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Statement by Ms. BAI Yongjie, Counselor and Alternative Representative of the Chinese Delegation, at the 62nd Session of the General Assembly, on Agenda Item 61 "Towards Global Partnerships"
New York, 8 November 2007

Madam Chair,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary General for his report on this agenda item. The report provides us with a fairly comprehensive picture of the latest developments in the cooperation between the UN and its relevant partners, especially the private sector, over the past two years. The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of G77 and China.

Madam Chair,

As economic globalization develops in depth, many of the world's most pressing problems are too complex and intricately interrelated for any one country or sector to face alone. The entire international community has already reached a consensus on the need for global partnerships for a convergence of forces from all sectors in the pursuit of common development. The private sector, as one of the most dynamic forces in the globalization process, can play a significant complementary role in global affairs, especially in the development field. This is a fact that has received widespread attention. The establishment of partnerships with the private sector has been one of the fastest-growing areas in recent years. In actively exploring cooperation mechanisms to expand partnerships, the international community has made contributions toward the achievement of MDGs. In this context, the Chinese delegation wishes to emphasize the following points:

First, we must adhere to our main purpose of achieving internationally agreed development goals. As the goals of the private sector vary from those of governments and the UN, we must engage the private sector in the advancement of UN goals, especially the development goals, through the establishment of partnerships, and continue to motivate the private sector into making greater contributions through diversified voluntary initiatives.

Second, partnerships should be flexible and well-managed at the same time. Partnerships between the UN and the private sector have evolved gradually through practice. As approaches vary across different bodies and agencies, the levels and forms of the partnerships can continue to be defined in a flexible manner. At the same time, we must also bear in mind that partnerships with the private sector are supplements to intergovernmental activities. On the question of the private sector participating in UN activities and meetings, there must be communication with member states, and relevant UN rules and regulations must be observed. We hope that when revising the Guidelines on the Cooperation between the UN and the Business Community, views of member states will be widely listened to, to ensure that the development of partnerships between the UN and the private sector conform to norms and standards. China is in favor of expanding effective partnerships through the promotion of training and strategic planning for interactions with the private sector.

Third, the UN must play a leading role. The Secretary General recommends in his report that, in collaborating with the private sector, the United Nations needs to increase the effectiveness and accountability of United Nations-business engagement, as well as to ensure the Organization's integrity and brand surrounding these relationships. We agree with this view. Given the diversity of partnerships and the disparity in their efficiency, the UN must further study those partnerships, give them proper guidance, evaluation and monitoring, and play a greater role in overall coordination. Given the situation-specific nature of the partnerships, we welcome the sharing of experience and best practices so as to continuously take stock of our practice, draw lessons from successes and failures, and improve our work.

Madam Chair,

The "Global Compact" is a useful initiative to strengthen the cooperation between the UN on the one hand and the business community and NGOs on the other. Since its inception seven years ago, the ideas advocated by the Compact have won popular support. We appreciate its accomplishments. The positive outcomes of the Global Compact summit held in Geneva last July have been acknowledged by all. We hope that all parties will further take stock of their experience, expand their cooperation, encourage more enterprises to participate on a voluntary basis, and assume their corporate social responsibilities. We support efforts of the Global Compact Office to enhance its engagement and cooperation with relevant UN departments while maintaining its unique status and methods of work and straightening out the relationships among entities within the UN system involved in partnerships with the private sector.

Madam Chair,

China attaches great importance to the role partnerships play in development and favors entering into partnerships with the private sector. At the national level, the Chinese government gives priority to mobilizing the entire society, including the business sector to participate in promoting sustainable development. At the international level, the Chinese government is actively developing multilateral and bilateral cooperation with our international partners, including governments, international organizations, the private sector, and NGOs. Such partnerships provide strong support for China's bid to achieve harmonious and sustainable development. The Chinese government will continue to cooperate closely with all sides in our joint effort to implement the MDGs.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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