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Chinese Premiere Jiang Zemin's UN2K Summit Address





6 September 2000

Mr. President,

At the turn of the century and the millennium, leaders of all countries are meeting here at the Headquarters of the United Nations to discuss major issues that bear on the future development of mankind so as to advance the lofty cause of world peace and development. At this moment, all people who love peace and long for happiness are watching us with great interest.

In the outgoing milleniurn and the 20th century, mankind has undergone calamities and holocausts and carried out great struggles and creative undertakings, thus scoring splendid material and spiritual accomplishments.

In the 21st century and the coming millennium, mankind will inevitably come across unexpected tests and challenges and will surely realize new and earthshaking historical changes and a great leap forward. Bright will be the prospects for a lasting peace and common prosperity that the people of all countries look forward to.

The nearly 50-year old Cold War is over. The international situation is on the whole moving towards relaxation. There are rapidly growing trends towards world multi-polarization and economic globalization. The modem science and technology driven by IT and life science are advancing by leaps and bounds. All this offers mankind a rare opportunity for development. The pursuit of peace and development represents both the common aspirations of the people throughout the world and the theme of our times. But the unfair and irrational old international political and economic order has yet to be replaced. There is still a long way to go before the two strategic issues of peace and development are solved and a fair and equitable new international political and economic order is established.

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At present, the people in many countries are still suffering from the scourge of wars and turmoil. Hegemonism and power politics still exist. Local conflicts caused by ethnic, religious, territorial or resources factors keep cropping up. Separatist, terrorist and extremist forces of various kinds are causing incessant damages to the international community. Environment, drugs, refugees and other global issues are more acutely felt. Our planet is still far from stable and tranquil.

Both history and the realities tell us:

Respect for each other's independence and sovereignty is vital to the maintenance of world peace. Countries would not be able to live in amity unless they follow the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence and strictly comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

To build common security is the prerequisite to the prevention of conflicts and wars. The Cold War mentality must be abandoned once and for all, and a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation should be established. All international disputes and regional conflicts should be resolved through peaceful means. Effective disarmament and arms control should be realized according to the principle of fair, reasonable, comprehensive and balanced reduction. All countries should take part in the discussion and settlement of the question of disarmament as it bears on the international security.

To promote a multi-polar international configuration is required by the progress of our times, conforms to the interests of the people of all countries and also contributes to world peace and security. Such a multi-polar configuration differs from the old one in which big powers contended for hegemony and carved up spheres of influence as seen in history. All countries should be independent. Mutual cooperation and partnership of various forms between countries should not be targeted at any third party. The big countries have an important responsibility for the maintenance of world and regional peace. The big countries should respect the small ones, the strong should support the weak, and the rich help the poor.

The maintenance of world peace is the necessary precondition for the promotion of common development, which in turn serves as an important guarantee for the maintenance of world peace. It has become a pressing global issue to support and promote the development of the developing countries and to reduce and eradicate poverty.

Many developing countries are still confronted with great difficulties in their economic development and that the gap between the North and the South and the gulf between the rich and the poor are widening. On the one hand, it is the continued accumulation of wealth by developed countries in the North, and on the other, the aggravating poverty of developing countries in the South. The rich are getting richer, and the poor poorer. Not all countries have become beneficiaries of the development of modem science and technology and economic globalization. Imbalance in world development is becoming more acute. Over 1.3 billion people in the world live under the absolute poverty line, with less than one U.S. dollar of living expenses per capita per day. The developed countries possess 86 per cent of the world's GDP and occupy 82 per cent of the world's export markets, while the developing countries which account for the overwhelming majority of the world population possess only 14 and 18 per cent respectively.

If there is no fundamental change in such a situation, it would be difficult to avoid turbulence in the international community, promote common development for all countries and achieve worldwide prosperity.

The right of the people of all countries to choose their social system and development path independently must be fully respected. North-South dialogue should be enhanced on the basis of equality and South-South cooperation conducted extensively. Only by increasing South-South cooperation can the third world countries reduce risks that economic globalization might bring and attain their own prosperity and progress.

The developing countries must enhance their capacity to develop their economy, science and technology. After all, their development will depend on continuously strengthening their capacity of selfdevelopment. The international community should attach great importance to the effort of the developing countries to foster and strengthen their capacity of selfdevelopment and help them in this regard. One should not just try to get resources, access to market and profits from developing countries. The rapidly advancing science and technology have become an important new driving force for the creation of wealth. The widening "digital divide" indicates that there exists a huge gap between the developed and the developing countries in terms of the level of science and technology. This will inevitably further widen the gap in wealth between the North and the South. Advanced science and technology which embody man's wisdom and creative spirit should be used and 'applied globally to promote peace and development in the interests of all peoples.

