|Statement by Wang Qi, Adviser of The Chinese Delegation at the 60th Session of the UNGA on Item 52: Sustainable Development
First of all, I wish to thank the Secretary General for his detailed report on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by Jamaica on behalf of G77 and China.
On Item 52(A): Implementation of Agenda 21, the Program for the further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Since the convening of the Conference on Environment and Development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, all countries have taken important steps in the coordinated development of economy, population, resources and environment. Meanwhile, the global trend of environmental degradation is yet to be reversed and a large number of developing countries, in their efforts for sustainable development, are still faced with severe constraints in terms of financial resources and technology. Agenda 21 and JPOI contain specific targets and plans for the international community in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. To bring about a positive momentum for international sustainable development, it is essential to implement the targets and plans that have been set at the WSSD. To this end, the Chinese delegation wishes to emphasize the following:
1. The global agenda for sustainable development must be translated into national strategies for sustainable development. Governments should formulate sustainable development strategies in accordance with their national conditions and implement them by using economic, legal and administrative means in an integrated manner and by mobilizing the entire society and establishing extensive partnership.
2. The international community must create a sound external environment for the sustainable development of the developing countries and give them a reasonable policy space. The developed countries should honor their commitment expeditiously and provide the developing countries with assistance in terms of financial resources, technology and capacity building. The international community should establish a monitoring and facilitation mechanism for this purpose.
3. While attention is paid to global environmental issues, such issues at regional level must be taken as a priority, especially problems facing the developing countries such as the shortage of water resources, urban air pollution, soil erosion, desertification, natural disaster and ecological degradation.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to environmental protection and sustainable development. Based on China's specific conditions, it has put forward a scientific approach to development that is people-centered and is comprehensive, harmonious and sustainable. This approach aims at achieving the all-round economic, social and human development and the harmony between mankind and nature. China has formulated "China Agenda 21" followed by "China's Program of Action for Sustainable Development in the Early 21st Century" to guide China's sustainable development. China is setting up on a pilot basis a development appraisal system called Green GDP. Great efforts have also been made to develop recycling economy, promote clean production and raise the awareness of the need to practice economy, all in an attempt to introduce a new production and consumption mode that is energy-efficient, reduces pollution and brings about a society that promotes economical use of resources and ecological protection.
The coming five years represents the 11th five-year plan period in China and is also a critical period for China's modernization efforts. A scientific approach to development and a harmonious society will be the guiding principles for the Chinese government in its multi-faceted efforts to achieve sustainable development during the 11th five-year plan period. The Chinese government will stick to the new industrialization model, integrate industrialization into sustainable development and take the protection of resources and improvement of environment as both important means and ultimate ends of development.
On Item 52(c): International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Natural disasters constitute a major obstacle to the sustainable development of the world. Monitoring and early warning are important means to minimize the damages caused by natural disasters. At present, the developing countries are very vulnerable in the face of natural disasters. It is extremely urgent to enhance their monitoring and early-warning capacity regarding major natural disasters. We hope that the international community, the developed countries in particular, will proceed from humanitarian considerations and help the developing countries with their capacity-building in the prevention and reduction of and preparedness for disasters.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to international and regional cooperation in disaster reduction. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami, China immediately launched the largest external assistance operation in its history. On Sept. 27-29 this year, the Chinese government and the relevant UN agencies jointly sponsored the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction, at which the "Beijing Action For Disaster Reduction in Asia" was adopted. This document stipulates the priority areas in national implementation of Hyogo Program of Action and is conducive to the disaster reduction efforts in Asia and the regional cooperation in this regard.
On Item 52(D): Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Mankind
Climate change is a long-term challenge facing mankind. The key to the solution of this problem lies in technological innovation and its transfer and dissemination. The way to go is to carry out flexible and practical international cooperation. To this end, it is necessary to seek an innovative international regime to mobilize the enthusiasm of countries for participating in the efforts to address climate change and to remove obstacles to international cooperation, including transfer of technology. This will ultimately enable the international community to gain in both economic development and environmental protection. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol are important legal instruments of the international community in addressing climate change. Together with the international community and on the basis of the fundamental principles of the Convention, China is ready to continue to support the model as indicated in the Kyoto Protocol and to explore various ways and means that fit the national conditions of various countries and that can fully arouse their enthusiasm in addressing climate change.
On Item 52(F): New and Renewable Sources of Energy
Renewable sources of energy carry great significance to sustainable economic and social development. The Chinese government has always attached importance to the exploration and use of renewable energy and has supported its development through such measures as tax benefits and investment subsidy. At present, some of China's renewable energy technologies are mature. Its small hydropower, wind-power, solar heating and biomass gas and power generation technologies are ready for large-scale commercialization. In order to promote the development of renewable energy, China has formulated the Law on Renewable of Energy, which will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2006 and will create a more enabling policy environment for the market application, technological advancement and industrial development of renewable energy. On Nov. 7-8, 2005, the Chinese government will hold the "Beijing International Conference on Renewable Energy 2005". We are convinced that this conference will further facilitate international cooperation on renewable energy and will contribute to the promotion of the development of renewable energy around the world.
On Item 52(G): Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa
For years, the implementation of the convention has been beset with the shortage of funds and a mal-functioning fund operation mechanism. China believes that the international community must pay attention to the issue of desertification from the perspective of global environment and actively explore a mutually beneficial mechanism for the transfer of technology which will be conducive to the implementation of the convention. The developed countries should sincerely and effectively fulfill their convention obligation of providing the developing countries with financial assistance and technological support. For many years, China has been effectively fulfilling its obligations under the convention and has actively participated in various projects of cooperation within the framework of the convention. China is ready to work with the international community to further promote the effective implementation of the convention.
On Item 55(H): Convention on Biological Diversity
The Chinese government has always attached great importance to the protection of biodiversity and biosafety. We are convinced that the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Protocol on Biosafety will greatly enhance China's efforts in protecting biodiversity and biosafety. China's ratification of the convention and approval of its protocol represent another major step by China in taking part in international environmental cooperation and fully demonstrate the determination of the Chinese government of strengthening the protection of biodiversity and the management of biosafety. China is ready to join hands with other state parties to strive for the effective implementation of the convention and its protocol so as to ensure that while mankind reaps maximum benefits from the development and application of bio-technology, the risks that bio- technology might bring to the environment, biodiversity and human health be minimized.
Thank you, Mr. President.