|Statement by Ms. Guo Xiaomei Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations At the Sixth Committee of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly On The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels
The Chinese Delegation congratulates the successful convening of the high level meeting on the Rule of law at National and International levels on September 24, and welcomes the adoption of the Declaration on this subject. We trust that the meeting will have a positive bearing on the promotion of rule of law. As the Declaration points out, the rule of law is the foundation of friendly and equitable relations between states and the basis upon which just and fair societies are built. In China’s view, while national and international rule of law are two discrete legal spheres, promoting their mutual reinforcement and common development is of important significance for enhancing international peace and security, development and human rights.
Strengthening international rule of law is necessary for safeguarding international peace and security and promoting cooperation among and development of countries. It therefore serves the common interest of all members the international community. China believes that attention must be given to the following aspects in our current effort to strengthen international rule of law.
Firstly, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be upheld, and universally recognized basic principles of international law, such as sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs, must be followed while addressing international relations and affairs.
Secondly, international law must be applied in a uniform and consistent manner. Double standards or selective enforcement must be avoided and more importantly, it is impermissible to engage in practices of power politics and armed intervention under the disguise of international law.
Thirdly, efforts are needed to continuously improve international legislation, especially in the non-traditional security area, and to preserve the UN’s leading role in global governance and international legislative work.
Fourthly, the balance between preserving peace and pursuing justice must be properly handled. As universal values, peace and justice should be mutually reinforcing and complementary. While supporting the punishment for serious international crimes, such as war crime, genocide, crime against humanity, it is necessary to ensure that justice is not pursued at the expense of peace or national reconciliation.
With regard to strengthening national rule of law, China is of the view that there is no uniform model for rule of law applicable to all countries. Countries are entitled to choose the path to rule of law suitable to their own situations in light of their national conditions, political systems and judicial traditions, and they should play the leading role in building their national rule of law. At the same time, the international community should reinforce cooperation and following the basic principles of international law of respect for sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs, facilitate the voluntary and need-based mutual assistance among countries in terms of finance, technology and capacity building.
China attaches great importance to international rule of law and puts it in actual practice. China strictly abides by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, scrupulously follows the principles and rules of international law, and fulfills its international treaty obligations in earnest. In the 1950’s, China joined India and Myanmar in advocating the five principles of peaceful co-existence. Those principles have now been accepted by most countries. With the evolvement of international situation, the Chinese Government has put forward the idea of building a harmonious world, which consists of the following: upholding democracy and equality as the basis for coordination and cooperation; striving for friendly relations and mutual trust as means to achieve common security; seeking equity and mutual benefit in pursuit of common development; and taking an inclusive and open approach to engage in inter-civilization dialogue.
China, in accordance with its basic strategy of “implementing the rule of law and building a socialist country of rule of law”, has actively explored for a path to rule of law suitable to its conditions. We have now essentially in place a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. We have laws to go by in economic, political, cultural, social and other areas. Respect for and safeguarding of human rights have been incorporated in our Constitution, Criminal Procedure Law and other important legislations. The power of administrative authority has continuously been regulated. The supervision and accountability of government have been constantly strengthened. The judicial system reform has been ceaselessly advanced. And the social equity and justice have been further safeguarded.
Strengthening rule of law is our common responsibility. To build and improve international and national rule of law is an onerous and time consuming task. The Chinese government firmly believes that sound rule of law is in line with the common aspirations of people of all countries for peace, development, and cooperation. China supports the GA in continuing the discussion under the item “Rule of Law at National and International Levels”. This will provide a platform for member states to share experiences, increase understanding, expand consensus, and enhance cooperation. China is ready, together with other countries, to make relentless efforts to safeguard and improve rule of law and promote the realization of the objective of rule of law.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.