A good external environment must be created for the development of the vast number of developing countries. All countries should remove trade protectionism of all forms, and mutually open market. Effective measures should be taken to reduce or exempt the debts of developing countries and to increase official aid to them without any conditions attached. All international political, economic and trade organizations should earnestly pay heed to the calls of the developing countries, and defend their rights and interests. All countries should conduct mutual exchanges and cooperation in the economic, trade and technological fields in compliance with the principle of equality and mutual benefit so as to share the fruits of economic globalization and scientific and technological progress.

The principle of democracy must be advocated and implemented in handling world affairs, whether in maintaining world peace or promoting common development.

All countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal members of the international community and have the right to take part in and handle world affairs. Matters that fall within the scope of sovereignty of a country should be managed only by the government and people of that country, and the world affairs should be handled by the governments and people of all countries through consultation. This is the principle of democracy in handling world affairs. Today, the world's destiny should be in the hands of the people of all countries.

The world is diverse and colorful. Just as there should not be only one color in the universe, so there should not be only one civilization, one social system, one development model or one set of values in the world. Each and every country and nation has made its own contribution to the development of human civilization. It is essential to fully respect the diversity of different nations, religions and civilizations, whose coexistence is the very source of vigorous development in the world. We should promote the exchanges between different civilizations in a spirit of equality and democracy and encourage them to learn from one another in order to attain common progress.

Dialogue and cooperation in the field of human rights must be conducted on the basis of respect for state sovereignty. This is the fundamental and most effective way to protect and promote human rights. So long as there are boundaries between states, and people live in their respective countries, to maintain national independence and safeguard sovereignty will be the supreme interests of each government and people. Without sovereignty, there will be no human rights to speak of.

Fifty-five years ago, the United Nations came into being at the historic moment of the great victory in the world's anti-fascist war. Over half a century and more, with the support of its member states, the UN has done much useful work to ease regional conflicts, eliminate old colonialism and promote world peace, cooperation and development. As the most authoritative international organization of sovereign states with the broadest representation in the world, the UN plays an irreplaceable role in the maintenance of world peace, promotion of common development, and establishment of a fair and reasonable new international political and economic order. In the new century, the UN shoulders even -heavier tasks. Its positive role must be strengthened and not weakened and its authority defended and not jeopardized.

We must firmly defend the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, continue to give play to the positive role of the UN and its Security Council in handling international affairs and safeguarding world peace, and ensure all the member states their right to participate in world affairs on an equal footing. In handling international affairs, no country or group of countries should take an attitude of "using the United Nations when it is needed and abandon it when it is not."

The UN should be a place where all its member states discuss and address international affairs through democratic means. The UN and its Security Council should go along with the trend of history and carry out reforms as necessary and appropriate under the principle of equitable geographical distribution, so as to give expression to the will of all the member states, developing countries in particular.

Chinese civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. It has added to the splendor of human civilization. The founding of the People's Republic of China and the great achievements it has scored in the course of nation-building constitute an enormous contribution to world peace and development. The Chinese people will unswervingly march along the road of building socialism with Chinese characteristics and accomplish the grand cause of national reunification in accordance with the principles of "peaceful reunification" and "One country, two systems". A modem socialist China will stand in the East of the world. China's development is a contribution to world peace and development. The Chinese people love peace and stand firm in maintaining world peace and stability. China will never seek hegemony. This is a solemn commitment undertaken by the Chinese people to the world.

China has consistently pursued an independent foreign.policy of peace and persisted in establishing and developing friendly relations and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always complied with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and supported the United Nations in playing its important and irreplaceable role in safeguarding world peace and international security and tackling global issues of all kinds. China will as always, fulfill its duties and obligations.
All the UN member states and their statesmen invariably shoulder an important historic mission entrusted by our times, that is to achieve a lasting world peace and promote the common development and prosperity of all countries.

People of all countries are full of wisdom. Today, in macrocosm of science, mankind has reached somewhere in the universe which is 18 billion light-year away from the earth, and in microcosm, mankind has initially disclosed the secret of genes. Although the world is still far from perfect, people of different countries will surely be able to go on acquiring all kinds of knowledge and summing up their experience, and become even wiser and more rational in handling the relations between man and nature, man and society and those between ethnic groups and between countries. With this understanding, I am fully optimistic about the prospect of the world development in the new century and new millennium. I am convinced that in spite of difficulties and twists and turns that might occur in the course of evolution of the world situation and the development of the human society, the world of ours will eventually attain a civilization of a higher level and make progress in all areas.

To conclude I would like to make an appeal to all countries and people who love peace and aspire for progress: Let us work hand in hand and move the wheel of history toward a bright future

Thank you.


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