|Statement by H.E. Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Specific Meeting Focused on Development of the 62nd UNGA|
|(New York, 6 December 2007)|
It is the common aspiration of the international community to achieve balanced, coordinated and sustainable development across the globe. Since the 1990s, a series of important international conferences and summits on development have been convened and important consensus has been reached. The Millennium Summit in 2000 identified the MDGs, setting forth the roadmap and timetable for international cooperation on development for the next 15 years. The World Summit in 2005 adopted an outcome document, elaborating in a comprehensive and in-depth way actions that need to be taken by all parties, thus bringing the political commitment of promoting development through cooperation to a even higher level.
Now the world has seen continued economic growth, creation of new wealth and advances in science and technology. This is a welcome development. What is disturbing, however, is that the gaps among nations and between rich and poor are widening, and many developing countries, instead of embarking on the fast track of globalization, are being marginalized and plunged into the poverty trap. This year marks the midpoint of the implementation of the MDGs and the fifth anniversary of the International Conference on Financing for Development. As things stand now, the implementation of the MDGs gives us no reason for optimism and that of the Monterrey Consensus is also not satisfactory. The good momentum in the area of development we have witnessed since the 2005 World Summit is vanishing. In 2006, the ODA of developed countries fell, rather than increased. If such a trend is not reversed immediately, the unity and mutual trust between the North and South in seeking development through cooperation will be eroded and the achievement of the MDGs will undoubtedly be delayed.
The international community should act in a strong sense of urgency and mission, take effective measures to follow through on the existing consensus and commitments, redress the imbalances in development, and speed up the implementation of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals. The Chinese side believes that emphasis should be put on the following five areas:
First, adjustment and innovation are tasks facing all countries. In a rapidly changing world, the notion of development needs to be updated constantly. It is crucial for countries to draw up and implement development strategies suited to their national conditions. Reform and innovation are always necessary if a country is to be better able to face up to pressure and challenges, survive competition and achieve development. Developing countries have engaged themselves in the process of globalization and made initial progress in formulating and implementing national-owned development strategies. The international community should take full account of the special needs of developing countries, leave enough "policy space" for these countries in making the "rules of the game", and create favorable institutional environment for their development.
Second, the issue of development should be resolved in a comprehensive manner by the joint efforts of all inter-related parties. In the process of economic globalization, countries are more and more interdependent with increasing flow of capital, trade and people. International consensus should be implemented through various channels and ways to ensure lasting development across the board. International consensus reached at major international conferences and summits concerning capital, trade, technology and debt should be implemented in good faith. Developed countries need to take comprehensive and effective measures to help developing countries through increase of assistance, debt relief, opening of market and transfer of technology so as to ensure that growth of financial resources and improvement of effectiveness go hand in hand.
Third, climate change is a pressing challenge facing all countries. For developing countries, climate change will no doubt affect the realization of the MDGs. However, it also does no good to sustainable development of developing countries if they are forced to shoulder the responsibility of emission reduction in disregard of the fact that their development is still at a low level. What's important is for the international community to reach consensus on the issue, and turn the effort to tackle climate change into an opportunity for accelerating development, rather than an obstacle to sustainable development. To this end, the international community needs to formulate specific plans under the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". In particular, it should provide new and additional fund to developing countries, transfer environment-friendly technologies and help developing countries strengthen capacity building to effectively respond to climate change.
Fourth, South-South cooperation should play an important complementary role. South-South cooperation enjoys diverse forms and great potential, and has made considerable progress in recent years. Developing countries are enthusiastic about their mutually beneficial economic and technological cooperation, which has injected great vitality into South-South cooperation. The international community should encourage and support South-South cooperation. On the other hand, expectations on South-South cooperation should not be too high. In particular, developing country participants should not be treated in the same light as donor countries from the developed world.
Fifth, the international economic regime should be further improved. To ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared by all countries, developing countries in particular, it is essential to increase the voice and participation of developing countries in international finance and trade system. Reform of the international financial regime should take full account of the needs of developing countries, reflect the change in the international economic landscape, and increase the representation of developing countries. The Doha Round negotiations should be promoted to achieve the goal of a development round. It is also necessary to oppose trade protectionism, and work towards the establishment and development of an open, fair and just multilateral trading system.
While focusing on its own development, China values international cooperation in the field of development and seeks coordinated and balanced development. Although China is still a developing country, it has done what it can to provide assistance to many other developing countries and help them improve capacity for independent development. Recent years have witnessed remarkable progress in economic and technological cooperation between China and other developing countries, as evidence by expansion of investment and trade. There is a marked increase in China's economic and technological support to the LDCs. China and other developing countries are making further efforts to build on our strengths, tap the potential and explore new approaches and ways for cooperation, and learn from each other to make greater contribution to common development.
At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held last year, President Hu Jintao announced, on behalf of the Chinese Government, the eight policy measures to strengthen practical cooperation between China and Africa and support the development of African nations. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the eight policy measures are being implemented across the board. China is about to fulfill its commitment to Africa in development assistance and debt and tariff relief; the foundation stone has been laid for the AU Convention Center; the China-Africa development fund has been launched successfully; efforts to help African countries build hospitals, agriculture technology demonstration centers and rural schools are in full swing and making important progress. Economic and trade cooperation zones are being built by China in countries concerned. China has trained over 3,600 professionals for African countries this year. The two sides have made new breakthroughs in cooperation in finance, science and technology, civil aviation, and other fields. From January to July, China-Africa trade stood at 39.3 billion US dollars, an increase of nearly 30% year-on-year.
It is the common responsibility of all countries to implement the outcomes of major UN conferences and summits in the field of development. In this connection, the Chinese Government stands ready to strengthen cooperation and share best practices and success stories with the rest of the international community to work for a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.