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China urges stronger cooperation in addressing drought
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A senior Chinese official urged the international community on Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in combating drought, controlling desertification and adapting to climate change.

"In today's world, there are 2 billion people under the draught ecological environment, 90 percent of which come from development countries," said Du Ying, vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission.

"With poor infrastructure and vulnerable ecosystem, developing countries are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of draught, desertification and climate change," Du told a ministerial roundtable during the 16th meeting of the Commission on Sustainable development.

He urged developed countries to fully fulfill their responsibilities and commitments in accordance with the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and help developing countries improve their capacity of addressing drought, controlling desertification and adapting to climate change.

On food security, Du noted that there are still 850 million people in the world hardly getting enough to eat.

He called for more efforts to address food security, including increasing food supply, managing demand and building a new international trade order.

"The international community, in particular the developed countries, need to take forceful measures to reduce distortion of agricultural trade, better trading terms with developing countries so as to bring into full play the comparative advantages and facilitate agricultural development of those developing countries," Du said.

He also urged developed countries to enhance their aid to developing countries, in particular the least developing ones, in terms of capital, technology and food.

Prior to the roundtable, Du participated in a panel discussion at the UN headquarters on food and sustainable development in China.

The Commission on Sustainable Development, meeting for the 16th annual gathering, focused its discussions on such issues as agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa.

(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)

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