|Statement by Counsellor Yao Shaojun of the Chinese Delegation at the High-level Forum on the Culture of Peace of the 71st General Assembly|
China thanks you for convening this meeting. As we speak here, the world is witnessing the continued spread of violent extremism, frequent occurrences of xenophobia and intolerance and mounting tensions between religions and civilizations. The international community should actively champion a culture of peace and strive to safeguard world peace and promote common development. China would like to make the following observations.
First, we should pursue peaceful settlement of disputes. Both the past and the present tell us that communication and consultation are an effective means to reduce differences and political negotiation is the fundamental way to resolve conflicts. The international community should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, settle differences and disputes by peaceful means such as dialogue, negotiation and good offices and oppose resorting at every turn to force or the threat of force.
Second, we should promote exchange and mutual learning across civilizations. Civilizational diversity is an essential feature of the world and a source of progress of humanity. The international community should, based on the principles of openness, inclusiveness and seeking common ground while respecting differences, encourage exchange and mutual learning across civilizations so that they can serve as a bridge of friendship among nations, a bond for world peace and a driving force for the progress of humanity.
Third, governments should play an active role in promoting a peace culture. All governments should provide positive guidance to people, particularly children and youth, celebrate a peace culture through education and media and ensure that children and youth embrace moderate and rational ideas and beliefs. We should do our best to prevent and combat the dissemination of violent extremism ideology on the internet and social media.
Fourth, we should bring into play the role of the UN and other international organizations. The international community should lend support to international organizations such as the UN, UNESCO and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in their efforts to promote a peace culture by leveraging their respective advantages. States should accelerate the realization of the goals related to peace culture in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and effectively implement the General Assembly’s Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace.
Chins has always been a promotor and practitioner of the peace culture. One of the main goals of China’s Belt and Road Initiative is to further people-to-people connectivity. Since it was put forward four years ago, the Initiative has attracted the strong support and participation of more than 100 countries and international organizations and remarkable results have been achieved. In May this year, the inaugural Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing and concluded with twenty cooperation outcomes spanning across sectors of culture, education, science, health and people-to-people exchange. It is bound to boost people-to-people connections and highlight peace and development as the defining theme of our times. In April, China and Greece jointly launched the Ancient Civilizations Forum to facilitate exchange and mutual learning across civilizations in a concerted effort to advance the lofty goal of building a community of shared future for mankind.
Thank you, Mr. President.