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China's Position Paper at the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly

2008/09/17

Position Paper of the People's Republic of China
at the 63rd Session of the
United Nations General Assembly

16 September 2008   [Chinese Version] [English Version]

 

I. The Role of the United Nations (UN)

The world is undergoing tremendous changes and adjustments. Peace and development remain the call of the times. The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation is the common aspiration of all governments and peoples around the world. Interdependence among countries is increasing and the international situation has been stable on the whole. At the same time, however, the world is far from trouble-free. Regional conflicts and hotspot issues keep emerging. Imbalances in the world economy are worsening. The North-South gap is widening. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are intertwined. All this poses difficulties and challenges to world peace and development.

Multilateralism is an inevitable choice for countries to share the development opportunities, jointly meet various challenges and advance the noble cause of peace and development of humanity. The UN is an important platform to practice multilateralism, achieve win-win cooperation and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. China firmly supports the UN in continuing to play a central role in international affairs and firmly supports efforts to uphold and strengthen the effectiveness and authority of the UN.

 

II. UN Reforms

China supports the UN in carrying out necessary and reasonable reform to enhance its authority and efficiency and better fulfil the responsibilities bestowed on it by the Charter of the United Nations. It meets the development needs of the UN itself and also represents the consensus of the entire membership. The outcome document adopted at the 2005 UN Summit has charted the course for the reform, and China welcomes its positive results. Security, development and human rights are the three pillars of the UN. Reforms in these three fields should proceed in a balanced way. Efforts should be made particularly to produce results in the field of development. Necessary guarantees in terms of institutional arrangement and resources should be assured for development to promote the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for the benefit of developing countries.

China supports reasonable and necessary reform of the Security Council to enhance its authority and efficiency. We have always supported developing countries in playing a bigger role in the UN, including the Security Council. We maintain that priority should be given to increasing

the representations of developing countries, especially African countries, in the Security Council. As reform bears on the future development of the UN and the common interests of all countries, extensive and democratic discussions should be carried out to take into account the interests and concerns of all parties and reach consensus. China is ready to work with all other parties to ensure that the reform of the Security Council will follow a direction that is conducive to the overall interests of the UN member states and upholds and enhances the solidarity of the member states.

 

III. Security Sector

1. UN Peacekeeping Operations

UN peacekeeping operations are an important and effective means to practice multilateralism and uphold collective security. The peacekeeping operations, with ever expanding scale and increasingly broader mandate, are facing more and more challenges. China supports reasonable reform of UN peacekeeping operations to further improve resources allocation and enhance the rapid reaction and deployment capability of peacekeeping operations. The reform should comply with the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the universally recognized norms governing peacekeeping operations, strengthen communication and coordination among various UN departments and agencies and between the Security Council, the UN Secretariat and the member states, in particular, the states involved in the peacekeeping operations, and enhance cooperation between the UN and relevant regional organizations.

2. Peacebuilding

The task of peacebuilding involves the whole UN system. As an important link of efforts in the fields of peace and development, the Peacebuilding Commission should play its role to the full. China is of the view that the Commission should focus on the following three areas: First, it should not only launch quick-impact projects in the recipient countries but also take into consideration their long-term development; Second, it should properly identify priority areas with full respect given to the opinions of the recipient countries; Third, it should be a good coordinator among relevant agencies and step up cooperation with the General Assembly, Security Council and ECOSOC. China supports the Commission in playing a bigger role in peacebuilding and has pledged US$ 3 million to the Peacebuilding Fund.

3. Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

China is deeply concerned about the security of life and property of civilians affected and threatened by armed conflicts and urges the parties concerned to faithfully observe the International Humanitarian Law and the relevant Security Council resolutions and give full protection to civilians.

The responsibility to protect civilians rests first with the government of the country involved in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the International Humanitarian Law. Humanitarian assistance should respect the principles of impartiality, neutrality, objectiveness and independence,respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned and refrain from interfering in local political disputes or impeding the peace process.

