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Jointly Building the International Organization for Mediation to Establish a New Platform for Peaceful Resolution of International Disputes
2023-02-16 18:51

Remarks by Foreign Minister Qin Gang 
At the Inauguration Ceremony of the Preparatory Office of the
International Organization for Mediation

16 February 2023

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! 

It gives me great pleasure to join you at the inauguration ceremony of the Preparatory Office of the International Organization for Mediation (IOMed). The establishment of the Office is a result of years of tireless work by all of you. It marks a new stage of substantive efforts to create the IOMed. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, I wish to extend warm congratulations and thank you for your hard work and outstanding contribution. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

President Xi Jinping of China pointed out that changes of the world, of our times and of history are now unfolding in ways like never before. Peace, development and cooperation for win-win results is the prevailing trend of our times. Yet some countries, with their wanton practices of unilateralism and power politics, are going against the trend of history and eroding international rule of law. Against this backdrop, it is more imperative for us to firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations (UN) at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. In this spirit, China proposed establishing the IOMed, and this initiative has been warmly echoed by many countries.

The IOMed will be the world’s first intergovernmental legal organization dedicated to resolving international disputes through mediation. It will transcend the limit of litigation and arbitration in which one side wins and the other loses, and it aims to realize win-win cooperation between disputing parties, which is of high significance for promoting world peace, security and development as well as stability of the international order. Being an important effort to practice the principle of settling international disputes by peaceful means enshrined in the UN Charter, the IOMed will further enrich the mechanisms and means of resolving international disputes. It will also be a global public good for rule of law that we founding members provide to the international community, to advance the development of the global governance system. We are confident that the IOMed will fully leverage its unique strengths of being flexible, cost-effective and convenient and present a new option to all countries for peaceful resolution of international disputes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Going forward, preparations for the IOMed will involve more arduous tasks and call on us to fulfill the mission with greater pride. We need to pool our wisdom and strength, increase mutual trust and work together for an authoritative, trustworthy, efficient and professional international organization for mediation. To that end, I wish to share with you the following four suggestions.

First, observing the principle of mutual respect. We need to respect the sovereignty, core interests and legitimate concerns of every country and promote equal-footed dialogue and trust between parties concerned. Instead of applying coercion or pressure, more efforts should be made to bridge differences to seek solutions through consultation.

Second, harnessing the strength of extensive consultation and joint contribution. The IOMed should be open to all countries in the world and welcome both developing and developed countries to join. Building the IOMed is our joint endeavor. We need to seek common ground while reserving differences in our discussions, and work hand in hand in the development of this organization.

Third, embracing openness and inclusiveness. We need to stay inclusive and draw inspirations from various civilizations and legal systems. In doing so, we could make the IOMed a fine example of mutual learning between different civilizations for the greater good of the cause of peace for humanity.

Fourth, attaining the goal of balanced development. We need to strive for balance in geography, gender and other fields, and enhance the participation by developing countries. We should nurture mediators from the developing world and work to make the international dispute settlement mechanism fairer and beneficial to all.

I am confident that with our concerted efforts, the IOMed will be up and running with success, and Hong Kong, under One Country, Two Systems, will fully leverage its unique status and strengths to contribute to the establishment and development of the IOMed.

Thank you.

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