Asian, African law­mak­ers tackle poverty

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Law­mak­ers from Asian and African na­tions, along with some rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tutes, said on Sun­day that they would wel­come more co­op­er­a­tion to help the poor, as poverty re­duc­tion is key to their sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. And they got some en­cour­ag­ing feedback from China.

“China is will­ing to join hands with other coun­tries to make a con­tri­bu­tion to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” said Wang Chen, vice-chair­man of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture, at the 2016 In­terre­gional Sem­i­nar for Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from Asian and African Coun­tries.

At­ten­dees from six Asian and African coun­tries or in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tutes — in­clud­ing Bangladesh, Kenya, Zam­bia and Cam­bo­dia — at­tended the sem­i­nar, jointly spon­sored by the NPC’s Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and the In­ter-Par­lia­men­taryUnion.

“The leg­isla­tive body, or par­lia­ment, plays an im­por­tant role in main­tain­ing re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers, and can sup­ply fresh im­per­a­tives to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment as it im­proves,” Wang said.

“We’d like to share our de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence with oth­ers and learn from them about how to play the leg­isla­tive de­part­ment’s role in law­mak­ing and su­per­vi­sion. We hope to pro­vide a bet­ter le­gal en­vi­ron­ment for a sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment.”

Poverty re­duc­tion and re­lated mea­sures, which are the keys to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, were pri­or­ity top­ics at the sem­i­nar, he noted.

Martin Chun­gong, sec­re­taryof the IPU, formed in 1889 and with 17 mem­bers at present, spoke high­ly­ofChina’sachieve­ments in help­ing the poor over the past decades and called on its mem­bers to learn from them.

“Al­most 40 years ago, China launched eco­nomic re­forms that helped hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple out of poverty and achieved eco­nomic growth. The NPC made a con­tri­bu­tion to that, so we can learn from it,” Chun­gong added.

Jude Njomo, a mem­ber of Kenya’s Par­lia­ment, said that poverty alle­vi­a­tion “is the key item for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment”.

After the sem­i­nar, par­tic­i­pants will visit Shang­hai, Guang­dong prov­ince and the Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

Al­though he had been to China sev­eral times for busi­ness, Njomo said the sem­i­nar was a good chance to ab­sorb sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence not only from China, bu­tother coun­tries as well.

Vic­to­ria Kalima, a mem­ber of Zam­bia’s Na­tional Assembly, noted thatAsian and African coun­tries face sim­i­lar chal­lenges in sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, so it’s good to ex­am­ine “what we have done, what we are do­ing and what we should do”.

She said more co­op­er­a­tion is needed among leg­is­la­tors. But she added that it should be un­der­stood that par­lia­ments vary, and they con­front dif­fer­ent prob­lems.

The sem­i­nar ac­tiv­i­ties will end on Sept 29.

In March, Zhang De­jiang, chair­man of the NPC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, at­tended an IPU con­fer­ence in Zam­bia and gave a keynote speech.

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