Fri, 29 Jan 2021


GENEVA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's achievements in eradicating severe poverty serve as an "example" for other countries, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has said.

It is globally recognized that China's performance over the last four decades in raising hundreds of millions people out of poverty is "an unparalleled success", ILO Director-General Guy Ryder told Xinhua in an interview.

"The most important thing about the Chinese example is that China very consciously said that 'eliminating poverty is the primary goal of our strategy,'" Ryder said.

Combating poverty has been a primary concern for China, the first developing country to meet one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals directed at poverty.

In October, the World Bank warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people worldwide into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction.

"For the first time in very many years, levels of poverty in the world are actually increasing, and this is something we need to focus on right now in the recovery process," the ILO head said.

"If we don't deliberately say the elimination of poverty is our top priority, we do run the risk of going backwards and not forwards," he warned.

The UN's labor head also mentioned China's 14th Five-Year Plan, which focused on a stronger domestic market, an improved economic structure and further innovation.

"First, I think it's good for the Chinese people," Ryder said. "This is an obvious pathway to better lives, not just getting out of absolute poverty but also developing the quality of life."

"I also think this is going to help the global economy," he added, explaining that the sheer "size of China's market" and a "rebalancing of exports and imports" will give a "boost to the global economy," which will "contribute to fighting poverty and hardship not only in China but across the globe."

Noting China's commitment to the organization and multilateralism in general, the ILO head voiced hope for further cooperation to brave the challenges arising from the pandemic.

The Geneva-based ILO was established in 1919 and brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.

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