The United Nations is expanding its partnerships with central and local
governments in what were once considered "sensitive areas" to assist China in
achieving balance and harmony in its economic growth.
The issues for cooperation between the UN organizations in China and their
Chinese counterparts this year will range from the rule of law, anti-corruption,
development of civil society, cultural development in ethnic-minority populated
areas to sustainable development of tourism in the Tibet Autonomous Region,
Khalid Malik, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China, said at a press
briefing on Friday in Beijing.
The UN, in addition, is working with China to hold a forum on Tibet in the
middle of this year.
It will also involve itself in preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics,
with a partnership between the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the
Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
'Acting as one'
Under the program, UNDP and BOCOG will host joint activities to raise
environmental awareness across China and share international best practices on
"From the UN side, we will act as one," said Malik, who is also the resident
representative of UNDP in China, adding that there are 21 UN agencies with about
600 staff members working in China.
Regarding the rule of law, the UN China team will work with such key
government institutions as the Ministry of Supervision, focusing on
anti-corruption and strengthening integrity in the government, Edward Wu, leader
of the rule of law and democracy team of UNDP, said.
It will play a more active role in supporting the development of civil
society in China, working with the Ministry of Civil Affairs to create a
favorable environment for the growth of non-government organizations, Wu said.
It will also work with civil society organizations to build up their
capacities for participating in legislation and policymaking.
Bill Bikales, an international economist working with UNDP in Beijing, said
his organization has also concerned itself with basic public services, such as
old-age security and public health.
It is going to work with the Ministry of Finance on fiscal reforms of the
local governments and help strengthen their financial status.
Bikales noted such public services as education, health- care and social
securities were vital, and the right path to a harmonious society.
The UN China team will also focus on energy and environmental challenges,
spotlighting biodiversity, renewable resources and climate change, Malik said.
In its document, UNDP stated that China's growth since the late 1970s has
reduced poverty, but has generated great pressure on the