A Chinese envoy on Tuesday called for support to developing countries in search for peace in their efforts to maintain national unity, achieve inclusive development, and to stand up to foreign interference.
Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, made the appeal at an open debate of the Security Council on diversity, state-building and the search for peace.
Diversity is an intrinsic characteristic of the world. It is a perpetual force that drives human development. But sometimes it may also become a source of tension and conflict, said Zhang.
After World War II, many Asian, African and Latin American countries emerged from colonial rule and gained independence. The legacy of colonialism, however, has not been fully eliminated. National borders artificially drawn up by external powers, and the bizarre, political, and economic structures inherited from the colonial era have all but hindered the organic formation of national identities among peoples of former colonies, resulted in a wide range of complex issues within the newly independent countries, and become root causes of conflict, he said.
"China is of the view that we must support the efforts of developing countries to maintain national unity," said Zhang.
To govern any country, it is essential to respect the diversity of society, and at the same time, stay committed to maintaining national unity. These two goals are not incompatible or mutually exclusive. For many developing countries, the task of maintaining national unity is more urgent and related challenges are more pronounced, he said.
Many conflict situations currently on the Security Council's agenda are the result of intensified inter-communal disputes and weakened national identities. China calls on all parties to internal conflicts to put the interests of their country and people first, set aside communal and partisan differences, build up political consensus, and establish and consolidate a broad and inclusive political architecture, he said.
China supports the UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions in redoubling their efforts in this regard, he added.
Zhang called for support for the efforts of developing countries to achieve inclusive development.
Development is the master key to the solutions to all problems and decent living for all is the fundamental guarantee for the realization of lasting peace. In the process of post-conflict peacebuilding, the countries concerned should uphold a people-centered approach, formulate inclusive development policies, mobilize people's initiative at all levels of society, and adopt a grow-the-pie mindset in national development. This is the economic basis for achieving national harmony and enhancing social cohesion, he said.
At a time when the world economy is still reeling from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing countries are in a more disadvantaged position in international economic relations, and the goal of inclusive development remains elusive. There is a need to improve global economic governance and rectify the unjust and unreasonable arrangements in the current system through reforms, so that developing countries can participate in and benefit from international economic cooperation on an equal footing, he said.
Zhang also called for support for the efforts of developing countries to stand up to foreign interference.
Each country has its own unique history and culture, and as such is entitled to follow a development path that accords with its own national conditions. Attempts of foreign powers to promote regime change and impose their own governance model on others, attempts to promote the so-called democratic transformation, and the partiality of foreign influence in internal disputes have plunged countries such as Libya and Syria into civil strife, and resulted in Afghanistan falling into a vicious cycle, said Zhang.
"History tells us that a world where peace and development prevail is one that comprises different forms of civilizations, as well as diverse paths to modernization. On the question of how a country should be governed, it is the people of that country who should have the final say. Countries should respect each other's choices regarding development paths and political systems," he said.
Mankind lives in a global village. Global threats and challenges require a stronger commitment to solidarity and collective response under the banner of the United Nations. China stands ready to work with other countries to practice genuine multilateralism, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly build a better world, he said.