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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Virtual Open Debate "Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Contemporary Drivers of Conflict and Insecurity"

2020-11-03 04:32

Madam President,

China congratulates Vincent and the Grenadines on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of November. We welcome the Presidency’s initiative to hold this debate as well as His Excellency Prime Minister Gonsalves presiding over the meeting. I would also like to thank Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohamed, Ambassador Munir Akram, President of ECOSOC, Dr. Mayaki, CEO of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies for their briefings.

Peace and tranquility are the eternal aspirations of mankind, but conflicts and insecurity continue to persist. Since the dawn of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to the international financial crisis, and to the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity has endured the shocks of multiple global challenges, and is now facing yet another important historical moment. When confronted with myriads of conflicts and security risks, identifying their drivers and adopting targeted measures will contribute to more effective maintenance of international peace and security and bring security and tranquility to people in all countries.

We must fully recognize that development underpins the solutions to all problems. Investing more in development and removing the development deficit are, in reality, the most important tasks in conflict prevention, and represent the most cost-effective peace project.

Currently, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is facing new massive obstacles in its implementation, and the North-South divide risks becoming even wider. The international community should address development issues with a heightened sense of urgency and promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a comprehensive, balanced and vigorous manner. The focus should be eradicating poverty and preventing any major reversal of the gains in global poverty reduction.

The prevention and control of COVID-19 remains the top priority for the international community. We should stay committed to putting people and life first. Under the coordination of the United Nations and the WHO, we are carrying out international joint prevention and control, and accelerating the R&D, production and distribution of vaccines. Member States should earnestly implement Security Council resolution 2532 and actively respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic to international peace and security.

Climate change, in the final analysis, is a development issue. We must continue to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and build a fair and reasonable global climate governance system that facilitates win-win cooperation. President Xi Jinping announced at the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly that China aims to have its CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and strives to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This demonstrates China’s resolve and responsible attitude in tackling climate change. We hope that all countries around the world, including the entire membership of the Security Council, especially the developed countries, will take steps to jointly promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

For post-conflict countries, building a solid foundation for sustainable development is a key task. If development remains stalled long after the end of a conflict, it will be difficult for peace to truly take hold. The international community should support post-conflict countries in their effort to strengthen government authority, improve governance capabilities, build consensus in society, and follow a development path that is suited to their national conditions.

We must fully recognize that strengthening collective security is an important means to achieve our own security. In today’s world, security issues are more interconnected, transnational and diverse. Given the complex and intertwined nature of international security challenges, no country can stand alone in isolation, let alone obsession with force. Embracing the concept of collective, common and general security is the right choice.

Disputes and differences in state-to-state relations are inevitable. The key is to commit to solving problems through dialogue and consultation. No country can gain from others’ difficulties or maintain stability by taking advantage of others’ turmoil. The peaceful settlement of disputes is a cardinal principle enshrined in the UN Charter, and represents the right way for countries to engage one another. We must oppose the frequent resort to or threat of force in international relations. We must reject the Cold War mentality and the forming of exclusive groups. We must stay vigilant against any attempt to provoke confrontation between groups of countries and to stoke up a new Cold War. Relentless militarism only exacerbates the security predicament. Advanced armaments cannot buy absolute security. The countries with the largest nuclear arsenals have an obligation to earnestly fulfill their special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament.

The recent terrorist attacks have once again shown that terrorism remains a lurking threat, and that the international counter-terrorism cooperation should be strengthened rather than weakened. Acts of terrorism, whenever, wherever and by whomever committed, must be met with resolute measures. At the same time, we should not link terrorism to any specific country, ethnicity or religion, let alone practicing double standards on counter-terrorism issues. We must actively take deradicalization measures to curb the threat of extremist ideology and eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism.

Cybersecurity risks are a new challenge that all countries face together. There is an urgent need to strengthen communication and coordination at the international level to jointly formulate countermeasures. No country should abuse the notion of national security to restrict normal ICT development and cooperation. China has recently launched the global initiative on data security, with a view to building a peaceful, safe, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace. The international community should work on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, strengthen dialogue and cooperation, and make cyberspace a driver for economic and social development, international peace and stability, as well as human welfare.

We must fully recognize that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon against all challenges. We live in an interconnected global village where all people share weal and woe. The close ties that bind our countries together dictate that mankind has a common destiny. We must come to appreciate our converging interests, develop a sense of community of shared future, transcend faction and zero-sum thinking, view the world as a big family, and strive for win-win cooperation.

Global threats and challenges require stronger global response. Multilateralism must be preserved, and the role of the United Nations must be strengthened. China always believes that all countries, big or small, should enjoy equal rights and opportunities and are equal before rules. All countries should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, safeguard international system with the UN at its core, and maintain the international order based on international law. The Security Council, the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Peacebuilding Commission and other bodies should fulfill their respective mandates and complement one another. The United Nations should strengthen its coordination with regional and sub-regional organizations and form synergy in order to jointly tackle risks of conflict and factors for instability.

Major countries bear a special duty for the maintenance of international stability, and the permanent members of the Security Council should play an exemplary role. At this crucial moment when the world is facing immense risks and challenges, the Security Council should remain united and avoid division. In particular, big country should act like one, and lead by example. They should take the lead in promoting international solidarity and cooperation in providing global public goods and in making contributions to overcoming global challenges.

Madam President,

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Secretary-General Guterres called for a global ceasefire before the end of this year. It is impossible to achieve peace by waiting for it. We need to take concrete actions. At this important juncture, the UN member states should reaffirm their commitment to lasting peace and security for all, and embark upon a new journey towards a better common future.

Thank you, Madam President.

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