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China Pledges Deeper Co-op with UNEP, UN-HABITAT

Visiting Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan called for deeper cooperation with UN Environment Program (UNEP) and Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) while meeting with the heads of the two UN agencies in Nairobi Monday. 

"Your invitation made it possible for us to introduce to the world the position, views, measures and ideas in the field of environmental protection in China. And also it can show the world the attitude and position of China on sustainable development," Zeng said while meeting with UN Under Secretary-General, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.


Zeng was invited by UNEP to attend the 23 Session of the Governing Council of UNEP that began yesterday.


Zeng said China highlights the preservation of ecosystem and environment protection. China is satisfied with the cooperation with UNEP and wants to further enhance the cooperation.


"China will further enhance peace, social development and economic development in the joint effort with the other members of the international community," Zeng said.


Toepfer said "it is extremely important for UNEP to know which direction China, (one of) the biggest and most important countries is going" in the environment aspect and UNEP is very satisfied with the cooperation with China.


The Chinese vice premier also promised to offer free training program for African environmental experts.


While meeting with Anna Tibaijuka, UN Under Secretary-General, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Zeng said "human settlements is a very significant issue together with environment protection, as it bears the interests of the common people of all countries in social development."


China is now at a period of rapid growth featuring industrialization, marketization and urbanization. There are 20 million people every year moving from rural areas to urban areas, and human settlements, education, infrastructure, medicare as well as social safety network need to be provided to them. "The work in China makes me feel the importance of the work of UN-HABITAT," the Chinese official said.


In her part, Tibaijuka said African countries face great difficulties in the development of cities. "I have been telling some mayors of Africa to visit China because it has more people but they have better houses. The problem I think is not the number of the people, the problem is the principles to provide the people," Tibaijuka said.


Tibaijuka said she looks forward to continued cooperation with the Chinese government and the Chinese people.


Also, Zeng said the Chinese government has decided to provide US$500,000 to help UN-HABITAT in the reconstruction of the tsunami-hit nations.


(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2005)

China to Strengthen Environmental Protection
Zeng Arrives in Nairobi for African Visit, UNEP Forum
Zeng Leaves for 3 African Nations, Attending UNEP Forum
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