From Xinhua News Agency, Nov. 9, 2021. Complete text:

United Nations – A Chinese envoy said Tuesday [Nov. 9] that achieving inclusive development for all is the fundamental way to address inequality and eliminate conflicts.

Equality as a value is an eternal pursuit of human society. Regrettably, in the 21st century, inequality between and within countries remains ubiquitous and is often a major source of tension and conflict. The prevalence of unilateralism and hegemony has perpetuated the unfair and irrational arrangements in the global governance architecture, serving as the main drivers of inequality in international relations, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the application of emerging technologies are also exacerbating the challenges presented by the wealth gap and North-South divide, giving rise to new forms of inequalities. The international community, including the Security Council, should pay high attention, strengthen coordination in the context of peace and security, and respond collectively, he told a Security Council open debate on exclusion, inequality and conflict.

Achieving inclusive development for all is the fundamental way to address inequality and eliminate conflicts, he said.

The most salient manifestation of inequality facing the world today is the yawning gap in immunization between developed and developing countries. China calls for vigorous international cooperation on vaccines, making sure vaccines can be accessible and affordable as a public good to people all over the world. In the post-COVID era, development is the foremost rigid demand of people in all countries. A people-centered approach is a must. While making the cake bigger, the fruits of development should be shared fairly so that all people can enjoy a better life, he said.

“In the era of globalization, the world’s long-term development cannot be predicated on some countries getting richer while others mired in protracted poverty and backwardness. Only by fundamentally eradicating development inequality, inadequacy and imbalance and achieving common development of all countries can the world stride toward a better future,” said Zhang.

Such practices as beggar-thy-neighbor policy, crisis exports, and making gains at others’ expense would only destroy the foundation of common development. These practices are neither ethical nor tenable, he said. “We should place development front and center in international cooperation, continue to nurture an open world economy and create conditions for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

History has time and again shown that undermining the principle of sovereign equality, arbitrarily interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, imposing governance models on developing countries, and even pitting one faction against another, often lead to internal conflicts in these countries, he said.

The disastrous fallout of power politics and military intervention would become a hotbed of extremist ideologies, playing into the hands of those preaching hatred and inciting violence. This lesson must be learned, said Zhang.

“We should promote and foster international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation. It is imperative to uphold equality of nations, large and small, practice true multiculturalism, and unswervingly commit ourselves to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter so that all countries and peoples can partake in peace, development, and dignity and jointly shape the future of humankind.”

In this regard, the Security Council shoulders important responsibilities and carries the universal expectations of the international community. China stands ready to work with all other members of the council in making unremitting efforts to build a better future, he said.