September 21, 2015
I. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) and victory of the world anti-fascist war and Chinese People's War Against Japanese Aggression. As an outcome of victory against fascism, the UN embodies the ardent hope of people around the world for peace and development. Its founding is an epoch-making event in the history of mankind and a milestone in the quest for peace and progress.
In the past 70 years, as the most representative and authoritative intergovernmental organization in the world, the UN, with its three pillars of peace and security, development, and human rights, has played an irreplaceable role and accomplished a great deal in promoting human progress.
Seventy years on, the UN Charter remains as relevant as ever. It is important that the international community renews the spirit of the Charter and, more importantly, enriches and reinvigorates it in light of the trend of our times and the needs of the world.
We live in a changing world full of new opportunities and challenges. The international system and order are undergoing profound adjustments, with the balance of power shifting in favor of peace and development. The trend of our times featuring peace, development and win-win cooperation is becoming more pronounced. On the other hand, there are a multitude of new and tough challenges. The world economy has not recovered from the lingering impact of the global financial crisis. Poverty and other worldwide problems still persist. Regional hotspot issues keep flaring up. Terrorism, cyber-security and other unconventional security threats are on the rise. All in all, achieving world peace and development is a long and uphill battle.
Against this background, there are growing expectations for the UN to take on more responsibilities. Today, the role of the UN must be strengthened rather than weakened; its authority must be upheld instead of undermined.
II. The 70th anniversary of the UN is an important opportunity for the international community to review history, look ahead to the future and achieve the following objectives so as to turn the vision of the UN Charter into reality at an early date.
-- It is important to remember the lessons of history and uphold the outcome of the world anti-fascist war so as to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war".
-- It is important to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect countries' choice of development path and social system, and settle differences and disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation.
-- It is important to advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, respect and ensure the security of each country, build an international security cooperation architecture based on openness, transparency and equality, embark on a new path toward security by all, of all and for all and make joint efforts to safeguard regional and global peace and stability.
-- It is important to promote greater democracy and the rule of law in international relations. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, equality and justice must be upheld in international relations. Universally applicable rules must be adopted to tell right from wrong and promote peace and development. Countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal members of the international community and entitled to equal-footed participation in international rule-making and law-based exercise of rights. No attempt should be made, in the name of "rule of law", to undermine other countries' rights and interests.
-- It is important to maintain and develop an open global economy, improve global economic governance, and ensure equal opportunities, fair rules and equal rights in international economic cooperation so as to achieve prosperity and development for all.
-- It is important to advance global development cooperation, with a focus on addressing the development concerns of developing countries, so as to help all countries take a path of equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.
-- It is important to respect countries' right to choose their own path of human rights development, place equal importance on both categories of human rights, engage in equal-footed and constructive dialogue and cooperation, approach human rights issues in a just and objective manner, and promote the healthy development of the human rights cause globally.
-- It is important to seek common ground while reserving differences, embrace openness and inclusiveness, draw on each other's strengths through exchanges and mutual learning, work together for common progress despite differences and celebrate the cultural diversity of the world.
-- It is important to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, bring about a more just and equitable international order and build a community of common destiny for the entire humanity. Countries should align their interests with those of other countries, expand areas of converging interests and pursue peace, development and win-win outcomes for all through cooperation.
-- It is important to pay greater attention to the voice of developing countries in international affairs, reflect their aspirations, protect their rights and interests, and increase their say in the UN and relevant international institutions.
III. Marking the 70th anniversary of the UN, the world needs to come together to make it a strong champion of peace and security and vigorous advocate of development and prosperity. China suggests that the UN prioritize work in the following areas.
(1) Development is the shared aspiration of all countries. We need to seize the historic opportunity of the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development to be held this coming September to marshal the political will and consensus for promoting global development. We need to ensure sound follow-up implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, respect each other's national conditions and development model and path, work together to eliminate extreme poverty, advance coordinated development of the economy, society and environment, narrow the North-South gap, and achieve common prosperity and development.
(2) A more equitable and balanced global partnership for development provides a solid underpinning for common development. It is imperative that developed countries honor their due international responsibilities and commitments on official development aid and push forward North-South cooperation. As a complement to North-South cooperation, developing countries may enhance South-South cooperation to seek strength through unity and help enrich the development partnership. China and the UN will jointly hold a round table on South-South cooperation in September as leaders gather for UN summits to redouble efforts for more effective South-South cooperation under the framework of the post-2015 development agenda.
