UNDP Associate Administrator Concludes China Trip with A Promise to Strengthen South-South Cooperation

16 Sep 2011

16 September, Beijing — United Nations Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator, Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, is to complete her week-long visit to China, in which she met with senior government officials to discuss the progress and evolution of UNDP’s strengthened partnership with China on South-South Cooperation. At a time when China is increasingly looking to share its impressive development experiences with the world, this has been seen as crucial in taking China’s commitment to human development to the next level.

As part of these efforts, Ms. Grynspan visited a UNDP Technical Task Force (TTF) project site in Ji County, Tianjin. As an extension of China’s agricultural public services that offers local farmers the opportunity to connect with highly skilled agricultural experts, she also met with Mr. Zhang Laiwu, Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST), to discuss plans to increase trilateral cooperation and share TTF experience with other interested developing countries.

“Globally, how to maintain household production and help families to live well, and not in poverty, is a major challenge. What we are seeing here is a very powerful model for development in China and other developing countries,” Ms. Grynspan said while visiting the project site.

Ms. Grynspan joined Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao among those to address the 2011 World Economic Forum’s Summer Davos, in Dalian. Speaking on the Forum’s theme of ‘Mastering Quality Growth’, her remarks centred on the concept of quality growth and the need to make infrastructure development work for the poor. In doing so, she called on world leaders to strike a balance between speed and sustainability, and increase the number of people who participate productively in global economies, as well as those who benefit from its growth.

This was also the theme of a speech which she delivered at the launch ceremony of a new public-private partnership between UNDP, China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) and Mary Kay (China), focused on providing business development opportunities for poor women in rural China. Through meetings with prominent women’s leaders, including Mme. Chen Zhili, President of the All-China Women’s Federation, this event presented her with the chance to exchange views on empowering women and promoting gender equality in the world.

In a series of bilateral meetings, Ms Grynspan exchanged views with the Vice Minister of Civil Affairs, Mr. Sun Shaocheng, on the need to broaden the scope of South-South Cooperation in the areas of disaster management, civil society development and the protection of vulnerable populations.

She also held positive discussions with Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr. Fu Ziying who expressed China’s readiness to work with UNDP in a historic mission under the framework of the Millennium Development Goals, aimed at narrowing the divide between the rich and poor globally.

Discussions with the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zhang Kunsheng, further served as opportunities for Ms. Grynspan to explore ways to enhance UNDP-China cooperation.

Recognising academia as an important contributor to China’s ability to share its development experiences, Ms. Grynspan took part in a lecture at Peking University. Entitled ‘Towards Sustainable Development: New Challenges and Opportunities’, she echoed her message of inclusive and sustainable growth in advancement of the national and international development agenda.

As the largest developing country in the world, China is in a unique position to inspire and promote sustainable development not only at home, but abroad,” she said. “China’s experience and its ongoing innovations can save other developing countries much needed time and expense in designing their own low-emission, climate-resilient paths.”

Ms. Grynspan visits China from 11 to 17 September. This is her first official visit to China as UNDP Associate Administrator. Ms. Grynspan is the former Vice-President of Costa Rica.