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Chinese envoy calls for multilateralism, development in maintaining peace and security in fragile contexts

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2021-01-08

UNITED NATIONS -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called for multilateralism and development opportunities to meet the challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile contexts.

The year 2020 has just ended as an extraordinary year during which the spread of COVID-19 triggered a global crisis, exposing fragilities at national and global levels, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

"Through the turbulent year, we have felt more deeply than ever that all countries are interdependent and share weal and woe, and believe more firmly than ever in the importance of multilateralism and cooperation to meet the challenges. There are more reasons than ever to support the United Nations in playing an important role in maintaining international peace and security and achieving common development," he said.

He called for efforts to work together to fight the pandemic, to increase input to enhance development resilience to address the root causes of fragilities, and to uphold multilateralism and leverage the important role of the United Nations.

The global pandemic is surging in a new wave. Combating the pandemic together is the top priority for the international community, he told the Security Council in an open debate on "challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile contexts."

All countries should put people and their lives first, respect science, join hands to advance international anti-epidemic cooperation, and strengthen joint prevention and control in order to eliminate the impact of the pandemic as soon as possible, he said.

Zhang called for efforts to strengthen mediation efforts and political settlement to create a favorable political and security environment for countries' response to the pandemic, and to provide anti-epidemic assistance to countries and regions in need and make sure that vaccines are distributed equitably as a global public good to the benefit of developing countries in particular.

He called for more input to enhance development resilience.

Underdevelopment is the root cause of many problems, especially in the countries and regions in conflict. Increasing investment in the field of development to strengthen economic and social weak links is a fundamental way to eliminate various risk factors, lay a solid foundation for peace, and achieve long-term stability.

Currently, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is encountering new major hurdles, with the developing countries facing numerous difficulties, threatening to further widen the gap between the North and the South, he said.

The international community should have a greater sense of urgency to tackle development issues and advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a comprehensive, balanced, and vigorous manner. Greater attention should be paid to work in the field of peacebuilding to support post-conflict countries in formulating independent development strategies, strengthening government capacity, building social consensus, and taking a path of sustainable development that matches their national conditions.

The focus should be on poverty eradication to prevent a major reversal of the progress in global poverty reduction. It is necessary to support developing countries in putting more development resources into education, health and infrastructure, promoting economic and social rebuilding and enhancing sustainable development capacity, he said.

The United Nations, he said, embodies the yearning and determination of the people of the world to help each other in solidarity and jointly build a better future. In the face of increasingly complex and severe global challenges, no country can work alone. Achieving better unity and progress under the banner of the United Nations is the only choice to deal with various uncertainties and vulnerabilities in search of solutions.

"We must reaffirm our commitment to the purpose and principles of the UN Charter, firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at the center, maintain the international order underpinned by international law, fulfill our obligations as member states, strengthen capacity building of the United Nations and other international institutions, and support the United Nations in playing its central coordinating role in international affairs," Zhang said.

He asked for efforts to strengthen and improve the global governance system, respond to traditional and non-traditional security threats in an integrated manner, and give more prominence to new challenges such as public health and climate change on the international agenda in search of more equitable, effective, and lasting solutions.

The Security Council shoulders the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Under the new situation, it must step up its efforts to promote the political settlement process, increase its good offices and mediation, and better fulfill its responsibilities under the UN Charter, he said.

Peace and security are the eternal aspirations of humankind. To maintain peace and security is full of complex challenges. China is ready to work with other countries to hold high the banner of multilateralism and strive to build a peaceful, prosperous, and beautiful planet, said Zhang.

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