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Wang Yi Delivers a Speech at the High-level Meeting of the International Seminar on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations
2020-09-01

On September 1, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech entitled "Upholding Multilateralism and Moving in the Right Direction of Human Progress" at the High-level Meeting of the International Seminar on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN) via videolink.

Wang Yi said, over the past 75 years, the UN has traveled an extraordinary course and forged ahead despite challenges, and vigorously promoted the development of the world and human rights. The world has witnessed overall peace and stability, no new world wars and the mitigation of local conflicts. Most nations have come to realize that differences must be settled through dialogue and conflicts resolved through mediation.

Wang Yi said, for the next 75 years, all nations should make concerted efforts to safeguard multilateralism, stand on the right side of development and progress, and bring the cause of the UN to a new level.

Wang Yi proposed five suggestions:

First, the central role of the UN should be upheld. As the most representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization, the UN shoulders the aspirations of the world for a better future. It has unique strengths and plays an irreplaceable role in world affairs. In the face of increasingly complex and serious global challenges, multilateralism is the only way forward. As long as we rally under the UN flag and pull together, there will be no problem that is too big to solve, and the world will embrace a brighter future.

Second, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed. It is important to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose interference in internal affairs. We must seek peaceful settlements to disputes and oppose the threat or use of force. We must abide by international laws and rules, fulfill international obligations and reject unilateralism and bullying.

Third, peace and development should be pursued. We should make full use of the instrumental role of the UN and its Security Council in ending violence and maintaining peace, reject Cold War mentality and seek political settlement through dialogue and consultation. The UN should continue to play a lead role in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressing climate change, advance the Decade of Action of the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. More support and assistance should be given to developing countries to help them mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and eradicate extreme poverty as early as possible.

Fourth, win-win cooperation should be advocated. We need to take win-win cooperation as a universal principle and seek cooperation that delivers benefits to all. The outdated zero-sum mentality and winner-takes-all approach in state-to-state relations should be abandoned. The UN should be more democratic, effective and inclusive, where countries, regardless of their size, system and culture, work together and learn from one another as equals. It should not be turned into a wrestling ground between countries, especially between the major ones, in a zero-sum game or confrontation.

Fifth, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind should be promoted. The UN should instill the sense that we all live in the same community and therefore should work together in solidarity and look out for one another in tackling risks and challenges. It should promote partnerships at the regional and global levels and envision a common goal of building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Wang Yi said, currently, the pandemic has compounded the once-in-a-century changes unfolding in our world. It has affected every aspect of our life and reminds us once again that the wellbeing and future of all countries are interconnected. It is time we make a choice: choose solidarity over division, cooperation over confrontation, and sharing responsibilities over deflecting them to others. Ultimately, humanity will prevail over the virus. The world may be changed because of the pandemic. Yet, peace and development are still the order of the day; cooperation and mutual benefit will remain the irreversible trend; and history will march forward despite all setbacks.

Wang Yi said, as the world's largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is embracing the lofty ideals of the UN by contributing to humanity's cause of peace and development. China has been a promoter of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order, and a provider of public goods. China will defend its sovereignty and dignity, uphold its legitimate rights and interests, and safeguard international fairness and justice. China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up and share development opportunities with the rest of the world. China has faithfully fulfilled its international obligations and strictly honored its international commitments. China will continue to shoulder international responsibilities commensurate with its capabilities.

Wang Yi said, five years ago, President Xi announced a host of major initiatives in support of the work of the UN at the summit meetings commemorating the 70th anniversary of its founding. All these initiatives have been implemented. China has facilitated the UN's efforts in different areas like peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, energy, agriculture, infrastructure and education, injected impetus for global sustainable development, and made important contribution to women's development in the world. China will continue to shoulder its responsibilities and make its contribution as a major country, provide more global public goods and play its part to promote world peace and development. The Chinese side is willing to join hands with all parties to uphold and carry forward multilateralism, renew the commitments of the UN, and strive toward the great goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The seminar was jointly organized by the UN Association of China and the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, under the theme "Strengthening Multilateralism for a Better Future". Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina J. Mohammed, former Slovenian President Danilo Turk, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and others were present.

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