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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Open Debate “Promote Sustaining Peace through Common Development”

2023-11-20 18:00

Dear Colleagues.

I would like to thank Secretary-General António Guterres, President Dilma Rousseff, and Professor Jeffrey Sachs for their briefings. Your insights are truly enlightening. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to the representatives of member states participating in today's meeting.

Peace, development, and human rights are the three pillars of the United Nations. Among them, development holds the master key to solving all problems and constitutes the basis for promoting peace and protecting human rights. The Security Council is entrusted with a primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is important to recognize that peace and development are intrinsically linked. To achieve sustaining peace, we must effectively address the root causes of conflicts and propose solutions from a development perspective. Some hotspot issues have remained open wounds for a long time. Some have even plunged into a vicious cycle of relapses. All those situations warrant our deep reflection.

China convenes this open debate with a view to advocating a deeper and broader view of security issues, filling the gap under the development pillar of the UN, promoting the idea of development for peace, and exploring holistic and effective ways to build sustaining peace. I would like to share the following points.

First, achieving essential, inclusive, and sustainable development represents the cornerstone of sustaining peace and stability of states. The majority of the hotspot issues of which the Security Council is seized are in less developed regions with poverty and unbalanced development as their common challenges.

Secured livelihood is the basis for achieving national stability. Developing agriculture and achieving food self-sufficiency is the only viable means to fight hunger. Scaling up industrial and infrastructure development is the sure way to improve living conditions and create more jobs. Better health care is essential for the protection of public health. Expanding and improving education is the sine qua non if we want the young people to see hope. Only by realizing people-centered development and eradicating poverty, can we eliminate the breeding ground for extremism, conflict, and violence. 

Only by achieving inclusive and sustainable development, can we lay a solid foundation for sustaining peace. Fragile countries must rationally distribute their social wealth and ensure equal access to public services. In particular, it is imperative to enhance regional development coordination, and protect the rights of all communities and all social segments to enjoy equal development, with special attention paid to vulnerable groups and areas with the biggest development challenges, so that development results can benefit the entire population more equitably. It is crucial to prevent excessive gaps between the rich and the poor and between the developed and the less developed, and bring states onto the path of sustaining peace and sustainable development.

Second, achieving mutual respect and common development is an effective way to maintain international peace. We have taken note that some countries, using democracy and human rights as a pretext, blatantly interfere in the internal affairs of other states and even impose governance models on others. Such practices have led to protracted unrest in some regions as well as a surge in cross-border refugees and migrants, and ultimately backfired on themselves.

States have different national conditions as well as historical and cultural contexts. We must fully respect the right of each country to choose its own development path and support each country in choosing a governance model that accords with its national conditions and formulating the development strategies that leverage national endowment. The repeated relapses into conflict by some African countries fully demonstrate that the externally imposed models are often incompatible with the local environment and have generated even more problems.

It needs to be pointed out in particular that the perennial inequality and imbalance in development between the North and South has an inherent historical reason. Developed countries have the obligation and responsibility to provide tangible assistance to developing countries in achieving development. In particular, developed states should effectively honor their commitments to provide development assistance and genuinely help developing countries build up their capacity of independent development. In addition, every effort should be made to allow developing countries to benefit from the dividends of emerging industries such as digital technology, clean energy, and artificial intelligence, so as to allow leapfrog development of those countries.

In today's world, the globalization process has encountered some headwinds, but regional cooperation is still flourishing and going strong. We must supercharge regional and sub-regional economic integration and promote the integrated development of all countries. Through North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation, we should enhance the international synergy for coordinated development and allow the results of global development to benefit all countries equitably. Only by strengthening the community of shared interests among all states and building a community with a shared future for mankind, can we fundamentally eliminate the threats of various global security challenges.

Third, it is imperative to achieve common development and common security and build a development friendly international community. Developing countries have made great strides in recent years, but they have remained marginalized in globalization and confined to the lower end of global supply chain. This is not because developing countries did not work hard. Rather, it is because developing countries are powerless to change the injustice and inequity of the existing international order.

We must resolutely reject protectionism and the practice of putting one's own country first in international trade. We must oppose the attempts of certain developed countries to obstruct international cooperation by building walls and barriers, engaging in decoupling and severing supply chains. Due to the factors such as ongoing geopolitical conflicts and the spillover effects of the irresponsible financial policies of a major power, many developing countries are confronted with greater difficulties in post-pandemic recovery, with some states and regions engulfed by turmoil or facing heightened risks. This situation is a cause for alarm.

We support the UN in prioritizing the development agenda. We echo the call of the SG to accelerate the reform of the international financial architecture and support giving developing countries a bigger share of voice in global governance. We urge international financial institutions to better meet the pressing needs of developing countries for development finance, climate response, and capacity building. We welcome a more active role by the New Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and their peers in this regard. We call on developed countries to earnestly fulfill their commitments on climate finance and technology transfer and hope that the upcoming COP 28 in Dubai will produce more practical results to help developing countries improve their climate response capabilities.

Sustaining peace and sustainable development of the entire world cannot be achieved in a scenario where a few countries keep getting richer while the majority of states remain poor and underdeveloped indefinitely. We must build a development friendly international community, encourage all countries to follow a path of common development and common security, leave no country behind on the road to development, and allow no country to get hurt on the journey to peace.

Dear Colleagues,

China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of world order. At present, China is forging ahead with high standard reform and opening-up. The Chinese modernization will not only bring about new development in China, but also create new opportunities for the development of countries around the world. China is committed to its good neighborly policy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness, and promotes peace, stability. Development, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region. China has established collective dialogue and cooperation mechanisms with many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China spares no effort to assist developing countries, especially the LDCs and countries in special situations, in achieving independent development and fostering and consolidating the foundation for peace and stability. China has proposed the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, which serve as concrete examples of the development for peace concept and represent Chinese solutions to the advancement of global development and common security.

China will continue to support the UN and the Security Council in playing a leading and coordinating role in global peace and development. China will work through the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund and the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund to scale up resource support and inject new impetus into the relevant activities of the United Nations and member states.

In closing, I hope that this open debate will be an opportunity for member states to not only fully elaborate on their positions and views, but also listen to each other and enhance mutual understanding. Our common goal is to put aside differences, seek common ground, build consensus, and allow the Security Council to better fulfill its important responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

Thank you.

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