Civilian protection should focus on conflict prevention. The Security Council should step up its effort to prevent conflicts and keep peace. Civilian protection should also be given priority in post-conflict peacebuilding. Relevant UN agencies should strengthen coordination and forge synergy for this purpose.

4. Counter-Terrorism

China supports combating terrorism in all manifestations. The international community should act on the Charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized norms of international law in its fight against terrorism and give full play to the leading and coordinating role of the UN and its Security Council.

China welcomes and supports the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and supports the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and the General Assembly Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in playing an active role in coordinating counter-terrorism efforts among member states.

Both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism must be addressed. By making full use of its resources, the UN should play an active role in eliminating poverty and other root causes of terrorism, promote dialogue among civilizations and assist developing countries in counter-terrorism capacity building. China opposes the linkage of terrorism to certain countries, ethnic groups or religions and is against the practice of double standards.

China supports and takes an active part in the drafting of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and hopes all parties will continue consultation with a constructive and cooperative attitude and reach consensus at an early date.

5. The Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue

A Korean Peninsula that enjoys peace, stability, progress and prosperity serves the common interests of countries in the region, China included, and the rest of the international community. To further advance the Six-Party Talks and achieve the goals set out in the September 19 Joint Statement at an early date are the shared aspirations of the international community.

As the chair of the Six-Party Talks, China will continue to play a constructive role, strengthen consultation and coordination with other parties and work for the early, comprehensive and balanced implementation of the remaining actions of the second phase to move the Talks into a new phase.

6. The Myanmar Issue

China hopes to see Myanmar maintain peace and stability and achieve democracy and national reconciliation. The Myanmar issue is, in essence, a country's internal affair. The international community should provide constructive assistance to Myanmar. Imposing sanctions and exerting pressure will not help solve the issue. China supports the good offices of the UN Secretary-General and his Special Adviser. These efforts take time and require patience and persistence. China supports giving full play to the role of the tripartite mechanism involving the ASEAN, the UN and Myanmar in helping Myanmar complete post-cyclone reconstruction at an early date.

7. The Afghan Issue

The situation in Afghanistan has a bearing on peace and stability in the region and beyond as well as on the smooth progress of the international counter-terrorism efforts. Despite positive progress, the reconstruction process in Afghanistan still faces numerous challenges. To succeed, it requires first and foremost the determined efforts of the Afghan Government. It also needs the strong support from the international community.

China has consistantly supported and actively participated in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction. China applauds the formulation of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, welcomes the Paris Declaration issued at the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan and supports further implementation of the Afghanistan Compact. We call on the international community to continue to take an interest and make inputs in Afghanistan and intensify coordination and cooperation. China supports the UN in continuing to play a leading role in resolving the Afghan issue.

8. The Iranian Nuclear Issue

China supports upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. To properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation and maintain regional peace and stability serve the interests of all parties.

The Iranian nuclear issue is at a critical stage. There is a rare opportunity for resuming talks. Parties concerned should step up diplomatic efforts and show flexibility, so as to facilitate early restart of talks and negotiations to seek a comprehensive, enduring and proper settlement of the nuclear issue. China remains committed to encouraging dialogue for peace and will continue to play a constructive role in pushing for the peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

9. The Middle East Issue

It is China's long-held position that parties concerned in the Middle East issue properly solve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the principle of “land for peace”, the Middle East Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The International Conference on the Middle East held in Annapolis has achieved positive progress. We hope Palestine and Israel will seize the opportunity and steadily advance peace talks. China also welcomes and supports the efforts made by parties concerned to resume talks between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel. The international community should respect the religious and ethnic features of Arab countries, take into account the culture, history and reality of the Middle East and establish a balanced and effective peace mechanism to work for a just, enduring and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East issue.

10. The Iraq Issue

China holds that Iraq's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be maintained and supports its unity, stability and development. China supports the efforts of the Iraqi Government in stabilizing the security situation, promoting national reconciliation and carrying out reconstruction and has encouraged Iraq to build good-neighborly relations of mutual trust and cooperation with its neighbors.

