President Xi's speech At the United Nations Office at
Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind
Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of
At the United Nations Office at
Your Excellency Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly,
Your Excellency Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General,
Your Excellency Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office at
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
As a new year begins, everything takes on a new look, and it gives me great pleasure to visit the United Nations Office at Geneva and discuss with you the building of a community of shared future for mankind, which is the call of our time.
I just attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. In Davos, many speakers pointed out in their speeches that today's world is full of uncertainties and that people long for a bright future but are bewildered about what will come. What has happened to the world and how should we respond? The whole world is reflecting on this question, and it is also very much on my mind.
I believe that to answer this question, we need to get clear about a fundamental issue: Where did we come from? Where are we now? And where are we going?
Over the past century and more, mankind has gone through bloody hot wars and the chilling Cold War, but also achieved remarkable development and huge progress. In the first half of last century, mankind suffered the scourges of two world wars, and the people yearned for the end of war and the advent of peace. In the 1950s and 1960s, people in colonies awakened and fought to shake off shackles and achieve independence. Since the end of the Cold War, people have pursued a shared aspiration, namely, to expand cooperation and promote common development.
Peace and development: this has been the aspiration held dear by mankind over the past century. However, the goal to achieve peace and development is far from being met. We need to respond to the people's call, take up the baton of history and forge ahead on the marathon track toward peace and development.
Mankind is in an era of major development as well as profound transformation and change. The trend toward multi-polarity and economic globalization is surging. IT application in social development and cultural diversity are making continued progress. A new round of scientific and industrial revolution is in the making. Interconnection and interdependence between countries are crucial for human survival. The forces for peace far outweigh factors causing war, and the trend of our times toward peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcomes has gained stronger momentum.
On the other hand, mankind is also in an era of numerous challenges and increasing risks. Global growth is sluggish, the impact of the financial crisis lingers on and the development gap is widening. Armed conflicts occur from time to time, Cold War mentality and power politics still exist and non-conventional security threats, particularly terrorism, refugee crisis, major communicable diseases and climate change, are spreading.
There is only one Earth in the universe and we mankind have only one homeland. Stephen Hawking has raised the proposition about "parallel universe", hoping to find another place in the universe where mankind could live. We do not know when his wish will come true. Until today, Earth is still the only home to mankind, so to care for and cherish it is the only option for us mankind. There is a Latin motto inscribed in the dome of the Federal Palace of Switzerland which says "Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno" (One for all, and all for one). We should not only think about our own generation, but also take responsibility for future ones.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Pass on the torch of peace from generation to generation, sustain development and make civilization flourish: this is what people of all countries long for; it is also the responsibility statesmen of our generation ought to shoulder. And
Vision guides action and direction determines the future. As modern history shows, to establish a fair and equitable international order is the goal mankind has always striven for. From the principles of equality and sovereignty established in the Peace of Westphalia over 360 years ago to international humanitarianism affirmed in the Geneva Convention 150-plus years ago; from the four purposes and seven principles enshrined in the UN Charter more than 70 years ago to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence championed by the Bandung Conference over 60 years ago, many principles have emerged in the evolution of international relations and become widely accepted. These principles should guide us in building a community of shared future for mankind.
Sovereign equality is the most important norm governing state-to-state relations over the past centuries and the cardinal principle observed by the United Nations and all other international organizations. The essence of sovereign equality is that the sovereignty and dignity of all countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, must be respected, their internal affairs allow no interference and they have the right to independently choose their social system and development path. In organizations such as the United Nations, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Meteorological Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Universal Postal Union, International Organization for Migration and International Labor Organization, countries have an equal voice in decision-making, constituting an important force for improving global governance. In a new era, we should uphold sovereign equality and work for equality in right, opportunity and rules for all countries.
An ancient Chinese philosopher said, "Law is the very foundation of governance." Here in
"The ocean is vast because it admits all rivers." Openness and inclusiveness have made
In 1862, in his book Un Souvenir de Solférino, Henry Dunant pondered the question of whether it is possible to set up humanitarian organizations and conclude humanitarian conventions. The answer came one year later with the founding of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Over the past 150-plus years, the Red Cross has become a symbol and a banner. In the face of frequent humanitarian crises, we should champion the spirit of humanity, compassion and dedication and give love and hope to the innocent people caught in dire situations. We should uphold the basic principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, refrain from politicizing humanitarian issues and ensure non-militarization of humanitarian assistance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Great visions can be realized only through actions. Actions hold the key to building a community of shared future for mankind. To achieve this goal, the international community should promote partnership, security, growth, inter-civilization exchanges and the building of a sound ecosystem.
-- We should stay committed to building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation. When countries enjoy peace, so will the world; when countries fight, the world suffers. From the Peloponnesian War in the fifth century BC to the two world wars and the Cold War that lasted more than four decades, we have drawn painful and profound lessons. "History, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future." By establishing the United Nations, those before us won more than 70 years of relative peace for the world. What we need to do is to improve the mechanisms and means to more effectively resolve disputes, reduce tension and put an end to wars and conflicts.
