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Jointly Pursue Peace and Development and Uphold Rule of Law and Justice

2014/09/27

Statement by H.E. Wang Yi

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

At the General Debate of the 69th Session of

The United Nations General Assembly

New York, 27 September 2014

Mr. President,

Dear Colleagues,

This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Yan Fu, a distinguished thinker in modern China, wrote the following line to describe the devastation caused by the war: "Alas, even grass is blown away all over the place."

Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Over two billion people across the world fell victim to this calamity. In China alone, the aggression committed by Japanese militarists left more than 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians dead or injured.

The United Nations was established to keep the scourge of the two world wars from occurring again and it embodies the fervent hope of all countries for peace and stability. To achieve this goal, the Charter of the United Nations presented a grand vision of joint efforts to build a better world.

In this world:

We should treat each other as equals. The principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity must be upheld. The pursuit by different countries of economic and social development must be respected. Their right to independently choose their own social systems and development paths must be safeguarded.

We should be open and inclusive. Only by being open and inclusive can we open the door of dialogue and exchange and achieve harmony among countries with different social systems, religions and cultural traditions.

We should pursue mutually beneficial cooperation. A country should align its own interests with those of others and work to expand areas where their interests converge. Only by helping each other can countries prosper. We should jointly initiate a new thinking for win-win and all-win progress and reject the old notion of zero-sum game or "the winner takes all".

We should uphold justice. It is imperative to promote greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, apply fair and just rules to tell right from wrong and settle disputes, and pursue peace and development within the framework of international law. All parties should jointly uphold the authority and effectiveness of the United Nations and reform and improve the global governance structure.

Mr. President,

As we have seen in Gaza, Iraq, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, our world is far from peaceful.

In the face of all those who are killed in war, we must ask ourselves, "How can we keep the tragedies from recurring?"

In the face of women and children displaced by fighting, we must ask ourselves, "When can they return home?"

In the face of incessant conflicts, we must ask ourselves, "How can we open the door to lasting peace?"

To address these problems, China believes that we should do the following:

First, we should seek political solutions. To beat swords into ploughshares may take time and effort; but history and reality have repeatedly demonstrated that to meet violence with violence will not lead to enduring peace, and the use of force will create more problems than solutions.

Coercive action should have the authorization of the Security Council. If a country places its domestic law above international law and interferes in other countries' internal affairs at will or even seeks regime change, the legitimacy of its action cannot but be questioned by the international community.

Second, we should accommodate the interests of all parties. Parties to a conflict should reject the zero-sum approach, address each other's concerns in negotiations and endeavor to meet each other half way. They should seek to meet their legitimate concerns through consultations in a mutually accommodating way.

When conducting mediation, the international community should uphold justice and take an objective and balanced position. Countries should not be partial to any party in the conflict. Still less should they pursue their own agenda through their involvement.

Third, we should promote national reconciliation. The ongoing armed conflicts are largely caused by ethnic and sectarian tensions. The process of national reconciliation and the process of political settlement should be advanced in tandem with each other.

All parties should uphold the UN Charter, develop and practice a culture of inclusion and tolerance, and uproot the seeds of hatred and retaliation, so that the fruit of inclusion and amity will grow on post-conflict land.

Fourth, we should uphold multilateralism. We should give full play to the role of the United Nations and observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations. Chapter Seven of the UN Charter is not the only means for the Security Council to maintain international peace and security. We should make better and full use of the means of prevention, mediation and conciliation stipulated in Chapter Six.

Given their familiarity with local developments, we should leverage the strengths of regional organizations and countries and support them in addressing regional issues in ways suited to their region.

Mr. President,

– The conflicts in Ukraine remain a cause of concern. We welcome and support the Minsk ceasefire agreement and urge all parties in Ukraine to strictly implement it and seek a comprehensive, sustained and balanced political solution through political dialogue and negotiation.

China hopes that various ethnic groups in Ukraine will live in harmony and that Ukraine will live in peace with other countries. This is the fundamental way for Ukraine to achieve long-term stability and security.

China hopes that the United Nations will play its due role in finding a proper solution to the Ukrainian crisis, and supports the constructive efforts made by the international community to ease the humanitarian situation in East Ukraine.

– China supports Iraq in upholding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. The formation of the new Iraqi government has provided an important opportunity. We hope that the Iraqi government will lead its people in a joint endeavor to develop their country in the spirit of inclusion and reconciliation.

China calls for providing more humanitarian assistance to support Iraq. To help the Iraqi people overcome difficulties, and achieve peace and stability in their country is the shared responsibility of the international community.

– China firmly opposes all terrorist acts and supports the international community in responding to the threat posed by terrorist forces in a coordinated and concerted way in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions.

China believes that in conducting international counter-terrorism cooperation, we should take a multi-pronged approach and address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism and that the United Nations and its Security Council should fully play their leading role. There should be no double standard when it comes to fighting terrorism, still less should terrorism be identified with any particular ethnic group or religion.

As new developments emerge in the global fight against terrorism, the international community should take new measures to address them. In particular, it should focus on combating religious extremism and cyber terrorism, resolutely eliminate the root causes of terrorism and extremism and block channels of spreading them, and crack down hard and effectively on the use of the Internet and other new means of communication by terrorists to instigate, recruit, finance or plot terrorist attacks.

– The Syrian crisis has continued for nearly four years. It is negotiation, not fighting, that offers solution.

