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Statement by China to the Twenty-Eighth Session of the IFAD Governing Council

Address by Vice Minister Li Yong at the 28th Council Meeting of International Fund for Agriculture Development

Mr. President, Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to join so many old and new friends in the city of Rome, to exchange views on how to meet with the challenges of Millennium Development Goals, and on how to fulfill the missions and duty charged with IFAD and the governments of all member countries. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to IFAD for its effective efforts and contributions to the global poverty reduction, and my thanks for its continuous support to China's rural development and poverty reduction.

Five years ago, the Millennium Summit of United Nations had been documented into the history of mankind as an indelible witness. The Millennium Development Goals raised by the Summit drew a bright prospect for human beings. However, the road from the new millennium to the future was not that even. Facing the challenges of economic globalization, many developing countries are still in the disadvantageous position. They are lack of funds for development, bearing heavy debt burdens, and facing more financial risks. Their trade terms are deteriorating, and the technology levels are far left behind. These countries are facing great challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

As we all agreed, the stability and economic growth of the developing countries are essential to world peace and prosperity. Therefore, in the long run, the task of anti-poverty still calls for unremitting efforts of international community, seeking more coordinated global strategies for poverty alleviation, more effective and fair mechanisms for development assistance, and establishing broader strategic partnerships for poverty alleviation. In the current and mid-term period, facilitating the fulfillment of the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Development Round negotiation process has become the most urgent task of the international community. With nations increasingly integrated and highly dependent economically, the developed countries should take the interests of developing countries into full consideration, and create favorable external environments for the sustained and equitable economic growth of the developing countries, by opening market, increasing assistance, reducing or waiving debts and transferring technology. The developing countries should actively participate in the international cooperation and globalization process, attach more importance to institutional and technical innovation so as to enjoy the fruits of economic globalization and technology progress. The international development agencies including IFAD should strengthen the coordination while giving play to respective comparative advantages, and play the roles as the driving engines for global resources transfer, knowledge base of promoting the advanced development concepts, and platform of the dialogue and cooperation for poverty alleviation. The international institutions should listen to the voices from the developing countries and protect their rights and benefits.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the past years, as a special agency engaged in poverty alleviation in UN, IFAD has always been standing in the front line in the global fight against poverty, and became an important force for promoting global anti-poverty task. We have noticed with great pleasure that, IFAD has always been attaching great importance to its own policy innovation and capacity building, attempting to fulfill its commitment through continuous policy reform and strategic adjustment, and made positive contributions to the global anti-poverty goal.

To enable IFAD to play a more active role in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, I think more attention needs to be given to the following issues by IFAD.

  • Poverty alleviation strategy of IFAD should fully meet the long-term needs of the member countries. Country ownership must be ensured in the preparation of such strategy, and the loan conditions should be further reduced. The quality and effectiveness of the loan operations need to be further improved.

  • Take full advantage of the international experiences gained from poverty reduction practices, particularly those experiences which have been proved effective by the member countries themselves. Maximize the outputs of limited resources by exerting comparative advantages and exploring the innovative approaches and ways for poverty alleviation.

  • Strengthen the capacity building of IFAD itself, including the capacity for providing financial support and technical assistance, and promote effective coordination and cooperation between IFAD and other development agencies.

  • Conduct more effective monitoring and evaluations on the performance of IFAD operations. Adjust the operational policies as appropriate to adapt to the quickly changed situations of the world.

Since its entry to IFAD 25 years ago, China collaborated effectively with IFAD in the areas of poverty alleviation and rural sustainable development. Millions of the rural poor became beneficiaries of such cooperation. Particularly the participation of IFAD in China's rural finance reform process, is an innovative attempt in the international assistance. On the other hand, China has always been very supportive of IFAD's operations both as a shareholder and a borrower.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China's poverty reduction is an important part of the global anti-poverty drive. I would like to take this opportunity to share China's experiences of poverty alleviation and rural development and also to learn from others.

Since China's reform and opening to the outside, the Chinese government has made remarkable achievements, and explored the way of poverty reduction featured by "government leadership, social participation, self-reliance and development-oriented poverty reduction", which fits in well with the actual situation in China. In reviewing China's experiences of poverty alleviation, I would like to underline the following aspects with our own features.

  • The course of China's anti-poverty is closely linked with the track of China's high economic growth and rural reform. With an average annual growth rate of 9.4% in the past 25 years, China's economic force has been strengthened remarkably. The long-term stability and prosperity enabled the rural poor share the benefits generated by social and economic development and created a favorable macro-economic environment and necessary physical foundation for poverty alleviation. Particularly, the reforms launched by the Chinese government in rural areas directly brought benefits to millions of rural poor and greatly promoted the development of rural areas.

  • Since the early 1980s, Chinese government launched a large-scale, well-planned and organized development-oriented poverty alleviation drive, which directly targeted the poor group in rural areas. The Chinese government led the rural poor to search for a practical development road with Chinese characteristics to eradicate poverty through readjusting economic structure, developing local resources and commodity production and improving poor households' ability of self-accumulation and self-development.

  • Establishment of an anti-poverty partnership broadly participated by the whole society. In recent years, with the great encouragement of the government, different parties, social communities, NGOs, private sectors and volunteers actively participated in the poverty alleviation activities in the poor areas. These diverse modes of social poverty alleviations have made prominent contribution to the development of poor areas.

Despite the impressive achievements in poverty alleviation, China is still facing great challenges. At present, we still have 29 million rural citizens who do not have adequate food and clothing. The disparities between rural and urban areas, west and east regions remain challenging. Poverty alleviation in China is a daunting task that not only requires long-term commitment and hard work, but also more assistances and support from international communities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Entering a new historical phase, the Chinese government has set up the future target of building the well-off society in an all-around way, with people-oriented, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development as our development concept, emphasizing balancing urban and rural development, balancing development among regions, balancing economic and social development, balancing development of man and nature in a harmonious way, and balancing domestic development and opening to the outside. This set target is in line with the concept of comprehensiveness, balance and coordination as highlighted by Millennium Development Goals. Given all of these efforts, China is moving to the final achievement of Millennium Development Goals.

The poverty alleviation efforts of China and other countries are mutually supportive and beneficial. The Chinese government cherishes the friendship and cooperation with international community, and will work closely with international society to facilitate the establishment of a new, fair and just international economic order. Also, we will continuously explore new ways for South-South cooperation and strengthen the ties with other developing countries at the regional and sub-regional levels.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The fight against poverty is the common responsibility of all nations, and it needs our coordinated actions. In the Global Conference on Scaling up Poverty Reduction sponsored by the World Bank and the Chinese government, which was successfully held in Shanghai last May, all of us were inspired by the progress and rich results in the global endeavor to alleviate poverty, and agreed that we can and we should make a difference if we work together. At this moment when we restate the Millennium Development Goals, we should make up our mind once again, to work hand in hand to create a world free of poverty and achieve a balanced and orderly world economic development.

I wish the meeting a success. Thank you.