China considers it necessary to give full play to the important role of the UN in resolving the Iraqi issue. The international community should work together, promptly deliver pledged assistance and help Iraq embark on a road of peace, stability and development at an early date.

11. The Issue of Darfur, Sudan

The causes for the Darfur issue are complicated. To resolve this issue, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sudan should be fully respected in the first place. China stands for a "double-track" strategy to promote balanced progress in peacekeeping deployment and political negotiation. The role of the UN-AU-Sudan tripartite mechanism should be brought into full play as the main channel. At the same time, it is important to help Sudan improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur and realize peace, stability and development in the region as soon as possible.

China takes the issue of "impunity" seriously. We are gravely concerned about the indictment of Sudanese President Bashir proposed by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. We believe that measures taken by relevant parties on the Darfur issue should facilitate stability in Sudan and proper settlement of the Darfur issue.

China has made its efforts in promoting a proper settlement of the Darfur issue. The 315-member engineering unit dispatched by China to Darfur as peacekeepers has been fully deployed. To date, China has provided RMB140 million in humanitarian assistance to the region and contributed US$2.3 million to the AU peacekeeping mission and US$500,000 to the relevant UN Trust Fund. China will continue to play a constructive role in resolving the Darfur issue.

12. The Zimbabwe Issue

China is following the situation in Zimbabwe and hopes that Zimbabwe will restore domestic stability and development as soon as possible. China appreciates and welcomes the resolution of election disputes between parties concerned through dialogue and negotiation and the agreement reached on establishing a government of national unity.

The Zimbabwe issue is an internal affair of Zimbabwe. The current problems should mainly be resolved by the Zimbabwean people independently. The international community should do more to advance peace and stability in Zimbabwe and may play a constructive role in encouraging dialogue and promoting reconciliation. China welcomes the active mediation of the AU,SADC and South African President Thabo Mbeki and supports them in continuing to play an important role in this issue.

13. The Kosovo Issue

It is the common objective of the international community to properly resolve the Kosovo issue and build a Kosovo where diverse ethnic groups live together in harmony. The best way to resolve the issue of Kosovo’s status is for the Serbian Government and the Kosovo authorities to reach a mutually acceptable solution through negotiation. This is also what the international community should continue to work for.

 

IV. Development Issues

1. "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs)

The UN MDGs serve as the guiding document for international development cooperation. The international community has made some progress in implementing the MDGs in recent years. But it remains a long and arduous task to meet the goals on schedule by 2015.

The UN will hold a High-level Event in September for a mid-term review of the MDGs. The international community should take this as a good opportunity to redouble efforts and work for comprehensive and balanced progress across the world in achieving the MDGs. To this end, the international community should establish genuine global development partnerships, provide strong support for developing countries, and place great importance on Africa's development by increasing aid for Africa.

The UN and other international organizations should set frameworks for comprehensive and objective monitoring and evaluation of progress made. It is necessary to both look at the progress made by various countries in implementing the MDGs and evaluate the performance of developed countries in honoring their commitments.

2. Africa's Development

Africa is the continent with the most developing countries in the world. Development is a pressing and arduous task facing Africa. To maintain stability and development in Africa is the common responsibility of the international community. To help African countries realize greater development, the international community should effectively honor commitments of aid for Africa, actively assist Africa in preventing and resolving conflicts to lay the foundation for development, respect African countries' independent choice of development models and strengthen South-South cooperation as a useful supplement to North-South cooperation.

China is always a firm supporter of the cause of peace and development in Africa. At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006, President Hu Jintao announced a host of policy measures on behalf of the Chinese Government to support Africa’s development, including expansion of aid for Africa, debt relief, tariff exemption and increase of assistance and input to Africa in social development. China is working earnestly to fulfill the above commitments in order that African countries and people benefit from them as soon as possible. China is ready to work with African countries and the rest of the international community to continue to make contribution to Africa’s development.

