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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the 64th session of the General Assembly on "Global Health and Foreign Policy" (agenda item 123)

2009/12/10
 

New York, 10 December 2009

Mr. President:

The Chinese delegation welcomes the report submitted by the Secretary General under this agenda item. We also welcome the general debate by the General Assembly on "global health and foreign policy".

(Photographer: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

Over the past year, the international financial and economic crisis has posed grave challenges to global public health. The health departments of various countries all face a host of difficulties such as budget cuts and increasing imbalance between supply and demand. In the meantime, H1N1 influenza continues to spread around the world, posing a direct threat to public health and social and economic development of all countries. In the face of this complex situation, it is of great practical significance for the General Assembly to hold once again a general debate on "global health and foreign policy". The Chinese delegation would like to highlight the following points:

First, strengthen cooperation in responding to the global public health crisis. In today's world of increasing economic globalization, the impact of grave public health contingencies also tends to be globalized. No single country can deal with it alone. The international community should pool its resources and work together, strengthen the sharing of information, technology and experience in prevention and control, so as to contain the spread of major epidemics around the world, including H1N1 influenza.

Second, increase support to the health sector of the developing countries. Three specific MDG targets are directly related to public health. At present, the progress of the developing countries towards the health-related MDG targets has been slow. The situation of infant and maternal health is particularly worrying. The developed countries should maintain and increase their support and assistance to the health sector of the developing countries and help the latter in capacity building so that they can be better prepared to cope with the impact of the financial crisis.

Third, establish a sound public health system. Apart from serving as a solid basis in dealing with various new epidemics or sudden outbreaks of pandemic disease, a strong public health system is also an inherent requirement for the improvement of people's well-being. Coun