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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations at the 4th Meeting of SDGs OWG

2013-06-18 21:04

Mr. Co-chairs,

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to attend the fourth Meeting of SDGs OWG, and make a statement on behalf of China, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. I thank our two co-chairs for the efforts they have made in preparation for this meeting. Our troika supports the statement made by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Now I would like to make a few points on employment and decent work, social protection, youth, education and culture.

On employment and decent work, creation of sustained employment opportunities is the key to reducing inequality, eradicating poverty and promoting economic growth. At present, the world economic recovery is undergoing some twists and turns, as evidenced by inadequate drive for global economic growth, more complicated and challenging employment situation, and the lingering high joblessness of young people in particular.The SDGs may set separate goals for employment and decent work. At the same time, we need to ensure there is a linkage between these goalsand those concerning other areas of livelihood. To be specific, these goals include, at national level, implementing development strategies conducive to job creation, giving top priority to promotion of full and productive employment for women and youth, increasing support for the private sector, especially the small and medium enterprises, strengthening public employment and human resources services, improving the integrated mechanism for employment and social welfare, promoting decent work, and establishing a harmonious environment for employees. At international level, these goals include mainstreaming job creation into the global macro-economic policy, increasing input to developing countries in terms of financial assistance, scientific research,technological cooperation and vocational training, and improving the productivity of developing countries and the development of their labor-intensive industries.

On social protection, a full-fledged social welfare system provides an important guarantee for socioeconomic development, and a safety net for social harmony and stability. The SDGs should center on social welfaresystems that cover all citizens and feature extensive, multi-dimensionaland sustained coverage for basic sustenance. It is imperative to strengthen the integration and coordination among social insurance, social relief and social welfare, increase input in social welfare by public finance, put emphasis on addressing such livelihood issues as education, employment, medical care, old-age care and housing, and beef up the long-term employment assistance mechanism for the vulnerable group.

On education, despite the progress made in the education aspect of theMDGs, there still exist plenty of challenges in achieving basic education for all. The education aspect of the SDGS should build on the MDGs while making up for the inadequacy of the latter. Specifically, it is necessary to further implement the goal of basic education for all, ensure life-long learning, strengthen vocational guidance and education for youth, and offer extensive vocational education and skill training. It is advisable to set quality, coverage and completion ratio of education,average educational level, education of the marginalized groups, evaluation of teachers and employment of graduating students as benchmarks for achievement of the goals.

On culture, culture is an important component of human development, and the wellspring for individual and social innovation. The cultural industry features low consumption of resources, little environmentalpollution and high scientific and technologic content, and has become a pillar industry for many countries. Culture has made positive contributions in realizing national and international development goals. We should take full account of cultural factors as well as its role in promoting development while we draft the SDGs.

Thank you, Mr. Chairs.

On Public Health

“The Future We Want”, the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development convened in June 2012 stated clearly that health is the prerequisite, result and indicator of sustainable development on the physical, psychological and social dimensions. It emphasized that lowering the high incidence of infectious and non-infectious diseases, achieving coverage for all, promoting accessibility to medicines, reducing mortality rates of pregnant women and children, and improving the health of women and children are of great significance to promotion of health and achievement of the SDGs.

Public health can make a direct contribution to sustainable development. It is also an important indicator for economic, social and environment development levels. The above areas can be identified as the priority areas for the SDGs for health. The specific indicators may include: 1.Retain the indicators related to women and children and major diseases as identified by the MDGs; 2. Include specific indicators for prevention ofchronic diseases; 3. Include specific indicators for coverage for all. We suggest that there should be consistency between the specific indicators of the SDGs and the MDGs, and promotion of continued improvement in the priority areas. It is also important to clarify the differences between specific indicators and post-2015 development goals to avoid multiple indicators and multiple standards.

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