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Increase Dialogue and Cooperation, to jointly Pursue Peace and Development
Statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at the General Debate of the 61st Session of UN General Assembly


Madam President,

I wish to begin by congratulating you on your election as president of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly. I am confident that under your guidance, this session will achieve full success. I also wish to pay tribute to H.E. Jan Eliasson, president of the last session, and to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Republic of Montenegro on becoming a member of the United Nations.

Madam President,

The world is experiencing profound and complex changes. Peace, development and cooperation have become trends of our times and represent the common aspirations of all countries and people in the world. However, the world is not tranquil and the issue of development remains prominent. There is still a long way to go in the pursuit of durable peace and common development. Over the recent period of time, the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue and the Lebanese-Israeli conflict have flared up, adversely affecting regional and global stability and putting to test the wisdom, unity and patience of the international community.

Madam President,

To maintain peace is the shared mission of the international community. Consultation based on equality and peaceful negotiation are the only effective means to resolve disputes. China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the international community, will continue to make every effort for the peaceful resolution of hotspot issues.

- On the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, China is committed to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, making it free of nuclear weapons and promoting the Six-Party Talks. During the Security Council deliberations in July on the DPRK's missile tests and the related resolution, China made strenuous efforts to engage the parties concerned in an effort to uphold peace on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia, the unity and authority of the Security Council and the progress already made in the Six-Party Talks.

Long-standing antagonism and mistrust between the parties concerned is the main cause for the current difficulty. All parties should be patient and pragmatic and act with vision to reduce differences and remove obstacles through dialogue. The Six-Party Talks remains an effective mechanism for enhancing understanding and trust and resolving the Korean nuclear issue.

We hope the parties involved will be cool-headed and more flexible, expand common ground, meet each other half way and work together for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and progressive implementation of the Joint Statement. This is the only viable solution to the Korean nuclear issue.

- On the Iranian nuclear issue, China calls for upholding the integrity of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and is opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It has worked for a peaceful resolution of the issue to promote peace and stability in the Middle East. At the same time, the lawful right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be fully respected provided they fulfil their due international obligations.

Diplomatic negotiation represents the best chance for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue and serves the interests of all parties. China hopes that the parties involved will exercise patience and restraint, continue to be flexible in approach, and stay committed to the correct course of pursuing peaceful resolution. China will continue to play a constructive role in working for an appropriate settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

- On the Lebanon-Israel conflict, China opposes any move that will undermine peace and stability in the region and calls for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities. China welcomes Security Council Resolution 1701 and hopes that it will be strictly observed. China hopes that the parties concerned will reach an early agreement on a framework of political settlement that is both just and durable.

The issue of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. The peace process should be re-started in keeping with the relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace" in the interest of reaching an early and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East issue including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, so that the countries involved can live in peace and the region can enjoy durable peace.

Madam President,

The United Nations has played an instrumental role in resolving regional flashpoints this year. But the Organization also faces major challenges. In the new international environment, to enhance its role through reform is in the common interest of mankind. The United Nations needs to take firm steps in carrying out reform.

- The United Nations should develop in such a way that promotes the purposes and principles of its Charter, upholds the unity and cooperation of the Organization and serves the collective interests of its members.

- The UN reform should be comprehensive in coverage and progress should be made in security, development, human rights as well as other fields. More input should be made in development to facilitate the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

- The UN reform should satisfy, as far as possible, the needs of its member states, particularly those from the developing world. It should be a democratic process and full consultation should be conducted to reach extensive consensus. Major issues of controversy should be handled with caution and dealt with through in-depth consultation.

China welcomes progress in the UN reform and particularly progress in implementing the Outcome Document. We will pledge US$3 million to the UN Peacebuilding Fund. We will continue to work with other countries to advance UN reform to strengthen the unity and authority of the Organization and increase its efficiency and capacity to respond to challenges.

Madam President,

As the chief administrator of the United Nations, the Secretary-General has an important role to play. In the election of the next Secretary-General, China will firmly support an Asian candidate, and we are convinced that Asia can produce a competent and well-respected Secretary-General acceptable to all member states.

