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Statement by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yishan at the Third Committee of the 58th session of the General Assembly on Social Development

2003/10/06
Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation would like to warmly congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your election. My delegation will fully cooperate with you and the bureau to ensure the success of this committee.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation fully associates itself with the statement made by Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Promoting the coordinated economic and social development and achieving common prosperity have always been the shared aspiration and pursuit of all people around the world. While the international community has been intensifying its efforts and made continuous steady progress in this regard since the Summit on Social Development and the Special Session of the General Assembly on Social Development, we must not ignore the fact that human development is still faced with formidable challenges. Non-traditional security issues such as poverty, environmental deterioration, unemployment, drugs, transnational crime, HIV/AIDS and outbreaks of other infectious diseases have increasingly come to the fore, with some becoming more urgent than ever.

The United Nations is the most universal, representing and authoritative international organization in the world. The international community, in particular governments and people in developing countries, has a very keen expectation towards the UN. The United Nations should, without any hesitation, shoulder the important task of coordinating the efforts of member states, creating a favorable international environment, enhancing international cooperation and promoting the development of individual countries, with the aim of achieving comprehensive development of all countries in the world at an early date.

Earlier this year, at the 41st session of the Commission for Social Development and the high-level segment of the substantive session of ECOSOC, issues of how to further enhancing international cooperation in social development and eradicating poverty in rural areas were well explored and positive results achieved. Moreover, we are happy to notice that new headway has been made in the protection of the rights and interests of vulnerable groups, including the disabled and the elderly. We find these developments gratifying.

Here, I would like to make three observations on how to promote the social development in a balanced and coordinated way:

First, international cooperation should be strengthened to eradicate poverty. In 30 years, the number of the least developed countries has been on an increase, now standing at 49, over a quarter of the total membership of the United Nations, among which are countries in Africa and Asia in particular. The widening gap between North and South and the dramatic distinction between the rich and the poor has become an important factor affecting regional and global stability. The international community should join efforts to prevent the unreasonable phenomenon happening where the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer, thus to achieve common prosperity and totally eradicate poverty so that every country, every family and every individual could live a decent and comfortable life.

Secondly, efforts are required to further promote the coordinated development of economic and social development. Both economic development and social progress are indispensable for comprehensive human development. Social stability and progress constitute an important foundation for economic development, whereas economic prosperity offers a strong guarantee for social progress. They are mutually complementary and neither should be neglected. In the view of the Chinese delegation, to obtain a comprehensive social and economic development requires a comprehensive and holistic vision of development. Efforts should be aimed at a coordinated and integrated development between the economic and the social sectors, urban and rural areas, man and nature. The United Nations should fully play its role in furthering international cooperation in this regard.

Thirdly, it is necessary to strengthen capacity building in global public health. Capacity building in public health is essential for the achievement of successful and healthy economic and social development of countries. The Millennium Declaration has in this respect established the long-term goal of halting and beginning to reverse "the spread of HIV/AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major diseases afflicting humanity" by the year 2015. We call on the international community to attach greater importance to this issue and, within the framework of relevant activities aimed at promoting the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, enhance national capacities to cope with HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, with the aim of providing a solid basis for comprehensive development. Proceeding from this conviction, the Chinese delegation will submit during this session a draft resolution entitled "Strengthening capacity-building in global public health", which we hope will enjoy the support of member states.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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