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2 Mar, 2015

Chinese Commentary: 70 Years Since End of WWII, Time to Reflect on Past, Look to Future

by Xinhua writer Gu Zhenqiu

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 (Xinhua) — The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War Thursday, calling upon all United Nations member states not to forget the tremendous sacrifices made and the horrendous atrocities committed during the war.

The resolution, adopted by the 193-member General Assembly, comes in a good time as this year also marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations. The UN document, passed by consensus, mirrors the collective will of the international community as the year of 2015 is an important, historic juncture to reflect on the past and look to the future.

The resolution asks the world not to forget the war “which brought untold sorrow to humankind, particularly in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and other parts of the world.” It also notes that this year marks the 70th birthday of the United Nations, saying that the end of the Second World War also “established the conditions for the creation of the United Nations, designed to prevent future wars and save succeeding generations from their scourge.”

The resolution was officially adopted just a couple of days after the UN Security Council convened an open debate on how to better maintain international peace and security under the UN Charter.

The Council’s open debate, initiated by China which held the rotating council presidency for February, has been warmly greeted here as a prelude to a series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

The debate is also conducive to creating a proper atmosphere for such a commemoration process in the world body and in the other parts of the globe.

In fact, this year in the history of humankind is not just for celebrations. It is a time to remind the world of the scourge of the war as well as the values that strengthen the UN Charter, long seen as the cornerstone of today’s international relations.

The adoption of the General Assembly resolution, considered both urgent and necessary, sends a very clear message to the international community that it is high time now to draw lessons from history and chart the course for the future.

Both need to be done at the same time with concerted world efforts.

Drawing lessons from history helps reaffirm the solemn commitment to the UN Charter to spare “the succeeding generations from the scourge of war which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.” Charting the course for the future requires the international community to join hands and build a new type of international relations centering on win-win cooperation in order to realize the lofty goal of “living together in peace with one another as good neighbors.”

History lessons should be learnt in good faith in today’s world as there are still some who are reluctant to recognize the historic facts that have long been made clear on the world war against Fascism, and even attempt to overturn the verdict and whitewash past crimes of aggression.

The Second World War ended with the defeat of Germany and Japan in 1945.

What was noticeable here last week is that Germany joined nearly 40 other UN member states in co-sponsoring the latest draft resolution at the General Assembly. Germany has been praised by the world community for its correct stance and genuine efforts to reflect on history and not to let the past tragedy repeat.

This means that the UN Charter should be used as a “golden rule ” instead of just being worshipped, because the purposes of the Charter represent the common aspirations of mankind and the principles of the Charter still serve as the cornerstone to guide contemporary international relations.

Under the new resolution, all the countries, UN bodies are invited to commemorate the end of the Second World War “in an appropriate manner.” The General Assembly is to hold a special solemn meeting in May to pay tribute to all victims of the war.

As the two 70th anniversaries are drawing near, the international community should not only reflect on history, stay true to the spirit of the UN Charter, but also need to act along the trend of the times and in line with practical needs to add new dimensions to the Charter and bring to it new dynamism and vitality.