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Statement by Amb. Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on "Promotion and Strengthening of the Rule of Law in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security"


Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation would like to thank you for coming to New York to preside over today’s meeting. We’d also like to thank Deputy Secretary General Ms. Migiro and Under Secretary General Ms. O’Brien for their statements.

Mr. President,

The rule of law is an important symbol of human civilization and social progress and strengthening the rule of law in international relations is conducive to maintaining world peace, promoting common development and advancing the efforts of building a harmonious world. The fulfillment by the Security Council of its primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security within the framework of international law is of important significance to the strengthening of international law and the advancement of the process of strengthening the rule of law in international relations. In this connection, I’d like to stress the following points:

First, the UN Charter is the cornerstone of international rule of law. The Charter and the basic principles of international law established by it constitute the core of the contemporary international legal order and the foundation for building international rule of law. At the 2005 Summit, the world leaders made the unanimous commitment of strict compliance with the UN Charter and international law. It is necessary to translate this solemn commitment into practical action. In international affairs, countries should abide by the basic principles of international law such as sovereign equality, fulfillment of obligations in good faith, peaceful settlement of disputes and non use or threat of force. They should commit themselves to building harmonious international relations, endeavor to prevent and reduce conflicts and maintain world peace and security.

Secondly, in strengthening the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict situations, integrated consideration should be given to multiple political, economic and social factors. Strengthening the rule of law in conflict and post-conflict countries is both a necessary pre-condition for the transition from conflict to peace and a fundamental guarantee for the building of lasting peace. Far from being a purely legal issue, strengthening the rule of law is closely related to various political, economic and social factors. Post-conflict reconstruction involves multiple aspects and the work of building the rule of law should be integrated and coordinated with political process and economic and social reconstruction instead of being separated from them so that they can be mutually reinforcing. This is the only way to eliminate the root causes of the conflict.

Thirdly, in assisting conflict and post-conflict countries to strengthen internal rule of law, it is necessary to respect their sovereignty. In essence, strengthening the rule of law in those countries falls within the realm of their internal affairs. While the international community can provide support and help in terms of finance, technology and capacity building, it is necessary to respect the autonomy of recipient countries, take into full consideration local history, culture and legal system and avoid imposing anything from outside.

Fourthly, it is necessary to properly balance the relations between maintaining peace and pursuing judicial justice. Ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law is an important aspect of strengthening international rule of law. We condemn all criminal acts in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and support the international community in pushing for the solution of the problem of impunity in conflict regions and punishing serious international crimes such as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. In our view, the fundamental solution to the problem of impunity can only be achieved under the conditions of an ease of tension and political stability in the relevant regions. The efforts to seek judicial justice should promote instead of interrupting the relevant peace process and advance instead of hampering national reconciliation and the building of durable peace.

Fifthly, the efficiency and credibility of the UN sanctions should be enhanced. Over the past decade, the Security Council has increasingly resorted to sanctions as a means of deterrence or punishment. In spite of the efforts made by the Council in improving sanction procedures, the effects of the sanctions and their negative impacts remain a matter of widespread concern. China has always taken a cautious approach to the use of sanctions and advocated for strict criteria and corresponding timelines for sanctions so as to avoid as much as possible their negative impacts on people’s livelihood and economic and social development. China supports the improvement of the UN sanctions regime in accordance with the following principles: carry out broad consultations on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions and proceed with caution; lay stress on facts and evidence and avoid double standards; take into full account the practical situation of the countries concerned and the characters of the relevant sanctions committees and enhance efficiency.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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