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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations,at the Third Meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Center

2002/01/31

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I would like to express my congratulations on the convocation of the third meeting of the Council of Representatives of the South Center.  I am confident that under your leadership, the discussions of this meeting will be fruitful.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the role of the South Center.  Since its establishment, the South Center, as the think tank for developing countries, has done a lot of useful work.  It has conducted a great deal of research on issues of concern to developing countries and provided many valuable suggestions and recommendations.  I would express my appreciation for this.  For a long time, China has always actively supported the work of the South Center.  The Chinese Government has nominated H.E. Ambassador Ma Yuzhen, a time-honored diplomat, to be a candidate for the post of member of the board of the Center.  This has fully demonstrated the active support that China renders to the Center.  We hope that Ambassador Ma will be successfully elected to that post, so that China will be able to make more contributions to the work of the South Center in the future.

We have noted that currently the South Center faces some difficulties.  In my view, as a young organization, it is natural that the Center encounters problems of one kind or another.  China supports the Center to strengthen its role through necessary reforms.  I believe that such reforms should be carried out in an active, proper and practical manner.  It should focus on long-term development and depart from the higher interests of maintaining the solidarity of developing countries, taking into consideration the concerns of all sides.

Mr. Chairman,

I am confident that through effective reforms and concerted efforts of developing countries, the South Center will prosper. I hope that in the future the South Center will be able to play a bigger role in promoting the effective participation by developing countries in the process of economic globalization. Now, the new round of multilateral trade negotiation of the World Trade Organization has already been launched and two important meetings to developing countries, the International Conference on Financing for Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, will be held within this year, against the background that financial crises break out frequently in developing countries.  Facing this situation, we look forward to the South Center playing a stronger role as the think tank for developing countries, doing more extensive and in-depth research and coming up with more and better policy recommendations on issues of major concern to developing countries, so as to make new contributions to maintaining the common interests of developing countries.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
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