3. Food Security

Food security is not only an issue of economy and livelihood, but also an issue of development and security. All parties should embrace the concept of common development, coordinate policies and actions actively and effectively, and work together to properly address the food security issue. China believes that it is necessary to do the following:

-- Increased aid and support the UN in playing a coordinating role to stabilize food prices and help developing countries to tide over difficulties;

--Formulate a long-term international food cooperation strategy and make food production a priority to increase the amount of food production and food reserves;

--Foster a favorable environment and establish a fair and reasonable order for international agricultural trade;

--Enhance macro-coordination and curb excessive speculation, formulate an international cooperation mechanism led by the UN, and establish a global food security system that integrates early warning, monitoring and supervision, macro-regulation and emergency relief;

--Look at the food issue from many inter-related perspectives, and foster an enabling environment for food security by taking a combination of measures covering finance, trade, aid, the environment, intellectual property rights and technology transfer.

There are a number of factors contributing to the continued rise of the food price. It is neither objective nor constructive to lay the blame on the growth of developing countries or the certain policy of certain country.

China is a positive force for upholding world food security. Its food self-sufficiency rate has been kept at 95% or above for the past 10 years. China has met the food needs of about 20% of the world population with only around 9% of the world’s arable land, making great contribution to world food security. In addition, China has always provided assistance to other developing countries according to its ability.

4. Energy Security

Energy security bears closely on the stable growth of the world economy and the livelihood of people around the world. Countries should foster a new energy security concept featuring mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified forms of development and common energy security through coordination, and work together to uphold world energy security through enhanced dialogue and cooperation. In line with the spirit of interdependence, the international community should promote mutually beneficial cooperation in the development and use of energy, advance the development of new energy and renewable energy and promote the application of advanced energy technologies. Practical cooperation in the energy fields should be strengthened. Healthy growth of the international energy market should be promoted and security of international transportation routes should be guaranteed. International cooperation in energy and in development should be coordinated and priority should be given to ensuring developing countries of their right to development. Such cooperation should aim at promoting common development of the whole world. It should combine with international poverty reduction efforts to help developing countries strengthen infrastructure building, reduce poverty, develop economy and improve people’s lives through energy-based poverty alleviation programs.

China is willing to continue its active participation in international energy cooperation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit, and work with other countries to uphold world energy security.

5. Climate Change

Climate change, a major challenge faced by today’s world, needs to be addressed through international cooperation. Climate change is primarily caused by developed countries’ historical emissions over many years and their current high per capita emissions. Developed countries bear unshirkable responsibilities for climate change and they should continue to take the lead in emission reduction after 2012, and honor their obligations of providing financial resources and technology transfer to developing countries set forth in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. Developing countries are the main victims of climate change. Though faced by pressing tasks of development and poverty eradication, they will make contribution to the joint efforts to cope with climate change by embarking on the road of sustainable development.

In essence, climate change is an issue of development, and should be addressed in the context of sustainable development. In the international climate change cooperation, the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” should be observed and the role of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol as the main channel of international cooperation on combating climate change should be upheld.

The Bali Roadmap has reaffirmed UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol as the effective framework for the international community to tackle climate change. At present, negotiations on the implementation of the Bali Roadmap have reached a critical juncture. It is imperative for countries to show political sincerity and turn slogans into actions following the principles and framework of UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, so as to achieve positive results by the end of 2009. Developed countries, in particular, should continue to take the lead in reducing their emissions by a large margin and with quantitative commitments by following the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, and provide support to developing countries in the fields of capital, technology, adaptation and capacity building, so as to help developing countries enhance their capacity of tackling climate change. Under such preconditions, developing countries will, under the framework of sustainable development, make their efforts to the best of their capacity to cope with climate change.

6. South-South Cooperation

For developing countries, South-South cooperation is an important channel to draw strengths from each other and realize common development, as well as an important means to help each other and work together to address development challenges. In recent years, South-South cooperation has achieved positive progress, generating active trade and investment among the developing countries. Some new mechanisms or initiatives have been launched among developing countries, injecting new vitality to South-South cooperation. All parties should make joint efforts to enhance cooperation in various fields, effectively use multilateral mechanisms, uphold common interests and expand South-South cooperation in width and depth.

