27 Jun 2020

Use of Chinese Communist Party-associated phrase 'inappropriate': Winston Peters

6:28 pm on 27 June 2020

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has raised objections to the use of a phrase in the Commemorative Declaration on the 75th Anniversary of the UN Charter being signed, due to its associations with the Chinese Communist Party.

Winston Peters

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

The countries which make up the Five Eyes - US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - as well as India, have complained about the wording, which said "shared vision of a common future".

The objecting nations have complained about its closeness to the phrase, "community with a shared future for mankind", which is one used often by the CCP, and the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The president of the UN General Assembly has proposed new wording, which will pass if no further objections are raised.

In the new text, the phrase in question is replaced with: "for the common future of present and coming generations."

"It was simply inappropriate to have that, in that document," Peters said.

"A lot of countries have said that it was inappropriate and we stand by that."

The UN Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco at the conclusion of the UN Conference on International Organisation. It came into force on 24 October the same year.

The charter set out the promises which the UN works towards, such as reaffirming faith in fundamental human rights, promoting social progress, and saving future generations from the scourge of war.

The document was due to be issued on the 75th Anniversary, but as a result of the disagreement, has been delayed.

Peters said the associations with the Chinese Government took away from the spirit of the Commemorative Declaration.

"It's not about one narrative, it's about seeking to combine and agree worldwide on the appropriate language and the appropriate approach.

"That's why New Zealand are saying, in the interest of it being a meaningful and factual statement, these words cannot go in, and these words can remain."

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