|Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations at the 46th Session of the Commission for Social Development on "Promoting Full Employment and Decent Work for All"(Item 3a)|
|7 February 2008, New York|
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your assumption of the chairmanship of this session of the Commission. I am convinced that under your outstanding guidance, our session will be crowned with success. The Chinese delegation will fully support and cooperate with you and make its contribution to the success of our work.
While the current overall international situation remains stable, the global economic imbalance has become worse and the international security situation more complex, presenting mankind with multiple difficulties and challenges. How to expedite the realization of full employment and decent work for all in the process of promoting sustainable development with a view to creating a harmonious and equitable world is an important question and a daunting task facing all of us. At this age of ever deepening globalization and increasingly close economic interconnection among countries, our continued discussion at this session under the priority theme of "promoting full employment and decent work for all" is of particular relevance. The Chinese delegation has read carefully the report of the Secretary General, which in our view serves as a sound basis for our discussion. Here I'd like to make the following remarks on this priority theme:
First, We should try to achieve a breakthrough in employment generation through economic growth.
Development is the fundamental way to resolve the employment issue. Economic globalization has presented the world with rare opportunities. We should work to channel it in the direction of bringing balanced and universal benefits to all countries with no one left out, and use the international economic, trade and financial systems to create favorable conditions for the development of all countries, developing ones in particular, so that the 21st. century will really be a century of development of all people. This is an essential condition for the realization of full employment and decent work for workers of all countries. Countries should also work to create an enabling macro-economic environment to facilitate the development of enterprises, enhance productivity and create more employment.
Second, We should focus our efforts on pursuing sustainable development.
Sustainable development constitutes an important pre-condition for decent work. Protecting the Earth, our common home, is in the fundamental interest of the people of all countries. Only by pursuing harmonious development with equal attention to developing economy, improving people's lives and preserving sound ecology and by striving for sustained economic and social development in harmony with the Nature can it be possible to provide workers with a favorable working and living environment. This is also an ultimate goal of sustainable development. Workers should take practical actions to push enterprises, governments and the society to save resources and protect environment in the process of economic and social development with a view to realizing sustainable development in a more proactive way.
Third, We should endeavor to establish and improve social security systems.
Full employment and decent work for all require a sound social security system. Governments should, on the basis of the principle of social equity, use legal and institutional means to ensure that gender equality is achieved in employment, the dignity of the workers preserved and fruits of development shared by all groups. At present, the aging of the population and the increase of medical expenses have put tremendous pressure on the medical and health care system of various countries, resulting in continuous rising of the threshold of various insurance benefits. Since countries differ in history, culture, social system and stage of development, only a practical and effective social security system suitable to a country's specific situation can really advance the cause of full employment and decent work for all.
Fourth, We should focus on agriculture and small and medium-sized enterprises.
As rural population constitutes nearly half of the world's total, resolving the problem of employment for the rural population forms an indispensable part of the overall effort of promoting full employment and decent work for all. Governments should increase investment in rural areas and agricultural development, and provide farmers with more resources, technologies and training. At the same time, more employment opportunities should be created in the process of urbanization in order to address the question of employment for surplus labor from the rural area.
The development of small and medium-sized enterprises represents a new bright spot in the promotion of full employment and decent work for all. In the global economy, small and medium-sized enterprises are the most dynamic and innovative part, and the development of enterprises holds the key to employment generation. Therefore, governments should make full use of the characteristic flexibility and diversity of small and medium-sized enterprises, take initiatives to boost the creativity and innovation of enterprises and enhance their productivity, and provide support in terms of credit, technical assistance, policy and taxation.
Fifth, Particular emphasis should be paid to the developing countries.
To the developing countries, the key to decent work for all lies in full productive employment, improvement of the employment environment and working condition of those workers who are at a disadvantaged position, and respect for and protection of their basic right to work. To this end, the developing countries need to formulate social and economic policies based on their specific national conditions, promote productive employment, strive to eliminate poverty at an early date and enhance the capacity of self-development. The international community should, in the common interest of the whole mankind, pay attention to the needs of the developing countries, provide greater technical and financial support to the developing countries in order to help them eliminate poverty and generate employment, and create a win-for-all situation through cooperation.
The Chinese government has set for itself the goal of achieving more adequate employment and implemented a development strategy with the increase in employment as its core and tried to push for employment expansion through starting enterprises. Over the years, we have made unremitting efforts to promote economic development and social progress, resulting in marked increase of our overall national strength and steady improvement of our people's living standards. Believing that employment is fundamental to people's lives, my government places the expansion of employment at a prominent position in economic and social development and has taken a series of policy measures to energetically promote employment, measures that include adjusting economic structure, encouraging small enterprises to generate employment, providing employment services and vocational training for laid-off workers and the unemployed, providing re-employment assistance and improving social security system. In this way, we have managed to combine economic development with social progress.
When my government formulated the goal of the "comprehensive construction of a well-off society and a harmonious socialist society", it has included in it the objective of achieving by 2020 comparatively full social employment. However, owing to factors such as the transformation of our economic system and our huge population, China is still facing grave difficulties in the area of employment. It will take a long period of time for China to achieve "full employment and decent work for all".
Providing equal opportunities and safeguards for work to all workers is a common task of the international community. We are willing to work together with the international community to promote global economic and social development, realize the goal of full employment and decent work for all and build a harmonious world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.