China and UN

On 12th March 2016, Chinese Consul General Pan Xinchun attended the Model United Nations Conference at George Watson's College and delivered a keynote speech on China and UN as follows:

Good Morning. I am very delighted to come to the college and see so many young students at the conference today. By participating in such a wonderful event, you are not only supporting the lofty cause of peace and development of the UN, but also contributing your wisdom and strength to promoting global cooperation and world peace.

At this moment when you are sitting here, lots of children in your age in many parts of the world still do not have enough food and clothing, and cannot afford to go to school. People in many conflict-ridden places around the world are still suffering. They have stronger desire for development and yearning for peace, as well as higher hopes for the UN.

Several months ago, China joined the international community in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN. A number of important agreements had been reached on the issue of world peace and development, drawing up a new blueprint for global development and providing global peace with fresh opportunities.   

More than 70 years ago, the founding of the UN was an epoch-making event in the history of mankind and a milestone in the quest for peace and progress. In the past years, as the most representative and authoritative intergovernmental organization in the world, the UN, with its three pillars of peace and security, development, and human rights, has played an irreplaceable role and accomplished a great deal in promoting human progress. In a word, the UN is not a panacea, but it's indispensable.

We live in a changing world full of new opportunities and challenges. The international system and order are undergoing profound adjustments, with the balance of power shifting in favor of peace and development. The trend of our times featuring peace, development and win-win cooperation is becoming more pronounced. On the other hand, there are a multitude of new and tough challenges. The world economy has not recovered from the lingering impact of the global financial crisis. Poverty and other worldwide problems still persist. Regional hotspot issues keep flaring up. Terrorism, cyber-security and other unconventional security threats are on the rise. All in all, achieving world peace and development is a long and uphill battle.

Against this background, there are growing expectations for the UN to take on more responsibilities. As a large organization, there is no doubt that the UN has many imperfect aspects. It should continue to be a messenger for the maintenance of peace, and a forerunner for the promotion of development through reforms. A reformed UN with a bigger role to play will serve the common interests of humanity.

We think that no matter what reforms it is, it should be in the interest of multilateralism, and enhance UN's authority and efficiency, as well as its capacity to deal with new threats and challenges. Reforms should safeguard the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, especially those of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful resolution of conflicts and strengthening international cooperation, etc. It should be all-dimensional and multi-sectoral and accommodate the propositions and concerns of all UN members, especially those of the developing countries. Reforms should be based on democratic and thorough consultations and the most broadly-based consensus, and proceed gradually from tackling more manageable problems to thornier ones and be carried out in a way that will maintain and promote solidarity among members.

In short, the role of the UN in the future must be strengthened rather than weakened; its authority must be upheld instead of undermined.

As a founding member of the UN and the permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has played a major role for the UN, and this kind of role is constantly increasing. What is worth mentioning is that China is the first signatory in UN Charter, and unswervingly makes efforts to maintain the purposes and principles of the Charter. China always attaches great importance to supporting the UN in international affairs, actively participate in the UN's work in various fields, contribute to the peaceful settlement of disputes and play a constructive role in the North Korea nuclear issue, Afghanistan issue, the Iran nuclear issue, Syria issue, and Ukraine issue among others.

For a long time, China actively participates in international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, and assumes more international responsibilities and obligations within its capabilities. Since 2003, China has undertaken search and rescue work successively in earthquake stricken areas such as Algeria, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan, Haiti, New Zealand, Japan and Nepal. When western Africa was suddenly hit by the Ebola epidemic in 2014, the Chinese government and people felt for them. We were the first to deliver aid, and altogether we provided four tranches of emergency aid with a total value of 75 million Pounds. We also deployed nearly 1,000 medical workers to the affected areas. The Chinese medical workers know the risk of infection, yet to improve the health of the African people, they are still battling in the affected countries.

In addition, China also actively implements the Millennium Development Goals, and participates in international development cooperation and South-South cooperation. A total of 166 countries and international organizations have received aids worth 40 billion Pounds from China. More than 600,000 experts have been sent overseas to assist local people. More than 700 people among them sacrificed their lives in the development of those countries.

