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FM calls for world efforts to pursue peace, development

Updated: Sep 28,2014 7:29 AM     Xinhua

Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during the general debate of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept 27, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS — Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sep 27 called for concerted world efforts to jointly pursue peace and development, and uphold rule of law and justice in global affairs.

Wang, addressing the current high-level debate of the UN General Assembly, noted that this year marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and next year will be the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

To jointly pursue peace and development and uphold rule of law and justice, he said, “we should treat each as equals,” uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, safeguard the right of all countries to independently choose their social systems and development paths.

“We should be open and inclusive” in order to achieve harmony between countries with different social systems, religions and cultural traditions, Wang said, adding “we should pursue mutually beneficial cooperation for win-win or all-win progress” by aligning a country’s interests with those of others and working to expand areas where their interests converge.

“We should uphold justice,” he said. “It is imperative to promote greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, use fair and just rules to tell right from wrong and settle disputes, and pursue peace and development within the framework of international law.”

In the face of all kinds of conflicts in the world, Wang said, “We should seek political solutions” while “coercive action should have the authorization of the Security Council.”

“To beat swords into ploughshares may take time and effort, but history and reality have repeatedly demonstrated that to meet violence with violence will not lead to enduring peace, and the use of force will create more problems than solutions,” he said.

“If a country places its domestic law above international law and interferes in other countries’ internal affairs at will or even seeks regime change, the legitimacy of its action cannot but be questioned by the international community.”

Efforts should be made to accommodate the interests of all parties, he said. “Parties to a conflict should reject the zero- sum approach, address each other’s concerns in negotiations and endeavor to meet each other half wary. They should seek to meet their legitimate concerns through consultation in a mutually accommodating way.”

“We should promote national conciliation,” and uproot the seed of hatred and retaliation so that the fruit of inclusion and amity will grow on the post-conflict land, he said.

“We should uphold multilateralism,” said the Chinese minister. “We should give full play to the role of the United Nations and observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations.”

Meanwhile, Wang touched upon the current situation in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, South Sudan and Afghanistan, saying “our world is far from peaceful.”

“The Syrian crisis has continued for nearly four years. It is negotiations, not fighting, that offers solution,” he said.

Calling the Palestinian issue “a wound on human conscience”, he said, China calls on Israel and Palestine to sustain durable cease-fire, and urges Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip and stop building settlements. At the same time, the legitimate security concerns of Israel should be respected.

On South Sudan, he said, “the two sides of the conflict in South Sudan should immediately effect a cease-fire, actively conduct political dialogue in the overall interests of the people” in the world’s youngest country.

Turning to Afghanistan, he said, “China welcomes Mr. Ashraf Ghani becoming Afghanistan’s new president and Mr. Abdullah Abdullah becoming its chief executive, and will continue to support the Afghan people in pursuing smooth political, security and economic transition and in jointly building an Afghanistan that enjoys unity, stability, development and amity.”

“China supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process,” he said, asking the international community to fulfill its commitment and responsibility to Afghanistan and its people.

He also spoke on such issues as the nuclear problems concerning Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, terrorism, climate change and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issues have entered a crucial sage,” Wang said. “All parties should show sincerity, make further efforts in their spirit of mutual respect, equality, coordination and mutual accommodation, and work hard to tackle the most difficult issue, so as to reach an early and win-win agreement that is comprehensive, fair and balanced.”

Regarding the Korean Peninsula, he said, “China calls on all parties to act in an objective and impartial way, remain committed to the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, firmly uphold peace and stability of the peninsula, and endeavor to resolve the issues through dialogue and consultation.”

“The Six Party Talks remain the only viable and effective way to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” he said, adding the pressing task now is to restart the talks as soon as possible.

“The Korean nuclear issue should be dealt with by a sustainable, irreversible and effective dialogue process which addresses the concerns of all parties in a comprehensive and balanced way.”

The Chinese minister also voiced the viewpoints of the Chinese government on the post-2015 development agenda.

Next year is the deadline set for meeting the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight anti-poverty targets. “The post- 2015 development agenda will take over the historical mission. The international community should, building on past progress and breaking new ground, adopt more effective plans and take more robust actions to advance the common development of mankind,” he urged.

China welcomes the inclusion of “the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II” on the agenda of the current session of the UN General Assembly, the Chinese foreign minister said. “ This presents an important opportunity for us.”

“Looking back on what happened 70 years ago, the historical facts are perfectly clear, and a final verdict has already been pronounced on what was right and what was wrong,” he said. “ History is not to be falsified, and truth is not to be distorted.”

“Today, 70 years later, let us jointly uphold human justice and conscience so that those who attempt to deny aggression and distort history will have nowhere to hide and achieve nothing,” he said. “Let us jointly defend the UN Charter and the outcomes of the World War II so that the vision for a world free of war and with lasting peace will strike deep roots in our hearts and pass from one generation to another.”

The ongoing annual UN debate kicked off here Wednesday. The high-level segment sees 196 speakers over a period of six days talk about major issues of international concern. They comprise all the 193 UN member states, as well as the two observer states and the delegation of the European Union.