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Annan Hails China's Role on World Stage
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UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday sent his sincere wishes to the Chinese people for the coming New Year, praising China's contribution to the international community in fields of security, development and human rights.

The United Nations must adapt to new realities in the 21st century, and be equipped to deal with new challenges, the secretary-general said in a New Year's message for Xinhua.

"As we tackle the challenges ahead, what China does, and how China fares, will have an increasing profound effect," he stressed.

"This is true of our ability to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as our capacity to provide multi-lateral solutions to international peace and collective security," Annan added.

The secretary-general noted that "China's ongoing transformation, its growing constructive global leadership, and its dynamic engagement with the United Nations give us real cause for optimism."

On issue of development, he stressed that China is already on its way to meeting most of the MDGs.

"I am particularly heartened by the close synergy between the MDGs on the one hand, and China's Xiaokang vision of balanced development and putting people first on the other," the secretary-general said.

"This augurs well for China's fulfillment of the Summit commitment to have in place, by next year, national plans and strategies to reach the MDGs," he added, emphasizing that is good news not only for China, but for the entire international community.

"Because of China's size, the way it performs on achieving the MDGs will be crucial to how the world as a whole does in reaching them," he further explained.

However, Annan also pointed out that huge challenges remain for the Chinese people.

The rural poor must be enabled to share in China's amazing economic growth, and urgent efforts are needed to fight the spread of HIV, he said, adding that measures to protect the environment are equally crucial.

Finally, he said the United Nations is working in close partnership with the Chinese government on the challenges mentioned above.

"We are determined to help this great country realize the tremendous promise it holds," the UN chief concluded.

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2005)

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