|Statement by Zhang Dan at the Third Committee of the GA under Item 62 "Social Development"|
|New York, 9 October 2007|
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of our committee. I am convinced that under your guidance, the work of our committee at this session of the GA will be crowned with success. I want to assure you and other members of the bureau of my delegation's full cooperation and support. My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of G-77 and China.
With a large population, China makes the expansion of employment an important element of its macro economic and social development policy. At the same time, the Chinese government pays great attention to vocational training and re-employment of laid-off workers and works continuously to improve the unemployment insurance system. Last year, about 25,000 employment training institutes provided training service to 19 million people and about 24,000 public employment agencies helped 18 million people find jobs. Thanks to our rapid economic growth, five million unemployed workers in China became re-employed in the course of last year. The registered unemployment rate in our cities and towns is 4.1%, lower than the world's average.
At the same time, the Chinese government has made vigorous efforts to improve our social security system and incorporated in our Constitution for the first time in history "the establishment of a sound social security system corresponding to the level of economic development". In June this year, the Chinese Legislature adopted the Labor Contract Law. Up till 2006, 175 million people in China had pension insurance, 138 million had medical insurance, 106 million had unemployment insurance and 84.78 million had injury insurance. As part of its efforts to respond to the challenges of ageing and urbanization, the Chinese government will keep up its efforts to improve the social security system and increase investment with a view to establishing by the time around 2020 a social security system that will basically cover all its urban and rural residents. That means in the future 13 years, China will gradually build up the world's largest social security system covering more than 20% of the world's population. It will have a profound impact on the global cause of social security.
Ageing is an acute problem for China. Currently, the number of our people over the age of 60 has reached 143 million, which represents 11% of our total population, half of Asia's aged population and 20% of that of the whole world. For a developing country like China, with the ageing of the population accelerating and development not yet balanced throughout the country, how to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the elderly and promote the cause of ageing is a great challenge.
The Chinese government has always cared for and attached importance to the cause of ageing. Over the past two decades, it has promulgated about 200 laws, regulations and implementation programs relating to ageing, thus building up the initial framework of a comprehensive legal and policy system for the ageing people. We have also established monitoring and evaluation systems to monitor and promote the implementation of the relevant programs. We hope that the five year review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing will lay down a foundation for us to decide on our future actions and priorities areas.
We are pleased to note that more than 100 countries have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is our hope that the implementation of the Convention will be conducive to the comprehensive development of the cause of the disabled and promote the implementation of the World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.