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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at 2nd Committee of UNGA 61st Session: "Operational Activities for Development: Operational Activities for Development of the United Nations System"

Madam Chair:

The Chinese Delegation supports the statement made by the representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and would like to make the following four points on this agenda item:

First, adequate, steadily increasing and predictable core resources constitute the foundation for the UN development system to carry out effective operational activities. Without the support of necessary resources, UN operational activities cannot promote development or effectively help the recipient countries implement their national development strategies and realize development goals in priority areas. Since the comprehensive road map for financing for development was established in the Monterrey Consensus, the international community has made extensive efforts to implement the roadmap in various ways and the total resources of the UN development system have seen some increases in recent years. However, the increases are mainly realized in the sector of non-core resources, leaving the core resources more or less on the same level, with even decreases in certain years. The ever-increasing dependency of certain programs and funds on non-core resources has posed a challenge to the basic principles of universality, neutrality and multilateralism followed by the UN development system in providing technical assistance. Developed countries should increase their contributions to the core resources of the UN development system and realize the target of 0.7% of their GNP as ODA to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 % to the LDCs. We support the establishment of timetables and corresponding review mechanisms for the implementation of these goals. China attaches importance to the operational activities of the UN development system, and makes yearly contributions to the extent of our capability to the core resources of relevant programs, funds and agencies. It is our hope that the UN development system strengthen its studies in this respect, adopt comprehensive and integrated measures, intensify fund raising efforts without imposing extra burdens on the developing countries, so as to further expand its sources of financing.

Second, regular comprehensive reviews on operational activities for development are a prerequisite for the UN development system to plan for the next step. Since 2005, in its effort to implement the follow-up to the Summit and the Paris Declaration on improving aid effectiveness, the UN development system has carried out a series of reform for streamlining processes and improving coordination with a view to reducing administrative cost and enhancing aid efficiency. The reform encompasses measures such as the UN joint office, joint programming, sharing of logistic support services, simplification of approval procedures for country programs, harmonized cost-recovery rate, and strengthening of the resident coordinator system. The Chinese Delegation would like to congratulate the development system for these achievements.

To prepare for the General Assembly's tri-annual comprehensive policy review on operational activities for development due in 2007, China supports an early comprehensive assessment of the effect and result achieved by the UN operational activities in helping recipient countries reduce poverty and realize sustainable social and economic development. Such an assessment will enable the UN development system to sum up experiences and lessons, identify under-performing areas and provide better guidance to its future work in various aspects.

Third, reforming the UN operational activities for development and improving their quality and efficiency in providing development cooperation and technical assistance are important to their ability to effectively help the developing countries increase their capacity to respond to development challenges and realize the MDGs at an early date. Reform should result in an increase of the UN operational activities' capacity to meet the various demands of the recipient countries in an integrated and flexible way. Therefore, it shouldn't be mechanically confined to certain specific areas only. The operational activities at the field level should take into full consideration the national conditions and needs of the recipient countries and ensure the participation and consent of their governments, rather than attempting to use one single model in all cases. In trying to strengthen the resident coordinator system, a balance between authority and responsibility should be achieved, reinforcing accountability while granting greater power. Only in this way can the recipient countries benefit to the maximum from program cooperation. China is looking forward to constructive discussions with other member states on concrete reform plans once the Secretary General's High Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence submits its report.

Fourth, the UN operational activities for development should further intensify the support to national capacity building and South-South cooperation, and do more to help the developing countries obtain advanced technology. Ultimately, the realization of the MDGs depends on the capacities of the developing countries themselves. Capacity building of the developing countries is therefore the core of development and a long process that should be incorporated into the mainstream operations of the UN development system. As a very important complement to North-South cooperation, South-South cooperation has tremendous potentials that are yet to be tapped. The UN development system should actively explore new ideas and modalities for promoting South-South cooperation, intensify efforts of consolidating current resources for South-South cooperation on the one hand, and open up more financing channels on the other. We hope that the developed countries pay attention to and support South-South cooperation, contribute to funds dedicated to economic and technological cooperation among developing countries like the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund and Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund.

Madam Chair,

As a developing country, China has always attached importance to and supported South-South cooperation. Over the years, China has carried out fruitful economic and technological cooperation with other developing countries on an extensive scale, and has provided to them certain amount of economic and technological assistance within its capabilities. All this has been done on the basis of full respect for the need and ownership of the developing countries concerned. At the initiative of China, cooperation mechanisms such as the China-Africa Forum and the China-Arab Cooperation Forum have been established. In May, 2005, an International Poverty Reduction Center was set up in Beijing. At the UN Summit meeting last year, President Hu Jintao announced a series of new measures for helping other developing countries accelerate their development. The content of those measures covers debt relief, preferential treatment in trade, human resources training, and cooperation in the field of public health. China is ready to join other countries in a continued joint effort to explore effective ways to strengthen South-South cooperation and do our part for promoting the economic and social development of the developing countries.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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