|Statement by Ambassador WANG Guangya at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on the Draft Outcome Document of the September Summit|
The Chinese delegation would like to thank you for having convened and presided over our consultations on the draft outcome document of the upcoming GA Summit. We would also like to thank you and the facilitators for the positive efforts made during the process of drafting this document. The importance of today’s meeting is self-evident. We can say that it marks the start of the countdown of the preparations for the Summit. We are convinced that under your outstanding leadership, we’ll make good progress in our consultations on the outcome document and thus lay down a solid foundation for the successful convocation of the Summit in September.
This year is of very special significance to the United Nations. The Summit in September will be a grand event and the focus of the attention of the whole world. As of now, leaders of more than 170 countries have already confirmed their participation in the Summit. The Summit will not only review the glory and vicissitudes of the UN over the past 60 years, but more importantly, it will also sound the clarion call for the march into the future and turn over a new page for the Organization. Five years ago, leaders of the Member States gathered together to issue the historic “Millennium Declaration” which contains noble commitments for our “Earth Village”—the place which the whole mankind owns and lives together. Five years later, each and every citizen of the “Earth Village” is waiting to see the results of this stage of the fulfillment of those commitments as well as a new blueprint for accelerated implementation.
Starting from the end of last year, we have discussed in an extensive and prolonged manner the report of the High-Level Panel, the report of the Millennium Project and the Consolidated Report of the Secretary-General. Those discussions were for the purpose of creating a propitious foundation and atmosphere for the September Summit. If we compare those meticulous discussions to the overture of the September Summit, then the draft document we are discussing today is the cadenza of the Summit. We the 191 Member States are the composers of this magnificent concerto. The success of the “Ode to Joy” to be put on in September will depend on the political will and spirit of cooperation of all the Member States. We are entrusted with a tremendous responsibility.
The outcome document of the Summit is a development and an extension of the Millennium Declaration. It will have significant and profound impact on the efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on the reform of the UN and the improvement of its internal management and on the promotion and deepening of multilateralism. China is of the view that the form of the outcome document should be concise and forceful in order to reflect and correspond to the status of the world leaders. More importantly, the content of this document should help achieve the following three goals:
First, the issue of development should be highlighted to the greatest extent possible. The outcome document should contain the political commitment of Member States and set down concrete steps and timeframes for the effective expedition of the realization of the MDGs, thus satisfying the urgent need and concern of the large number of developing countries.
Secondly, the overall reform of the UN should be carried out in an effective and multi-dimensional manner. Efforts should be made to seek the broadest possible agreement on various specific reform plans through full democratic consultations in order to improve the UN’s efficiency and its capability of responding to new challenges.
Thirdly, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld and maintained and the authority of the UN established and strengthened so as to enhance multilateralism and fortify multilateral mechanism and make the UN more responsive to today’s reality and the needs of states.
The Chinese delegation has studied carefully the draft outcome document. This is a fairly comprehensive document and basically covers all the major issues. Thus it offers a good basis for our consultations. I would like to make the following preliminary comments:
Firstly, to accelerate the realization of development is currently the biggest common aspiration of all developing countries. It also forms the basis for the maintenance of collective security and the promotion of human rights in all countries. China has always called for making development one of the core items to be considered as a priority by the September Summit and for placing development at the center of the outcome document. With this objective in mind, we believe that the Summit should go beyond empty words and put forward a comprehensive and ambitious framework for action which will comprise of clear mandates and timetables as well as mechanisms for monitoring in order to implement various globally agreed development goals, including MDGs.
Development is an integrated endeavor, which requires both domestic actions by states and the guarantee of a favorable international framework and the collaboration and support of other partners. We support the prominence given by the draft to partnership and financing for development because we believe that they are particularly important to turning promises into practical actions. Countries should formulate and implement development strategies based on their specific situations. To those developing countries that are faced with the most difficulties in the process of development, the effective implementation of their national strategies needs both sufficient “policy space” and international support tailored to their special needs. The draft document should have the necessary reference on this point.
We approve the recommendations in the draft on the increase of Official Development Assistance(ODA), trade, debt relief, innovative ways of financing, “quick win” and HIV/AIDS and on meeting the special needs of African countries, LDCs and small island developing countries. Nevertheless, we think there are still some aspects that need to be improved:
On ODA, we welcome the EU’s action of setting an explicit timetable for the realization of the ODA goals. The Summit should make full use of this positive momentum to prompt all developed countries to establish timetables and necessary mechanisms so as to ensure the flow of development funds towards developing countries.
On trade, we believe that it is essential to establish an open and fair international trade system. The Summit should both call on the Doha Round to place development at the center and urge that actions be taken to remove the trade concerns of developing countries in order to make sure that the developing countries can get benefits even before the negotiations are completed.
On debt relief, we welcome the initiative of the financial ministerial meeting of G8 to exempt the foreign debt of 18 LDCs, and we also hope that the developed countries respond to the request of the developing countries by granting more debt relief.
Global governance has a direct bearing on the realization of the international development goals. The Summit should take concrete actions to promote comprehensive participation in order to correct the systemic unbalance, ensure the policy consistence and cohesion of international financial and trade institutions, keep the stability of economic, financial and trade order so as to effectively ward off and respond to economic turmoil and financial crises.
On climate change, it is imperative to stick to the principles set by the international community in the “Framework Convention on Climate Change”, especially the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” between developed and developing countries.
Secondly, China supports the positive elements in the draft on taking collective actions to respond to security threats, peaceful settlement of disputes and the strengthening of peace-keeping and sanctions. The relevant articles of the Charter have provided sufficient means to deal with all security threats. This has reflected the basic common understanding of all sides. But there still exists difference of views as to the formulation of standards for the use of force, so discussion should continue on that point.
