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Chinese Legislator Calls for Int'l Cooperation in Reducing Poverty

Zha Peixin, head of the Chinese parliamentarian delegation at the 118th Assembly of the Inter- Parliamentary Union being held in Cape Town, called for multilateralism and joint efforts in poverty reduction, when he spoke Tuesday during the general debate of the conference.

"The international community should take poverty reduction as top priority for development cooperation and work to create a favorable international environment and build an equitable global development partnership that will benefit all," said Zha, who is member of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) and vice chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of NPC.

He urged the developed countries to take concrete steps to greatly relieve debts owed by the developing countries, simplify procedures and lower threshold to help developing countries move out of the vicious circle of debts.

"At the same time, development funds should be increased a lot to help developing countries strengthen capacity building, become more capable of self-development and thus achieve healthy economic development," he said.

He appealed to the developing countries to formulate their own strategies of development in light of their national conditions and include such strategies into national development plan.

He said parliaments should make use of their advantages, strengthen oversight and mobilize all positive factors to promote implementation and enforcement of international development policies.

"The IPU should strengthen consultation and coordination to monitor the implementation of relevant international development goals to make greater contribution to global efforts of reducing poverty and promoting development," he said.

One billion people worldwide are still living in extreme poverty. Poverty reduction has been identified as a development issue of top priority in the Millennium Development Goals spelled out at the UN Summit on the outset of the new millennium.

Zha said that the success of poverty reduction depends on concrete steps and cooperation and collaboration of the international community.

"We should not only look at the countries' implementation status, but also assess fulfillment of commitment made by the developed countries," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2008)

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