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China proposed to tackle world humanitarian challenges
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China made proposals to the international community on Tuesday about how to deal with humanitarian challenges caused by armed conflicts, terrorism, transnational crimes, epidemics, lack of natural resources and climate change.

"Members of the International Red Cross movement should, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, mobilize all possible forces and resources to respond these new types of challenges," said Li Baodong, Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Addressing some 1,500 delegates at the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Li said the world should seek peace and promote development, as peace and development are still the main themes in the world today.

"We believe that to use force or threaten to use force could neither maintain world peace nor contribute to developing international humanitarian cause," he said.

"Only through development, the North-South gap could be narrowed and long-term stability and common prosperity could be achieved," he added.

The world should also seek unity and strengthen cooperation, according to the ambassador.

"Today we are faced with great challenges brought about by global issues including climate change, international migration, urban violence and influenza pandemic, which cannot be addressed by one country or one organization alone," he said.

Li also called for adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law.

"International humanitarian law, especially the four Geneva Conventions and their protocols, are the cornerstone for the humanitarian cause," he said.

"We should take further steps to promote and implement the international humanitarian law, spreading its basic principles to every corner of the world," he added.

The ambassador said governments also need to strengthen the national Red Cross societies and build capacity of disaster relief and surveillance.

"All governments should attach great importance to the work of national Red Cross societies in spreading the international humanitarian law, disaster relief and surveillance and social health and welfare," he said.

The importance of enhanced collaboration is the focus of the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which opened in Geneva on Monday. The five-day event will set the world humanitarian agenda for the next four years.
(Xinhua News Agency November 28, 2007)


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