China wishes to reiterate that South-South cooperation supplements rather than substitutes for North-South cooperation. Globalization has led to growing interdependence among countries in the world. Developed and developing countries should work together to bring about common prosperity and development.

7. Financing for Development

Financing is an important guarantee for international development cooperation. For years, shortage of financial resources has seriously impeded the economic and social development of developing countries. At present, the progress is slow in implementing the MDGs, and developing countries are in urgent need of financial and technical support from the international community. Thus it is worrying indeed that the official development assistance has decreased rather than increased.

The international community should focus on implementing the Monterrey Consensus, promote the establishment of a global development partnership, and supervise and promote the delivery of pledged international cooperation and development assistance.

First, faithfully honor commitments and increase official development assistance (ODA) to hit the target that ODA accounts for 0.7% of the gross national income of developed countries. Second, encourage and support the capacity building of developing countries to enhance their capacity of mobilizing domestic resources and attracting international capital. Third, create a favorable external environment, give full play to the role of trade as an engine for development, promote the reform of the international financial regime and coordinate policies on development and on trade and finance.

At the end of this year, the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development will be held in Doha, Qatar. Parties concerned should work together for substantive progress at the conference in mobilizing development resources and ensuring adequate and predictable financing for development.

8. Doha Round Negotiations

Success in the Doha Round negotiations will be in the interests of all parties concerned, for it will facilitate the stable development of the world economy and orderly growth of international trade.

China maintains that efforts should be made to push for comprehensive and balanced outcome of the Doha Round negotiations at an early date and curb trade protectionism. The development objective of the Doha Round must be achieved and concerns of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, should be fully accommodated so that developing countries will fully and effectively participate in the multilateral trading regime and benefit from it.

China has been committed to the building of a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading regime. China made great contribution in market openness upon WTO accession and will continue to make contribution that matches its status as a new member and a developing member of the WTO. China will work with all the other parties concerned to ensure the success of the Doha Round negotiations at an early date, and give strong impetus and confidence to efforts aimed at revitalizing the world economy.

9. Reform of the International Financial Regime

The international financial market is volatile and the world economy faces more uncertainties. Countries around the world want to see necessary reform of the international financial regime to properly cope with current challenges in the world economy.

The international financial reform should focus on reflecting the changes in the world economic pattern, increasing the say and representation of developing countries, reducing their risks in participating in economic globalization and shaping an institutional framework that is conducive to sound and sustainable development of the world economy. The priority of such reforms should be on the building of a stable, orderly and equitable international financial regime.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made some progress in increasing the say and representation of developing countries. In future, it should focus on improving regulation on the international financial market, in particular, improving regulation on the economic vulnerability and policies of reserve currency issuing countries which could affect the whole system, warding off financial risks, and properly coping with financial fluctuations. The World Bank, as a multilateral institution for poverty alleviation, should focus on the long-term interests of developing countries. It should further increase its input in the development issue and take real actions as soon as possible to improve the say and representation of developing countries to reflect their concerns. The World Bank also needs to mobilize more resources to help developing countries achieve the MDGs.

 

V. Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation

China has consistently placed importance on and supported international arms control and disarmament efforts and stood for comprehensive prohibition and thorough destruction of all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) such as nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

China is firmly opposed to the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. To achieve the goal of non-proliferation, countries should be committed to building a global security environment of cooperation and mutual trust to realize universal security for all countries; try to resolve the proliferation issue by political and diplomatic means; bring into full play the core role of the UN and other relevant international organizations; and well handle the relations between non-proliferation and peaceful use.

China has never evaded its due responsibilities and obligations in nuclear disarmament and supports the conclusion of international legal instruments on complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has persistantly exercised the utmost restraint on the scale and development of its nuclear weapons and upheld its commitment that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and that it will unconditionally refrain from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.