China has taken part in UN's peacekeeping operations for a long time. We are a main troop and fund contributing country to these operations. China is the country that sends the most peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. So far, more than 30,000 people have participated in 29 UN peacekeeping operations. While China has made tremendous contributions to the UN, it also made great sacrifices. In UN peacekeeping operations, 18 Chinese men and women in uniform have lost their lives to save others.

Dear students,

The climate change, terrorism and economic slowdown are global problems. To deal with these issues in a legitimate and effective way, the world should work together, and the UN should play a role in global cooperation. Any single country or a group of several countries that want to do it alone will bring a lot of trouble.

On climate change, international community should work as one to deal with it. It is a global challenge for all mankind. We are pleased to see that the Paris Conference on Climate Change adopted the Paris Agreement and related decisions last December. The Paris Agreement put in place a global mechanism to deal with climate change. It is a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious agreement. It marked a historic moment in the international campaign against climate change.

As a coal rich country, China relied heavily on coal for its economic development over the years. Yet it also brought about heavy pollution and harmed people's health. To solve this problem, China has changed its energy policy by shifting to develop clean energy in recent years. We have made huge efforts and achieved great progress in this regard. Since 2012, China has cut emissions of pollutions by 12 percent, and has been the biggest country of clean energy investment in the world. In 2015, China's clean energy investment stood at 56 billion US dollars, accounting for 33% of the total global investment and close to the total investment of the US and Europe.

On Syria and the Middle East issue, the situation in the region is serious and disturbing. Differences among nations, religious sects and ethnic groups aggravate one another. Wars and conflicts, humanitarian disasters and terrorist threats are interwoven. The history of the Middle East told us that violence cannot win peace and hatred never brings hope. Violence cannot fully bring the problem to an end and hatred will only extinguish hope. Only by respecting each other can people live together peacefully, only by adhering to dialogue can problems be resolved and only by promoting friendship can a better future be created. Political settlement is the only way out of the Syrian crisis. To achieve this, parties need to find a middle way that draws on workable practices of other countries and regions, suits Syria's national conditions, and accommodates the interests of all parties. We hope the relevant parties work together to deal with the issue, so that the Syria people could enjoy the peace again.

On the terrorism, the terrorists become active again, and the Paris attack is still a nightmare for many people. As a common scourge of mankind, terrorist activities are all the same in nature and, to fight them, we must not adopt double standards. We call for comprehensive international cooperation under the UN framework. Regional instability and development gap breed terrorism, while ethnic disunity and religious conflicts allow radical ideologies to resurface. So both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism should be addressed. We must properly address regional disputes, restore regional stability, enhance the governance capabilities of various countries, speed up economic development and improve people's lives in tangible ways.

On world economic situation, we can say that the profound impacts of the international financial crisis are lingering, and the world economy is still slow in recovery and weak in growth, it's in a period of deep adjustment. To develop the world economy, we should manage our own affairs well by taking effective measures at home, and respond to the challenges together through closer cooperation. It is more necessary for one country to take into full consideration of the impact of their macroeconomic policies on others, and increase the transparency of their policy-making process. All the countries should continue to promote reform and innovation, to build an open world economy.

With regard to China's economy, despite some turbulence of the stock market and exchange rate, Chinese economy remains healthy and steady. Last year it achieved a 6.9% GDP growth, leading major global economies and contributed to a quarter of the global growth.

Dear students,

In today's world, global and regional issues emerge endlessly so that mankind is facing unprecedented challenges. But we cannot deny that this is a great era with brilliant prospects. As a diplomat, I feel honoured to serve our national interests, as well as world peace and human development. Time flies, it has been more than 30 years since I engaged in diplomatic work in 1985. Over the past 30 years, great changes have taken place both in China and the world. However, what has not changed is my dream of making the world, our common homeland a better place to live. I am very pleased to see you have shown big interest in the UN and hope you could join me in promoting global peace and development so as to build a bright future for the human being. I look forward to your wonderful performance and wish the Conference a great success.

Thank you and welcome to China.



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