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Statement by Ambassador Shen Guofang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations and Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the 3rd Session of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on Financing for Development

2001-05-02 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation supports the statement by Iran on behalf of G77 and China and I wish to take this opportunity to emphasize the following points:

1. For ten years, the vast number of developing countries have been making enormous efforts for financing for development. These efforts, however, have failed to accomplish feasible results. The causes could be found in their low economic development level and, more importantly, the lack of a favorable external environment. My delegation believes that the International Conference on Financing for Development and its preparation process should give priority to discussions on how to strengthen international cooperation to support developing countries in their efforts for financing for development. Moreover, in the context of economic globalization and deepening economic inter-dependency among countries, the domestic policies of the major industrialized countries have great influence on the international economic situation. Therefore, industrialized countries, in their policy-making process should take into consideration not only the sustained and stable development of their own economies, but also the interests and requirements of developing countries for the sake of common development. This is also one of the major issues to be discussed at this International Conference and its preparation process.

2. In international cooperation, the ownership of macro-economic policies and development strategies formulated by each country should be strengthened. We have noted that relevant international organizations and agencies have made certain efforts in formulating international standards and codes. It must be pointed out that, without the full and effective participation of developing countries and without full discussions and consensus among all countries, those international codes and standards will be very difficult to apply. The implementation of the standards and codes should be in full consultation with relevant countries and on a voluntary basis. Countries should go step by step in accordance with their domestic conditions. The standards and codes should not be imposed on countries and, more importantly, they should not be used as a conditionality for assistance and aid.

3. In the past ten years, trade among countries of the world has been growing at a speed 2.5 times that of economic growth, and it has enhanced development with a much stronger force. It is regrettable, however, that the majority of developing countries have not been able to benefit from the global trade. According to the latest report of the World Bank, the losses caused onto developing countries in the global trade by the trade protection policies of the OECD countries have already exceeded the total sum of aids to developing countries. Therefore, in our view, questions as to how to implement the Uruguay Round agreements, especially how to expand market access for developing countries, how to remove trade barriers for them and how to fully consider and accommodate their concerns and interests in the new round of multilateral trade negotiations deserve the attention of all sides.

4. Official Development Assistance (ODA) plays an indispensable role in the field of development, especially regarding poverty eradication, environment protection and the construction of infrastructural facilities. However, we have noted with regret the fact that, from 1997 to 1999, the total amount of subsidies for agricultural products in developed countries has reached 266 billion US dollars, five times the total sum of ODA from developed countries to developing countries in the same period. It is puzzling that, in today's world where various kinds of international standards are being produced one after another, the international agreed target for ODA have not yet been fully respected and implemented, only getting more and more attached conditionality. We hope that this International Conference and its preparation process will be able to produce time-bound measures for implementation so as to urge developed countries to fulfill their commitment of 0.7% of their GNP for ODA at an early date.

5. Under the current circumstances, a top priority is to reform the international financial and trade system. Memories of the 1998 Asia financial crisis are still fresh today. This shows that the international economic system has already grown out of today's international situation and therefore must be reformed. The international community should seek to establish a future- oriented, just, fair, stable and effective new international economic system. The core of such a system is the increased representation and voice of developing countries in the decision-making process of international economy and their equal and effective participation in the decision-making and management of international economic affairs. My delegation believes that the United Nations, as the biggest and most representative inter-governmental organization of the world today, should play a bigger role in international economic affairs.

Finally, I wish to reiterate that the Chinese delegation will be supportive to the adoption by the International Conference on Financing for Development of a strong political declaration and a program of action, so as to provide guidance for future international cooperation in this regard.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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