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Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of International Peace and Security

2014/08/21

Mr. President,

China welcomes the initiative of the United Kingdom to organize today’s meeting. We support the Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2171 (2014). I also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Pillay for their briefings.

In the history of humankind, war and conflicts have brought untold suffering and loss to peoples throughout the world. They have always hampered social development and progress. Preventing conflicts and the recurrence of disasters has always been a common objective of the international community. The foundation of the United Nations fully embodies the joint commitment of Member States to prevent the recurrence of conflict and war. At the heart of the collective security mechanism, the Council has actively worked to prevent conflict and has played an important role in preventing and limiting the escalation of some regional conflicts.

At the same time, owing to the interlinking security threats and challenges, the nature and manifestation of conflict are increasingly complex. We should ponder about how to prevent the emergence and escalation of conflicts under the new circumstances and how to stop post-conflict countries from sliding back into conflict, I would like to emphasize the following four points.

First, the Charter of the United Nations is the cornerstone of conflict prevention. The Charter stipulates that Member States bear the primary responsibility for conflict prevention. Any action taken by the international community, including the United Nations, to prevent conflict should comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter and respect the ownership of the countries concerned, seek to support their efforts and take the understanding and cooperation of those countries into account. In undertaking actions to prevent conflicts, priority should be given to peaceful means, such as dialogue, negotiation and mediation. Forceful measures can be only a last resort and must meet the conditions provided for by the Charter.

Secondly, a locally adapted approach is a necessary condition for successful conflict prevention. Countries have different national conditions and there are complex and diverse causes of conflict. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for conflict prevention. Measures must be adapted to the local conditions of the countries concerned. Adopting conflict prevention approaches that are not based on reality is often problematic and ineffective. When actions such as early warning are undertaken to prevent conflicts, reliable early-warning information should be acquired in a timely way. The differences among countries in terms of their history, ethnic composition, religion and social and economic development should be fully taken into account in order to prevent hasty interventions that could affect efforts to achieve the peaceful settlement of a conflict.

Thirdly, tackling the root causes is the key to conflict prevention. Ethnic and religious tensions, a lack of development, poverty and weak capacities can all lead to sectarian tensions and exacerbate social problems or even give rise to bloodshed. Conflict prevention should address both the root causes and the symptoms and should address the fundamental political, economic, social, cultural and other problems. Through an inclusive political dialogue, it should promote a national reconciliation process and establish a peaceful environment that is conducive to social harmony and ethnic unity.

The United Nations and the international financial and development institutions should vigorously support developing countries, in particular post-conflict countries, in achieving economic and social development, in increasing their capacity-building and in promoting social cohesion, peace, reconciliation and unity in order to prevent the emergence of discrimination and rivalry.

Fourthly, the international community should strengthen its coordination and cooperation in order to ensure smooth conflict prevention efforts. The relevant United Nations bodies should fully utilize their respective advantages and potential and act in a coordinated and consistent way in accordance with their mandates. They should assist Member States and regional organizations, such the African Union, in capacity-building and conflict prevention and support such States in playing a leading role in developing concepts and adopting policies in that regard. They should also help States to assess their experience and to explore effective conflict-prevention strategies. In an international community, of which we are all members, promoting democratic international relations that abide by the principle of the rule of law is very important for conflict prevention.

Sixty years ago, China, India and Myanmar jointly advocated the five principles of mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. Over the past 60 years, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, as a transparent and inclusive principle of international law, have fully embodied the values of sovereignty, justice, democracy and the rule of law. They have significantly contributed to the maintenance of international peace and security, safeguarding the interests and rights of developing countries and working for a new reasonable and fair kind of international relations.

China will continue to implement the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, to work with all parties to support the United Nations and the Security Council in playing their due role in preventing conflict and to make our own contribution to the achievement of the common security and lasting peace of the world.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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