First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government, my warmest congratulations on the opening of XIII Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the assumption of the Presidency of this session by Malaysian Prime Minister H.E. Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir. I am confident that under his stewardship, this Summit will be crowned with success. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to South Africa for its fruitful work in its NAM Presidency over the past five years.
Since we entered the 21st century, we have been faced with a complex and volatile international situation. The world we live is now both comforting and worrying.
On the one hand, peace and development remain the themes of our era. The trend towards a multipolar world is gathering momentum amidst twists and turns. Economic globalisation is developing in depth, and science and technology are advancing by leaps and bounds. These developments have brought about new opportunities for all countries to develop their economies and improve the living standard of their people.
On the other hand, the world is not yet a tranquil place. Traditional hot spot issues persist. Non-conventional security concerns loom large. Conflict regions are still in turmoil. Terrorism continues to threaten the world despite global efforts to eliminate it. Transnational crimes have become more flagrant. Economic globalisation has yet to bless all nations. The North-South gap and the digital divide are widening. For most developing nations, their economic recovery and nation-building remains an uphill journey.
Given the situation, we must seize the opportunities and rise up to the challenges. We must, as a matter of urgency, take effective measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing nations and work towards a new international political and economic order that is fair and rational. In this connection, the international community, in our view, should make endeavours in the following aspects:
First, it is imperative to promote democracy in international relations. To respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all countries and resolve international conflicts through peaceful means is one of the major principles enshrined in The Charter of the United Nations. The affairs of each and every country should be left to its own people to decide. World affairs should be handled by all countries through consultation under the principle of equality. Global challenges should be tackled through international cooperation and coordination. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should respect, consult and help one another. The developing countries should have full access to international affairs and enjoy equal decision-making power as their developed counterparts. All countries should foster a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation and fully respect the diversity of world civilizations, and should seek consensus through dialogue, cooperation through consultation and development through exchanges.
Second, it is imperative to work towards stability and development of the developing nations. World peace hinges on stability of the developing nations, and global prosperity rests on growth of the developing nations. Complicated as they are, many of the issues today may have their roots found in development. Development should be the top priority of governments of all developing nations in their efforts to govern and build up their countries. The South countries should seek to strengthen themselves through greater solidarity, and they should complement each other and deepen mutual cooperation. Developed countries, on their part, should increase their official development aid and help developing countries out of poverty and backwardness. This is in fact a consensus of the UN Millennium Summit. When they do provide such aid, they must do it with all sincerity and without any political strings or other unreasonable and rigid conditions attached. And they must do it in good time and in good faith. The international community must work to fulfil the development goals set out in The UN Millennium Declaration so as to build, at an early date, a world where reciprocity, balanced development, win-win cooperation and common prosperity prevail.
Third, it is imperative to ensure a full play of the UN's important role in international affairs. As the most important inter-governmental organisation in the world today, which represents the fundamental interests of all member countries and the aspirations of all peoples in the world, the United Nations has a lot to do and accomplish under the new situation. Therefore, it is our common responsibility and is in everyone's vital interests to strengthen its role, safeguard its authority, increase its efficiency and promote its reform. To pursue unilateralism in international relations, abandon efforts for political solution and resort at will to the use or threat of force contravenes The Charter of the United Nations and goes against the historical trends. The fight against terrorism, a shared mission of the international community, should be fought with the United Nations playing the leading role and should not be targeted at any individual ethnic group or religion.
Fourth, it is imperative to safeguard the solidarity of the developing nations. The developing nations are a big family. They cover vast land areas and abundant resources. They are an important force to safeguard peace and promote development. History tells us that solidarity means strength, progress and success. Peace, cooperation, development and progress are what the entire international community is hoping and striving for. The developing nations must continue to work closely together in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation and raise their voice and strengthen their position in international affairs if they are to secure their fundamental interests.
The history of the Non-Aligned Movement is a magnificent epic. Since its inception, the NAM has worked relentlessly for peaceful settlement of regional conflicts, and made tremendous efforts for the establishment of a new international political and economic order that is fair and rational. China appreciates and supports what the NAM has done in this regard. The fundamental purposes and principles of the NAM are still relevant and highly valid in the new century. Its role in international affairs should be strengthened rather than weakened, and the solidarity of its members should be reinforced rather than slackened. These are an important guarantee for continued growth of the Movement.
The convocation of XIII NAM Summit in Asia has far-reaching significance. Asian countries are an important part of the developing world and have contributed significantly to the launch and growth of the NAM. A stable, growing and prosperous Asia is conducive to the development and growth of the NAM. At present, the situation in Asia is, in general, stable. The pursuit of peace and development has become a policy orientation of all countries in Asia. Relations among Asian countries are improving. The regional multilateral cooperation of various kinds is getting off the ground or deepening. In 2002, Asia's economic growth rate reached 4% to 5%, higher than the global average of 2%. Asia remains one of the regions that have the greatest potential for development throughout the world. In the meantime, however, Asia does have its own problems that cannot be overlooked. Asian countries must continue to strengthen their bilateral and multilateral cooperation over conventional and non-conventional security issues and on the economic, trade and other fronts. If all Asian nations make concerted efforts, they will surely be able to strengthen their unity and cooperation, help bring forward the NAM and achieve lasting stability and sustainable development in this part of the world.
China is an Asian country, a developing nation and a NAM observer. China and the NAM have shared weal and woe. Over the years, our friendship has become stronger and our cooperation closer. At the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which was held last November, President Jiang Zemin reiterated that China would continue to enhance its solidarity and cooperation with other developing nations, improve mutual understanding and trust, and strengthen mutual assistance and support, broaden the areas of cooperation and make it more fruitful. China will also work to strive for and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing nations. We are confident that the friendly cooperation between China and the NAM will make still greater progress in the years to come.
To conclude, I would like to quote a line from Chinese poems, "The day will come when we ride the wind and cleave the waves in full sail, and finally reach across the sea". Looking ahead aboard our ship of human civilization, we find everything before us is changing very fast and we know too well there will be choppy waves and even storms on our journey. How to steer the ship in course is a big challenge to all statesmen in the world and to the NAM as well. But I believe that as long as we have a strong will, work closely together in a pioneering spirit and advance in step with the times, we will surely steer the ship to its destination of common prosperity at an early date.
Thank you, Mr. President.