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Statement By Mme. Gu Xiulian, Deputy Chairman of the National Working Committee on Children and Women of the State Council of the People's Republic of China At The Third substantive session of the Preparatory Committee For The Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

2001/06/12


Mme. Chair,

The Chinese delegation has seriously reviewed the Secretary-General's Report, and we would like to take this opportunity to share with you our comments and concerns.

1. On the current situation of the world's Child development.

We noted with pleasure, in the past decade, more and more countries paid greater attention to the child issue, the Convention on the Rights of Child was rectified in 192 countries, while 155 countries have promoted the child development of the world by developing national plan of action based on the Declaration and plan of action of the World Summit on Children. We also noted that the child situation is witnessing positive changes in some basic areas, such like health care for children and primary education. The maternal mortality rate and under 5 child mortality rate are on the trend of descending in many countries, and most countries sustained the high immunization rate, which saved the lives of millions of children. At the same time, more children got the chance to go to school.

However, when we summarized the progress made, we also realized that many of the 24 decade goals set in 11 years ago were yet to be met in the global context, and there were still more than 10 million children died before 5 years old of preventable diseases. We are also facing many new challenges, such like HIV/AIDs, war, etc. We believe, comparing with that of 11 years ago, the child situation of the world did not change substantively, which still perturbes the human society. The child development fell behind far away from the development of the world economy. Thus we support the conclusion made in the Secretary-General's report on the current situation of the world children: the progress made in this area is encouraging while is not satisfactory; we need to renew our effort at new level.

2. On the remaining challenges

The Chinese delegation is in the view that there are two biggest obstacles hindered the global child development: the persistent poverty and inadequate resources. We would like to associate ourselves with the Secretary –General's statement in his report, "Indeed, chronic poverty remains the single biggest obstacle to meeting the needs and fulfilling the rights of children." Poverty does not only prevent us to further meet the basic needs of child, but also make it difficult to sustain the progress made. At present, children are facing more and more challenges, including HIV/AIDs, war and conflicts, various disparities, all of which are the consequences of poverty. It is well supported by the analysis made in the Secretary –General's report on the relation between the income level and child development. On the other hand, the inadequate resources constrained at great extend the child development. We noted the relating analysis in the Secretary –General's statement in his report, it is our hope that more effort could be made to fulfill our commitments. The developed countries should share more international obligations for the child development of the developing countries, by increasing its ODA and its portion for child development. It is also our hope UNICEF could continue to play a positive role in the UN system for the child development of the world.

3. On the Child development of China

According to the end-decade review, we are proud to declare that we have achieved the 21 out of 24 decade goals at national level. However, we also found the development between the urban and rural area, as well as that between different regions uneven. There are still a lot of people living under poverty lines, whose children are facing more challenges in their development. Chinese Government has already promulgated the "2001-2010 Plan of Action for the child development of China". The new National Plan of Action provides a comprehensive review of the current situation of the child development, and puts forwards goals for 2010 for the survival, development, protection and participation of children, and strategies and measures for realizing the goals. The New NPA promotes children development as a key element in reaching the goals of improving the physical and psychological quality of children and raising human resources for China' modernization in the 21st century. Its four major areas include children and health, children and education, children and environment, and children and legal protection. All the provinces, autonomous regions and independent municipalities have also developed or are in the process of developing the Plan of Action of their own. In order to promote the child development, we are going to provide children with not only a secure natural environment, which enables the healthy physical development, but also an enabling human environment for the healthy psychological development.

Thank you.

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