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Statement by Permanent Representative Wang Guangya on the Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and the Millennium Project Report at the Informal Consultations of UNGA 59th Session
(22 February 2005)

2005/02/22


Mr. President,

The international situation has undergone profound changes today, and the United Nations is faced with unprecedented challenges. As the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization is celebrated this year, there are high expectations for the upcoming Summit in September. Both the High-level Panel report and the Millennium Project report have put forward many useful ideas and recommendations to enhance the role of the UN. We are of the view that the maintenance of common security, the realization of common development and the strengthening of the multilateral machinery are questions of strategic and universal importance and should be addressed by the Summit on a priority basis. The Chinese delegation made some general comments on the two reports on the 17th and the 25th of January respectively, and wishes to reiterate the following points today.

Mr. President,

The security situation facing States today is extremely complicated, while traditional disputes and conflicts still exist, non-traditional security threats are also looming large. Terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) now constitute serious potential threats to international security. Under the new circumstances, only collective security can truly guarantee State safety and this is exactly where the multilateral machinery with the UN as its core is to play its role.

China supports and advocates the leading role of the UN in international non-proliferation efforts and supports any recommendations that will enhance the existing international non-proliferation regime. On the whole, the High-level Panel's recommendations will help strengthen non-proliferation within the multilateral framework; China is favorable to most of them but remains cautious about some of the others.

--As far as the PSI (proliferation security initiative) is concerned, China notes that much controversy still revolves around this initiative at the international level. China, on its part, is in favor of strengthening enforcement cooperation against proliferation, and is of the view that all measures against proliferation should be in conformity with existing international law.

--As for the recommendation to have the Directors-General of the IAEA and the OPCW report to the Security Council, we feel that it lacks a sufficient legal basis; it might also politicize such technical issues as treaty performance and verification.

--With regard to the recommendation on greater interaction between the Security Council and the WHO in the event of an overwhelming outbreak of infectious disease, China believes that since the Council and the WHO are different in nature and competence, they ought to carry out their respective functions without undue interference in each other's work. The fundamental solution to dealing with such outbreaks is to strengthen international cooperation with a view to enhancing the emergency response capacity of the public health system of the States in question.

China upholds the fight against all forms of terrorism by addressing both its symptoms and its causes. Counter terrorism cooperation should avoid politicization and double standards. We need to make full use of the coordinating role of the UN and the SC, formulate as soon as possible a comprehensive, global strategy against terrorism and reach a consensus on the definition of terrorism. China also supports the formulation, under the auspices of the UN, of a comprehensive international convention against money laundering.

Mr. President,

China endorses the statement made by the representative of Jamaica on behalf of G 77 and China on development. Security and development are equally important. There can be no development without security; neither can there be security, much less justice, without development. Common development is the premise and basis for all international efforts to address problems of a global nature. It is therefore also necessary for the UN to play a critical and leading role in development, so as to effectively promote and implement the major recommendations of the Millennium Project report.

One major characteristic of the world economy today is that no nation stands entirely alone, and the fortunes of all nations are intricately connected. This calls for the promotion of a new partnership for development cooperation that is based on mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual help, to ensure a win-win situation. International cooperation for development is not charity that flows from donors to recipients, neither is it a zero-sum game between rivals. General development and shared prosperity are not only what the developing countries are yearning for, they are also in the interest of developed countries themselves. All States must recommit themselves to poverty alleviation and the goals for sustainable development and developed countries should agree to a timetable for the realization of the target of 0.7 percent of GNP as ODA.

China proposes that development be made the top priority for the September Summit, where the implementation of the MDGs needs to be reviewed so as to galvanize a new round of efforts by the international community for their realization. In this regard, monitoring is the key to success. We propose the establishment of a fair and equitable assessment framework for the MDGs at the UN to evaluate progress made at the national level and monitor international cooperation and the delivery of pledged development assistance. The framework can also serve as a forum for States to exchange successful experiences so as to helping nations stay on target in realizing the MDGs.

Mr. President,

The rule of law is an embodiment of human civilization. It is what the peoples of all countries jointly aspire to, and is the basis for stability and governance, the protection of human rights and the achievement of justice. At the same time, the rule of law must be adhered to and respected in safeguarding international peace and security. Mr. Annan, the Secretary General, emphasized that "Every nation that proclaims the rule of law at home must respect it abroad." This is a statement to which we fully subscribe. In international relations, all countries must strictly abide by the UN Charter, uphold the principles of the sovereign equality and the non-interference of internal affairs and other basic principles of international law, solve international disputes through peaceful means and prevent the use or threat of force.

An urgent task for the United Nations at the current stage is to provide greater assistance and support in the rule of law to the reconstruction of conflict regions. China supports an increase in UN input and an active role by the UN in the light of the needs and actual circumstances of countries concerned. We appeal to developed countries to also increase the level of their assistance in technology, training and resources. We wish to point out that, when assistance is provided to parties concerned, full respect must be given to the local history, customs and practices, cultural traditions and legal systems, as well as to the local people's right to make their own choices and decisions. A fundamental aspect of democracy and the rule of law is the allowance for diversity and freedom of choice. The participation of external parties should be for the purpose of providing guidance, focusing on strengthening local capacity building rather than imposing preconceived models.

Mr. President,

A strong United Nations is in the interests of all. Only through reasonable and necessary reforms can there be a strong and robust United Nations. In this "year of reform," the United Nations must make substantial strides in all its reforms.

China supports efforts, pursuant to the UN Charter, to strengthen the functions of the GA as the principal deliberative organ of the UN and to appropriately streamline its agenda.

China supports expanding the Security Council and in particular, increasing the representation of developing countries. Efforts must be made to achieve consensus on the reform through democratic consultations. To set time limits for the reform or to attempt to force through any immature proposals will not be conducive to the reform process.

China supports enhancing the role of ECOSOC in monitoring the implementation of the MDGs. We are in favor of elevating the meeting of the finance ministers of the Group of 20 to a forum for heads of governments. With regard to establishing a Committee on the Social and Economic Aspects of Security Threats under ECOSOC and a small executive committee comprising members from each regional group, we propose that intensive discussions be continued among member states.

China supports reforming the Commission of Human Rights. The CHR has been playing a major role in the field of human rights at the international level for more than 50 years since its inception. It is imperative to change the practice of politicizing the issue of human rights, so that the CHR can become a true forum for dialogue and cooperation and a major agency for the promotion and protection of human rights and the advancement of cooperation in human rights at the international level.

Mr. President,

We hope that when drafting the comprehensive report of the Secretary General, the Secretariat will give importance to and take on board the opinions and comments from all sides on the reports of the Panel of Eminent Persons and the Millennium Project, effectively accommodate the concerns and requests of all sides, and come up with insightful views and recommendations while amalgamating all the proposals into a consensus, so as to ensure positive outcomes of the Summit meeting.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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