Opening Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Webinar on the Theme of “Promoting the Sustainable Development: A Perspective from the Modern Law of the Sea”
15 July 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The ocean nurtures lives, contains resources and connects the world. It is an important platform for promoting sustainable development. At present, global ocean governance is facing various challenges such as environmental pollution, climate change and sea level rise. All these cannot be solved by any country on its own, but need to be tackled by the international community as a whole. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “the blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future”. We should jointly champion multilateralism, defend the international system centered around the UN, maintain the maritime order based on international law, and promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In this regard, I would like to raise the following three points:
First, Sustainable development requires advocating international cooperation. Last September, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI) at the UN General Assembly, offering China’s wisdom and solutions to promote the international community’s focus on development, create synergies, and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The GDI is in line with the trend of the times, and meets the needs of all parties. It has been actively supported by more than 100 countries and international organizations like the UN, and 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI. Maritime connectivity and cooperation in various fields are important drivers for economic and social development, as well as a focus point for the GDI implementation. China will work with all parties to jointly address maritime challenges, share the fruits of maritime development, and promote a more robust, greener and healthier global development.
Second, Sustainable development requires building political consensus. In June this year, President Xi Jinping chaired the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, where he joined leaders of relevant emerging markets and developing countries to discuss global development issues. They reached important consensus, and issued a list containing 32 deliverables. China will work with its partners to actively implement these important outcomes, including setting up a Global Alliance for Poverty Reduction and Development and promoting to establish the Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership, as well as promoting the Blue Partnership to support the sustainable use of marine resources and capacity building in developing countries. All these efforts will inject “blue energy” into the post-pandemic economic recovery and contributing to the promotion of global common development.
Third, Sustainable development requires strengthening the rule of law for the oceans. The modern law of the sea is an open and inclusive system consisting of UNCLOS, other sea-related international legal instruments, and customary international law. They provide important legal norms for global ocean governance, and also enriched the legal framework for sustainable development. China is ready to work with all parties to safeguard the maritime order based on international law and maintain maritime peace, security and sustainable development. We need to view the status and role of UNCLOS in an objective and historical perspective, and accurately interpret and apply UNCLOS in good faith. We hope that the international community will advance the process of marine-related legislation in an orderly manner to provide new opportunities for sustainable development of the oceans. We look forward to the peaceful settlement of disputes by all parties in accordance with international law, the proper settlement of differences through negotiations, and the strengthening of cooperation in pursuit of win-win results.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 21st century is the century of the ocean. We are ready to work together to maintain the international maritime order based on the modern law of the sea, jointly promote global ocean governance, build a maritime community with a shared future, and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and promote global development.
Thank you all.