|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan at the Second Committee of the 58th Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 100: Globalization and Interdependence (11/11/2003)
I wish to start by thanking the Secretary-General for the comprehensive report submitted under this agenda item. I appreciate the report's detailed analysis of such issues as the developing trend of globalization and the relationship between globalization and the Millennium Development Goals. China also associates itself with the statement made by Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Globalization represents the trend of world economic development as well as an inevitable result of the growth of productivity. As one of the most salient features of our times, globalization has profoundly impacted our economic and social lives and even our way of thinking. Globalization has increased the links and interdependence among countries. At the same time, however, we have also noted that globalization has brought with it a series of problems and challenges and that the benefits of globalization are unevenly distributed. During the course of globalization, the gaps between the North and the South and between the rich and the poor are steadily widening, a stark reality that we cannot but face and address. While developed countries are enjoying the dividends of globalization, the large numbers of developing countries are beset with serious problems, such as poverty, lack of financial resources for development, heavy debt burden, deteriorating terms of trade, increasing financial risks and low level of technological development, that further marginalize some of the developing countries. These problems not only impede the healthy development of the global economy, but also pose a threat to social stability of some countries and regional, even global, security.
The challenge facing us is not globalization itself, but rather how to secure common development during the course of globalization, and achieve worldwide justice and equality. As is clearly stated in the Millennium Declaration, "the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world's people." In this connection, I wish to stress the following points:
1. The international community should take better management of globalization as its primary task. Blind pursuit of globalization can only benefit some. Only well-regulated globalization can work for all countries and peoples. There is an urgent need for the international community to come up with a set of well-coordinated and well-functioning globalization management strategy, the most important components of which include reforming the global economic system; complying with multilateralism and principles of justice, democracy and rule of law; establishing open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial systems; and expanding the right to participation and decision-making of developing countries in these systems so as to reflect the interests of the majority of countries in the world. As the most universal and representative organization in the world, the United Nations should naturally play a central role in managing and regulating globalization. This should also be an important part of the UN reform.
2. Full attention should be paid to the important role that trade plays in promoting
development and distributing fairly the benefits of globalization. For many developing countries, trade is the only most important propeller of development and for some, it may even be the sole channel of development financing. What is worrisome is the fact that there are still many distortions and unfair practices in the current international trade that hamper the efforts of developing countries to achieve development goals by means of trade. At the present time, the agricultural subsidies of developed countries amount to more than 5 times the level of their official development assistance. Such a practice has not only adversely affected the competitiveness of developing countries in international trade, but also offset the efforts of all parties in international development cooperation. It is therefore essential that the international community should, drawing lessons from the failure of the WTO Cancun Ministerial Conference, take resolute actions to treat trade issues from the development perspective and open up markets to products from developing countries, with a view to promoting the healthy development of international trade.
3. Effective domestic policies should go hand in hand with proactive international
cooperation. In the course of globalization, countries should, proceeding from their own specific national conditions, adopt practical and feasible development strategies and strive to achieve poverty eradication and sustainable development and other Millennium Development Goals. Meanwhile, at the international level, a real partnership aiming at common development should be built among countries. Only with effective domestic policies and an enabling international environment can the enormous potentials of developing countries be tapped and economic globalization achieve win-win results.
4. It is imperative to promote, throughout the world, the progress of science and
technology and narrow the "digital divide". While the development of information technology has greatly advanced globalization, the new type of economy, based on the progress of knowledge and information technology, is centered mostly in developed countries, posing therefore new challenges to the developing countries at large. The international community should provide assistance to developing countries in the field of science and technology and information, coordinate actions at the global, regional and national levels and create "digital opportunities" so as to enable developing countries to catch up with the new round of technological progress and ensure that information technology does indeed contribute to the development of countries and the well-being of all people.
As a result of economic globalization, countries in the world have become interdependent. We prosper or perish together. Only by joining hands can countries prevail over the challenges in the course of development and usher in a peaceful, prosperous, just and civilized world.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.