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President urges stronger role for United Nations in world

By An Baijie in Geneva and Mo Jingxi in Beijing | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-20 08:21

President Xi Jinping called for the United Nations to play a stronger central role in global governance and uphold multilateralism in the face of global threats and challenges.

He made the remarks in Geneva on Wednesday when meeting with Peter Thomson, president of the 71st UN General Assembly, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN Office at Geneva.

China will stick to multilateralism, safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and back the organization playing a bigger role in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, he said.

As the most universal, representative and authoritative intergovernmental organization, the UN should strengthen its role instead of retreating in the face of challenges, Xi said.

He also said that economic globalization, as a result of the growth in productivity and the tide of history, should be better guided and managed to unleash more positive effects.

"The interests of all countries are shared and their fates are connected. The old way of chasing profits and hegemony must be abandoned and replaced with a new path of coordinating relationships and interests with institutions and rules," Xi said.

"The reason that China launched the Belt and Road Initiative is to share development opportunities and results with other countries," he said.

Thomson and Guterres both said that China has long played a positive, leading role in tackling climate change, poverty relief, sustainable development and peacekeeping.

The UN is willing to work with China to promote world peace and development, and realize the goal of building a community of shared future for mankind, they said.

After the meeting, Guterres presented Xi with the historical documents that record Premier Zhou Enlai's attendance at the Geneva Conference on the Korean Peninsula and Indochina in 1954 and a copy of the original UN Charter signed by country representatives in 1945.

Xi and Guterres unveiled a cloisonne vase that was a gift from the Chinese government to the UN at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Shen Yongxing, a researcher in world history studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Xi expressed China's unequivocal position on global governance when the world is faced with the rising trends of anti-globalization, unilateralism and protectionism.

"All countries should join hands to fight against anti-globalization trends and address the sluggish economy," Shen said, saying that the Belt and Road Initiative has demonstrated the benefits of multilateralism.

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