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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Counselor Bai Yongjie at the intergovernmental preparatory
meeting of CSD 17 on Agriculture
Feb. 24, 2009 New York
Madam Chairman,
The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement made by
the Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
Madam Chairman,
Food is the first necessity for the survival of man. Agricultural
development bears directly on their economic lifeline and their peoples?
livelihood. Agriculture has a crucial role to play in meeting the basic needs
of the poor and in realizing the goal of halving the population living in
poverty and hunger by 2015. The food crisis that broke out last year has
revealed many flaws in the policies for agricultural development hitherto in
force. For agriculture to enjoy healthy development, it is necessary to engage
in deep reflection on the current policies and make major adjustments. In our
view, while it is necessary to take action in many aspects, the following are
the most important:
First, it is necessary to strengthen our common understanding and
further recognize the fundamental importance of agriculture. Countries
should regard agriculture from a strategic perspective and place the
revitalization of agriculture and maintaining food security at the primary
position of their national development strategies. They should formulate
agricultural and rural development plans that correspond to their specific
conditions, increase capital input, develop and promote agricultural
technologies, give incentives to farmers to engage in agricultural production.
Great efforts should be invested in increasing food production, guaranteeing
the supply of agricultural products and improving in a comprehensive
manner the integrated capacity for food production and the capacity for
supply guarantee.
Secondly, it is necessary to address the problem by going to its root
and promote the agricultural and rural development from all aspects. It is
necessary to strengthen the agricultural infrastructure construction and the
construction of rural infrastructures such as water, road, power grid,
communication and culture. Efforts should also be made to develop rural
public transportation and improve the environment of human settlement in
rural areas. In addition, governments should take measures to expand the
income generating avenue for farmers and strengthen vocational education
and skills training in rural areas so as to enhance the ability of farmers to
seek alternative employment and develop ?labor economy?. Governments
should also intensify efforts in poverty eradication and reduce the number of
people living in poverty.
Thirdly, it is necessary to strengthen dialogue and coordination so as
to foster an international environment favorable to agricultural development.
The developed countries should show greater good faith in the Doha talks on
agriculture, fully consider the special concerns of the developing countries,
dismantle trade barriers and reduce agricultural subsidies. The international
community should set up rational mechanisms for financial support and
technological transfer to help the developing countries increase food
production. The relevant international organizations should reaffirm the
fundamental importance of agriculture, increase input in agriculture and
expand support for agricultural projects.
Currently, food crisis is still threatening the survival of more than 800
million people around the world, a situation made all the more alarming by
the continued expansion of the financial and economic crises. We are of the
view that efforts should be made to respond to both the financial and the
food crises in order to avoid greater damage and ensure food security.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.