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China leads debate to inject new vitality into UN Charter

China led off on Monday a Security Council open debate to reaffirm commitment to the UN Charter, with a call to draw lessons from history and chart the course for the future.

The United Nations came into being 70 years ago as people reflected on the past and envisioned the future after World War II, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who presided over the day-long discussion.

The UN Charter remains as relevant as ever before, he noted. "Not only should we stay true to the spirit of the UN Charter, we also need to act along the trend of the times and in line with practical needs to add new dimensions to the charter and bring to it new dynamism and vitality."

The minister's formula for developing international relations in this century included "observance of the principles of the UN Charter as well as the sanctity of the UN and its Security Council."

In Beijing's view, he said, any unilateral move concerning international peace and security that bypasses the Security Council is illegal and illegitimate.

Meanwhile, the Chinese top diplomat called for "cooperation, not confrontation" in an increasingly interdependent world to ensure that "justice, not hegemony" prevails.

"We should work with a win-win, not zero-sum approach," he added.

Echoing his view, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underlined the world organization's major achievements, multiple crises and tremendous opportunities ahead.

The United Nations, he said, was founded to prevent another world war and it has succeeded in that. "Despite the recurrence of genocide and repeated outbreaks of armed conflict, the past seven decades would surely have been even bloodier without the United Nations."

In view of an increasingly complex international system, noted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, there is a need to reach agreement on how the international community could manage risks on the basis of the UN Charter.

"Positive results will only be achieved when members of the Security Council pool their efforts to find consolidated positions," he said.

In another development, Poland voiced its strong belief in the UN system in dealing with international problems.

The reasons for which the United Nations was founded are "equally valid today as in the early days of the organization," said Boguslaw Winid, permanent representative of Poland to the United Nations.

In his view, respect for the basic rules of the UN Charter is a prerequisite for the "fair and just participation of states in international life."

"We should be proud of many situations when firm and consistent actions by the UN member states helped to prevent threats to international peace, contributed to conflict prevention and restored peace and stability."

"But we should equally remember our failures, in order to learn from these lessons and prevent reoccurring of similar tragic instances," said the Polish diplomat.

The open debate was initiated by China, which holds the rotating presidency of the 15-nation council, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

[Source: Xinhua, United Nations, NY, 24Feb15]

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