Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks at the virtual event on the fiftieth anniversary of General Assembly resolution 2758 today:
I am pleased to join you as we mark 50 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 2758 deciding to “restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China in the United Nations”.
In the decades since, China has become an increasingly important contributor to the work of the Organization and a major pillar of international cooperation. I thank China for its role in shaping and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, as evidenced by its strong commitment and significant progress to eradicate poverty in all forms and dimensions, one of the world’s leading challenges. China’s achievements provide valuable lessons in poverty alleviation that are being shared with other countries through South‑South Cooperation.
Of course, major challenges remain — in China and around the globe. Our world faces a torrent of tests. Rising inequalities. The climate crisis. The COVID‑19 pandemic. Geopolitical tensions. Multiplication of conflicts. Human rights under threat. We need to come together to bridge great divides and solve our challenges through enhanced international cooperation. This includes strengthening the multilateral system to contribute to effective governance of global public goods.
That is the motivation of my report to the General Assembly, Our Common Agenda — which contains 90 specific proposals to take on the challenges of today and strengthen multilateralism for tomorrow. Our Common Agenda builds on the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Climate Agreement.
The climate crisis is a code red for humanity. I commend President Xi Jinping for announcing at the seventy‑sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly that China will end financing of coal-fired power plants abroad and direct support to green and low-carbon energy. We must do everything possible to keep the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement alive. I appeal for China’s presentation of an ambitious nationally determined contribution in the run-up to the twenty-sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow.
The United Nations also fully supports the Chinese Presidency of the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and welcomes its leadership in putting forward the Kunming Declaration. Ambition on biodiversity and climate are mutually reinforcing. Both in Glasgow and Kunming, we must do our part to make peace with nature and safeguard our planet for future generations.
Additionally, the announcement of the Global Development Initiative brings forward new potential in its deep alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations stands ready to support its implementation and provide technical assistance to ensure compliance with recognized international norms and standards.
China has been a steady partner in ensuring that the United Nations can carry out its activities, as the second largest contributor to the regular and peacekeeping budgets. We count on China to play an essential role in global health by stepping up efforts to make COVID‑19 vaccines a global public good, including contributions to the COVAX facility, a necessary step towards stopping the pandemic for everyone, everywhere.
China was also the host of the conference that emerged with our most comprehensive global action plan for gender equality, the Beijing Declaration. Securing women’s equality and full representation must be central to peace and development.
The world must come together to strengthen multilateralism and address global challenges in solidarity. At heart, that is what membership in the United Nations is all about — and what we celebrate and reaffirm today: the commitment of all Member States, including China — a strong supporter of multilateralism — to fulfil the United Nations Charter and contribute to the work of the Organization and achievement of our common agenda for peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.
The United Nations will remain a firm partner of the people and Government of China towards building a fairer and more sustainable future. As we look back on 50 years of China and the United Nations, let us look forward and work to ensure that China and the world make progress in our shared efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.
I thank you and once again extend my congratulations on today’s milestone.