|Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the Security Council Debate on the Challenges of the Fight against Terrorism in Africa|
The Chinese delegation thanks Togo for its initiative to hold this debate of the Security Council on the challenges in the fight against terrorism in Africa. We welcome President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé presiding over today’s meeting. We also thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the representatives of other relevant agencies for their briefings.
Terrorism is the common enemy of humankind. Over recent years, the international community has made some positive progress, but is still faced with a grim situation in the fight against terrorism. Frequent terrorist acts have resulted in enormous civilian casualties. It has become more apparent that terrorist organizers are using younger people, using varied means and developing networks to inflict terror.
International cooperation in the fight against terrorism has a long way to go. At present, African countries are faced with the increasingly menacing threat of terrorism and are at the forefront of the international fight against terrorism. Terrorist organizations take advantage of the political and security turmoil in some parts of Africa and incessantly infiltrate and extend their activities to Africa in an attempt to establish new safe havens on the continent. Terrorist activities and ethnic and religious conflicts in Africa are interlinked. They affect each other, further intensifying arms proliferation and cross-border organized crime, thereby damaging regional stability and economic and social development and having a negative impact on international peace and security.
The fight against terrorism in Africa should in no way have to be fought by African countries alone, as the international community has a shared responsibility in the matter. The international community should, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the commonly accepted norms governing international relations, adopt swift, effective and coordinated actions and integrated policies that resolve the problem itself and attack its root causes, thereby assisting African countries in their fight against terrorism and thoroughly eliminating the breeding grounds of the scourge. I would like to take this opportunity to state China’s perspective as follows.
First, the leadership of African countries in the fight against terrorism should be fully respected. When providing assistance, the international community should respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, adequately listen to the opinions and ideas of Africa’s countries and regional organizations, and carry out international counter-terrorism cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Efforts should be made to assist African countries in the promotion of dialogue and exchange among civilizations, religions and ethnicities and avoid linking terrorism with a particular religion or ethnicity. Double standards should be avoided. No country should use its own interests, whether threatened or not, as the standard in the determination of what constitutes terrorist activity or a terrorist organization.
Secondly, efforts should be made to assist Africa in realizing regional peace and security. The security turmoil in certain parts of Africa provides a hotbed for terrorism. We urge the international community to be objective and fair, support African countries and regional organizations comprehensively and proactively in their effort to maintain regional peace and security, encourage the resolution of African issues by Africans in the African way, and help African countries devise their own development path consistent with their own situations. The international community should also pay due attention to economic and social development in Africa, effectively honour its commitments and actively provide assistance to African countries without any political conditions attached.
Thirdly, efforts should be made to help African countries build their capacity in the fight against terrorism. Limited resources and capacities are the biggest constraint for African countries in their fight against terrorism. We urge the international community, in particular developed countries, to redouble its efforts in helping African countries promote capacity-building in the justice and security sectors, strengthen exchanges of experiences and information-sharing and support the relevant efforts of regional and subregional organizations. Helping the enhanced counter-terrorism capacity of African countries should be made an important priority for the United Nations in the context of implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The United Nations should strengthen coordination and cooperation with the relevant parties and provide more effective assistance to Africa through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate.
China is also a victim of terrorism. We feel compassion for Africa in the light of the terrorist threat it faces. China resolutely supports African countries and its regional organizations in their unremitting efforts to fight terrorism. We will continue to do what we can to provide support and assistance to African countries to jointly address the threat that terrorism has brought to Africa and the world at large.
Thank you, Mr. President.