|Statement by Mr. LIU Zhiyong, Chinese Delegate, at the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Agenda Item 54 "Sustainable Development"|
|29 October 2007|
First of all, I wish to thank the Secretary General for the relevant reports he submitted on sustainable development. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of Group of 77 and China. I would like to make the following statement on agenda items 54 (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g) and (i).
Agenda Item 54 (a): Implementation of Agenda 21, the Program for the further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
It remains a significant and pressing task for all countries of the world to achieve sustainable development. Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, member states have made great strides in the coordinated economic development that takes into account factors like population, resources and environment. Meanwhile, the trend of global environmental degradation is yet to be reversed and the lack of funding, technology and capacity on the part of the majority of developing countries remains the weakest link in global sustainable development. A change of this situation requires not only the efforts of the developing countries themselves but also the vigorous reinforcement of international cooperation.
At the national level, governments should formulate sustainable development strategies in accordance with their own situations and use integrated means encompassing economic, legislative and administrative measures to fully implement those strategies. Social forces should be mobilized to establish broad partnerships in a sustained pursuit for sustainable development.
At the international level, the international community, the developed countries in particular, should fulfill their commitments in financing and technology as soon as possible, provide the developing countries with new and additional assistance funds, and transfer environment-friendly technologies on preferential terms so as to enhance the capacity of the developing countries to achieve sustainable development. It is also necessary to establish mechanisms to monitor and enhance efforts in this regard.
At the United Nations, the role of the Commission on Sustainable Development as the only organ within the UN system mandated to carry out integrated deliberation on economic, social and environmental issues should be enhanced to provide better policy guidance and more effective program coordination for sustainable development.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to sustainable development and has put forward specific goals and measures in its "Eleventh Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development". China has formulated the development strategy focusing on people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, strives for the integrated economic and social advancement, the harmonious development between man and nature and a balance between current and long-term interests. We will work to build a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society, coordinate economic development with population, resources and environment, and improve the living standard of our people while keeping harmony with nature. The realization of these goals will not only benefit the Chinese people but also make an important contribution to the world's sustainable development.
Agenda Item 54 (b): Follow-up to and Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Program of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing Countries
Small Island Developing Countries (SIDs) are still encountering special difficulties in achieving sustainable development. The implementation of the Mauritius Strategy requires joint efforts of all parties. The international community, the developed countries in particular, should honor their commitments in financing assistance and technology transfer to help SIDs enhance capacity building in line with their characteristics.
The United Nations should continue to play a leading role in promoting the sustainable development of SIDs. The Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Land-locked Countries and the Small Island Developing Countries (OHRLLS) should mobilize more support and assistance to build various forms of partnerships with multiple participants so as to help SIDs realize the coordinated and sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
Assisting SIDs to realize sustainable development is a component part of China's South-South Cooperation program. Over the years, the Chinese government has continuously deepened and broadened the cooperation with SIDs and provided them with assistance to the best of its capabilities. At the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum held in 2006, Premier WEN Jiabao announced that China would provide 3 billion yuan of loans to the Pacific island countries in the next three years. We trust these funds will help the recipients reinforce the foundation for sustainable development and facilitate the realization of the relevant goals of the Mauritius Strategy.
Agenda Item 54 (c): International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
In recent years, the international community has accorded increasing attention to disaster reduction cooperation and has achieved considerable progress. For example, early warning for disasters has been designated as a priority in disaster reduction cooperation; the first session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction was held under the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; and the second Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be convened. In this connection, I wish to reiterate the following points:
First, the disaster reduction cooperation system with the United Nations at its core needs to be improved and the policy coordination among the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council strengthened.
Secondly, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality in disaster relief cooperation must be adhered to, the national ownership and participation of the affected countries must be respected and emergency relief should be combined with post-disaster reconstruction and development.
Thirdly, scientific, technological and information exchanges with respect to disaster reduction should be strengthened and an early warning system established.
Fourthly, long-term, stable and predictable core funding for disaster reduction should be ensured and the support for the Central Emergency Response Fund strengthened.
Agenda Item 54 (d): Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Mankind
To respond to the long-term challenge of climate change, the international community needs to make enduring and unremitting efforts. I'd like to emphasize the following points:
First, the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" should be adhered to. The developed countries should meet their emissions reduction targets as set forth in the Kyoto Protocol, help the developing countries enhance the capacity to respond to climate changes, and take the lead in reducing emissions after 2012.
Secondly, the developing countries should, on the basis of their specific situations and within their capabilities, adopt positive measures to control as best as they can the speed of increase of their greenhouse gas emissions.
Thirdly, the basic framework set forth in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should be maintained with other relevant initiatives and mechanisms serving as complements to the Framework Convention.
Fourthly, international cooperation in the filed of climate change should be advanced in a balanced manner with equal attention given to mitigation, adaptation, funding and technologies.
Fifthly, funding assistance and technology transfer to the developing countries should be strengthened instead of only emphasizing the role of the market mechanism.
China attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and has set environmental protection as a basic national policy. Following the concept of scientific development as its governing philosophy, China has set up a National Leading Group to Address Climate Change, promulgated a series of laws and regulations and formulated national climate change programs. President Hu Jintao of China emphasized lately the need to build ecological civilization, making the building of a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society a salient feature of the national development strategy for industrialization and modernization. Each and every work unit and family is to make efforts in this regard as part of the overall strengthening of the capacity building in response to climate change, thus making contributions to the protection of the global climate.
China will fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations under the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" to make its contributions to the international cooperation in climate change.
Agenda Item 54 (e): Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa
Under this item, I'd like to first take this opportunity to welcome the appointment of Benin's ex-Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development as the new Executive Secretary.
In March and September this year, the fifth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC5) and the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP8) were held respectively. The "Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the UNCCD" was adopted. The international community should follow this momentum with effective actions to implement the above strategy. The developed countries should fulfill their financing commitment to the Convention so as to promote the establishment and innovation of technology transfer mechanisms on the basis of mutual benefit. Since desertification is one of the themes at the 16th and the 17th sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the international community should make full use of these two sessions to further increase the input in the issue of desertification so as to push for new progress.
Agenda Item 54 (g): Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Program on its Twenty-Fourth Session
We support the strengthening of the role of the United Nations Environment Program to enhance its efficiency and effects. But the relevant reform must always proceed from the overall framework of sustainable development and in the overall context of the UN reform in the economic, social and development fields. The relevant parties should explore in a balanced and comprehensive manner specific measures to strengthen the UN activities in the environmental filed so as to ensure the coordinated development of the three pillars of economic development, social progress and environmental protection.
Agenda item 54 (i): Promotion of New and Renewable Sources of Energy
Introduction of new and renewable sources of energy plays a very important role in safeguarding energy security and sustainable development. The international community should adopt a new energy security concept of "mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified forms of development, and common energy security through coordination" and pay particular attention to the strengthening of cooperation in the research and development of key energies such as renewable sources of energy, hydrogen and nuclear energy. This, plus a successful handling of capital input, intellectual property protection, and dissemination of technology, will help establish a clean, secure, economic and reliable world energy supply system of the future.
The Chinese Government always pays great attention to the development and application of new and renewable sources of energy, and formulated an energy strategy of "priority in conservation, focus on domestic sources, diversified forms of development, environmental protection and strengthened cooperation". We are willing to strengthen cooperation with energy producers and consumers on the basis of the principles of "equality, mutual benefit and win-for-all" in a joint effort to maintain global energy security and sustainable development.
Thank you, Madam Chair.