|Statement by Mr. Zhang Guixuan of Chinese Delegation at the 4th Session of the Open-Eended Working Group on Aging|
First of all, on behalf of the Chinese delegation I wish to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of this working group. I am confident that under your leadership, this session will conclude its work with positive results.
Today, the question of aging has become a major issue facing all countries and should be addressed through the joint efforts of the international community. Since its establishment, the GA Open-ended Working Group on Aging has held useful discussions on how to address the issue of aging and protect the rights and interests of older persons. The Chinese delegation appreciates this and wishes to make the following observations on its future work.
First, the conditions of various countries should be taken into full account while addressing the issue of aging. Countries vary in terms of their level of social development and historical and cultural traditions. There is no one-size-fits-all model, and each country should fully and rationally utilize the existing mechanisms and resources in the light of its own national conditions and take practical measures to enhance and improve the rights and interests of older persons.
Secondly, addressing the issue of aging should be dealt with in the context of development. Social and economic development provides the basis and guarantee for a solution to this issue. All countries should integrate the issue of aging into their overall economic and social development plans, while taking into full consideration the special needs of older persons in the areas of poverty eradication, health care and social security so as to enable them to benefit as well from the achievements of economic and social development.
Thirdly, addressing the issue of aging requires greater international cooperation. Aging is a common challenge facing the entire humanity. All countries should seek to strengthen international cooperation based on the principles of learning from each other, equality and mutual benefits. The international community should pay attention to the special difficulties faced by the developing countries in their efforts to cope with the issue of aging and give them concrete financial and technical support.
Fourthly, the current international frameworks should be fully utilized in addressing the issue of aging. The Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging has provided guidelines to all countries in their efforts in this field. The Working Group should continue to promote the implementation of the plan of action and carry out studies on basic issues such as the global aging trends and the current mechanisms of protection so as to build up international consensus step by step.
China has entered a period of rapid aging of its population. By the end of 2012, the population of the older persons in China reached 194 million, accounting for 14.3% of the total population. The Chinese government has integrated active addressing the issue of aging into its long term strategic tasks and taken a host of measures to ensure that the rights and interests of older persons are protected. Over the past year, the Chinese government has completed the revision of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, basically set up a network of basic social security for the elderly covering both urban and rural areas, and spent 3.1billion RMB on pilot projects for an eventual system of social services providing care for the elderly, hence accelerating the development of infrastructure for providing services to the elderly.
In the future, China will continue to work with other countries to make greater contributions to promoting the efforts for the older persons in a more holistic and coordinated manner and improving the well-being of the older persons.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.