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UN has vital role in challenging times

By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-09-17 09:28
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Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, delivers a speech at the event. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/]

The changes in the world over the past 75 years have demonstrated that the United Nations plays an irreplaceable role in responding to major global challenges, Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said at the Vision China event on Wednesday.

The UN is the most universal, authoritative and internationally representative intergovernmental organization and its charter is the cornerstone for the fundamental principles of contemporary international relations and order, Zhou said.

He called on the international community to support the principles laid out in the UN Charter and advance international relations built on mutual respect, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation. This would ensure international politics has a brighter future.

On the current international situation, Zhou said profound changes that have not been seen in a century are evolving rapidly. This has led to mounting uncertainties in the international landscape.

As a major country that acts responsibly, China has been advocating the building of an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, Zhou said.

Since the end of World War II, there have been 75 largely peaceful years to help ensure development and progress and for people to enjoy security and happiness. However, Zhou warned that mounting unilateralism and hegemony, as well as a cold war mentality and zero-sum games, have become stumbling blocks to world peace and stability.

He called on countries to reject attempts to undermine solidarity and create division in the international community. Instead, advances should be made in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Zhou said efforts should also be made to "save succeeding generations from the scourge of war", which twice "has brought untold sorrow to mankind", sentiments that are inscribed in the preamble of the UN Charter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global development, Zhou said.

"While tackling challenges arising from the spread of the virus, we are also confronted with the shadows cast by some countries politicizing the virus instead of seeking international cooperation. We have to deal with the fallout of the pandemic on the global economy even as we face an environment that has become more complicated due to the headwinds of anti-globalization."

While making a choice between isolation and openness, and decoupling and cooperation, countries must remain committed to building an open world economy. Economic globalization should be more open, inclusive and balanced so that its benefits can be shared by all, Zhou said.

He quoted President Xi Jinping as saying "the more complex and grave the situation is, the more important it is to demonstrate the authority and role of the United Nations".

Zhou called on countries to firmly safeguard world peace, actively promote development and staunchly uphold the international order.

On the UN sustainable development goals, Zhou said the Chinese people are striving to eliminate absolute poverty by the end of this year, and will also build a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

"This marks a historic step to wipe out the absolute poverty that has plagued the nation for centuries. Undoubtedly, it will also have a strong effect on global efforts in poverty eradication," he added.

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