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Explanation of Position by China after the Adoption of Resolution “Standing mandate for a General Assembly debate when a veto is cast in the Security Council”

2022-04-27 11:49

The world is now confronted with unprecedented risks and challenges. Countries need to uphold true multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation under the banner of the UN, and make the UN as the central platform for maintaining common security and pursuing shared development. China, like other Member States, believes that the General Assembly is the most universal and representative policy deliberation and decision making body within the UN system. We support the General Assembly discharge its duties and play an active and important role in line with its mandate under the UN Charter. 

Liechtenstein together with co-sponsors have submitted the draft resolution under the General Assembly agenda item “Strengthening the UN system”. According to the co-sponsors, this draft resolution aims to empower the General Assembly in line with its Charter mandate with respect to matters of international peace and security and thus to make a meaningful contribution to effective multilateralism. Based on our consistent position on the role of the General Assembly, we understand and acknowledge the purpose of this resolution. 

The UN Charter confers on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. China has always conducted work in the Council in a constructive and responsible manner. We advocate that the Council should be committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes and the settlement of differences through dialogue and consultation. Strengthening coordination between the Council and the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the International Court of Justice as well as other relevant organizations is also necessary. We have been actively promoting the improvement of the Council's working methods, increase transparency and enable greater engagement of the Council members especially small and medium sized countries in the Council’s work.

Today's world is full of uncertainties and instabilities. The international community expects the permanent members of the Council to take the lead in upholding multilateralism, adhering to international rule of law and fulfilling international obligations and promoting global cooperation. Article 27, paragraph three of the UN Charter defines the special responsibilities of the permanent members of the Council. Permanent members of the Council should respect each other, respond to the request for common security from the international community, and more importantly, insist on the equality of all countries regardless of their size. China advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and is committed to fulfillment of its international responsibilities and obligations through concrete actions. We define our position in the Security Council in a manner that is responsible to the UN Charter and to history.

When the Council is unable to act on issues concerning international peace and security due to the lack of consensus among permanent members, we are in favor of discussions among UN member states on these issues at the General Assembly. Under the mechanism of Uniting for Peace, General Assembly Emergency Special Sessions can be convened in such circumstances. Practice over the years has shown that this arrangement enable member states to play their roles on major issues of international peace and security. At the same time, in the actual work of the Council, there are a variety of specific situations in which the Council is unable to act. The resolution adopted today gives the General Assembly a new mandate and creates a mechanism that triggers the General Assembly to convene meetings with automaticity, which is likely to cause procedural confusion and inconsistency in practice. It is uncertain whether such an arrangement will be able to serve the intended purpose of the resolution or not at this time. 

To promote General Assembly and the Security Council faithfully discharge their responsibilities under the UN Charter is conducive to strengthening the effectiveness of the UN system and fulfillment of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. This serves the common interests of the international community. China is ready to work with all Member States to make unrelenting efforts to that end. 

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