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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on Challenges in the Sahel Region

2016/05/26

(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)

China wishes to thank you, Mr. President, for convening today’s meeting and to thank the briefers for their presentations.

The current situation in the Sahel region has been stable in general, but the spread of terrorism and serious transnational organized crime has made the security situation fragile. The region also faces multiple challenges, including uneven development. The international community should increase its input and take an integrative approach to addressing these challenges.

First, we should actively promote the settlement of regional hotspot issues. Mitigating regional hotspot issues and realizing peace and national reconciliation constitute the basis for peace and stability in the Sahel region. The international community should, on the basis of the respect for the sovereignty of the country concerned, support the Malian parties in the full implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation with a view to improving the security situation, advancing national reconciliation and promoting the peace process. The international community should also pay attention to the spillover effect of external problems, such as the Libyan crisis, on the Sahel region and reduce the negative impact of such factors.

Secondly, we should comprehensively advance counter-terrorism cooperation in the region. The international community should pay attention to the damage caused by terrorist activities to the stability and security of the region and increase counter-terrorism efforts in the region. We should support the States of the region in their counter-terrorism endeavor with a focus on comprehensively strengthening capacity-building in the security area in connection with their counterterrorism needs. The relevant United Nations counterterrorism organs should increase their coordination and provide targeted training and technical assistance so as to comprehensively increase the ability of the countries of the region to counter terrorism and eliminate terrorist threats.

Thirdly, we should focus on the problem of underdevelopment in the region. The countries of the region should take the opportunity offered by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (General Assembly resolution 70/1) to formulate development strategies suited to their specific conditions. The international community and international financial institutions should increase their development assistance and help the countries of the region enhance their capacity for development. The relevant United Nations organizations should fully leverage their advantages and study in-depth the development needs of the countries of the region. They should promote the international community in providing targeted assistance and speed up the economic and social development of the countries of the region.

Fourthly, we should promote synergy in addressing the questions facing the Sahel region. Regional organizations, such as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Group of Five Sahel, are familiar with the conditions of the countries of the region and enjoy a unique advantage in efforts to address problems in the region. The United Nations should strengthen coordination with these organizations and organically integrate national strategies, regional strategies and the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel to coordinate resources and form synergies. When streamlining the relevant offices in the West African region, the United Nations should listen to and heed the views of regional States and ensure a rational allocation of resources so that the Organization can more effectively respond to the challenges.

China and Africa belong to a community of common destiny and interest. Strengthening unity and cooperation with African countries has always been an important cornerstone of our foreign policy. Last December, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit was held successfully in Johannesburg and decided to elevate its relationship to strategic cooperative partnership. We are willing to work with African countries to implement the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit and take concrete actions to benefit African countries, including the Sahel countries, with a view to realize peace, stability and prosperity on and the development of the African continent.

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