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Conference hails Green Olympics
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Officials from the United Nations and representatives from nongovernmental organizations from China and around the world gathered in Beijing on Monday to pay tribute to the concept of a "Green Olympics" that starts in 100 days.

"The concept of a Green Olympics is excellent, because the value of sustainable development is also the value of justice, fairness, integrity and honesty," Nikhil Seth, director of the United Nations' office for economic and social council support and coordination, told China Daily on the sidelines of the three-day 3rd Conference of UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific, which ends today.

"We are very proud of China in showing the world what can be done to bring harmony between development and the environment," he said.

China's NGOs have been also been "very active and effective" in raising people's awareness of the importance of sustainable development", he said.

The China NGO Network for International Exchanges and the UN jointly staged the conference, which involved more than 80 Chinese NGOs. Representatives from nongovernmental organizations from North and South America, Europe and Africa also took part.

"It is one of the greatest achievements of civil society to bring NGOs' concerns into the realm of international policymaking," Seth said.

"NGOs work closely with ordinary people, so they understand them."

Don Tuan Phuong, a spokesman for the People's Aid Coordinating Committee and Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation, said: "I applaud the efforts of Chinese NGOs to promote the spirit of the Green Olympics, peace and sustainable development."

(China Daily April 30, 2008)

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