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Statement by Mr. Shi Xiaobin of the Chinese Delegation at the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item 83: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization

2016/10/14

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation thanks Ms. Coye-Felson, Chairperson of the Special Committee, for her presentation of the Committee’s work at its 2016 annual session.

The Charter of the United Nations has established an international order of multilateralism with our Organization at the center, created a collective security mechanism with the Security Council as its core, formulated the basic code of conduct of the post-war international relations, and affirmed the common values of the modern society. China, as a staunch defender and active builder of this international system and international order, upholds firmly the basic principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, with the UN Charter as the core.

The Special Committee is the only permanent meeting mechanism within the UN framework to discuss issues related to the UN Charter and the strengthening of the role of the Organization. China attaches importance to the role of the Special Committee and expresses its appreciation to all members for advancing the Committee’s work in a constructive manner and by consensus at the Committee’s 2016 annual session. We hope that all parties will continue to engage in consultations in a pragmatic spirit to explore new ways to improve the Committee’s working methods and efficiency, including considering the inclusion of topical and feasible new items. At the same time, China wishes to reiterate that the Committee’s work and possible new items must be in line with the GA mandate, and that any new item must be within the Committee’s purview as mandated by the General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman,

“Pacific settlement of disputes and its impact on the maintenance of peace” is an important proposal on the current agenda of the Special Committee. The Chinese government actively advocates the peaceful settlement of disputes. We believe that international disputes should be settled through peaceful means in line with the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, and the legitimate right of all countries to choose freely peaceful means of dispute settlement should be respected. The dispute settlement methods should be chosen and applied strictly in compliance with the principles of sovereign equality of states and states’ consent, and should not be imposed on any state. The Chinese delegation has noted that at the Special Committee’s 2016 annual session, the sponsors concerned indicated that their proposal was not intended to limit the principle of consent or the free choice of peaceful means of dispute settlement. We express our acknowledgment and appreciation in this regard, and stand ready to actively participate in the Committee’s discussion of this question. In the same spirit, we support the Special Committee’s proposal of having the GA adopt at the current session a resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of the ICJ to acknowledge the important role of the Court in the peaceful settlement of international disputes.

With regard to the working paper submitted by Ghana on “strengthening of the relationship and cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements or agencies in the peaceful settlement of disputes”, this delegation is of the view that the relations of the United Nations, the most universal and authoritative international organization, with regional organizations are of great importance. How to fully leverage the roles and advantages of regional organizations while ensuring that their statutes and actions are in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter so as to achieve synergy in the promotion of international peace and security--this is an important topic worth discussion.

The Special Committee has been considering the item of “assistance to the third states affected by sanctions” for years, and the Chinese delegation has expressed its position on this issue on numerous occasions. We still find the discussions necessary and support the retention of this item on the Committee’s agenda. We would like to stress that while all states have the obligation to strictly abide by and implement the Security Council resolutions on sanctions, their domestic legislative, judicial and law-enforcement activities undertaken for this purpose should comply with international law, the UN Charter included, and states should not exercise enforcement jurisdiction extra-territorially in violation of the principle of sovereign equality of states.

The Chinese government has made donations to the two Trust Funds established for the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. We appreciate the Secretariat’s hard work and the progress made, and hope that the Secretariat will further implement the relevant requests contained in the Committee’s report, including the simultaneous publication of the Repertory and the Repertoire in all official languages of the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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