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Statement by Counsellor YAO Shaojun at the 55th Session of the UN Commission for Social Development on the Priority Theme "Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All"


Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman. We believe that under your leadship, this session will achieve a fruitful outcome. China would also like to align itself with the statement made by Ecuador on behalf of G77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

As a Chinese adage goes, “Only when there is adequate food for all can people be cognizant of etiquette; only when people are well-fed and clad can they be mindful of honour and shame.” Poverty eradication is the basis and premise for all countries to achieve social development and promote progress of human civilization. Since the turn of this century, led by the United Nations and riding on the waves of economic globalization, the international community has formulated and implemented the MDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, lifted 1.1 billion people out of poverty and brought access to safe drinking water to 1.9 billion. Nevertheless, as over 700 million people are still struggling under the poverty line, the global cause of poverty eradication remains a daunting task.

Poverty eradication is one of the three core objectives in the area of social development as set out in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. More importantly, it constitutes the primary goal in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Hence, the priority theme“the Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for All” is of great significance. In this context, China wishes to make the following observations:

First, we need to vigorously promote economic growth. Development is the top priority for all countries. Countries should, in light of their specific conditions, accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, seize the historic opportunity presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, push ahead with an economic globalization that is inclusive and beneficial to all, enhance regional connectivity and further unleash social productivity so as to create better material conditions for poverty eradication.

Second, we need to work towards inclusivedevelopment. Development is meant to benefit the people. China endorses what the Secretary-General recommends in his report, namely, countries should come up with holistic, integrated and coordinated strategies for poverty reduction, address the structural causes of poverty, rationalize income redistribution, provide decent jobs, and help the populace gain access to quality education and health services. Countries should forge a concept of shared development, strive for more balanced development and greater equity in development opportunities, and bring development benefits to all.

Third, we need to make poverty reduction efforts more effective and targeted. With such efforts running in greater depth, the international community should shift its approach from indiscriminate pouring-in of resources to “precision drip irrigation”, employing sound and effective means to formulate poverty reduction strategies in light of different conditions facing each poverty-stricken population and region, with the focus on shoring up their endogenous development capabilities.

Fourth, we need to reinforce international cooperation on poverty reduction. Poverty eradication is the shared mission for humankind. All countries have a stake in the overall development of the international community. The international community should build a community of shared future for mankind and increase assistance to Africa and the least developed countries. It is incumbent upon developed countries to demonstrate their political will and take concrete action by providing developing countries with funding, technology and other support while refraining from attaching political strings.

Mr. Chairman,

After 38 years of reform and opening-up, China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, having met the basic living needs of its 1.3 billion-plus population, lifted over 700 million out of poverty and become the first developing country to achieve the poverty reduction goal among the MDGs. This is indeed a remarkable contribution to the global fight against poverty. Nevertheless, China remains the largest developing country where the people’s standard of living is not high enough. The Poverty Alleviation Plan for the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan Period (2016-2020) released by the State Council in December 2016 sets out the requirement to ensure that the poor population registered under the existing criteria be brought out of poverty by 2020. This represents a major measure taken by the Chinese government in its implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, China remains committed to helping other developing countries in their fight against poverty. From 1950 to 2016, China provided over RMB 400 billion yuan in foreign assistance, carried out more than 5000 aid projects, organized over 11,000 training workshops and trained in China for other developing countries over 260,000 people. In September 2015, President Xi Jinping announced during the 70th GA high level week a range of new initiatives to assist developing countries in economic development and improving people’s livelihood, including establishing the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund.

China is ready to continue to join hands with the rest of the world and work unremittingly to build a community of common destiny for mankind, a community that is free from want and hunger and brings win-win outcomes to all.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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