by Martina Fuchs
GENEVA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China has contributed a great deal in the global fight against climate change, meteorological research and assistance to poorer nations, said the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the Geneva-based agency said that "China has set a very nice example of how to develop state-of-the-art meteorological and early warning services. I have been following China for the past 30 years. It has been amazing what has happened there."
"Thirty years ago, China was still, I would say, even a developing country from our perspective. But today, China's Meteorological Administration is one of the leading players globally," he said, noting that China has advanced means for weather forecasting observations and related science.
The WMO, established in 1950, has a membership of 193 member states and territories.
"China has also developed fairly advanced satellite programs which wasn't the case 30 years ago and today the Chinese meteorological satellites are also state-of-the-art. That's a nice contribution not only to China but also globally," he added.
As China commemorates the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations (UN), Taalas stressed that as the largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has promoted the spirit of multilateralism.
"China has become one of the major players and China has always been a very constructive player at the WMO," he said, adding that the country has been helping less-developed countries in not only Asia but also Africa to improve their infrastructures and service capabilities.
"In science, China has become one of the key players," Taalas said when referring to the most recent report by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose co-chair was from China.
The new landmark report published by the IPCC in August stressed that climate change is "widespread, rapid, and intensifying."
"From my position, I'm very grateful for China what they have done and the future looks very promising," he said.
Noting that Africa faces challenges in terms of meteorological services, Taalas thanked China for training African experts in this respect and hoped China would strengthen its cooperation with the WMO and its role in assisting less-developed members. Enditem