Li's statement at General Debate of 71st session of UN General Assembly

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday made a statement at the General Debate of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly here. The following is the full text of Li's statement:

Work for a World of Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development


I congratulate you on your election as President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. I believe that under your presidency, this session of the General Assembly will move forward and make good progress according to its agenda. I also appreciate the effective work of Mr. Lykketoft as President of the last session of the UNGA.

I also wish to pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who, with modesty and a drive for harmony and accommodation, has worked tirelessly and in a down-to-earth manner over the past decade, and whose work has contributed significantly to world peace, sustainable development and the advancement and protection of human rights in the world.

Mr. President,

Dear Colleagues,

The UN Sustainable Development Summit held last year adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, opening a new vision for global development. At the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech entitled "Towards Win-win Partnership for Sustainable Development" to expound on China' s principles and position as well as its readiness to advance the agenda for sustainable development.

This year is the first in the Agenda's implementation. The G20 Summit held not long ago in Hangzhou of China reached the Hangzhou consensus on world economic growth. A blueprint was drawn for building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy. Participants at the Summit pledged to actively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and formulated an action plan toward that end, which injected new vigor to global sustainable development. The Chinese government was also among the first to adopt and release the country's National Plan on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As for the General Assembly, it has decided that for this year's session, the general debate will focus on the theme "The Sustainable Development Goals: a universal push to transform our world". These, in my view, are all highly relevant.

Sustainable development is first and foremost about development. Development underpins every human achievement. Without development, nothing can be sustainable. The lack of development is often at the root of many problems facing the world. Be it poverty or the refugee crisis, war, conflicts or terrorism, they all could be attributed to insufficient development and none can be addressed properly without development. Only development can guarantee people's fundamental rights. Only development can root out the cause for global challenges. And only development can advance human civilization and progress.

Development must be sustainable. It must be sustainable in all dimensions, otherwise development will be stalled and strained. Development won't be sustainable if it is unbalanced, unequal and widens the gap between the North and the South and the rich and the poor. Development won't be sustainable if it is achieved in an extensive manner, driven by high consumption, high pollution and high emissions and depletes resources and strains the environment. Development won't be sustainable if economic growth and social progress are not well coordinated. Only when we keep a profound understanding of the implication of sustainability, make all-round progress in poverty reduction, North-South and South-South cooperation, climate change and other fields, and work to promote equal sharing and green development can we ensure that development is truly solid and sustainable.

Sustainable development must be inclusive and interconnected. Currently, the sustainable development endeavor is faced with grave challenges: regional conflicts and hotspots are incessant, traditional and non-traditional security threats intertwine, and the environment for sustainable development gives no reason for optimism. World economic recovery remains lukewarm, economic globalization faces strong headwind, and the momentum for sustainable development is weak. Frequent occurrence of major infectious diseases and natural disasters is increasingly prominent, the issues of energy and resource security, food security and financial security are interwoven, and sustainable development remains an uphill journey. Difficult moments call for stronger confidence. I believe mankind has the wisdom and capability to find a way out of difficulty. For that to happen, there must be cooperation and a spirit of working together to tide over difficulties. It is time that the international community take on a new perspective. It should see itself as a community of shared future in which all are stakeholders, and should make concerted efforts to jointly tackle global challenges.

Mr. President,

Dear Colleagues,

To advance sustainable development, we must keep both short-term and long-term interests in mind, tackle challenges with concrete efforts and work actively to transform and change our world.

-- We must uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Without peace and stability, there will be no sustainable development; even the fruits of development already reaped risk being lost. The hard-won peace that has prevailed over the past 70 years or more testifies to the effectiveness of the existing international system with the UN at its core and of the norms of international relations established on the basis of the UN Charter. This international system and these norms governing international relations must be upheld resolutely, for they not only serve the common interests of people of all countries, but also provide the most essential guarantee for attainment of the sustainable development goals. Countries need to honor the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in letter and in spirit, and should support the leading role of the UN and its Security Council in global affairs. Countries need to be supportive of steady reform and improvement of global governance mechanisms, so as to adapt to the changing international political and economic landscape. A new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security should be nurtured and a global partnership should be established that features "dialogue instead of confrontation, and partnership instead of alliance".

-- We must stay committed to the general direction of settling hotspot issues through political means. Political resolution is the fundamental way to address regional hotspot issues. History has shown once and again that to repress violence with force can only lead to more hatred and warfare, from which no winner will emerge. Parties involved in conflicts must reject the zero-sum mentality. They should settle disputes through dialogue, address differences through consultation and seek reconciliation with tolerance. The mediation efforts of the international community must be fair and impartial. It should only facilitate the settlement of issues, not invite new troubles. On the Syrian issue, it is important to seek a political settlement. The international community should step up efforts to encourage parties concerned in Syria to put an end to conflict at an early date and reach a deal for comprehensive political settlement. On the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, it is imperative to achieve denuclearization and maintain peace and stability both on the Peninsula and in the region. It is important to address issues through dialogue and consultation, and effectively uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind and must be combated resolutely. At the same time, the practice of double standard should be avoided and there should be no linkage between terrorism and a certain country, ethnicity or religion.

-- We must work together for steady recovery of the global economy. The world economy cannot afford long-term sluggishness, otherwise sustainable development will be a fountain without source. The current world economy is faced with both insufficient aggregate demand as well as outstanding structural problems. It is necessary to employ effective policy tools in a holistic manner, and to combine demand management with supply-side reform and short-term policies with long-term ones. At the G20 Hangzhou Summit, participants reached common ground and put forward a series of major initiatives and measures to strengthen macro policy coordination, find new ways of growth, advance structural reform, improve global economic and financial governance, reinvigorate international trade and investment, the twin engines of global growth, and achieve inclusive and interconnected development. We call on all countries to make concerted efforts to drive the global economy along a path of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. Major economies, given their significant influence, need to act in a responsible manner in policy-making and policy coordination. While focusing on their own growth, they also need to strive to reduce negative spill-overs of their policies and refrain from adding to the difficulty of global economic recovery.

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