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Statement by Mr. Wang Qun of the Chinese Delegation at the High Level Thematic Debate on "Addressing Excessive Price Volatility in Food and Related Financial and Commodity Markets"

2012-04-11 22:58

Mr. President,

China associates itself with the statement made by Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Food is a basic strategic resource and the rise of international food prices has hit the developing countries the most, seriously hampering their development, even jeopardizing their social stability. Thus, avoiding excessive volatility of food prices is of important significance to the promotion of global economic and social development, especially to poverty eradication in the developing countries. The international community should take active steps to address the high volatility of food prices on the basis of an objective and rational analysis of the reasons for the rise of food prices. China welcomes the convening of this debate by the President of the General Assembly and would like to put forward the following views and proposals:

First, we should promote agricultural production and increase food supply. Countries, especially the developing ones, should base themselves on domestic production and attach importance to agriculture. They should formulate development strategies designed to promote food and agricultural production, increase crop yield and food self-sufficiency, and boost input in the protection of arable land, irrigation construction, innovation in agricultural technologies, improvement of agricultural management and response to climate change. It is also necessary to give farmers incentives for food production. The developed countries and international organizations should, on the basis of respect for the ownership of the recipient countries, provide help to the developing countries in finance, technology, market access, and capacity building.

Secondly, we should strengthen market regulation and combat speculation on food items. Food should not be used as a tool for profiteering and we must strengthen financial regulation of the market of agricultural products and effectively curb manipulation of food prices. Measures are needed to reduce the facilitating effect of loose monetary policies on acts of speculation. Excessive speculation should be prevented through increasing leverage ratio, limiting stock volume and raising transaction costs. In addition, the international community should work within the framework of the FAO and the WFP to help vulnerable economies increase contingency reserve and enhance capacity in risk resistance.

Thirdly, we should strengthen international cooperation and create a favorable international environment for the stabilization of food prices. Stabilizing food prices needs effective international cooperation. Countries should work together against trade protectionism in all its forms and push for an early conclusion of the WTO Doha Round. The developed countries should further demonstrate good faith in the Doha negotiations, reduce agricultural subsidies and domestic support, eliminate trade barriers, and increase market access for the developing countries so that an equitable, stable and sustainable international trade system for agricultural products can be established. Countries should also pay great attention to the impact of climate change on agriculture, work under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” to strengthen global cooperation in responding to climate change and strive for positive results of this year’s Doha Conference.

Mr. President,

With around 9% of the world’s arable land, China has fed 20% of the world’s population and has now realized ahead of schedule the MDG on poverty eradication. After more than six decades of exploration and strenuous efforts, the Chinese people have found their own path towards food security that fits China’s national conditions. It consists mainly of five points: first, we have always relied on domestic production as the basic guarantee of food supply and steadily developed food production. Secondly, we have always put agriculture at the top of our national economic development and regarded the increase of agricultural output and farmers’ income as our priority task. Thirdly, we have always worked to increase agricultural productivity, taken strict measures to protect arable land, relied on science and technology in agricultural development and strengthened agricultural infrastructure building. Fourthly, we have always paid great attention to establishing a complete set of emergency safeguard mechanisms and improving our control system for food and oil reserves that involves the coordinated efforts of central and local administrations and of government and enterprises. Fifthly, we have deepened agricultural reform, implemented a consistent basic management system for rural areas, and provided incentives to farmers by ensuring their rights and interests regarding their contracted land.

China is willing to work together with other members of the international community in a joint effort to maintain the world’s food security, promote the on-time realization of the MDGs and advance the global sustainable development.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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