|Statement by Wang Qi, Adviser of The Chinese Delegation at the 60th Session of the UNGA on Item 56 (A): Implementation of the First UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty|
The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for the report submitted under this agenda item. We associate ourselves with the statement made by Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
One of the most severe challenges facing mankind is poverty. In today's world, 1 billion people still live under the line of extreme poverty, 852 million suffer from hunger, and over 5 million children die annually of hunger and malnutrition. The Millennium Summit made poverty eradication a primary issue of development and set the corresponding targets. At this year's Summit meeting, the international community once again confirmed it solemn commitment to poverty eradication. We are in the ninth year of the International Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, but the task is far from being accomplished. We still have a long way to go in realizing poverty reduction.
Poverty is attributable to many factors --economic, political, social and historical. Therefore, as pointed out by the Secretary-General in his report, "poverty eradication requires a comprehensive approach". My delegation wishes to make the following observations on poverty eradication, taking into consideration of China's experience:
1. It is necessary for countries to shoulder their respective responsibilities and to jointly promote the global endeavor of poverty eradication. Poverty eradication requires not only hard work on the part of the developing countries, but also common efforts of the entire international community. While the developing countries must formulate poverty reduction strategies in light of their specific circumstances, fight poverty and backwardness through self-reliance and painstaking efforts, the developed countries have the duty and obligation to render greater assistance to the developing countries, especially by making good on their commitments in areas of financial aid, technology transfer, debt relief, and market access. In this global endeavor, international organizations should play a greater role by advancing follow-ups to international conferences and exploring new ways in which international multilateral bodies can offer help. The United Nations should bring its advantages into full play and make a difference.
2. Countries should make concerted efforts to create a favorable international environment. Since economic growth is the essential way to realize poverty eradication, the international community should create a favorable external environment for economic growth of the developing countries. It should respect the right of the developing countries to choose their own path of economic development; further improve international financial system, so as to foster a healthy and orderly trade environment and a stable and well functioning financial environment for the benefit of world economic growth; energetically promote a sound multilateral trade system that is open, fair and nondiscriminatory; actively guide the direction of globalization to ensure equitable development opportunities to people of all countries so that they can share the benefits of globalization in a fair and reasonable manner, and that poverty will lose its breeding ground.
3. It is important that all are mobilized and form a comprehensive partnership. Poverty eradication is the common responsibility of the whole society. In the effort to eradicate poverty and hunger, extensive social mobilization is necessary. Governments, enterprises and civil society organizations should fully play their respective roles so as to form a complementary synergy in advancing poverty reduction. Broad-based dialogue and consultations, mobilization of all kinds of resources, innovative poverty alleviation mechanisms, strong measures and resourceful means of reducing poverty and promoting development, all these add energy and vitality to the international cause of poverty eradication.
As the most populous developing country in the world, China is making great efforts to develop economy and eradicate poverty. This in itself is a huge contribution to the world development. China has reached some specific MDG related targets ahead of time. In 2004, the number of people living in poverty dropped to 26.1 million and the poverty rate dropped to 2.8%. Nonetheless, we are keenly aware that ours is still a developing country with a low per capita income that suffers acute imbalance between urban and rural areas and among different regions. It still requires long term and painstaking efforts to fundamentally change the backward state of affairs in the poor regions of our country. In the 11th five year plan period, China will continue to adhere to a scientific concept of development which is people-centered and the poverty alleviation policy guidance of "government leadership, social participation, self-reliance, entrepreneurship and comprehensive development". It will adopt stronger policy measures, strengthen accountability, and ensure timely realization of the strategic goals contained in China's Development Platform for Rural Poverty Alleviation.
China's effort is an important component of the global endeavor against poverty. China is both an active practitioner in this international endeavor and an active advocate for international cooperation. Over the years, China has carried out very fruitful cooperation with many countries and international organizations. In May last year, the Chinese government hosted in Shanghai a world conference on poverty reduction sponsored by the World Bank. The conference adopted the "Shanghai Poverty Reduction Agenda" and served as a forum where many well tested experiences were pooled. At the conference, China announced a donation of $20 million to the Asian Development Bank to inaugurate the establishment of "China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund" aimed at supporting poverty reduction and development in the Asia and Pacific region. In May this year, as a follow-up to the conference, the "International Poverty Alleviation Center" was formally established in Beijing. Its purpose is to explore new theories, facilitate policy alterations, strengthen international interaction and promote South-South cooperation. It will focus on research in applicable policies and human resources cooperation, and will serve as a platform for the summing-up, exchange and dissemination of poverty reduction experience among countries with a view to enhancing their capacity in poverty reduction. The establishment of the center not only demonstrates China's determination to be part of the global endeavor against poverty, but will also, we trust, contribute to the cause of poverty reduction.
Thank you, Mr. President.