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Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council High-Level Meeting on International Law

2018/05/17

Madam President,

China appreciates the initiative of the Polish presidency of the Security Council to hold today's high-level public meeting on upholding international law and welcomes His Excellency President Duda to New York to preside over it. I would like to thank Ms. Viotti, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General; Judge Owada, Senior Judge on, and President Emeritus of, the International Court of Justice; and Judge Meron, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, for their briefings.

The current global landscape is undergoing profound and complex changes. Local conflicts and turbulence keep popping up, terrorism is rife and regional security threats are on the rise. The authority and effectiveness of the system of international law, based on the Charter of the United Nations, face severe challenges. How to strengthen the status and role of the Charter and the principles of international law, which are based on the purposes and principles of the Charter, and thereby enhance international peace and security is a question that warrants in-depth reflection on the part of all Members States of the United Nations. I would like to address the following points.

First, all countries should stand by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and reinforce the cornerstone of the principles of international law. The principles set out in the Charter, such as sovereign equality, non-interference in a State's internal affairs, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the non-use or threat of use of force and the fulfillment of international obligations in good faith underpin contemporary international law and remain a yardstick by which to judge whether or not a given State act is legal or just and if it should be universally upheld by all Member States.

Secondly, all countries must effectively safeguard the mission and authority of the Security Council. The collective security mechanism of which the Council is the center is a solid guarantee of the maintenance of international peace and security. In fulfilling its responsibilities for international peace and security, the Council represents the will of all Member States. The international community must support the Council in its efforts to resolve differences by political means and through constructive dialogue and consultation, in line with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

Thirdly, all countries must adhere to the principle of the peaceful resolution of international disputes. The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected. Unilateral military operations that are not authorized by the Security Council or that are not carried out in exercise of the right of self-defense run counter to the purposes and principles of the Charter and violate international law and the basic norms of international relations. The international community must adhere to multilateralism, reject the Cold War mentality and zero-sum thinking, promote democracy and the rule of law in international relations and facilitate global governance through consultations.

Fourthly, all countries must implement and harmonize applicable international law in good faith. The lifeblood of the law is its implementation. All countries must commit to upholding the authority of international justice, exercise their rights under the law and fulfill their obligations in good faith. National and international judicial bodies should ensure that international law is applied in an equal and uniform manner, with no double standards or imposition of one country's will on another. The implementation of unilateral sanctions hinders and weakens the integrity and effectiveness of measures taken by the Council and should therefore be abandoned.

Peace and development are the theme of our time. Win-win cooperation is a general trend, and advancing the international rule of law is a common aspiration.

Looking forward, we must adhere to the five principles of peaceful coexistence. We must respect the sovereign rights of States to choose their own social systems and paths to development and respect one another's core interests and concerns. No country is entitled to willful breaches of international law. All countries should follow a new approach to State-to-State relations that features dialogue rather than confrontation, and partnerships rather than the forming of alliances, in order to properly manage contradictions and differences and achieve lasting peace.

Looking forward, we must foster a new philosophy of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. All countries should strengthen cooperation efforts so as to coordinate responses to traditional and non-traditional security threats and prevent the scourge of war in the first place. We must deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, promote coordination, tolerance, complementarity and cooperation among the various security mechanisms and implement common and shared security.

As a founding Member of the United Nations and a permanent member of the Security Council, China will continue to contribute to world peace and global development and to uphold the international order. China stands ready to work with all countries to promote the establishment of a global governance concept of cooperation, joint development and sharing; maintain and strengthen an international order and system based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter; and actively promote a new model of international relations of mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, in a joint effort to build a community with a shared future for humankind.

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