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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN Mr. Zhang Yishan on the Report of SG on the Work of the Organiaztion (Item 10)
(8 October 2004)

2004/10/08


Mr. President:

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the work of the Organization. The report recalls the work of UN in various fields over the past year, analyses the challenges and put forward some enlightening recommendations. These are worthy of serious consideration. I will focus my statement on four points in connection with the report.

First, the issue of peace and security. As described in the report, "the United Nations has been through an extraordinarily challenging year". The United Nations has played an important role in facilitating the solution to the problems of Iraq, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cotes d'Ivoire and Haiti. We express our appreciation in this regard. However, it must be admitted that there are relapses in many regional hot spot problems. At the same time, non-traditional security threats such as terrorism continue to rise and the United Nations continue to face many difficulties.

The security situation in Iraq remains serious. Innocent civilians continue to suffer from the turmoil and the peace process and post war reconstruction still has a long way to go. China supports the United Nations to play an important role in the peace process and facilitate the successful election to be held in Iraq. We are in favor of timely convening an international conference on Iraq and hope all parties concerned will resolve their differences trough this conference, enhance their common understanding and jointly promote the security and stability in Iraq.

The prospect of Middle-East peace process remains bleak. The Israeli forces recently launched large-scale military actions in the Gaza Strip and the conflict between Palestine and Israel has further deteriorated. We urge the Israeli forces to withdraw as soon as possible and call upon both sides to exercise restraint, resume dialogue at an early date and create conditions for the effective implementation of the "road map". The quartet mechanism should promote more forcefully this effort.

During the general debate of GA, most countries referred to the question of Darfur. Like all other countries, China is also very much concerned with the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur. We support the African Union to play a leading role, welcome the efforts made by the Sudanese government to date and hope the government will continue to make greater efforts and make substantive progress in key areas. The causes that led to the Darfur problem are complicated. The International community should facilitate the solution to this problem by constructive means and sanctions can only further complicate the problem.

Over the past year, there is a noticeable increase in UN peacekeeping operations and the available forces and resources cannot match the requirement. The Secretary-General appeals to all countries, especially the developed countries, for more political support and support in forces and resources to the United Nations. We hope the developed countries will take practical action speedily in response to the appeal of the Secretary-General. Last year, terrorist attacks happened successively in Madrid, Istanbul, Jarkada, Moscow and Beslan. This demonstrates that terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remain the real and serious challenge confronting us. Only by strengthening international cooperation, addressing the symptoms and root causes and avoiding double standards can a solution be found to the above problem.

Second, the issue of development. One outstanding feature of this year's general debate is that all countries are more concerned with the issue of development. The overwhelming majority of developing countries demanded for more voice in the international economic affairs in order to achieve genuine economic independence. Development is the basis for the advance of human civilization. Only coordinated, balanced and universal global development can bring about sustained peace and stability of the world. Without the prosperity and progress of the developing countries, the ideal of peace and stability of the world can only be "castles in the air".

At present, it is urgently needed to reverse the continuous widening of the gap between the North and South and the deterioration of poverty in some developing countries. The key lies in adapting to the requirements of economic globalization, increasing the weight of developing countries in decision-making in the international economic affairs and establishing a just and reasonable new international economic order so as to allow the globalization to benefit the whole world.

It is necessary to establish a complete, open and fair multilateral trade system and push forward the multilateral negotiations on the principle of mutual understanding and mutual concession. It is also necessary to pay great attention to the improvement of the international financial system and promote the growth of the global economy. Developed countries should shoulder their due obligations and responsibilities, provide more support to the developing countries in areas of market, resources, technology, debt relief and trade conditions and effectively establish a global partnership with the developing countries. Meanwhile, South-South cooperation should be strengthened. Developing countries should join the efforts in self-improvement, widely participate in the international affairs and gradually change their disadvantageous position in the process of economic globalization.

The UN summit next year will focus on the consideration of the implementation of MDGs. We hope the summit will crystallize our consensus, make international community pay more attention to the issue of development, increase the input in the development field and provide new energy in the continuous efforts to achieve the millennium development goals.

Third, Multilateralism and the role of the United Nations. There is already a wide consensus on strengthening multilateralism and the role of UN. As pointed out by the Secretary-General, "Let's not imagine that, if we fail to make good use of it, we will find any more effective instrument". China totally agrees with this conclusion. The development of the international situation over the past year once again shows that addressing various security threats facing the mankind and achieving common development is impossible without multi-lateralism and the multilateral mechanism centered around the United Nations.

China supports the United Nations to keep up with the time and carry out necessary and reasonable reform. The objective of the reform should be to strengthen the leading role of UN in the international affairs, enhance the working efficiency of UN, strengthen the capability of UN to deal with various threats and challenges and better reflect the common voice and needs of developing countries. We are in favor of proper expansion of the Security Council and stand for enhancing the representation of developing countries on a priority basis. We support the work of the High Level Panel on "Threats, Challenges and change" and look forward to seeing new ideas, new thoughts and new recommendations on UN reform in the report of the panel.

Fourth. Rule of law in international relations. Secretary-General Annon stressed the importance of rule of law in his report and elaborated on this question in his statement in the GA. We endorse the view of the Secretary-General and believe that it is crucially important to realize rule of law in international relations. Whether it is for maintenance of international peace and security or promotion of development and protection of human rights, it is always necessary to stick to and respect for the rule of law and, in particular, abide by the UN Charter- the constitution in the international relations. Secretary-General Annon pointed out that the countries that claim rule of law within their countries must also respect the rule of law in the international relations. This should be born in mind by all. To only select rules of international law in one's favor while disregarding other unfavorable ones does not contribute to the promotion and achievement of rule of law and justice in the international context. We hope, with the joint effort of the Secretary-General and all parties, we will truly achieve rule of law and democracy in the international relations.

Thank you, Mr. President

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