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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on UN-AU Peace and Security Cooperation

2016/05/24

(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)

China appreciates Egypt’s initiative to convene today’s open debate. With Africa Day just ahead of us on 25 May, it is of great significance to discuss United Nations African Union (AU) cooperation in peace and security.

I thank Under-Secretary-General Ladsous; Ambassador Kamau, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; Ambassador Menkerios, Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union; and Ambassador António, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, for their briefings.

Ever since 2006, when the United Nations and the AU started the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Program for the AU, United Nations-AU peace and security cooperation has been strengthened and produced good results. The United Nations has deployed with the Hybrid Operation in Darfur, provided logistical support to the African Union Mission to Somalia, enhanced efforts for a political settlement to such hotspot issues in Africa as those in South Sudan and Mali, and supported post-conflict reconstruction in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The strengthened United Nations-AU cooperation in peace and security has played a positive role in maintaining peace and stability on the African continent.

China would like to make four comments with regard to future cooperation between the United Nations and the AU in peace and security.

First, it must always adhere to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The United Nations is the core of the international collective security mechanism, and the Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. China supports further cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. The Charter advocates equal sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Such ideas have played an important guiding role in the cooperation between the United Nations and the AU. The United Nations should further support the AU in seeking the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue, consultations, good offices and mediation on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all the countries.

Secondly, it must always adhere to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. To find solutions to hot-spot issues in Africa, it is important to consider the historical background and current realities, and to take comprehensive measures to achieve and promote security through cooperation. China welcomes the African Peace and Security Architecture road map for 2016 to 2020, which prioritizes conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict reconstruction. China hopes that the United Nations will strengthen cooperation with the AU and support the AU in implementing the Peace and Security Architecture road map in order to achieve win-win cooperation and common security.

Thirdly, it must enhance mutual coordination and coherence and respect the ownership of the African countries. When it comes to seeking solutions to the hot-spot issues in Africa, the AU has rich experience and enjoys unique geographical, historical and cultural advantages. It can play an irreplaceable role. China welcomes the work of the United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security in recent years and the annual joint consultative meetings between the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. Such mechanisms can bring into full play the comparative advantages of each organization so that they can complement each other and promote each other’s work thereby forming synergies. China welcomes the AU’s adoption of the Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda 2017-2027 at its Johannesburg Forum in 2015, which can further promote the partnership between the AU and the United Nations. China hopes that both parties will fully utilize the relevant mechanism, strengthen coordination in seeking a political settlement to hot-spot issues in Africa, and support the settlement of African issues by Africans in the African way. Meanwhile, it is important to draw on lessons learned and experience in a timely manner and to further explore flexible, pragmatic, positive and effective ways of cooperation.

Fourthly, we must prioritize support for the AU in enhancing its collective security mechanism. In the field of peace and security, the AU faces difficulties in the area of human and financial resources. It therefore needs the continued support and assistance of the international community. We welcome the AU appointment of Mr. Kaberuka as High Representative for the African Peace Fund. We hope that the United Nations will provide more support to the AU collective security mechanism, in particular in training, institution-building and logistical and financial support. We also hope that the United Nations will further support the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis in addressing regional terrorism and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea so as to effectively increase the continent’s overall collective security capacity.

China attaches great importance to enhancing peace and security cooperation between China and Africa. To date, China has participated in 16 United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa. At present, over 2,600 Chinese peacekeepers are deployed in seven United Nations missions, including in Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Darfur and Liberia. China has also dispatched naval convoys to Somali waters and Gulf of Aden to assist the countries of the region combat piracy.

In December, at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, President Xi Jinping of China proposed 10 cooperation programs, one of which involved enhancing cooperation between China and Africa in peace and security. President Xi Jinping has declared that China will continue to participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa, provide the AU with $60 million in assistance, support the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis, and help African countries build their capacities in such areas as national defense, counter-terrorism, the prevention of explosions, and customs and immigration control. China is ready to work with all African countries to actively implement the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit and to support the AU in implementing its Agenda 2063. We are ready to work with the international community in further promoting United Nations-AU cooperation, maintain peace and stability in Africa, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, and make joint efforts to build a future that is more secure and better.

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