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Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China At the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

I. The Role of the United Nations (UN)

The international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes. There is extensive support for world multi-polarity and greater democracy in international relations. Economic globalization and information technology are changing the world in a profound way. Countries are more interdependent. At the same time, the international community still faces many challenges. Various traditional and non-traditional security threats are entwined. The North-South development gap remains pronounced. The global governance mechanisms need to be improved.

To address difficult global issues and challenges requires the joint efforts of all UN Member States. The UN, as the most inclusive and representative inter-governmental organization, is a big stage for countries to uphold peace, pursue common development and conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and for people of the world to pursue their dreams. The purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations are the cornerstone of contemporary international relations. The international community should continue to uphold the post-war peace order and encourage the UN to play an important role in international affairs.

II. UN Reform

Facing the challenges brought by globalization and profound changes in the international situation, the international community has higher expectations for the UN. China hopes that the UN will keep abreast of the times and actively respond to these expectations by enhancing itself. Reform should help strengthen the capacity of the UN in coordinating international efforts to respond to global challenges and give developing countries more voice in international affairs. Reform should be an all-round one and be advanced in a balanced manner in security, development and human rights. In particular, positive results should be achieved in development.

China supports necessary and reasonable reform to the Security Council so that it will enjoy more authority and efficiency and better fulfill the responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security bestowed on it by the Charter of the United Nations. The priority of the Security Council reform should be on increasing the representation of developing countries, especially African countries, in the Security Council so that small and medium-sized countries will have more opportunities to sit on the Security Council in turns, participate in its decision-making, and play a bigger role in the Security Council. Given the broad agenda of the Security Council reform, it is important to continue with democratic and patient consultations, accommodate the interests and concerns of all parties, seek a package solution and reach the broadest possible agreement.

III. Political and Security Issues

1. Peacekeeping Operations

UN peacekeeping operations are an important and effective means for maintaining international peace and security. The peacekeeping operations, given their expanded scale and broadened mandate, are facing growing challenges today. China maintains that in conducting peacekeeping operations, it is important to strictly abide by and carry out the mandate of relevant Security Council resolutions, adhere to the three principles of “consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate” put forward by former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, strengthen operation planning, set out clear priorities, and coordinate actions to form synergy. There should be better coordination between peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding. The UN should place greater emphasis on enhancing cooperation with regional and sub-regional organizations, and pay more attention to the needs of African countries in its peacekeeping operations.

China attaches importance to and actively participates in UN peacekeeping operations. To date, China has sent over 20,000 military personnel, police officers and civilian officials to UN peacekeeping operations. At present, there are nearly 2,000 Chinese peacekeepers on duty in nine operations, making China the 18th largest troop-contributing country in the world and the biggest peacekeeper contributor among the five permanent members of the Security Council.

2. Peacebuilding

Peacebuilding helps eliminate the root cause of conflicts, and plays a significant role in realizing lasting peace and stability in relevant countries and regions. As the first agency in the UN system entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating post-conflict rebuilding, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) has played an important role in helping with the rebuilding of post-conflict countries. China supports the UN’s leading role in post-conflict rebuiliding and work of the PBC and the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The PBC should fully respect the independent rights of the countries concerned, support their efforts in collecting resources and make better use of the PBF. The PBC should improve its work method and efficiency, further strengthen its institutions and, at the same time, enhance coordination and cooperation with the General Assembly, the Security Council and other major agencies as well as international financial institutions and regional organizations. China will continue to support the work of the PBC.

3. Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

China is deeply concerned about the threat and loss of the life and property of civilians caused by armed conflict, and urges the parties concerned to abide by the international law and relevant Security Council resolutions in good faith and give full protection to civilians caught up in armed conflict.

According to the Charter of the United Nations and the international humanitarian law, the responsibility to protect civilians rests first and foremost with the government of the country concerned. When providing assistance, the international community should adhere to the principles of “impartiality, objectiveness and neutrality”, obtain the consent of the host country, fully respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and refrain from interfering in local political disputes or impeding the peace process.

The protection of civilians should be incorporated into the political process aimed at seeking peaceful solutions to conflict. It should also be given priority in post-conflict rebuilding. The relevant UN agencies should strengthen coordination and form synergy in this respect.

4. Counter-Terrorism

Terrorism is the common enemy of the world. The international community has scaled up input, reached broader consensus, carried out deeper cooperation and made substantial progress in the fight against terrorism. Yet on the other hand, the breeding ground for terrorism has not been removed, terrorist threats to the international community are far from disappearing, and the international counter-terrorism situation remains as grave as ever.

