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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010)> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: August 10, 2009 NO. 32 AUGUST 13, 2009
A Seal of Promise
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon receives assurance from China on new climate change agreement

China is poised to make constructive contributions to the global efforts to combat climate change, while supporting the UN in leading these efforts, Chinese leaders told visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during his recent visit to Beijing.

Climate change was at the top of Ban's agenda during his Asian tour, which also took him to Mongolia.

During his four days in China from July 23 to 26, Ban also visited Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province and an ancient city known for its terracotta warriors.

"I was pleased that President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao assured me that China wants to seal an agreement in Copenhagen in December," he said at a press conference at UN headquarters in New York on July 29, "and that China will play an active and constructive role in the negotiations to achieve this end."

Representatives of countries from around the world will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, this December to work out a new treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

Prior to the Copenhagen conference, the UN will also host a climate change summit in September at its headquarters on the sidelines of its annual General Assembly.

"The climate change issue is both an environmental and a development problem," Wen said while meeting with Ban.

He noted that industrial nations should offer more assistance to developing countries in terms of funding, technology and capacity building—things, he emphasized, which are conducive to the sustainable development of the world as a whole.

The Chinese Government supports the UN's leading role in promoting international cooperation to curb climate change, said Wen, in a news release from China's Foreign Ministry.

At the same time, the Chinese premier urged the international community to pay close attention to the impact of the global financial crisis on developing countries. Also important, he added, will be paying close attention to their interests and concerns—and to take effective measures to ensure the fulfillment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs are eight international development goals world leaders agreed to achieve by 2015 at the UN Millennium Summit in 2001. These include halving extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and developing a global partnership for development.

The UN should bolster its role in handling the international financial crisis, achieving sustainable development, dealing with international and regional flashpoints and safeguarding world peace and security, Hu said at his meeting with Ban.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the world's largest developing nation, Hu said, China has always observed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, while supporting the efforts of the UN and its secretary general in improving security, promoting development and safeguarding human rights.

Further, he added, Beijing has supported the UN in carrying out reforms through democratic consultation to enhance its authority and efficiency.

Apart from meeting Chinese leaders in Beijing, Ban helped launch a program to promote solar energy conservation in China that, he said, could reduce China's energy consumption by up to 8 percent. He also visited the U.S Applied Materials Inc.'s solar panel testing facility as well as a sewage treatment plant in Xi'an.

This was Ban's third trip to China since assuming office in 2007. He paid a three-day visit to China in early July last year. Two months earlier, he visited quake-stricken areas in Sichuan Province shortly after the devastating May 12 earthquake.

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