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Statement by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yishan in the General Debate of the Second Committee at the 58th Session of the General Assembly

2003/10/06

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election to the chairmanship of the Second Committee of the current session of the General Assembly.  I am convinced that guided by you and the other members of the bureau, the Second Committee will successfully complete its work.

Since its inception, the United Nations has taken the promotion of the well-being and development of mankind as one of its purposes. However, even today, the eradication of poverty, development and sustained economic growth worldwide remain formidable tasks high on the agenda of the United Nations and all countries of the world. The Millennium Summit has been followed by the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the start of Doha Round multilateral trade negotiations, the convening of the International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which together have defined common development goals and a framework for action, thus presenting us with a blueprint for a bright future. But the reality is: the world economy is still sluggish, progress in international economic cooperation is far from satisfactory and the gap between the North and the South and between the rich and the poor keeps widening. All these have brought a severe negative impact on the global economic development and world peace. Therefore, mankind is still faced with formidable challenges in the field of development. There is still a long way to go to realize the MDGs and implement the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences on development.

In order to achieve common development, realize MDGs and turn the 21st century into"a century of development for all", I believe that all countries should work hard in the following areas:

1. The concept of integrated and balanced development should be established so as to facilitate coordinated economic and social development and the harmonious coexistence of mankind and nature. At present, human development is increasingly constrained by excessive population growth, environmental degradation, energy depletion and other problems. Therefore, while striving for economic development, we should be more sensitive to the concept of healthy economic growth as well as its social and environmental impact. To this end, countries in the world should formulate comprehensive strategies and measures for sustainable development in light of their natural, human and social resources.

2. There must be a new international economic order that is more fair and equitable and more attuned to the requirements of globalization. In our view, such a new order, in essence, should reflect the interests of most countries, empower the developing countries to participate in the international economic system and share in its decision-making, and facilitate common and balanced development in the world.  We should continue to reform and improve the international financial system and enhance the capacity to prevent and cope with financial crises. The importance of a fair and open multilateral trade system to the developing countries should be emphasized. The international community should draw lessons from the failure at the Cancun Ministerial Meeting, take decisive actions, look at trade from a development perspective, minimize distortions and unfairness in the multilateral trade system and further open up the markets so as to promote the healthy development of the multilateral trade system.

3. It is imperative to firmly adhere to multilateralism, revitalize international cooperation for economic development and establish a new partnership that is mutually beneficial and complementary.  For this purpose, South-South cooperation and North-South exchanges must be effectively enhanced. Developing countries need to strengthen cooperation and coordination among themselves so that they can become more competitive and improve their disadvantageous position in economic globalization. Developed countries, on the other hand, should undertake their obligations and responsibilities, actively promote economic growth in the world and provide more support to developing countries in terms of market, resources, ODA, technology, debt relief and terms of trade. Only through sharing responsiblities and full cooperation can all the parties effectively rise to an increasing number of common global challenges together.

4. It is important to continue to uphold the authority of the United Nations and strengthen its central leading role in the field of development. The United Nations should enhance its coordinating capacity and continue to take the realization of MDGs and the implementation of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences as its core task in the field of development. The United Nations should also coordinate with all the relevant agencies and institutions, such as IMF, the World Bank, WTO and other multilateral economic institutions, and urge all countries to demonstrate greater political will, actively mobilize resources, conduct international cooperation and help developing countries implement the priority projects relating to development goals. Meanwhile, we propose that the United Nations set up a fair and rational framework for appraising progress in implementing MDGs, which evaluates national progress as well as monitors and assesses the fulfillment of development assistance pledges.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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