|Statement by Ms. GUO Xiaomei, Chinese Delegate, at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 79 "The Rule of Law at the National and International Level"|
New York, 13 October 2008
The rule of law, being an important hallmark of human civilization and progress, is a goal that is universally pursued. Since the item "The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels" was first included on the agenda of the Sixth Committee at the 61st Session of the General Assembly, states have carried out good exchanges in this area. These exchanges are beneficial to the enhancement of mutual understanding and expansion of consensus among states, thus strengthening rule of law at the national and international levels.
With regard to the rule of law at the national level, the Chinese delegation is of the view that it is the right of each country to choose on its own the model of rule of law that is suitable to its domestic conditions. Countries can share experience and learn from each other to make their models work better. The enormous efforts made by the developing countries in building domestic rule of law and the results they have achieved should be respected. Members of the international community should, on the basis of the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, strengthen cooperation and help each other with a view to improving national rule of law.
With regard to strengthening the rule of law at the international level, the Chinese delegation wishes to reaffirm the following points.
First, the authority of the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of the international law should be upheld. The UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law established by the Charter constitute the nucleus of the existing international legal order, and the cornerstone of the orderly development of international relations. To strengthen international rule of law is therefore to call upon countries to manage international affairs in true conformity with the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of international law derived from the Charter.
Second, international legislation should be continuously improved. This requires universal participation of countries in the process of international legislation. International legislative instruments should be adopted by consensus to the extent possible and should reflect the interests and concerns of countries in a balanced manner.
Third, the uniform application of international law should be adhered to. If, in international relations, countries apply international law selectively or interpret it unilaterally to their own advantage or take double standards in its application, international law will be reduced to a tool of power politics and will thus fail to play its role of maintaining international order.
Fourth, democratization in international relations should be promoted. Democracy and the rule of law are mutually-reinforcing. Without the democratization in international relations, it will be impossible to achieve international rule of law. Democratization of international relations requires that countries jointly manage international affairs through broad participation and consultation on an equal footing.
The Chinese delegation welcomes the report on national and international rule of law submitted by the Secretary General to the current session of the GA. The report provides a detailed list of activities currently conducted by the UN in this field. The Chinese delegation is pleased to note that different bodied within the UN system have carried out a myriad of broad-ranging activities aimed at promoting national and international rule of law. We’d like to express our appreciation in this regard. The Chinese delegation supports the establishment by the Secretary General of the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group and the Unit of Rule of Law in the Secretariat in an effort to coordinate the rule of law-related activities in the UN system. We have also noted that a considerable part of rule of law activities in the UN system have the developing countries as their recipients. The Chinese delegation believes that in order to have a better planning of the resources earmarked for rule of law activities, enhance efficiency and make the UN rule of law activities better suited to the actual needs of the developing countries, the Secretariat and departments involved in rule of law activities should take in more staff members from the developing countries.
During our discussion at the last session, members of this committee came to a general understanding to have the following sub-items as possible topics for focused discussion, namely, "Common Understanding of the Rule of Law at the National and International", "Strengthening the Rule of Law through Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building", "Transitional Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies" and "The observance of the International Rule of Law, in particular, through the Domestic Implementation and Interpretation of International Treaties". My delegation believes that the item entitled "The observance of the International Rule of Law, in particular, through the Domestic Implementation and Interpretation of International Treaties" has a general bearing on countries' respect for international law and is therefore a worthy topic for priority consideration in the Sixth Committee. In addition, the item "Strengthening the Rule of Law through Technical Assistance and Capacity-Building" has practical value to some countries and hence can also be considered on a priority basis.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.