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Top Legislator Urges Stronger Multilateral Cooperation
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Top legislator Wu Bangguo yesterday called for stronger multilateral cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, mutual trust and common development.


"To realize lasting peace and sustainable development in human society, members of the international community have to cooperate with one another fully and make concerted efforts," Wu said in a speech delivered at the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments at the UN headquarters.


Wu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, is among speakers from more than 150 countries and regional parliamentary organizations attending the three-day conference, which opened in New York Wednesday.


"Mutual respect is a prerequisite for multilateral cooperation," Wu said. "We should respect the diversity of world civilizations and promote democracy in international relations on the basis of respecting and treating each other as equals."


"Countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal members of the international community and thus all deserve respect in the world."


"Big countries should respect small ones, strong countries should help weak ones, and rich countries should assist poor ones. There should be mutual respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wu said.


He said that China opposes the bullying of the small, weak and poor by the big, strong and rich, and that people of all countries are entitled to independently choose a social system and a path of development in accordance with their own national conditions.


"No country has the right to interfere with the choice of the people of other countries," Wu said.


He added that mutual trust is the guarantee of multilateral cooperation.


"In multilateral cooperation, we should safeguard and expand our common interest, properly address each other's concerns through consultations on an equal footing in the spirit of mutual accommodation, and have more dialogues to increase our mutual understanding and trust," he said.


"To counter traditional and non-traditional threats to security, we need to foster a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination."


"We should always settle disputes through dialogue and cooperation, and should not resort to the use or threat of force at the slightest provocation. We should get rid of Cold War thinking and broaden the converging points of our common interests, notwithstanding the differences in social systems and ideologies," Wu said.


"The international community needs to turn its ear more often to developing countries, defend their legitimate rights and interests, and push the world economy toward balanced and steady development and a win-win scenario for the benefit of all."


"Developing countries, on the other hand, need to take acceleration of development and improvement of people's livelihood as their prime task, draw on the fruits of world civilizations in the light of their own national conditions, and keep building their capacity for self-development," Wu said.


Participants attending the three-day conference, a follow-up to the first gathering five years ago, are expected to deliberate on a report on parliamentary involvement in international affairs, a progress report on meeting the Millennium Development Goals, and a report on parliaments' contribution to democracy.


Wu said the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the world's biggest, longest-standing and most influential international organization of parliaments, needs to reinforce its substantive interaction and coordination with the UN and to establish between them an even closer working relationship.


"China's NPC is ready to join parliaments of other countries in making full use of this important stage of the IPU to carry out all forms of multilateral cooperation in a sustained endeavor to build a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious new world," Wu added.


(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2005)

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