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Statement by Counselor Dong Zhihua of the Chinese Delegation at the Second Committee of the 67th Session of UNGA on Agenda Item 20: Sustainable Development

2012-11-08 22:13

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his report submitted under this agenda item and aligns itself with the statement made by Algeria on behalf of G-77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

The global undertaking of sustainable development stands at a new starting point. Last June witnessed the successful convening of Rio+20 Conference whose Outcome Document represented the culmination of efforts by all stakeholders for pragmatic cooperation, compromise, mutual benefit and win-win results, and sent a strong and clear positive signal for revitalizing international cooperation for sustainable development. The developing countries in particular, despite difficulties with the global economy and international development cooperation, remain firmly committed to sustainable development and made important contributions to the success of the Conference.

The current session of the General Assembly is entrusted with the daunting task of implementing the outcome of Rio+20. Translating the political consensus generated at the Conference into specific arrangements acceptable to all parties will be an arduous and challenging process with a host of political and technical difficulties to overcome.

China hopes that member states will continue to demonstrate political will and work hard to iron out differences so as to facilitate the full and timely fulfillment of all the important mandates from Rio+20 at this session of the GA.

First, we should adhere to the “Rio Principles” and fully implement the outcomes of successive summits on sustainable development. Rio+20 reaffirmed the “Rio Principles”, especially the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”. These principles should continue to guide the international cooperation for sustainable development, including such important multilateral processes as the UN climate change negotiations. Today, while the objectives set at the Rio Conference on Environment and Development and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development are far from being achieved, new and formidable challenges have arisen in the form of financial crisis, climate change, energy and food insecurity. The international community should avail itself of the opportunity offered by Rio+20 to redouble efforts to promote sustainable development around the globe by effectively honoring the commitments made and continuing to uphold the spirit of partnership. The developing countries should devise and implement sustainable development strategies in light of their own national conditions and continue to assign priority to poverty eradication. The developed countries, on their part, should change their unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and help developing countries build up their capacity for sustainable development.

Secondly, we need to carefully take stock of the implementation of the MDGs in order to develop balanced and operable Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Rio+20 has set forth guiding principles on the formulation of the SDGs and decided on an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process as the format for specific discussions. China believes that the SDGs should build on the success of the MDGs, continue to give top priority to poverty eradication, and strike a proper balance among the economic, social and environmental pillars. They should be in line with the “Rio Principles”, that of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in particular, and they should be applicable not only to developing countries but also to developed countries. While they should clarify the way forward for global efforts, they must not limit the space of development of countries. In addition, they should pay attention to enhancing global partnership and aim to effectively address the developing countries’ lack of means of implementation such as financial and technical resources. The SDG-related deliberating process and the deliberations on post-2015 development agenda should complement each other, without prejudice to the ongoing efforts by the international community to attain the MDGs.

Thirdly, we must strengthen institutional building and put in place the means of implementation. The current GA should initiate at an early date the Intergovernmental High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, and start discussions on sustainable development financing strategy and on facilitation mechanisms for promoting the development,transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies,with a view to strengthening institutional building for sustainable development and putting in place financial and technical means of implementation. We hope that the High-level Political Forum will build on the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development, enhance overall efficiency in its work while ensuring broad political participation, cater to the needs of member states, and foster synergy within the UN system while avoiding functional overlap with the ECOSOC. It is our hope that the General Assembly, as mandated by Rio+20, will work expeditiously to effectively reinforce the UNEP, ensure the full operationalization of the “10-Year Framework of Programmmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production”, and make sound preparations for the 2014 International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

Mr. Chairman,

The Doha Conference on Climate Change is coming soon. The second commitment period of the “Kyoto Protocol” will be the priority and the most important outcome of the Conference. China hopes to see the effective implementation by all parties of the political consensus reached at Rio+20. We expect the developed countries in particular to show good faith by further elevating the level of emission reduction so as to ensure the on-time initiation of the second commitment period. At the same time, we hope that the commitments in terms of financing and transfer of technology will be truly honored and negotiations on the “Bali Roadmap” concluded as soon as possible. Under the prerequisite of respecting and accommodating each other’s core concerns, China stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with other stakeholders and, together with them, make joint efforts towards establishing a system of international cooperation to respond to climate change, a system that is based on equity, that fully embodies the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and that balances the historical responsibility of developed countries and the practical needs of developing countries in pursuit of sustainable development.

Mr. Chairman,

China is a strong facilitator of international cooperation for sustainable development. We have actively engaged in South-South cooperation and done what we can to contribute to the global sustainable development. We have also energetically promoted North-South cooperation and institutionalized mechanisms for cooperation with developed countries in the areas of environmental protection, climate change adaptation, and energy resources. We have actively participated in the activities of international organizations, implemented relevant international conventions in real earnest and undertaken responsibilities and obligations in keeping with our capabilities.

In the coming five years, China will be working to fully implement its “12th Five-Year Plan”. We will galvanize all sectors of the society to steadfastly strive for sustainable development by taking integrated measures to accelerate the transformation of economic development mode, adjust and optimize our economic structure, rationally control our aggregate energy consumption, and strive to cultivate life-styles and patterns of production and consumption that are resource-efficient and environmentally-sound. At the same time, China will, in the spirit of openness and pragmatism, do more to promote international cooperation, take a greater part in global governance for sustainable development , and gradually increase assistance to other developing countries as part of its positive contributions to the global undertaking of sustainable development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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