The Swiss writer and Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse stressed the importance of serving "not war and destruction but peace and reconciliation". Countries should foster partnerships based on dialogue, non-confrontation and non-alliance. Major powers should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, keep their differences under control and build a new model of relations featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. As long as we maintain communication and treat each other with sincerity, the "Thucydides trap" can be avoided. Big countries should treat smaller ones as equals instead of acting as a hegemon imposing their will on others. No country should open the Pandora's box by willfully waging wars or undermining the international rule of law. Nuclear weapons, the Sword of Damocles that hangs over mankind, should be completely prohibited and thoroughly destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons. Guided by the principle of peace, sovereignty, inclusiveness and shared governance, we should turn the deep sea, the polar regions, the outer space and the Internet into new frontiers for cooperation rather than a wrestling ground for competition.
-- We should build a world of common security for all through joint efforts. No country in the world can enjoy absolute security. A country cannot have security while others are in turmoil, as threats facing other countries may haunt itself also. When neighbors are in trouble, instead of tightening his own fences, one should extend a helping hand to them. As a saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall." All countries should pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.
Terrorist attacks that have occurred in Europe, North Africa and the
-- We should build a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation. Development is the top priority for all countries. Instead of beggaring thy neighbor, countries should stick together like passengers in the same boat. All countries, the main economies in particular, should strengthen macro policy coordination, pursue both current and long-term interests and focus on resolving deep-seated problems. We should seize the historic opportunity presented by the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation, shift growth models, drive growth through innovation and further unleash social productivity and social creativity. We should uphold WTO rules, support an open, transparent, inclusive and nondiscriminatory multilateral trading regime and build an open world economy. Trade protectionism and self-isolation will benefit no one.
Economic globalization, a surging historical trend, has greatly facilitated trade, investment, flow of people and technological advances. Since the turn of the century, under the auspices of the UN and riding on the waves of economic globalization, the international community has set the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thanks to these initiatives, 1.1 billion people have been lifted out of poverty, 1.9 billion people now have access to safe drinking water, 3.5 billion people have gained access to the Internet, and the goal has been set to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. All this demonstrates that economic globalization is moving in the right direction. Of course, challenges such as development disparity, governance dilemma, digital divide and equity deficit still exist. But they are growing pains. We should face these problems and tackle them, instead of taking no action, as we Chinese like to say, one should not stop eating for fear of getting choked.
We should draw inspiration from history. Historians told us long ago that rapid economic development makes social reform necessary; but people tend to support the former while rejecting the latter. Instead of watching in hesitation, we should move forward against all odds. Answers can also be found in reality. The 2008 international financial crisis teaches us that we should strengthen coordination and improve governance so as to ensure sound growth of economic globalization and make it open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We should both make the cake bigger and share it fairly to ensure justice and equity.
Last September, the G20 Summit in
-- We should build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning. Delicious soup is made by combining different ingredients. Diversity of human civilizations not only defines our world, but also drives progress of mankind. There are more than 200 countries and regions, over 2,500 ethnic groups and multiple religions in our world. Different histories, national conditions, ethnic groups and customs give birth to different civilizations and make the world a colorful one. There is no such thing as a superior or inferior civilization, and civilizations are different only in identity and location. Diversity of civilizations should not be a source of global conflict; rather, it should be an engine driving the advance of human civilizations.
Every civilization, with its own appeal and root, is a human treasure. Diverse civilizations should draw on each other to achieve common progress. We should make exchanges among civilizations a source of inspiration for advancing human society and a bond that keeps the world in peace.
-- We should make our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development. Man coexists with nature, which means that any harm to nature will eventually come back to haunt man. We hardly notice natural resources such as air, water, soil and blue sky when we have them. But we won't be able to survive without them. Industrialization has created material wealth never seen before, but it has also inflicted irreparable damage to the environment. We must not exhaust all the resources passed on to us by previous generations and leave nothing to our children or pursue development in a destructive way. Clear waters and green mountains are as good as mountains of gold and silver. We must maintain harmony between man and nature and pursue sustainable development.
We should pursue green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable way of life and production, advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a balanced manner and explore a model of sound development that ensures growth, better lives and a good environment. The Paris Agreement is a milestone in the history of climate governance. We must ensure this endeavor is not derailed. All parties should work together to implement the Paris Agreement.
Swiss army knife embodies Swiss craftsmanship. When I first got one, I was amazed that it has so many functions. I cannot help thinking how wonderful it would be if an exquisite Swiss army knife could be made for our world. When there is a problem, we can use one of the tools on the knife to fix it. I believe that with unremitting efforts of the international community, such a knife can be made.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
For us Chinese,
Several centuries ago,
Between 1950 and 2016,
The China-UN Peace and Development Fund has been officially inaugurated. We will make funds available to peace and development oriented programs proposed by the UN and its agencies in
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,
The ancient Chinese believed that "one should be good at finding the laws of things and solving problems". Building a community of shared future is an exciting goal, and it requires efforts from generation after generation.
On 28 January, we Chinese will celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster. The rooster symbolizes bright prospects and auspiciousness. As a Chinese saying goes, the crow of the golden rooster heralds a great day for all. With that, I wish you all the very best and a very happy Chinese New Year!