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Speech by Assistant Foreign Minister Sheng Guofang Of the People's Republic of China At Informal Information-Sharing and Forward Planning Meeting On Reconstruction Needs for Iraq
(November 24, 2003)


Mr. President,

Today, we the delegates of the Security Council members, major donor states, international institutions and non-governmental organisations are gathered here at the UN Headquarters to discuss the important issue of the reconstruction of Iraq. Our meeting is of great significance.

The post-war Iraqi reconstruction should aim to promote the country's long-term peace, stability and development and ensure the long-term interests of the Iraqi people and a lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.  In this context, I wish to take this opportunity to emphasize the following points on Iraq's reconstruction:

1. Adherence to the principles of reconstruction which was established in the Security Council Resolution 1483 is essential.  Resolution 1483 offers a basic framework for Iraq's post-war reconstruction and stresses the fundamental principles for resolving the Iraq issue, including maintaining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq, respecting the independent will of the Iraqi people and giving full play to the important role for the United Nations.  These principles reflect the common will of the international community and must be fully and earnestly observed.

2. Security and stability of Iraq is the precondition.  The law and order in Iraq should be restored as early as possible by the concerted efforts of all parties, so as to create a sound environment for reconstruction.  The Iraqi people should be allowed to be the master of their own destiny and shape their own future.  The international community should be actively involved in the launching of the political process, form an interim administrative authority, hold a general election under international supervision and establish a new and broad-based Iraqi government.

3. Humanitarian relief is the most urgent task.  It is imperative to make full use of the existing aid networks in the international community, especially those of the UN and increase human and other resources so as to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Iraq as soon as possible.  All parties concerned should deliver their promises to help the Iraqi people get out of the predicament.  Delivery is what matters most.

4. Infrastructure development is the top priority.  Infrastructure bears directly on the national economy and people's livelihood and constitutes an important foundation underpinning sustainable development.  In view of the reality and practical needs in Iraq, we suggest that reconstruction efforts focus, at this stage, on power and water supply, transport, communication and other infrastructure projects as well as education, public health and oil production.

5. The role of the UN is an important guarantee for the reconstruction endeavour.  The post-war reconstruction involves work on many fronts.  It won't succeed without coordinated and concerted efforts of all countries, international agencies, NGOs and, above all, the important role of the United Nations. We hope that a master plan and its specifics can be worked out as soon as possible under the auspices of the UN.  It is of critical importance in Iraqi reconstruction to bring into full play the enthusiasm of all parties and encourage and ensure their equal participation.

Mr. President,

China attaches great importance to the Iraqi reconstruction and have provided humanitarian assistance to Iraq. Some Chinese medium and small enterprises are making preparations to enter Iraq. China stands ready to join the rest of the international community in an active participation in the post-war Iraqi reconstruction so as to help the Iraqi people restore peace and stability to their country at an early date.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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