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Ambassador Zhang Jun Briefed Press on Attendance of President Xi Jinping at the UNGA High-Level Meetings

2020-10-05 23:45

On 5 October 2020, Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, held a virtual briefing for the Chinese and foreign media on the attendance of President Xi Jinping at the high-level meetings of the 75th session of the UNGA, and answered questions on human rights, unilateral coercive measures and other issues.

Ambassador Zhang said, the high-level meetings on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations came to a successful conclusion last week, with the participation of 173 heads of state and government via video link. It was unprecedented in terms of the format and the number of participants. The world today is filled with risks and uncertainties and standing at a crossroads. We are pleased to see that an overwhelming majority of leaders advocated that multilateralism and the authority of the UN should be upheld. We should strengthen solidarity and cooperation and join hands to cope with global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. It is good to note that the important consensus on upholding multilateralism was achieved during the high-level meetings. This shows once again that multilateralism is the trend of our time, the aspiration of the world people, and the maximum convergence of interests of UN Member States.

As Ambassador Zhang pointed out, China attaches great importance to the high-level meetings on the 75th anniversary of the UN. President Xi Jinping attended the high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary, the general debate of the 75th session of UNGA, the summit on biodiversity, and the high-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women. President Xi delivered important speeches aimed to inspire the future development of the UN, boost the confidence in the UN, and inject strength to the UN.

President Xi elaborated on the strategic thinking on the future of humanity. His speech was centered around the theme "The future we want, the UN we need", with a view to safeguarding the long-term and common interests of humanity. President Xi emphasized the need for all countries to embrace the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, to see each other as members of one big family, to pursue win-win cooperation, and to achieve the common interests of all as each country works for its own interests. We should adhere to the path of multilateralism and uphold the UN-centered international system. The UN should stand firm for justice, uphold the rule of law, promote cooperation, and focus on real action. These important statements are in line with the trend of the times to seek peace, development and cooperation and reflect the common aspirations of the vast majority of countries.

President Xi shared China's experience in fighting COVID-19 and promoting recovery. International solidarity is much needed to combat the pandemic. President Xi put forward four propositions on the global fight against the pandemic. First, we should put people and life first. Second, we should strengthen solidarity and partnership. Third, we should develop comprehensive and normalized response. Fourth, we must show care and support for developing countries, especially African countries. The above experience, which comes from China's tremendous efforts to fight COVID-19, can practical guidance. President Xi also announced that China's vaccines, once developed and put into use, would be made available to developing countries on a priority basis as a global public good. His commitment is widely welcomed by the UN and the international community.

President Xi presented China's solution to global challenges. He pointed out that the history of the development of human society is a history of human struggles against and victories over all challenges and difficulties. And global threats and challenges require strong global responses. COVID-19 reminds us that humankind should launch a green revolution and move faster to create a green way of development and life. President Xi announced that China will adopt more forceful policies and measures and strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This ambitious announcement demonstrates China's responsible and constructive attitude in addressing global challenges. This is a highlight of the 75th session of the General Assembly and well received world wide.

President Xi announced a series of important measures to support the work of the UN. China firmly supports the UN's central role in international affairs. When addressing the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi announced that China will provide another 50 million US dollars to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, provide 50 million dollars to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III), extend the Peace and Development Trust Fund between the UN and China by five years after it expires in 2025, donate another 10 million dollars to UN Women in the next 5 years, and set up a UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Center and an International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals. Those commitments are not only China's voluntary contribution to advance international peace and development, but also concrete actions to strengthen multilateralism.

Ambassador Zhang stressed that the 75th anniversary of the UN marks a new beginning and opens a new chapter. As President Xi said, the UN emerges with renewed vigor and vitality and embodies the aspiration of over seven billion people for a better life. We are fully optimistic about the future of the UN. Meanwhile, in the face of growing global challenges and threats, we still have a long way to go. Together with other UN members states, China is committed to actively participate in the UN's work in all fields, fully implement the consensus and commitments of the leaders, jointly combat the COVID-19 pandemic and address global challenges, so as to build back better and greener. We also need to stand firmly against unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices, and safeguard the foundation of world peace, stability and development. We should never allow unilateralism to have its way and to seriously undermine international order, multilateral cooperation and the role of the UN. China has always been a champion and practitioner of multilateralism. We will continue to work with other countries to uphold the UN-centered international system as well as the international order underpinned by international law, and firmly defend the UN's central role in international affairs.

On human rights, Ambassador Zhang emphasized that China attaches great importance to the protection and promotion of human rights, and has scored remarkable achievements in human rights development. 800 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty and people's enjoyment of human rights has been improved across the board. We are willing to further strengthen human rights cooperation with other countries on the basis of equality, mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness. In the meantime, China stands firmly against interference in internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights, against any attempt to make the United Nations a tool of advancing domestic political agenda and making political expediency. Some countries, by making groundless accusations against China with human rights as the pretext, is in fact politicizing the issue of human rights, provoking confrontation among member states, and intentionally hindering China's development. Such practice goes against the facts and the UN Charter, and will lead to nowhere. We urge relevant countries to discard the Cold War mentality and power politics, abandon political confrontation and double standards, and stop going any further down the wrong path.

In terms of unilateral coercive measures(UCMs), Ambassador Zhang said that China made a joint statement on behalf of 26 countries at the general debate of Third Committee of the General Assembly today, and urged relevant countries to lift UCMs completely and immediately. UCMs are contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, and impede the full realization of social and economic development and health capacity. They have an undeniable impact on basic human rights, including on women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. The negative impact of UCMs is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some countries have introduced more UCMs, drawing wide concerns from the international community. Both the UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights called for mitigation and elimination of UCMs. At the general debate of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, many leaders called for the lifting of unilateral coercive measures. In the joint statement of 26 countries, we reiterated our call for the complete and immediate lifting of UCMs, to ensure that the international community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic in a comprehensive, effective and efficient manner. China urges relevant countries to heed the just call of the international community, stop their wrong actions immediately, and return to the track of global solidarity and international cooperation.

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