China in the UN

By Muhammad Asif Noor | Gwadar Pro Oct 2, 2021

Editor's note: The writer is the Founder of Friends of Belt and Road Forum. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the reinstatement of the de jure seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and its Security Council. Since the restoration of the de jure seat at the UN, China has been committed to honoring and solemnly abiding by its charter, and upholding the UN-led international system and global governance. At the 76th session of UNGA, President Xi virtually made a remarkable speech confirming Chinese commitment to the UN legacy and presented the vision of a century-old Communist Party of China (CPC) for the future of the international system of states with the UN at its core. 

Over five decades, China continues to support the global ideals of the UN especially peacebuilding and development. China happens to be the largest peacekeeping troop-contributing state amongst the permanent members of the UN Security Council as it participated in 29 peacekeeping missions, amassing more than 50,000 military personnel at the disposal of the UN. In terms of development, China has actively supported the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and itself achieved the sustainable goals a decade ahead of 2030. China uplifted up to 100 million population out of poverty and continues to support underdeveloped countries in poverty eradication especially in the phase of the global pandemic as it launched a huge emergency humanitarian relief program in line with the development and cooperation goals of the UN. 

In his speech at the UNGA, President Xi highlighted China’s firm commitment to continuing its cooperation with the UN and its members for peace, multilateralism, and development. China will continue supporting the UN to achieve ambitious development goals for its noble cause. To achieve this end, President Xi lays a roadmap that calls for solidarity, multilateralism, strengthening the UN, collective efforts, and unified direction towards a shared future of mankind. He upholds that the developing countries aspire for peace and development but the detractors give them conflict. It is pertinent to take their concerns of non-cooperation into account and create a win-win situation for all members of the UN. President Xi laments at the ever-increasing pandemic and its drastic impacts on the global economy and social life and calls for equity, justice, and inclusiveness to generate a collective response to the pandemic.  He calls on global leaders to come forward in the name of humanity as human life and misery must take precedence over any other agenda and stressed for scientific cooperation to trace Covid-19 origins, develop containment models, and global vaccination programs based on scientific data. 

In his outstanding speech and policy outline of China at the UN, he has presented a new model of development to the world namely the Global Development Initiative. This development initiative places development at its core, people at priority, and benefits for all. He is of the view that development must be the global priority and it must be atop the global macro policy agenda. In this regard, the world needs to develop sustainable and equitable policies, strengthen policy coordination, bring synergy into actions, and create multilateral mechanisms to implement the current Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Secondly, he asked for public-centric policies where common individuals are put central recipients of development goals. In this regard, the protection of human rights holds great significance and the world community must respect humanitarian considerations of peace, development, conflict, migration, and mutual benefits. Thirdly, he stresses the shared benefits or shared future of mankind. He calls for the social protection of developing countries through debt suspension and development aid, especially to the most vulnerable countries.

Additionally, he is of the view that the UN must invoke innovation as the central theme of its development agenda. The world must take benefits from the IT revolution for efficient and traceable development around the globe. He calls for redoubling the global efforts to harness technological advancement for increased productivity. Furthermore, he calls for the integration of new technologies to combat climate change as he supports harmony between man and nature. President Xi stresses the need for a rapid transition from a carbon economy to a green economy globally to achieve green development. China has also announced its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality before 2060 which needs tremendous amounts of work. In this regard, he expresses his readiness to support developing economies to shift to green energy and slowly abandon high carbon energy as China stops building offshore coal-fired power projects.  

China has always called for strengthening the international system, promoting peace and harmony amongst international actors. Inclusiveness and multilateralism are the ultimate solution to global problems as the world should take diverse paths to development and modernization. China has remained away from the interference in domestic affairs of states, military intervention overseas, and infringement of human rights anywhere in the world. These are the dangers to the international system which every state must consolidate. On the other hand, the world must join hands with the UN to advocate development, peace, mutual respect, democracy, justice, freedom, and common values of humanity. In the international system, there is no room for zero-sum games as a failure of one state must not be taken as the success of the other but states must pursue win-win cooperation.

To achieve this win-win cooperation, there must be one inclusive international system with the UN at its core and no other system of cooperation is workable. Thus, states must improve global governance, respect international order under the auspices of international law and underline a unified set of rules for every state. All the developing states must be given opportunities to share their vision to transform the UN for the better  and jointly contribute to the three major areas of the UN agenda namely security, development, and human rights.

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