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Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan at the 57th General Assembly on United Nations Reform

2002/10/30

Mr. President:

We welcome the Secretary-General's report entitled "Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change" and commend him for his unremitting efforts for the reform of the United Nations. Our thanks likewise go to the President for arranging a timely debate in the plenary on this very important question.

We support the statement made by distinguish Permanent Representative of Venezuela on behalf of G77 and China. I would also like to offer the following observations in connection with the report of the Secretary-General:

1.UN reform should give equal importance to questions of the maintenance of peace and security and those relating to development, poverty eradication and the promotion of sustainable development. We support the Secretary-General's proposal to align UN activities with priorities such as the implementation of the development goals of the Millennium Declaration and an effective response to challenges posed by globalization and its impact on development. This coincides with the wishes of the whole membership of the UN, particularly the developing countries. We hope that the Secretary-General will further formulate practical and feasible recommendations and take effective measures with a view to the realization of these development goals, which, inter alia, include devoting more resources to development, mobilizing the developed countries to increase ODA, furthering opening up markets, eliminating various kinds of trade barriers and ensuring that globalization benefits all countries. These should find expression in the UN's operational arrangements, programmes and resource allocations.

2.China supports the reduction of the number of reports required of the Secretariat and the imposition of page limits on them. We support the improvement of the quality of reports by putting more emphasis on their analytical contents and recommendations. We support the reduction of the number of meetings and the improvement of the quality of conference services. We hope that these recommendations of the Secretary-General will be fully taken in account when the General Assembly takes up the question of the revitalization of its work. We also endorse many other recommendations of the Secretary-General, such as those related to the repositioning of the Department of Public Information and improved management of UN libraries and enhanced coordination among UN entities.

3.The financial planning and budgetary process of the UN need streamlining in order to conform more to reality and real needs and to improve the effectiveness of its work. At the same time, we believe that the CPC should continue to play some role in the financial planning and budgetary process of the UN. When considering this question, we must see to it that the right of final decision on financial matters rests with the member states and the views of the developing countries should be valued.

4.The proposed inclusion of human rights in UN development assistance programmes at the country level has caused serious concern among the developing countries. Human rights questions are distinct from those relating to development assistance programmes. We do not support mixing the two together. China supports UN activities of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, but human rights programmes must be appropriate to the specific conditions and circumstances of the countries concerned. Full importance must be given to the realization of the right to development and the views of the governments concerned must be respected.

5.We support the establishment of a panel of eminent persons to review the relationship between the United Nations and civil society and offer practical recommendations for improved modalities of interaction. In conducting such a review, the Panel needs to support and improve relations between the civil society and the UN, squarely face the problems that have emerged and widely solicit the views of the membership.

6.All countries have a vital stake in UN reforms and should be assured of equal participation in reform discussions and consultations. The General Assembly could consider the adoption at this session of a resolution containing elements that already enjoy general support with a view to maintaining the momentum of reforms now underway.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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