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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN Ambassador Liu Zhenmin on Item 61 (A) "New Partnership for Africa's Development: Progress in implementation and international support at the 61st UNGA Session

2006-10-12 00:00

Mme. President,

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the launching of NEPAD. Over the past five years, African countries have made enormous efforts to implement NEPAD by taking vigorous steps in infrastructure, information and communication technologies, health, education, environment, agriculture, science and technology, gender mainstreaming and peer review. We highly appreciate such efforts. We are glad to see that African economy has, in recent years, maintained a strong momentum of growth, creating certain conditions for poverty eradication and sustainable development. The international community has given greater priority and aid to Africa's development. In order to implement the 2005 World Summit outcome document and the outcome of G8 summit, some developed countries have taken practical steps for increased aid and debt relief. South-South cooperation between African and other developing countries is expanding. These are all positive elements conducive to Africa's development.

However, as is pointed out by the Secretary General's report, the main task of the international community is to consolidate such positive momentum and further fulfill various commitments. African countries need to further pursue their national development strategies, strengthen coordination among them, and mobilize all forces to jointly promote Africa's development. The international community should fulfill the aid commitments to Africa, and coordinate and support African countries in their development endeavor. The UN should strengthen collaboration and coordination in its support to NEPAD. The Secretary-General's Advisory Panel on International Support for NEPAD has emphasized in its report the importance of supervising the implementation. This is indeed a very important matter.

Bearing in mind the progress in implementing NEPAD last year and the relevant reports under this item, the Chinese delegation wishes to make the following observations.

1. The primary feature of NEPAD is that it is initiated and owned by African countries. It mobilizes, on the basis of the needs of African countries, international assistance, coordination and support for Africa's development. It is therefore necessary to combine the two through regular dialogue. The reports of the Secretary-General and the Advisory Panel have summarized African countries' efforts and work priorities. They have also indicated the insufficiencies of international support. In terms of funds in particular, there still exists a fairly big gap between the international support and Africa's actual needs. We believe that comprehensive measures should be adopted to overcome the difficulties caused by the shortage of financial resources. The first step should be taken to ensure the existing funds is used in the most cost-effective way according to the priority order set by African countries. Second, keeping in mind the needs of African countries, we should continue to increase financial input. In addition to emergency aid, debt relief and technical cooperation, we should provide additional financial assistance for African development. Third, we should act from the long-term perspective and help African countries in capacity building so that they will attract more direct foreign investment and improve their self-funding abilities.

2. NEPAD is pragmatic, and one of its priorities is to help African countries integrate into world economy and make full use of the opportunities produced by the economic globalization. Consequently, the international community needs to adopt a series of measures: First, efforts should be made to correct the trade distortion and expand African countries' trade opportunities. Countries should make joint efforts, resume at an early date the Doha Round, urge major developed countries to show political will particularly in reducing agricultural subsidy, and expand market access to African countries' export, thus bringing tangible benefits to African countries in multilateral trade. Second, we should make full use of the current favorable moment when commodity price is at a high level to allow African countries to benefit from their resources advantage, which will improve their economic diversification. Third, aid-for-trade should be implemented to help African countries increase their participation in world trade and share the benefits of economic globalization.

3. South-South cooperation can help African countries in their development. There are numerous developing countries and each has its own advantages. South-South cooperation, with its historical tradition and new driving force, has huge potentiality. As a useful addition to North-South cooperation, the potentials of South-South cooperation should be fully tapped. On the existing basis, the Chinese side would vigorously promote South-South cooperation and do what we can to help implement NEPAD.

Mme. President,

Over the past decades, China and Africa have treated each other with sincerity, supported each other, conducted South-South cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and promoted common economic and social progress.

China has vigorously supported African countries in implementing NEPAD. We established relations with its secretariat right after the founding of NEPAD. China-Africa Cooperation Forum established in 2000 shares its goals with NEPAD in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation and common development. The two also have identical development priorities. We have adopted a wide spectrum of measures to help African countries. Since 2000, the Chinese government has exempted 156 debts of 31 African HIPCs and LDCs with a total amount of 10.5 billion RMB yuan. The Chinese government has also taken practical steps and given preferential trade treatment to African countries to allow more African products to enter the Chinese market.

In 2005, the bilateral trade volume between China and Africa reached US$39.746 billion with $2.38 billion of Chinese deficit. The Chinese government also conducted 63 aid projects for 48 African countries and regions, sent 54 batches of goods, and focused on agricultural development, infrastructure, human resources training, and medical and health cooperation. Following the zero-tariff treatment given by China to some imported commodities from 25 LDCs in Africa started from January 1 last year, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Senegal joined the group at the beginning of this year. The Chinese government encourages capable Chinese enterprises to invest and build factories in Africa. Till the end of last year, China's accumulated direct investment in Africa reached $1.18 billion, and more than 800 factories were built in Africa. Human resources cooperation is a key area of China-Africa cooperation. Last year, China invited 3,066 people from 50 African countries and regional organizations to come to China to receive training in foreign affairs, economy, trade, agriculture, forestry, and auditing. Programs of China-Africa environmental protection cooperation and young volunteers have been launched. Currently, about 1,100 students from 46 African countries are in China with scholarships provided by the Chinese government. At last year's China-Africa Forum meeting of education ministers, China announced a number of new measures, including providing training for 1,000 educational officials and teachers from African countries every year from 2006 to 2008, and doubling the number of students of African countries enjoying Chinese government scholarships in the coming five years.

China-Africa Cooperation Forum summit will be held in Beijing from 3 to 5 November this year. Chinese and African leaders will focus on the theme of "friendship, peace, cooperation and development" and jointly draw up the blueprint of China-Africa friendly cooperation. I am confident this will further enhance China's support to NEPAD in various fields.

China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Over the past decades, our fates have been linked together. The Chinese government will, as always, continue to reinforce its cooperation with Africa countries and make its due contribution to the revitalization and development of African continent.

Thank you, Mme. President.

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