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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan of the Chinese Mission to the UN at the first informal consultation on follow-up to the World Summit Outcome on Development and ECOSOC Reform

2005-11-22 00:00

Mr. Co-chairmen,

I wish to thank the co-chairmen for holding this meeting. The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by the Ambassador of Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The Chinese delegation attaches great importance to follow-up to the World Summit Outcome on development and ECOSOC reform. Since development is an issue that bears on the well-being of billions of people in developing countries, which account for 2/3 of UN membership, and concerns global stability, it should be given top priority. The Chinese delegation would like to take part in the informal consultations in a positive and constructive manner, and contribute its share to early consensus and actions.

In our view, it is essential to adhere to the following four cardinal principles in follow-up to the Summit Outcome on development and ECOSOC reform. First, any reform, arrangement and follow-up effort should be outcome-oriented. We have formed a comprehensive development agenda through a series of major UN conferences and summits in the economic and social fields. This year's World Summit Outcome Document has reiterated the relevant commitments. We should make full use of this momentum of the international community to reach the internationally agreed development goals through concrete and measurable actions. Second, the starting point for any follow-up action should be supporting the domestic endeavors of developing countries. Undoubtedly, national governments shoulder the primary responsibility for their countries' development. Many developing countries have made tireless efforts to promote national development and realize MDGs. The United Nations should reinforce international cooperation, and offer more powerful support and assistance to developing countries. Third, any follow-up action should help mobilize resources to facilitate the development of developing countries. It is known to all that the biggest bottleneck restraining the development of developing countries is the shortage of resources. To tackle this problem should become an important part of the follow-up actions. Fourth, it is essential to maintain the attraction and appeal of the question of development to all countries and peoples. During the preparation for the world summit, all governments and public opinions were mobilized and a strong impetus was given to development issues. We should try to keep this momentum in our follow-up actions so as to continue to receive extensive support both in developed and developing countries.

Mr. Co-chairmen,

We have noticed the questions on follow-up efforts you've raised in your letter addressed to permanent representatives earlier. These questions merit careful reflections. The process of finding answers to these questions is the process where Member States seek consensus on follow-up. The Chinese delegation wishes to fully listen to the ideas and suggestions of all countries. To enrich our discussions and stimulate interaction of all sides, I would like to share with you some of my preliminary views.

I. Effective follow-up should be based on clearly defined objectives and division of labor. We should proceed from the commitments and objectives on development contained World Summit Outcome, make some preliminary filing of the main contents, take into account the development goals adopted by the previous conferences, and then formulate a comprehensive development matrix with an indication of who needs to do what. This will help Member States gain a clearer picture and identify follow-up actions.

II. The relevant follow-up actions should be carried out at national, regional and UN levels. It is therefore necessary for the United Nations to get national, regional and international input in reviewing the implementation. It needs to point out that the developing countries should receive vigorous support from the UN system (including resident UN agencies) in reporting their domestic efforts and progress.

III. GA and ECOSOC should divide their work for review and evaluation so as to avoid duplication.

1. Under ECOSOC, we may consider using "Global Policy Dialogue" and "High-Level Development Cooperation Forum" to replace the current high-level segment. The Dialogue and Forum can alternate annual meetings in a two-year cycle. Each annual policy dialogue can choose two or three development goals, so that the forum meeting in the following year will focus on specific cooperation in these two or three fields. Such arrangement is similar to the current process of the Commission of Sustainable Development. Due to the fact that Goal 8 of MDGs covers all goals in the related international cooperation and they need to be reviewed every year, it is not necessary to make it a stand-alone theme for these meetings. While focusing on reviewing the themes selected that year, the meetings can also find some regions for key consideration. We may also consider the recommendations in the EU non-paper on focusing on countries in one region during one meeting, or we can conduct national reviews on a voluntary basis. During a meeting, Member States can hold such side-events as briefings or panels to showcase their successes and practices in achieving development and raising aid effectiveness. We can thus learn and share experience with each other.

2. During the GA session, the Secretary-General should submit to the GA, based on information supplied by countries, regions and the UN system, a comprehensive progress report, identifying progresses and difficulties in all regions and around all goals, as well as coming up with recommendations. The General Assembly can then review the SG report and the ECOSOC report and adopt a short and concise resolution to provide policy guidance for future actions. We may also consider issuing a president statement based on our discussions so as to continue to attract the international attention to the follow-up actions.

IV. In follow-up actions, the United Nations should pay attention to building stronger links with the international financial and trade institutions. Their work has a major influence upon future development of developing countries and implementation of the UN development agenda. The United Nations should reinforce its engagement and interaction with these institutions, and let the political consensus reached by Member States here in UN reflected in their daily work. We wish to see that the ECOSOC reform will strengthen its spring dialogue mechanism with Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO, and UNCTAD. We also hope that the United Nations will strengthen its links with these institutions with other flexible, effective and practical ways.

V. On the question of indicator, we believe that indicators can serve to measure the actual progress in implementation and is an effective instrument to monitor the implementation of internationally agreed development goals. We should press for intergovernmental discussions and especially reaching consensus on indicators through Statistical Commission, so as to urge countries to fulfill their commitments more effectively.

Thank you, Mr. Co-chairmen.

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