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Opening Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Webinar on "Strengthening the Role of Public Institutions in Achieving Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development"

2020/10/16

Excellencies,
Honorable Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you in this webinar. Tomorrow is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. So, today's meeting is most opportune, and I wish you a very fruitful discussion.

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. Developing countries are suffering the most. An increasing number of people are pushed back to poverty. Meeting the SDG 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.

Thank to its reform and opening up in the past four decades, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global poverty reduction. China's poor population dropped from nearly 99 million in 2012 to 5.5 million in 2019. 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 SDG on poverty reduction 10 years ahead of schedule.

With 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 of poverty alleviation.

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. Government agencies, companies, social organizations and individuals are forging synergies in achieving the same goal.

China has adopted tailored policy measures to alleviate poverty, which include 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 potentials of e-commerce and tourism.

To provide sustained financial input, the Chinese central government is spending more on poverty reduction each year, 146.1 billion yuan in 2020. Great efforts are made to improve rural infrastructure and public services, such as roads, water and power supply, communications, education and health care to facilitate poverty reduction efforts.

While making great efforts at home, China is also extending assistance to other developing countries. 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. Recently, China issued a report titled "Eradication of Extreme Poverty: China's Practices", sharing its experience with other countries.

The joint initiative of having this webinar is indeed meaningful. China National Academy of Governance has solid knowledge in poverty reduction. With CNAG and DESA working together, China's practices on poverty reduction will be better shared. We hope to see concrete recommendations coming out of this discussion to help public institution of all countries do a better job in poverty eradication.

This webinar is supported by China-UN Peace and Development Fund. Since 2015, China has provided 100 million dollars to the Fund. More than 80 projects have been implemented so far. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping announced that the Fund will be extended for five years after it expires in 2025. We are convinced that the Fund will play a bigger role in building capacity in developing countries and promoting international cooperation on poverty eradication so as to achieve common development of all countries and a better future shared by all.

Thank you.

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