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Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at 58th Session of General Assembly on Secretary-General's Reports on Work of the Organization and Implementation of the Millennium Declaration

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his reports on the Work of the Organization and on Implementation of Millennium Declaration. The reports have reviewed the work in different areas carried out by our Organization over the past year and highlighted the challenges still facing us. They also put forward many thought-provoking ideas. We need to give further attentive study and in-depth consideration to the two reports. I now wish to make the following remarks in relation to the two reports.

1. The role of the United Nations. In his report on implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the Secretary-General pointed out that collective security mechanism is the best response to both old and new challenges. This view is undoubtedly shared by the vast number of Member States. During the general debate of the current session, almost all the countries have affirmed the irreplaceable role played by the United Nations in today's world affairs and the need to maintain and strengthen it.  Development of the international situation over the past year has proved once again that multilateral approach with the United Nations at its core cannot be cast aside in removing different kinds of security threats facing the world and in achieving common development. It is in the common interests of all countries to safeguard the authority of the United Nations. Under the current circumstances, we should continue to adhere to and earnestly implement the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and make active endeavor to enhance democracy and the rule of law in international relations.

China supports the United Nations in conducting necessary and appropriate reforms so as to keep pace with the times. These reforms should be aimed at improving the efficiency of our Organization and increasing its capacity to respond to various challenges and promote economic and social development, thus better enabling the United Nations to meet the needs of the 21st century. We welcome the proposal of the Secretary-General to establish a High-level Panel of eminent personalities. The Chinese Delegation will continue to take an active part in discussions on reform of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council in a constructive manner.

2. Peace and Security. As is stated in the work report, the past year has been a trying year for the United Nations. The war in Iraq at the beginning of the year posed a serious challenge to the collective security mechanism represented by the United Nations. Though the war has come to an end, peace is still a far cry. We hope to see the restoration of security and stability in Iraq and the resumption of the exercise of sovereignty by the Iraqi people at an early date. We are in favor of adopting a new resolution by the Security Council that is effective and supported by all sides. The resolution should set the timetable for the political process in Iraq and explicitly state the important role played by the United Nations.

The situation between Israel and Palestine remains a source of concern. The peace process over the past year has witnessed ups and downs. The history of the Middle East has shown that to counter violence with violence will only lead to a dead end. Negotiations and dialogues are the only way out. We urge Israel and Palestine to stop violence and all acts that may increase the tension, resume talks as early as possible and create conditions for continued implementation of the "Road Map".

In Africa, positive progress has been made in the settlement of such questions as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia. However, it is still a long-term and arduous task to achieve peace in some areas of Africa. The international community should attach greater importance to the conflicts in Africa and provide stronger support to peace-keeping operations there.

We are still confronted by terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Effective solution requires consistent measures that can touch their root cause. Greater efforts through international cooperation should also be made on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

3. Development. To achieve coordinated, balanced and common development in the world and to attain lasting peace and stability, it is vital to implement millennium development goals. I would like to share my views with you on this question.

First, globalization should be managed and geared towards universal enjoyment of benefits by all countries through joint participation. The United Nations should actively accelerate reforms, improve international financial system, establish a more open and fair multilateral trade system, reinforce its role of coordination in the field of development and promote the right of participation and decision making of the developing countries.

Second, the United Nations should give priority to development and make efforts to establish a culture of development, strengthen development agencies and ensure development funds. The United Nations should make financial aid, technical transfer, capacity building, market access and poverty elimination key areas of cooperation and strengthen cooperation and partnership of government, private sector and civil society so as to implement development goals in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

Third, the key to accelerating the implementation of millennium development goals lies in a fair and reasonable evaluation framework. This framework should both evaluate the progress in different countries and supervise and evaluate the fulfillment of development aid commitment. We support the proposals made by the Secretary-General on encouraging the developed countries to set a timetable for fulfilling their commitments on trade, debt relief and aid. We also support the United Nations in holding an important conference in 2005 to comprehensively evaluate the progress in implementing millennium development goals.

4. Public health. In the first half of this year, the outbreak of SARS in some regions and countries shows once again that all countries should make continued efforts to consolidate public health undertakings. The international community should strengthen cooperation to improve global emergency mechanism. We call on all countries to support the incorporation of global public health capacity building in UN development programs and other plans and enhance international and regional cooperation. The Chinese Delegation will submit a draft resolution on this question at the current GA session. We hope that it will receive support from all countries.

Mr. President,

As you rightly pointed out at the opening session, the current GA session is faced with many challenges and arduous tasks. The Chinese side supports your vision for the work of the current session and agrees with you that the General Assembly should be action-oriented. The Chinese side supports strengthened authority and role of the General Assembly. We will take an active part in the Working Group on Revitalization of the General Assembly. We believe that the current GA session will achieve positive results through concerted efforts.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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