|Statement by Permanent Representative Amb. Wang Guangya at UNGA 60th Session on Item 66 (A) "New Partnership for Africa's Development: Progress in implementation and international support"
The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his third comprehensive report on progress in implementation and international support for the NEPAD and the report by Secretary-General's advisory group on international support for the NEPAD.
Africa is the world's Africa. Globalization has closely linked all the five continents in the world. Global development cannot be achieved without Africa's prosperity. From the Millennium Declaration and the NEPAD to the recent 2005 summit, the attention to Africa has turned from words to actions. We are glad to note that the African countries have made enormous efforts to implement the NEPAD. They have adopted positive measures in infrastructure, information and communication technologies, public health, education, environment, tourism, agriculture, hi-tech, and industrialization. We are highly appreciative of all these endeavors. Over the past year, the international community has attached greater importance to Africa's development with increased aid. Some developed countries have made new commitments in terms of ODA to Africa and debt relief. The developing countries have also made assistance to Africa an important part of South-South cooperation. All this has shown that we have taken a major step to enhance Africa's development.
However, as is pointed out by the report, implementing the NEPAD remains a "complex and painstaking process". In spite of the African countries own efforts and international support, we still need to make far greater efforts for African continent where help is needed in all undertakings. The African countries need to further pursue their national development strategies for more headway. And the international community should use all kinds of effective measures, including substantial increase of aid, to assist and support African countries. We endorse the useful recommendations made by the Secretary-General in his report.
As regards future international support to Africa in implementing the NEPAD, the Chinese Delegation wishes to emphasize the following points:
1. Aid pledges should be fulfilled at an early date. During this year's summit, it was reiterated by all the participants that the complexity of Africa's development has become a "poverty trap" that cannot be broken by Africa itself. Only by rendering huge and diversified international support, can Africa be lifted from its predicament. Whether it is because of the historical responsibilities or loopholes of the current international economic order, the developed countries have unshirkable responsibilities. We commend the efforts made by the EU, the G8 and other major developed countries to make pledges on increased ODA to Africa and debt relief. But this only marks the first step. In order to reach the MDGs, the African countries and people are racing with the time. We hope that the developed countries will acquire the same sense of urgency and fulfill various pledges at an early date so as to help African countries in solving urgent problems and building capacities of self-development.
2. Vigorous efforts should be made to improve monitoring. Africa's own efforts and international support are two major pillars for the NEPAD. African countries have established "peer review" mechanism to conduct regular evaluation for their own efforts. To help bring about more actual results in international support, it is necessary to have corresponding mechanisms to monitor implementation so as to produce more accurate and detailed reports and relevant recommendations on progress of international support.
3. Country ownership should be respected. The international community, in offering aid to Africa, should trust the wisdom of African governments and people, respect their choice of development road, and ensure that the recipient countries have the ownership, leadership and full policy space. This not only reflects the spirit of equality and mutual respect, it is also an important way to give play to Africa's creativity and tap its potentials.
4. South-South cooperation should be expanded further. In the process of development, the developing countries have always understood and supported each other. Under the current circumstances, South-South cooperation, based on marked progress already achieved, will have greater prospect. We are in favor of continued efforts to explore new ways for South-South cooperation, exchange views, learn from each other, and strengthen trade, investment and technical cooperation, thus enhancing Africa's development.
Whether it is in the past struggle for national independence and liberation, or in present pursuit of peace and development, the Chinese people have always stood firmly with the fraternal people of Africa. It is an important component of China's foreign policy to consolidate and develop friendly relations and cooperation with African countries, support and assist African countries and people in economic development and social progress.
As an important step to reinforce South-South cooperation, China and African countries established "China-Africa Cooperation Forum" in 2000, which laid a comprehensive and detailed plan for China-Africa cooperation. Its key areas are generally identical with the priority areas of the NEPAD. In 2004, the Chinese Government signed loan agreements with 43 African countries, focusing on agricultural development, infrastructure, human resources training, medical care and public health. From January 1 this year, China has started the practice of zero tariffs on some commodities from 25 least developed countries in Africa, covering 190 tariff lines. In 2004, China's direct investment in Africa reached 135 million US dollars, a record high of China's annual direct investment in Africa.
At the separate meeting on financing for development during this year's summit, President Hu Jintao announced five new measures for strengthening South-South cooperation, including increased aid to developing countries for prevention and treatment of malaria and other infectious diseases, debt exemption for the HIPCs, the wide-range three-year training program for 30,000 trainees from developing countries, and the three-year 10 billion US dollar preferential loan program for developing countries. The Chinese Government is ready to implement the relevant programs through "China-African Cooperation Forum" and other cooperation channels to support Africa in enhancing development and implementing the NEPAD.
Thank you, Mr. President.