|Statement by Ms. Bai Yongjie, Counsellor of the Chinese Mission to the UN, on Agenda Item "Eradication of Poverty and Other Development Issues" at the Second Committee of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly|
(22 October 2008, New York)
The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report under this agenda item. We support the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Item 53 (a): Implementation of the Second UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)
Eradication of poverty and freedom from want have a direct bearing on the dignity and happiness of humankind, and constitute important preconditions for the progress of society. Poverty is a persistent ailment. While the overall living conditions of mankind have greatly improved thanks to the accumulation of wealth and progress in science and technology as a result of efforts of generations, many countries and peoples still live in poverty. Poverty is like a trap. Once trapped, it is hard to get out. Breaking out of the vicious cycle of poverty is not only the aspiration of the poor, but also a common challenge faced by the whole society.
The first UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty made some headway in raising awareness of the issue of poverty and in formulating strategies on poverty reduction. The first target in the MDGs is to halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day by 2015. This is a specific, measurable and time bound target for poverty reduction. The key issue now is how to achieve this target and it is thus highly necessary to proclaim the Second UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty. At present, with the eruption of financial turbulence, the food crisis and the energy crisis all at once and the wide impact of climate change, the international community has entered a difficult period in which new and old problems intertwine and new challenges lead to disorder in global development. This has imposed greater limitations and constraints on the efforts of a large number of developing countries to emerge from poverty, making the task of poverty reduction much more difficult. We therefore believe that the main course of the Second Decade should be "focusing on the poor population in time of crisis and promote poverty eradication".
Poverty eradication requires the attention of the whole society, sustained long term efforts and targeted policies and action. We should take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Second Decade to continue to work vigorously in all areas and consolidate the results achieved while striving for new breakthroughs.
Firstly, the international community should work together to mobilize resources, explore different modes of cooperation, and build an international environment favorable to poverty eradication. In developing countries, one can find vast areas of poverty and places that have suffered most from multiple crises. It is imperative to redouble efforts to create an international economic environment favorable to economic growth and employment creation so as to reduce as much as possible the negative impacts on the developing countries and to enable them to maintain economic growth and stability.
Secondly, the international community should be action- oriented and undertake effectively its responsibility for the eradication of poverty and hunger so as to advance the global process of poverty reduction. Developing countries should, in keeping with their own specific characteristics, formulate poverty reduction strategies tailored to their national conditions and set practical targets for helping the poor. They should take effective measures to vigorously promote economic development and address poverty through integrated measures. Developed countries should honor their commitments in providing funds and other forms of assistance. We have heard recently from some developed countries that they remain committed to the realization of the MDGs and will maintain the scale of international aid. We hope that these indications will help ensure financial and other inputs in the international undertaking of poverty reduction. The UN should play a leading and coordinating role and identify specific mechanisms to promote, finance and monitor the implementation of the Second Decade.
Thirdly, it is necessary to mobilize all forces to form a mutually complementary force to fight against poverty. In addition to the leading role played by governments, the initiatives of other parts of society such as enterprises, civil society, women and youth should also be given full play so that all specialties can be tapped for the joint endeavor of poverty reduction.
Through its own efforts, China has already achieved the poverty reduction targets set out in the MDGs ahead of schedule. However, we are clearly aware that although the above mentioned progress is a contribution to global poverty reduction, it is only an initial success. Only sustained efforts can bring more people out of poverty and enable them to share the fruits of development. China has been actively supporting other developing countries in their poverty reduction efforts within the framework of South-South cooperation. At the UN High-level Event on the MDGs held not long ago, China's Premier Wen Jiabao announced new measures to be taken by China for helping other developing countries. Through those measures, China will make further contributions to international poverty reduction.
Poverty eradication and the common development of all the people are the consistent purposes and focuses of the Chinese Government. The Chinese Government is ready to work with all other countries and international agencies to make unremitting efforts towards creating a beautiful world of common prosperity without poverty.
Item 53 (b): Industrial Development Cooperation
Industrial development is essential driver for economic growth and wealth creation. It is a powerful impetus to the efforts of the developing countries to free themselves from poverty, increase productive forces, create productive employment and promote sustainable development. Industrial development is closely linked to access to and effective use of energy by industries, increase in the competitiveness of small and medium-size enterprises, and environmental protection. As such, it requires the support of and coordination among all walks of life. The Chinese delegation is pleased to see the useful work carried out by UNIDO in promoting industrial development by making use of its own expertise and resources and through strengthening partnerships. We support the formulation and implementation by UNIDO of targeted cooperation strategies and programs in light of the development priorities and advantages of different regions and countries, so that small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries can reduce poverty by enhancing their productive activities and trade capabilities.
Energy is one of the preconditions for industrial development and economic growth, but also a major source of global pollution. We appreciate the fact that UNIDO has made increasing energy efficiency and environmental protection an important component of sustainable industrial development. We hope that with its existing expertise and experience, UNIDO will play its part in ensuring secure and reliable access to energy on the one hand and maximum reduction in damage to the environment caused by industrialization on the other.
Regarding South-South cooperation in industrial development, we support UNIDO in continuing its "New Partnership for Africa's Development" and in playing a more active role in promoting the effective participation of developing countries in the global economy so that they can benefit more from trade, investment and technical cooperation.
Thank you, Madam Chairperson.