China urges all parties in Syria to immediately stop fighting and violence, cooperate fully with the humanitarian assistance operations of the United Nations, and promptly put an end to the sufferings of innocent civilians.

We urge all parties in Syria to act in the overall interests of the future and destiny of their country and of their people, demonstrate political will, actively support the mediation efforts of the Secretary-General and his special envoy, and follow a middle way that draws on workable practices of other countries and regions, suits Syria's national conditions and accommodates the interests of various parties, so as to give peace a chance.

– The Palestinian issue is a wound on human conscience. China calls on Israel and Palestine to secure durable ceasefire, and urges Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip and stop building settlements. At the same time, the legitimate security concerns of Israel should be respected.

We hope that Israel and Palestine will adhere to the strategic choice of peace talks and promptly resume and advance peace talks.

The aspirations and legitimate demand of the Palestinian people for establishing an independent nation should not remain unmet indefinitely.

Advancing peace in the Middle East calls for concerted efforts, not efforts of just one or a few countries. The Security Council should play its due role. We support the Security Council in taking actions in response to the demand of Palestine and the Arab League.

– The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue have entered a crucial stage. All parties should show sincerity, make further efforts in the spirit of mutual respect, equality, coordination and mutual accommodation, and work hard to tackle the most difficult issue, so as to reach an early and win-win agreement that is comprehensive, fair and balanced.

– The two sides of the conflict in South Sudan should immediately effect a ceasefire, actively conduct political dialogue in the overall interests of the people in South Sudan, and, through the mediation of IGAD, work with all ethnic groups and parties in the country to speedily reach a fair and balanced solution and achieve national reconciliation and ethnic unity.

South Sudan is the youngest member of the United Nations. The South Sudanese people deserve a life of hope and vitality instead of the devastation of conflicts and wars.

– China welcomes Mr. Ashraf Ghani as Afghanistan's new president and Mr. Abdullah Abdullah as its chief executive, and will continue to support the Afghan people in pursuing smooth political, security and economic transition and in jointly building an Afghanistan that enjoys unity, stability, development and amity.

China supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The international community should fulfill its commitment and responsibility to Afghanistan and its people.

China will host the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan to give fresh support to Afghanistan that has reached a new starting point.

– Regarding the Korean Peninsula, China calls on all parties to act in an objective and impartial way, remain committed to the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, firmly uphold peace and stability on the peninsula, and endeavor to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultation.

The Six Party Talks remain the only viable and effective way to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. The pressing task now is to restart the talks as soon as possible. The Korean nuclear issue should be dealt with by a sustainable, irreversible and effective dialogue process which addresses the concerns of all parties in a comprehensive and balanced way.

There are still many uncertainties on the Korean Peninsula today. The parties concerned should all exercise restraint, refrain from making provocations, do more things that will help ease tension, and jointly uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Mr. President,

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations in 2000 have contributed greatly to human survival and development, yet global development remains a protracted task. The international community faces not only formidable challenges in poverty reduction, hunger elimination, the health of women and children, and education, but also new challenges in the environment, climate change, and energy and resources security.

Next year is the deadline set for meeting the MDGs, and the post-2015 development agenda will take over the historical mission. The international community should, building on past progress and breaking new ground, adopt more effective plans and take more robust actions to advance the common development of mankind.

As China sees it, the development agenda should have three goals: First, it should advance people's wellbeing, with focus on poverty eradication and development promotion. Second, it should promote inclusiveness so as to uphold social equity and justice. Third, it should ensure implementation. The agenda, guided by the principles of diversity in development models and common but differentiated responsibilities, should aim to enhance global partnerships on development and improve implementation tools and mechanisms.

Climate change is a common challenge facing mankind. Mr. Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of the State Council, led the Chinese delegation to the UN Climate Summit 2014 as a special envoy of the Chinese president. We congratulate the UN on the success of the summit and hope that the political momentum it generated will be translated into effective actions to step up international cooperation on climate change.

All the parties should work for the conclusion of negotiations by the end of 2015 as scheduled for a new climate change regime post 2020 in accordance with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities so as to create a fairer and more equitable and effective arrangement for international cooperation on climate change.

Mr. President,

The Ebola epidemic, which is raging in some African countries, has once again sounded the alarm bell for global health security.

As a good brother and good partner of Africa sharing weal and woe with it, China will continue to stand firmly with the African people, and support and assist them to the best of its ability. We will also take an active part in the relevant international assistance efforts.

China calls on the World Health Organization, the United Nations and other international agencies to work closely with the international community, put forward new initiatives to strengthen global health security and provide more assistance to developing countries, particularly African countries.

Mr. President,

Next year will be a year of special historic significance as it marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-Fascist war, the founding of the United Nations, and the victory of the Chinese People's War Against Japanese Aggression.

Remembering the past makes people cherish peace, and recalling history will guide us in embracing the future.

China welcomes the inclusion of "the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War" on the agenda of the current session of the UN General Assembly. This presents an important opportunity for us.

Looking back on what happened 70 years ago, the historical facts are perfectly clear, and a final verdict has already been pronounced on what was right and what was wrong. History is not to be falsified, and truth is not to be distorted. Today, 70 years later, let us jointly uphold human justice and conscience so that those who attempt to deny aggression and distort history will have nowhere to hide. Let us jointly defend the UN Charter and the outcomes of the Second World War so that the vision for a world free of war and with lasting peace will strike deep roots in our hearts and pass from one generation to another.

Thank you!

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