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Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, At the Security Council Open Debate on the Follow-up to the Security Council Summit Meeting
(7 March 2001)

2001/03/07

Mr. President,

The Security Council Summit, held last September, decided to strengthen the effective role of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa. It is necessary and opportune that we hold a discussion today on ways to implement the spirit of the Summit. I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your proposal and efforts in this regard.

In their statements today, many of our colleagues, especially those representing non-Council-member states, have provided comments, advice and even criticism on the work of the Security Council. In strengthening its work, it is very important for the Security Council to take into consideration the views of the UN Member States.

Over the past half year, the Security Council has put extra efforts and made some headway in monitoring and containing international conflicts and disputes. The Security Council has continued to pay special attention to the African issue. It responded timely to the cease-fire agreement reached between Ethiopia and Eritrea and promptly deployed a peacekeeping mission in that region. It continued to focus on the situation in Sierra Leone and made an extra effort to address this issue, dispatching a delegation to Sierra Leone and other western African countries and strengthening coordination with regional organizations concerned. And, facing the new situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it grasped the opportunity and adopted a resolution on the deployment of MONUC for the next phase. As to strengthening the peacekeeping capacity, the Security Council was the first to finish an initial review of the Brahimi report and has established a working group of the whole to continue to deliberate relevant issues. The sound recommendations in the report are being implemented step by step. For example, communication and coordination with relevant regional organizations and the troop-contributing countries have been further strengthened, which is welcomed and supported generally by the troop-contributing countries. The end of last year witnessed the solving of the issue of peacekeeping assessment, a bid to bolster the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations. To that end, Member States have made their contributions and the input by some Council members in this regard should be put on record.

In controlling hot-spot issues, stopping conflicts and carrying out preventive diplomacy, the Council has also made commendable efforts. In order to stop the violent conflict between Palestine and Israel, the Council and its members have been working hard to search for a solution that is acceptable to all sides. However, the Council's efforts in addressing a number of issues, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, which threaten world and regional peace and security, have so far failed to yield totally satisfactory or effective results. On some issues, the Council has not been able to play its role effectively. Other issues have been there for a long time without being solved, thus constituting a challenge to the authority of the Security Council. The reasons for all this, which involve many aspects, have already been mentioned by some previous speakers and deserve the attention of the Security Council.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China has always attached importance to Council's role in maintaining international peace and security. The Chinese Government holds a serious and responsible attitude towards implementing the spirit of the Security Council Summit and places an enormous stress on action. As to questions on which there are still differences, we have all along maintained that solutions acceptable to all sides should be sought earnestly by exploring common ground on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and in the service of the higher interests of international and regional peace and security. In this spirit, for instance, China has actively participated in discussions on the question of peacekeeping operations as well as the question of the scale of assessment for peacekeeping operations and made constructive efforts and contributions in those regards. The Chinese Government is working to create conditions for its strengthened participation in UN peacekeeping operations. Besides the additional military observers that China has already dispatched or is going to send to relevant peacekeeping operations, the Chinese Government is right now discussing with the Secretariat the details of China contributing logistic contingents to peacekeeping operations. In a word, much remains to be done in improving and strengthening the work of the Security Council and we are ready to make unremitting efforts, together with other Council members and all UN Member States, to this end.

Mr. President,

Before conclusion, I also wish to talk briefly about the question of improving the working methods of the Security Council. The workload of the Security Council has been increasing at such a rate that, as time goes by, it will undermine the Council's efficiency, functions and ability to handle important peace and security issues in a timely and effective manner. Therefore, the Chinese Delegation has all along supported the reform of the Security Council's working methods. Improving working efficiency and increasing transparency constitute two important components of the reform. A balancing point should be found between the two for such reform. And the focus of the Security Council's must be on the primary issue of maintaining international peace and security. It is unpractical to move the important issues of all fields of the United Nations into the Security Council.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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