(3) The General Debate of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) carries special significance. At this most august forum in the UN, countries can discuss such momentous issues as preventing war, achieving harmonious coexistence between countries and civilizations, promote greater democracy and the rule of law in international relations, building a new type of international relations on the basis of win-win cooperation, making the world a better place, and enhancing the role of the UN so as to point the way forward for the world as well as the UN.
(4) Gender equality and women's empowerment are important measures of human development and progress. China and UN Women will hold a global summit on women at the UN headquarters in September this year. We hope that various parties will actively support and attend this summit, make political commitments on implementing the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted on the Fourth World Conference on Women and fulfilling the goals relating to women in the post-2015 development agenda, and provide financial support for this endeavor.
(5) International peace and security is still challenged by various traditional and non-traditional security threats. At the core of the international collective security mechanism, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is vitally important to strengthen the international collective security mechanism, encourage political settlement of regional hotspot issues, and enable the Security Council to better perform its responsibilities under the UN Charter.
(6) The UN peacekeeping operations are an effective means to practice multilateralism and maintain collective security. China hopes that the peacekeeping operations will be improved and readjusted in light of the evolving international situation with clearer strategic vision, more appropriate and practical mandate, greater efficiency in deployment and improved management and internal coordination, so as to help developing countries with capacity building. China supports the UN Secretary-General's initiative of evaluating and improving the peacekeeping missions and hopes that the UN will seek consensus with member states through broad-based consultation, uphold the three principles of peacekeeping operations, set their future direction and better perform the tasks of peacekeeping, peace-building, civilian protection, etc.
(7) The outbreaks of epidemics such as Ebola and MERS have once again sounded the alarm for international public health security. Children- and education-related work concerns the future of mankind. The rights and interests of people with disabilities deserve international attention. The 70th anniversary of the UN is an important opportunity for the international community to have in-depth and results-oriented discussions on such important issues as public health security, children, education and the rights and interests of people with disabilities, etc., so as to develop comprehensive strategies in these areas. More resources must be made available to enable development for all.
(8) Climate change is a challenge facing all mankind. This year is a critical year for climate change negotiations. Various parties have high expectations for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. China is ready to work with other parties to reach a new agreement in Paris based on the principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities", equity and respective capabilities, and put in place a fair, equitable, cooperative and win-win global climate governance system. The UN needs to provide political guidance and build political will for this purpose.
(9) The world is experiencing a resurgence of terrorism. All parties must unite to combat it. We must address both the symptoms and the root causes of terrorism by taking multi-faceted and coordinated measures, and bring into full play the lead role of the UN and its Security Council. We must reject double standard and not link terrorism with any particular country, ethnicity or religion. The international community needs to adopt new approaches and measures in light of the new features and changes of international terrorism, step up information collecting and sharing, cut off channels for disseminating cyber-terrorism, cross-border flow of terrorists and terrorist financing, and work on deradicalization to eliminate terrorism at its source and squeeze its space.
(10) Cyber-security has become a strategic issue for national sovereignty, security and development. China is in favor of stronger international cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and the establishment of a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace. It is necessary to develop international rules under the aegis of the UN and evolve a democratic and transparent multilateral mechanism for governing the Internet.
(11) "Everyone is entitled to all human rights", but war, poverty, disease and discrimination, among others, still threaten and challenge this noble aspiration. China maintains that the international community needs to handle the human rights issue in an impartial, objective and non-selective manner and reject any attempt to politicize the issue or exercise double standard. We need to support the UN Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in playing their due role, and promote and protect human rights through communication and cooperation.
(12) The 70th anniversary should be taken as an important opportunity for the UN to redefine itself and embark on a new journey. At this critical juncture in its history, the UN should review and improve its work in all areas, enhance efficiency and effectiveness and find strength to rejuvenate itself, so as to better serve the "people of the United Nations". Controversial topics should be avoided during the 70th anniversary year to uphold unity of UN membership and prevent distraction to discussions on key items on the UN's agenda.
(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2015)