|Statement by Dr. Liu Yuyin, Chinese Delegate, at the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 58 "Eradication of Poverty and other Development Issues"|
|6 November 2007|
The Chinese delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General for the report submitted under this agenda item. We associate ourselves with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Poverty is one of the most severe challenges facing mankind today. Since the First UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, governments and relevant international organizations have strengthened cooperation in the area of poverty eradication and achieved positive results. Poverty eradication has become an overarching theme of all global summits and conferences. Governments have made commitments to eradicate poverty, and regard it as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind. As of January 2007, 64 countries had presented their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers documents. The population living in poverty at the global level has somewhat decreased.
However, we can not fail to note that the number of people living in absolute poverty in the world is still enormous. In particular the Sub-Saharan African countries continue to face great difficulties in achieving the MDG target of halving by 2015 the number of people living in poverty. Generally speaking, the global endeavor against poverty still has a long way to go. The Chinese delegation believes that the conclusion of the First UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty does not mean that the cause of poverty reduction ends with it. On the contrary, the international community should build upon the achievements of the First UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, increase inputs and scale up the efforts to achieve better results. Based on its experience in poverty eradication, China believes that the following points need to be highlighted:
Firstly, economic growth is the key to poverty eradication. Development is of overriding importance. Without sustained and rapid economic growth, there will be no power and resources for poverty eradication. The top priority for the developing countries should be economic development, which in turn will create opportunities for the poor in these countries to escape the traps of poverty.
Secondly, attention should be given to enhancing the self-development capacity of the poverty-affected population. Resources and opportunities are what the poor lack the most. Therefore, we should work hard to provide resources and create opportunities for them while encouraging them to tap into their initiatives and creativity, with a view to speeding up the process of poverty eradication and effectively preventing those who have just emerged from poverty from relapse into it.
Thirdly, building a harmonious and united society is the safeguard for poverty eradication. Measures should be taken to fully mobilize enterprises, civil society organizations, women and youth to use poverty eradication as an important tool to promote social justice and equality, thus involving the whole society in the cause of poverty reduction.
Fourthly, vigorous international cooperation is an important means to eradicate poverty. All parties should take actions to honor their commitments under the Millennium Development Goals and the Monterey Consensus. The developing countries should adhere to self-reliance, and give full play to the wisdom, talent and creativity of their people to shake off the images of poverty and underdevelopment; the developed countries, on the other hand, have the obligation and responsibility to provide sufficient funding and other forms of assistance to the developing countries in support of the latter's poverty eradication strategy. International organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, should take concrete actions to contribute to efforts in this regard.
Eradicating poverty and achieving common prosperity for its people have always been the purpose and priority of the Chinese government. Poverty reduction and development have been on the top of the agenda of all levels of administration. We have mobilized and organized all forces in the society to participate in the development and construction of poverty-stricken areas. The population living in poverty are encouraged and supported by the government and all sectors of society to break away from the shackles of underdevelopment through hard work and self-reliance. At the same time, in keeping with the scientific concept of development, we have adopted a holistic approach to combat poverty by combining the development of natural resources with that of human resources, and linking poverty reduction and development with the protection of the ecological environment. Following this path of poverty reduction and development tailored to China's special conditions, our endeavor against poverty has scored world-renowned accomplishments. Our rural population living in absolute poverty declined from 250 million in 1978 to 21.48 million in 2006. Poverty rate went down from 30.7% to 2.3%. Low-income population dropped from 62.13 million in 2000 to 35.5 million in 2006. The proportion of low-income people in our rural population decreased from 6.7% to 3.7%.
China's efforts in poverty alleviation and development have greatly contributed to the global endeavor against poverty. On one hand, China has reached the MDG target of halving the population suffering from poverty ahead of time. On the other hand, China has taken an active part in international actions in combating poverty, worked hard to promote South-South cooperation and steadily increased development assistance to other developing countries to the best of our ability. We have established China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund and the International Poverty Alleviation Centre in Beijing. The Centre serves as an important platform for training, exchanges and research in the area of international poverty eradication, where 191 middle- and high-ranking officials working in the field of poverty eradication from 58 countries received training so far. We have also organized seven international conferences to exchange experiences on poverty eradication. Through these undertakings, we have made our own contribution to the international cause of poverty reduction.
Eradicating poverty and achieving prosperity are the cherished aspirations of mankind and the sacred responsibilities of all countries and the international community. The Chinese government is ready to join hands with all countries and relevant international organizations in working tirelessly towards a beautiful and prosperous world free from poverty.
Thank you, Madam Chair.