The international community should carry out extensive cooperation to jointly combat terrorism in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and other universally recognized international law and norms governing international relations. The UN and its Security Council should play a leading and coordinating role in the battle against terrorism. A holistic approach that addresses both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism should be adopted to remove the breeding ground for terrorism with the integrated use of political, economic and diplomatic means. China opposes the practice of double standards in fighting terrorism or linking terrorism to specific countries, ethnic groups or religions.

China is a victim of terrorism. The “Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement” and other “Eastern Turkestan” terrorist forces have long been plotting and instigating violent terrorist attacks against the Chinese government and people. The fight against the “Eastern Turkestan” terrorist forces is an important part of the international anti-terrorism campaign. China will continue to take an active part in international counter-terrorism cooperation and work with all countries to fight the “Eastern Turkestan” and other international terrorist forces.

5. Situation on the Korean Peninsula

To uphold peace and stability and achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of all parties concerned and represents the call of the international community. China’s position on the issues on the Korean Peninsula is consistent. China is committed to a denuclearized and peaceful Peninsula and resolving the issues through dialogue. China holds the view that dialogue and consultation is the only effective way to resolve the relevant issues, and that the Six-Party Talks is an effective platform for addressing the concerns of the parties in a balanced manner and achieving denuclearization of the Peninsula. China hopes that the parties will maintain contact and dialogue, stay committed to resolving differences through negotiation and resume the Six-Party Talks at an early date. China is ready to work with the other parties to continue to play a constructive role in this process.

6. Myanmar

Since the political transformation started in Myanmar, positive progress has been made in its political and national reconciliation. There is good momentum of development. As a friendly neighbor, China will continue to support Myanmar’s efforts in realizing domestic stability and development and advancing political and national reconciliation. China supports Myanmar in developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries based on equality and mutual benefit, and welcomes the lifting of sanctions on Myanmar by relevant countries. The international community should continue to create a sound external environment for Myanmar to steadily advance reform, achieve enduring stability and accelerate development, and respect the development path chosen by the people of Myanmar based on their national conditions.

7. Afghanistan

Afghanistan has made positive progress in peace and reconstruction, but still faces some difficulties and challenges. It requires the efforts of both the people of Afghanistan and the international community to bring about a peaceful, stable and independent Afghanistan that enjoys development.

China supports and has actively participated in Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction process. We support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process and we support Afghanistan in its continued efforts to strengthen capacity-building, improve the security environment and develope cooperation with countries in the region. The relevant parties should create conditions for the Afghan government to assume the security responsibilities, honor the assistance commitment to Afghanistan’s economic and social development, and gradually and smoothly transfer the security responsibilities to Afghanistan on the basis of ensuring peace and stability in the country. The international community should strengthen coordination and collaboration and work together for the early arrival of an Afghanistan governed by the Afghan people.

8. Iranian Nuclear Issue

China supports upholding the international non-proliferation regime, and calls for a proper solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East. As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and should at the same time fulfill its international non-proliferation obligation.

China believes that dialogue and negotiation is the only right way to properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue and serves the fundamental interests of all parties. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all relevant parties, the dialogue between the P5+1 countries and Iran has entered the stage of substantive negotiation. Under the current situation, the relevant parties should keep to the direction of dialogue, step up diplomatic efforts, adopt a flexible and pragmatic attitude, seek common ground while resolving differences, and push for early progress in the dialogue. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran should also strengthen cooperation and strive for substantive results.

China has worked actively to promote peace and encourage dialogue for resolving the Iranian issue. To uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East, China will work with other parties to play a constructive role in finding a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the issue.

9. Situation in West Asia and North Africa

West Asia and North Africa have been in continuous turmoil. China has followed the situation very closely. China respects the rights of regional countries and peoples in exploring a development path suited to their national conditions, and encourages relevant parties to settle their differences through inclusive political dialogue. China maintains that the international community should adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and basic norms governing international relations, respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of regional countries, and play a constructive role in easing local tensions. China opposes external military intervention or pushing for a “regime change”. The international community should step up economic assistance to and enhance cooperation with the region to create favorable conditions for regional stability and development.

10. Middle East Peace Process

China supports and has actively promoted the Middle East peace process. It is China’s long-held position that the parties concerned should properly solve their disputes through political and diplomatic means on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the principle of “land for peace”, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Roadmap with the goal of ultimately establishing an independent Palestinian state and achieving normalization of relations between Isreal and all Arab countries.

The Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East issue. China supports the Palestinian people’s efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 borders. We support Palestine in joining the UN and other international organizations. China welcomes the restart of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and calls on both sides to seize the opportunity, take concrete steps to remove obstacles and rebuild trust and achieve substantive progress at early as possible.

China supports various Palestinian factions in continuing to press ahead with internal reconciliation and strengthening unity and cooperation. We support Palestine’s capacity-building and will continue to provide help to this end as our ability permits. We call on the international community to provide greater support for Palestine to develope the economy and improve its people’s lives.

Talks on the Syria-Israel and Lebanon-Israel tracks are important components of the Middle East peace process. They deserve attention and should be pushed forward. China will work with the international community for an early, comprehensive and just settlement of the Middle East issue.

11. Syria

Continued conflict in Syria has brought sufferings to the Syrian people and impacted peace and stability in the Middle East. China is deeply worried about the situation. China maintains that political settlement is the only realistic way out of the Syrian crisis. All relevant parties in Syria should take credible steps to implement the spirit of the communiqué of the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Action Group on Syria, cease fire and stop violence immediately, positively respond to the initiative of holding the second Geneva conference on the Syrian issue, and start and implement a Syrian-led, inclusive political transition as soon as possible. Relevant parties in the international community should provide positive and constructive help for the political settlement of the Syrian issue and avoid taking any action that could further militarize the crisis.

China follows the latest developments in Syria closely. We firmly oppose the use of chemical weapons by anyone. China supports the UN investigation team in conducting independent, objective, impartial and professional investigations. The next step should be determined by the Security Council based on the findings of the UN investigation team. Unilateral military actions that bypass the Security Council will have serious impact on the situation in Syria and the Middle East region and they are also a violation of international law and the basic norms governing international relations.

China has maintained an objective and just position and a responsible attitude on the Syrian issue. We are committed to protecting the fundamental interests of the Syrian people, maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East region and upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and basic norms governing international relations. China has made consistent efforts to promote peace and encourage dialogue, firmly supported and actively promoted the political settlement of the Syrian issue, and supported Mr. Brahimi, UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, in making impartial mediation. China will respect and support any settlement plan on the Syrian issue as long as it is widely accepted by all relevant parties in Syria. China has watched closely the humanitarian situation in Syria. We have provided humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, including Syrian refugees in other countries, as our ability permits, and will continue to do so.

12. Relations between Sudan and South Sudan

Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have relaxed on the whole, but have still encountered ups and downs due to some pending issues. China has followed the situation. We sincerely hope that the two sides will act in the fundamental interests of their peoples and the larger interest of regional peace and stability, respect each other’s core concerns, honor in good faith the agreements signed, and properly resolve differences through negotiation based on mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. The international community should continue to support dialogue between the two sides and work together to maintain peace and stability in Sudan, South Sudan and the region as a whole. China is ready to work with the international community and continue to play a constructive role in promoting the realization of peace, stability and development in Sudan and South Sudan.

13. The Darfur Issue of Sudan

China supports the political settlement of the Darfur issue and maintains that the role of the tripartite mechanism involving the UN, the AU and the government of Sudan as the main channel should be brought into full play and the “dual-track” strategy of peacekeeping deployment and political negotiation should be advanced in a balanced way. China welcomes the signing of the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement-Bashar and hopes that other factions in Darfur will join the political negotiation process as quickly as possible. The international community should help Sudan improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur and realize peace, stability and development in the region at an early date.

14. Somalia

Somalia has made major progress in the political and security fields, and established its first formal government and parliament in over 20 years. China welcomes this progress and hopes that the Somali government and people will seize the current opportunity to achieve peace, stability and national reconstruction at an early date. The international community should honor its commitment of assistance for Somalia, increase support for the AU Mission in Somalia and support the work of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia. China will continue to strengthen cooperation with the Somali government and support the UN, the AU and African countries in playing a constructive role in realizing durable peace and national reconstruction of Somalia.

15.Democratic Republic of the Congo

The situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) concerns the peace and development of the whole country and the region at large. China hopes that the parties concerned will increase dialogue and consultation and earnestly implement the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region in a joint effort to safeguard regional peace and stability. China appreciates the good offices and mediation efforts of the UN, the AU, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and relevant countries for easing the situation in the east of the DRC. China will work with the international community and continue to play a positive role in resolving the situation in the east of the DRC.

