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Statement by Mr. LIU Yang at the Sixth Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 86: The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

2018/10/09

Mr. Chairman,

Rule of law, being an important hallmark of social progress, is a common aspiration of humankind. The Chinese delegation is in favor of continued consideration of this agenda item, The rule of law at the national and international levels, by the 6th Committee as it will help promote relevant exchanges and cooperation among UN member states and facilitate sound interaction between rule-of-law undertakings at national and international levels.

The Chinese government is firmly engaged in advancing rule of law across the board. As there is no one-size-fits-all model of building rule of law, States have the right to choose their own path to achieve this goal in the context of their own conditions and engage in mutual learning on a voluntary basis in the process. Adhering to the basic principles of rule of law and building a socialist country under rule of law, the Chinese government has been making useful efforts to establish rule of law with Chinese characteristics. In particular, since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government has adopted a series of major policy decisions on comprehensive rule of law, put forward new ideas and formulated new strategies. Recently, the CPC Central Committee’s Commission for Comprehensive Law-Based Governance officially started its work in all its mandated areas. As a strategic initiative in our drive to advance rule of law in the new era, it marked a milestone in the history of building socialist rule of law in our country. This will no doubt lend a strong impetus to our effort to establish a socialist rule-of-law system with Chinese characteristics and build a socialist country governed under rule of law.

At the international level, China stands firm in defending the international system with the UN at its core, advocating multilateralism and promoting respect for international law. Today, the international landscape is undergoing profound changes and adjustments; unilateralism and protectionism are rearing their heads; the international situation is being challenged with more destabilizing factors and uncertainties. Given this background, it is all the more necessary for the international community to consolidate their consensus on multilateralism, preserve the authority and role of the UN and defend international law with the UN Charter at its heart. The notion of community of shared future for humankind proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping embodies the continuation and development of the spirit of the UN Charter and offers the best interpretation of multilateralism. It is in line with the new values and new direction of rule of law at the international level in the present day. This important notion has been incorporated into multiple resolutions of UN bodies and evoked positive response and wide acknowledgement within the international community. China is ready to work with all other stakeholders to move the international order forward, so it is ever more just and equitable, in the process of building a community of shared future for humankind.

Mr. Chairman,

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the single biggest common good China has offered to the world to date. It is aimed at translating into practice the notion of community of shared future for humankind and promoting multilateralism. China and all the BRI partner countries, by adhering to the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in pursuing the BRI, have fully demonstrated their respect for the spirit and imperatives of rule of law. In July 2018, China’s foreign ministry and the China Law Society co-hosted an international forum on rule-of-law cooperation in the context of BRI. More than 350 participants from governments, international and regional organizations, private sectors and academia attended the forum for broad, in-depth and productive discussions on the theme of “Jointly Building Belt and Road: Rules and Coordination”. As the next step, we will engage in comprehensive rule-of-law cooperation at different levels and through multiple channels. This means we will work together to establish new mechanisms of cooperation, identify cooperation priorities through consultation, formulate plans of action step by step and find effective solutions to legal problems, so as to consolidate our consensus and thereby lay a solid foundation of rule of law for the construction of the Belt and Road. We are confident that as the rule-of-law cooperation in the context of BRI deepens, it will become a meaningful example that other countries can draw on for putting rule-of-law cooperation at the service of development.

Mr. Chairman,

China takes note of the reference to the issue of death penalty in the Secretary General’s report entitled “Strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities”. China reiterates that the issue of death penalty falls within the purview of a State’s judicial sovereignty and at present the international community has no consensus on this matter. Each State has the right to decide whether to retain or abolish the death penalty, in light of its own national conditions and the wishes of its people.

Mr. Chairman,

A sound rule-of-law system serves the common interests of the international community. On the basis of respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, we are ready to work with the rest of the international community to preserve and improve rule of law and do our part for building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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