|Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin at the 63rd GA Session on the Report of the Secretary-General|
Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin at the 63rd GA Session on the
Report of the Secretary General
Oct. 6, 2008
The Chinese delegation would like to thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his report on the work of the Organization. The report has reviewed the progress made by the UN in various fields in the past year and described the current and future tasks and challenges facing the UN. The report demonstrates the determination of the Secretary General to build a “stronger UN” and to serve the “people most in need”. I wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Secretary General for his diligent work and outstanding performance over the past year.
As stated in the Secretary General’s report, “the United Nations is situated at the nexus of some of the most important and complex issues facing the world at present. Today, more than ever…..the United Nations can effect positive global change, making the world a safer, more prosperous and more just place for all people”. The world we find ourselves in is undergoing profound and complex changes which present us with unprecedented challenges and opportunities. In the face of continuously emerging global threats and challenges, it has become the wide consensus of the international community that we should engage in multilateral cooperation using the UN as the platform so as to jointly respond to challenges and promote the peace and development of mankind. This consensus has been attested to once again in the just concluded general debate.
Universal development and common prosperity represent the ardent aspirations of mankind and the fundamental guarantee for us to deliver results for those “most in need”. To this end, we have collectively established a framework in the form of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals. At present, half way through the timeline for the implementation of the MDGs, we can see that it is a daunting task for us to accomplish the MDGs on time by 2015. The African countries face particularly huge challenges in this regard.
At the High-level Meeting on MDGs held on Sept. 25, governments and the civil society announced their assistance in the amount of approximately $16 billion in areas like food security, disease prevention and treatment, education and health. China calls on the developed countries to honor their commitment to allocate 0.7% of their GDP as ODA in order to help the developing countries, the African countries in particular, to respond to the challenges in the development field. The MDG Africa Steering Group made its proposals in June this year for the realization of the MDGs in Africa and we hope that countries will strengthen cooperation with the UN and work jointly to put the proposals into practice.
Climate change has become a real challenge and requires a joint response within the framework of the international cooperation. Climate change is an environmental issue, but ultimately it is a development issue. It came about in the process of development and can only be solved through the realization of the sustainable development of all countries. At this moment, negotiations on the implementation of the Bali Roadmap are at a critical juncture. We hope that the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Poznan this December will achieve positive results and lay a foundation for agreement in Copenhagen in 2009. In responding to climate change, it is in the interest of all parties to help the developing countries enhance their capacity to respond to climate change and to give them access to affordable advanced clean technologies.
The Humanitarian issue involves the survival of “bottom billion” and is closely related to the peace, stability and development of the world. We support the UN in playing a central coordinating role in international humanitarian cooperation on the basis of respect for the wishes of the recipient countries as well as their autonomy and right of participation. We welcome the establishment by the Secretary General of the High-level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis. China once again expresses its thanks to the international community, including the United Nations, for the humanitarian assistance to China in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Wenchuan in Sichuan Province earlier this year.
The United Nations plays an important role in conflict prevention, peace keeping and post-conflict peace building. We welcome reasonable reform of the DPA to enhance its mediation and good offices capacity and bring into play the unique advantage of the UN in conflict prevention. We support the UN in strengthening the planning and management of peace keeping operations, optimizing resource allocation and improving the effectiveness of peace keeping operations. We welcome the progress made by the Peace Building Commission in the past year and hope that in the next stage it will bring tangible changes to the development of the countries concerned on the basis of respect for their autonomy and practical needs. The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy adopted in 2006 is an instrument of milestone significance in international counter terrorism cooperation. It is necessary to build on the achievements over the past two years and continue to push for the comprehensive and balanced implementation by the UN system of the four pillars of the Counter Terrorism Strategy.
The Middle East situation remains the biggest test for the UN. The only feasible way to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East question is to carry out political negotiations on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the principle of “land for peace” in order to settle disputes and realize the peaceful coexistence between Israel and all Arab states, including an independent Palestinian state. We sincerely hope that the leaders of Israel and Palestine will maintain the momentum of dialogue and we support a bigger role of the UN on the Middle East question.
The crisis of Darfur, Sudan tests the unity of the international community. The involvement of the ICC in the question of Sudan has further complicated the crisis in Darfur. Both the League of Arab Nations and the African Union have expressed concern over the indictment of the leader of Sudan by the ICC. We believe that the parties concerned should respect and heed the views of the Arab countries and African countries. The crisis in Darfur involves many aspects including political process, peace keeping deployment, humanitarian assistance, judicial justice and economic development. As such, a comprehensive approach is needed in dealing with this crisis and the top priority is to promote political process.
China expresses appreciation and welcome for the fact that parties concerned in Zimbabwe have settled their election related disputes through dialogue and negotiations and have reached agreement on the formation of a government of national unity. SADC and the AU, with former President Mbeki of South Africa as the mediator, have played a leading and constructive role in promoting a political settlement of the question in Zimbabwe. China commends and supports such a role. Facts have once again proven that as an effective means for the peaceful settlement of disputes, mediation is playing an increasingly important role in today’s world. The parties concerned should maintain patience and confidence and provide constructive support to the mediator.
Currently, opportunities and challenges exist side by side in the field of international strategic security. The United Nations should continue to take the lead by revitalizing multilateral arms control and disarmament agenda. Countries should work together to further strengthen the international non-proliferation regime, especially to safeguard the authority, effectiveness and universality of the NPT. Political and diplomatic means represent the best option in dealing with questions of non-proliferation. This option is in the common interest of the international community. We are opposed to any form of proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the same time, we believe that no initiative in non-proliferation should deviate from the objective of maintaining international peace and stability. Countries must fulfill their international non-proliferation obligation, and on this basis, their right to peaceful use of nuclear energy should be respected and safeguarded.
Since 2005, reform of the United Nations has achieved many positive results. While working to carefully consolidate these gains, we should also strive for further progress by seeking the widest possible consensus through democratic consultations. In the next stage, the reform should focus more on the question of development in order to bring benefits to the developing countries.
Revitalization of the General Assembly and reform of the Security Council are two important elements of the reform of the United Nations. We expect that the UN reform will further strengthen the functions of these two institutions as the main organs of the United Nations, increase efficiency and improve the division of labor and cooperation between them. China supports the reform of the Security Council in which we believe that priority should be given to the increase of the representation of the developing countries, African countries in particular. China supports the Open-Ended working group on Security Council reform to continue to play an important role and hopes that a general agreement will be reached among member states on relevant questions.
Human Rights Council is one of the most important achievements of this round of UN reform. We approve the overall work done by the HRC since its founding. We support the HRC in carrying out its work in a fair, objective and non-selective manner on the basis of mutual respect so as to promote the constructive international dialogue and cooperation in the field of human rights.
We support the reform of the Secretariat with a view to improving efficiency, saving resources and strengthening accountability. Reform should give equal attention to efficiency and fairness. While the authority and flexibility of the Secretary General are duly increased, care should be taken to accommodate the concerns of the developing countries so that they really feel that they do have a voice and influence on resource allocation and personnel policy.
Multilateralism and multilateral cooperation via the platform of the United Nations represent the only way to maintain and promote world peace and development. We are willing to work together with other countries to build a strong United Nations and a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. President.