China firmly supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and is actively promoting its early entry into force. China supports the Conference on Disarmament in concluding a comprehensive and balanced programme of work and launching negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty as soon as possible.

China maintains that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Under the current circumstances, the authority and universality of the NPT should be further upheld and strengthened for it to play an even greater role in preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

China supports the purposes and objectives of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention. China has fully and strictly fulfilled the obligations under the two Conventions, supported the enhancement of their universality, and called on countries that own or possess chemical weapons and countries that have abandoned chemical weapons in other countries to further intensify their work and speed up destruction of chemical weapons.

China has consistently stood for peaceful use of outer space and opposed the weaponization and an arms race in outer space. The formulation of relevant international legal instruments through negotiation is the best way to achieve this goal.

China has attached importance to military transparency and been committed to enhancing mutual trust in the military field with other countries. In 2007, China joined the UN Standardized Instrument For Reporting Military Expenditures,and resumed its participation in the UN Register of Conventional Arms.

China supports the UN in playing an important role in addressing issues related to missiles and conventional arms trade, and has participated in the work of relevant Groups of Governmental Experts in a constructive manner. Relevant efforts should be continued within the UN framework in an appropriate, comprehensive and balanced way, and concerns of all parties concerned should be respected.

China attaches importance to the humanitarian issues in the field of arms control,fully implements its obligations under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its Protocols, and takes an active part in the work of the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention. China has actively engaged in international de-mining assistance and assisted relevant countries in getting rid of sufferings caused by landmines. China actively supports the international efforts on combating illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and earnestly implements the United Nations Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects and the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace,in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.

 

VI. Human Rights

Governments of all countries in the world are duty-bound to promote and protect human rights in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant provisions of the international instruments on human rights,taking into account their national conditions. The international community should recognize that all human rights are indivisible and attach equal importance to the realization of the economic, social and cultural rights, the civil and political rights, as well as the right to development. Due to different national conditions, countries have taken different approaches and adopted different models on human rights. It is undesirable to impose one uniform model to promote and protect human rights.

China is an advocate of international cooperation in the field of human rights. We stand for dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect to address differences on the issue of human rights, and enhance mutual understanding and learning for common development. We oppose politicizing human rights issues and adopting double standards.

China takes part in the work of the UN Human Rights Council with a constructive attitude and is ready to work with other countries to ensure that the Council addresses human rights issues in a fair, objective and non-selective manner to promote constructive dialogue and cooperation in this field.

 

VII. Social Issues

1. Transnational Crimes

Transnational crimes like production and trafficking of illicit drugs, smuggling, trafficking in persons and money laundering have become more reckless and are often connected with terrorist activities, posing serious threats to economic development and law and order of various countries and presenting challenges to regional stability and even world peace.

Strengthening international cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crimes is not only the common need of the international community but also the shared responsibility of all countries. The United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime is an important document of the international community in the fight against transnational crimes. The international community should, in accordance with the purposes of the Convention, earnestly fulfill their obligations under the Convention and strengthen cooperation on the basis of “mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation”.

2. Anti-Money Laundering

Money laundering is intertwined with terrorism and other transnational crimes and poses a serious threat to the financial stability and economic security of all countries. International cooperation in anti-money laundering is conducive to the building of a sound international financial system and harmonious development of the international community.

China attaches great importance to the fight against money laundering and actively promotes and participates in international and regional cooperation in this respect. China became a full member of the Financial Action Task Force in June 2007. China will continue to work with the international community and participate more actively in international cooperation in anti-money laundering to build a sound and orderly international financial system.

3. Public Health

The issue of public health bears on the health and safety of people of all countries. The International Health Regulations, which came into effect on 15 June 2007, is an international legal document on the prevention of international spread of diseases. Governments of all countries should continue to enhance public health capacity building through economic development, in order to provide strong guarantee for a healthy life of the people and promote coordinated and sustainable economic and social development.

