China envoy to UN stresses joint efforts against poverty

LIU YINMENG in Los Angeles
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily Global, 10 19, 2020
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China's ambassador to the United Nations has spoken of China's lessons in pulling its people out of poverty, while emphasizing the importance of international collaboration in global poverty eradication with the challenges posed by COVID-19.

"Poverty eradication is a common task of mankind, and a primary goal of the 2030 Agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a strong impact on the global effort of poverty eradication," said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, in his opening remarks at a webinar on Friday which addressed the role that public institutions play in reducing poverty.

Noting that developing countries are suffering the most from the pandemic, Zhang said that meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals on poverty eradication is now a bigger challenge.

"The international community should take it as a matter of great urgency to uphold multilateralism and work in solidarity to promote progress in the global cause of poverty eradication. Public institutions have an important role to play in this process."

The meeting hosted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in collaboration with the China National Academy of Governance, brought together about 200 participants, including ministers from Costa Rica and Tajikistan, UN resident coordinators in Bangladesh and Samoa, as well as experts from Oxford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The event came a day before the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, an annual commemoration that acknowledges the struggle of people living in poverty and makes their concerns heard.

Zhang stressed that China has moved ahead with its plan to lift its people out of poverty despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

"For seven years in a row, China has lifted 10 million people out of poverty annually. This year China is on course to lift out of poverty all its rural poor under the current Chinese standard, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty reduction 10 years ahead of schedule."

Zhang credited China's success to the commitment of the Chinese leadership and government. China has prioritized poverty eradication in its national strategy. Governments at all levels have done the utmost to promote concrete results on poverty alleviation, he said.

"China has mobilized all social sectors and resources to fight poverty. Provinces with better economic conditions are paired up with less developed ones. Targeted assistance is provided to those in need."

China has also tailored its policy measures to leave no one behind, which includes sending officials to villages to help the local people, organizing vocational training, providing small loans, facilitating resettlement of poor residents to better-off areas, and tapping the potential of e-commerce and tourism, Zhang said.

Sustained financial input

In addition, China has sustained financial input on rural infrastructure and public services, he said, adding that the Chinese central government is spending more on poverty reduction each year, with 146.1 billion yuan in 2020.

While making great efforts at home, China is also extending assistance to other developing countries, Zhang said.

"China has helped build 24 agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa, benefiting 500,000 local people, and organized 100 training courses on poverty reduction."

"Covering Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative is expected to help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million out of moderate poverty."

The country had recently issued a report titled "Eradication of Extreme Poverty: China's Practices", he said.

Robert Kuhn, a renowned China expert and chairman of The Kuhn Foundation, said in a recent interview that no other country has brought so many people out of poverty, and did so in such a short period of time. China believes its poverty-alleviation experience can help, he said.

"Among developing countries, only China has achieved rapid development and large-scale poverty reduction, with the poor sharing the fruits of reform and opening-up over the four decades and with the intractably poor finally brought out of poverty over the last seven years or so."

China's experience in bringing some 850 million people out of extreme poverty is a vital resource for poorer countries, Kuhn said.

Since 2015, China has provided $100 million to the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, which supported Friday's online meeting.

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