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Statement by Ms. Dong Zhihua, Counselor of the Permanent Mission of China at the High-level Meeting on Small Island Developing States

2010-09-24 08:19

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation associates itself with the statement made by Yemen on behalf of G77 and China.

Sustainable development is the common challenge facing the international community and Small Island Developing States represent an important part in the global efforts towards sustainable development. At present, with the world economy far from recovering from the financial crisis, and with the deteriorating ecological environment, the high incidence of extreme weather and natural disasters, energy shortage and food crisis, countries are confronted with unprecedented challenges in their development efforts. Hampered by factors such as small population, small territory, limited acreage of land, geographical remoteness from the major markets and scarce natural resources, the SIDS face more difficulties in their journey towards sustainable development and thus need due attention and assistance from the international community.

Mr. President,

We believe that the international community should implement in earnest such important instruments as the Barbados Program of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration so as to help the SIDS enhance their capacity for sustainable development. China wishes to make the following proposals:

First, an enabling external environment must be created for the development of the SIDS. The international community must fully realize the importance of trade to the economic revitalization and development of the SIDS. The developed countries should effectively honor their commitments in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, further open their markets to the SIDS and eliminate trade barriers and agricultural subsidies in order to create favorable conditions for “trade for development” by the SIDS.

Second, the fundamental concerns of the SIDS must be effectively addressed. Because of their unique natural and geographical conditions, the SIDS bear the brunt of the devastating consequences of climate change, rise of sea level and extreme weather. The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol have set up the mechanism for international cooperation to address climate change. The international community should uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and take effective measures to help the SIDS tackle the challenges posed by climate change and other severe natural disasters.

Third, the SIDS must be assisted in capacity building so that they can fully implement the strategy for sustainable development. The international community should increase input in technology transfer and personnel training to help the SIDS to better respond to various challenges. The UN and the relevant international institutions should make this a priority of their work and establish effective monitoring and implementation mechanisms.

Fourth, further support must be rendered to the implementation of the Partnership Initiative of the Barbados Program of Action. The international community should continue to deepen the development partnership at all levels and mobilize more resources and support for the sustainable development of the SIDS. Regional organizations and the UN must play an active role in coordination and further strengthen the partnerships among public sectors and between public and private sectors, including South-South cooperation and cooperation among the SIDS.

Mr. President,

Both China and the SIDS are developing countries and we are all faced with the arduous task of economic development. As a country with numerous islands, China empathizes with the SIDS in terms of the difficulties encountered on the path towards sustainable development. For many years, the Chinese government has been deepening and expanding its cooperation with the SIDS and has provided assistance within the limits of its capacity to the SIDS under the framework of South-South cooperation. We are ready to work closely with the SIDS and other countries and work hard to implement the Mauritius Strategy in a common effort towards global sustainable development.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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