UNITED NATIONS — China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi who just assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of February, announced on Feb 3 a special commemorative debate in the 15-nation council for Feb 23 to be chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“The council will hold a ministerial level open debate on maintenance of international peace and security to reflect on history, reaffirm the commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” Liu said at a press conference.
“This year is a very important year for the United Nations and also the international community,” he said. “The United Nations will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the organization and also the international community will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Fascism.”
“It is time for the United Nations to look at how it can best work to maximize the opportunities we face to foster a new type of international relation, based on cooperation (and) how to address the new challenges we face ... on the horizon and new manifestations of existing challenges that international communities face,” Liu said.
“It is high time ... to reinforce multilateralism and also to reaffirm our commitment to peace and security and to working together to make this world a better place,” he said.
The Chinese envoy said he sees the Feb 23 Security Council debate as an event leading up to the “important commemorative events” of the anniversaries in September when all member states are called to send the highest level representatives possible to the annual General Assembly General Debate.
It will also be an occasion for the council to “reaffirm the commitment to (UN) charter principles,” for “stock taking” and a chance to be “forward looking,” he said. “The maintaining of peace and security forms a very important part of the work of the United Nations and it has such an important bearing on the destiny of the international community as a whole.”
Liu said the open debate will be for members states to “commit ourselves to peace and security in the world, to promote international fairness and justice and also to foster a new model of international relations based on cooperation and win-win” solutions.
“Such important principles would include sovereign equality, non-interference in eternal affairs, equal participation in international affairs and ownership of solutions by the countries and people of those countries in question,” he said. “It’s going to be a very important occasion to look at how best for the United Nations to achieve peaceful settlements of disputes.”
The Beijing envoy said he was concerned with how to involve concerned countries in the regions and their regional organizations “in resolving differences and disputes through dialogue, negotiation, reconciliation, good offices and other peaceful means.”
“It is also a very important occasion to foster international democracy and rule of law,” he said, calling for nations to uphold “the authority of international law and emphasize their rights in accordance with international law,” adding that “all countries should participate equally in the making of international rules relating to peace and security.”
Because the ministerial debate will be held in the Security Council, Liu pointed out it provides “an important platform to foster the notion of integrated solutions to conflicts and disputes in so many areas (where) the conflicts are the result of deep seated socio-economic problems.”
On Sunday, Liu took over the rotating council presidency for this month from Cristian Barros Mellet, the permanent representative of Chile to the UN. The Security Council presidency rotates every month among the council members in alphabetical order of the state’s name in English. The last time China held the presidency was in November 2013.
Briefing reporters Tuesday on the council’s Program of Work for February, the ambassador said he scheduled consultations and meetings on issues affecting peace and security in a number of African nations, Iraq, Kosovo, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As the council president, China shoulders “enormous responsibility” as the council is entrusted to work “on behalf of the entire membership of the United Nations,” he said.
“China intends to conduct its presidency in an impartial fair and transparent way,” Liu said. “We will work together with the other council members to inject greater efficiency in the work of the council and also to take a results-oriented approach.”
That cooperation is aimed at “maximizing the impact on the issues under its review or discussion in difference parts of the world,” he said. “China will, as we have done in the past, engage the other members, the (UN) Secretariat and outside the Security Council, to draw upon their perspective, advice and proposals so that the council’s work will be more broad-based in dealing with various issues.”
“Of course, we will keep in touch with the other organs in the UN system, the General Assembly and other bodies, to insure that we achieve synergy according to our division of labor in the efforts that we make to try to address the issues we face,” the Chinese ambassador said.