|Statement by Ms. GUO Xiaomei of the Chinese Delegation at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 78: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization|
New York, 22 October 2008
The Special Committee on the Charter is the only standing mechanism within the UN system for discussing the Charter of the United Nations and the strengthening of the role of the Organization. With its tireless efforts over the years, the Special Committee has played an important role in safeguarding the authority of the Charter, maintaining international peace and security, and promoting peaceful settlement of disputes. The Chinese delegation commends its work.
At its annual session this year, the Special Committee continued its consideration of the issue of basic conditions and standard criteria for sanctions. The Chinese delegation believes that since sanctions, as a means of dealing with threats to and breaches of international peace, have strong and extensive impacts and are coercive to a certain extent, caution must be used in resorting to sanctions and strict criteria must be followed in their application. It is necessary to strictly follow the Charter of the United Nations and principles of international law and consider using sanctions only in case of threats to international peace and security and only when means of peaceful settlement of disputes have been exhausted. In addition, it is necessary to set clear goals for sanctions, conduct periodic reviews and assessments, and lift the sanctions as soon as the goals are reached so as to avoid, as much as possible, harmful effects on third countries and civilians. The newly revised working paper proposed by Russia has incorporated views of all sides to the maximum extent and is quite mature. We support the continued consideration of this paper with a view to achieving results at an early date.
With regard to the issue of assisting third countries affected by sanction measures, the Chinese delegation has noted that in recent years the Security Council has been continually improving working methods on sanctions. For instance, it has adopted new procedures on formulating sanctions lists and on listing and delisting individuals and entities, and has established focal points for this purpose, thereby mitigating effects on third countries in some way. However, the possibility that sanctions can still produce harmful effects on third countries still exists; therefore it is necessary to continue to pay attention to this question. In our view, while working to further regulate sanctions, it is necessary to continue to seek to design methods of assessing effects on third countries and to explore feasible ways of assisting third countries. The Chinese delegation supports the continued consideration of this item on a priority basis.
The Chinese delegation expresses its appreciation for progress made in compiling the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and expanding the Repertoire of Practice of the Security Council and hopes that the Secretary-General will work hard to ensure the synchronized publication of these two important reports in all UN official languages.
The Chinese delegation supports the idea that the Special Committee should consider new agenda items. At the same time, we are of the view that no new agenda item should involve the issue of amending the Charter before a clear mandate from the General Assembly is obtained. The issue of amending the Charter should be a subject of integrated consideration within the overall framework of United Nations reform and the strengthening of the role of the United Nations and needs to be handled prudently.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.