|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, at GA 59th Session on Agenda Item 39 (a): "Second Comprehensive Report on New Partnership for Africa's Development: progress in implementation and international support"
The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his "Second Comprehensive Report on New Partnership for Africa's Development: progress in implementation and international support". The Chinese Delegation appreciates the efforts made in this regard.
The Chinese Delegation has carefully studied the Secretary-General's report. We are glad to note that through the collective and individual efforts of the African countries, marked progress has been made in implementing NEPAD. They have jointly formulated departmental policy framework. Some specific programs and projects have been carried out, and index for NEPAD priorities has been compiled. In addition, headways have been made in many areas, such as infrastructure, health, education, environment, tourism, agriculture, science, technology, and industrialization. At the same time, we have also noted that Africa is still faced with numerous difficulties, challenges and constraints in genuinely establishing and implementing NEPAD. In order to overcome the difficulties and respond to the challenges, the Secretary-General has put forward three recommendations. The Chinese Delegations is in total agreement with them. Now I wish share with you my government's view on how to assist Africa in implementing NEPAD.
First of all, the international community should strive to establish an external economic and financial environment favorable for Africa's development. Africa cannot develop in isolation of the strong support and assistance from the international community. In implementing NEPAD, the African countries are faced with a wide spectrum of grave challenges in terms of financial resources, technologies, debts, trade and investment. Without an open, fair, democratic and transparent international economic and financial order, it is very difficult for African countries to attain development.
Second, ODA to African countries should be increased. The Secretary-General pointed out in his report that compared with the previous year, ODA to African countries in 2003 increased by 3.9 %, which is still far behind the level required by the Monterrey Consensus and the Brussels Program of Action. Consequently, the international community and especially the developed donor countries should fulfill their commitments, drastically increase ODA to African countries and especially to the LDCs, and respect African countries' right of independent decision making and leadership in using ODA to Africa.
Third, South-South cooperation with African countries should be strengthened earnestly for the realization of common development of developing countries. The Secretary-General pointed out in his report that South-South cooperation has increasingly become an important addition to international development cooperation and is playing a major role in implementing NEPAD. We fully agree with this view. We sincerely call on the developing countries to vigorously promote the Global System of Trade Preferences among developing countries and conduct fruitful South-South cooperation.
Fourth, conflict prevention and resolution constitute an important guarantee for Africa's development. The United Nations should play a greater role in African conflict prevention, peace building, peace keeping and post conflict reconstruction, and reinforce its coordination and cooperation with the relevant African regional and sub-regional organizations.
It is an important component of China's foreign policy to consolidate and develop friendly relations and cooperation with African countries and peoples, support and assist their endeavors for economic development and social progress. As a major step to enhance South-South cooperation, China and African countries have established China-Africa Cooperation Forum. China has conducted extensive and substantive exchanges and cooperation with African countries. The Chinese Government has already signed debt cancellation agreements with 31 African countries, and the cancelled debts account for over 60 % of their total amount indebted to China. At the same time, the Chinese Government has decided to award duty-free status to some imported goods from the LDCs in Africa.
Finally, I would like to point out that the Chinese Government is ready to support Africa's development and the implementation of the NEPAD through China-Africa Cooperation Forum and all other cooperation channels.
Thank you, Mr. President.