On September 23, 2016, China and African Countries co-hosted a meeting on “The realization of economic, social and cultural rights through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in Geneva during the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council. H.E. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, Permanent Representative of China delivered a keynote speech. Amb. Ma elaborated on the significance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, put forth China’s positions and propositions in this regards, and shared China’s concrete measures taken and remarkable achievements made in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Ambassador Jean-Marie Ehouzou, African Union Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN in Geneva, as well as representatives from the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN in Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the South Center, the International Labour Organization were present as panelists. The event was also attended by diplomats, NGOs, experts and scholars.
Amb. Ma said, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlined a great vision for national development and international development cooperation. The international community should take the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as an opportunity to eliminate obstacles to development, promote international development cause, improve people’s well-being, and provide the necessary condition and solid foundation for the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights for all.
Amb. Ma pointed out, development is vital to the promotion and protection of human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights. In this regards, Amb. Ma put forwards four suggestions: First, jointly create a peaceful and stable international environment. Efforts should be made to improve global economic governance and strengthen the representation and voice of developing countries in international economic governance. Second, advance economic, social and environmental development in a coordinated manner. Eradication of poverty and hunger should be at the core of the agenda. Great efforts must be made to optimize economic structure. Public service systems must be improved. Efforts should be made for harmonious coexistence between men and the nature. Third, strengthen global development partnership. Developed countries should earnestly honor their ODA commitments to help integrate developing countries and Least Developed countries into the global industrial chain, and build their own capacity. Developing countries should formulate development strategies and economic policy that are suited to their national conditions, give full play to comparative advantage, and enhance their capacities for development. Developing countries should actively carry out South-South cooperation to draw strength from unity. Fourth, strive for people-centered and people-oriented development. Countries should strengthen the mechanism for extensive consultations, joint efforts and shared benefits, and ensure that development gains are fairly shared by all, building an inclusive society and ensure that no one is left behind.
Amb. Ma said, China has always put development as its priority, attached great importance to and taken the lead in realizing the Millennium Development Goals. We have pushed for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and made good progress in laying out the guiding principles, top-level design, strategic planning, institutional guarantee and bringing out early results. Through these efforts, we expect to lift all the remaining rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by 2020. We will realize ahead of schedule sustainable development targets related to hunger and poverty eradication, women and children’s health care, and housing security. China has released its national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China has been implementing the measures President Xi Jinping announced at Summits Marking the 70th Anniversary of the UN, and has taken an active part in global development cooperation, helping other developing countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As the current President of the G20, at the G20 Hangzhou Summit, China has put the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as one of the priorities of G20. Through China’s efforts, the leaders at G20 Hangzhou Summit made the joint commitment of active implementation of the 2030 Agenda, formulated an action plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and for the first time took up the topic of supporting the industrialization of Africa and the LDCs.
China will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests. China will deepen its cooperation with African countries in all fields, join hands in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. China’s development will facilitate the development of Africa. We will achieve win-win cooperation and common development for China and Africa, which will better benefit the Chinese and African people, Amb. Ma said.
In conclusion, Amb. Ma expressed China’s willingness to make unremitting efforts together with the international community to fully implement the 2030 Agenda, push international development to a high scale, and contribute to creating a bright future where everyone is free from want, everyone shares the benefits of development, and everyone enjoys human rights.
During the lively discussion, participants noted that full implementation of the 2030 Agenda is the shared responsibilities and duties of all countries. The 2030 Agenda should be implemented in an integrated and coordinated manner, with special focus on poverty and hunger eradication, food security, health, education, water and sanitation, which are closely related to economic, social and cultural rights as well as the right to development. Efforts should be made in enhancing international cooperation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, for the realization of economic, social and cultural rights.