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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at High-Level Meeting on Trends, Options and Strategies in Poverty Eradication Across the World

(From Chinese Mission to the United Nations)

2020/06/30

Your Excellency President Bande,
Your Excellency Secretary-General Guterres,
Your Excellency President Juul,
Colleagues,
Friends,

Congratulations on the founding of the Alliance for Poverty Eradication under the initiative of President Bande.

Ending poverty is a common ideal of humankind and a big challenge that requires hard work of generations of people. The founding of the UN has brought new hope to the global cause of poverty reduction. Under UN's leadership, the world community has never wavered its commitment to reducing poverty. From the MDGs to SDGs, poverty eradication has been on the top of the lists. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, the share of global population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 36% in 1990 to the current level of around 10%.

This year, we are marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN and entering the Decade of Action for SDGs. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is posing severe challenges to poverty eradication. We should seize the opportunity of the launching of the Alliance to take joint actions and move forward the global cause of poverty reduction.

First, we should take development as the top priority. Development is a constant pursuit of human society. The 2030 Agenda has charted the course for global development and requires earnest implementation. We should prioritize development in global macro-policy coordination and address poverty through development. Countries need to act with greater urgency, increase input into development, and formulate policies for development and poverty reduction based on national conditions. Always prioritizing development, China commits to mobilize engagement of all social sectors in poverty reduction and form synergy among government, communities and the market players.

Second, we should put people first. Advancing people's well-being should always be the goal of our work. China is committed to delivering a better life to the people. People are at the center of development and the fight against poverty. From 2012 to 2019, poor population in China dropped from nearly 99 million to 5.5 million and the poverty occurrence rate fell from 10.2% to 0.6%. In 2020, China is on track to lift all its rural poor out of poverty under the current poverty line and achieve relevant goals and targets set in the 2030 Agenda 10 years ahead of schedule.

Third, we should work in a down-to-earth manner. Poverty won't be ended overnight. We need perseverance and concrete actions. For years, China has been guided by a vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development to achieve better quality and efficiency in combating poverty. Targeted and tailored measures have been adopted to help the disadvantaged groups and ensure that no one is left behind. With the spread of COVID-19 brought under control, China is working hard to achieve recovery and helping those in need on a priority basis so as to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and meet the poverty reduction goals and targets as scheduled.

Fourth, we should remain committed to international cooperation. The international community should firmly uphold multilateralism, jointly tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19, help developing countries strengthen capacity building, and increase cooperation in digital economy, clean energy, 5G and other new business areas to promote inclusive and sustainable growth. China has been advocating South-South cooperation on poverty reduction and sharing its good practices. The Belt and Road Initiative serves to help relevant countries increase jobs and improve livelihood. According to the estimates, thanks to the BRI, 7.6 million people will be lifted out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty. China is taking real actions to advance global cause of poverty reduction. As President Xi Jinping announced, China will provide 2 billion US dollars as international assistance within 2 years, cancel interest-free government loans owed by African countries that will mature by the end of 2020 under FOCAC framework, and work with other G20 members to implement and further extend Debt Service Suspension Initiative.

Colleagues,

Friends,

The world is fighting a more difficult battle against poverty. Let's work together through this Alliance and push for new progress in poverty reduction to the benefit of people of all countries.

Thank you.

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