At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you on your election as the chairman of the Third Committee and assure you and other members of the bureau of the full cooperation and support of the Chinese Delegation. The Chinese Delegation associates itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
With the recovery of the world economy remaining fragile, the intertwining problems of climate change, food and energy security, natural disasters and regional unrest are posing unprecedented challenges to countries’ social development. Rising unemployment, growing poverty, erosion of public welfare and reduction of expenditure in education and health care are jeopardizing the survival of vulnerable groups including the elderly and persons with disabilities, and threatening the gains already achieved in social development. Social development is receiving increasing attention from the international community. In this connection, China would like to make the following observations:
First, the United Nations should attach more importance to social development. China notes with appreciation that the United Nations has done a lot of work in recent years in promoting social development. It is particularly worth mentioning that this year, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council convened high level meetings and adopted outcome documents on social issues such as youth, non-communicable diseases and education. The Commission for Social Development focused its discussion on poverty reduction and social security, among others. These efforts are of great significance for consensus building and wellbeing improving of all peoples. China supports the United Nations in continuing to play a positive role in social development. Going forward, it is necessary to continue with the implementation of the outcome document of the Conference on Social Development and the Madrid Plan of Action, vigorously promote the compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and give priority to the implementation of the latest outcome documents on youth, health and education.
Secondly, governments should pay more attention to social development issues in the post-crisis era. China appreciates the Secretary General’s Report on the World Social Situation 2011, especially the recommendation contained therein that governments should make employment promotion and livelihood improvement their long-term strategies. China believes that social development is the driving force and guarantee for economic development, and efforts to tackle the economic crisis should not be made at the expense of social development. Countries should view people’s wellbeing from a development perspective, make efforts to promote employment growth, maintain investment in public undertakings, implement enabling social policies to realize sustained economic growth and long term social stability, and minimize the negative impact of the crisis on education, health care and social security.
Thirdly, the international community should scale up support to developing countries. The severe impact of the economic crisis has worsened the situation of developing countries, especially the LDCs. China endorses the recommendation in the Secretary General’s report that a cautious approach should be taken in attaching aid conditions. China believes that developed countries should honor in good faith their ODA commitments, implement their concrete commitments in areas of women and children’s health and education, and refrain from attaching conditions to aid, so as to effectively support developing countries in their endeavor to improve people’s livelihood and enhance social development. Meanwhile, developing countries should broaden and deepen South-South cooperation to increase experience sharing and strengthen technical cooperation in such areas as agriculture, education and health, with a view to building their capacity of self development.
The Chinese government adheres to a people-centered, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable approach to development and strives to achieve balanced economic and social development. China has now fully in place the basic medical insurance system for unban residents and the subsistence allowance system, and has realized universal free compulsory education in both urban and rural areas. Between 2006 and 2010, 57.71 million jobs were created, the Social Security Fund increased by over RMB 580 billion and the education expenditure has been increasing by 22.4% annually. Work in the fields of youth, persons with disabilities and the elderly achieved significant progress. The Chinese Government submitted on time its implementation report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is preparing for its review. The 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, which started this year, clearly states that ensuring and improving people’s wellbeing should be the starting point and main goal for economic development, and pledges to spend nearly two thirds of the fiscal expenditure on the improvement of people’s wellbeing to ensure that everyone shares the fruit of development.
As the largest developing country in the world, China has been providing assistance to other developing countries as its ability permits. Such assistance covers areas of social development such as public infrastructure, primary education, and health care. The White Paper on China’s Foreign Aid published this year elaborates on the policy, financial resources and management of China’s foreign aid. By the end of 2009, China had sponsored over 70,000 international students from 119 developing countries to study in China and had dispatched over 21,000 medical professionals to other developing countries. China stands ready to continue to work within the framework of South-South Cooperation to support other developing countries in social development and livelihood improvement.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.