|Statement by Deputy Representative of China to the UN Ambassador LIU Zhenmin at the Informal Thematic Debate of the 61st Session of the General Assembly on "Promotion of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women"|
Chinese delegation welcomes and appreciates the informal thematic debate of the General Assembly on this important topic of "Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women". We hope this informal thematic debate will reinforce the commitment of international community to take action to promote the gender equality and build up a harmonious world.
Advancement of women, safeguarding the rights and interests of women and realizing equality between men and women are the common understanding of the whole international community. We are pleased to note that since the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Special Session of the GA on Women, gender equality and empowerment of women have been incorporated into national policies and gender related issues have been given a prominent position in the policies and activities of the UN system and other international organizations. However, the overall situation of the status of women and girls is still a matter of concern. Women still do not have equal social status with men, nor can they enjoy the same economic and social rights. The international community still has a long way to go in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women.
The Chinese government always advocates equality between men and women, attaches importance to the enhancement of women's status, mobilizes women's initiative and creativity in political, economic and social fields and commits itself to the protection of women's rights and interests. The Law on Protection of Women's Rights and Interests stipulates explicitly that equality between men and women is China's basic national policy and China opposes all forms of discrimination against women.
In order to implement the commitment of Beijing Declaration and Platform for action and other international documents, China enacted the second national program of action in promoting gender equality namely, 2001-2010 Program for the Development of Chinese Women in May, 2001. The Program put forward 34 goals and 100 policy measures for the development of the Chinese women in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2006, we completed the mid-term review of the implementation of the Program and the result shows that the implementation of the Program has been on track. The employment of women has increased, their employment structure has changed, the ratio of women in politics has gone up, women's education level has risen and their health situation has improved. Governments at all levels have incorporated the development of women into the overall planning for economic and social development, improved relevant laws and regulations, and strengthened data collecting and monitoring of various indicators. However, with economic globalization, problems facing China's economic and social development also pose challenges to the development of women. We need to work continuously to intensify our efforts of poverty eradication, enhancing the level of women's participation in political life, raising women's education level and improving their health.
As the host country of the Fourth World Conference on Women and a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, China is ready to join the efforts of all governments and the international community in implementing the follow-up actions to the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Special Session of the GA on Women, promoting gender equality and continuously pushing forward the cause of safeguarding women's rights and interests.
Thank you, Madam President.