At China’s initiative, the resolution on “Strengthening Capacity-Building in Global Public Health” was adopted unanimously at the 58th, 59th and 60th sessions of the UN General Assembly, fully reflecting the attention of the international community on capacity building in public health. Developing countries face many difficulties in the prevention and control of major infectious diseases, and the international community should provide greater help to them to strengthen their capacity building in disease prevention and treatment.

4. Anti-Corruption

The United Nations Convention against Corruption sets the legal principles and rules for the joint efforts of all countries to punish and prevent corruption. All countries should earnestly strengthen international cooperation against corruption on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefit. Extradition, mutual legal assistance and asset recovery should be regarded as the focus and priority in the implementation of the Convention. Technical assistance should focus on meeting the needs of developing countries and assisting them in capacity building without attachment of additional conditions. Countries should strive to improve the efficiency of cooperation by minimizing restrictions of their domestic laws on the measures of cooperation provided for in the Convention.

 

VIII. The UN Financial Issues

All member states of the UN should, in accordance with the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations and the principle of “capacity to pay” set out in UNGA resolutions, continue to fulfill their financial obligations to the UN by paying unconditionally their membership dues and assessments for peacekeeping operations in time and in full, to ensure a solid and stable financial footing for the UN.

The efficiency of the use of UN resources should be further enhanced through integration of resources and programs with full consideration and accommodation given to the legitimate concerns and demands of developing countries.

Member states should step up coordination and communication to improve work efficiency and give more guidance to the Secretariat in program coordination, finance and budget.

 

IX. Rule of Law

1. The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

It is a shared goal of all countries to achieve rule of law at the national and international levels. Countries are entitled to independently choose the models of rule of law that are suitable for their national conditions and can learn from each other’s model for common development. To strengthen international rule of law, it is necessary to uphold the authority of the Charter of the United Nations, strictly abide by the well established principles and rules of international law, adhere to the consistent application of international law, avoid double standards, improve international law-making process and promote democracy in international relations.

2. Combating Impunity

China condemns all crimes in violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and supports the international community in its efforts to address impunity in conflict areas. The international efforts to punish crimes should not disrupt the ongoing peace process in conflict areas or hamper the measures in conflict areas to promote national reconciliation and build enduring peace. The issue of impunity can only be better addressed with relaxation of tension and political stability in related regions.

3. The International Court of Justice

China supports an enhanced role of the International Court of Justice in the peaceful settlement of international disputes and supports the Court in its efforts to improve the way it works. The right of each country to freely choose the method of peaceful settlement of disputes should be respected.

4. The International Criminal Court

China supports the establishment of an independent, impartial, effective and universally accepted institution for international criminal justice to punish the most serious international crimes. The work of the International Criminal Court should be pursued in a way that dose not impede or jeopardize the relevant peace process. China will continue to follow the work of the International Criminal Court.

5. Oceans and the Law of the Sea

China places great importance on maritime issues and the law of the sea and believes that the international community should strengthen cooperation and coordination to establish and maintain a harmonious international order on the sea. We propose that:

First, we need to maintain harmony between mankind and the sea in order to sustain a mutually-rewarding relationship between them. The way to achieve this goal is to strike a balance between reasonable utilization and scientific conservation of the sea.

Second, we need to make an equitable distribution of maritime interests between countries with advantageous and disadvantageous maritime conditions and between developed and developing countries. It is important for us to share the responsibility of conservation and work together to care for the sea, the common homeland of mankind.

Third, in order to maintain a harmonious maritime order, it is important to strengthen international rule of law with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the legal basis. The Convention, a product of many years of international negotiation, reflects the concerns of various parties in a relatively balanced manner. It has set a legal foundation and framework for building a harmonious maritime order and for addressing new maritime problems and challenges.

Fourth, a scientific and reasonable delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles is not merely a right some coastal states are entitled to under international law. It also concerns the scope of international seabed area which is the common heritage of mankind. The international community should ensure that the work of the Committee on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is conducted in a serious, science-based and accurate manner.

 

[Chinese Version of this Position Paper]

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