China’s six-point proposals can help solve global issues

The 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) focused on subjects on the theme of creating and applying “transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”. Many country representatives attended this General Assembly to discuss the current and future challenges and ways to solve them. There were many proposals, thoughts and ideas. Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the General Debate and unveiled China’s proposal on principles regarding facing challenges.

We live in a hard but decisive time

It is true that we are living in a time full of challenges, turbulence and tensions. We can observe that our world is moving into a dangerous direction that works against peace, equity and development. We are facing many significant issues that are not easy to solve. From conflicts across the world, hunger, climate change and the energy crisis to irresponsible politics of creating ideologized blocs, we can definitively say that our world is on “fire”. As humanity, we are facing wars, food insecurity, raising tensions and existential threats. It is not egoistic to say that we live in times that will define whether we will be able to face challenges and win or fail. We do not have much time to think as we have to act now.

Principles that are common with the UN’s mission and people’s desire for shared future

In this hard time, it is always good to praise wise ideas and concrete actions. China’s six-point proposals are example of such ideas. In fact, we can call these proposals as principles that are ready to meet and answer current and future challenges.

Peace instead of war

During his speech, Wang Yi proposed the first principle of choosing peace instead of war. As humanity, we should resolve disputes through peaceful means such as dialogue, mediations, consultations, expressing and understanding each other’s concerns and views. Our history shows that there can be no winners of any wars. The lost of lives, destruction of infrastructure and wars’ impact on global security, supply chains and food security are only a few examples of how we all are losing wars. We have open and transparent international institutions that can act as dispute resolution centers. Additionally, we can consider strengthening the United Nations, an organization that represents all people, and give additional powers.

Development instead of poverty

There are many efforts for development and reducing poverty across the world. Some of them partially succeeded, some failed. Unfortunately, poverty and hunger are still some of the biggest issues of our times and we need more concrete actions. Wang Yi called for putting development and poverty eradication at the center of the international agenda and ensuring that all people and countries will benefit from it. The most essential part of this point is that we should focus more not just on development itself, but on development that will share fruits of development for many, not few. We need to put people first and actions should be aimed at this. Our common future is about fully eradicating poverty and hunger, and ensuring that anyone, anywhere will live a decent life.

It is important to acknowledge that we need to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Global Development Initiative will absolutely play an essential role in this and in putting people at the center of all efforts. It is important to address crises such as the food and energy crisis, supply chain issues, global hunger and debt. We cannot anymore accept excuses like “this is normal, some people live in poverty” or “we have time”, we have to act now and support initiatives that can make a positive impact.

Openness instead of closeness

During his speech, Wang Yi also noted that it is essential to build an open world and open economy. It is fact that protectionism will never work as it can only hurt communities across the globe. It is in our nature, as humans, to be open to each other, share fruits and live in an open world with open economy.

Our world is interconnected, and no country nor society can thrive under protectionist policies. We have many international organizations ensuring that open economy is also fair economy and open trading system. The most important one is World Trade Organization (WTO) that works towards strengthening multilateral trading system, fostering openness and good trade relations between countries and communities.

Cooperation instead of confrontation

We already live in hard times and see many tensions. In fact, these tensions are related to blocs and political groups confronting each other. What we need are consultations, dialogue, to work together towards better future and cooperate to ensure that everyone wins. Confrontations will lead only to conflicts and wars, new crises, and human suffering. No one can win such confrontation and we do not need it. It is good that Wang Yi called for cooperation, without which it is not possible to build a peaceful and prosperous world.

Unity instead of division

Ideological blocks and divisions are not good for our world, as Wang Yi expressed while calling for unity. Currently, work towards drawing such blocks backfires by causing more tensions between countries and harms societies across the world. Our world won’t be better if we continue building blocs and dividing the world by forcing countries to choose a side and creating another iron curtain. We need more understanding and dialogue, more cooperation and development, more democracy and freedom. What makes world better is cooperation, working together and acting as one for better future. There is one humanity and there can be only one future – our common, shared future.

It is easy to divide and weaponize many tools to cause harm to other countries. However, this creates more problems and tensions. Treating others unfairly and unjustly can only lead to polarization, more conflicts and escalations of such conflicts. We should think how to connect societies and countries, how to build bridges instead of tearing down them. There will be disagreements, but by acting together in dialogue and mutual understanding we can find common ground.

Equity instead of bullying

The sixth proposal is to choose equity instead of bullying. From history we know what happens when one country or one bloc is using its position of power or strength against other countries. This can cause tensions that will cause conflicts and even full-scale wars and reverse already made development progress. What we need is a multilateral approach with equal rights and rules for all countries. With international organizations such as the United Nations and WTO at heart of multilateralism, we can work towards ensuring that these rights and rules will be respected.

Multilateralism is essential to this as it is a base for equal rights, opportunities, fair treatment and rules for all countries. This will strengthen and ensure the international security, development and unity that are needed to face current and future challenges. More divisions won’t help us, blocs and confrontations can only lead to another disaster and problem. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was right that “our world is in big trouble” as “divides are growing deeper” while challenges are spreading faster.

In fact, we do not have much time. There are many countries that were discussing challenges and issues at the UNGA, some of them proposed ideas and solutions and we should consider them. Among those countries is China whose State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi laid out practical proposals. It is time to override ideological differences and move forward to face challenges and confront them. Only together we can make our world better for all.

Originally published on China Daily.

Follow Dawid on: Twitter | LinkedIn | WeChat (Weixin) | Facebook