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Statement by Dr. Liu Yuyin, Chinese Delegate, on Sustainable Development at the Second Committee of the 64th UN General Assembly

2009-11-02 17:56

(New York, 2 November 2009)

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I wish to thank the Secretary General for his reports on sustainable development. China associates itself with the statement made by the Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

On item 53 (a): Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development

The international community and national governments have, in recent years, made tremendous efforts in implementing Agenda 21 and achieving sustainable development. Important strides have been made in promoting coordinated development in economic, social and environmental areas. However, as a result of successive waves of crises, all the major areas of sustainable development are now facing the prospect of seeing their progress reversed as the world economic growth slows down dealing heavy blows to the developing countries, and the challenges in areas such as climate, energy and water further intensify. Such conditions have put the achievement of the goals of Agenda 21, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Millennium Declaration in serious jeopardy.

In order to tackle this unprecedented "development crisis", the international community must redouble its effort and strengthen cooperation in order to move forward the sustainable development agenda. The international community, especially the developed countries, should honor their commitments in the areas of finance and technology, increase development assistance, and transfer environment-friendly technology so as to help developing countries enhance their capacity to achieve sustainable development. Monitoring and facilitation mechanisms should be set up for this purpose. CSD is the only organ in the UN system tasked with dealing in an integrated manner with economic, social and environmental issues. Its role must be further strengthened and countries are called upon to continue their support to the Commission. The whole UN system must enhance efficiency and effectiveness in implementing the follow-ups to the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In this regard, the developing countries must continue to strengthen their capacity of self development as they explore development models suitable to their specific conditions and stay their course in sustainable development. The Chinese government endorses the idea of convening a summit on sustainable development in 2012 to carry out a comprehensive assessment and review of the obstacles and achievements in implementing Agenda 21. We voice our support to the government of Brazil for hosting this event.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to sustainable development and has adopted a development strategy that is people-centered, comprehensive, well-balanced and sustainable. We aim to integrate our economic and social development, achieve harmonious development between humankind and nature, and strike a balance between immediate and long-term interests. We are in an all out effort to build a resources-saving and environment-friendly society, to develop an economy that is well-balanced with our population, resources and environment in order to build a "well off" society based on the harmonious co-existence between humankind and nature. Achieving these goals will not only benefit the Chinese people but also contribute to the sustainable development of the world as a whole.

On item 53(b): Follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States

Small island developing states face unique challenges in achieving sustainable development. Therefore, in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy, the international community, and the developed countries in particular, have to take into full consideration their characteristics and vulnerability and increase support to the SIDS through financial assistance, transfer of applicable technology and support in capacity-building in order to enhance their capacity for sustainable development.

At present, preparations are well under way for the five year review of the implementation of Mauritius Strategy. The UN should continue to play the leading role and mobilize greater support in carrying out examination and evaluation of the current and future economic, social and environmental vulnerability of the SIDS. It is necessary to establish various forms of partnerships involving multiple stakeholders to help SIDS achieve balanced and sustainable development in economic, social and environmental areas.

To help SIDS achieve sustainable development is an integral part of China's South-South cooperation. Over the years, the Chinese government has continuously expanded and deepened its cooperation with SIDS and provided them with assistance within our capacity. We are ready to work with others in further strengthening international cooperation for the achievement of the goals contained in Mauritius Strategy.

On item 53 (c): International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

Natural disasters are a serious impediment to sustainable development worldwide. In recent years, weather-related disasters and extreme weather conditions have multiplied. The prevention of and response to natural disasters call for enhanced international and regional cooperation. First, it is necessary to implement the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, facilitate international and regional cooperation in disaster reduction and improve the cooperation system with the UN as the center. Second, in disaster relief cooperation, it is important to adhere to the principle of “humanity, neutrality and fairness” and respect the sovereignty and the right to participation of the recipient countries. It is also necessary to link emergency relief with post-disaster reconstruction and development. Third, it is necessary to strengthen exchanges in disaster relief technology and information, establish mechanisms of regional cooperation for monitoring, early warning and assessment of major natural disasters so as to minimize the damage brought about by disasters. Fourth, it is necessary to secure long-term, stable and predictable core resources for disaster reduction, intensify support to developing countries to help them in disaster reduction capacity building.

On item 53 (d): Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind

Confronting climate change and achieving sustainable development are an urgent and long-term task. They have a direct bearing on the conditions of human existence and the future of all countries' development and as such require unremitting efforts from each one of us.

At present, the road to Copenhagen is far from being a smooth ride. Negotiations are bogged down on contention over certain fundamental principles. It all boils down to whether or not to adhere to the Convention, the Protocol and the Bali Roadmap, whether the developed countries should take the lead in reducing emissions, and how to translate into reality the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the principle of equity.

Mr. Chairman,

The world is looking up to us to make the right choice on the issue of climate change, an issue that puts the human survival and development at stake. Countries are called upon to show a sense of responsibility to their own people and to the human society as a whole, to be firmly grounded in the present while looking forward to the future, to preserve United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol as the main channels, to adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and to stick to the mandate of Bali Roadmap. It is necessary to effectively carry out our responsibilities, promote common development and achieve a win-win outcome for all.

China is one of the countries that are most susceptible to the negative effect of climate change and is currently in an accelerated stage of industrialization and urbanization. We are faced with multiple tasks of economic development, poverty reduction, improvement of our people’s lives and protection of environment. Nevertheless, the Chinese government lays great emphasis on the issue of climate change and, in a show of high degree of responsibility towards long-term human development, has resolutely stayed the course on the road of sustainable development. We have enacted and implemented our National Plan for Coping with Climate Change, adopted effective policies, measures and actions in this respect and made tireless efforts in order to play our part in responding to climate change. On September 22 at the UN Summit on Climate Change, President Hu Jintao of China outlined four measures China will take to further respond to climate change. The Chinese government is ready to continue to work with others to create a better future for coming generations.

On item 53 (e): Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

Desertification is a major issue facing sustainable development of human society. In May this year, CSD had a thorough discussion of the issue of desertification. And in October, the 9th conference of the states parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was held. The international community should build on this momentum to take effective actions to implement the Convention and increase input in efforts to tackle desertification so as to facilitate the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the Decade. The developed countries must effectively honor their financial commitments to the Convention and come up with adequate, predictable and timely financial resources for the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Decade with a view to making progress in combating desertification.

On item 53 (i): Promotion of new and renewable sources of energy

Energy conservation and development of new and renewable sources of energy are the inevitable future of the energy industry. It is an issue that has an important bearing on the development of the countries of the world. It is necessary for the international community to form a new concept of energy security based on “mutual benefit, cooperation, diversified development, coordination and guarantee”. We must strengthen dialogue and cooperation in a joint effort to safeguard world energy security. The international community must, in a spirit of interdependence, promote energy exploitation and utilization, carry out mutually beneficial cooperation, promote the development of new and renewable sources of energy and expand the application of advanced energy technologies. Against the backdrop of current financial and economic crisis, the developed countries must effectively honor their commitments in technology and financing and help developing countries in their efforts to develop new energy and enhance energy efficiency and support developing countries in their human resources training and capacity building.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to developing and utilizing new and renewable sources of energy. It is for us a high strategic priority. Under the principle of equality, mutual benefit, shared gains and win-win outcome, we are willing to continue to actively participate in energy cooperation and make our own contribution to achieving world energy security and sustainable development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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