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Statement by Mr. Liu Jiang, Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission of China, at the High-level Segment of the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
(28 April 2004, New York )

2004/04/28


Mr. Chairman and distinguished representatives:

First of all, I would like to extend my thanks, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to the Bureau and the Secretariat for their excellent organization of this meeting.

Since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), sustainable development has made encouraged strides at the global level. However, we should not be too optimistic about its progress. Many problems, such as poverty and hunger, waste of resources, destruction of ecological environment and fatal epidemic diseases, are calling desperately for solutions. The greatest obstacle in the way is still the lack of means of implementation. The developing countries are troubled with shortage of financial resources, technologies and capability. Although ODA has witnessed a slight rebound, it is still far from reaching the promised target. Multilateral trade talks have stagnated, leaving various trade barriers unmoved for the developing countries. Concrete actions are absent in technology transfer.

In dealing with the above problems, the Chinese delegation puts forward the following three suggestions:

First, each country should take its own responsibilities and adopt appropriate sustainable development strategies and measures, in accordance with its specific national conditions. The ten-year implementation of "China's Agenda 21" has proved that the global development agenda should be promoted through the implementation of each country's development strategy. The macro-management and comprehensive planning functions of Governments shall play a key role in this regard.

Second, the international community should strive to create an enabling international economic environment, by understanding the difficulties faced by the developing countries, as well as their reasonable requirements, and provide concrete assistance to the developing countries in prioritized fields. Water, sanitation and human settlements are issues directly related to the survival and development of grassroots masses in the developing countries. The arduous task to address these issues, together with its widespread implication and great number of to-be-benefited population, should be regarded as priorities for global sustainable development and win intensive support.

Third, the leadership of the United Nations on sustainable development should be strengthened, so as to further mobilize political will in the international community. The nearly 60-year history of the United Nations has demonstrated that setting positive and explicit goals is the important means of promoting global development agenda. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and targets set by the WSSD are the joint commitments that leaders from various countries made to the new millennium. They serve as the benchmark for the progress that we make. Moreover, they spur the international community to move forward. The United Nations should unremittingly pursue these goals and put them into practice in various ways.

Mr. Chairman,

With a large population, shortage of resources and unbalanced regional development, it is natural that China's sustainable development attracts the attention of the international community. After years of hard work, China has laid a foundation for the achievement of MDGs. However, many difficulties remain ahead, and the key to resolve them lies in accelerating development. Looking into the future, the Chinese Government has brought forward a scientific view of development, which is all-round, balanced and sustainable. The Government has combined the goal of building a relatively prosperous society with MDGs and made it an important guidance to China's sustainable development. The Chinese Government and the United Nations Country Team in China successfully held the High-level International Conference on MDGs in Beijing last month, which significantly strengthened the cooperation between our two sides. More similar activities will be held in the future. The Chinese delegation will introduce the progress that China has made in the fields of water, sanitation and human settlements during a high-level special event, which will be held at lunchtime today. Your attendance will be more than welcome!

Thank you!

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