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Statement by Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Security Council Open Debate on Its Working Methods

2018/02/06

Mr. President,

As this is my first time to address a formal meeting of the Security Council in my capacity as the Permanent Representative of China. I look forward to working with all of you closely in our future work to collectively maintain the international peace and security. I wish to congratulate Kuwait on its assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. You can be assured of China’s support and cooperation. I would also like to thank Kazakhstan for presiding over the Council last month and commend Ambassador Umarov and his team for their outstanding diplomatic skills and capabilities.

China welcomes Kuwait’s initiative to convene today’s meeting. We thank Mr. Ian Martin, Executive Director of Security Council Report, for his briefing.

The Charter of the United Nations has conferred upon the Security Council the important responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. The current global security situation is complex and volatile with regional conflicts cropping up, and terrorism and other security threats interwoven and interactive. The Security Council, as the core of the UN collective security mechanism, shoulders a major responsibility in tackling international security threats and challenges, which is a herculean task.

In recent years, the Council has convened many open debates for in-depth discussion on its working methods, a demonstration of its resolute commitment to the improvement of its working methods and the enhancement of its effectiveness. China has been working with other Council members to push for further progress in this regard. There has been a visible increase in the number of the Council’s public meetings. The Council has strengthened coordination with the General Assembly, ECOSOC and other UN organs, maintained regular exchanges with the Peace Building Commission and its national configurations, and expanded engagement with relevant regional organizations. The Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions has, on the basis of continuous summarization of valid practices of the Council, put forward recommendations for improvement which have achieved positive results.

China supports continued improvement of the Council’s working methods for it to be better positioned to deliver on its mandate with greater efficiency and effectively respond to threats to international peace and security. In this vein, I wish to share following points with you:

First, stay focused on key issues and ensure effective execution of mandate. It is essential to adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as a fundamental guidance to the Council and its subsidiary organs. The Charter contains explicit provisions on the responsibilities of the Security Council and other UN organs. The Council needs to focus its resources and energy on addressing major and urgent issues concerning international peace and security, and strengthen the practical effect of its actions. In deliberating on thematic issues, the Council needs to coordinate with the GA, ECOSOC and other UN bodies so that all can play their respective roles and avoid duplication.

Second, insist on democratic consultation and ensure collective decision-making. In the process of the Council’s decision-making, full consultations are needed with a view to achieving consensus. It is necessary to ensure that all Council members have adequate time to examine draft resolutions and draft presidential statements. We should do our best to refrain from steamrolling drafts when divisions still remain, seek the broadest possible consensus and safeguard the Council’s authority and unity.

Third, enhance information exchange and value the views of all parties. The Council needs to heed the views of the broad membership of the UN, particularly those of the countries concerned. China supports the Council in strengthening coordination with regional organizations pursuant to Chapter 8 of the Charter to leverage their experience in addressing local problems and their unique advantages in respect of geography, history and culture. The Council needs to more actively engage troop contributing countries and enhance exchanges with them through mechanisms such as the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and meetings with TCCs. It should also value the views and concerns of TCCs during mission deployment and mandate adjustment.

The GA inter-governmental negotiations constitute the main platform for member states to discuss questions related to Security Council reform, as such, its role as the main channel of deliberations on this issue needs to be maintained. China attaches great importance to Security Council reform and supports reasonable and necessary reform to increase, as a matter of priority, the representation and voice of developing countries, African countries in particular, so as to enhance the Council’s authority and efficiency. Guided by the principle of member state leadership, China is ready to continue to engage in patient democratic consultations with other member states on the five clusters in a quest for a package solution and the broadest possible consensus. Setting artificial time-frame, steamrolling half-baked proposals or initiating text-based negotiations in the absence of requisite conditions will only undermine the credibility of inter-governmental negotiations, which is not helpful to the unity among member states and the sound progress of inter-governmental negotiations.

Mr. President,

China supports Kuwait in carrying out its work as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions. We are ready to work with all parties to take stock and find innovative ways to support the improvement of the Council’s working methods with concrete actions, with a view to enabling the Security Council to conduct its work in a more impartial, efficient, transparent, and democratic manner and play an active and constructive role in maintaining international peace and security.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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