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Statement by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the UN Security Council Summit


It gives me great pleasure to attend this meeting of the Security Council. I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your initiative and the Turkish delegation for its efforts in preparing for the meeting.

We live at a time when the trend towards a multipolar world and economic globalization is gaining momentum. New changes are taking place in the global economic and political landscape. The international security situation is generally stable, but due to the impact of the world financial crisis, destabilizing factors and uncertainties are on the increase. Traditional security issues, such as local conflicts, arms races and territorial disputes, remain unresolved and even deteriorate from time to time. Terrorism, transnational crime, cybersecurity, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other non-traditional security issues are becoming more pronounced.

Faced with these complex and diverse security threats and challenges, we must intensify multilateral cooperation and take stronger collective action in response. That is the consensus of the Member States of the United Nations.

China believes that, as the heart of the collective security mechanism, the Security Council should further enhance its authority and assume greater responsibilities, make greater efforts and play a greater role in maintaining international peace and security. In that connection, I wish to make the following four proposals on the work of the Council in the new circumstances.

First, we must hold high the banner of peace and promote the peaceful settlement of disputes. That is a fundamental principle that the Security Council should always follow.

In a globalized world where the interests and destinies of all countries are intertwined, peace is what we all desire and war is what we all detest. History has shown time and again that dialogue, negotiation and other diplomatic means are the only effective way to settle disputes and achieve enduring peace. In keeping with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council should strengthen its good offices and mediation role and make vigorous efforts to persuade the parties concerned to defuse tensions, iron out their differences peacefully and prevent the outbreak or escalation of conflict.

Secondly, the Council must improve its working methods and enhance its problem-solving abilities. United Nations peacekeeping is one of the major resources at the Council's disposal to address conflicts. The scale and mission of United Nations peacekeeping operations have been expanding in recent years, and mandates and functions have become more diverse. It is important to sum up experience and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.

The Security Council must adhere to the Hammarskjöld principles of impartiality, consent of the parties and non-use of force except in self-defence. It should consult closely with the parties concerned, step up cooperation with regional organizations, make overall arrangements for entry and exit strategies, coordinate military and political efforts and authorize the deployment of peacekeeping missions at an appropriate time on the basis of thorough analysis of all factors.

The Security Council may decide to impose sanctions under the United Nations Charter, but it should exercise caution in doing so. Sanctions are not an end in themselves, and, more often than not, the wilful imposition of sanctions and pressure does not help improve the situation at all. The only right approach is to follow an integrated strategy that accords top priority to diplomacy.

Thirdly, we must strengthen coordination and remove the root causes of disputes and conflicts. Disputes and conflicts often go hand in hand with poverty and backwardness. The Security Council should enhance coordination with the relevant United Nations agencies to form synergies and help poor countries afflicted with conflicts accelerate post-war reconstruction, realize economic and social development and improve the livelihood of the people. This can help remove the breeding ground for conflicts and prevent conflicts at the source, thus laying the foundation for enduring peace and security. That should be the direction of the Council's efforts.

Fourthly, we must highlight priorities and resolve hot-spot issues in Africa. Most issues on the Security Council's agenda relate to Africa, and most of the United Nations peacekeeping missions are deployed in Africa. To achieve world peace and stability, hot-spot issues in Africa must be addressed and security and stability in Africa must be realized. The international community should be more attentive to the needs of Africa, accommodate the concerns of African countries and respect their will and their choices. The Security Council should strengthen coordination and cooperation with the African Union, take more active measures to help settle hot-spot issues in Africa and work with other United Nations agencies to channel more assistance to African countries.

The Chinese people love peace, and China is a responsible member of the international community. As early as 2,500 years ago, the Chinese thinker Confucius said, "Peace is the most valuable". As a nation repeatedly plagued by the scourge of war, we fully appreciate the value of peace, and also the wisdom of "Do not do unto others what you would not have others do unto you".

We have followed an independent foreign policy of peace and committed ourselves to building friendly and cooperative ties with all countries of the world. We stand for the five principles of peaceful coexistence, advocate a new concept of security based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and endeavour to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China has vigorously called for and worked for the peaceful settlement of disputes and has played an important and constructive role in a range of major regional hot-spot issues, including the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Middle East and the Sudan.

China has taken an active part in United Nations peacekeeping operations. China is the largest contributor of peacekeeping personnel among the permanent members of the Security Council. We have sent a total of more than 14,000 peacekeeping personnel to 25 missions. We have also sent escort fleets as part of the international effort to combat piracy off the Somali coast.

China is fully engaged in multilateral arms control and disarmament affairs in an effort to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. China has also done a great deal of productive work in the global effort to fight terrorism. China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development. We pursue a national defence policy that is defensive in nature. We will never seek hegemony or harbour expansionist intentions. We will contribute to regional and international development and peace through our own development. We will earnestly fulfil our international obligations and shoulder our due responsibilities.

We will continue to uphold the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and become more deeply engaged in the peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts of the Security Council. We will work with other Member States to enable the Council to play a greater role in maintaining international peace and security.

Through our experience over the years, we have come to realize that, even as peace and security may seem a distant dream, if we all abide by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, keep in mind our solemn resolve to combine our efforts to accomplish those aims and strengthen our conviction and cooperation, we will move ever closer to the objective of common security and enduring peace for all humankind.

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