China supports a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy and calls for early agreement on the draft “Comprehensive International Convention on Terrorism”. The outcome document should also include reference to avoid double standards on counter-terrorism. China views positively the recommendations and ideas in the field of arms control and non-proliferation as contained in the draft. We welcome the specific ideas on furthering nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, preventing arms race in outer space, enhancing the universality of and compliance to international arms control instruments like the NPT, keeping non-state actors from accessing sensitive items and establishing nuclear weapon free zones. We also welcome the ideas concerning land mines and small arms. The role of the UN in strengthening arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts should be further emphasized in the draft. On strengthening international nuclear non-proliferation mechanism, China is willing to listen to the views of all, especially of the developing countries.
China supports the establishment of the Peace Building Commission and its early operation. This not only represents the strong demand of many developing Member States, especially African states, but also has a direct impact on the UN’s activities in the field of post-conflict peace building. Since this Commission is of an advisory and coordinating nature, it shouldn’t be too big in composition, nor should it be too formalized. The focus of its work is to help solve current practical difficulties. If certain details cannot be worked out right now, we can wait till after the Summit to continue the discussion and make improvements.
Thirdly, China agrees to and supports the reform of the human right institution of the UN. The key is to change the current politisization of human rights issues, do away with double standards, promote cooperation and dialogue and strengthen the capacity building of countries in the field of human rights. China supports the High Commissioner for Human Rights in playing an active role in the UN system according to his/her mandate. The Office of the High Commissioner should enhance efficiency and rationalize resources, and its composition should reflect the principle of equitable geographical distribution. As to the “Democracy Foundation”, we hope that the Secretary-General provide explanations as to its source, rules and regulations governing its use and ways of assessment so as to facilitate our discussion.
The concept of “responsibility to protect” involves national sovereignty and a series of other sensitive questions. Currently, there still exist differences of views and further consultations are necessary. Therefore, prudence is required for the statement on this question in the draft. We are of the view that national governments bear the primary responsibility of protecting their citizens. Causes of civil strives are often complicated and involved many factors. In order to decide whether or not a government is able and willing to protect its citizens, a set of comprehensive criteria agreed on by the whole international community should be formulated, instead of letting a few states or institutions to set the criteria by themselves, by which they would then advocate intervention. In trying to mitigate and prevent large-scale humanitarian crises, the international community must strictly abide by the UN Charter, respect the views of the countries concerned and relevant regional organizations, defer to the Security Council which will make the decision based on conditions on the ground and try its very best to use peaceful means. In cases involving enforcement actions, it’s all the more necessary to take a cautious approach and proceed on a case-by-case basis.
Institutional reform is an important part of the overall reform of the UN. China is in favor of the further revitalization of the GA and the strengthening of its role and authorities. We also support the recommendations of strengthening the ECOSOC and reforming UN human rights institution. It is of our view that the reformed UN human rights institution must strictly uphold the principle of equitable geographic distribution and must be widely representative to the extent possible. At present, considerable divergence of views still exists as to the name, status, size, ways of election, function and working methods of this institution. We think that the outcome document can first make a principled decision on the reform of the human rights institution. As for specific questions, substantive consultations can be held after the Summit with the view to reaching a wide consensus.
Recently, many problems in the internal management of the Secretariat have come to light. Certain scandals that have been exposed in particular have seriously damaged the image of the UN and also discredited and hurt the absolute majority of international civil servants who are hard working and dedicated. These problems must be promptly rectified. China urges the Secretariat to enhance the transparency, credibility, efficiency and accountability of management. In principle, we are in favor of the part of the draft on the strengthening of the internal management of the Secretariat. We think that the Secretary-General should be given necessary mandates and at the same time, Member States should strengthen the supervision of the Secretariat. However, this is only the first step of Secretariat’s internal reform. The reform is a long and sustained process with the ultimate goal of building an efficient and effective Secretariat.
With regard to abolishing the Trusteeship Council and deleting the reference to “enemy States”, it is appropriate to put it within the framework of overall UN reform for a package solution with all other issues related to UN Charter amendment.
China supports the reform of the Security Council. The reform should include both the increase of membership and the improvement of working methods so as to enhance the authority and efficiency of the Security Council. The enlargement of the Security Council must give priority to increasing the representation and participation of the developing countries, especially African countries. Any expansion formula must make sure that small and medium countries have more opportunities to take turns to participate in the work of the Security Council, uphold the principle of geographical balance and ensure the representation of different cultures and civilizations. Reform initiatives concerning various regions should first be agreed upon within the relevant regional groups.
The reform of the Security Council is sensitive and complicated and involves the immediate national interests of all states. It should follow the gradual process of democratic discussion with a view to reaching consensus. It shouldn’t only take care of the concern of a few or some states. Only a decision arrived at through consensus can obtain the widest trust and support and really enhance the representation and authority of the Security Council. At present, there are still significant differences over the enlargement formula of the Security Council and no agreeable solution to all is in sight. Member States need more time to continue dialogue and consultations for the optimal formula.
The enlargement of the Security Council is only one part of the overall reform of the UN. Recent debates surrounding the enlargement of the Security Council has already affected and impaired discussions on other major items. The preparation for the September Summit, especially the discussion on how to concentrate efforts to address the question of development, has been greatly hijacked. Forcible voting on an immature formula is bound to lead to divisions among Member States and weaken the authority and role of the UN. To the absolutely majority of Member States, it will be a huge loss of irremediable nature. China is opposed to artificially setting a time limit for the reform of the Security Council. If a formula on which there exist major differences is forcibly put to vote, China will resolutely vote against it.
Thank you, Mr. President.