A Chinese envoy on February 13 called for respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned in promoting transitional justice, as well as the rule of law and justice at the international level.
The issue of transitional justice is one of the major areas of peacebuilding and should be carried forward within the framework of peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Relevant discussions must be strictly limited to conflict and post-conflict situations, said Wu Haitao, China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
In this regard, it is imperative to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned on the basis of the UN Charter and universally recognized international law, Wu told the Security Council, which met to discuss the issue of transitional justice.
There is a need to respect the countries concerned for their efforts to carry forward transitional justice processes step by step in a manner consistent with their own national conditions, he said. No models should be imposed from outside, let alone interference in their internal affairs or intervention in internal contentions.
Only by adhering to the principle of sovereignty can transitional justice efforts be justified, the trust of the countries concerned be won, and the role of promoting peace and development be claimed, said Wu.
It is necessary to help the countries concerned enhance capacity building with the focus on the functions of their judicial systems. In the long run, no special measure, interim measure or external measure can substitute a functioning domestic judicial system. The international community should reach out to the countries concerned and enhance their capacity building, he said.
The relations between transitional justice and the political process, economic development, and social integration should be properly addressed. Comprehensive measures should be taken to promote the rule of law and judicial justice, said Wu.
Transitional justice is not just a legal issue. It should serve the interests of achieving lasting peace and stability, economic development, and social progress. Above all, it should serve the long-term fundamental interests of local populations, he said.
In the process of carrying forward transitional justice, security sector reform and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration should be carried out. Economic and social measures, such as poverty eradication and job creation, must be taken so as to promote peace through development, achieve national reconciliation, and address the root causes of conflict, he said.
"The rule of law and justice must be highlighted not only at the national level, but also at the international level," said Wu.
In today's world, many ongoing conflicts have remained unresolved for decades, with ever-deepening rifts between the parties. Those problems are often the bitter consequences of breaching international consensus and disrupting the international order based on international law, he said.
The basic principles of international law, such as the adherence to the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the prohibition of use and threat of use of force, constitute the core of the UN Charter and the foundation of the contemporary international order. Such principles fall within the realm of international rule of law and must be upheld by all states, said Wu.
The Security Council, at the core of the international collective security architecture, must shoulder the lofty responsibility of upholding international law and the basic norms governing international relations, he said.
The council should effectively advance the political settlement of disputes, support good offices and mediation, and ensure the implementation of relevant resolutions, he said. "Only in so doing can we truly prevent and resolve conflicts and avoid creating more differences and divisions."
Efforts should be made to enable the people of the world to enjoy the same vision of peace and prosperity and to facilitate the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.
Wu cited a quote of late former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the General Assembly in September 2004: "Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it."