I wish to begin by congratulating you on your election as president of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly. I am confident that under your guidance, this session will achieve full success. I also wish to pay tribute to H.E. Jan Eliasson, president of the last session, and to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Republic of Montenegro on becoming a member of the United Nations.
The world is experiencing profound and complex changes. Peace, development and cooperation have become trends of our times and represent the common aspirations of all countries and people in the world. However, the world is not tranquil and the issue of development remains prominent. There is still a long way to go in the pursuit of durable peace and common development. Over the recent period of time, the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue and the Lebanese-Israeli conflict have flared up, adversely affecting regional and global stability and putting to test the wisdom, unity and patience of the international community.
To maintain peace is the shared mission of the international community. Consultation based on equality and peaceful negotiation are the only effective means to resolve disputes. China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the international community, will continue to make every effort for the peaceful resolution of hotspot issues.
- On the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, China is committed to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, making it free of nuclear weapons and promoting the Six-Party Talks. During the Security Council deliberations in July on the DPRK's missile tests and the related resolution, China made strenuous efforts to engage the parties concerned in an effort to uphold peace on the peninsula and in Northeast Asia, the unity and authority of the Security Council and the progress already made in the Six-Party Talks.
Long-standing antagonism and mistrust between the parties concerned is the main cause for the current difficulty. All parties should be patient and pragmatic and act with vision to reduce differences and remove obstacles through dialogue. The Six-Party Talks remains an effective mechanism for enhancing understanding and trust and resolving the Korean nuclear issue.
We hope the parties involved will be cool-headed and more flexible, expand common ground, meet each other half way and work together for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and progressive implementation of the Joint Statement. This is the only viable solution to the Korean nuclear issue.
- On the Iranian nuclear issue, China calls for upholding the integrity of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and is opposed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It has worked for a peaceful resolution of the issue to promote peace and stability in the Middle East. At the same time, the lawful right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy should be fully respected provided they fulfil their due international obligations.
Diplomatic negotiation represents the best chance for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue and serves the interests of all parties. China hopes that the parties involved will exercise patience and restraint, continue to be flexible in approach, and stay committed to the correct course of pursuing peaceful resolution. China will continue to play a constructive role in working for an appropriate settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
- On the Lebanon-Israel conflict, China opposes any move that will undermine peace and stability in the region and calls for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities. China welcomes Security Council Resolution 1701 and hopes that it will be strictly observed. China hopes that the parties concerned will reach an early agreement on a framework of political settlement that is both just and durable.
The issue of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. The peace process should be re-started in keeping with the relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace" in the interest of reaching an early and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East issue including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, so that the countries involved can live in peace and the region can enjoy durable peace.
The United Nations has played an instrumental role in resolving regional flashpoints this year. But the Organization also faces major challenges. In the new international environment, to enhance its role through reform is in the common interest of mankind. The United Nations needs to take firm steps in carrying out reform.