Today marks 45 years since the passage of General Assembly Resolution 2758, which recognized the People’s Republic of China as the legitimate representative of China in the United Nations.
With that action, the people of China gained representation in the United Nations, and the world body itself became more representative.
Since then, relations between China and the United Nations have grown ever closer. I greatly appreciate China’s support for multilateralism and the United Nations across all pillars of our work.
Last September, I had the honour of welcoming President Xi Jinping to the United Nations for his first visit to the General Assembly. His announcement on that occasion of the establishment of a China Peace and Development Trust Fund was a strong demonstration that China’s commitment to UN causes is matched with practical action.
I also want to recognize the strong commitment by the Government and people of China to peacekeeping. In recent months, three Chinese peacekeepers have given their lives while serving in South Sudan and Mali. We owe peacekeepers, their families and communities a great debt for their sacrifice.
China’s leadership was indispensable in shaping the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the historic Paris Agreement on climate change. China’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in September helped to give the process irreversible momentum, and the Agreement will enter into force in just ten days, on 4 November – remarkable speed for an agreement of such complexity and ambition. China will be just as crucial as we now implement the accord and build a greener, cleaner world of low-carbon prosperity.
China has also been instrumental in deepening South-South cooperation. Under China’s recent Presidency of the G20 the Group adopted its first-ever Action Plan on sustainable development. And with the “one-belt-one-road” initiative, which aims to advance connectivity and cooperation across Eurasia, China has also become an indispensable partner for a wide range of countries.
President Xi’s visit last year coincided with an exhibition at the United Nations on China’s efforts to advance human rights. While China has made strides in this area, including the adoption of the third National Human Rights Action Plan, the display indeed acknowledged that “the nation still faces challenges”. Working hand in hand with a vibrant and independent civil society will be essential for China to reach its goal of ensuring respect for the full enjoyment of human rights and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations stands ready to work more closely with China in these important areas.
The United Nations and the international community look forward to work even more closely with China to advance the peaceful settlement of disputes, to ensure regional and global harmony, and to realize our share hopes for peace and dignity for all on a healthy planet. I look with optimism to the future of the UN- China relationship. Congratulations again on today’s milestone.