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Reporting From Rio
Special> United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development > Reporting From Rio
UPDATED: June 25, 2012 Web Exclusive
Rio+20 Document Positive and Balanced
Chinese official comments on the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
By Zhou Jianxiong

CHINA'S VIEWS: Du Ying (left), head of the Chinese preparatory committee for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, attends a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on June 22 along with Fan Hengshan, Secretary General of the committee (ZHOU JIANXIONG)

"The document is a comprehensive, positive and generally balanced one," commented Du Ying, head of the Chinese preparatory committee for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, only hours before the conference came to a close on June 22.

Du, also Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, was referring to the outcome document, titled "The Future We Want," which was adopted by about 130 world leaders attending the UN meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Du said the presence of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, as well as the speech Wen delivered at Rio+20, fully embodied the Chinese Government's determination to push for global sustainable development, while showing China is a big, responsible developing country.

Commenting on the final outcome document, Du believed it addressed the major concerns of all parties, reflected the spirit of cooperation by the international community, and showed the prospects of future sustainable development.

He summarized five positive aspects of the document.

The first one is that it reiterated the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," which Du believed formed the basis of global sustainable development and international cooperation. Thanks largely to the joint effort made by developing countries, the principle was expressed unequivocally in the document, much to the relief of many of them.

The second one is the decision to start negotiations on sustainable development goals, which should be set on the basis of the UN Millennium Development Goals, helping developing nations chart a course beyond 2015, the deadline by which all UN member nations guaranteed to accomplish the goals.

The third aspect, according to Du, is that it has defined green economy as an important means for sustainable development, and stressed that countries should adopt different policies and strategies to achieve sustainable development as appropriate to their national conditions, rather than making it an inflexible condition.

The fourth one is the decision to open up a high-level forum in order to strengthen the role of the UN Environment Programme. This will give more significance to sustainability mechanisms within the UN framework, according to Du.

The fifth positive aspect is a renewed call to developed countries to carry out their commitments to developing countries in terms of financial support and transfers of technology. The document also stipulates a new follow-up financing process to meet the monetary needs for sustainable development, in particular those of developing countries.

While giving out the positive response to the document, Du pointed out that all those measures await further actions to be taken by the parties concerned, such as financial aid and technology transfer to developing nations.

Du said China has been a staunch supporter of sustainable endeavors, and has displayed both its courage and determination with its remarkable progress during the past 20 years. Not only has the country developed in a way that was in conformity with its own national conditions, but it also has extended its selfless help and support to many developing countries in their sustainable development initiatives.

He said during the one of half years of preparation for Rio+20, China was fully involved in many areas of work. Especially during the negotiations of the outcome document, China played an important part in bridging the differences among the nations and helping bring the negotiations to fruition as soon as possible.

He revealed that during the most critical moment of the negotiation sessions, Wen expressly conveyed to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff China's attitude for a successful conclusion of the talks. China had closely collaborated with Brazil, as well as other Group of 77 member countries in the negotiations, he said.

"On the whole, the document is a good document, and the meeting is a good meeting," Du said, because it has addressed the concerns of all parties, especially those of developing nations. "So long as it made progress and didn't backtrack, or create unconquerable barriers to future progress, I would consider it a success," he said.

 (Reporting from Rio de Janeiro)

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