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Statement by Mr. Wang Qun , Chinese Delegate at the GA Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature f under Panel " Ways to Promote a Holistic Approach to Sustainable Development in Harmony with Nature"

2011-04-20 23:51

Mr. President,

The Earth is our common home. Since the Industrial Revolution, Mankind has created a brilliant material civilization, but also brought about serious damages to the natural environment. Forests, lakes and wetlands on which Mankind depends for survival are disappearing at an alarming speed; non-renewable energy resources such as coal, oil and gas are near depletion because of over exploitation; large amount of green house gas emission produced by fossil fuel has accelerated global warming, which brings in its wake extreme weather conditions, melting of the polar ice cover and rise of the sea-level, posing serious threats to the survival and development of Mankind.

It was against such a backdrop that Mankind has chosen the path of sustainable development. For almost two decades, the international community and national governments have made unremitting efforts to implement the Rio Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. Various forms of international and regional cooperation in the area of environment and development have developed in-depth and the notion of sustainable development has taken hold among the people. However, economic and social development of various regions is uneven and the problems of ecological degradation and environmental pollution remain serious. In recent years, non-traditional security issues such as financial crisis, climate change, food security, energy security and contagious diseases have posed new challenges to sustainable development.

In this new situation, the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development presents the international community with an important opportunity to tackle the new challenges and make a comprehensive plan for global cooperation for sustainable development. Countries should show more political will, shoulder their responsibilities and take further practical actions in accordance with the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in a common effort to advance the global goals of sustainable development. We are all in this together so it is necessary for countries to help each other, proceed from their long term interest, and help the developing countries to set up rational economic and industrial structures with a view to promoting common development and achieving win-win outcomes. The input in sustainable development should be viewed as an investment in the future of Mankind and effective mechanisms for financing and technological transfer should be established to widely apply the results of scientific research to resource utilization, environmental protection and ecological work so as to benefit all the people of the world.

China is an important force in sustainable development. Since the Rio Conference, we have been working actively to implement our strategy for sustainable development and focused on sustained and balanced development of economy, society and the environment. We have formulated or improved many laws and regulations on environmental protection, natural resources management, disaster prevention and disaster relief and the management of chemicals and wastes. By adjusting our economic and industrial structure, we have made great efforts to develop green economy. In addition, we have encouraged scientific and technological innovation and energetically developed all forms of education in order to combine the strategy for sustainable development with the strategy of building our country via science and education. While the government fully plays its leading role, market mechanism has also been utilized to mobilize enterprises, the civil society and the whole population to participate in sustainable development.

Since the 1990s, various circles of the Chinese society celebrate the World Earth Day each year on 22nd of April. This year, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources is hosting from 16 to 22 of April the 42nd thematic advocacy week for the World Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Cherish the Earth’s resources, transform the mode of development”. Activities during the week include on-line contest of cartoons commemorating the World Earth Day, and disseminating scientific knowledge about the Earth to school kids. It is our hope that through these activities, the concept of living in harmony with nature and realizing sustainable development will be spread throughout the society.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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