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2020 ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment Statement by the People's Republic of China

2020-05-19 07:00

Madam President,

Mr. Vice-President,

Secretary-General,

Excellencies and colleagues,

Thanks to H.E. Ms. Juul, President of ECOSOC and Permanent Representative of Norway, for leading the Bureau in overcoming difficulties and organizing the first virtual meeting of Operational Activities for Development Segment. Thanks to H.E. Mr. Mendiolea, Vice-President of ECOSOC and Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico, for chairing this meeting. China associates itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Guyana on behalf of Group of 77 and China.

China firmly supports the United Nations in leading and coordinating international efforts to fight COVID-19, address development and humanitarian challenges, and promote recovery and reconstruction. China appreciates the efforts by Secretary-General Guterres and Deputy Secretary-General Amina in leading the rapid action of the UN development system (UNDS) after the outbreak of the epidemic to make full use of global, regional and country capacities and support affected countries through providing medical supplies, strengthening the capacity of health systems, securing supply chains, providing services and protections to vulnerable groups, and supporting socio-economic reconstruction. China commends UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and other development entities for their timely assessment of the situation, rapid formulation of response plans or programmes, and relevant guidance and support to programme countries in responding to the impact of the virus. China pays tribute to the staff of UNDS for their dedication on the front line.

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has entered the Decade of Action. Developing countries are shouldering the arduous tasks of eradicating poverty, improving people's livelihood, addressing climate change, and comprehensively promoting sustainable development. With the impact of the pandemic, developing countries are facing prominent difficulties and development gaps in the areas of medical care, water and sanitation, education, social protection, and digital divide, etc. It is imperative for the international community to uphold multilateralism, strengthen unity and cooperation, enhance mutual trust, safeguard world peace, prevent economic recession, and help developing countries cope with these challenges. Member States should take the opportunity of formulating the resolution on quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) in the new cycle to guide and support UNDS in consolidating the reform achievements, promote recovery and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the current pandemic for developing countries with the goal of firmly implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China appreciates the effective efforts by the entities of UNDS in implementing the GA resolutions on QCPR and on the repositioning of UNDS. In the post-pandemic era, UNDS should continue to consolidate the reform achievements and ensure the effectiveness of its work in the following areas.

First, resolutely support developing countries in prevention and control to prevent the rebound and recurrence of the pandemic. Second, actively support the recovery of people's livelihood. It is crucial to both fight the pandemic and support development, shore up the weak links, especially to support developing countries in improving health, education, the capabilities of addressing climate change and natural disasters, vigorously creating jobs and restoring economic development. Third, protect women, children, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. Efforts should be made to promote social unity and reconciliation and prevent conflicts. Fourth, give better play to the leading role of the Resident Coordinators at country level. This includes strengthening communication and reporting from the Resident Coordinators to programme countries, reinforcing unity and cooperation within UN country teams, and ensuring the configuration, expertise and work programs of UN country teams are aligned with the needs and priorities of programme countries. The importance of national leadership needs to be underscored. Fifth, extensively consult with wider membership on the review of multi-country offices. It should adhere to the principle of national leadership, ensure that the reform measures are comprehensive, balanced and sustainable, and avoid unreasonable financial burdens. Sixth, promote regional review based on the specificity of each region. The role of the regional economic commissions can only be further strengthened with sufficient financial and human resources in order to better perform their mandates. Coordination and efficiency among the newly established mechanisms and the regional economic commissions should be strengthened to effectively help developing countries in the region implement the 2030 agenda.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, governments and people around the world have been fighting together against the virus. China mourns for every life lost and salutes the dedication of the frontline healthcare and essential workers in all countries. With painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifice, China has turned the tide on the virus. At the same time, China has been doing everything in its power to support and assist countries in need, and share control and treatment experience with the world without reservation.

China has set up RMB 2 billion special funds, provided anti-epidemic supplies to more than 150 countries and international organizations, shared experience on prevention, control, diagnosis and treatment with the rest of the international community. China has donated US$50 million to the WHO to support the global fight against COVID-19 and strengthen developing countries' health systems. At the recent 73rd World Health Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced that China will provide US$ 2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries. China will work with UN to ensure the operation of anti-epidemic supply chains. China will actively carry out South-South cooperation, establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals, support the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity. China will actively develop COVID-19 vaccine and share the results of future work to contribute to the realization of vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

COVID-19 is a common challenge for all humanity. Mankind is a community with a shared future. Solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon for defeating the virus and for recovery and reconstruction. China will continue working with all Member States to actively support the operation of UNDS, make every effort to control and prevent the epidemic, strengthen support for the public health systems of developing countries, especially African countries, and restore economic and social development. With such, we will push forward the implementation of the 2030 agenda, and leave no one behind.

Thank you.

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