Chinese envoy to UN calls for true multilateralism

(Xinhua) 15:11, April 25, 2023

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China's permanent representative to the United Nations on Monday called on all countries to practice true multilateralism.

The world is standing at a historic crossroads. Humanity is facing unprecedented global challenges. Acts of hegemony and bullying are causing colossal harm to the world. Bloc politics are creating huge divisions and confrontation, said Zhang Jun.

"It has become all the more urgent and important to uphold the UN Charter. What is most needed now is for all countries to practice true multilateralism, strengthen unity under the banner of the United Nations, enhance the effectiveness of the global governance system, achieve common security, promote common development, and open up a shared future," he told a Security Council open debate on multilateralism.

First, there is a need to firmly safeguard the authority of the UN Charter, said Zhang.

The UN Charter is the cornerstone of the post-war international order. The principles such as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries as stipulated in the charter have become the basic norms governing modern international relations, he said.

To safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the UN Charter, a country must not just do it in words, but also deeds; it must not just have others do it, but start with itself; it must not do it selectively and apply exceptionalism to itself, but rather do it all the time consistently; it must not form exclusive circles, fabricate narratives of so-called democracy versus authoritarianism, and provoke geopolitical confrontation, but rather advocate dialogue and cooperation, stay committed to extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and resolve disputes by peaceful means, he said.

Second, there is a need to firmly uphold the international order underpinned by international law, he said.

"There is only one order in the world, and that is the international order underpinned by international law. Faced with major change and turbulence in today's world, we must always be guided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and handle international affairs based on international law," he said.

China opposes a certain country distorting the meaning of international law, framing its own will as a so-called rules-based international order, imposing it onto the international community, and wantonly violating the legitimate rights of other countries in violation of international rule of law, said Zhang.

China also opposes the belittling of international agreements, whether by arbitrarily tearing them apart or having double standards. If major powers arbitrarily turn important treaties and agreements that bear on international peace and security into dead letters, not only will international law be eroded, but the world will have no peace at all. Hence, the relevant country should earnestly reflect on its actions, he said.

Third, there is a need to ensure equal participation of all countries in international affairs, he said.

The United Nations cannot and should not serve the interests of only some countries or even a few countries. It is unreasonable for nationals of one country to head some specialized UN agencies and international financial institutions on a long-term or even permanent basis, he said.

The major changes of the world are accelerating. A multipolar world is becoming a reality. The pace of democracy in international relations must also keep up to truly reflect equality and enhance the equity and effectiveness of multilateralism. Developing countries, African countries in particular, should play a greater role at the United Nations. The right of developing countries to participation and decision-making must be ensured, he said.

Fourth, there is a need to resist unilateral sanctions, which violate international law, said Zhang.

Unilateral sanctions indiscriminately imposed by the United States and other countries outside Security Council mandates are entirely for maintaining their hegemony, technology monopoly, and ideology. Their practice has no legal basis, he said.

Unilateral sanctions are like a rampaging monster, constantly creating and aggravating humanitarian crises, violating the basic rights of women and children, hindering the development and progress of countries, especially small and medium-sized countries, and causing immense damage to the harmony and stability of international relations. What is of great concern is that unilateral sanctions often, in the name of upholding international law and implementing Security Council resolutions, have subjected the United Nations to unfounded accusations, and weakened the authority of multilateralism. China once again urges the relevant countries to immediately stop unilateral sanctions, and calls on the international community and all countries to resist and counter such illegal acts, he said.

As a permanent member of the Security Council and a responsible major country, China is committed to true multilateralism and has the best record in terms of upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and complying with international law and basic norms governing international relations, said Zhang.

China's vision of building a community with a shared future for humankind represents a fundamental direction for resolving key challenges and difficulties of the world today. China will vigorously implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, comprehensively promote Chinese modernization, participate in the work of the United Nations on all fronts, and make contributions to promoting international solidarity, addressing challenges, and safeguarding the common values of humankind, he said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


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