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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, at 2nd Committee of UNGA 59th Session on Agenda Item 85:Sustainable Development
(19 October 2004, New York)

2004/10/19


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I wish to thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on environment and sustainable development, and the Secretariat for its explanatory remarks. My delegation also supports the statement made by the representative of Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Now I would like to elaborate on the question of sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

The Agenda 21 and the Plan of Implementation adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) have formulated specific objectives and action plans for countries and the international community in environmental protection and sustainable development. To reverse the continued deterioration of global environment, and to achieve substantive progress in sustainable development, the current urgent task for the international community is to turn objectives and pledges into actions. This requires countries to blueprint and comprehensively implement sustainable development strategies based on their national conditions. It is also necessary to greatly reinforce international cooperation and coordination in this area.

After the convocation of the WSSD, though countries have increased their input and expanded their cooperation, the progress on the whole remains rather slow. Confronting the increasingly grave environmental challenges, the international community still lacks effective measures and means. The developing countries in particular, due to restrictions of their own conditions, are faced with enormous difficulties in achieving sustainable development. It is therefore pivotal for the international community to focus on international and regional cooperation, and render practical support and assistance to the developing countries in financial resources, technologies, capacity building and other means of implementation.

We are glad to note that the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was held successfully. During the meeting, in the spirit of cooperation and innovation, the participants held in-depth discussions and exchanged views on water, sanitation and human settlements, and pinpointed problems and challenges in these areas. We hope that on the basis of these discussions, the 13th session of the CSD will focus on specific issues and seek feasible policy measures and solutions to effectively promote the realization of relevant objectives.

Mr. Chairman,

The Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol have laid down basic principles and framework for the international cooperation on how to respond to climate change. "The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities" for the developed and developing countries explicitly stipulated in these instruments should be followed. China ratified the Protocol in 2002. We are glad to note that the Russian Government has submitted the motion on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to the Duma, officially initiating the process of ratification. We hope that this will contribute to speedy coming into force and effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, thus enhancing the efforts of the international community to slow down the climate change.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to climate change. While engaging in economic development, we have made enormous efforts, based on our own sustainable development strategies, to respond more effectively to climate change and improve bio-environment. We have made marked progress and we will continue our efforts in this regard.

At the same time, we fully understand that climate change is a long-term challenge facing mankind. Its solution needs our unswerving efforts. We are ready to work with the rest of the international community, continue to support the Kyoto Protocol, and explore more ways to respond to climate change that are both suitable to the national conditions and can fully mobilize the enthusiasm of all countries, thus effectively slowing down climate change and realizing sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

Convention to Combat Desertification is of important significance in sand degeneration prevention and human environment improvement. However, due to insufficient financial resources, the convention is yet to fully play its due role. We hope the developed countries will fulfill their pledges at an early date so as to increase financial input and instill vitality into the effective implementation of the convention. We appreciate the active efforts made by the Convention's Secretariat. We hope the Secretariat will further strengthen its communication and cooperation with the Global Environment Facility, expand the financial resources for the convention, and vigorously enhance global desertification prevention and control.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to biological diversity protection. China is one of first contracting parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and has taken an active part and supported the international community in cooperation and efforts for biological diversity protection and sustained utilization. In future, China will make joint efforts with all parties, continue to actively fulfill its contracting party commitments, earnestly implement decisions made by the contracting parties' conferences, and promote the realization of relevant objectives of the convention.

Mr. Chairman,

Though it was a decade ago when the first World Conference on Disaster Reduction was held in 1994, the losses of people's life and property and damages to their living environment caused by disasters have not yet been brought down. Natural disasters are the common enemy of the entire mankind. And the developing countries are more vulnerable in front of them. We hope that the international community and especially the developed countries will adopt earnest methods, proceed from humanitarianism, increase post-disaster material and technological assistance to the developing countries, and help them raise capacity in disaster prevention, preparation and reduction. We hope that the 2005 World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan will achieve fruitful results, enhance international cooperation, and materialize specific objectives and programs.

Mr. Chairman,

Small island developing states have their special features in economic development and bioenvironmental protection. Over the past decade, thanks to the tireless efforts of SIDS and the assistance of the international community, the implementation of "the Barbados Programme of Action" has witnessed certain progress. At the same time, we have also taken note that there still remains a fairly wide gap before the realization of objectives of the"Programme of Action". With the expansion of globalization, SIDS are faced with greater challenges. We hope the 2005 International Meeting for the Comprehensive Review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Mauritius will be action-oriented, identify obstacles and difficulties existing in the process of implementation of the Programme of Action, seek specific solutions, and comprehensively promote the sustainable development of the small island developing states.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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