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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Futureproofing Trust for Sustaining Peace

2023-05-03 15:35

Mr. President, 

At the outset, I congratulate Switzerland on assuming Presidency of the Security Council this month. I thank the Russian Federation for its work as President of the Council last month. China welcomes today’s meeting presided over by Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. I wish to thank High Commissioner Volker Türk for his briefing just now. I also listened carefully to the statements by the briefers. 

I thank Switzerland for the initiative to focus the debate on the highly relevant theme of building trust. In the statement by the Foreign Minister just now, we see your deep thinking on this issue. Trust is like air, whose presence is easily taken for granted, but whose absence is life-threatening. Be it between people or among countries, peace and cooperation will never be possible without basic mutual trust. Without trust, and the rules and order built thereupon, humanity will once again be subject to the law of the jungle.

The world is now beset with a serious trust crisis. Behind the various complex issues is a series of intersecting and deteriorating deficits in development, peace, security, and governance, as well as the long-standing deficit in trust. 

Nothing undermines more easily the political trust between countries than blowing hot and cold or breaking promises in international relations, playing around with and not respecting the agreements that they signed, and willfully going back on and hollowing out the political commitments they made. Nothing damages more easily the mutual trust in the area of security than forming exclusive military blocs, stirring up regional tensions, and seeking absolute security for oneself at the expense of the security of other countries. Nothing defeats more easily the economic mutual trust than engaging in decoupling, building high walls around small yards, distorting market rules to seek technological monopoly, and suppressing the development and progress of other countries. Nothing causes more easily the loss of trust in the international system than disregarding the authority of the UN Charter and applying double standards and selective application of international law.

Reflected by these behaviors are the self-important and imperious mindset of those who seek hegemony, the sour grapes syndrome of those who cannot bear to be outperformed, the arrogance of those who deal with other countries “from a position of strength”, and the pursuit of narrow self-interest. Such behaviors and mentality run counter to the efforts to deepen mutual trust and build lasting peace as well as global development and progress.

Trust and peace are closely linked with each other. It applies to relations between countries and relations within each country. For post-conflict countries where internal trust is fragile, inappropriate external interference would only add insult to injury. Some external forces use the pretext of human rights and other issues to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, impose their own systems and ideologies on others, pit factions against each other within the countries concerned, orchestrate the worsening of local tensions and create social division and conflicts, as a result of which the gains of peacebuilding are lost. The lessons for the international community, including the Security Council in this regard, are numerous and all should draw on those lessons.

We should recognize that in the world where we live today, countries are interconnected and interdependent like never before, and thus need to join hands globally to meet the challenges we face. We should firmly anchor our belief in the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, practice true multilateralism, deepen mutual trust, and promote and build global partnerships. Major countries should take the lead in standing up for integrity, cooperation, and the rule of law, uphold mutual trust, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, pursue broad-based consultations, and lead by example in building a solid foundation of trust for the international community to create conditions for lasting peace.

We should recognize that building broad-based and solid trust is key to lasting peace and security in post-conflict countries. The international community should respect the development paths and systems independently chosen by people of all countries, pursue political settlement of differences and disputes, advocate cooperation and dialogue, refrain from imposing solutions or indiscriminately applying UCMs, and help consolidate mutual trust in the countries concerned, instead of creating chaos. The UN should better leverage mediation, good offices and the peacekeeping mechanism. Peacebuilding efforts should focus on helping countries concerned build a social trust system.

We should recognize that sustainable development is the foundation of lasting peace and a firm safeguard for the promotion and protection of human rights. All countries should pursue a people-centered approach to development that benefits everyone. The international community and the UN should sharpen their focus on and increase investment in development, and help developing countries overcome current economic difficulties in particular financing bottlenecks. International financial institutions, with their serious moral deficit, face the risk of gradual loss of global trust. We should act immediately on the appeal of Secretary-General Guterres by promoting the building of a more open, fair, and inclusive multilateral financial system that can better benefit the people of developing countries.

We should also recognize that the rapid development of information technology and the extensive application of new media and social platforms have also created negative repercussions and challenges to trust between people and among countries. Some country uses its own technology edge to build extensive Matrix-like hacking networks and conduct surveillance and theft of secrets on other countries, including its allies and heads of international organizations. These actions seriously undermine international mutual trust and poison the atmosphere of cooperation. Emerging technologies have both pros and cons. The key is to maximize positive impacts while minimizing negative ones. We believe that tech companies and online platforms should uphold the concept of science and technology for good, enhance self-discipline, spread positive vibes, and take effective measures to combat disinformation. Governments should regulate and supervise them according to law to defend public interests. The UN should play a coordinating role by building a multi-stakeholder platform and facilitating an intergovernmental process to develop and improve universally accepted rules and norms. 

Mr. President, 

The Chinese people always keep our promises. The Chinese diplomacy always honors our commitments and promotes amity. Under the UN flag, we stand ready to deepen mutual trust with other countries, pursue friendly cooperation, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, advance common development, and safeguard common security for a shared future. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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