|Statement by Ms. Chen Yingzhu of the Chinese Delegation at the Second Committee of the 68th Session of the General Assembly under Agenda Item 23: Eradication of Poverty and Other Development Issues|
The Chinese delegation thanks the Secretary-General for his report under this agenda item and associates itself with the statement made by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
As a result of the international financial crisis and the lackluster recovery of the world economy, challenges abound in the field of international cooperation for poverty reduction, among them diminishing political will, shortage of financial resources and the deterioration of the external environment. Since the implementation of the Second UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, some progress has been achieved through global cooperation for poverty reduction. However, the situation of poverty reduction at the global level does not look promising with about 1.3 billion people, mostly in developing countries, still living in extreme poverty under the international poverty line of less than $1.25 a day. With the target date of 2015 fast approaching, developing countries are faced with a multitude of challenges in their efforts to achieve the MDGs. As the most formidable challenge of all, the issue of poverty lies at the heart of the MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda. Poverty eradication is a multi-faceted task and the shared responsibility of the international community. To address this problem, efforts must be made in the following areas:
First, we must expedite our efforts to attain the MDGs, especially the goal of poverty eradication. All countries, developed countries in particular, should undertake their due responsibility and obligation to help eradicate poverty and hunger by effectively fulfilling their ODA commitment, helping developing countries improve their capacity for poverty eradication and providing financial and technical assistance. The United Nations and the relevant international institutions should take effective actions to promote international cooperation for poverty eradication and speed up the attainment of the MDGs. The developing countries should, in light of their national conditions, integrate poverty reduction into their overall national plans for economic and social development, formulate strategies and phased targets for poverty reduction and vigorously promote economic growth so as to eradicate poverty.
Secondly, the post-2015 development agenda should prioritize poverty eradication as its core objective. Poverty eradication relates to the most fundamental rights to survival and development of the people of all countries and represents the precondition for the economic and social development of all countries, particularly the developing countries. The post-2015 development agenda should set as its top priority resolving the most urgent problems facing the developing countries, including poverty eradication. It is necessary to tackle both extreme poverty and poverty in general; there should be both individual and cross-sectoral targets for poverty eradication. The post-2015 development agenda should be formulated in such a way that all the targets under the agenda should serve the major theme of poverty eradication so as to ensure that the new agenda will truly be an agenda for poverty eradication.
Thirdly, the international community should enhance the coordination of macroeconomic policies and improve the international economic governance. It is necessary to improve the environment for the development of developing countries, and work in all aspects such as finance, trade, investment and debt with a view to creating an international environment conducive to poverty eradication so that people of all countries can enjoy equal opportunities for development. All actors must be mobilized to set up comprehensive partnerships. North-South cooperation should continue to serve as the main channel; South-South and triangular cooperation should also be intensified. We must galvanize the civil society and people from all walks of life into action to promote global poverty reduction.
China has actively responded to the initiative of the United Nations and made unremitting efforts to achieve the MDGs. Since 1978, the Chinese government has implemented extensive poverty reduction and development programs focused on meeting the basic needs of people living in poverty in rural areas. As a result, we have managed to reduce the number of rural people living in abject poverty from 250 million, or 30.7% of the total rural population, to 32 million, or 3.5%, largely accomplishing our strategic goal of eradiating abject poverty in rural areas by the end of the 20th century. From 1990 to 2005, the number of Chinese people lifted out of poverty accounted for 76.09% of the total population lifted out of poverty across the world during the same period. China has thus achieved ahead of schedule the MDG of halving the population living in poverty. Nevertheless, we are fully aware of the fact that China is not yet a rich country. Its per capita income ranks only around the 90th in the world and it still has over 100 million people living in poverty according to international standards. China faces an uphill battle in its efforts to develop economy and improve people’s livelihood. China will go all out to implement its Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China (2011-2020) and further intensify its efforts to reduce poverty.
While striving to reduce poverty at home, China has, within the framework of South-South cooperation, provided assistance to other developing countries to the best of its ability and shared its experience in poverty reduction with other developing countries with a view to achieving common development. China will continue to make its contributions to the joint endeavor for poverty reduction at the global level.
Thank you, Madam Chair.