|Statement on Social Development (Item 55) by Ms. ZHANG Dan, Counsellor & Deputy Representative of the Chinese Delegation at the Third Committee of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly|
6 October 2008, New York
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of the Third Committee. I wish to assure you and other members of the bureau of my delegation's full cooperation and support. My delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary-General submitted under this agenda item, and associates itself with the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The 45th and 46th sessions of the Commission for Social Development undertook the first global review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan of Action. The Chinese delegation is delighted to see that there has been a considerable improvement of awareness on the part of various countries of the Plan of Action and governments have adopted comprehensive and innovative policies resulting in remarkable progress in the implementation of their ageing-related policies. However, implementation of the Plan of Action is still uneven among different regions. Most countries lack necessary resources to collect data and information and conduct policy research specifically on ageing. The Chinese delegation calls upon all governments to demonstrate stronger political will and invest more financial and human resources in the work related to ageing.
As pointed out by the World Summit in 2005, basic education and literacy training play a crucial role in poverty eradication and the achievement of other MDGs. Education is pivotal in enhancing people's abilities, promoting economic and social development of countries and improving the life of the poor. Therefore, governments are duty-bound to safeguard the right of all citizens to education and to ensure that all children, boys and girls alike, enjoy equal access to all levels of education. The Chinese delegation notes with regret that in today's world, there are still over 700 million adults who lack the basic skills to read, 2/3 of whom are women. In addition, more than 70 million children do not receive school education. China welcomes the activities of UNESCO centering on the Global Literacy Decade, and appeals to all governments to place the issue of combating illiteracy on their national