China calls for respect for sovereignty in promoting transitional justice

A Chinese envoy on Thursday called for respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned in promoting transitional justice.

The issue of transitional justice is one of the major areas of peace-building and should be carried forward within the framework of peace-building and sustaining peace. Relevant discussions must be strictly limited to conflict and post-conflict situations, said Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

In this regard, it is imperative to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned on the basis of the UN Charter and universally recognised international law, Wu told the Security Council, which met to discuss the issue of transitional justice.

There is a need to respect the countries concerned for their efforts to carry forward transitional justice processes step by step in a manner consistent with their own national conditions, he said. No models should be imposed from outside, let alone interference in their internal affairs or intervention in internal contentions.

Only by adhering to the principle of sovereignty can transitional justice efforts be justified, the trust of the countries concerned be won, and the role of promoting peace and development be claimed, said Wu.

It is necessary to help the countries concerned enhance capacity building with the focus on the functions of their judicial systems, he said.

In the long run, no special measure, interim measure or external measure can substitute a functioning domestic judicial system. After an extended period of turmoil and conflict, the rule of law of the country concerned must have been seriously affected, and shortages of and challenges in financial, technological, and human resources must be acute, he said.

Therefore, the international community should reach out to the countries concerned and enhance their capacity building. The Peace-building Commission, as a body jointly established by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council with the advantage of straddling political, security and development areas, has an important role to play, he said.

The relations between transitional justice and the political process, economic development, and social integration should be properly addressed. Comprehensive measures should be taken to promote the rule of law and judicial justice, said Wu.

Transitional justice is not just a legal issue. It should serve the interests of achieving lasting peace and stability, economic development, and social progress. Above all, it should serve the long-term fundamental interests of local populations, he said.

In the process of carrying forward transitional justice, security sector reform and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration should be carried out. Economic and social measures, such as poverty eradication and job creation, must be taken so as to promote peace through development, achieve national reconciliation, and address the root causes of conflict, he said.

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