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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Effective Multilateralism through the Defense of the Principles of the UN Charter

2023-04-24 16:20

Mr. President, 

I am honored to speak as the representative of Mr. Qin Gang, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China. China thanks Russia, as President of the Security Council for this month, for its initiative to convene this open debate, and welcomes Foreign Minister Lavrov presiding over this meeting. I also thank Secretary-General Guterres for his briefing. 

At present, the world is standing at a historic crossroads. Humanity is facing unprecedented global challenges. Acts of hegemony and bullying are causing colossal harm to the world. Bloc politics are creating huge divisions and confrontations. It has become all the more urgent and important to uphold the UN Charter. What is most needed now is for all countries to practice true multilateralism, strengthen unity under the banner of the UN, enhance the effectiveness of the global governance system, achieve common security, promote common development, and open up a shared future. 

First, we must firmly safeguard the authority of the UN Charter. The UN Charter is the cornerstone of the post-war international order. The principles such as respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference of internal affairs of other countries as stipulated in the Charter, have become the basic norms governing modern international relations. The problems that have arisen in the world today are not because the UN Charter has become obsolete, but because its purposes and principles have not been effectively implemented. The security and well-being of present and future generations of humankind still depend on the continued promotion of the spirit of the Charter and on the preservation of the status and role of the UN. To safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the Charter, we must not just do it in words, but also deeds. We must not just have others do it, but start with oneself. We must not do it selectively and apply exceptionalism to oneself, but do it all the time consistently. We must not form exclusive circles, fabricate narratives of so-called democracy versus authoritarianism, and provoke geopolitical confrontation, but advocate dialogue and cooperation, stay committed to extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and resolve disputes by peaceful means. 

Second, we must firmly uphold the international order underpinned by international law. There is only one order in the world, and that is the international order underpinned by international law. Faced with major change and turbulence in the today’s world, we must always be guided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and handle international affairs based on international law. This is an important guarantee for upholding fairness and justice, addressing global challenges, and safeguarding the sovereignty, security, and development interests of all countries. We oppose some country distorting the meaning of international law, framing its own will as so-called rules-based international order, imposing it onto the international community, and wantonly violating the legitimate rights of other countries in violation of international rule of law. We also oppose the belittling of international agreements, whether it is arbitrarily tearing them apart or having double standards. There is no credibility to speak of in this regard. If major power arbitrarily turns important treaties and agreements that bear on international peace and security into dead letters, then not only will international law be eroded, but the world will have no peace at all. In this regard, the relevant country should earnestly reflect on its actions. 

Third, we must ensure equal participation of all countries in international affairs. The international system with the UN at its core carries with it the common expectations of people around the world, and shall serve the interests of all countries. The UN cannot and should not serve the interests of only some countries or even a few countries. It is unreasonable for citizens of one country to head some specialized UN agencies and international financial institutions on a long term or even permanent basis. The major changes of the world are accelerating. A multipolar world is becoming a reality. The pace of democracy in international relations must also keep up to truly reflect equality and enhance the equity and effectiveness of multilateralism. Developing countries, African countries in particular, should play a greater role at the UN. The right of developing countries to participation and decision-making must be ensured. We support the initiative of Secretary-General Guterres to reform international financial institutions. And we must act immediately to improve the global governance system. 

Fourth, we must resist unilateral sanctions that violate international law. Unilateral sanctions indiscriminately imposed by the United States and other countries outside the Council mandate are entirely for maintaining their hegemony, technology monopoly, and ideology. Their practice has no legal basis. This stands in sharp contrast to the development and progress of the world. Unilateral sanctions are like a rampaging monster, constantly creating and aggravating humanitarian crises, violating the basic rights of women and children, hindering the development and progress of countries, especially small- and medium-sized countries, and causing immense damage to the harmony and stability of international relations. What is of great concern is that unilateral sanctions often, in the name of upholding international law and implementing Council resolutions, have subjected the UN to unfounded accusations, and weakened the authority of multilateralism. We once again urge the relevant countries to immediately stop unilateral sanctions, and call on the international community and all countries to uphold fairness, justice, and independence, and jointly resist and counter such illegal acts. 

Mr. President, 

As a permanent member of the Security Council and the responsible major country, China is committed to true multilateralism. In upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and complying with international law and basic norms governing international relations, China has the best record. President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a community with a shared future for humankind represents a fundamental direction for resolving key challenges and difficulties of the world today. China will vigorously implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, comprehensively promote Chinese modernization, participate in the work of the UN on all fronts, and make our contribution to promoting international solidarity, together addressing challenges, and safeguarding the common values of humankind. In the face of a world with intertwined changes and turmoil, China will move firmly in the right direction. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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