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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open Debate on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Diversity, State Building and the Search for Peace

2021-10-12 12:27

Mr President,

The Chinese delegation thanks Kenya for organizing this open debate. A warm welcome to you, President Kenyatta, and I thank you for chairing today's meeting. The briefings by the Secretary-General, President Kagame, and President Mbeki on the theme of the debate are insightful and inspiring, for which I am truly grateful. I have also listened attentively to Ms. Koofi’s statement.

Diversity is an intrinsic characteristic of the world. It is a perpetual force that drives human development. But sometimes it may also become a source of tension and conflict. In the wake of the Second World War, many Asian, African and Latin American countries have emerged from colonial rule and gained independence. The legacy of colonialism, however, has not been fully eliminated. National borders artificially drawn up by external powers, and the bizarre, political, and economic structures inherited from the colonial era have all but hindered the organic formation of national identities among peoples of former colonies, resulted in a wide range of complex issues within the newly independent countries, and become root causes of conflict. In the process of resolving hotspot issues and post-conflict peacebuilding, how to make diversity a positive driver is a topic that merits in depth discussion.

China is of the view that we must support the efforts of developing countries to maintain national unity. To govern any country, it is essential to respect the diversity of society, and at the same time, stay committed to maintaining national unity. These two goals are not incompatible or mutually exclusive. For many developing countries, the task of maintaining national unity is more urgent and related challenges are more pronounced. Many conflict situations currently on the Security Council's agenda are the result of intensified inter-communal disputes and weakened national identities. China calls on all parties to internal conflicts to put the interests of their country and people first, set aside communal and partisan differences, build up political consensus, and establish and consolidate a broad and inclusive political architecture. We support the United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions in redoubling their efforts in this regard going forward. Kenya has forged ahead with reforms in recent years, and expanded the political participation of women and other social groups. Kenya's experience and practices have set a laudable example, for the international community.

We must support the efforts of developing countries to achieve inclusive development. Development is the master key to the solutions to all problems and decent living for all is the fundamental guarantee for the realization of lasting peace. In the process of post-conflict peacebuilding, the countries concerned should uphold a people-centered approach, formulate inclusive development policies, mobilize people's initiative at all levels of society, and adopt a grow-the-pie mindset in national development. This is the economic basis for achieving national harmony and enhancing social cohesion. At a time when the world economy is still reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing countries are in a more disadvantaged position in international economic relations, and the goal of inclusive development remains elusive. We must improve global economic governance and rectify the unjust and unreasonable arrangements in the current system through reforms, so that developing countries can participate in and benefit from international economic cooperation on an equal footing. We should support developing countries to address uneven development within their borders, pay more attention to vulnerable groups, redistribute the pie, allow everyone to benefit from the fruits of development, prevent the polarization of wealth and leave no one behind.

We must support the efforts of developing countries to stand up to foreign interference. Each country has its own unique history and culture, and as such is entitled to follow a development path that accords with its own national conditions. Attempts of foreign powers to promote regime change and impose their own governance model on others, attempts to promote the so called-democratic transformation, and the partiality of foreign influence in internal disputes have plunged countries such as Libya and Syria into civil strife, and resulted in Afghanistan falling into a vicious cycle. History tells us that a world where peace and development prevail is one that comprises different forms of civilization, as well as diverse paths to modernization. On the question of how a country should be governed, it is the people of that country who should have the final say. Countries should respect each other's choices regarding development path and political system. Parties to hotspot issues should be encouraged to seek solutions that reflect realities on the ground. Regional organizations should receive our support in playing an important role in resolving their own regional issues. And we should resolutely oppose any acts of spreading hate speech, misleading information and inciting enmity between different communities, including through the abuse of the internet.

Mankind lives in a global village. The global threats and challenges that confront us all require a stronger commitment to solidarity and collective response under the banner of the United Nations. China stands ready to work with other countries to practice true multilateralism, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly build a better world.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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