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Statement by Counsellor YAO Shaojun of the Permanent Mission of China in the General Discussion under Agenda Item 3(b) of the 55th Session of the UN Commission for Social Development

2017/02/03

Mr. Chairman,

China thanks the Secretary-General for the reports submitted under this agenda item. Chinese delegation would like to make the following observations on persons with disabilities, the elderly, youth and the family.

First, it is imperative to fully protect the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. An effective way to address issues related to this social group is to develop the economy and further enable them to share the development gains. China supports the Commission for Social Development in holding panel discussion on disability every year. China encourages all parties to accelerate the implementation of the goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that related to persons with disabilities as well as other important documents such as the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons.

Second, it is important to mobilize resources of all kinds to address ageing. Ageing is a common challenge to all countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development. The international community should make full use of the role of existing policy frameworks such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Countries should proceed from their specific situations, take into full account the special needs of the elderly in, inter alia, poverty eradication, health service and social protection. They should encourage the participation by social organizations and individuals in the cause for the elderly while actively giving play to the role of senior citizens and leveraging market forces to develop elder care industries so as to find a proper solution to the ageing problem.

Third, more attention should be given to youth development. Youth can continue to inject new vitality into economic and social development. Countries should actively implement the World Programme of Action for Youth, step up guidance and training for youth, address issues of youth poverty reduction, employment, education, etc., ensure their full participation in decision-making and facilitate their contribution to social development and progress.

Fourth, the family perspective should be incorporated into national decision-making. As the most basic and vibrant unit of the society, the family has positive significance for poverty eradication, employment promotion and social cohesion. China supports the UN system in enhancing coordination, leveraging the fundamental role of the family in social development, valuing family building, championing family virtues and promoting family harmony.

Mr. Chairman,

Having established and is practising the concept of “innovative, coordinated, green, open and sharing”development, the Chinese government attaches great importance to issues concerning persons with disabilities, the elderly, youth and the family, and has been implementing in real earnest relevant UN plans and programmes of action.

There are 85 million persons with disabilities in China. The Chinese government has taken effective measures to protect and promote their rights and interests, enacted over thirty laws and regulations, including the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons and created cross-sectoral working committees on disability at all levels of government. In 2016, China achieved universal coverage of disability programmes which entitle poor persons with disabilities to living allowances and those with serious disabilities to caring allowances. In January 2017, the State Council reviewed and adopted the Regulation on Education of Disabled Persons (draft amendment) and the Regulation on Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (draft) which together provide better guarantee for the education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.

The Chinese government has actively tackled ageing by promulgating a series of laws and regulations and advocating in our society a culture of respect, support and care for the elderly and by gradually building a sound social protection system. By the end of 2015, 859 million people in the country had joined basic old-age insurance plans. The Chinese government is implementing nationwide the “one couple, two children” policy in an effort to continue to improve its population development strategy for balanced population growth.

The Chinese government sets store by youth development. Through branded programmes like Project Hope College Dream, we provide effective student support services to youth and adolescents in poor areas, encourage youth to find their own way out of poverty through employment and entrepreneurship, and provide young entrepreneurs with such facility as credit, training and venues. On an accumulative basis, China has built 400 young entrepreneur parks and 100 incubation bases for innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2015, 107,000 rural young people received training and 200,000 young entrepreneurs benefited from start-up loans with all kinds of financial incentives and supports exceeding 6 billion RMB.

As a nation with the biggest number of families, China has always valued the role of the family. We are promoting and will further and deepen the study of family-oriented policies and programmes, including actively improving basic public service infrastructure in urban and rural areas, advancing integrated urban-rural development and strengthening external support to family development.

In light of its national conditions and with a continuing people-centered approach, the Chinese government will develop in depths its participation in international cooperation in social development with a view to making even greater contribution to the wellbeing of persons with disabilities, the elderly and youth across the globe and better implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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