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UNDP says China makes huge contribution to human development

Xinhua, March 23, 2017 Adjust font size:

China has made a huge contribution to human development, said United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark on Tuesday when the agency released its Human Development Report 2016 in Stockholm.

"The movement of people in China out of extreme poverty is the greatest, quickest movement that history has ever known! It is of historic proportions!" Helen Clark told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"In the period of the Millennium Development Goals, China now has the eradication of extreme poverty within its grasp," said Clark.

"China's leadership is ambitious, their goal is realizable," said Clark, adding that she saw absolute determination of Chinese leadership to get rid of extreme poverty.

Having been to China many times in many different capacities, Clark was impressed by China's efforts to lift the people at the bottom and lessen inequalities in order to build a harmonious society.

"I see an absolutely middle-income country," Clark said. "I believe China will succeed, and become a high-income country -- Look at the incredible investments, the health status, the education status, the state of infrastructure."

China's rapid development comes at a heavy price to the environment, something the West knows all too well, she said. "But we now see that China is really stepping up with leadership on climate change, which is so critical, because what China does is of global significance, given the size of its economy and the size of the population."

"Chinese leadership is highly motivated on inclusive growth, on how to lift everybody through livelihoods and opportunity. I think people need to press very hard on moving to the green economy and society, because just as Western countries developed with very heavy carbon footprint, China is doing a lot on renewable energy, and that would have to increase,"said Clark.

Moreover, Clark said China, like developed and other fast developing countries, should prioritize the control of non-communicable diseases.

"Compared to the 50s and 60s, China is now able to control communicable diseases. China now needs to look at the non-communicable diseases, such as malnutrition, obesity, tobacco, etc, things not communicable but can have a huge impact on public health."

Clark said China has made huge contributions to global causes. "Look at Chinese investments, loans, technical assistance, obviously in Africa, Asia, Latin America."

"Recent years have seen successful partnerships of China and UNDP on the South-South triangular cooperation, bringing Chinese experience in a way which is useful to the recipient country," Clark said, adding China put a lot of importance on South-South cooperation, sharing technology, experience and know-how.

She also empathized that China's commitment in helping raise developing countries' voices in a "still insufficient multilateral system" is important, as it contributes greatly to more equitable global governance.

"China's commitment to multilateralism is very important," she added, expressing hope to cooperate more closely with China in the future on a variety of issues.

The Human Development Report 2016, entitled "Human Development for Everyone," was released Tuesday in Stockholm by the UNDP. It highlighted that despite significant improvements in average human development across all regions, the world's most marginalized remain left behind.