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Int'l seminar urges equal opportunities for development
Last Updated: 2016-12-06 10:21 | Xinhua
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A two-day international seminar on the right to development concluded Monday, urging continued global commitment to offering equal opportunities for development and sharing its benefits.

At the seminar marking the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations' "Declaration on the Right to Development," participants agreed that peace and development remain the dominant themes in today's world.

The fundamental cause of poverty, the refugee crisis, conflicts, war, terrorism and extremism lies in underdevelopment, and solutions to all these problems must be sought through development, they said.

More than 150 representatives from over 40 countries, regions and international organizations attended the event.

They called on governments to continue to improve conditions to facilitate the development of all nations and individuals so that all people can pursue personal development with dignity, contribute to society and share opportunities to achieve their full potential and dreams.

The North-South gap in economic development is still very wide, attendees said, calling on the international community to make poverty and hunger elimination its primary task, tackle imbalances in development and promote sustainable development.

Development is the eternal theme of human society, and the right to development is a universal and inalienable human right, according to proposals made during the seminar, which was co-hosted by the State Council Information Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"All countries have the responsibility to implement their right to development on the state and international level. They should accomplish development based on equality and non-discrimination principles," said Zamir Akram, chair-rapporteur of the Working Group on the Right to Development at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Akram added that all countries should reduce poverty domestically and around the world through cooperation with the international community.

The participants also spoke highly of the achievements made by many developing countries, including China, in ensuring their people's rights to development.

"Over 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in such a short period. This is a great accomplishment of China," Akram said.

Li Erping, a professor from Kunming University of Science and Technology in southwest China's Yunnan Province, said that achieving common prosperity through targeted poverty alleviation is a crucial part of the Chinese government's efforts and a tool to ensure the right to development.

Li noted that some regions, families or individuals, due to remote location, disability or other reasons, may not have shaken off poverty yet.

Targeted poverty alleviation requires precision in choosing whom to help, how to arrange programs and how to spend the money, Li added.

"Poverty reduction is the most telling evidence of China's progress in human rights," according to a white paper on China's progress in poverty reduction and human rights issued by China's State Council Information Office in October.

"Since the launch of reform and opening up, more than 700 million Chinese people have been raised out of poverty. The number of rural poor had fallen to 55.75 million by 2015, with the incidence of poverty dropping to 5.7 percent. Notable improvement has been made to infrastructure and basic public services, and poverty-reduction mechanisms have been innovated, contributing to the guarantee of the basic rights of the impoverished population," the white paper said.

According to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in China fell from 61 percent in 1990 to 4.2 percent in 2014, with the number of people China has raised from poverty accounting for 70 percent of the world's total.

China is the first developing country to have met the MDG and contributed actively to the global course of poverty alleviation.

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