Speech by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium on "China and the United Nations"
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sixty years ago today, the Charter of the United Nations entered into force, proclaiming the birth of the United Nations. In the wake of their great victory in the worldwide war against Fascism, peace-loving nations across the globe placed on the United Nations their hopes for a better world of peace, development and cooperation. The creation of the UN is an epoch-making event in human history.
During the past 60 years, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter have evolved into the basic norms governing international relations. The United Nations, for its part, has also traversed an extraordinary path, withstood severe tests, and overcome hardships with flying colors. Indeed, the world body has played an irreplaceable role in maintaining peace and promoting common development of the world.
Multi-polarization and economic globalization are moving forward steadily as two major trends in today's world, presenting before us unprecedented opportunities as well as formidable threats and challenges of a global nature. Embracing multi-lateralism, taking collective actions and strengthening the role of the United Nations have become the common aspiration and pursuit of the international community. This is the objective law of the development of history and an irresistible trend of our times.
Last September, the UN Summit, the largest of its kind in history, was successfully held in New York. It concluded with the adoption of the Outcome Document, in which leaders reiterated their confidence in the UN and their commitment to the UN Charter. They agreed to strengthen multilateral mechanism and the pivotal role of the United Nations. They also made important decisions on a host of major issues such as development, security, human rights, rule of law and the UN reform. This Outcome Document is a programmatic plan providing guidelines and orientation for the future work and development of the world body.
President Hu Jintao attended the UN Summit. He solemnly advocated, at the Summit, for a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity, and put forward important views and propositions of China on enhancing international collective security mechanism, promoting global cooperation and development, and reforming and strengthening the United Nations. In addition, President Hu reiterated that China will, as always, continue to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, take an active part in international affairs, and fulfill its international obligations. This has opened up a new chapter in the annals of cooperation between China and the United Nations. Hereby, I wish to emphasize the following three points:
First, China stands ready to work together with the international community for a United Nations that adheres to multi-lateralism and strives for common security.
Peace is prerequisite to development. The UN should help develop new consensus on security, and work vigorously to create an international security environment featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. It should encourage nations to settle their differences through dialogue and negotiations, and stand up to threats and challenges through collective measures.
The UN needs to strengthen its capability of good offices, mediation, peace keeping and post-conflict reconstruction. It needs to better coordinate international efforts in anti-terrorism and non-proliferation, and steadily improve strategies and tactics of collective security. It also needs to pay more attention to the prevention of conflicts and the eradication of their root causes, and the establishment of a long-term effective mechanism to ensure lasting peace. Within this context, it is a positive and important move to create a UN peace-building commission. China is ready to promote the consultation process to ensure the birth of the commission within this year.
Second, China stands ready to work with the international community for a United Nations that advocates mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity.
Without common development, there will be no peace in the world. Without harmony and progress, no development will sustain. It is of important significance that the UN Summit has decided to take further steps to realize Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as originally scheduled. What is vital, however, is the enforcement of these measures in the real sense of the term.
We hope that developed countries will shoulder greater responsibility in achieving common, coordinated and balanced development across the globe. It is imperative that they further open up their market, transfer technology, increase aids, and grant debt relief and reduction to developing countries, especially countries in Africa, so as to create a favorable external environment for the development of developing countries.
Although China itself remains a developing country with a relatively low income, we are willing to do what we can to promote global cooperation for development, and lend a helping hand to other developing countries. Among other things, President Hu Jintao, at the UN Summit, set forth five important measures that China will take regarding tariffs, debts, concessional loans, public health and human resources development. China is sincere in helping other developing countries, without attaching any strings to our aids, and we will work to fulfill our commitment on time.
Third, China stands ready to work together with the international community for a United Nations that advances with the times and keeps improving through reforms.
In face of the new situation and new requirements, the United Nations should undergo all-round reforms in many areas, so as to better accomplish the sacred mission entrusted to it by the UN Charter.
The purpose of the reform is to bring about a stronger United Nations. As the world evolves, we need a United Nations that constantly increases input in development and endeavours for the realization of the MDGs. We need a United Nations that attaches importance to the concerns of developing countries and takes care of their interests. We also need a UN Security Council that has higher efficiency, greater capacity for action, and adequate representation of developing countries, especially African countries.
The UN reform must proceed in an active and prudent manner, under the guidance of the spirit of the UN Charter, with the full participation of the vast number of the member states, and on the basis of broad consensus. China does not agree to any practice that causes disunity or split among member states, nor does it agree to any move to force through highly controversial reform plans.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past 60 years, both China and the United Nations have experienced many vicissitudes of the world. In the past 20-odd years in particular, the UN has been not only a witness to China's reform and opening up process, but also an important cooperation partner. Today, there are 15 UN agencies in China. UN aid funds and UN-assisted programs in China cover a host of areas such as agriculture, industry, environment, medicine, public health and social welfare, playing a unique role in China's reform and opening up and modernization drive. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United Nations for its contributions to China's development, and thank the UN agencies for their outstanding job in China.
As we look into the future, the United Nations has an arduous task to promote peace, development and cooperation around the world. In the pursuit of this great goal, China will always be a strong supporter and a close partner of the United Nations. We have every confidence in the United Nations. And we have every confidence in cooperation between China and the United Nations!
In conclusion, I wish the symposium on "China and the United Nations" a complete success.