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Statement by H.E. Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Security Council Open Debate on "Maintenance of international peace and security: Strengthening multilateralism and the role of the United Nations"

2018/11/09

I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his briefing. I would also like to thank Acting President of the General Assembly Ambassador Al-Thani, President of the Economic and Social Council Ambassador King as well as President of the International Court of Justice Judge Yusuf for their respective briefings.

Today, the heads of the main organs established under the UN Charter are gathered here in the Security Council Chamber, together with the Member States, to jointly send a clarion call in support of multilateralism, a stronger role of the United Nations, and the maintenance of international peace and security. As such, this meeting carries an important historical meaning.

As the Presidency of the Security Council for this month, China proposed the convening of today's open debate, with the view to addressing the emerging issues and challenges confronting international peace and security under the current circumstances, as well as exploring ways to strengthen multilateralism and the role of the United Nations, uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, facilitate the effective performance of the Security Council's function as a collective security mechanism, and advance the maintenance of international peace and security.

The United Nations embodies mankind's aspirations for peace and development. More than 70 years ago, on the ruins of the Second World War, we built the international system with the UN at its center. The world today is going through a new round of profound development as well as tectonic changes and adjustments. The protracted and emerging geopolitical flash points, the looming shadow of terrorism and armed conflict, the proliferation of drivers of instability and uncertainty, as well as increased risks and challenges are all hallmarks of our times. Due to the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, the international order and global governance system are under attack.The world needs multilateralism and a stronger UN more than ever.

Strengthening multilateralism and the role of the United Nations is a consensus of the international community. During the general debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly held recently, Member States took the floor to call for supporting multilateralism, for enhancing the role of the UN, and for sustaining the rule-based international order. During the general debate, President of the General Assembly Madam Espinosa stressed that multilateralism is the only viable answer to the global problems that humankind faces. Secretary-General Guterres stated that "working together multilaterally is not optional; it is the only answer."

This shows that multilateralism is a prevailing trend and the common aspiration of all people, representing the right direction of history.

The most fundamental principle of multilateralism is that international affairs should be handled on the basis of consultations among states and in accordance with agreed rules, a process in which the interests and concerns of all states should be accommodated. States should engage one another in a spirit of consultation, respect rules and order, and solve problems collectively.

China is a founding member of the United Nations, and was the first country to sign the UN Charter. China has been steadfast in maintaining the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and in safeguarding the central role of the UN in international affairs. When addressing the UN GA during the general debate in September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping systematically elaborated the important concept of building a community of shared future for mankind, showing the way to a brighter future for humanity as a whole.

Multilateralism is an effective way of maintaining peace and promoting development. How to uphold and champion multilateralism in the new era? China wishes to offer the following proposals:

-We must abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, honor our commitments, fulfil international obligations, follow in good faith the rules collectively defined by the international community, and comply with international law as well as the basic norms governing international relations.

-We must remain committed to win-win cooperation. We live in a global village. Faced with terrorism and other global challenges, no country can cope with such phenomena on its own. Deepening of multilateral cooperation is required for the achievement of universal and common security.

-Differences and disputes must be resolved through dialogue and consultation in a peaceful and rational manner. Dialogue and partnership should prevail over confrontation and alliance. Solutions should be found through diplomatic and political means. We should advocate a security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

-We should insist that all countries, big or small, are equal. We should respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and increase the representation and share of voice of developing countries as well as medium and small states in international affairs.

-We should translate our commitments to multilateralism into concrete actions, solve practical problems, seek tangible results, and bring real benefits to people of all countries.

The United Nations is the banner of multilateralism. China staunchly supports multilateralism and the maintenance of the authority and role of the UN. We hope that the UN will continue to uphold fairness and justice, and play a leading role in maintaining world peace, promoting common development, and in particular bolstering global cooperation for addressing global challenges, thereby making the UN relevant to all people.

The Security Council, as the core of the international collective security mechanism, bears the primary responsibility of the maintenance of international peace and security. Let us demonstrate unity, wisdom and courage, effectively fulfil the solemn duty entrusted to this body by the UN Charter, and give full play to the role of the Security Council. We should redouble our efforts in political mediation and good offices, scale up our cooperation with regional organizations, strengthen UN peacekeeping operations, and give primacy to conflict prevention.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China maintains a consistent position of impartiality on international and regional hot-spot issues, and has put forward constructive proposals for the political settlement of disputes. China is an important troop-contributing country of, and the second largest financial contributor to, UN peacekeeping operations. At this very moment, over 2,500 Chinese peacekeepers are watching over peace with vigilance in UN missions across the world.

Development is the basis for maintaining peace and security. As the largest developing country, China has been rigorously implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as supporting and stimulating the development of other countries while pursuing its own growth. China's plan to jointly develop the Belt and Road Initiative with other countries represents an offering of public goods to the world. The Belt and Road Initiative is underpinned by the principle of broad consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. It originated from China and belongs to the world. Its development will benefit more and more countries and peoples.

China remains committed to defending the international order and pursuing multilateralism. We stand ready to join hands with all states to build a community of shared future for mankind and a more peaceful world with a better life and greater happiness for all.

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