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Statement by Ms. Dong Zhihua, Counselor of the Chinese Delegation at the Second Committee of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sustainable Development


Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his report submitted under this agenda item and associates itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of G-77 and China.

Since the 1992 Rio Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), international sustainable development process has achieved positive results. The idea of sustainable development has been widely embraced; many international treaty mechanisms have been created; and various forms of cooperation on environment and development have been going on in depth. Nevertheless, the objectives set by the Rio Conference are far from being achieved and countries still face many challenges in their efforts to realize sustainable development. While problems besetting the developing countries, such as lack of finance, technology and capacity require urgent solution, multiple new challenges have popped up such as financial crisis, regional unrest, food crisis and natural disasters, making the pursuit of sustainable development an even more difficult and complicated endeavor.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next June (Rio+20) is an important opportunity for the international community to jointly develop a global strategy for sustainable development. China attaches great importance to Rio+20 and hopes that it can take full stock of the process of sustainable development over the last two decades, strengthen political will, implement all the commitments and adopt an action plan so as to push forward the course of sustainable development in an all-round manner. China believes that Rio+20 and its preparatory process should adhere to the Rio spirit and principles, in particular the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, advance the three pillars of sustainable development in a balanced and coordinated way, respect national ownership in sustainable development efforts and give priority to addressing the concerns of the developing countries.

The Chinese government strongly supports and actively prepares for Rio+20. We have set up a preparatory committee consisting of 29 ministries and commissions, taken an active part in relevant preparatory processes and donated $500,000 to the Trust Fund of the UNCSD. The Chinese government and the Secretariat of Rio+20 held a high-level symposium in Beijing last September, where participants held open, candid, comprehensive, in-depth and highly productive discussions on the themes and objectives of the Conference. We stand ready to strengthen cooperation with the rest of the international community to strive for more practical results at Rio+20.

Mr. Chairman,

The Durban Climate Change Conference will be held at the end of this year. All parties hope that it will yield comprehensive, balanced, pragmatic and positive results. China is of the view that the Durban Conference must maintain the dual tracks of negotiations on the Convention and the Protocol; adhere to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”; make the negotiation a process driven by States Parties and ensure openness, transparency, extensive participation and consensus. In accordance with the mandate of the Bali Road Map, the Durban Conference should implement the agreements reached at the Cancun Conference last year, spell out relevant institutional arrangements and continue with negotiations on outstanding issues left by Cancun. Relevant negotiations should first, define further quantified emission reduction targets for developed States Parties to the Protocol in the second commitment period up to 2020 and second, determine comparable emission reduction commitments for non-Party developed countries and third, elaborate and put in place institutional arrangements for adaptation, finance, technological transfer and capacity-building so as to support the developing countries in responding to climate change and specify “MRV” and “transparency” arrangements which will differentiate between the developed and the developing countries.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to the question of climate change. For us, actively responding to climate change constitutes a major strategy for economic and social development and an important opportunity to accelerate the transformation of the mode of our economic growth and our economic structural adjustment. During the 12th Five-Year-Plan period, China has set binding targets of reducing energy consumption per unit GDP by 16% and CO2 emission per unit GDP by 17%, raising the share of non-fossil energy in primary energy mix to 11.4% and increasing forest carbon sink. China will make vigorous efforts to control greenhouse gas emission, enhance our ability to adapt to climate change and carry out extensive international cooperation.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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