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Statement by Permanent Representative of China WANG Guangya at the Special Session of the GA in Commemoration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps
2005/01/24

2005/01/24


Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation supports the convening of this special session of the General Assembly to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. The government and people of China have profound sympathies for the cruel fate suffered by the Jewish people during the Second World War and deeply mourn the tragic death by torture of six million Jews and inmates of other nationalities in Nazi concentration camps. Our heart goes to their surviving heirs and families.

In a bitterly cold winter sixty years ago, thick clouds of gun smoke cast a pall over the entire world as the final battle was waged between good and evil, light and darkness and between progress and reaction. In the thick of that winter, the Nazi concentration camps that had butchered millions were at long last liberated. Those who survived the camps were able to emerge from the maws of evil and get a new lease on life. That January sixty years ago was an extraordinary page in the long annals of contemporary history. It witnessed the end to the atrocities of Fascism and recorded the rebirth of hope in the aftermath of a long ordeal engulfing mankind. As a shining and solemn example, it is forever etched in the hearts and minds of the Nazi camp survivors and the peoples of the world.

Mr. President,

Sixty years ago, as Nazism raged through Europe, a Militarist war of aggression also subjected the countries and peoples of Asia to deeply humiliating treatment, ruthless plunder and slaughter. China alone suffered 35 million casualties at the hand of the Militarist butchers. The Nanjing Massacre alone claimed more than 300 thousand lives. The Nazi concentration camps committed innumerable atrocities, and the Militarists took no second seat to them in that regard, incurring the wrath of all humanity.

Mr. President,

With the passage of time, the world has undergone profound changes. The Fascist war of aggression has visited an unprecedented calamity upon mankind but at the same time it has had a sobering and educative effect on the world's people. Peace has come at a heavy cost; the tragic events must not be allowed to recur. Forgetting history is tantamount to betrayal. As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan pointed out not long ago, we should not forget the past. We should remember and reflect upon history and draw lessons from it. And yet today, 60 years later, the specters of Nazism and Militarism still haunt us, with forces and organizations from the extreme right still bent on distorting and denying historical crimes, in open defiance of human conscience. This cannot but cause disquiet and alarm to the international community. China's ancient proverb goes like this: The past, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future; Take history as a mirror and guide and that courage comes with the awareness of shame. Today's special session is significant in two important ways: it not only serves to honor the memory of those who died in the Nazi camps and offer them comfort but also reminds once again peace-loving peoples of the world that such tragedies should never again be allowed to happen. Mere good intentions are far from enough, efforts are required from all countries. We urge countries concerned to genuinely remember the history and assimilate the lessons of it and resolutely take the path of peaceful development.

Mr. President,

Sixty years ago, the insightful visions and bold decisions of statesmen led to the birth of the United Nations amid the gun smoke of the Second World War. Its founders declared in the opening chapters of the UN Charter their determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples. Today, preventing war, forestalling the recurrence of tragedies such as the Nazi concentration camps and promoting the common progress and development of mankind remain the primary responsibility of the United Nations. The world is at a historical turning point and the United Nations is at a crucial crossroads. The responsibility of ensuring the common future of mankind rests heavily on the United Nations, whose role must be enhanced and not weakened and whose authority must be upheld and not compromised. This is in the interest of the world's people; this is a duty of the world's governments and it is a responsibility of the world's statesmen.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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