China urges ac­tion on poverty

With al­liance formed, top en­voy to UN says joint ef­forts needed to reach goals

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By HONG XIAO at the United Na­tions xi­ao­hong@chi­nadai­

China’s top en­voy to the United Na­tions called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity “to seize this op­por­tu­nity to take joint ac­tions and move for­ward the global cause of poverty re­duc­tion” at an event mark­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the UN’s Al­liance for Poverty Erad­i­ca­tion.

Zhang Jun, China’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN, said that end­ing poverty is a com­mon ob­jec­tive of mankind and a big chal­lenge that re­quires the hard work of gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple.

Un­der the world body’s lead­er­ship, thanks to the con­certed ef­forts of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, a spec­tac­u­lar drop in poverty has been achieved over the past decades.

Zhang said the world is mark­ing the 75th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the UN and en­ter­ing the decade of ac­tion for the Sus­tain­able Developmen­t Goals. How­ever, the COVID-19 pan­demic is pos­ing 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 erad­i­ca­tion,” Zhang said at the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly’s vir­tual high­level meet­ing on poverty erad­i­ca­tion on Tues­day. The event was held un­der the theme of Trends, Op­tions and Strate­gies in Poverty Erad­i­ca­tion Across the World.

The event marked the for­mal in­au­gu­ra­tion of the Al­liance for Poverty Erad­i­ca­tion, which was ini­ti­ated by the president of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

“The al­liance can pull to­gether all the fac­tors and in­ter­ests in poverty erad­i­ca­tion and serve as a one-stop net­work­ing, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing and bridge-build­ing center,” said Ti­j­jani Muham­mad Bande, president of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly. “The al­liance should pro­vide a mech­a­nism for in­ter­ro­gat­ing the poverty chal­lenge from all pos­si­ble, or at least, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary, an­gles. There is no amount of time and at­ten­tion given to poverty erad­i­ca­tion that is too much.”

With China as a found­ing mem­ber of the al­liance, Zhang called for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to take developmen­t as a top pri­or­ity.

Zhang said coun­tries need to act with greater ur­gency, in­crease in­put into developmen­t and for­mu­late poli­cies for developmen­t and poverty re­duc­tion based on na­tional con­di­tions.

“China has al­ways put developmen­t at the center of its work. And we com­mit to mo­bi­lize en­gage­ment in all so­cial sec­tors in poverty re­duc­tion,” he said, adding that China ben­e­fits greatly from those ap­proaches.

Put peo­ple first

To achieve poverty erad­i­ca­tion and leave no one be­hind, Zhang called for coun­tries to put peo­ple first.

“Ad­vanc­ing peo­ple’s well-be­ing should al­ways be the core of our work,” he said.

Zhang said China is com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing a bet­ter life for the peo­ple. They are at the center of developmen­t and the fight against poverty.

From 2012 to 2019, the im­pov­er­ished pop­u­la­tion in China dropped from nearly 99 mil­lion to 5.5 mil­lion. And the poverty oc­cur­rence rate fell from 10.2 per­cent to 0.6 per­cent.

Zhang said that in 2020, China is on track to lift out of poverty all those ru­ral res­i­dents who are un­der the cur­rent poverty line, and achieve rel­e­vant goals and tar­gets set in the 2030 agenda 10 years ahead of sched­ule.

For years, China has been guided by re­gional, 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 sup­port these ad­van­tages and en­sure that no one is left be­hind, Zhang said.

Zhang said that with the spread of the novel coro­n­avirus un­der con­trol, China is work­ing hard to achieve re­cov­ery and help those in need on a pri­or­ity ba­sis, so as to min­i­mize the im­pact of COVID-19 and meet poverty-re­duc­tion goals and tar­gets as sched­uled.

Zhang said it’s a must to re­main com­mit­ted to in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion.

“The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should firmly up­hold mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism, jointly tackle chal­lenges posted by COVID-19, help de­vel­op­ing coun­tries strengthen ca­pac­i­ty­build­ing and in­crease co­op­er­a­tion in dig­i­tal econ­omy, clean en­ergy, 5G and other new busi­ness ar­eas, to pro­mote in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able growth,” Zhang said.

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