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Vice-premier urges UN to prioritize climate battle

Updated: Sep 23,2014 10:03 AM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (R), who is also in the United Nations for the UN Climate Summit on Sept 23 as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, meets with Sam Kahamba Kutesa, president of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States on Sept 22, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS — Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli proposed in New York on Sept 22 that the United Nations (UN) should strive to forge an international political consensus and develop an effective response to the severe challenge of climate change.

Zhang, who is in New York for the UN Climate Summit on Sept 23 as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, made the appeal at a meeting with Sam Kahamba Kutesa, president of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

The UN, Zhang suggested, should lead the international community to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, push for positive results in the next phase of climate negotiations, and provide practical assistance for developing countries in dealing with climate change.

Noting that the UN will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its establishment next year, the Chinese presidential envoy said the world body now also needs to make decisions on a series of other significant issues.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (1st L), who is also in the United Nations for the UN Climate Summit on Sept 23 as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, meets with Sam Kahamba Kutesa (R), president of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States on Sept 22, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

Looking ahead, Zhang proposed, the UN should safeguard the basic norms of international relations, defend the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, preserve the post-WWII world order, cherish the hard-won peace and steadfastly stand against war.

Meanwhile, it needs to assign top priority to development, formulate a fair, inclusive and sustainable post-2015 development agenda, and bring more benefits for African countries, the vice-premier added.

He affirmed that China will, as always, support the work of the presidents of the UN General Assembly.

For his part, Kutesa thanked China for its consistent support for the UN and agreed with the points Zhang has made on the work of the leading global organization.

As the UN approaches a year of landmark significance in its history, the new session of the UN General Assembly will prioritize the post-2015 development agenda and climate change among other important issues, he said, adding that he is confident that China’s support will firmly push forward relevant processes.

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