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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at General Discussion of 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development

2020/02/12

Mr. Chair,

China associates itself with the statement by the representative of Guyana on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. We thank G-77 and other countries for their firm support for China's fight against novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP).

Home ownership has been the eternal pursuit of human society. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development, it makes sense that SDC makes homelessness a priority theme. Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that houses are for living, not for speculation, and as such, all people should have a house to live in. Adhering to the philosophy of the people-centered development, the Chinese government has steadily pushed forward the construction of affordable housing, established and improved the rental subsidy system for the poor, assisted and supported the transformation of dilapidated houses and provided temporary assistance and relief to the homeless and beggars. Every effort has been made to continue to support the transformation of of dilapidated houses for the rural poor. All this has effectively improved the housing conditions of people in need, ensured that our people share the fruits of reform and development, and helped build a well-off society in an all-round way.

Mr.Chair,

Advancing global health is an important part of promoting social development and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Looking around the world, the outbreak of epidemics like H1N1 influenza, Ebola, Zika has sounded an alarm for the international health security. The ongoing NCP has posed threat to Chinese people's lives and health.

-Facing this epidemic, we have demonstrated our strong determination to fight it against all odds. The Chinese government has made fighting the epidemic its most important and urgent task. Led by President Xi Jinping, China has mobilized itself and adopted the most comprehensive and rigorous preventive and control measures, which have fully demonstrated the power and advantages of our system whereby all resources are pooled together to cope with major challenges. Our medical professionals and people from all walks of life are fighting this epidemic with all might, demonstrating a spirit of fearlessness and sacrifice. The unprecedented measures taken by China have been fully acknowledged by the World Health Organization and the international community. At present, China's efforts are achieving positive results. We have the the determination, ability, confidence to defeat the outbreak of NCP and meet our set target of economic and social development.

-Facing the epidemic, we put the lives and health of the people first. While making every effort to prevent and control the spread of the epidemic, we have taken decisive actions and built two new hospitals within 10 days in Wuhan where the epidemic is most severe. We have sent around 20,000 best medical and healthcare professionals from around the country and dispatched large quantities of medical supplies to the frontline as emergency assistance from the country. Efforts have been made to step up research and development of medications. We are saddened by the loss of more than 1,100 lives. Meantime, with unremitting efforts, there has been positive development in the situation.The number of new confirmed cases in regions beyond Hubei Province has been declining for 8 consecutive days and the number of cured cases is rising significantly, reaching more than 5,000. This has further boosted our confidence in defeating the epidemic.

-Facing the epidemic, we have always adopted an open, transparent and highly responsible attitude. Not only for the sake of China, but also the world, we have adopted rigorous prevention and control measures that far exceed the requirements of the International Health Regulations, effectively curbing the spread of the epidemic. At present, cases of infection in other countries are less than 1% of those in China. We have reported the epidemic information to the WHO, the relevant countries,and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions as soon as it is available, shared the genetic sequences of the virus, actively communicated with other countries in order to come up with responses. We care about the safety and health of foreign nationals in China as we care about our own people. We report the situation in a timely manner and provide all necessary assistance.

Since the outbreak of NCP, many countries and international organizations have provided valuable assistance to China. Friendly people from all walks of life provided support in various ways. UN Secretary-General Guterres, President Bande of the General Assembly and leaders of many countries expressed their firm support for China and their confidence that China will prevail over the epidemic. A friend in need is a friend indeed. China is deeply grateful for the support of the international community.

Addressing global public health issues is a common challenge faced by all countries. Countries are linked by the same destiny and no nation can survive alone. Under the current circumstances, we call on the international community to maintain solidarity, support each other, strengthen information, experience and technology sharing, and work with the Chinese government and people to jointly meet the challenges. We also call on the international community to remain rational and use evidence as the basis, respect the guidance of WHO, evaluate the epidemic objectively and impartially, and take proper measures to avoid overreaction that would cause greater negative effects. We call on the international community to increase mutual trust, foster an awareness of a community of shared future for mankind, oppose politicization of health issues and leave no breeding ground or space for any racist comments, discrimination or stigma.

Mr.Chair,

The history of human development is one of fighting diseases. Our thousands-year-long history shows that any epidemic is temporary, that the cold winter will eventually pass, and spring will definitely come. China is confident that it is capable of winning the fight against NCP. At the same time, China is willing to join other countries in global and regional public health cooperation. For a long time, China has actively carried out foreign medical and health assistance. We have sent a total of 26,000 medical team members to 71 countries and regions, treating 280 million patients. China has actively participated in international emergency relief. We took the lead in supporting African countries to fight the Ebola epidemic. We will continue to uphold multilateralism, fulfill our due responsibilities, and with sincerity and actions, make greater contributions to the common development of all countries.

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