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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan at the Informal Meeting of the Plenary on the Draft Outcome Document of the GA High-level Plenary Meeting of September 2005
(28 July 2005)


Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank you for having once again scheduled and presided over consultations on the draft outcome document of the upcoming GA Summit. We also wish to express our appreciation to you and the facilitators for the efforts you have made so far. The Chinese delegation hopes that this meeting will help all parties to further understand each other's concerns and reduce the differences, so as to create conditions for arriving at a document acceptable to all.

Mr. President,

On June 21, I gave a comprehensive statement of the Chinese position on the first draft of the document. The Chinese delegation has also submitted specific amendments to the president and the facilitators. Compared with the first draft, the revised text is much richer in content. Although it is one and a half times its original length, if it contains sound ideas that are convincing and is comprehensive, balanced and innovative, we believe that it will be acceptable to all.

China has always maintained that development should constitute the very core of the document, not only because the outcome document will be a development and an extension of the Millennium Declaration, but, more importantly, because this is a question of most concern to all the developing countries and one to which they long for a solution. The revised draft added references to promoting foreign direct investment, supporting the development of middle-income countries, and advancing South-South cooperation and education, and further developed those sections that deal with HIV/AIDS, immigration, gender equality and sustainable development. These changes should be given full credit. However, in the revised text, the adjustments made vis-à-vis trade, debt relief, and ODA are limited and still fall far short of the common demands of developing countries. More emphasis should be given to formulations on creating a better international environment, reforming the international economic institutions, and providing adequate assistance to developing countries. At the same time, we believe that, in providing international assistance, full respect must be given to national conditions to ensure the recipient countries' ownership and participation. Moreover, in the section on climate change, there seems to be some room for improvement in the formulation. We hope that appropriate amendments will be made in the above-mentioned areas.

Mr. President,

Reforms in the human rights field are an important part of the overall reforms of the United Nations. We have always believed that reforms in the UN human rights field should be conducive to objective and fair discussions of human rights issues and the promotion and protection of two different categories of human rights. A new human rights body should be more in keeping with democratic principles and widely representative. Many developing countries, China among them, have recently submitted written amendments to the draft in some areas, including the compositions of institutions and their membership, but these proposals have not been reflected fully and in a balanced way in the revised text, nor have some important views been taken on board. We find this a cause for concern. We believe that, after the views of all sides have been fully and extensively listened to, especially those of developing countries, relevant parts of the revised draft should be further refined to ensure that reforms in the human rights field will be in the interests of all member states.

Like all other parties, China supports the establishment of a Peace Building Commission and hope that it can be operationalized as soon as possible. In our view, significant improvements have been made in this regard to the draft, with clearer stipulations for the terms of reference and the composition of the commission, thereby constituting a good basis for work. In view of the fact that the commission will be closely related to the Security Council, we are in favor of having it as a subsidiary body of the Security Council. At the same time, we are of the view that the commission should be accountable in appropriate ways to the GA and ECOSOC. We have noted that there still exists a divergence of opinions in this regard. Therefore, the focus of the next phase can be an exchange of views in this connection. We trust that with concerted efforts from all sides, we will be able to reach consensus on it.

Mr. President,

China has noted that the revised text has taken on board elements reflecting reasonable proposals from developing countries on the questions of arms control and non-proliferation. China welcomes these additions. With regard to nuclear disarmament and strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, by and large, China has no difficulties. In our opinion, the transfer of small weapons is a very complex issue. In view of the fact that the international community has not yet reached consensus on an international instrument regulating the transfer of small weapons, it is not appropriate for the outcome document to prejudge results of the ongoing discussions.

Generally speaking, we can accept the counter-terrorism elements in the draft. We are in favor of adopting a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy through extensive consultations. In order to effectively combat all forms of terrorism, it is extremely important to avoid using double standards. We therefore maintain that references to this effect be included in the draft. We understand that there exist different views on the definition of terrorism, and therefore hope that parties concerned will continue to discuss this question in a patient search for an appropriate solution.

On questions relating to the development of criteria for the use of force, "the responsibility to protect," and human security, China has already clearly stated our position. We understand and support the proposals of the non-aligned movement in this regard and hope that necessary changes will be made to the draft accordingly.

Mr. President,

Structural reform being a major component part of the overall reforms of the United Nations, China is in favor of further revitalizing the GA and enhancing its role and authority. We also support the proposal on strengthening ECOSOC. As the chief executive officer of the UN, the Secretary General should enjoy the authority entrusted to him by the Charter. At the same time, there is also the need to establish and refine effective accountability and monitoring mechanisms. We support strengthening the internal monitoring mechanisms of the UN without weakening the GA's authority in monitoring. With regard to the abolition of the Trusteeship Council and the "enemy state clauses," we believe that this is a question that can be solved as part of a package solution, along with other questions that may involve Charter amendments, within the overall framework of UN reforms.

Mr. President,

China has already, on a number of occasions, stated our position on the reform of the Security Council. China supports necessary and reasonable reforms of the Security Council and an expansion of its membership. We believe that any plan of its expansion must attain broad consensus among UN membership. However, there remains a deep divergence of views vis-à-vis Security Council reform. Three proposals have already been officially submitted to the GA. Security Council reform is of major significance, but it is only one part of the overall reforms of the UN. It must not be done at the expense of reforms in other fields and the unity of UN membership. The endless debates over the last few months have hijacked the preparations for the September Summit. Threats to force through a resolution by means of a vote in the next few days will lead to divisions among member states, which will not only undermine the process of the expansion of the Security Council but also cast a dark shadow on the overall reforms of the UN. China's position on putting any immature formula to a vote is clear, firm, and unshakable.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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