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Position Paper Clarifies China's Stance on UN Security Council Reform

China's UN reform position paper, which was released Tuesday, clarified its viewpoints about the United Nations' development and Security Council reform, said Chinese experts Wednesday.  

"For a period of time, Japan, Brazil, India and Germany, known as the Group of Four, have been aspiring to become permanent members of the powerful UN panel, which directs more attention to the Security Council expansion," said Chen Xiangyang, an expert with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.


China on Tuesday issued its first paper on its position concerning UN reform. It addresses development issues, security issues, Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy and the strengthening of the UN. The paper reiterates China's opposition to a rushed vote on UN reform and stresses the need of developing countries.


"The Security Council reform by any means is merely a small part of the UN reform," said Chen. "China, as the first of five UN permanent members, elaborated on its stance in the paper, calling for turning back of the mistaken ideas and bringing the UN reform on the right track."


China said UN reform should give full play to democracy for reaching a broad consensus on the basis of thorough consultation. Now that the UN member states had yet reached a consensus on the reform scheme, a rushed vote will jeopardize solidarity, violate the original intention and damage the interests of the developing countries, according to China's paper.


In May, the Group of Four circulated a draft resolution calling for an increase of six permanent seats in the council, but delayed in submitting the resolution on UN reforms to the General Assembly.


"The UN reform is now at a critical moment when the members have not yet reached extensive consensus. Under such circumstances, China's stance in the paper shows China takes responsibility for the world body's future," said Shen Jiru, a fellow researcher with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


The UN reform is not only concerned with Security Council enlargement, but also its efficiency and authority. Issues such as development, poverty and challenges human being faces all should be taken into account, Shen said. "The paper can be viewed as guidelines."


China suggests that the reform proceed gradually. It should begin by tackling more manageable problems a move on to thornier ones. For important issues where division still exists, prudence, continued consultations and consensus-building are called for. It is improper to set a time limit or force a decision.


"The reform is not a simple process, it needs democratic consultations and broad consensus," Shen said.


On the hot topic on Security Council reform, China called for increased representation of developing countries, which account for more than two-thirds of UN members. Countries, small and medium-sized ones in particular, should be given more opportunities to enter the council on a rotating basis.


"China uttered voices of fairness, which the developing countries are eager to hear," said Chen Xiangyang.


China also suggests in the paper that all the regional groups, first of all, reach agreement on reform proposals concerning their respective regions.


"In East Asia, Japan failed to win trust from neighboring countries owing to its attitude towards history. So if Japan wants to play a bigger role in the UN, consensus should be first reached in the region," said Chen.


Chen said the paper corresponds with the draft outcome presented by the president of the UN General Assembly, Jean Ping, on June 3. The draft increased the emphasis on development rather than Security Council reform.


According to the paper, the reform should aim at reversing the trend of "UN giving priority to security over development" by increasing inputs in the field of development and facilitating the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, said Shen Jiru.


(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2005)

Position Paper on UN Reform Issued
China's Position Paper on UN Reforms
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