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Statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing at Ministerial Meeting of the Security Council on Justice and the Rule of Law

2003/09/24

Mr. President,

I would like to welcome you for convening today's meeting. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan for his presence and remarks.

Like peace-keeping, peace-building is of great significance for lasting peace and order of the conflict-affected countries and regions. Currently, battered social order, shattered rule of law and absence of protection of the rights of civilians, women and children in particular, are commonplace in areas of conflicts. To guarantee an early restoration of the judicial system and rule of law in order to uphold justice and protect human rights has thus become a necessary condition for post-conflict stability and development. To help the parties concerned establish and safeguard justice and rule of law, therefore, should be given earnest attention in the course of UN peacekeeping operations and post-conflict reconstruction. China supports the United Nations in playing an active role in accordance with the needs and actual conditions of the countries concerned.

To achieve peace and stability for post-conflict countries is a systemic endeavour involving many aspects of work. In addition to justice and rule of law, a broadly representative government should be established as soon as possible to help bring about national reconciliation and ensure a harmonious coexistence of all ethnic groups; a sound security environment should be created expeditiously to ensure an orderly progress of reconstruction; and the program of disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) should be carried out without delay to keep arms away from ex-combatants.

Mr. President,

The end of a conflict does not necessarily mean the arrival of peace. Causes of conflicts differ, but more often than not they have a great deal to do with poverty and backwardness. Without development, justice and rule of law are but mirages. There is quite a long distance to move from war to stability and from anarchy to rule of law. Unless they can see hope for a better life and enjoy real benefits from peace, people in conflict areas might once again live in turbulence and even war. It is a source of concern that some countries and regions, having freed themselves from conflicts, have been bogged down once again in a state of helplessness in the face of economic globalization due to lack of funds, technology and other conditions required for economic development. The United Nations and the international community need to provide effective assistance to help them take on the challenges of globalization and achieve sustainable development. We strongly urge the international community to accord development the key position it deserves in peace building.

Mr. President,

Governing a country needs rule of law, so does handling international relations. To uphold what is right, defend what is just and observe international obligations are the solemn commitment made by the United Nations to the world people and the quintessence of the UN Charter. The answer to bringing about a world of peace, stability, justice and rule of law lies solely in closer international cooperation, multilateral approach and democracy and rule of law in international relations.

The UN Charter and other norms governing international relations must be respected and maintained in earnest. As a responsible member of the great international family, each country should take on the challenges it faces by acting within the framework of international institutions and in accordance with international law. Of course, we also need to keep pace with the times and further improve and enrich the current international laws and norms in accordance with the changes and developments.

Mr. President,

Our goal is to build a better global village, where there are no wars or conflicts as all countries live in peace and stability; where there is no poverty or hunger as all the inhabitants enjoy development and dignity; and where there is no discrimination or prejudice and all peoples and civilizations coexist in harmony complementing and enriching each other. To achieve all this, "we the peoples" need a world of democracy and rule of law; and we need a stronger United Nations. Let us work hand in hand to this end.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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