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Statement by Mr. ZHANG Lei of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the UN at the Third Committee of the General Assembly at its 57th session on Social Development

Mr. Chairman,
Since the Special Session of the General Assembly on Social Development was held in 2000, the work in the social field of The United Nations continues to receive wide attention while having scored some major achievements.

In July this year, the ECOSOC High Level Segment conducted a lively discussion on the theme of "Contributions of Human Resources Development Including the Areas of Health and Education to the Process of Development". The conference has adopted a Ministerial Declaration, which fully affirms the important role of human resources development in promoting social development and calls for further increased input in the field of health and education so as to jointly meet the challenges of globalization. China fully supports the relevant proposals as defined in the Ministerial Declaration.

Mr. Chairman,

The growing attention given to the vulnerable groups is another important achievement in the social field of the United Nations. In April this year, the Second World Assembly on Aging was successfully held, during which the issue of world aging was subjected to in-depth discussion, and "Political Declaration and Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging" was adopted. We wish to express our appreciation to the Government of Spain, the host country, for its contributions towards the conference, while at the same time hope that the international community will, through joint efforts, ensure the serious implementation of the follow-up actions to the conference, so as to achieve the lofty goal of fostering a society for all ages.

In July this year, the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities held its first session, which attracted wide attention from governments of all countries and non-governmental organizations. The Chinese Government holds that the drafting and formulation of the convention will certainly provide more effective legal protection of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities. We hope that all parties will, through continued cooperation, enable the Ad Hoc Committee to enter substantive negotiations of the text of convention, so as to complete the drafting and formulation of the convention at an early date.

Mr. Chairman,

The issue of social development is, in essence, a common development of mankind. The accomplishment of the Millennium Summit goals for poverty eradication and economic and social development requires shared responsibilities on the part of all countries and extensive worldwide cooperation. In today's world of globalization and in-depth development of information, the promotion of multilateralism while strengthening international cooperation is of great importance. We hope for and support an expanded role of the United Nations in this field. China will join all parties in making greater efforts for multilateral cooperation in the social field.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.
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