Multilateralism is the key to ending world’s woes

By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-09-17 09:20

The global community should say no to unilateralism and bullying, and jointly promote a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu said.

“While multilateralism gives us solutions and options, unilateralism will only lead us astray to a dead end,” Ma said at the Vision China event on Wednesday.

When a certain country forges ahead with unilateralism, protectionism, bullying, breaking commitments and stepping back from international cooperation, the whole world pays a heavy price, he said.

“We must uphold multilateralism. Decisions on world affairs need to be made through consultation,” Ma said.

“No country should be allowed to dominate others. Any attempt to bring back the law of the jungle and barbarism is a lost cause.”

He called for safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core, saying the UN Charter is not only the constituent instrument of the organization, but also a legal manifesto encompassing the basic principles and norms for its 193 member states.

He stressed that as one of the first countries to sign the UN Charter and as a responsible country and permanent member of the UN Security Council, China supports the important role of the UN and upholds its authority and core status in the international system.

“No matter how the world changes, China will always stand firmly committed to building peace, promoting development, maintaining international order and providing global public good,” he said.

“Our resolve to safeguard multilateralism, fairness and justice will never waver. Our resolve to push for just and reasonable solutions to hot-spot issues, and to bring about a more fair, just, and reasonable international order will never waver. Our resolve to build a community with a shared future for mankind will never waver. And our resolve to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative, and achieve the (UN) sustainable development goals will never waver.”

As COVID-19 is still spreading and efforts to implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development suffers major setbacks, Ma warned that 70 million to 100 million people globally could be pushed into extreme poverty.

Development is the key to solving all problems and it should be top of most countries’ agendas, Ma said.

“Economic growth is the fundamental driving force for poverty eradication and development. We must strive for a safe and orderly return to work and maintain the stability and integrity of the global industrial and supply chains,” he said. Ma said every country is entitled to strive for development, and one country’s attempt to use threats, coercion and sanctions to deny other countries’ rights to development is doomed to fail.

Noting that the pandemic has made countries keenly realize their interests are closely interconnected, Ma called on the international community to stand together to combat the virus.

China supports the UN and the World Health Organization leading and coordinating the global fight against the pandemic, he said.

“We call on everyone to reject politicization, stigmatization, the blame game and scapegoating,” Ma said. “Despite the strong headwinds, we must remain committed to win-win cooperation and continue to steer economic globalization in the right direction.”

China stands ready to work with all international partners and make further contributions to the global pandemic response and global economic recovery, he added.


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