|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the UNGA 61st Session on Sports for Peace and Development (Item 49)|
The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for the report (A/61/373) submitted under this agenda item. The report has reviewed the achievements of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education 2005, put forward the United Nations Action Plan on Sport for Development and Peace and pointed out the way forward for the future efforts of the United Nations and its member states in the field of sports.
The Chinese delegation appreciates the Secretary General's proposal in the report to integrate sport into the development agenda and the programs for health, education, development and peace and to use it as a tool for achieving the MDGs. We agree that "sport for all" should constitute a basis for systematic efforts to use sports to promote development and peace. We believe that more attention and resources should be devoted to the cause of sport for development and peace.
China has a huge population and pays great attention to sports. A mutually reinforcing relationship has developed between sport and development in China. The past five years witnessed enormous achievements in China's economic and social development and also rapid development of sports. The year 2006 marks the 11th anniversary of the launch of the Outline of the National Plan on Sport and Fitness for All. Today, the awareness of the benefits of sports is rising among the Chinese people, resulting in increasing participation in sports and fitness activities. Sport for all at the grass root level has turned a brand new page of its development.
As the host of the 2008 Olympic Games, preparations for the Games are in full swing now. For the next five years, China's overall target in the field of sports will be to avail the opportunity of hosting of and participation in the 2008 Olympics as a spur to the nation-wide efforts to implement sport for all, achieve preliminary results in creating a national system of sport and fitness with Chinese characteristics and realize the integrated, coordinated and sustainable development of sports.
In 2007, the 12th Special Summer Olympic Games will be held in Shanghai, China. This is the first time for the Special Summer Olympic Games to make its way into a developing country. It will surely further enhance the development of various activities related to the Special Olympics and promote China's efforts in safeguarding the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.
To present to the world the Shanghai Special Olympics, on November 10, the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations, in concert with the Municipal Government of Shanghai, the International Committee for Special Olympic Games, the Preparatory Committee of the Special Olympic Games in Shanghai and the UN Sport Office in New York, will organize a thematic forum, a reception and a photo exhibition. We look forward to the active participation of all delegations.
As pointed out in the Outcome Document of the2005 Summit, "Sports can foster peace and development and can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding." The Chinese delegation wishes to reiterate on this occasion that we are ready to join other member states in working for the cause of sport for development and peace. We will integrate it into our vision of building a harmonious society and, working on that basis, contribute to our joint efforts for international peace, development and prosperity.
Thank you, Madam President.