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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations on the Scale of Assessment at 58th Session of the General Assembly
(14 October 2003)

2003/10/14


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your election.The Fifth Committee has an extremely heavy workload at this session.The Chinese delegation hopes and trusts that under your guidance, we the member states will, bearing in mind the overall situation and the general interests of this Committee, make this a fruitful session.

The Chinese delegation is grateful to Mr. Sessi, Chairman of the Committee on Contributions (COC), for introducing its report A/58/11.While endorsing the statement made by the distinguished representative of Morocco on behalf of G 77 and China, we would like to take this opportunity to stress the following:

Mr. Chairman,

This year, the Fifth Committee is to deliberate and adopt the 3-year scale of assessments for 2004-2006.At its 63rdsession, experts of the COC carefully considered the scale for 2004-2006 in a business-like, rigorous and scientific manner and submitted the results of their study for the consideration of the Fifth Committee.Here, the Chinese delegation would like to express its appreciation and respect for the work of the COC.

The principle of capacity to pay is the general consensus among all member states and has been reaffirmed by resolutions of the General Assembly year after year.This principle is also the foundation on which the methodology of the scale of assessments has been determined ever since the establishment of our Organization.Practice has shown that this is a principle that has worked well and stood the test of time and that it has also served the member states well and as such, should be maintained.

My delegation is of the view that only by adhering to the principle of capacity to pay can there be positive results to our important deliberation on the scale of assessments; and that only adherence to this principle can lead to logical and equitable adjustments to the scale.Since all member states have a vital stake in the adjustment and determination of the new 3-year scale, the matter must involve the entire membership andought to be resolved by all members through democratic consultations on an equal footing.

According to the figure provided by the Committee on Contributions, China's assessment for 2004-2006 will increase by 35.18% over the last scale period.What I would like to stress in this context is that China will have no objection to reasonable adjustments to the scale derived from the methodology based on the principle of capacity to pay as approved by the 55thsession of the General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

As a member of the UN family and a permanent member of the Security Council, China is fully aware of its responsibility towards the UN and towards peace and security of the world.China has matched deeds to its words by fulfilling its financial obligations towards the United Nations in line with its capacity to pay.As a permanent member of the Security Council, China has also assumed additional financial obligations towards peacekeeping.

Less than two decades into its process of reform and opening up, China has made great strides in its economic development.It has maintained a high rate of growth and raised and improved its standard of living.But China is still a developing country with unique circumstances such as a rather weak economic base, a low starting point and a large population.According to official statistics, China's per capita GDP was US$ 918 in 2001, far short of the threshold of US$ 5094, the average per capita income of the world.China still faces a formidable challenge in developing its economy and achieving the great renaissance of the Chinese nation.

Mr. Chairman,

Not too long ago, we just won our first victory over SARS (severe and acute respiratory syndrome).Both the Chinese government and people were severely tested in this war without the smoke of gunpowder that has taken a heavy toll on China's economy.Nevertheless, as a highly responsible state, China still managed to pay in full and on time its assessment for the year 2003 by surmounting all difficulties, thus conscientiously fulfilling its financial obligations towards the UN, the largest inter-governmental international organization.

Mr. Chairman,

The new scale of assessments for 2004-2006 is an important agenda item before the Fifth Committee.It is the hope of my delegation that all members will demonstrate flexibility and a spirit of consultation and cooperation in a serious dialogue on the basis of genuine equality and thorough in-depth discussion to strive for a general consensus.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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