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Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the 61st Session of the GA on the SG's Report on the Work of the Organization

2006-10-02 00:00

Madam President,

At the outset, I wish to thank the Secretary General Mr. Annan for his report on the work of the organization. The report provides an overview of the work of the UN during the past year and contains an array of views and recommendations on ways to address the challenges facing us today. As the last report on the work of the organization before the expiration of Secretary General Annan's term of office, it also takes stock of major developments in the work of the UN over the last ten years. Please allow me to avail myself of this opportunity to express my appreciation and gratitude to Secretary General Annan for his assiduous efforts and his outstanding role. In this statement, I would like to focus on three points in connection with the just-concluded general debate.

l. UN form and implementation of the outcome document of the World Summit

During the past year, the UN underwent an important reform process. Efforts are now under way at the national level to implement the commitments made in the outcome document of the Summit. As is stated in the Secretary General's report, "If history judges 2005 for its promises, then 2006 must be judged on implementation." Multiple results were achieved during the past year. The establishment of the Peace Building Commission, the Human Rights Council and the Central Emergency Response Fund, efforts to revitalize the General Assembly, and the adoption of a resolution on a global counter-terrorism strategy all testify to the commitment of member states to broad consensus and unity in the reform process to meet the ever-increasing challenges.

China has all along supported necessary UN reforms so as to strengthen its role in the new era. The reform should be conducive to safeguarding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the unity and cooperation among member states, and the overall interests of UN membership. UN reform should proceed steadily on all fronts and lead to results in all fields, especially in development.

It is readily apparent that developing countries expect UN reforms to lead to greater achievements in development. Reform in the development field involves the future of the UN. China believes that the next focus of the reform should be on development, to fully accommodate the developing countries' concerns and promote the implementation of the MDGs.

All member states must strive for consensus on issues through full consultations and a democratic approach and, in addressing controversial major issues, exercise caution and avoid forceful actions which will only lead to greater divisions and undermine hard-won reform results. Reform is a long-term undertaking. We hope all sides will fulfill the commitment of the Summit outcome document and push the reform process in the right direction.

2. Peace and security

Peace, development and cooperation have become the main trend of our times. However, numerous events prove that the world is far from peaceful. Regional conflicts frequently occur and, in certain contexts, regional hot spot issues are on the rise. UN peace efforts have achieved remarkable success in Burundi and Sierra Leone, and peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia have also yielded positive results. Mediation efforts vis-à-vis the questions of Cyprus and Kosovo of Serbia are under way. However, the Iranian nuclear issue, the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, and the Lebanese-Israeli conflict in the Middle East have swiftly engaged wide attention, putting the ability and the unity of the UN and the international community to the test. China believes, as always, that it is necessary to solve these disputes with peaceful means through negotiations, consultations and other diplomatic means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

The Middle East peace process has landed in an impasse and is a source of concern. The Palestinian and Israeli question, the Lebanese and Israeli question, and the question of Iraq are interwoven and pose threats to world peace and security and the role and authority of the UN. The United Nations must act. The Palestinian question being at the core of the Middle East question, the peace process must be relaunched on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace," so as to arrive at a comprehensive solution of the Middle East question, including the Palestinian and Israeli question, as soon as possible, to enable parties concerned to coexist in harmony amid lasting peace of the region.

The question of Darfur of the Sudan involves many complex factors. The international community must adopt a responsible attitude. The Darfur Peace Agreement provides a historical opportunity which should be seized by the international community so as to promote resumption of the peace and stability in Darfur. It is imperative to urge parties concerned to promptly ratify and fully implement the peace agreement. China supports a UN handover of AMIS in the Darfur region, but in order to ensure the success of the peacekeeping operation, it is necessary to obtain the prior consent of the Sudanese government.

Opportunities as well as challenges exist in the fields of international arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. Under the new circumstances, the international community should adopt a new security concept, advocate multilateralism, and address new security challenges through multilateral cooperation. China favors maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation system. We oppose proliferation of nuclear weapons. At the same time, while fulfilling relevant international obligations, the legitimate rights of countries in the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be fully respected.

The General Assembly recently adopted a global counter-terrorism strategy, thereby sending an important and positive political signal to the world in a demonstration of the fact that the UN is united and active on the question of counter-terrorism. However, rampant terrorist attacks remain a formidable challenge to the international community. Counter-terrorism remains a long uphill journey. The UN should play a major role in this field. This should be a "living strategy" to be further developed and refined as the situation evolves.

3. Development

In the Millennium Declaration in the year 2000, world leaders set forth a bold and inclusive new vision for human development. The World Summit last year made important commitments to a global development agenda and a global partnership for development. However, implementation progress falls short of expectations and humankind is still plagued with problems such as abject poverty, imbalance in development in the North and South, the spread of AIDS, and environmental degradation.

The international community, especially the developed countries, should increase their aid, promote international trade, technology transfer and investment, provide more debt relief and greater assistance to developing countries, and respect developing countries' ownership in questions concerning their own development. The UN should give further play to its role in development and create an enabling environment for developing countries to benefit the developing countries in their large numbers as well as those developing countries with special needs.

The Doha Round of negotiations is at an impasse, which is highly detrimental to the steady growth of the world economy and the orderly development of international trade. Resumption of the negotiations should be achieved as soon as possible. Major developed countries should demonstrate political will and push for an early resumption of the talks in a more flexible spirit. The Doha Round is a development round and should therefore give full prominence to the theme of development, and ensure special and differentiated treatments for developing countries so that they can fully benefit from the multilateral trade system and achieve their development goals.

Madam President,

The United Nations will soon elect a new chief administrative officer. China firmly supports having the next Secretary General from Asia. We are confident that Asia is capable of producing a competent candidate who enjoys high standing and is acceptable to all.

In the upcoming negotiations on the scale of assessments, China stands ready to participate in the discussions in a constructive spirit based on the principle of "capacity to pay." We hope that a fair and reasonable formula will be arrived at through extensive consultations.

Broad consensus has already been achieved on the need to strengthen multilateralism and enhance the role of the UN. This is also the approach jointly chosen by the international community in order to effectively meet existing challenges. The UN having gone through more than sixty years of trials and tribulations, its important role in various fields is all too obvious. In future, only through collective efforts to maintain a multilateral machinery with the UN at its core can the leading role of the UN in international affairs be enhanced and its ability to address all manner of threats and challenges be consolidated.

Thank you, Madam President.

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