|Statement by Chinese Ambassador ZHANG Yishan at the Meeting of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization|
|(29 March 2004)|
At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election as chairman of the current session of the Special Committee. My congratulations also go to other members of the bureau. I am confident that under your outstanding leadership, this session is bound to come to a successful conclusion. Now I wish to make a few comments on the work and relevant agenda items of the Special Committee.
Over the years, the question of assistance to third states affected by sanctions has remained one of the priority issues under the review of the Committee and has been on its agenda for many years. The Chinese delegation hopes that the Special Committee can make progress on this issue as early as possible.
The Chinese delegation holds the view that imposition of sanctions, as a method to deal with threats to international peace and security, is by no means a normal approach in the settlement of international disputes. Given the impact and scope of sanctions, they may have negative consequences for third states. Therefore, we believe that we must be cautious in making sanction decisions and apply sanctions only after all peaceful means have been exhausted in the settlement of disputes. Furthermore, strict sanction criteria must be followed and in particular these criteria must be consistent with the UN Charter and other norms of international law. We believe that efforts must be stepped up to devise a set of measures to assess the impact that preventive measures or enforcement of sanction measures have on third states, and to actively explore practical ways to provide international assistance to these states, including setting up a fund or a permanent consultative mechanism. Under the current circumstances, multi-channel financial arrangements or economic assistance should be used to minimize the loss incurred by third states.
On the question of UN peacekeeping operations, the Russian delegation submitted a working paper entitled "Fundamentals of the legal basis for UN peacekeeping operations". The Chinese delegation agrees with the gist of this paper. We believe the fact that the question of peacekeeping operations is dealt with by other UN organs does not preclude its consideration by this Committee. UN peacekeeping operations are an important means developed over many years of UN practice for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is therefore useful to sum up the experiences and lessons drawn from these operations from time to time.
On the role of the Special Committee, and on the question of enhancing its efficiency and improving its working methods, the Chinese delegation believes that so long as all the parties demonstrate political will and make joint efforts, the Special Committee can play its expected role. All the parties should, on the basis of consensus and in a pragmatic manner, look for ways to improve its work and enhance its efficiency. We appreciate the efforts made by some delegations to this end, and we shall consider the relevant proposals in a constructive and cooperative manner.
On the current status and the future of the Trusteeship council, the position of the Chinese delegation remains unchanged. We believe that the question of abolition or change of functions of the Committee should be cautiously dealt with and should be considered and studied within the overall framework of the strengthening of the UN role and UN reforms.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.