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Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, In the General Debate at the Second Committee Of the 55th Session of the General Assembly

2000/10/02

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your election as Chairman of the Second Committee of this session of the General Assembly. The Chinese Delegation will cooperate closely with you and the Bureau.

At the just-concluded Millennium Summit of the United Nations, heads of state or government from more than 140 countries exchanged views on major issues such as peace and development and adopted the UN Millennium Declaration. I am confident that the outcome of the Summit will contribute positively and significantly to the work of this Committee.

In retrospect, we can see that despite the unprecedented material wealth humanity has created in the 20th century, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened more than ever. The quick pace of globalization in the 1990s has caused profound changes in the whole world but it has failed to change the situation where the poor nations have been marginalized. The 21st century should be one in which mankind enjoys common development and prosperity and globalization benefits the world in its entirety. In this regard, it is essential to help developing countries to integrate into the world economy and support their efforts toward sustainable development and poverty eradication. That is not only a goal for developing countries but also a responsibility of the international community. The UN Millennium Declaration has laid down many important goals in this aspect. Therefore, how the international community, including the UN system, should do specifically to achieve those goals is an important question for us at the turn of the century. In this connection, I wish to share with you the following views:

1. Strengthening Effective Global Governance. How to strike a balance between efficiency and equity is a matter of urgency for the international community. The UN Millennium Declaration says clearly that while globalization offers great opportunities, at present its benefits are very unevenly shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed. The central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world's people. In my view, the key issue is to strengthen effective global governance. For this purpose, the current global economic system must be reformed so as to represent the interests of the majority. Globalization should have a human face and proceed in accordance with the rule of law, which is the soul of a just and civilized society, instead of the law of the jungle, where only the fittest can survive. Only by doing so can developing countries' integration into world economy be ensured and will we enable globalization to bring common prosperity to the whole humanity. The UN, as the most universal and most representative organization in the world, must play a central role in governing and regulating globalization. At the 4th Roundtable Meeting of the UN Millennium Summit, Secretary-Genenral Kofi Annan indicated that the UN should regulate globalization by formulating rules in this field. The UN should try to turn this idea of the Secretary-General into reality.

2. Developing Countries' Equal Participation in Formulating the Rules of the Game. The formulation of the rules of the game is crucial to the governance of globalization. And the developing countries' equal participation in the formulation of the rules should be an important component of their effort in integrating into the world economy. It is also the first and foremost precondition for the equitability and democracy of the global economic system. To this end, the international community should change the situation where for a long time the decision making power in major multilateral economic institutions has rested in the hands of a minority of countries. The voice of developing countries should be heard in the decision-making process and they should no longer be in a position of accepting passively rules formulated by others. The international community should also display the political will and a real democratic spirit to reform the current international financial and trade system, so as to realize as early as possible the goal of "an open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial system", as provided by the Millennium Declaration. The UN also has an important role to play in this regard. Most importantly, it should continue to strengthen dialogue and coordination between relevant bodies of the UN system and multilateral economic institutions or organizations. In this regard, the successful dialogue between ECOSOC and the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI) has a lot for us to learn and should be copied widely. The UN has also made a very good initiative in this direction by inviting the BWI and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to attend the High-level Consideration on Financing for Development to be held next year. Such dialogue and coordination should be further promoted, so as to help realize the goals put forward in the Millennium Declaration.

3. Promotion of a New Type of International Cooperation. Eradication of poverty poses the most severe challenge for mankind. The Millennium Declaration has provided a series of goals in this regard. Realities of globalization have proved that, on the one hand, to really realize the goals of development and poverty eradication, efforts made by national governments are crucial, which include the adoption of a sound macro-economic policy and the enhancement of democratic decision-making as well as the encouragement of participation by civil society. On the other, international cooperation should also be stepped up, so as to create a favourable international environment, which means, among other things, the establishment of real partnerships among donor countries, developing countries, the UN system, multilateral economic institutions, and the private sector as well as civil society. For this purpose, developed countries should further open their markets to developing countries, help the latter to build up their capacity, manage as early as possible to push official development aid up to 0.7% of their GNP as promised, and find a comprehensive and effective solution to the issue of developing countries' external debts. International aid agencies should enter into full cooperation with developing countries when providing assistance to them, ensuring that relevant policies and conditions apply effectively in the latter. The WTO should make the concerns of developing countries as the focus of the next round of its multilateral trade negotiations. The international community should also take concrete measures to get rid of the digital divide between developed and developing countries, enabling developing countries to have full access to information technology for their development and poverty eradication efforts.

4. Choice of One's Own Road to Development. Developing countries vary in the level of development and many other things. And the differences between them as a whole and developed countries are even more striking. Therefore, one important condition for their development and integration into the world economy is to choose a road to development that is suitable to their national conditions. Developed countries should respect this reality and refrain themselves from forcing their own economic as well as social standards and development models, which are the result of hundreds of years of hard work, upon developing countries that are still at a backward level. Multilateral development aid agencies should, when offering policy recommendations to a recipient country, thoroughly study the latter's domestic situation and fully respect its choice of development road and avoid imposing upon that country development models or conditions for aid that are not suitable to it. Only by doing so can the latter's development be really improved while attaining ideal result of assistance. There is no lack of examples of success in this field, the UN should undertake a careful review of work in this regard and spread good experiences step by step.

Mr. Chairman,

China's great economic success during the past 20 years' reform and open process is attributable, most importantly, to the road of development that it has chosen and stayed on, which is suitable to China's national conditions. Of course, we still face a lot of difficulties and tremendous pressure. However, to go on with the reforms, work to better people's livelihood and establish a more democratic and prosperous society remain our goals as always. With a population of more than 1.2 billion, China offers to other countries of the world a big market and more opportunities for cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, science and technology, which in itself is a big contribution to prosperity and development in the whole world. Dedicated to domestic economic development, we are also ready to promote international cooperation, including South-South cooperation. In mid-October this year, the Ministerial Meeting of Sino-African Forum on Cooperation will be held in Beijing. The Chinese side and some African countries concerned have done a great deal of good preparation for this meeting. We are confident that it will be a very useful exploration effort for promoting South-South cooperation.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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