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China Plays Leading Role in Upholding Multilateralism, Says UNGA President

By Xinhua|Jan 29,2024

China's engagement and collaboration with the United Nations "remains essential for strengthening multilateralism and maintaining international cooperation based on the principles as clearly articulated in the UN Charter," said Dennis Francis, president of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.

An official of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon presents a UN medal of peace to a member of the 21st Chinese peacekeeping contingent at the camp of the contigent in Hanniyah village in southern Lebanon, on July 4, 2023. (Photo/Li Zhulin, Xinhua)

by Xinhua writer Wang Jiangang

United Nations - China serves as a leading force in upholding multilateralism and promoting sustainable development, said Dennis Francis, president of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

At the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Francis is paying a visit to China from Jan. 27 to 31.

"Like many member states in the Global South, China understands the significance of a multilateral setting such as the UN in fostering global cooperation and understanding among nations," said the UNGA president in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Importantly, China's priorities align closely with those of my presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, namely the imperative of promoting peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all," he said.

While commending China for its "firm support for the international system, with the UN at its core," Francis also reaffirmed his commitment to upholding UNGA Resolution 2758, a pivotal document that clarifies China's representation within the United Nations.

"As president of the General Assembly, I remain guided by GA resolution 2758 of Oct. 25, 1971, 'recognizing that the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China are the only lawful representatives of China to the United Nations,'" he said.

Francis emphasized the critical need for adherence to the UN Charter's core principles and purposes, especially in the current climate of escalating violence and conflicts worldwide.

China fully understands that the best solutions to these challenges are those through UN-led processes and firmly rooted in multilateralism, he said.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China remains a staunch proponent of the peaceful or "pacific" resolution of disputes, upholding the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence, and the pivotal role of dialogue and diplomacy -- principles that are fundamental to the UN Charter, according to Francis.

Francis noted that China's role in facilitating the reconciliation agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran further demonstrates China's ability to foster peace and security through effective mediation, thereby advancing the Charter's objectives.

China is "a leader in advancing sustainable development," Francis said, expressing strong approval of China's initiative to galvanize the international community and "place development back on top of the global agenda."

Francis emphasized the importance of enhancing the coherence of development strategies across global, regional and national frameworks. He said China's Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) "have achieved fruitful early results for many developing countries."

He called on China to continue aligning the GDI and BRI with the UN's development agenda to foster more inclusive growth worldwide. "As I believe China's experience in socio-economic development serves as a valuable model for other developing nations," he said.

"I therefore believe that the role China continues to demonstrate considerable leadership and influence in upholding the multilateral order, in fostering sustainable development," he said.

Francis expressed his gratitude for China's peacekeeping efforts. "On behalf of the UN, I would like to thank China for this unwavering commitment and dedication to the Blue Helmets and, more broadly, to our collective pursuit for peace," he said.

He highlighted China's dual role in peacekeeping, noting that China is "a leader in the practical sense of peacekeeping, but it also plays a critical role in shaping peacekeeping policies at the United Nations."

Regarding the UN and China partnership, Francis said China's engagement and collaboration with the United Nations "remains essential for strengthening multilateralism and maintaining international cooperation based on the principles as clearly articulated in the UN Charter."

Francis said the UN is scheduled to hold the Summit of the Future in September, adding that anticipation about China's role is running high.

As the UN seeks innovative approaches to balanced international cooperation and solutions to global issues, "many look to China to play a critical role in shaping this vital process to better support equitable and global development," Francis said.

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