Improving the Global Governance System Through Reform and Joining Hands to Build a Community with a Shared Future for Humankind
– Remarks at the Summit Debate on the Theme “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Post COVID-19 Global Governance”
H.E. Wang Yi, Special Representative of H.E. President Xi Jinping and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing, 24 September 2020
As the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Security Council is holding this summit debate, proposed by President Mahamadou Issoufou, to discuss post-COVID-19 global governance. China welcomes and supports this initiative.
In his speeches earlier this week at the high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN and the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping addressed a series of key questions from a strategic, long-term and historical perspective - What kind of world will we humanity live in? What kind of country will China look like? And what kind of UN is needed for the world? The answers, as President Xi underlined, lie in the steadfast commitment to the path of multilateralism and to the UN-centered international system, and joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for humankind and a new type of international relations. Many leaders have also recalled the founding missions of the UN, expressed strong support for multilateralism and displayed a shared aspiration for defeating COVID-19 with solidarity and pursuing peace and development.
The world today is confronted by myriad threats and challenges, whose solution urgently requires improved global governance and closer coordination and cooperation. Meanwhile, given the collective rise of developing countries, the global governance system needs to reflect this reality of international politics and the process of multi-polarization. We need to follow the trend of the times, strengthen top-level design and improve the global governance system through reform. To this end, China would like to propose the following five points.
First, we need to act on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. All countries, big or small, are equal members of the international community. Major risks and challenges respect no borders and impact the future of each and every country alike. To tackle them requires strong synergy supported by a global pooling of resources and wisdom. Global affairs must be discussed by all, governance systems built by all, and benefits of governance shared by all, so that every country is a participant, contributor and beneficiary of world peace and development. Developing countries are faced with greater difficulties. There is every need to make sure that their voices are heard, their concerns are respected and their rights and interests are safeguarded, which is an embodiment of international justice.
Second, we need to jointly tackle non-traditional security threats. The first two decades of the 21st century have seen the onset of numerous global risks and challenges, from the September 11 attacks to the global financial crisis to COVID-19. Traditional and non-traditional security threats should be managed holistically. Public health and climate change should be given greater priority on the international agenda. Non-traditional security threats, often multifaceted, can only be effectively tackled with comprehensive, well-calibrated efforts to address both the symptoms and root causes. Here is where the Security Council needs to play a bigger role pursuant to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
Third, we need to enhance coordination and cooperation among major countries. Global governance will be strengthened when major countries set an example of acting on the UN Charter, providing global public goods, and contributing to world peace and development. In such a challenging moment, major countries are even more duty-bound to put the future of humankind first, discard Cold War mentality and ideological bias, and come together in the spirit of partnership to tide over the difficulties.
Fourth, we need to uphold international law and rules. A sound global governance architecture must be undergirded by respect for law and rules. All must adhere to the basic norms governing international relations such as sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs and peaceful settlement of disputes. Rules must be followed and commitments be kept. Unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction need to be opposed in order to safeguard the authority and sanctity of international law. Laws and rules need to keep pace with the changing times. The international community needs to establish rules in frontier areas such as the deep sea, polar region, cyberspace and outer space, to regulate their development and ensure equitable benefits to all countries.
Fifth, we need to bring the role of the UN to bear. The global risks and challenges we face are crises with compounded effects, which cannot be addressed separately. As the most universal, representative and authoritative international institution, the UN is better positioned and capable to play a leadership role than any country or international organization. Meanwhile, the body needs to evolve with the times, increase the representation and voice of the developing countries, raise its efficiency and emergency preparedness, and build an up-to-date governance system and capability.
The Security Council, the centerpiece of the collective security framework, is part and parcel of the global governance system and tasked with the primary responsibility for international peace and security. Under the new conditions, the Council needs to effectively fulfill the duties conferred by the UN Charter, contribute to the maintenance of world peace and the stability of international order, ensure security to all peoples and bring hope to global governance.
China will continue to work with countries around the world to improve the global governance system and build a community with a shared future for humankind.