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China Reaffirms Solidarity with UN

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing conveyed a letter from President Hu Jintao to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he met with Annan at the 58th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

In his letter President Hu said today's world calls for a strong UN, and as a permanent member of the Security Council, China will, as always, continue to support the authority of the UN in international affairs.

Under the new circumstances, Hu said, the UN should seek new thinking and new approaches to resolving the issues of peace and development so that the 21st century will turn into one that entitles everyone to development.

Only when various nations choose to work in close cooperation and embark on the road of multilateralism can the international community face up to the mounting global challenges, he said.

On his part, Annan expressed his appreciation for China's consistent support to the UN and its constructive role in helping solve global issues, especially in fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals set by the world body. Meanwhile, Li urged the Group of 77 to enhance solidarity and co-ordination in a joint effort to advance the interests of developing countries.

In a speech at the 27th annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of 77, Li said the current international situation is volatile and many developing countries face the danger of being marginalized while multilateralism encounters new challenges.

"Developing countries, the Group of 77 in particular, need more than ever to strengthen their solidarity and co-ordination in a joint effort to change the unfavorable external factors, remove obstacles in the course of development and promote the establishment of a just and reasonable new international political and economic order so as to better safeguard the rights of developing countries and equal participation in international economic decision-making," Li said.

Li said the Chinese Government "attaches great importance" to the role of the Group of 77. "Over the years, the two sides have maintained good cooperation, supporting and helping each other in the form of 'Group of 77 plus China' in the UN and other international organizations and have effectively safeguarded the common interests of developing countries," he said.

Composed of developing countries, the Group of 77 was established in 1964 when the first UN Conference on Trade and Development was held in Geneva. The name of the group remains unchanged though its membership has been growing over the years.

Also on Thursday, Li met with his counterparts from some African and Arab countries.

At a working breakfast with representatives from Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Comoros, Tunis, Namibia, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Li briefed them on China's preparation for the second ministerial meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum scheduled for December in Ethiopia, and China's follow-up efforts to obtain the goals set by the forum.

Li noted that despite great changes in the world, the partnership China has forged with African countries will remain unchanged. The development of this partnership is in the common interest of both sides.

In his meeting with foreign ministers of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Li said China and GCC countries had supported each other on international and regional issues and their cooperation had been very fruitful.

(China Daily September 27, 2003)

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