Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for honouring me with your presence at this reception.
My wife and I arrived in Geneva just two weeks ago. For me, Geneva is a city of special significance. 30 years ago, Geneva was the destination of my first business trip after my joining the foreign service. 20 years ago, my wife and I were assigned to the Chinese Mission in Geneva, we worked and lived here for three years.
20 years later, we are back in this beautiful city in a warm and sunny spring. This reminds me of what, the famous Chinese poet in Tang Dynasty, Mr. Bai Juyi wrote, “For 20 years from the city I was away, but the spring has always been here to stay”. What I have found in Geneva since my arrival, the sky is still blue, the lake is still clear, the city is still dynamic, and the people are still amiable. All these make me feel very much at home.
However, the world we live in today is no longer what it was 20 years ago. It has undergone profound and complex changes, particularly in this new century. Global challenges such as public health, energy security, climate change and financial crisis have become more prominent and compounding. This has already had and will continue to have a far-reaching impact on the evolution of international relations and world order.
20 years ago, we were saying that the world is becoming a “global village”. Now this village has become a “community of common destiny”, in which we share our interests and future, in which multilateralism has become the inevitable choice of all.
As home to numerous international organizations and diplomatic missions, a city of strong humanitarian spirit and fusion of thoughts and ideas, Geneva is a hub for multilateral diplomacy, a great platform for practicing multilateralism and strengthening global governance. Geneva is also the place where the People’s Republic of China launched its multilateral diplomacy, when the late Premier Zhou Enlai attended the Geneva conference on Indochina in 1954, making the country’s debut at the international stage.
For decades, China has been a strong advocate and active practitioner of multilateralism, firmly supporting the central role of the United Nations in international affairs and advancing international cooperation to tackle global challenges, doing its part in maintaining world peace and promoting common development. At the current session of the National People’s Congress held in Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao reaffirmed, in his Government work report, China’s commitment to actively participating in multilateral affairs and global governance, working for an international order that is more fair and equitable, and making greater contribution to global economic growth, world peace and stability.
With these in mind, I feel most privileged and honored to be China's new Permanent Representative in Geneva, while fully aware of my responsibilities.
My colleagues and I look forward to continued close cooperation with our friends at the United Nations and other international organizations, permanent missions and all quarters of people from Geneva. I am also looking forward to developing great working relations and friendship with all of you. And I count on your generous support.
Thank you all for your attention.