UN chief to attend V-Day ceremonies

Updated: 2015-08-31 11:33

By Amy He and Wang Linyan at the United Nations(China Daily USA)

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the V-Day ceremonies in Beijing on Sept 3 during a five-day visit starting Wednesday.

This year provides an important opportunity for the international community to review that part of history and look forward to build a better world, said the UN chief in an interview with Chinese media at the UN headquarters in New York on Aug 28.

This will be Ban's ninth visit to China in nine years in his post.

Ban said it is "important to look to the past for the kind of lessons we've been learning and (to see) how we can move ahead to a brighter future based on the lessons learned. That is the main purpose of my visit to China, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping".

"China's contributions and sacrifices during the Second World War are very much recognized and appreciated for all such sufferings and sympathized by the world's people," he said.

"And on the brighter future, China has a very important role to play. As the second largest economy and a peace-loving country, there is a lot that China can contribute to this rapidly changing and transformative age."

Thirty heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye, will attend China's V-Day celebrations, according to China's Foreign Ministry. The ceremonies will mark victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and in the World Anti-Fascist War.

During his visit to China, Ban is also set to meet with Chinese leaders to discuss a wide range of issues, including the 70th anniversary of the UN's founding, climate change and the upcoming key UN sustainable development summit this September.

Ahead of President Xi Jinping's first state visit to the US and to the UN General Assembly, Ban said he most "warmly welcomes" the president and hopes that he will "send out a strong message of hope" to the people of the world.

"The whole world's leaders and people will look to him," he said.

The 193 member states of the UN reached agreement in August on a new development agenda for the next 15 years. The draft agreement, which outlines 17 goals, is expected to be adopted at the UN development summit in September.

The UN chief is calling on member states to include these goals in their domestic development policies. "I am convinced that China can play a hugely important role in helping this sustainable development goals implemented," he said.

On China's role at the UN, Ban said that he expects China's continuing cooperation in peacekeeping operations and help with leading developing countries on climate change and other global issues.

"We also hope that China will always work with member states, as it has a very important role as one of the permanent members of the Security Council for maintaining peace and stability of the world," he said.

In addition to the anniversaries, member countries of the United Nations also will be meeting in Paris in December to lock down a universal agreement on how to counter climate change. This year is a "truly momentous year for the world," Ban said, for discussion from the various heads of state and China will play an important role.

"Climate change is one of the top global agendas," he said. "We do not have much time to lose. We have to take urgent action. That is why climate change is one of the three top priorities for the international community to take action this year in 2015."

"In December in Paris, we must have a universal, meaningful climate-change agreement," Ban said. "China has already taken hugely important global championing leadership. Together with the United States, last year it made a historic, huge impact-giving statement. I sincerely hope that President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government will lead this campaign," he said.

Ban commended China for taking domestic measures to limit carbon emissions, saying that these are "wise measures".