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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, During Initial Discussions on the Zero Draft of the Rio+200utcome Document


Mr. President,

China supports the statement made by Algeria on behalf of the G77 and China.

First of all, China appreciates the efforts made by the co-chairs in submitting the zero draft of the Rio+20 outcome document in a timely manner. I also commend the hard work the Secretariat has put into the drafting process and the leadership role played by the Bureau.

Mr. President,

China has noted the efforts of the Bureau to reflect the views of all parties in a balanced manner. The zero draft strives to be concise and focus on new initiatives. It lays the foundation and leaves some leeway for future inter-governmental negotiations. China supports the structure of the draft. It is our view, however, that there is still room for improvement in many aspects. I would like to make the following points and proposals on the major issues:

First, on the three objectives. The zero draft explicitly reaffirms the commitment to advance progress in the implementation of the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Declaration on sustainable Development and its Plan of Implementation. It also reiterates the Rio Principles, especia11y the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. We appreciate this effort and hope that the draft will be strengthened to push for governments to clearly reaffirm their political commitments, and send a strong message on enhancing international cooperation. Our view is that the sections on the assessment of progress and gaps as we11as new and emerging issues are sti11 insufficient and fail to fully reflect the difficulties and challenges facing developing countries, especially the lack of implementation. The participation of major groups and the private sector is indeed very important, but the primary responsibility of promoting sustainable development lies with governments. The G77 and China have put forward specific text for the strengthening and improvement of the relevant parts of the draft, which we hope can be taken on board in the negotiations.

Second, on means of implementation. This is an issue of greatest concern to developing countries, and the key to the success of Rio+20. The part about this issue in the zero draft is fragmented and has a low leve1 of ambition. We hope that great emphasis will be put on the issue during the negotiations, consolidate and beef up the relevant parts contained in the sections on green economy and Framework for Action and Fo11ow-up,and draw up specific targets, mechanisms and plan of action for supporting developing countries in terms of finance, technology and capacity building.

Third, on green economy. The zero draft accommodates, to some extent, the concerns of developing countries. It underscores the importance of developing green economy in the light of the national conditions of each country while avoiding creation of new trade barriers or imposing new conditionalities to aid and finance. It also puts forward specific measures to support developing countries. Nevertheless, the draft underestimates the risks and challenges that green economy may pose. It falls short of more specific and effective measures to support devo1oping countries. China is ready to have discussions on initiatives such as establishment of an international knowledge-sharing platform, but we do not support formulation of mandatory indicators.

Fourth,on institutional framework. The zero draft encompasses major reform proposals raised by all parties, but the specific content merits further discussions. We should comprehensively analyze the strengths and weaknesses and make decisions by consensus. China in principle supports strengthening the role of the General Assembly and the ECOSOC. We also support exploration of the feasibility of establishing a Sustainable Development Council and the specific measures for strengthen the UNEP.

Fifth, on Framework for action and follow-up. China supports listing

priority issues and areas of sustainable development, charting the course for future efforts and laying down the action plans. We hold a positive and open attitude towards launching the process on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), which we believe will be conducive to the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars as well as the implementation of the global sustainable agenda as a whole. We hope that member states can reach agreement on the guiding principles and discussion process of the SDGs at Rio+20. In designing the SDGs, we should secure the right to development and leave some leeway for policy-making in each country, and avoid establishment of binding indicators.

Mr. President,

In closing, I wish to emphasize that the negotiations and implementation of the outcome document should always be led by member states. It must ensure the full participation of developing countries in the decision1naking process, and attach importance to and truly address the concern of developing countries. China will, together with all the1nembers of the G77, participate in the discussions in an active and constructive manner. We hope all countries will respect and accommodate each other’s concerns, work to bridge differences and expand consensus. We hope the negotiations will build on the current draft to reach a more comprehensive, balanced and pragmatic text, so that Rio+20 can adopt an ambitious and future- oriented program of implementation, thus become yet another important milestone in the course of global sustainable development

Thank you, Mr. President.

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