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Statement by Ms. Zhang Dan, Counselor of the Chinese Delegation, on Item 4 "the Role of the United Nations System in Implementing the 2009 ECOSOC Ministerial Declaration" in the Coordination Segment of the 2010 ECOSOC Substantive Session


Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the implementation of the internationally agreed goals and commitments relating to global public health.

Over the past year, the United Nations system has worked vigorously to integrate resources and explore modes of cooperation in implementing projects of cooperation in the field of public heath and providing financial support and technical assistance at the national level, thereby making contributions to strengthening national public health systems and enhancing capacity building in the field of global public health. As the principal organ within the UN system responsible for promoting economic and social development, ECOSOC has brought into full play its unique strength and done a lot in coordinating the implementation of the Ministerial Declaration adopted last year. China highly commends these efforts.

Global public health is now confronted with tough challenges. The negative effects of the financial crisis, food crisis and natural disasters on public health in developing countries have increasingly come to the fore, posing new obstacles and challenges to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Various institutions within the UN system should, under the guidance of the policy objectives of the Declaration, strengthen coordination and further advance global cooperation in public health.

Mr. President,

We believe that the implementation of the Declaration should be carried out in conjunction with the following two undertakings:

First, realization of the MDGs. The United Nations will hold a high-level meeting on the MDGs in September, providing a valuable opportunity for all sides to build political consensus and take concerted actions. Countries should pay real attention to the slow progress in realizing the objectives relating to the health of women and children, reinforce measures in areas of family planning services, child immunization, and the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, and work to ensure comprehensive health care for women and children, so as to advance the comprehensive achievement of the MDGs. Developed countries should fulfill their commitments on development assistance and provide developing countries with support for the achievement of the MDGs.

Second, building of national public health systems. A fully developed public health system provides the basis for the improvement of people’s health and is crucial to the response to natural disasters and public health contingencies. The policy consensus contained in the Declaration can become truly “country-owned” and produce real results only when put in the context of national conditions and national public health systems. Countries should strengthen political commitment, improve primary health care, increase financial and human resources input, and build public health systems suitable to their national conditions. The United Nations system should fully mobilize resources and technical means to provide practical support for the building of national public health systems.

Mr. President,

The Chinese government attaches importance to the implementation of the MDGs in the field of public health. Since participating in the ECOSOC Ministerial Review in July last year, the Chinese government has continued to deepen reforms of the medical and public health system, strengthened government responsibility and input, maintained the public welfare character of public health and medical care, and endeavored to build basic health care systems for urban and rural residents. Till the end of 2009, our national basic medical insurance system covered more than 1.2 billion people, representing a coverage rate of over 90 percent. Our total national public health resources have continued to grow; efforts to prevent and treat major diseases have been strengthened; and the capacity and efficiency of health services have been improved. Twenty-five provinces now provide subsidies to doctors in the rural area; all cities at or above the prefecture level and 93% of the county-level cities now provide community level health service; and the grassroots health service system has been further perfected. The reforms of the medical and public health system of China have produced positive results.

China is willing to join other countries in promoting international exchanges and cooperation in the field of public health to share policy experience and best practices, thereby working together to promote the realization of internationally agreed goals and commitments in the field of public health.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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