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Wen urges co-op on sustainable development

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday urged the international community to make joint efforts to promote sustainable development, while pledging China’s readiness to live up to its responsibilities as a major developing country in this regard.

“To jointly promote sustainable development, we should take a fair, just, open and inclusive approach,” said Premier Wen at the three-day UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 summit), which opened Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He stressed that countries around the globe should continue to work as partners, adhere to the Rio Principles, “especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”

He announced that China will contribute 6 million US dollars to a UN Environment Program trust fund for projects and activities that help developing countries raise capacity for environmental protection.

He also promised that China will make available 200 million yuan ($31.7 million) for a three-year international project to help small island countries, least developed countries and African countries tackle climate change.

Noting that major progress has been made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, Wen pointed out that the global process of sustainable development is “not balanced” as the gap between the North and the South is widening and resources and environment related issues remain acute.

“Sustainable development faces new and grave challenges posed by the international financial crisis, climate change, energy and food security and local conflicts,” Wen said, adding that “preserving resources and the environment to achieve sustainable development is the only choice we have.”

Creating “a green and prosperous world” should be “the ultimate goal we should pursue as we work together to advance the global process of sustainable development,” the premier said.

He proposed that to jointly promote sustainable development, the international community should explore effective models of growing green economy, he proposed.

While there are no uniform standards or models for green economy, “green economy should be pursued according to the actual conditions of a country,” he said.

“We should pursue green economy as an effective way of promoting sustainable development in all countries and advancing global economic recovery,” he said.

The premier also proposed improving the mechanism of global governance to promote sustainable development, stressing that the United Nations should play a leading role in developing an effective institutional framework of sustainable development.

“Its (the UN’s) capacity for guidance, coordination and implementation should be enhanced so that it can better integrate the three pillars of economic growth, social progress and environmental protection,” he said.

He called for “a new type of partnership” for sustainable development with the participation of international agencies, governments and the public.

Meanwhile, the premier said China is ready to live up to its responsibilities. “The more it develops, the more opportunities China will create and the more contribution it will make to the world,” he said.

China will help other developing countries raise capacity for environmental protection, ecological preservation and desertification control, Wen said.

He said promoting sustainable development is a great cause that will benefit both current and future generations and pledged that China will work with the international community to share opportunities and meet challenges.

The Rio+20 summit is another large-scale high-level international conference on sustainable development following the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Rio+20 summit aims to review the progress made in sustainable development over the past 20 years and act urgently in the face of the global financial crisis, reiterate political commitments and address new problems and challenges for sustainable development.

More than 120 heads of state or government and over 40,000 representatives are attending the summit.

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