11th World Peace Forum held in Beijing


An article in PR Newswire from china.org.cn

The 11th World Peace Forum, organized by Tsinghua University and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, concluded in Beijing on July 3. The forum, themed “Stabilizing an Unstable World through Consensus and Cooperation,” gathered former political leaders, diplomatic envoys, experts, and scholars from around the world to shed light on promoting world peace and win-win cooperation.

China’s Vice President Han Zheng delivers a keynote speech at the 11th World Peace Forum opening ceremony on July 3, 2023.

China’s Vice President Han Zheng delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. Han said that in the face of profound changes in the international situation, China has put forward a series of major initiatives, such as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, constantly enriching the connotation and practical path of the concept of building a community with a shared future for humanity, and injecting strong positive energy into world peace and development.

Han stressed that Chinese modernization follows the path of peaceful development, and China will unswervingly advocate, build and uphold world peace.

The future lies in dialogue and consultation

In the panel discussion titled “Security in the Asia-Pacific: Challenges and Solutions,” Singapore’s Ambassador to China, Peter Tan, emphasized the importance of dialogue and consultation when discussing Sino-U.S. relations. “It is, therefore, in our view, critical for China and the United States to have regular, peaceful, and constructive engagements. This will help stabilize the relationship,” he said.

Tan believed that the two countries should maintain open and effective channels of communication and interaction, whether conducted in the public domain or behind closed doors. Tan said that dialogue is the basis for building mutual understanding and bridging differences.

Pankaj Saran, former deputy national security advisor for strategic affairs of India, proposed during the same panel discussion that countries should address issues through dialogue and negotiation rather than force, abide by the rules-based order, and respect sovereignty and territorial integrity to foster interconnectivity.

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Questions for this article:

Does China promote a culture of peace?

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During the panel discussion titled “Major-Power Collaboration in Managing Global Problems,” Jia Qingguo, a professor from the School of International Studies at Peking University, underscored the importance of consultation and dialogue in managing major-country relations. Jia noted that encouraging dialogue and negotiation to find common political solutions is especially crucial to the current Russia-Ukraine conflict.

We must allow those pragmatic and kind people to make their voices heard in international exchanges and interactions, and they have to join together to deal with some extremist voices in the international arena, Jia said.

Multilateralism needs to deliver mutual benefits and win-win results

The world today is undergoing complex and profound changes. How can we restore stability to this unstable world through harmonious and multilateral cooperation? How should multilateralism adapt to the realities and needs of the 21st-century international system?

Igor Ivanov, president of the Russian International Affairs Council and former secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, underscored the importance of multilateralism at the major plenary session titled “The Evolution of Multilateralism.” According to Ivanov, multilateralism serves as a mechanism for fostering more open and transparent international relations and for interactions between countries with different political systems, ideologies, histories, and cultures. The multilateralism of the 21st century can only be universal and effective if it is suitable for a world of value, political and economic pluralism, Ivanov said.

In addition, countries must learn to recognize the equality of all actors in the multilateral format to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results. “Cooperation can be successful if it is mutually beneficial, meaning that it can prove its effectiveness of multilateralism for the individual actors in the international system,” Ivanov said.

Multilateralism also took center stage in a panel discussion about climate change. Siddharth Chatterjee, the U.N. development system resident coordinator in China, pointed out that the world is facing unprecedented risks due to climate change that extend beyond the environmental sphere. Only multilateralism can effectively address this crisis and ensure a sustainable existence for future generations.

Global cooperation is required to mitigate these risks and aid vulnerable regions. This necessitates a commitment to multilateralism, as no single country can resolve the climate crisis on its own, added Chatterjee.

This year marked the first in-person edition of the forum in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum consisted of four major panel discussion sessions and 20 panel discussions, covering topics such as the international order, relationships between major countries, the evolution of multilateralism, nuclear non-proliferation, and artificial intelligence security.

The forum attracted worldwide attention, bringing together more than 150 journalists from more than 50 countries.