New York (People's Daily) - With the centenary of the end of the First World War just days away, the Security Council held a debate on "Maintenance of international peace and security: Strengthening multilateralism and the role of the United Nations" on Friday at the Chamber of the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York City, USA.
Chinese permanent representative to the UN Ma Zhaoxu speaks at the UN Security Council's open debate on the Middle East situation at UN headquaters in New York, on July 24, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the heads of the main organs established under the UN Charter gathered at the Security Council Chamber with the member states to jointly send a clarion call in support of multilateralism, a stronger role of the United Nations, and the maintenance of international peace and security. As such, this meeting carries an important historical meaning.
Guterres said that in a few days the world will observe the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, "a colossal tragedy and a frightening harbinger of the bloody decades to follow".
The secretary-general warned that multilateral efforts are under immense stress today on some fronts such as new conflicts, nuclear proliferation, climate change and migration. Meanwhile, he called on the Security Council to "inspire a return to international cooperation" and "do more to overcome divisions".
Echoing the Secretary General's call to "reaffirm the ideals of collective action," the UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa, who had a statement delivered on her behalf at the debate, said, "Multilateralism does not represent in any sense a threat to sovereignty or to national interests of the member states."
And as the president of the UN Economic and Social Council, Inga Rhonda King, also highlighted the role that multilateralism plays in achieving UN goals by saying that multilateralism delivered conditions for economic growth after World War II and it was multilateralism that allowed the international community to reach its objective of halving extreme poverty after 2000.
"It is only through support to multilateral rules, such as the Law of the Sea, that an international framework of regulations can be sustained. Otherwise the complicated interrelationships of nations will resemble a spider web that collapses on itself," said Abudulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the president of the International Court of Justice.
Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, the permanent representative of China to the United Nations, said that, as the presidency of the Security Council for this month, China proposed the convening of today's open debate, stressing that today's meeting aims to send a clarion call to affirm the need for multilateralism to confront the challenges of today's world and to strengthen the Security Council's functioning in that context.
Ma noted that the United Nations embodies mankind's aspirations for peace and development and strengthening multilateralism and the role of the United Nations is a consensus of the international community.
"China remains committed to defending the international order and pursuing multilateralism. We stand ready to join hands with all states to build a community of a shared future for mankind and a more peaceful world, with a better life and greater happiness for all," he said.