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Statement by Mr. Guan Jian, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 155: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization

2003-10-09 21:00

New York, 9 October 2003

Mr. Chairman,

The Special Committee has discussed proposals concerning sanctions, especially “assistance to Third States affected by the application of sanctions” for many years. It is the hope of the Chinese delegation that the Special Committee's deliberations on these issues can come to early fruition. We believe that sanctions as a tool against threats to and breaches of international peace are not a means for settling international disputes. Sanctions have profound implications and extensive ramifications and may produce negative effects on third states. Therefore, We maintain that decisions on sanctions should be taken with great caution in accordance with strict criteria and especially in conformity with provisions of the UN Charter and international law. Measures of sanctions shall only be used after all peaceful means of dispute settlement have been exhausted. We welcome the recommendations and findings of the ad hoc Expert Group established in 1998. These recommendations and findings should inform the design of a system to evaluate how preventive or enforcement measures might adversely affect third states and to actively explore feasible ways of providing international assistance to those third states, including the establishment of funds and standing consultative mechanisms. Under the current circumstances, best efforts should be made through multi-channel financial arrangements or economic assistance to offset losses suffered by the third states. Primarily responsible for solving this problem, the United Nations should take prompt action to design a set of measures for assisting the third states affected by sanctions.

On the question of formulating a set of guiding principles for UN peacekeeping operations, Chinese delegation endorses the basic ideas contained in the working document entitled “Fundamentals of the legal basis for UN Peacekeeping Operations in the context of Chapter VI of the Charter of the UN” submitted by the Russian Delegation, and supports an in-depth discussion on it. We believe that discussion by other UN organs of peacekeeping issues does not impede consideration by the Special Committee from a legal perspective of this item that is directly related to the UN Charter. Peacekeeping operations are an important means of maintaining international peace and security that has evolved over time in the activities of the UN. A timely review of experiences and lessons learned in the peacekeeping operations is beneficial no matter how one looks at it.

On the question of the status of the Trusteeship Council and its future, China believes that although the Council has completed its historic mission, there is no urgency in its abolition or change of function. Maintaining its current status will not undermine the functioning of the UN. Precipitate actions on the contrary could produce unforeseeable problems. Therefore, this question should be considered and properly dealt with in the overall context of reforming the UN and strengthening its role.

As to the role of the Special Committee, Chinese delegation believes that so long as all sides demonstrate the necessary political will, it is possible for the Special Committee to play the role expected of it. All members can, in a spirit of pragmatism and consensus, explore ways and means for improving the work of the Special Committee and enhancing its efficiency. China appreciates the initiatives by some delegations for improving the efficiency of the Special Committee. We will consider these proposals in a constructive and cooperative spirit.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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