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Statement by Ambassador WANG Guangya, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the 60th GA Session on Security Council Reform

2005-11-10 00:00

Mr. President,

The UN Charter entrusts the Security Council with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of world peace and security. Since the beginning of this year, the Security Council, in its continuous commitment to respond to conventional and non-conventional security issues, has made great efforts in such areas as conflict prevention, dispute settlement, peace restoration, counter-terrorism and WMD non-proliferation. An effective, accountable and representative Security Council is in the common interests of all UN Member States. Adhering to multilateralism, strengthening the role of the United Nations and safeguarding the authority of the Security Council can help countries to effectively cope with the ever-complex global threats and challenges.

Mr. President,

At the September Summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao made a comprehensive enunciation of China's position on Security Council reform. I wish to reiterate here China's support for necessary and rational reform of the Council, including its expansion and the improvement of its working methods, in order to maintain its authority, increase its efficiency and strengthen its role.

Democratization of international relations is a global trend, which should also find its reflection in the Security Council. While developing countries account for more than two thirds of the entire UN membership, they are seriously under-represented in the Security Council. China holds that expansion of the Council should give priority to augmenting the representation of developing countries in general and African countries in particular, and increase opportunities for more countries, particularly small and medium-sized countries, to participate in the Council's decision-making process. In expanding the Council, it is imperative to adhere to the principle of equitable geographical distribution and ensure the representation of different cultures and civilizations.

Necessary and appropriate improvements should be made to the working methods of the Security Council so that the creative ideas and constructive proposals of non-Council members at large, of regional organizations as well as of the civil society can be fully reflected. In recent years, quite a number of countries have come up with many positive suggestions and options in this respect, and the Council has made headway in its actual work. China is ready to continue to work with other members of the Council to this end.

Mr. President,

The Security Council reform is an issue of great sensitivity and complexity as it bears on the national interests of all Member States. Over the past few months, China has been vigorously advocating and pushing the Council reform towards the right and healthy direction. We stand by the following principles:

First, the Council reform should be based on democratic discussion with a view to reaching the broadest possible consensus. No artificial deadline should be set, nor should a vote be imposed. Only when this approach is followed can the relevant decisions command the widest possible trust and support, and meet the common long-term interests of all Member States. A reform package that addresses only the concerns of a few states while disregarding those of the majority and treats African and other developing countries inequitably will lead to nowhere.

Second, the reform should reflect the spirit of mutual compromise and keep our solidarity. As a big family of 191 members, the United Nations derives its strength from unity. To date, the Member States have yet to find a Council expansion formula that can meet the concerns of all parties and enjoy universal support. Naturally all parties should therefore continue the dialogue and engage in full consultations in search of compromise. So long as all concerned keep to heart the unity and long-term interests of the United Nations, accommodate each other's interests and concerns, and display a pragmatic and flexible approach, a universally acceptable solution to reform can eventually be found.

Third, the reform should be a gradual process in which the interests of overall UN reform should be kept in mind. The Council reform is part and parcel of the whole UN reform, and reforms in other areas are of equal importance. Discussion over Council expansion in the run-up to the September Summit consumed a great deal of energy and time of all member states. Consequently, consultations on comprehensive UN reform and on the Outcome Document were severely hampered. We must draw lessons from that and prevent its recurrence in the follow-up to the Summit Outcome Document and in the promotion of UN reform.

Mr. President,

This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. At the September Summit, world leaders made solemn pledges and took important decisions on UN reform. The current GA session should be one that advances the reform process and strengthens the role of the United Nations. China is ready to actively support and cooperate with the work of the President of the General Assembly and contribute to the implementation of the Summit Outcome Document.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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