|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China at the 2012 Annual Session of UNICEF on the Annual Report of the Executive Director|
The Chinese delegation thanks the Executive Director for his comprehensive and detailed report and commends UNICEF for its work in 2011 under the leadership of Executive Director Lake. We would like to make the following comments.
First, on UNICEF’s work in 2011. China appreciates the progress made by UNICEF in the five focus areas through the implementation of its medium-term strategic plan for 2006-2013. These efforts have contributed significantly to the survival, protection and development of women and children around the globe, created an enabling environment for the healthy development of children, advanced the efforts to give equal rights to women and children, facilitated the implementation of the Secretary General’s global strategy for women’s and children’s health, and provided important support to the timely realization of the MDGs. China congratulates UNICEF on all its achievements in 2011.
Second, on cross-cutting issues of gender equality, capacity-building and partnership. China believes that the work of UNICEF requires both support from governments and cooperation from other development agencies; and cross-cutting work plays an important fostering role to this end. Over the past year, UNICEF scaled up its input in cooperation on cross-cutting work, increased public awareness of children’s issues and obtained significant investment and support. China fully acknowledges the efforts of UNICEF in this respect.
Third, on UNICEF’s financial situation. In 2011, while the global economic growth remained sluggish, the total income of UNICEF reached 3.711 billion USD. Compared with 2010, UNICEF registered growth in both regular resources and total income. The expenditure on program assistance also increased compared with the previous years. China finds this highly gratifying and commends UNICEF for its fund-raising efforts. Stable and growing resources enable UNICEF to better respond to the needs of program countries and provide a guarantee for the advancement of the cause of children. The Chinese government will continue to support the work of UNICEF with practical action by gradually increasing our contribution to UNICEF in support of its efforts to achieve goals contained in the medium-term strategic plan.
Fourth, I would like to briefly mention what China has done in children-related South-South cooperation. Over the years, China has, through its foreign aid and multilateral training programs, provided various forms of training to trainees from other developing countries and conducted exchange programs with other developing countries. In 2012, we organized dozens of technical training courses in areas such as treatment of critically ill newborn babies and children, prevention and cure of children’s common diseases, techniques in pediatric care, administration of pre-school education, training of principals and teachers of primary and secondary schools, and prevention and treatment of AIDS and other infectious diseases. We will continue to organize such training courses to share our experience in children’s health care, education and emergency care. China is ready to explore, together with UNICEF, new ways of cooperation to find more opportunities to cooperate, within the framework of South-South cooperation, with other developing countries, especially the LDCs, in the area of women’s and children’s health care.
Last but not least, Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly present the plans of the Chinese government to achieve the MDGs, in particular Goals 4 and 5. In 2011, the Chinese government issued the Program for the Development of Chinese Children (2011-2020) and the Program for the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020), which have identified main objectives and strategic measures for the healthy development of Chinese women and children in the coming decade. The two Programs continue to focus on the reduction of the mortality rate of infants and children under five, the reduction of maternal mortality rate and the improvement of children’s nutrition and early childhood education. At the same time, they stress the need to narrow the gap in development between urban and rural areas and among different regions, and the need to strengthen public services and social security system. Our efforts are in perfect consonance with the equity strategy of UNICEF.
With the early achievement of the MDGs in mind, my government has increased input in health care to elevate the capacity of public health services to improve health care for women and children in both urban and rural areas. Our work is mainly concentrated on the following four areas: 1) strengthen legislation in women’s and children’s health care; 2) expand the reach of public health care for women and children; 3) focus on improving the equity of public health services in the middle and west regions and rural areas; and 4) scale up international exchanges and cooperation. In 2011, our under-five mortality rate went down to 15.6 per thousand, a reduction of 74.4% compared with 1990. Infant mortality rate declined to 12.1 per thousand, down by 75.9% compared with 1990. We have thus achieved the children-related MDG ahead of schedule. The Chinese government will take more robust measures in an effort to achieve the target of reducing maternal mortality ratio by 2015.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.