عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

To Build a New Middle East of Peace, Tolerance and Self-advancement

2015/10/01

Intervention at the Open Ministerial Meeting of the UN Security Council On "Settlement of Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and Countering the Terrorist Threat in the Region"

H.E. Wang Yi
Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China

New York, 30 September 2015

Mr. President,

China supports and highly appreciates Russia for proposing this ministerial meeting of the Security Council. To resolve conflicts in the Middle East and remove the threats of terrorism bears on the future of world peace and is the responsibility of the Security Council.

The situation in the Middle East region is serious and disturbing. Differences among nations, religious sects and ethnic groups aggravate one another. Wars and conflicts, humanitarian disasters and terrorist threats are interwoven. The image of the drowned Syrian boy challenges human morality and questions the conscience of the international community.

Today, we are gathered here at the Security Council Chamber not to do empty talk, but to reflect on the root causes of the turmoils of the Middle East, make a just and objective projection of the regional situation, seek a feasible and effective solution, and strive to build a framework of peace that can be accepted by all parties. More importantly, we are here to seize opportunity and take action to break the vicious cycle of incessant turbulence in the Middle East, honor the mandate entrusted to the Security Council by the UN Charter and meet the expectations on us from the international community and especially from the people of the Middle East.

Mr. President,

China hopes that the international community and people of the Middle East will jointly build a Middle East of peace, tolerance and self-advancement.

First and foremost, people need a Middle East of peace. Stability is a blessing while turmoil brings peril. Peace is the most precious. The 70-year history of the UN has all along witnessed the gunsmoke in the Middle East and the displacement of innocent civilians. The history of the Middle East told us time and again that violence cannot win peace and hatred never brings hope. Violence cannot fully bring the problem to an end and hatred will only extinguish hope. Only by respecting each other can people live together peacefully, only by adhering to dialogue can problems be resolved and only by promoting friendship can a better future be created. This is what the international community hopes to see and what China's diplomacy aims to achieve.

People need a Middle East of tolerance. The Middle East region, once a cradle of human civilization, boasts a glorious history with major contribution to human progress. Its flourishing civilization and cultural confidence has made this region an important platform for exchanges and integration of Eastern and Western civilizations. In the 21st century, co-existence of civilizations requires the spirit of harmony without uniformity more than before and progress of the society calls for inclusiveness and broad-mindedness. Different religions should tolerate and learn from each other and various ethnicities should live in harmony.

People need a Middle East of self-advancement. The Middle East is the home of all the peoples in the region. Therefore, its future and destiny should be determined by countries in the region through consultation. Countries outside the region may provide help but should avoid interfering in the internal affairs of other countries or, even less so, imposing a specific model on them. Regional order should be shaped by countries in the region on the basis of the UN Charter and in light of the circumstances on the ground and the needs of the people there.

Mr. President,

The Syrian crisis has been lingering on for almost five years. The international community should not stand by and do nothing, nor should it intervene arbitrarily. We need to step up humanitarian assistance. In particular, the growing tension around the migrant crisis needs to be addressed to avoid more tragedies. We welcome greater efforts by the EU member states to this end. Syria's neighboring countries, which have received more than 4 million Syrian refugees over the past few years, face even greater and more immediate pressure. It is both unfair and unreasonable to forget their efforts and ignore their difficulties.

Political settlement is the only way out of the Syrian crisis. To achieve this, parties need to find a middle way that draws on workable practices of other countries and regions, suits Syria's national conditions, and accommodates the interests of all parties. The resurgence of violent and terrorist forces and the spread of migrant crisis have further driven home to all parties the necessity and urgency of seeking a political settlement to the Syrian issue. China calls on all parties to seize the opportunity arising from a growing desire for political settlement, give positive consideration to the convening of the Geneva III Conference on Syria, and push for the restart of an inclusive political transition process that does not set preconditions or pre-determined results and involves all parties to the conflict. Let the Syrian people decide for themselves the future of their country with the help of the international community and the support of the UN Security Council. To achieve this goal, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy de Mistura are making active mediation efforts. China hopes all parties will unite behind the UN endeavor in this regard and create conditions, build consensus and foster an enabling environment for it to succeed.

China is deeply concerned about the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Al-Aqsa Mosque area. Violence never brings real security; it only entrenches hatred. China firmly supports the early restoration of the Palestinian people's lawful rights, and the realization of the peaceful co-existence between the two states of Palestine and Israel. The international community should work together to facilitate the restart of talks between Palestine and Israel on a broad-based platform with the direct participation of all major parties concerned. Only talks can bring hopes for peace and a better future.

Mr. President,

Terrorism is a common scourge of mankind. The evolving situation in the Middle East has repeatedly shown that terrorist activities are all the same in nature and, to fight them, we must not adopt double standards. Combating violent terrorism in all its manifestations should be the shared responsibility and priority for countries in the region and the international community.

China calls for broad-based and comprehensive international counter-terrorism cooperation under the UN framework. Such cooperation should include the following priorities: combating cyber terrorism, preventing violent and extremist ideologies, blocking the flow of terrorists and terrorist funding, strengthening intelligence exchange, and giving full play to the role of the Security Council.

China believes in a comprehensive response to terrorism that addresses both the symptoms and root causes. Regional instability and development gap breed terrorism, while ethnic disunity and religious conflicts allow radical ideologies to resurface. To fundamentally resolve issues that breed and feed terrorism, we must properly address regional disputes, restore regional stability, enhance the governance capabilities of various countries, speed up economic development and improve people's lives in tangible ways.

Mr. President,

China hopes this meeting of the Security Council will be a new starting point, and from here the international community will renew their efforts to open up a new prospect of peace and security in the Middle East.

Suggest to a friend
Print