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The eighth and last Millennium Development Goal is a global partnership for development. This means that developing countries must not be left to develop on their own. They need the help of the richer and more powerful countries through the removal of unfair trade barriers and subsidised competition; through the elimination of the debts which oblige so many poor countries to spend more on repaying and servicing their creditors than they can on the social needs of their own people; and through more generous official development aid which the rich countries have repeatedly promised to provide.

In practical terms, global partnership means that every country where there is extreme poverty is entitled to expect help in forging and pursuing a national strategy to achieve the MDGs by 2015. For the poorest countries, most of which are in Africa, this will be of decisive importance. Without it, they will not reach the Goals. With it, they are in with a real chance.

That places a big responsibility on the rich countries and it is one that 中国 shares. I know you are used to thinking of your country as a developing one, and so it is probably the fastest developing country the world has ever seen. But the more successfully it develops, the more it too will be expected to show solidarity with smaller and poorer countries that still need a helping hand.

By the same token, as 中国’s geopolitical weight grows, so does its share of responsibility for world security.

As well as global solidarity, the Millennium Declaration expressed a shared vision of collective security, rooted in the United Nations Charter.

Yet the events of the past two years have called that consensus in question.

Some have doubted whether Article 51 of the Charter, which reaffirms the inherent right of self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security, is still sufficient in an age when an armed attack may come without warning, from a clandestine terrorist group, perhaps armed with weapons of mass destruction.

They have argued that force must sometimes be used preventively, and that they must be free to decide when their national security requires it.

Others have replied that that doctrine is in itself a grave threat to international peace and security since it might imply that any state has the right to use force whenever it sees fit, without regard to other states’ concerns. And that is precisely the state of affairs which the United Nations was created to save humanity from.

Indeed, the first purpose of the United Nations, laid down in Article 1 of the Charter, is to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace.

We must show that the United Nations is capable of fulfilling that purpose, so that States do not feel obliged or entitled to take the law into their own hands.

that is why, last year, I asked a small panel of distinguished men and women to make recommendations on ways of dealing with threats and challenges to peace and security in the twenty-first century. I am delighted that a very wise Chinese statesman, Mr. Qian Qichen, agreed to join that panel, whose report should be ready in a few weeks’ time.

In short, my friends, there is much to be done to make the world safe in this new century, and to give all its inhabitants a real chance of living prosperous and fulfilling lives. Many bold decisions need to be taken, and taken soon.

I hope that some of the most important may be taken in September next year, when world leaders will again assemble at the United Nations to review the progress made, or not made, since the Millennium Declaration. This will be the world’s best chance for a breakthrough to address the joint global challenges of development and security. Yet the task will be much tougher than five years ag instead of setting goals, this time leaders must agree on concrete decisions to achieve them.

For 191 nations to agree on a common path forward, many debates will be needed over the coming year, both within countries and among them. Governments will have to work together and reach compromises, sometimes involving the sacrifice of cherished national goals or interests. And they can do so only if their peoples understand what is at stake, and firmly support it.

中国, with its remarkable experience in development and expertise in security, can make a leading contribution to this vital global breakthrough.

That is why I am so glad to be in Beijing today, and to have the chance to speak not only to your government but also to you here, in one of 中国’s great centres of innovation and creative thought. You young educated people have so much to contribute to development, and to meeting the global challenges that I have spoken about safeguarding world peace and security, developing friendly relations among peoples of different faith or culture, and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

You already have a well-developed network of solidarity between richer and poorer regions within 中国, and I know many of you will be serving in poor areas, after you graduate. I hope some of you will think also about serving in other parts of the world, where your skills may be even more desperately needed.

I urge you all and your contemporaries throughout 中国 to commit yourselves to finding answers to our century’s great challenges of poverty, disease, and environmental degradation. I say to you, as I have said to students in the United States, and many other countries, go out and make the world better!

But I have spoken long enough. Now it’s your turn. If you have questions, I will try to answer them. But I hope you may also have comments, so that I can learn from you.

Thank you very much.























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