16. Mali

With the support of the international community, the political and security situation in Mali has further improved. China welcomes the smooth general election in Mali and hopes that the election will usher in new progress of peace, stability and development in Mali. China supports promoting parallel progress in peace and security on the one hand and political reconciliation on the other in Mali. China will work with the international community and make positive contribution to Mali’s efforts in safeguarding national stability and promoting economic and social development.

IV. Development Issues

1. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The MDGs serve as an important guideline for international development cooperation. Some positive progress has been made in meeting the MDGs. But globally, implementation of the MDGs is far from even. Developing countries face many difficulties in fulfilling the MDGs on time.

The international community must not slacken its efforts in pushing for the attainment of the MDGs. The priority of international development cooperation should still be fulfilling the solemn commitments made by world leaders to fully achieve the MDGs, ensure development resources, focus on helping African countries achieve development and eradicate poverty, and increase support for least developed countries as a matter of priority. Developing countries should also take concrete actions to achieve development in line with their national conditions. The UN should continue to play a central role in international development cooperation and provide institutional guarantee for the realization of the MDGs.

2. Post-2015 Development Agenda

The post-2015 development agenda should be advanced steadily on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the current state of international development cooperation, especially the global implementation of the MDGs. The process should be led by governments of the member states and conducted under the UN framework.

The post-2015 development agenda aims to set out on the basis of consensus a set of goals for the international community to guide international development cooperation and national development in a spirit of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win cooperation. The development agenda is designed to encourage countries to build stronger unity and cooperation, stick together in difficult times, share rights and responsibilities and jointly meet challenges to eradicate the threat of poverty and hunger once and for all, realize balanced and sustainable development and inclusive growth and advance the common interests of mankind. The development agenda should give top priority to meeting the difficulties and challenges that developing countries, especially African and least developed countries, face, tackling the development imbalances between the North and the South to narrow the development gap and pushing for a global development partnership of win-win cooperation to energize international development cooperation.

The post-2015 development agenda should reflect some basic principles. It should continue to take poverty eradication as the core and development as the theme. It should take into full account the different national conditions and development stages of various countries and respect the development paths of all countries. It is important to strengthen the global development partnership, adhere to the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, put in place a sound implementation mechanism, increase financing for development, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and scale up official development assistance and technical support for developing countries.

China will take an active part in the upcoming UN Special Event towards Achieving the MDGs in September. China hopes that the conference will seriously review and accelerate the progress in attaining the MDGs, and at the same time formulate a roadmap for the post-2015 development agenda and set in motion the inter-governmental negotiations as quickly as possible.

3. Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is closely linked to the long-term and immediate interests of all countries. The United Nations held the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, formulating action plans for all countries and the international community to realize sustainable development.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. At a time when the global economy and international development cooperation were faced with difficulties, the conference sent a positive, clear and strong signal of revitalizing international cooperation on sustainable development and added new vigor to the global process of sustainable development.

The conference decided to establish an intergovernmental process for the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as well as a High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development and an Intergovernmental Committee on Sustainable Development Financing. The relevant process needs to coordinate the three pillars of economy, society and environment, promote sustainable development in the course of development, and effectively resolve the financial, technological and capacity-building issues facing developing countries in pursuing sustainable development.

China is actively involved in and works hard to advance the process of sustainable development in the world. China will work with all sides in an open and practical manner to actively participate in the follow-up process of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development and contribute to the global cause of sustainable development.

4. Climate Change

Climate change is a severe challenge for the whole of mankind. It bears on human survival and development, thus requiring strengthened international cooperation and a joint response. China welcomes the positive outcomes of the Doha Climate Change Conference at the end of 2012, including the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. China hopes that developed countries will demonstrate political sincerity to honor their commitments, further cut emissions, and provide sufficient financial, technological and capacity-building support for developing countries to help them build the capacity to tackle climate change.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to climate change. With a sense of responsibility to the Chinese people and long-term development of mankind, the Chinese government has adopted a series of strong measures to tackle climate change and achieved notable results. The 12th Five-Year Plan adopted by China’s National People’s Congress has incorporated mandatory targets for tackling climate change. It was decided at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012 that efforts will be made to fully implement the Scientific Outlook on Development, promote ecological progress, accelerate the shift of growth model, promote green development, circular development and low-carbon development and build a beautiful China. This is the model chosen by China for its future development and an important contribution to the global efforts against climate change. We will continue to play an active and constructive part in international negotiations on climate change and work with other parties to advance international negotiations on climate change and build a fair and reasonable system for international cooperation on climate change based on the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, equity and respective capabilities, and with full consideration of the historical responsibilities of developed countries and the needs of developing countries for sustainable development.

