Opening Speech by H.E. Mr. U Thein Sein
H.E. Mr. U Thein Sein President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China,
His Excellency Mr. Hamid Ansari,
Vice President of the Republic of India,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, allow me to express my sincere thanks to the Government and the people of the People's Republic of China for the warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements accorded to us since our arrival to this beautiful country.
I have great pleasure and honor to be here with all of you on this auspicious occasion of the Commemorating of the 60th Anniversary of the Announcement of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence by China, India and Myanmar.
Sixty years ago, after the end of the Second World War and at the onset of the Cold War, many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America were struggling with movements for liberation and national independence. At that time, the most common and strong desire of newly independent nations was the establishment of a new pattern of international relations based on equality and mutual respect of their national sovereignty and development of their economies.
In response to this strong and common aspiration of newly independent nations, it was very timely that our leaders with extraordinarily strategic vision courageously made the historic decision to introduce the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, which now serve as basic norms and guiding principles in international relations.
In June 1954, the late Chinese Premiere Zhou Enlai paid a goodwill visit to India and Myanmar. During his visit to India, a joint declaration between China and India was issued on 28 June 1954 in New Delhi, and likewise a joint declaration between China and Myanmar was issued on 29 June 1954 in Yangon, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence were officially announced as the basic norms of equality and mutual respect guiding the relations among sovereign states.
Since then, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence have been recognised and accepted by more and more nations, international organisations and international conferences, and have been incorporated into a series of major international documents, including declarations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
I am proud to say that Myanmar’s independent, active and non-aligned Foreign Policy is also based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. May I take this opportunity to congratulate our closest two neighbours China and India which are now enjoying the status of the world’s economic power houses and being great powers of the region because of their adherence to this Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence in international relations.
We in Myanmar as a co-founder are pleased to see that the “Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence” which have not only overcome the test of time, but have matured with time and become a norm in principles of inter-state relations.
Myanmar is confident that the “Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence” will play even a greater role in inter-state relations in the future. This year 2014 marks the “60th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence”.
Taking a look back into our three countries' relations, traditionally Myanmar, China and India are good neighbouring countries which share a common border of thousand miles and the three peoples enjoy long-lasting friendship for centuries. Not only the peoples share similarities in philosophy, culture and tradition, the peoples also practice this Five Principles which have contributed to establishing understanding, friendly relations, peace and stability.
The all-round development of the friendly relations and cooperation between Myanmar, China and India have been consolidated and further enhanced over the years. We might recall the peaceful settlement of the boundary question to the satisfaction of our countries. This attributed to the shining example of peace, friendship and cooperation between Myanmar, China and India.
Both our closest neighbours China and India have played a significant role in Myanmar’s economic development, and it is our firm belief that these two neighbours will continue to be our strategic partners in the years ahead.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to brief our Foreign Policy which is based on Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. Myanmar has consistently practiced an independent, active and non-aligned foreign policy. We seek to promote friendly relations with all countries, particularly with our neighbours in the region.
Hence, we will cherish our good and friendly relations with all countries and place a special emphasis on good neighbourly relations. We will continue actively participating in the regional efforts to bring about peace, progress and prosperity in our region through closer association and cooperation at bilateral and regional levels.
Myanmar’s membership in ASEAN represents a sense of shared responsibility. Myanmar’s Chairmanship in ASEAN this year brings a sense of security, solidarity and cohesiveness among the ASEAN members as well as with its dialogue partners including China and India.
A review of what we have achieved in practicing these Five Principles in our foreign relations gives us more confidence on these Five Principles. Based on these achievements let us work hand in hand to suggest the rest of the world to more recognise this Principles as the basic norms guiding the relations amongst the states.
I would like to conclude by pledging ourselves once again to maintain and further enhance the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence as the basic norms guiding towards a more peaceful, stable and developed world.