Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China On the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations
I. The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN) and the 75th anniversary of the end of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Seventy-five years ago, with the determination to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, we the peoples founded the UN as the most universal, representative and authoritative international organization and established an international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Thus began a new era in mankind’s pursuit of peace and development.
Over the past 75 years, with peace as its mission, the UN has set up and operated a collective security mechanism, engaged in active mediation to settle disputes peacefully and deployed over 70 peacekeeping missions to conflict zones. In the past three quarters of a century, the UN has been instrumental in mitigating regional conflicts, preventing new world wars, and maintaining overall peace and stabilityin the world.
Over the past 75 years, with development as its goal, the UN has capitalized on the trend of economic globalization and mobilized resources on a global scale to establish and implement the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With its help, billions of people are marching toward modernization. Smallpox and many other infectious diseases that plagued humanity for millennia were eradicated. A large number of developing countries moved into the fast lane of development.
Over the past 75 years, with equity as its founding principle, the UN has promoted equality among countries, large and small, as well as the spirit of democracy. Under its auspices, the 193 Member States set international rules together, run global affairs together and share development fruits together.
The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the once-in-a-century transformations unfolding in our world. We are entering a period of turbulence and change, and witnessing the rise of protectionism, unilateralism and bullying practices. Certain countries and political forces keep playing the blame game, clamoring for “decoupling”, and pulling out of international organizations and agreements. What they are doing is sabotaging international cooperation, stoking confrontation between ideologies and social systems,and putting the world in serious jeopardy. Such actions notwithstanding, peace and development remain the theme of our times. The rise of emerging markets and developing countries remains unchanged, the trend toward a multi-polar world remains unchanged, and continuous economic globalization despite twists and turns remains unchanged.
In this context, all countries need to look beyond the pandemic and find answers to major questions such as what the world will look like and what kind of UN the world needs. We should all work together to draw a new and better blueprint for the sake of succeeding generations.
II. The 75th anniversary of the UN presents important opportunities. As the world battles COVID-19, it is all the more important to renew the founding mission of the UN, forge international consensus on building a community with a shared future for mankind, and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
1. Countries should jointly uphold the outcome of World Anti-Fascist War and oppose any attempt to turn back the clock of history. We must reject unilateralism, hegemonism and power politics. We must champion multilateralism, safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, defend the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, and work together to make international relations more democratic,rules-based and equitable.
2. All countries are equal, irrespective of their size, strength or wealth. We need to respect other countries’ independent choice of social system and development path, oppose interference in internal affairs, and promote a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness,justice and win-win cooperation.
3. We need to work for a new model of international development partnership that is more equitable and balanced, and consolidate the cooperation architecture with the UN at its core, North-South cooperation as the main channel and South-South cooperation as a supplement. We should strengthen international cooperation on poverty reduction and prioritize this endeavor in implementing the 2030 Agenda so as to eradicate extreme poverty as early as possible. We must uphold the WTO-centered and rules-based multilateral trading regime, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and build an open world economy. We should all create an enabling environment for sustainable development and make economic globalization more open,inclusive,balanced and beneficial to all.
4. In view of the weaknesses and deficiencies exposed by COVID-19, we need to improve the governance system for public health security. We need to respond more quickly to public health emergencies and establish global and regional reserve centers of anti-epidemic supplies. We need to increase policy dialogue and exchange. All parties should put people’s life and health front and center, place public health security high on the international agenda,and build a global community of health for all.
5. We need to respect nature, follow its ways and protect it. We need to seek harmonious coexistence between man and nature, pursue sustainable development of economy, society and environment as well as well-rounded human development, and improve global ecological conservation. We need to encourage green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable ways of life and production, and address climate change with concrete actions to protect our shared planet.
6. We need to advocate consultation, cooperation and shared benefits in global governance and adopt a Member States-led and action-oriented approach to improve the global governance system. The aim is to make it better reflect the changing international landscape and the aspirations and interests of the majority of countries, especially emerging markets and developing countries,and to tackle global challenges more effectively.
III. The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, taking place at this special moment, carries great significance. “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism”, the theme of the commemoration events, is highly relevant. China hopes that all parties will focus on this theme, re-energize the international peace and development agenda, and bring hope and confidence to people around the world.
1. We need to strengthen solidarity and reject any politicization or stigmatization associated with COVID-19. We should fully leverage the key leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO), and take concerted global action to combat the disease. We need to increase information sharing, policy communication and action coordination, speed up the research and development of medicines, vaccines and testing, and strive for earlier breakthroughs. While maintaining vigilance against the virus, countries where conditions permit may reopen businesses and schools in an orderly fashion in compliance with WHO’s professional recommendations, and make timely and calibrated adjustments as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
2. This year marks the beginning of the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to support relevant UN endeavors and put development at the center of international cooperation. Efforts should focus on poverty reduction, food security, education, health and other areas of common concern for developing countries. More resources should be pooled to support developing countries, including in funding, technology and capacity-building. They deserve a better external environment.
The impact of COVID-19 on developing countries deserves great attention from the international community. There must be joint actions to help countries in need pool resources to tackle COVID-19, stabilize the economy, andrealizetheSDGsasplanned. China is working with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries. And we call for debt suspension over a longer time-frame. We need to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest debt strain, and encourage international financial institutions and private creditors to take concrete actions to help this effort.
3. The international community should work toward full and faithful interpretation and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, and advance toward an equitable climate governance regime that is cooperative and beneficial to all. Biodiversity loss and the deterioration of the ecosystem pose grave risks to human development. As the host of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, China stands ready to work with all parties for an ambitious, balanced and action-oriented post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
4. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The international community should further the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and highlight the protection of women and girls’ rights and interests in COVID-19 response. The UN should focus more on ending violence, discrimination and poverty and bridging the digital gender divide, and increase the representation of women in the UN system.
5. China welcomes the global ceasefire appeal by Secretary-General António Guterres and calls for ceasefire and cessation of violence by all relevant parties as soon as possible. The Security Council needs to act as the international collective security mechanism, assume primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and work for the political settlement of regional issues. China strongly opposes any unfounded threat or use of force, unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. No enforcement action shall be taken without Security Council authorization. The UN needs to improve the capacity of peacekeeping operations to fulfill their mandate, observe the three principles of “consent of parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate”, and help post-conflict countries build lasting peace.