|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the 66th Session of the General Assembly|
I wish to begin by congratulating Your Excellency on your election as the chairman of the Second Committee for the current session of the GA. The Chinese delegation will cooperate closely with you and other members of the bureau for the successful and timely completion of the work assigned to this committee. China associates itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of the G77 and China.
Global development is at a new critical juncture. The world economic recovery remains fragile; the international financial market is plagued by turmoil; challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, and food and energy security are formidable; and the development imbalance between the North and the South continues to be acute. Under these circumstances, the comprehensive and on-time attainment of the MDGs are an urgent and arduous task, the issue of development becomes even more pressing and international cooperation for development is put under severe tests.
While recognizing difficulties and challenges, we should also see that the international financial crisis has served as a catalyst for the reform of international economic and financial systems and the structural adjustment of the world economy has brought about new opportunities for promoting development. Countries have tried to engage in innovative thinking in tackling problems in development and worked actively to explore green economy and other modes of sustainable development, thus creating new impetus and space for common development.
Comprehensive implementation and revitalization of the development agenda forms the basis for effective response to various complex challenges of the current times and is at the core of efforts to improve global governance in the post-crisis era. The United Nations should continue to act as the leader and rally the international community to strengthen unity, build confidence and forge consensus and take action in the following aspects:
First, promote world economic recovery and lay a solid foundation for development. Economic growth is the fundamental way to eradicate poverty, improve livelihood and address the problems of unemployment and debt. The rising risk associated with some countries’ sovereign debt has exacerbated the uncertainty and instability of the world economic recovery. In their endeavor for development, the developing countries find their external environment worsening and internal challenges increasing. Countries should strengthen macro-economic policy coordination in order to promote the balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth of the world economy. The developed countries in particular should adopt responsible fiscal and monetary policies, properly address their debt problem, maintain the safe and stable operation of market investment and refrain from trade protectionism.
Secondly, transform the mode of growth and improve the quality of development. Today, 20 year after the adoption of Agenda 21, the challenge of realizing sustainable development is more daunting than ever. The international community is keenly aware that only through the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars can development be comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable. The developed countries must take the lead in changing their unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, effectively fulfill their obligation in quantified emissions reduction, reduce trade and investment barriers and help the developing countries enhance the capacity for self-development and sustainable development. The developing countries should actively explore effective ways to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development based on their national conditions. Rio+20 offers an important historical opportunity in this respect. The international community should uphold the spirit and principles of the Rio Conference, especially the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in formulating a forward looking program of action for the comprehensive advancement of the agenda of sustainable development.
Thirdly, effectively honor commitments and increase input in development. In the current grave world economic situation, the basis of international development cooperation must remain solid, the relevant principles brook no contest and we must not waver in our will. Public finance remains the core of international development assistance. The developed countries should effectively honor their ODA commitments to provide the developing countries with financial assistance, technological transfer, market access and debt reduction and cancellation. They should particularly intensify assistance to Africa and the LDCs, focusing on issues of poverty, health care and education. The UN system should strengthen coordination and integration and reinforce the supervision of the implementation of development assistance commitments. While South-South cooperation has great potentials, it is not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North-South cooperation.
Fourthly, increase political will and improve the development system. The structural impediments to development in the current international economic system remain; multilateral trade talks and climate change negotiations are at a standstill. We call on all sides, especially the developed countries, to demonstrate good faith and flexibility and work jointly to deepen the reform of the international economic and financial systems and further increase the voice and representation of the developing countries with a view to building a fair, just, inclusive and orderly international monetary and financial system. In the same vein, we call for early achievement in the Doha Round of the objectives of the development round with a view to building a fair and equitable international free trade system. We also call for comprehensive, balanced and pragmatic results of the Durban Conference on Climate Change in accordance with the mandate of dual-track negotiation given by the Bali Roadmap. We further call for substantive results of Rio+20 on issues of concern to the developing countries such as finance, technology and capacity building.
As a member of the developing world, China has always made the advancement of common development an important part of its foreign policy. China has provided assistance to over 120 countries, cancelled 380 debts of 50 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries, and is on the way to granting zero-tariff treatment to 95% of exports from the LDCs in Africa that have diplomatic relations with China. To respond to the severe draught and famine afflicting the Horn of Africa, my government has decided to provide RMB 443.2 million (about US$70 million) in emergency food relief. China will, within the framework of South-South cooperation, continue to provide assistance to other developing countries as its ability permits.
Despite remarkable achievements in China’s economic and social development in recent years, my country still faces multiple difficulties and challenges and there is still serious imbalance and lack of coordination in our development. We have formulated our 12th Five Year Plan for Economic and Social Development that is based on scientific development and geared towards transforming our mode of economic development. We are committed to carrying out economic structural adjustment, developing education in science and technology, conserving energy and other resources, intensifying efforts to protect and develop ecological environment, narrowing the development gap among different regions and between urban and rural areas, and securing and improving people’s livelihood. China is confident of its ability to maintain a stable and relatively fast pace of economic development and to continue to contribute to the recovery and development of the world economy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.