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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on the Rule of Law

2014/02/19
 

Mr. President,

China commends Lithuania for its initiative in convening this open debate on the rule of law. We welcome Mr. Linkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, to preside over today’s meeting. We listened carefully to the briefing by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Building the rule of law is essential to achieving and building peace in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. Strengthening the rule of law at the international level is fundamental for the maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of cooperation among States. It is also in the common interests of all countries and those of the international community. China would like to make the following observations on the rule of law. First, all countries share the goal of achieving the rule of law. Because of the differences in national conditions and levels of development, there is no single universal model for the rule of law for all. At the national level, countries are entitled to independently choose the paths towards the rule of law that suit their national conditions. Countries with different rule-of-law practices should learn from each other and seek common development. To strengthen the rule of law at the international level, it is necessary to strictly abide by the norms of international law. In the conduct of international affairs, it is critical to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, adhere to such important principles as the sovereign equality of nations and non-interference in internal affairs, reject power politics and aggression and honour international obligations in good faith.

Secondly, the rule of law is an important guarantee for friendly relations among nations as equals. The Charter of the United Nations is the point of departure for achieving the rule of law. The Charter and the basic principles of international law it enshrines constitute the core of the international legal order as well as the foundation of the rule of law at the international level. The purposes and principles of the Charter represent the reflection of human society on war. It is imperative that all countries uphold the authority of the Charter, maintain the post-war international order and the gains from the global anti-fascist war and deal with international affairs in strict observance of the Charter and the basic principles of international law. They must strongly oppose any action contravening historical justice, the human conscience and international norms.

Thirdly, the peaceful settlement of disputes is a necessary component of the rule of law. Resolving disputes through peaceful means represents the basic principle of international law. It is inseparable from building the rule of law at the international level. The peaceful settlement of disputes and the non-use of force are important components of the rule of law at the international level and both constitute core principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the foundation of contemporary international law. They represent international obligations that all countries should honour. Charter VI of the Charter provides for various means to resolve disputes peacefully. We support the resolution of disputes through peaceful means, in keeping with the Charter, and call on all countries to respect each other’s legitimate rights to choose its own means of peacefully settling disputes. Fourthly, an integrated approach should be taken to establishing the rule of law in countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. To ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the rule of law in such countries, it is critical to promote coordinated and mutually reinforcing progress in the rule of law, the political process, economic development and national reconciliation. It is important to respect the sovereignty of countries in conflict and post-conflict situations and work to enhance their capacity in nation-building. Efforts to strengthen the rule of law in such countries should take into account the reality and the needs on the ground, so that the building of the rule of law will accord with their national conditions and needs.

Fifthly, it is important to properly handle the relationship between keeping peace and seeking judicial justice. Peace and justice are two worthy goals pursued by humankind. They complement and reinforce each other. Achieving judicial justice is not simply a legal issue; it is closely linked to political, economic and cultural factors. The pursuit of judicial justice should be conducive to achieving reconciliation and stability, rather than sacrificing the peace process and undermining national reconciliation in the countries concerned.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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