|Statement by Ambassador WANG Min at the Fifty-First Session of the Commission for Social Development under the Priority Theme "Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all"|
The Chinese delegation wishes to congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the 51st session of the Commission for Social Development. We are confident that under your able leadership, this session will achieve its expected outcome. I would like to assure you of the full support of the Chinese delegation.
China agrees in principle with the analyses contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the situation and challenges of social development around the world. With the recovery of the world economy remaining fragile, the intertwining problems of financial crisis, regional unrest and natural disasters are posing unprecedented challenges to countries' social development. Hunger, disease and poverty continue to beset many developing countries. As we are approaching the year 2015, the international community focuses its increasing attention on the post-2015 development agenda. Social development is an important and integral part of international development agenda. In this context, the priority theme of the current session is of significant importance, namely "Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all". China wishes to make the following three observations in this regard:
First, development remains the fundamental means to solve social problems. Given the fact that the financial crisis has worsened the problem of poverty, unemployment and social injustice, early economic recovery is an important means for alleviating such social problems. The international community should continue to give priority to economic development on its agenda, promote the attainment of the MDGs, and provide greater assistance to the social programmes in developing countries. The social dimension should be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda, and effective transition from the MDGs to the post-2015 development agenda should be secured.
Secondly, poverty eradication, social integration and full employment should be promoted in an integrated manner. These three core objectives of social development are as relevant today as when they were put forward during the World Summit on Social Development in 1995. All countries should pursue poverty eradication as the basis of their social programmes, make employment promotion a primary objective of social development, and regard the elimination of discrimination and injustice as am integral part of inclusive growth. Work in these three fields should be pushed forward in a comprehensive manner in accordance with our respective national conditions, so as to achieve development for all.
Thirdly, the relationship between people's empowerment and economic development should be handled in a balanced manner. People's empowerment can only be supported and secured by economic development. After the economic crisis, the most urgent task for the international community is to overcome the difficulties in economic development so as to continuously improve people's livelihood and social protection system. Sustained growth in economy and material well-being will help better address the problems encountered in social development and provide a more enabling social environment for people's empowerment. Talking about empowerment in isolation from economic development will only be futile as it won't resolve the difficulties faced by countries in their social development.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to social development and has incorporated the MDGs in our national development strategy that is aimed at building a moderately prosperous society. Since the reform and opening up, the number of people living in poverty has reduced by more than 500 million, and China has become the first developing country that has achieved the MDG for poverty reduction ahead of schedule. Over the past 5 years, China has created employment for 45 million people in urban areas and provided nation-wide 9-year compulsory education. Besides, China has established a basic medical and healthcare system and a basic endowment insurance system, covering both urban and rural residents.
In the future, the Chinese government will adhere to its overall strategy for socialist development with Chinese characteristics in economy, political and social affairs, culture and environment, and strive for scientific development by putting people first and making it comprehensive, balanced and sustainable. We will promote coordinated development of the social security system in urban and rural areas, energetically protect and improve people's livelihood, and do our best to ensure that all our people enjoy their rights to education, employment, medical and old-age care, and housing. At the same time, the Chinese government will continue to strengthen its cooperation with all parties and share each other's experience in social development in a joint effort to make further advances in social development in the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.