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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Second Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, on Agenda Item 59, "Operational Activities for Development": (a) Operational Activities for Development, (b) Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development, and (c) South-South Cooperation for Development
New York, 18 October 2007


Madam Chairperson,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his report under this agenda item and Deputy Secretary General for her introduction. China associates itself with the statement delivered by Pakistan on behalf of G-77 and China.

Madam Chairperson,

This year marks the midpoint in the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. It is therefore of special significance for us to conduct the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, take stock of our achievements and chart the course for our action.

Over the past three years, efforts made by the UN development system in implementing the GA resolution 59/250 and the World Summit Follow-Ups have achieved obvious results: assistance activities are more tailored to the needs of the implementation of national development strategies and the realization of the MDGs; the cost of the planning and delivery of assistance programs has been reduced; and efforts to manage and share knowledge among funds and programs have been strengthened. All these results have not come by easily and deserve to be recognized.

However, it has to be noted that a series of problems and shortcomings still exist within the UN development system, such as imbalance in the ratio between core and non-core resources, lack of planning and coordination at the macro level for national capacity building and the inadequacy of the role of the recipient governments in coordinating the planning and delivery of assistance.

The last 3 years have taught us the following:

First, there can be no development without financial support. With half of the time passed for the implementation of the MDGs and the future not looking very promising, the international community, the developing countries in particular, have an acute sense of urgency. However, in 2006, the net amount of global official development assistance went down instead of going up, which has deepened the concerns of the developing countries. It is our hope that the developed countries demonstrate their political sincerity by honoring the relevant commitments so that the target of allocating 0.7 % of their GNP for ODA can be achieved promptly. We are also in favor of setting time tables and creating monitoring mechanisms for the realization of these ODA targets on the basis of target dates of MDGs.

Second, sufficient, sustainable and predictable core resources constitute the bedrock of the UN operational activities for development and serve as guarantee for the effective implementation of the principle of "national ownership". In recent years, for the majority of UN programs, funds and agencies, the share of core resources in the overall resource level has been on the decline. This downward trend has had negative impact in many aspects: it can easily compromise the multilateral, neutral and grant nature of UN assistance, weaken the monitoring and management function of the executive boards of the funds and programs, and keep the funds and programs increasingly occupied in competing for contributions of non-core resources, thus increasing the cost of fund management. We have taken note of this problem pointed out in the report of the Secretary General and fully endorse his observations therein. At present, funds, programs and agencies within the UN development system need to explore innovative approaches with a sense of urgency to improve the funding structure of the UN development system by increasing the share of core resources. At the same time, efforts should be made to minimize the negative effects of non-core resources by strengthening coordination and planning and making flexible use of various tools of policy coordination.

Third, the reform of the UN operational activities for development should aim at enhancing the ability of the UN to meet the different development needs of recipient countries in an integrated and flexible manner. Since the national situation and needs of recipients vary, reform of the UN operational activities should safeguard the leadership and ownership of recipient countries and ensure the consent and participation of the recipient governments without attaching any strings or following any fixed models. Moreover, savings from the reform should be reinvested in assistance programs. Attention should be given to the issue of accountability in strengthening the resident coordinator system in order to ensure maximum benefits for the recipient countries. At present, the results of the "Four Ones" approach at the country level are yet to be evaluated. China looks forward to sharing information in this respect with the countries concerned.

Fourth, more support should be given to national capacity building. In the final analysis, the achievement of the MDGs depends on the capacity of the developing countries themselves. Capacity building of the developing countries lies at the core of development efforts. As a long term and integrated systemic undertaking, it should be mainstreamed into the work of the development system. The United Nations should increase its support for capacity building of the developing countries in a more targeted manner with particular focus on employing more of the experts and technical know-how of the recipient countries and helping the latter gain access to state-of-the-art technologies. In addition, feasible and sustainable programs of capacity building should be formulated in the light of the specific needs and implementing capabilities of different recipient countries. It is not desirable to simply follow any fixed model, still less so to only emphasize good governance and combating corruption at the expense of the more pressing tasks of poverty reduction and development.

Madam Chairperson,

The increasing diversity of the developing countries offers tremendous potentials for South-South cooperation. While consolidating the achievements already made, it is necessary to explore ways and means to take greater advantage of the economic complementarities among the developing countries. Meanwhile, an enabling international environment for South-South cooperation should be created by resolving the practical problems resulting from inadequate financial guarantee and inefficiency of coordination and management mechanisms. In this connection, the United Nations should make full use of its advantage in expertise to identify priority areas for South-South cooperation and develop forward-looking strategic plans of action for use by the developing countries to complement each other. To give expression to the importance the United Nations attaches to South-South cooperation, efforts should be made to improve the capacity building of the relevant UN mechanisms and bodies for South-South cooperation, especially to take practical measures to enhance the role of the High Level Committee for South-South Cooperation and the Special Unit for South-South Cooperation of UNDP, and concrete actions should be taken to address the problem of insufficient financial resources for South-South cooperation in the UN system. We also welcome funding for South-South cooperation provided by the developed countries through triangular cooperation.

Madam Chairperson,

      As a member of the developing world, China has always been an active advocate for and whole-hearted participant in South-South cooperation. In recent years, China's cooperation with other developing countries has developed across the board with the scale of cooperation expanding continuously in the fields of trade and investment, debt relief, environment and sustainable development, science and technology, and medicine and public health. The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held last November has produced fruitful results. At present, China is actively implementing the five major measures to support the accelerated development of developing countries. In our journey towards common development, China will always be a sincere partner of other developing countries. We are ready to join other developing countries in further advancing South-South cooperation.

       Thank you, Madam Chairperson.