|Statement by Dr. Li Kexin, Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China to the UN, at the Second Committee of the 64th Session of the GA on "Poverty Reduction and Other Development Issues"|
New York, 22 October 2009
The Chinese Delegation associates itself with the statement by the representative of the Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Eliminating poverty and achieving prosperity are shared dreams of mankind. They bear on the dignity and happiness of the human being and constitute important conditions for social progress. Over the years, thanks to the joint efforts of all countries, the international community has made some progress in achieving consensus and formulating strategies for poverty reduction. However, we must be fully aware that poverty is a persistent problem and, in spite of the hard work of several generations, people in quite a number of countries have yet to free themselves from its grip. The MDG objective of halving the population living on less than one dollar a day remains elusive for many countries. Moreover, the financial crisis that broke out last year has plunged the world into economic recession; the international community is still struggling for economic recovery. All this, plus the food and energy crises and climate change, has further hampered the poverty reduction efforts of the developing countries.
Poverty is caused by multiple factors--economical, social, historical, etc. It has been further aggravated by the inequitable old international political and economic order and the unbalanced development of globalization. The international community should take full advantage of the 2nd UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty to adopt targeted policies and measures and enhance cooperation. Developed countries have the obligation and responsibility to provide help to developing countries by honoring their commitments in the fields of financial assistance, technological transfer, debt relief and trade. Developing countries on their part should continue to pursue their own efforts for economic development. The UN should play a leading and coordinating role and designate specific mechanisms to promote, finance and monitor the implementation of the 2nd UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty. Business communities, civil society, women and youth groups should also play their respective roles in a joint effort to contribute to poverty reduction.
Elimination of poverty and common development of its people have always been the purposes and focus of work of the Chinese government. My government has been working on all fronts to reduce poverty based on our specific situation. We have integrated natural resources exploitation with human resources development, poverty reduction and development efforts with environmental and ecological protection, thus blazing a trail in poverty reduction and development suitable to our specific situation and achieving marked results in this regard. Our rural population living in abject poverty was reduced from 250 million in 1978 to 14.79 million in 2007, constituting 1.6% of the total rural population compared to 30.7% back then. The low-income population was lowered from 62.13 million in 2000 to 28.41 million in 2007, thus reducing its share in our total rural population from 6.7% to 3%. China has achieved ahead of schedule the MDG goal of poverty reduction.
Yet we are well aware of the enormous challenges we still face in eliminating poverty and achieving common prosperity, particularly the huge base number of people living in poverty and the acute problem of people relapsing into poverty. Only by working unremittingly can we enable more people to free themselves from poverty and share the fruits of development.
The advancement of women, safeguarding their rights and interests and gender equality are matters of broad consensus of the international community. As the issue of women is not an isolated one, it should be made part of the general strategic framework for global peace and development. Countries should effectively implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women and the relevant document adopted by the Special Session of the GA on Women and safeguard the rights and interests of women by all means, including legal ones. It is also necessary to further enhance international cooperation, and developed countries, in particular, should proceed from the common interests of mankind as a whole and help women in developing countries achieve faster development.
The Chinese government has always stood for gender equality, laid emphasis on the advancement of women and worked to protect women's rights and interests. It encourages women's active and creative participation in political, social, economic and other fields and has used legislative, judicial and administrative means to safeguard women's rights and interests and promote their development. In 2001, the government promulgated the Program for the Development of Chinese Women (2001-2010), which contains specific targets and measures for women's participation in political life, employment, education, healthcare, poverty reduction and elimination of violence against women. This program has helped Chinese women in fully playing their role in all spheres of social life and contributed greatly to the advancement of women in China in the new century.
China is ready to join the common efforts of the international community for advancing the cause of women around the world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.