|Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to UN, Head of the Chinese Delegation to the 45th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women|
|(7 March 2001)|
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, please allow me to wish this Session a great success in the fulfillment of its tasks under the guidance of you and other members of the Bureau.
The Special Session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the 21st century" last June, has given impetus for the further implementation of Beijing Platform for Action and has become a new starting point to combat all forms of discrimination against women with concerted actions for the realization of the lofty goals of gender equality, development and peace. We are pleased to see that all governments, the international community and non-governmental organizations have taken active and vigorous initiatives to accelerate the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the Special Session. Through the joint efforts by all parties concerned, the spirit and principles of the Fourth World Conference on Women, which was reaffirmed by the Special Session, have been reflected in the programs and actions of all governments and have had positive and far-reaching impact.
At the same time, we are fully aware that we are still far from the targets set forth in BPFA and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session. The aggravation of the feminization of poverty, the serious threats of HIV/AIDS to the livelihood of women and children, persistent social stereotypes and discrimination against women, as well as the lack of access to basic health care and education, have seriously impeded the implementation of BPFA and the Outcome Document and restrained women from their full enjoyment of human rights, equality and their participation in development in many developing countries.
It is essential to have mutual understanding, solidarity and cooperation between and among all governments as well as all forces of the international community. In the context of economic globalization, the "digital" divide and the gap between the rich and the poor are widening between developed and developing countries. The feminization of poverty, especially in the developing countries is becoming an outstanding issue. Developed countries should shoulder more responsibilities and duties to contribute to the global advancement of women. Despite the similarity in the problems facing women worldwide, the economic, geographical, cultural and historical backgrounds of different countries vary drastically, which are correlated and mutually reinforcing with the advancement of women. We believe that the specific situation of each country and the ways they choose accordingly for the advancement of women deserves full respect and understanding. Imposing a certain pattern or several patterns of development upon others in negligence of their objective conditions will lead to nothing but "more haste, less speed".
The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the rights, progress and advancement of women. Following the principle of "stress on actions", the Chinese Government has taken concrete actions to implement BPFA and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session. Relevant government departments, women's organizations and all sectors of the civil society, including non-governmental organizations, have been mobilized to make unremitting and concerted efforts for the full implementation of Program for the Development of Chinese Women. Up to now, the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Program has been more or less concluded. After five years of hard work, we are glad to see that the 11 major objectives set forth in the Program have been achieved through a series of measures, i.e. economic growth, the strengthening of legislation, policy formulation and government functions, non-governmental organizations, international cooperation and exchanges. In the past five years, the Chinese Government has adopted policies and measures designed to accelerate development and solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, education and training, marriage and family affairs in the course of establishing socialist market economy system. The Chinese legislative organs have also formulated and revised laws and regulations, such as the Land Contracting Law for Farmers and the Marriage Law, aimed at eliminating the negative effects on women and the girl child to ensure that they can share the fruits of social progress while making contribution to the society. All this has vigorously pushed forward the economic development and social progress.
Since the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly last year, the Chinese Government has drafted and basically completed the formulation of Program of the Development of Chinese Women from 2001 to 2010. This new Program is based on the current situation of Chinese women and in particular on outstanding issues emerged during the reform and opening up process. The Program takes safeguarding women's rights as its basis, the promotion of women's equal participation and development as its goal. Priority areas, major targets and strategies are identified in the Program. The Hong Kong and Macao SAR governments have made earnest efforts for the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Outcome Document of the 23rd Special Session of the General Assembly. The Hong Kong SAR government set up the Women's Commission of Hong Kong SAR last February. The NGOs on women issues in Hong Kong and Macao have also played an important role in enhancing women's development. I firmly believe that, with the concerted efforts of the Central Government of China, the Hong Kong and Macao SAR governments and the whole society, China will achieve a great progress in women's development.
Thank you, Madame Chairperson.