5. Food Security

Food security is an issue of paramount importance for mankind’s survival and development. It not only has a close bearing on the economy and people’s livelihood of all countries, but also concerns the development and security of mankind. Food security in the world is increasingly affected by non-traditional challenges and the situation is ever more complex. Developing countries are the weak link for ensuring world food security. The impact of food-based biofuel production on food security is not to be overlooked, and climate change is also posing a long-term challenge to food security.

China takes agriculture and food security very seriously. We have followed the policy of basically relying on domestic supply to realize self-sufficiency while making adjustments as appropriate through import and export. We have steadily raised grain and agricultural productivity with the implementation of such policies and measures as stepping up financial investment, strengthening irrigation and water conservancy projects and accelerating the development of agricultural science and technology. China has managed to feed nearly 21% of the world’s population with less than 9% of the world’s farmland and achieved the MDG on poverty alleviation ahead of schedule. China has established mechanisms to ensure long-term food security and sufficient food reserve. We have the confidence and capacity to ensure long-term food security by mainly relying on domestic production.

While addressing our own food security challenges, the Chinese government has also provided agricultural assistance to the best of its ability to the relevant developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation, including building agricultural technology demonstration centers and providing agricultural technical assistance and emergency humanitarian food assistance, thus making its own contribution to the improvement of food security in these developing countries.

6. Energy Security

Energy security has a close bearing on the stability and growth of the world economy and the well-being of people in all countries. Major changes are taking place in the global energy landscape. With the emergence and rapid growth of non-conventional sources of oil and gas such as shale gas, the United States and the western hemisphere have become major energy producers. Due to the impact of the global economic and financial environment, the international oil prices have kept fluctuating, and are expected to present lots of uncertainties in the future. Developing countries, who have no say in setting energy prices, are faced with more and more challenges in ensuring long-term and stable energy supply.

The international community should foster a new energy security outlook featuring mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified development and coordinated supply. Joint efforts should be made to stabilize the prices of energy and other commodities and prevent excessive speculation and market hype, so as to meet the energy demands of all countries, particularly the developing countries, and maintain order in the energy market. Meanwhile, countries should improve their own energy mix, promote the research, development and diffusion of advanced energy technologies, vigorously develop clean and renewable energies, and actively advance international cooperation in the relevant fields.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to issues of energy and energy security, and adheres to the principle of giving priority to conservation, mainly relying on domestic supply, seeking diversified development and protecting the environment. China will vigorously promote revolution in energy production and consumption, keep total energy consumption under control, promote energy conservation and support the development of energy-saving and low-carbon industries as well as new and renewable energies. China is ready to work with other countries to establish a long-term energy cooperation mechanism and make its due contribution to ensuring global energy security and tackling climate change.

7. Financing for Development

The inadequate financing for development has always been a major challenge to international development. At present, as financing for development is confronted with major difficulties, developing countries find it harder to raise funds through trade and investment.

The pressing task now is to establish and improve a global development partnership featuring equality, mutual benefit and win-win progress, earnestly implement the Monterrey Consensus, and ensure that the MDGs are met on schedule by 2015. China calls for efforts in the following five priority areas: First, increase the resources and strengthen the institutions of development. Second, developed countries should deliver on their commitment to increase their official development assistance to 0.7% of their gross national income, and further reduce or cancel debts owed by developing countries and open markets to them. Third, strengthen global economic governance and increase the representation and say of developing countries in international economic and financial institutions. Fourth, curb trade protectionism and make sure the Doha Round negotiations achieve its development objectives. Fifth, create a favorable external development environment for developing countries.

8. South-South Cooperation

South-South cooperation is an important channel for developing countries to draw on each other’s strengths for common development, and an important means for developing countries to meet development challenges through mutual assistance. In recent years, South-South cooperation has made positive progress, and trade and investment flows between developing countries are thriving. Some new mechanisms and initiatives have been launched, injecting fresh vitality into South-South cooperation.

South-South cooperation is a form of win-win cooperation between developing countries. It is mutually beneficial, voluntary and unconditional. It is different from North-South cooperation and complements, rather than replaces, the latter. The standards for North-South cooperation are not applicable to South-South cooperation. Developing countries should conduct more coordination on major international issues, work for a more just and reasonable international order and system, and jointly uphold their legitimate rights and interests. They should, in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, continue to explore new channels, content and models of cooperation in light of the evolving situation and their own needs. They should also enhance coordination and make full use of multilateral mechanisms, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and oppose trade protectionism in all its forms.

9. Doha Round Negotiations

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