses itself as a most complex issue, with interplay of economic, political, social and historical factors; it is at the same time a shared responsibility of the international community. In our view, the following represents the key to its success:
First, it is essential to foster a peaceful and stable environment, both domestic and international. Peace and stability constitute the premise of economic and social development. Wars and conflicts can only lead to social upheaval, and exacerbate hunger and poverty. All countries should actively engage in maintaining world peace and striving for social stability at home, thus creating a favorable environment for promoting development and eradicating poverty.
Second, it is essential to actively advocate the principle of international solidarity to achieve mutual benefit. One swallow does not make a spring. It is only through ensuring development of all countries, the rich and the poor alike, can the progress of the human society be genuinely pushed forward. During the course of globalization, the international community should practice mutual assistance and lend a helping hand to the poor and the party at risk. The developed countries should take even more seriously the difficulties facing the developing countries by implementing in earnest the commitments to official development assistance, accelerating transfers of technology, reducing and writing off their debts and renouncing trade protectionism in a bid for common development and prosperity.
Third, it is essential to attain development through one's own persevering efforts. While actively promoting international poverty reduction cooperation, countries, developing ones in particular, should anchor their efforts on self reliance and hard work and tapping fully the potential and the resources of their own people. It is imperative to, in light of the national conditions, integrate poverty reduction into the overall national development programmes, with clear-cut targets and benchmarks for poverty reduction, in an effort to promote economic and social development and eradicate poverty and backwardness.
Fourth, the role of international organizations should be brought into full play. International organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank have important responsibilities for poverty reduction. In reference to their respective mandates and specialties, they should fully utilize their advantages in the work of poverty reduction, push forward North-South cooperation, and strengthen South-South cooperation so as to attain international synergy in poverty eradication.
Being a country with a large population, China is actively engaged in and one of the major forces behind poverty reduction around the world. Since the founding of the People's Republic, and especially over the past 30 years since its reforming and opening to the outside world, China has made remarkable achievements in poverty reduction through the unrelenting hard efforts of the Chinese government and people. Its population in absolute poverty in rural areas is reduced from 250 million in 1978 to 35.97 million in 2009. China actively promotes poverty alleviation and development, and successfully links such effort with lower-income security system in rural areas. China provides earmarked support to different categories of population living in poverty, strengthens the efforts for poverty alleviation in targeted areas and encourages business sectors to contribute to poverty alleviation effort.
China has actively promoted employment, scaling up its support to medium and small-scale enterprises and labor-intensive industries so as to create more job opportunities. It has also vigorously improved its employment policies for such key sections of the population as college graduates, migrant workers from rural areas and low-income urban dwellers.
China has accelerated its institutional reform in the health sector. It continues to expand its coverage of primary medical insurance, promote an equitable basic public health service, and reduce illness-related poverty. China has exerted greater efforts to set up a social welfare system, and accelerate its endeavor to improve community services and child welfare system, and protect and assist street children.
However, China is still a developing country. As a result of its large population, China's per capita income ranks 104th in the world. In China, there are 150 million people living below the poverty line as defined by the United Nations. Poverty reduction remains a long and arduous task in China. 2011 is the first year of China's 12th Five-Year Plan. Poverty eradication, social protection and improvement of people's livelihood are the priorities for China in the next five years. We will continue to make unremitting efforts in this regard.
The Chinese government is in favor of mainstreaming poverty eradication into the policies and programs of the UN system, and supports the United Nations Commission for Social Development in continuing to play its positive role in this field. We are ready to work together with the international community in a joint bid to eradicate poverty and achieve common development and harmony around the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.