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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the 45th Session of the Commission for Social Development on "Promoting Full Employment and Decent Work for All" (Item 3a)


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of this session. I am convinced that under your outstanding guidance, this session will be crowned with success. The Chinese delegation will fully support you and contribute to the success of our work.

Mr. Chairman,

Employment is a problem that all countries have to deal with in the process of their economic and social development. All workers want to have full employment and decent work, and it is an important responsibility and mission of national governments to realize such a goal. At this time of deepening economic globalization and increasing linkages among economies of all countries, it is of positive and practical significance for this session to consider as a priority theme the question of full employment and decent work for all. Having studied carefully the report of the Secretary-General, my delegation believes that it forms a sound basis for our discussion at this session. Here, I would like to offer the following comments:

First, enhancing the positive interaction between employment and economic growth is the prerequisite for the promotion of full employment and decent work. Governments should make full use of their comparative advantages to develop their economies in a focused manner and create more employment opportunities. In the meantime, it is necessary to increase investment in human resources, provide better education and training to workers so as to improve their skills. On that basis, it is also necessary to improve the service system for the labor market and foster a favorable environment for employment and entrepreneurship.

Secondly, a social security system tailored to a country's specific situation is the guarantee for the promotion of full employment and decent work. While endeavoring to develop the economy, governments must not neglect the principle of social justice and fairness and must ensure that vulnerable social groups get their share of the benefits of development. While providing decent work is our common goal, the ways and means used by different countries and the processes they go through in order to reach this goal are different due to the difference in their national conditions and levels of development. Therefore, it is necessary to respect diversity in the process of implementation. It should be stressed that although governments bear the primary responsibility of safeguarding the rights and interests of workers, transnational corporations must also shoulder their inescapable social responsibilities.

Thirdly, employment of rural population is an indispensable component of our efforts aimed at promoting full employment and decent work. About half of the world's population live in rural areas, so governments should increase input in rural and agricultural development to provide more resources, technologies and training opportunities to the rural population. At the same time, efforts should be made to create more employment opportunities during the urbanization process so as to accommodate the surplus labor in rural areas.

Fourthly, the development of small and medium sized enterprises is a new driving force in the promotion of full employment and decent work. Small and medium sized enterprises constitute the most dynamic and innovative part of our global economic development and their important role in creating employment should receive greater attention. Governments should let the small and medium sized enterprises display fully their characteristic flexibility and diversity and provide support to them in aspects of policy and taxation.

Fifthly, an enabling international environment is favorable to efforts of promoting full employment and decent work. The developed countries should take a more positive approach in helping the developing countries in poverty eradication and employment generation. We call on the developed countries to abandon trade protectionism which is unwise and unfair; in particular, we call for the dismantling of the trade barriers against labor intensive products from the developing countries. We also call on the developed countries to adopt positive policies on transfer of technologies, especially those of clean production, low emission and high energy efficiency, in order to help the developing countries increase employment in environment friendly industries.

Mr. Chairman,

China is a developing country with the largest population in the world and the problem of employment it faces is more difficult and complex than that of any other country. The question of employment not only involves the legitimate rights and interests of individual workers, but also constitutes an important component part of our endeavor to build a harmonious society. Treating employment as an essential issue in the life of the people, the Chinese government has placed the increase of employment at a prominent position in our economic and social development and set it as one of the goals of the macro-adjustment and control of our national economic and social development.

We have implemented active employment policies which mainly include: first, develop economy, increase employment opportunities, adjust economic structure and develop small enterprises so as to create more employment, thus combining economic growth with employment increase; secondly, provide employment service and vocational training for the laid-off and unemployed workers, thus combining the enhancement of employment quality with human resources development; thirdly, improve social security and provide re-employment assistance in order to help those groups having difficulties in finding jobs with re-employment, thus combining the promotion of employment with the establishment of the social security system; and fourthly, coordinate employment in urban and rural areas, thus combing the coordinated urban and rural development with the establishment of a system for equal employment.

Mr. Chairman,

Owing to its larges population, China is going to be confronted with the problem of labor over-supply for an extended period of time. In addition, we are also burdened with the heavy task of economic transition and structural adjustment of industries. We must address the three major problems in the field of employment, namely, new, additional labor in towns and cities, surplus labor in rural areas and re-employment of the laid-off and unemployed workers. Both at present and for a long time to come, our task of promoting employment is formidable. The road towards the realization of full employment and decent work for all in China will be long and arduous.

We are willing to join the common efforts of the international community in striving for the coordinated global economic and social development, the realization of the goal of full employment and decent work for all and the building of a harmonious world.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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