The scale of assessment involves the interests of all UN member states and constitutes the financial foundation of the Organization. All the member states have the obligation to pay their assessments on time and in full.

The capability to pay is the basic principle governing the scale of assessment. It should be adhered to as it has proved effective and represents the general consensus of the member states. Over the years, China has honoured in good faith its financial obligation and made due contribution to the UN budget. As China's economy grows, we are prepared to increase our contributions to the UN budget in accordance with the principle of the capability to pay. We are ready to take part in relevant discussions in a constructive way and hope that a fair and equitable formula will be reached on the basis of extensive consultation.

Madam President,

Without general development, global peace and progress cannot be sustained. All countries should honour our commitment to the global partnership for development set out in the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the Outcome Document of last year's World Summit, flesh out the concept of partnership and improve its modality.

- Countries should shoulder primary responsibility for their own development and implement comprehensive development strategies in keeping with the MDGs.

- The international community, developed countries in particular, should increase development assistance, promote international trade, technology transfer and investment, offer more extensive debt relief, provide more support to developing countries and respect their ownership of national development strategies.

- The United Nations should play a bigger role in the field of development. It should create a fair and equitable framework for assessing progress in meeting the MDGs and see to it that the United Nations Foundation, various UN programmes and specialized agencies provide greater support for capacity-building programmes in developing countries. It should enhance coordination between international development policy and monetary, financial and trading regimes and create an enabling international environment for developing countries.

- The suspension of the Doha Round serves nobody's interests. Members of the World Trade Organization should demonstrate political will, speedily resume the Doha Development Round and work for a comprehensive and balanced outcome.

- Non-government entities should be encouraged to be more extensively and deeply involved in development cooperation. Their efforts and those of the government should complement each other.

Madam President,

The creation of the Human Rights Council echoes the calling of the times. The UN member states have the shared responsibility to make the Council both a dynamic and effective one.

- The Council should give greater attention to massive and gross violations of human rights caused by armed conflicts and support the international community in its efforts to prevent conflicts, rebuild peace and combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

- The Council should attach equal importance to economic, social and cultural rights and encourage the international community and UN agencies to take effective measures to support countries in their efforts to realize right to development.

- The Council should continue to give special attention to the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, migrant workers, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups to ensure they enjoy the same level of respect as others.

- The Council should promote dialogue and cooperation on an equal footing between countries of different social systems and levels of development, address human rights issues properly and reject double standards and politicization.

Madam President,

Over the past decades, China and African countries have treated each other with sincerity and enjoyed mutual support. We have conducted cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, safeguarded sovereignty and independence and promoted social and economic development in our respective countries. All this has brought important benefits to the Chinese and African peoples.

China and Africa will hold a summit and the Third Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on November 3-5. Focussing on the theme of friendship, peace, cooperation and development, Chinese and African leaders will discuss ways to establish and foster a new type of strategic partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation and cultural exchanges and will draw a blueprint for enhancing China-Africa cooperation.

China is committed to peaceful development. Africa, which is home to the largest number of developing countries, is committed to achieving stability and rejuvenation. Stronger ties between China and Africa will contribute to South-South cooperation and international peace and development.

Madam President,

The conduct of China's diplomacy aims to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

China is committed to developing itself through safeguarding world peace and promoting world peace with its own development. We are pursuing development which is peaceful, inclusive, cooperative and harmonious in nature. We will endeavour to promote the fundamental interests of our own people and the common interests of other peoples, and pursue peace, promote development and resolve disputes through cooperation.

China is dedicated to building a harmonious world. It hopes to increase mutual respect and understanding with other countries and live in harmony with them. China respects the right of a country to pursue its own way of development. It supports equal participation by different countries in international affairs and democracy in international relations. It works to enhance mutual benefits, win-win outcomes and global prosperity through sharing the benefits of economic globalization and technological progress. China endeavours to promote a diversified world and advance human civilization by increasing dialogue, understanding and mutual enrichment between different cultures. China is committed to advancing human progress by enhancing dialogue, increasing mutual trust with other countries and working with them to address global issues.

China will continue to demonstrate to the world that it is an important force for global peace and development and that the Chinese people will remain trustworthy friends and partners of cooperation of the world's people.

Thank you, Madam President.

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