|Statement by H.E. Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission, under Agenda Item 3(a) "Social Integration" of the 47th Session of the Commission for Social Development|
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of this session. The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by the representative of Sudan on behalf of G77 and China.
The current ever deepening global financial crisis and the drastic downturn of the world economic situation have posed severe challenges to the economic stability and social development of many countries. Governments are facing the daunting task of mitigating the effect of the financial crisis and maintaining social equity and justice. It is therefore of great relevance that the current session of the Commission discuss the priority theme of social integration, especially its relationship with poverty eradication and full employment and decent work for all.
I wish to make the following observations on the priority theme:
Firstly, countries should establish and improve their social security system. Social security acts as a shield to protect the lives of the people. In order to promote social integration, it is imperative to provide necessary social protection to the vulnerable groups so as to prevent them from being marginalized in the society. Under the current circumstances, the question of providing social protection to special groups such as the poor, persons with disabilities, the elderly, youth and migrants has become more acute than ever before. Providing them with employment, old age care, medical care and poverty relief will greatly promote social integration. Governments should take effective measures to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and establish and improve social security systems tailored to their specific national conditions so as to provide effective protection to the vulnerable groups.
Secondly, efforts should be made to promote employment through stabilizing the economy. As the foundation of people's livelihood, employment is closely connected to economic development. Buffeted by the financial crisis, governments find themselves faced with the priority task of ensuring macro-economic stability. Maintaining steady development of the national economy is the only way to stabilize the employment situation. Governments should adopt robust macro-economic policies to promote a steady increase of job opportunities. At the same time, it is also necessary to implement more proactive employment policy and give priority attention to the needs of vulnerable groups.
Thirdly, attention should be paid to the plight of the developing countries. Because of their relatively weak economic foundation, the developing countries are particularly hard hit by the financial crisis and, compared with the developed countries, are faced with far greater difficulties in their efforts to eradicate poverty, promote employment and improve the system of social security. The developed countries should shoulder their due responsibilities and obligations, take into full account the interests and concerns of the developing countries when formulating policies in response to the crisis and refrain from shifting their own difficulties on to other countries. The current situation makes it all the more necessary for the developed countries to fulfill in earnest their commitment regarding ODA for the developing countries, provide genuine debt relief to the LDCs, avoid taking any protectionist measures that are harmful to the interests of the developing countries and work hand in hand with the developing countries so as to weather the current crisis together.
Since China started the process of reform and opening up 30 years ago, our economic and social development has been going forward at an ever increasing speed and in a coordinated manner and has achieved remarkable results. We have reached ahead of schedule the target of halving the population in absolute poverty and hunger, reducing the number of people living in absolute poverty from 250 million to 15 million. We have realized nine year free compulsory education throughout the country. We have also established a social insurance system in the cities and a medical care system in urban and rural areas; put into operation a minimum life guarantee system for all the towns and cities in the country, established a minimum life guarantee system for rural areas and reformed the cooperative medical care system in rural areas.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the elderly, youth and persons with disabilities. We have incorporated the care for the elderly into our overall planning for national economic and social development, setting as priorities the eradication of poverty among the elderly and the improvement of their health. China has taken various measures to enhance the capacity building of the young people with a view to solving their employment problem. China has signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities, amended its own Law on the Protection of persons with disabilities so as to better guarantee the basic living conditions of persons with disabilities and promote their development in an all-around way.
In order to rise up to the challenge of the financial crisis, the Chinese government has taken a series of new initiatives to promote economic and social development and improve people's lives. We have adopted more proactive employment policies to stimulate the increase of employment from all aspects and to ensure the overall stability of the employment situation. In addition, we have strengthened the training and service related to entrepreneurship and improved the employment assistance system. At the same time, we have been steadily pushing forward the reform of the medical care system and have been working to reduce the burden of medical care for our citizens, increase the basic pension of the retirees, raise the level of the minimum life guarantee for urban and rural residents and expand the coverage of pension and basic medical insurance, all with a view to continuously improving our social security system for both urban and rural areas.
Realizing social justice and equality and creating a society for all through poverty eradication and full employment and decent work for all represent the common aspiration of all social groups and individuals and the common goal in social development of all countries in the world. Together with the international community, we will remain firm in our confidence, shoulder our responsibilities, cooperate with other countries fully to weather the current difficulties and work together to strive for the ideal of realizing social integration and building a harmonious world.
Thank you, Mme. Chairperson.