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Statement by Vice Chairperson of the National Working Committee on Women and Children of the State Council of China Mme. Zhao Shaohua at the High Level Opening of the 49th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women
(New York, 28 February 2005)

2005/02/28


Mr. Secretary General,

Madam Chairperson,

At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese delegation and Mme. Chen Muhua, President of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, please allow me to extend our sincere congratulations to the opening of this session.

This session will focus on the review and appraisal of women's development over the past ten years since the Fourth World Conference on Women. It is widely held that the four world conferences on women held by the United Nations since 1975 have played a significant role in realizing equality between women and men and in promoting women's development worldwide. These conferences also enriched the meaning and culture of the host cities of Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing.

Madam Chairperson,

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, we congratulate and applaud the remarkable contributions by the United Nations in promoting gender equality. It is enshrined in the UN Charter, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the two international covenants on human rights that equality between men and women, promoting and protecting women's civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as well as their right to development are important objectives in the realization of universal human rights. However, we have to admit that problems such as discrimination against women and the feminization of poverty still exist and there is a long way for the international community to go in the promotion and protection of women's rights.

Madam Chairperson,

Ten years ago, China successfully hosted the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women and the '95 NGO Forum on Women. About 47,000 representatives from 189 countries and regions, the United Nations organizations and specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the media gathered in Beijing and extensively exchanged views on women's empowerment and development and reached consensus on many issues. The adoption of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, which aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies, has exerted positive and far-reaching significance in the advancement of global women and the promotion of sustainable human development.

We are pleased to note that over the past 10 years the international community has taken concerted actions to implement the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly. Gender mainstreaming has been used as an important strategy in promoting gender equality and various kinds of mechanisms have been established.

Over the past 10 years, China has spared no efforts in fulfilling its commitments to implement strategic objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action and has achieved outstanding progress. It made equality between women and men a basic national policy and formulated national programs for the development of Chinese women. It pursues a sound, stable and sustainable economic and social development and commits itself to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

China will hold a series of activities to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. We believe that this session and other commemorating activities will surely contribute to the further implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document. We believe that Member States of the UN will take this opportunity as a new starting point to honour commitments, eliminate discrimination against women, promote women's advancement and progress of human kind and make efforts for the realization of equality, development and peace.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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