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Statement by Vice-Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China Mr. Jiang Fan on Item 3 at the 40th Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development

2007-04-09 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, my warm congratulations to you on your election to the position as Chairman of the present session. My warm congratulations also go to the other members of the bureau. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Secretariat for the excellent preparation it has made for this session.

The Chinese delegation supports the statement made by Pakistan delegation on behalf of Group 77+ China. The Chinese delegation highly appreciates the Secretary-General's Reports for the session. The reports describe the changing age structures of populations and their implications for development, and introduce population programmes of UNFPA in assisting various countries to address the challenges of population aging. As such, the reports have laid a very good foundation for discussions at this session about the changing age structures of populations and their implications for social and economic development.

Mr. Chairman,

At present, many countries are experiencing unprecedented peak of demographic transition and rapid ageing of population. The international community and governments in the world are proactively responding to various new challenges brought along by population ageing. The Chinese delegation would like to put forward the following comments and suggestions concerning the changing age structures of populations and their implications for development.

Firstly, actively respond to population ageing. Population ageing is an inevitable trend of human social and economic development. UN agencies and international organizations should assist related countries, especially developing countries, to produce proactive responses, as developing countries are facing extremely severe challenges of population ageing. We appreciate UNFPA for their population programmes that support various countries in actively addressing the challenges of population ageing.

Secondly, develop scientific population programmes. We should meet social, economic and medical challenges resulting from population ageing, and mainstream the issue of population ageing into national strategies on development and poverty reduction, regarding population ageing as an important factor that exerts implications for development.

Thirdly, reduce poverty of the elderly. The elderly are the poorest group in all societies, while poverty remains the main threat to the well-being of the elderly. We should try all possible means to satisfy needs of the elderly, especially those of the aged poor, and most commonly poor female seniors, in combination with the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals.

Fourthly, attach more importance to population data collection and demographic research. Each and every substantial issue of social and economic development is closely related to the quantity, structure, quality and distribution of population. Any error committed on population issues will exert irreversible long-term implication for social and economic development. We therefore should reinforce efforts to collect population data and conduct systematic research of population strategies. In particular, we need pay special attention to the collection and study of data about the elderly so as to advise and provide sufficient and accurate information for the development of effective policies to address the challenges of population ageing. We suggest that UNFPA and the Population Division could conduct more comparative studies with the use of their own advantages.

Fifthly, further promote international cooperation and exchanges. We hope that the UN Commission on Population and Development, UNFPA and UN Population Division will make full use of and rationally integrate their existing resources to play a greater role in promoting policy dialogues, experience exchange, information provision and project collaboration regarding how to positively respond to the changing age structures of populations and their implications for development. At the same time, we call on the international community to advance South-South cooperation in this particular regard. Confronted by identical or similar problems, developing countries should reinforce policy dialogues and experience sharing hereof. We call for greater support and assistance to the Partners in Population and Development, an inter-government organization of developing countries for population and development, so that the Partners may play its better role in this concern.

Sixthly, reinforce capacity building of developing countries. UN agencies and international organizations should help developing countries to positively advocate policy-makers and program managers, provide adequate training for them, and help them enhance their awareness and understanding of the issues related to population ageing. Developing countries should also exert efforts to mainstream the issues of population ageing into their social and economic plans and enhance capacity building of their governments to develop and implement effective strategic plans and policies. We hope that developed countries, experienced in responding to population ageing, will render developing countries more support and assistance for the purpose of better capacity building.

Mr. Chairman,

China, the most populous developing country in the world, has entered the stage of aged society where it hosts the largest elderly population in the world, and experiences a series of challenges brought along by rapid population ageing. China's goals for the development of undertakings for the aged are described as follows: "All elderly people are to be provided for and enjoy proper medical care; they are to be given the opportunities to pass on their experience as well as to learn new things; and they should also be given the opportunity to do what they can for the society, while enjoying their later years". The Chinese government is ready to enhance dialogues, exchange experiences, and explore strategies in addressing the changing age structures of populations and their implications for development, together with other countries, especially other developing countries, and thereby make its due contribution to the promotion of common development and construction of harmonious world.

Thank You!

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